Get Your Guns Out: Let’s All Celebrate Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day is not a celebration to honor those who have served in our armed forces; it is a glorification of this country’s ongoing slaughter of defenseless people throughout the world.

November 11th is Veteran’s Day. We have a lot to celebrate. We now have military personnel in every continent on the planet, a military that eats up 70% of the American economy, and a track record of having slaughtered over one million unarmed people in the last 10 years alone. We have so modernized our homemade weapons of mass destruction that we can kill civilians throughout the world with unmanned drones, hired mercenaries, and an all-volunteer, “professional” army without having to worry about anyone meaningfully fighting back. No other nation has resources that can match what is available to American troops and mercenaries.

It is for that reason that we are able to kill with impunity. We take on the poorest, most defenseless nations we can find: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and other African and Asian countries. The fact that most of the places we invade with our special forces, technology, torture techniques, and renditions, do not have air forces or a navy, makes these one-sided slaughters even “safer” for our brave soldiers throughout the world. It also keeps the 99% from worrying about the caskets coming home.

We use depleted uranium on the city of Fallujah, Agent Orange on the jungles of Viet Nam, and torture everywhere, including the U.S. itself, without significant repercussions or retaliation. We are immunized against the anger that is building up against us throughout the world. The only collateral damage we suffer is from those returning soldiers who are driven insane by our uncontrolled cruelty.

Manufactured Patriotism

On Veteran’s Day, we will witness marches, parades, and military regalia throughout the nation. Sporting events will provide the background for grand speeches directed towards the “heroes” that are protecting us in a hostile world. We will see signs declaring that we should “support our troops” and sing accolades to these brave warriors. We will hear and read about the close bonds built  among soldiers who fight battles and depend upon each other for protection against hostile forces; and, about our “brilliant” generals. The generals are so brazen and arrogant that our military policies are leaked to the media before the President and Hillary can even announce them.

Once again a powerful nation is slaughtering countless defenseless defenseless people with no legitimate justification. Since the Viet Nam War the U.S. government has waged a propaganda campaign to insulate GIs from having to deal with the consequences of their international war crimes. In World War II, at least Germany and Japan took the battle to the most powerful capitalist countries in the world before they were righteously defeated.

The United States, on the other hand, takes on peasant populations as if they were well-armed wealthy nations. Our preference is to attack countries like Viet Nam, Cuba, Afghanistan and Somalia: places that can do little more than defend their own poverty-stricken populations from air assaults directed by tyrants 5000 – 10,000 miles from the war zones.

It is one thing to recognize the victimization of our soldiers who return from these one-sided rampages as they suffer from PTSD, or were wounded (too frequently by our own troops). The suicide rate among those returning from our Christian Crusades throughout the Middle East is the highest in recorded history. But to honor them, as if they were fighting a fair battle, against a worthy enemy is not only pure hypocrisy, but pandering to the basest sort of manufactured patriotism.

The 1% who have stolen America’s wealth and seek to extend our form of “democracy” over the remainder of the world’s people, are the only ones who benefit from our aggressive sorties into other continents. The mercenaries, Pentagon bureaucrats, military contractors, and pathetic fools who serve in and with our armed forces, because there are no other jobs available in this economy, recognize the absurdity of calling these murderous conflicts “wars.” Wars are fought with those who can fight back. Germany’s slaughter of the Jews was not a “war,” it was murder, plain and simple –likewise with the conduct of our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and now, Africa.

The only reason that we do not have full-scale wars in many parts of the world is simply because many nations have militaries that can fight back. This is the reason we use assassination, security programs, coups and bribery, to dominate and manipulate the governments of those nations.

As we impose our destructive values on peoples throughout the world, nations are increasingly rejecting the U.S.’s claims to freedom and justice, and recognizing the bald capitalist vultures we have become. Our “brave” troops might reign victorious in their slaughter of defenceless populations, but decent people who witness their actions will never respect them as anything but thugs. Good intentions are not a substitute for appropriate behavior. Nor is it acceptable to believe that “obeying orders” is a valid justification for murdering defenseless people.

If one truly wants to “support our troops” on this Veterans’ Day the best recommendation is to keep them as far as possible from the U.S. military, and give them a meaningful education instead of manufactured, patriotic rhetoric. Teach them who their real enemies are – the Wall Street gangsters and the sycophant politicians who protect and profit from these unjustified, illegal wars.

Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law. Marti Hiken is the director of Progressive Avenues. She is the former associate director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and former chair of the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force. Read other articles by Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken, or visit Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken's website.