***In no way is this post intended to disrespect the soldiers and veterans who put their lives on the line to protect the liberties for the citizens of this country.***
With Veterans Day less than a week removed I thought I’d share my thoughts on this current occupation. In his Veterans Day speech Obama announced that all troops in Iraq will be home by January 1st. In my opinion its been about a decade too late. A war that spanned over much of the past decade will have run a tab of about a trillion dollars. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist and go into how Halliburton profited from the war so I won’t even go down that route. I’ll keep this post as much anti-Michael Moore as I can.
After the September 11th attacks my patriotism was at an all time high. Despite how much I disagreed with much of President Bush’s policies I was behind him 100% on declaring war on Al-Qaeda. One of my line brothers was deployed to Afganistan less than a year after September 11th. I was really proud that he would put his life on the line to protect his country. Eventually things took a turn and I didn’t like the way the Bush administration was handling the war on terror. I started hearing political buzzwords like “insurgents” and “weapons of mass destruction” while the focus of the war on terror shifted from Osama Bin Laden in Afganistan to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was going on. “This is how it’s done. When people are sittin’ on shit that you want, you make ’em your enemy. Then you’re justified in taking it. ” -Jake Sully [Avatar]
Eventually there were no weapons of mass destruction found but there sure were a lot of finger pointing and excuses going around. A war waged on false pretenses and we’re still there. $255 million per day, or a little less than $1.8 billion a week. That figure includes both military and non-military spending on things like reconstruction. Do you know how many homes could have been saved from foreclosure with that type of money? How many scholarships? How many jobs saved? The poverty rate is on the rise and crime is increasing but we’re spending $255 million a day on a war based on rumor and hearsay.
Ok, I’ve never seen combat in my life and I never plan to but maybe this occupation might give you perspective if you heard the actual words from a solider who fought in Iraq.
We were told we were fighting terrorists…the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. Its long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government…. Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger or lob a mortar round. They do not have to fight the war they merely have to sell the war. They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers into harms way, they need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question… The ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering care only about expanding their wealth and controlling the world’s economy. Understand that their power lies only their ability to convince us that war, oppression and exploitation is in our interest… The vast majority of people have nothing to gain from this occupation.
Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer and without racism soldiers would realize they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war. We need to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land. They are not people who’s names we do not know and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well and who we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when its profitable. The enemy is a CEO that lays us off from our jobs when its profitable. Its the insurance companies who deny us healthcare when its profitable. Its the banks that take our homes when its profitable. Our enemy is not 5,000 miles away, they are right here at home.