Thank You For Your Servitude
Hapless Chess Pieces vs Genuine Heroes
I don’t want to spoil anyone’s Memorial Day. To those who lost loved ones in uniform, your pain and tragedy is real, and you have my sympathy. I prefer the view that my friend Cindy Sheehan holds. She lost a young son in our senseless Middle East misadventures. They couldn’t assuage her with medals and patriotic rhetoric.
In my view, the last justified war that America participated in was the War of 1812. Our shores were invaded, and we were directly attacked. That was the only war of defense America has ever fought. I’m no pacifist; we all have the right to defend ourselves, and that includes the country itself. Some of you might respond, “Hey, what about Pearl Harbor? What about those dirty sneaky rotten Japs?” Please read my book Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963 for a detailed examination of FDR’s foreknowledge of the event. He might as well have been flying a plane himself.
Those who fought for independence against the Redcoats, and those who actually defended the homeland during the War of 1812, were heroes in my estimation. But I don’t get this labeling of anyone who dies in combat as a “hero.” None of the nearly million young Americans who lost their lives in Abraham Lincoln’s senseless internal conflict were heroic. Lincoln instituted an unconstitutional draft, so these boys were forced to fight. Unless they had money, of course. There was that whole “Rich man’s exemption” thing. No one who died at Gettysburg or Antietam was wealthy.
Did the youngsters killed in the Spanish-American War, precipitated by the first modern false flag, die for any reason whatsoever? How about those who occupied and committed atrocities in the Philippines, or Haiti? I’ll have a lot to say about all that in the upcoming Hidden History 3: More From the American Memory Hole. World War I? Don’t make me laugh. Even the court historians can’t come up with a reason for that pointless slaughter. But lots of bankers and One Percenters increased their fortunes from it, as the great Smedley Butler pointed out.
Woodrow Wilson brought back John Adams’ unconstitutional sedition laws, throwing lots of WWI protesters into prison. When Eugene Debs and others challenged this legally, the Supreme Court upheld Wilson. And that’s where that whole “yelling fire in a crowded theater” asterisk on free speech came from. Vaunted “liberal” Oliver Wendell Holmes made up the expression to defend the imprisonment of war protesters. So protesting a senseless war is yelling fire in a crowded theater. Got it.
By World War II, Americans had learned their lesson. They dutifully planted their victory gardens, bought their bonds, became air raid wardens, and idolized the “Greatest Generation” soldiers like no others before. Uncle Sam Wants You! Again, read my book for just a sampling of the atrocities committed by these “heroes” on the Germans and the Japanese. That doesn’t mean that the Germans and the Japanese didn’t commit atrocities on them. It means that non-defensive wars are full of horrific, criminal behavior on all sides.
Read about the atrocities committed by the Americans in Korea. My writings demonstrate that the “scorched earth” strategy began by Lincoln and his psychotic generals like Sherman and Sheridan set the precedent for all American wars to come. Rape and outright theft, targeting of civilians, destruction of property. You will find eyewitness accounts of this “total war” philosophy in every conflict America has been involved in. The videos documenting this kind of conduct landed then Bradley Manning in prison. No one defames our “heroes.”
Like Cindy Sheehan, the family of former NFL player Pat Tillman couldn’t be bought off with medals and platitudes of bravery. Eventually, the government admitted that Tillman, who had quickly grown to oppose American involvement there, had actually been killed by “friendly fire.” Until Oliver Stone’s film Platoon, Americans had no idea of exactly how common this is. In Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, our troops not only killed their comrades with carelessness, they sometimes targeted them for murder. Give a boy a gun and all that.
Especially since 9/11, after which we basically became America 2.0, our military has become almost sanctified. “Support the Troops!” While I’m writing this kind of radical contrarianism, most Americans today are tipping the hat to every military veteran by proclaiming, “Thank you for your service.” Exactly what are we thanking them for? Occupying smaller sovereign nations who have never attacked us? Urinating on corpses, or playing soccer with their decapitated heads, as was done in Iraq and Afghanistan? “Protecting” us from those who couldn’t hurt us if they wanted to? “Defending our freedom,” which our government is doing its best to crush?
