Supporting the Troops
What the Media Manipulators Really Mean
(04-18-03) Hundreds of thousands of peace-minded people have been taking to the streets all around the world since it became common knowledge that the United States had designs on invading Iraq. While these protests scarcely drew any media attention, or went under-reported when there was coverage, the anti-war movement continued to grow. Now that the war has actually begun, it might seem that the anti-war protestors’ efforts were in vain.
But as the bombs drop and the tanks roll, “shocking and awe-ing” your sense of decency, it is important that you not lose heart. While you may not get the coverage of the major news networks, you can begin to discern how desperate the manipulators of mass consciousness are getting. Increasingly, their promotion of rallies to show “support for the troops” belies an underhanded tactic to subvert the much stronger anti-war sentiments.
The media news networks were, and are, more than happy to announce dates, times and locations of rallies intending to show support for the troops. But like all the corruption connected to corporations and governments, the transparency of these tactics will only backfire as it will serve to illustrate to millions more just how warped the mindset of our power elite really is.
First, take note that the rallies promoted by the media are not “pro-war” rallies; though most of these sparsely attended gatherings (in comparison to the anti-war marches) convey a pro-war sentiment. Whether you agree with the war or not, this hardly vocal minority says, we all should at least be able to “support our troops” who are fighting and dying over there “for us”. Many would even say that they are fighting so that I have the freedom to write editorials like this and the protestors have the freedom to walk the streets and voice their displeasure with our government’s policies.
Don’t be taken in by that politically correct media-speak. Its main attempt is to try and diffuse anti-war sentiment. It creates a lukewarm middle ground between the two positions that makes one feel restless and uneasy. In the hopes of avoiding the polarization of society that usually accompanies unpopular wars, the rallies are an attempt to keep the peace. It is the kind of dysfunctional peace known in families that struggle with alcohol and drug abuse, child molestation and adulterous relationships. Ultimately, those attempts at peace fail because they skirt around the heart of the problem.
Beyond that, what do we really mean if we say we support the troops? Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.
Do I want the troops to win?
Supporting the troops means that we don’t want them to get killed, right? We want to cheer them on and let them know that their “country is behind them”. After all, we know how hard it was to fight Vietnam without public support.
But if you are anti-war, how can you support what our troops are doing? How can you say “thank you” to people who have been raining bombs on a desolate country for over a decade now? How can you support people who have been doing nothing short of genocide, with more than a million Iraqi children dead over the past twelve years? How can you support a war for oil when you believe that a fossil fuel energy policy no longer serves the world as well as it once did?
The real answer is that you can’t. As a human being, while we can respect each and every person’s freedom to choose, that does not mean that we have to respect each person’s choices. The decision for one human being to wage war against another is an outmoded idea. The corporate oligarchs who are trying to milk it one last time are keeping it on life support. The planet can no longer grow with such a thought in its collective consciousness.
Does that mean I want the troops to lose the war? No, it does not. It does mean that I don’t want the troops fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Columbia, the Philippines or anywhere else our dictators-in-chief will send them. The idea that these conflicts are about freedom is true to a very small extent.
Don’t Troops Protect our Freedom?
No, Virginia, they do not. One of the most trumped up arguments for supporting any war effort is that our troops keep our country safe and protect our freedom. The part about keeping our country safe is easily unmasked with a little bit of effort. Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, and the regimes in North Korea, Iran and Columbia have, at one time or another, enjoyed the support of the US government, largely in the form of military aid. In essence, our military policies make the world much more dangerous than safe.
Without US aid, Saddam Hussein would not be the “threat” he is today. The weapons of mass destruction we are so afraid of were initially created by us, and allowed to proliferate to keep the world’s population manipulated by fear.
The troops, despite what they believe, are actually fighting to preserve corporate freedom, which is a very different idea than human freedom. See Enron, WorldCom, the Savings and Loan scandal of the early 90’s and a host of other abuses by the wealthy elite to illustrate the difference. Basically, corporate freedom means the right for the multi-nationals to rape a country without repercussions. People are commodities and are discarded when their usefulness expires.
All the people talking about “supporting the troops” will be deaf and mute when it comes time to really support the troops. They will look the other way when former soldiers are left homeless on the streets, suffering in under-funded hospitals and in their minds because the government will be forced to cut veterans’ benefits and pensions in the future. Every war has seen the same treatment of our troops. This one will be no different. Sure, we’ll make a heroic movie about them in Hollywood, but don’t expect the government or anyone else to provide a job for you when you get home. The banks certainly won’t care if you defended their freedom when they foreclose on your house, too.
The madness of war can only be put to rest when you and I realize that no one can give you freedom, or protect your freedom. You have always been, and will always be, free.
The apparent lack of freedom in the world is an illusion reinforced with mental bars and thought police who control the range of ideas you are exposed to.
Military forces may protect your physical body, but this is the least of who you are. The price paid for that “protection” is extraordinarily high, too. It requires you to subvert the impulses of your soul to those who have captured the possession of life’s basic necessities. The multi-nationals, and the governments that serve them, continue to control ever increasing amounts of food, water and shelter. This is largely done through the trick of money. By controlling us through wages, we acquiesce our god-given right to these things.
The Institute of Unlearning advocates a change in our thinking that will foster a more collective view of the world. As long as we allow our governments to manipulate the flow of information, we become prey to their capricious whims and war lusts. All we get in return is an ever more dangerous world. Let’s look at the trend for the last 100 years.
Answer these simple questions.
1. Did the world get safer after World War I?
2. Did the world get safer after World War II?
3. Did the World get safer after the Cold War Era wars of Korea and Vietnam?
4. Did the world get safer after the Gulf War?
5. Will the world be safer after this “prolonged” War Against Terror?
The answer is clearly “NO!” The only common denominator in all these questions is that we continued to use war to get a result that we never got, and in the process spread more weapons around the globe. Now, in the wake of the government-manufactured crime of September 11th, the world is so dangerous that we had to create a Big Brother agency called Homeland (Fatherland?) Security. American citizens are officially suspects of all acts of terrorism and are treated as enemies of the state.
The most brainwashed of you will think this is a good idea and would even love to vigilantly spy on your neighbor and rat them out at the first sign of them not fitting in to your worldview. Let me remind you that Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Spain, and the former Soviet Union all relied on citizen spies to keep their despotic regimes in power. Think about that the next time you drive under those ominous electronic signs on our highways urging you to “report suspicious activity”.
The road to human freedom is a tough one to walk, but those of you willing to unlearn must seriously question the place of war in your worldview. The Institute of Unlearning supports no soldier save the one who is willing to lay down his or her arms and walk away from all that insanity and into a brighter future of clarity.
Whose Life Are You Living?