By Katherine M. Acosta
01 July, 2011
Before the parades begin, the flag-waving commences, and the fireworks explode this 4th of July, I want to recognize a large contingent of patriots who help to protect us from terrorism and defend what freedom and democracy we still enjoy. I am speaking of those who decline to enlist or take commissions in our armed forces. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you from small towns with few employment opportunities, to those who cannot go to college without incurring frightening levels of debt, those who completed college only to enter a bleak jobs market, to the unemployed and under-employed who nevertheless reject military service as a way out of economic troubles. Thank-you for not “serving.”
Thank-you for not adding to the 100,000 plus civilian body count in Iraq, a country that never attacked us, had nothing to do with the September 11th tragedy, and harbored no “weapons of mass destruction.” Thank-you for not contributing to the post-war oppression of Iraqi women, who, before we “liberated” them, enjoyed more rights and greater access to education than women of any country in that region. Thank-you for not adding to the misery of these besieged people, who before we came crashing violently into their land, had reliable sources of clean water and electricity.
Thank-you for not participating in the daily bloodshed perpetrated against civilians in our name through the bombing of Yemen, drone attacks in Pakistan, and the decades long war in Afghanistan (counting the years we funded the mujahideen against the former Soviet Union.) Thank-you for not bombing rebels in Libya along with their oppressors.
Thank-you for not contributing to the blowback we call “terrorism;” that is, the creation of terrorists in response to our warmongering and imperialism throughout the world. Nothing will do more to protect us from terrorism than refraining from the oppressive and brutal activities that inspire it.
Thank-you for not participating, directly or indirectly, in the torture of other human beings. Thank-you for not joining organizations (i.e., our armed forces) that flout the Geneva conventions. Adhering to these rules protects our own troops as much as it does “enemy combatants.” Thank-you for not aiding and abetting “extraordinary rendition” – our ghastly euphemism for the practice of farming out the torture of those we capture to other countries.
Read the rest here.
Comment: I wrote this post entitled "I do not support the troops" in September 2007 asking some of the same questions and pressing my disgust at what the US has waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and eslewhere.
Who stands for the innocents killed in waves of US nationalist bigotry and hate?
I wrote that post in the US and ended with these thoughts: "My religion is not at war with America. But America is at war with humanity."
Not a damn thing has changed. Something has to give. And if the US must stand it must rediscover what it means to be part of the human family.
I am not hopeful and greatly saddened by my loss of faith in my other country.