Thursday, December 10, 2009

Standing Down

The sad events at Fort Hood last month underline an obvious yet unthinkable fact for most: Had we no standing army, and the vast tax draining vampire that assures us of its necessity, such events need never have occurred.  The American people have long allowed themselves to believe that a support of the military and that insidious word, patriotism, go hand in hand.  This was not always so.

Both World Wars found an American citizenry deeply reluctant to become involved in over seas conflicts.  The less well informed and more poorly educated Americans of the past however, required little puppet-mastery to cajole into hating, murderously, people on the other side of the globe.  The modern citizen, though not too different from his predecessors, more often than not requires a more subtle and sophisticated form of enthrallment, one that he absorbs passively everyday in the form of newspapers and television.

I am not implying secret government cabals meeting in darkened rooms of the Pentagon bent on world domination, but simply ask the obvious question: cui bonoWhom does a standing army benefit?  Not the people, many of whom are already better armed than the local police.  And with vast oceans and friendly borders to guard us, whom are we to fear?  The events of September eleventh were not aimed at the American people, but at the government which entangles its self in foreign affairs, and backs brutal dictatorships with American arms. 

Of the soldiery, who are they?  I have known many veterans and too few could pass for the super-human demi-god image the military propaganda machine foists upon us, and which the passive public imbibes seemingly without dissent.  Yet it is obvious much of the nation hasn't fallen for the show, for a majority believe themselves unworthy of the distinction of soldier, leaving that glorious title to gang members and high school drop outs.

With the Presidents ill-judged announcement of a surge in Afghanistan comes the signal to bring an end to this bloody spectacle by stepping off the world stage as glorified policemen and truly earning his prize for peace.  Otherwise these tragedies may again be repeated, only next time as farce.