Of course, I know that most soldiers, like most cops, are not bad people. Some of them probably go into the service with grand and noble ideals, and believe that they are defending us from the bad guys. Like the population at large, they continue to fall for the hackneyed propaganda that H.L. Mencken described as “an endless series of hobgoblins.” And every one of their deaths is tragic. But not heroic. Pointless. Led to the slaughter by bankers and chicken hawks who never saw a battlefield.
I mean no disrespect to anyone. I know there are some great people in the military. But enabling the senseless foreign policy that uses these young people in uniform as expendable cannon fodder ensures that it will continue. Mindlessly waving the flag, and cheering in parades is feeding the monster. “Patriotism” is to the Military Industrial Complex like blood is to a vampire. They need the cheers. And the approval. If you agree that those dying in these aggressive nation building wars are heroes, then you are saying the war policy is heroic.
The whole antiwar movement in the ‘60s amounted to nothing. I think the marches against the Vietnam war went on for about eight years or so, before we finally withdrew our troops. And those hippies who understandably didn’t want to lose their lives senselessly in that conflict, went on to applaud subsequent wars which were just as senseless. Look how many of them now are urging a war against Russia. Russia is no Iraq. Long live World War 3! We need more “heroes!” And the “I Stand with Ukraine” thing is predicated on the idea that Ukraine itself is heroic.
And the military worship is now combined with Identity Politics. The NFL has been receiving taxpayer funds for a long time now, for what amounts to military commercials before games. These rituals have absolutely nothing to do with sports, and are in-your-face state propaganda. Colin Kaepernick might have had a point, if he’d led players in kneeling during the military productions, and not during the National Anthem. And this military worship happens right alongside the players wearing pink and the sports industry being as “Woke” as the rest of corporate America. You can be “cancelled” for opposing war, or for being “racist.”
This whole “Thank you for your service” mantra has been extended in recent years to our militarized police forces. Sure, the police have come under a lot of criticism, but almost all of it is channeled within proper margins by the Social Justice Warriors. Thus, nothing about their harassment of motorists, planting of drugs, or violence against little girls and elderly people in wheelchairs. All the vitriol revolves around “racism,” and the horrible things done to Black people.
The Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, during which property was burned and destroyed, people killed, and businesses looted, was allowed to happen. No one even tried to stop it. The police stood down. The “racist” police. Some even took a knee with the demonstrators. None unleashed the kind of fury they’re renowned for, if their target is a skateboarder kid or a homeless person drunk or high on drugs. And most recently, this kind of cowardice was impressed upon the public conscience with the events in Uvalde, where the police did nothing for an hour while we are told a gunman was inside a classroom killing children.
You can bet those same police would have drawn their taser or their gun, if a confused citizen who was stopped while driving, for a typically nonsensical reason, “talked back,” cited his constitutional rights, or tried to flee from them. Someday I may write a book about the transgressions of our men in blue over the years. Far more people have had negative interactions with the police than positive ones. Far too many encounters have been deadly. And the citizens killed by police misconduct were just as “heroic” as our fallen boys in far flung lands.
Some sheeple actually thank police officers for their “service,” too. They find excuses for their outrageous behavior just as easily as their law enforcement superiors do. That will be really difficult in the Uvalde case, but I have confidence in the sheeple. They consistently avoid critical thinking, no matter what. And if any police officer is held accountable for not doing the job we pay them to do, it will be about as rare as, well I used to say, as an overweight Victoria’s Secret model. Except they actually have overweight Victoria’s Secret models now, so pick your analogy. Asian quarterbacks?
Our police forces have long been militarized, so I guess it’s appropriate that they come in for some of that misguided worship, too. Just like this country hasn’t won a war since World War II, despite machinery and equipment the world has never seen, our police boast military-grade equipment, and yet cannot seem to stop violent crime. They won’t even approach an eighteen year old firing shots in a school, we are told. I remember some of the same criticisms being leveled at the police during the Columbine school shooting. Was anyone ever punished there?
