If people not worshiping soldiers pisses you off, you may want to click away now. I guarantee today's column will piss you off.
Today is Memorial Day in America. It started in 1868, with an informal observation called Decoration Day to honor slain soldiers. Of course, it was originally only for Union soldiers and pretty much spit on the graves of the Confederates who died in the same conflagration.
Every Memorial Day, my inbox(es) is stuffed with email reminding me to worship the fallen soldiers of the US, who died in the various wars that country has committed. My father and uncles were all veterans of WW2, and I honor them. My grandfathers were veterans of WW1, and I honor them. But, when it comes to any war since WW2, I draw the line. Why?
That's why. There has not been one single war declared by the US Congress since WW2. Under the terms of the US Constitution, the adventures in Korea in the 50s, Vietnam in the 60s, and every single military intervention in the doings of sovereign countries since then have been illegal. I don't care if you call them "police actions" or "military advisors," the result was lots of soldiers and materiel were expended in events that looked a whole hell of a lot like wars to me. We even call them the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Grenada and Panama invasions, the various Desert Storm Wars, etc.Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording:[The Congress shall have Power...] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
What's more, every US soldier said these words at some point:
"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed ...Jun 15, 2011Therefore, every soldier who has fought on orders from the government of the US, has violated their oaths to "protect and defend the Constitution."
If all this isn't enough for you, then how about Article I, Section 8, Clause 12, of the US Constitution?
The Congress shall have Power To ...raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years....So, only Congress can declare war, and it hasn't done so since WW2 (you can argue all the subtleties you want-means nothing), the soldier's oath requires him or her to support and defend the Constitution, and right after the Constitution grants Congress war powers, it says that the US may not raise and support an army more than two years (no standing army).
Under the very terms of the Constitution soldiers are sworn to defend, every soldier that has been drafted or joined the US Armed Forces since WW2 has violated the Constitution and is a war criminal, as are all the presidents who have sent armed soldiers into sovereign countries to fight since Roosevelt and Truman.
It's not like any of those folks couldn't read the Constitution. Most Americans read it at least once in school, and if you are swearing an oath to defend it, you should probably read it again at least once. In any case, every representative, officer and government employee who supported the various military adventures since WW2 are complicit in war crimes and treason.
Sorry if that seems harsh to you and you don't think your grandfather, father, brother, or son who served in the US military since WW2 is a criminal, but the facts speak for themselves.
So, when it comes to Memorial Day, I don't get all teary eyed and go around laying wreaths on soldiers' graves. I don't honor those men and women who violated the founding document of the US government and their oaths. I don't honor the people who can't read rather simple text that is widely available and has been since the founding of the country.
You can pick nits and get all patriotic and jump up and down about the sacrifices of these fine men and women, but none of it changes the nature of their crime.
Memorial Day is just another state-worshiping holiday that glorifies death in the name of a flag. It's time for folks to extract themselves from the deep conditioning that has led them into blind obedience to symbols and not ideals.
I do honor those men and women who served in WW1 and WW2. You did your duty under terms of the Constitution and your oath. Thank you.
For the rest of the fallen, sorry for your empty (and illegal) sacrifice for the glory of empire. Too bad you didn't stand up for what's right, not what's expedient.