Originally written in 2012, I repost this every year because, tragically, the story never changes.
On this Memorial Day, my heart is broken wide open for military families who have lost their loved ones over the last few years. I can’t fathom the pain of not being able to hold my son or daughter ever again, nor can I imagine being a son who lost his father just when he was needed most.
I can’t understand what it must be like for a family to be torn apart just as it was being built, and I’ll probably never know the feeling of being told I can never kiss my wife again because she is never coming home. I can only empathize with the many people who have experienced these things as these moments are beyond my comprehension.
With every day that passes, US military men and women are still dying all over the world, and as my heart breaks hearing about their deaths, I’ve got to ask myself – what are these brave men and women dying for?
When joining the military, they knew that one day they could be in a position to sacrifice their lives, but I can’t imagine any of them thought they would be doing it for a cause other than protecting their family. But, that’s exactly what they are being asked to do day in and day out.
Their lives and selflessness should be precious and valued, and never used to protect the interest of foreign nations, crony corporations or out of touch demagogues. They should be honored for all they are willing to give, but we should be outraged that their lives are valued so little by our government that they were willing to sacrifice thousands of America’s finest people and destroy thousands of other lives because they have some self-righteous vision of America as world police or nation builder.
These fine people were asked to give all they could, in many cases, for nothing other than useless political or economic positioning. A mindless political class sits in DC inhibiting Americans’ personal and economical freedom, so they justify military intervention around the world as a means to accomplish these goals to which their own careers could not be bent. They chose their political self-preservation over the lives of our young people.
If you haven’t read between the lines yet – the US government inhibits rights and destroys the free market of energy and commerce every day, all while creating enormous messes in countries throughout the world. It then places military men and women in harm’s way throughout the world with the rhetoric of preserving peace, our freedoms and economic interests.
It is the US government who has created the very problems of turmoil and destabilization for which they justify the ongoing interventions and perpetual war that led to the turmoil and destabilization in the first place. And so, the circle of destruction, loss of freedom and justification of military and economic intervention never ends.
The government sells these wars to the American people by saying they are “keeping the peace” or keeping us “free” or “protecting our interests,” and they do this all with a straight face as they inhibit our rights to privacy and free speech in the US. They do this as they remove our ability to provide for our families and give our children a future by impeding personal and economic freedom at every turn. Protect us? What liars.
They do it because they have abandoned their duty to uphold freedom as an end, and do not value life. If you are pro-life, you should be pro-all life – not just the unborn, but every living person. Life should be protected at all costs, so military men and women’s lives should not be so easily thrown away, nor should we be so quick to use death and destruction as tools in lieu of diplomacy and free trade.
It is the US government, sending these kids to die with little or no thought, that started the cycle of warfare and destruction which has led to more warfare and destruction. The US government armed and trained Osama Bin Laden before helping to organize disparate forces in Afghanistan who would eventually form the Taliban and nurture Al Qaeda.
The US government helped Saddam Hussein come to power to be a buffer against a mess they created in Iran through multiple interventions. The US government armed Hussein with the very “weapons of mass destruction” which they later used to justify a second war in the region and needlessly kill thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraq’s citizens.
After decades of meddling in the region, the US decided to play world protector in the first Gulf War while based in Saudi Arabia, giving Osama Bin Laden a previously non-existent scapegoat for declaring a holy war on “infidels.” The US government created the environment, provided the weapons and facilitated the organization for almost all the wars in which they are currently engaged.
Most recently, the US government’s interventions in Iraq and Syria, along with the arms and organization supplied in the region created the means and environment for the murderers of ISIS to terrorize millions more people. [added in 2015]
On multiple continents for far too many years, completely unnecessary wars have been fought and countless lives lost all because our government can’t mind our own business and continues to justify death overseas because they don’t have the guts to do the right things at home. It is cowardly and disgraceful that these lives were sacrificed because of such arrogance and stupidity.
These young people in the military deserve better. They deserve our admiration and support. They deserve to come home, and to never be placed in the way of unnecessary harm ever again. They deserve so much better than what our government is giving them.
So, on this Memorial Day – grieve with these families who have been torn apart, who have given all they can with the greatest of intentions. Take a moment to remember what they were willing to do. But, also join me in condemning the government who wrongfully forced this sacrifice upon them. Join me in calling for an end to these economic and military wars. Let’s unite our military men and women with their families by bringing them home, and making a commitment to never unnecessarily risk their lives again.
They are better than their government. Honor them.
It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example. – Dr. RonPaul
A few great videos:
2. Take a moment to look at the faces of the families who will never see their loved ones again: “In The Arms of An Angel-American Soldiers Tribute”
3. Sentiment from many of us who want to see the troops come home is summed up in this video that became an unofficial anthem of the Ron Paul presidential run in 2012: the band is Golden State and the song is “Bombs” (AKA – End this War).