The courts have ruled, since the 1980s, that the police are not obligated to protect the public. So that whole “protect and serve” thing is a lie. The Supreme Court has upheld this. Expecting the cops to save you from danger is beyond naive. You’ve been told they aren’t there to protect you. Everything they do reinforces that point. But it is perfectly acceptable for them to harass you. Or steal your property under asset forfeiture laws, which again the Supreme Court has upheld. During that whole “defund the police” thing, did you hear any protests about that?
Maybe I’ve been watching too much Norm MacDonald. He was about the only person I’ve ever seen who publicly took on the teachers. He came up with a great comedy bit about how teachers are definitely not “heroes.” But some of the same sheeple will adorn teachers with heroic qualities as well. And they don’t even have to face the very real threat of death that soldiers and police officers do. They haven’t really been thanked for their “service,” though. Maybe some Social Justice Warrior will read this, and start a campaign to do just that.
I’m not really sure what a hero is, especially when the term is watered down so much now. How about the “First Responders?” It’s unclear exactly who is included as a “First Responder,” but they definitely are considered heroic and they definitely get “thanked” a lot. The biggest hero I ever met in my life was a guy who was dying from cancer, I think his name was Bill Kratzert. He worked part-time alongside me in a dead end blue-collar job. He toiled at that physical labor almost until he died, because his family needed that part-time income, which meant he was working every day, and every holiday, just so he could pay his outrageous medical bills. He had an upbeat attitude, too. Everything you want in a real hero. Now that’s a profile in courage.
Another of my heroes was my old boyhood chum Billy Myles. Kind of a wild youth, like most of us were back in the days of America 1.0, Bill grew into a faithful Catholic who obviously adored his wife and two daughters. A few years back, the car he was riding in with his daughter was hit, and became engulfed in flames. His daughter was trapped, and Billy plunged back into the vehicle to remove her, burning to death himself in the process. As I told his family, all death is sad, especially when it comes too soon, but in this case they should feel really proud. Billy Myles was a real hero.
Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Julian Assange. Edward Snowden. All courageous whistleblowers who exposed corruption, even though they knew they’d be punished, and were not generally supported by the same public that can’t wait to salute far more dubious “heroes.” There are an untold number of whistleblowers the world doesn’t even know of, who also took a stand against wrongdoing and paid the price. Any and every whistleblower is a hero in my book.
So there are plenty of real heroes. Average people forced to work two jobs because the economy is rigged against them. Forced to take an extra job because they had the rotten luck to get deathly sick, and our Banana Republic “healthcare” system required them to pay so much, while still not healing them, for their “services.” Maybe we should be thanking doctors and nurses for their “service.” Actually, I think doctors and nurses are considered “First Responders,” so never mind. As should be obvious from what I’ve written before, I believe that much of what they do is the antithesis of true heroism.
Some people have different definitions of heroism. I think that parents sitting up all night with a crying baby, on a regular basis, without getting cranky themselves, and then going to work with no sleep, is pretty heroic. During my volunteer work, I met parents who were dealing with unimaginable challenges raising children born with severe disabilities. They had positive attitudes, and loved their children as much as any of us love our “normal” kids. That’s pretty damn heroic in my book. And with all the vaccines causing obvious increases in children on the autistic spectrum, there are bound to be more of these genuine heroes.
And how about the people dealing with those challenges directly? Helen Keller, born deaf, dumb, and blind, somehow managed to become a renowned writer and activist. Hard to be more heroic than that. Just missing one of our indispensable senses is hard enough. How about those who were scalded by hot water burns, or in a fire, especially as children? You have to be heroic under those circumstances just to go to school, and later work, and encounter the typical cruel jokes the sheeple are renowned for. The same sheeple who call soldiers, cops and “First Responders” heroes. Some of them are probably still laughing at Helen Keller “jokes.”
I know I’m a contrarian. I can’t just salute the flag and think of the guys at Normandy. They went through hell, but they were more hapless than heroic. They were put in a terrible situation by warmongers who profit from bloodshed. Burying them in a flag draped coffin doesn’t change that fact. Giving them crosses and medals doesn’t change that fact. As Harry Patch, who would have told you he wasn’t a hero, the last surviving veteran of World War I put it, “War is organized murder and nothing else.”