Some mornings I stop in a local coffee shop where there are always 5-10 older men drinking coffee and shootin' the bull. Many of them are Vietnam War veterans, and they often wear their US Military baseball caps and biker vests with patches that say, "Never Forget!"
I like to occasionally chat with them as I am waiting for my order, and sometimes I will throw out a little truth bomb, or a question, in a small attempt to get them to question the government propaganda that they are fed via the television that is on constantly in the coffee shop, and likely also in their homes.
As a kid, I was taught that the United States of America went to war in Vietnam to stop the proliferation of communism. The US government's rhetoric, repeated to me by my father, was that if we didn't stop the communists in Vietnam, then they would take over the world. So, we trained our young men to hate and kill communists.
We lost the Vietnam War.
But the communists did not take over the world.
Today, Americans are making assloads of money exporting manufactured goods from Communist Vietnam.
Why did Americans fight and die in Vietnam?
I was told that The United States of America went to war in Afghanistan, now the longest war in American history, because the Afghanis were harboring a Saudi Arabian, Osama Bin Ladin, who was, allegedly, the masterminded behind the 15 other Saudi Arabians, 2 United Arab Emirates citizens, 1 Egyptian, and 1 Lebanese that allegedly perpetrated 9-11. The US government's rhetoric was that if we didn't hunt down and kill Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, then the Muslims would plan and execute other terrorist attacks on the USA. So, we trained our young men to hate and kill Muslims.
We supposedly found Osama Bin Ladin in 2011, in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. But instead of capturing the unarmed mastermind for interrogation about other terrorist plots, we shot him in the face and promptly buried him at sea, we were told, in accordance with the tradition of the desert-dwelling Saudi Arabians.
But the Muslims have, nonetheless, subsequently planned and executed other terrorist attacks in the USA, including the largest mass shooting in American history not perpetrated by the US government.
Today, Americans are making assloads of money exporting opium from Afghanistan and exporting death to the world.
Why are Americans fighting and dying in Afghanistan?
Given these parallel narratives, I am trying to comprehend why it seems like most veterans don't give a shit about America's perpetual warfare in Afghanistan, or Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine.
Contrary to the patches on the vest, did they forget what war is really like?
Are they ignorant?
All the above?
Or were they so psychologically traumatized that they just are no longer capable of critical thinking?
Last week I spoke with a US soldier that had done one tour in Iraq, and two tours in Afghanistan as a volunteer killer. He had just recently re-upped his contract with the US Army, and was now stationed in Texas as a volunteer recruiter of our sons and daughters. I asked him how he might feel if China invaded America, because they suspected we were harboring a wealthy Taiwanese man that was behind an attack on China. Would he fight the Chinese here in Texas? He said he would, of course, defend America. I asked if the Chinese had occupied Texas for 14+ years, would he respect and admire the son of an American that was able to shoot 100 Chinese and kill 50 of them in China? He started to say yes, then his eyes opened wide, and he turned and walked away.
On average, 22 American soldiers commit suicide every day, more than are dying fighting in the war.
If you are a veteran or active duty US military, I invite you to skip to items 15-18 on my Revolutionary Call to Arms.
15. Research your two senators and one congressman at https://www.opensecrets.org/ Make a list of their 10 biggest donors, and send the list to your "representative" in an email or letter.
16. Read War is a Racket, by Major General Smedley D. Butler.
17. Read On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.
18. Watch the online video of the TED Talk, A radical experiment in empathy, by Sam Richards.
Peace, love, and God bless the USA!