I'm just going to say it; I'm anti-military.
I love my wife, I love Jesus, and I love
America, but do not like the
But saying that you're anti-military is sort of like saying that you're anti-business. What sort of business? Multi-national corporations running child-labor sweatshops in the back alleys of
Indonesia? Or the nice couple who run the deli and
specially order weird cheeses for me? That's
sort of like how it is with my "anti-militarism."
Just as there are very different things that we call, "business." there are very different things that we call "military."
We refer to the bureaucrats at the Pentagon as, "the military." I don't much like them because they dream up stuff like, "Future Force" and "Global Reach" and "The Pinon Canyon, Multi-National, High-tech, 6.9-million-acre, Weapons-Testing, 51st, flippin' State."
We also refer to the command structure at major bases as, "the military." I don't much like them either; the Army brass at Fort Carson who buckle under the pressure from defense contractors and the elected officials who work to advance their corporate economic interests and ensure their own career futures by abusing our young men and women, sending them to dog-and-pony Open Houses and elementary schools to do their dirty work for them.
But I also refer to the 18-year-old kids who greet me at the Pinon Canyon Open House as, "the military." I do like them. They remind me of myself when I served during the
Viet Nam era. I knew very little about the political justifications
for the war. I knew practically nothing
about the weapons industry and war profiteering. And I knew even less about the
personal ethical responsibility implicit in my participation in the
military-industrial-complex. Say what? I
just did my job and tried to have some fun, and maybe learn something that
could I use in the next phase of my life.
Many of the "troops" that train at
are kids who are not yet considered responsible enough to drink. But some of them have been in situations that
I'm not sure I could survive, physically or psychologically. They are, quite
literally "our kids" since they come, disproportionally from rural Pinon Canyon America.
They return from combat to discover that most people have paid little attention
to the wars. But for them its horrors are
a reality that they can't forget. Of course I'm not anti-them!
They often suffer from what has been labeled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD. Like labels attached to previous wars, "shell-shock" and "battle-fatigue," "PTSD" is a euphemism which fails to capture the truth. It actually describes the condition of having physically survived hell and being barely able to function in society with the mental and spiritual damage that has been suffered. It manifests as domestic violence, substance abuse and suicide. I have nothing but compassion for them.
Five-star general and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower tried to warn us in his final words upon leaving office. He said, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
Even the people who have the most obvious reasons to be "anti-military" understand that it doesn't apply to the young men and women in uniform. In 2011 the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition, PCEOC, which represents ranching families who had their multi-generational ranches taken from them by "the military" understand the difference between the Pentagon bureaucracy, and the kids who serve. In 2011 they urged the Trinidad City Council to write, in their own words a resolution expressing the support of our community for the troops. They persuaded the council not to take bribes; not to sign a "Covenant" which the
brass had suggested would result in local contracts. They argued that support
for our kids in the Army should be unconditional. Fort Carson
The city didn't sign the "covenant' which had been created by the psy-ops manipulators in
Instead they wrote up a resolution, in
their own words, honestly and sincerely expressing their support the troops,
and since they are our representatives, our community support as well.
So, I don't like the Pentagon and don't like the arms merchants and I don't like the politicians and Army brass that play along. But I do love and support the troops.