This post won’t serve as an anti-war post. I haven’t changed my pro-peace stance on any level, and firmly believe that our presence in so many foreign countries has less to do with actually promoting peace and more to do with increasing wealth for a handful of powerful individuals. My radicalism doesn’t mean I somehow hate America or want to jump to Cuba; it just means I conscientiously object to sending more and more of our young men and women to countries under ambiguous and imperial means. I respectfully do the pledge at Yankee game seventh-inning stretches, but does doing it absolutely every day of the year make me more patriotic than the next? Nope. Absurd.
But you can disagree with me. That’s how discussion works.
One thing that often strikes a chord with even my worst dissenters is this: let’s bring the troops home. I don’t care if it happens next month or within the next year (I prefer the latter); let’s get them back home. I think to all the families still yearning for the chance to hug their husbands, fathers, daughters, mothers, cousins, best friends, and colleagues. I hope their soldiers come back to their homes to defend their homes against the things happening right in their neighborhoods like bad economies and the scary monsters under their beds. I wish those soldiers the mental fortitude to stay alive knowing that their main objective is to kill another human being for a purpose they can’t quite fully understand.
I don’t approve of what the troops often do, protecting the interests of companies like Halliburton and BP, sometimes killing innocent civilians in the process. I don’t approve of the carved-out spaces Allied officials have made for themselves in countries where families can barely make it to the next meal. I don’t approve of our current president’s vicious airborne drone missiles and the current stalemate with Guantanamo Bay (I haven’t forgotten).
And I still want the troops back home.
Some of my friends might think there’s no reason for them to come back. I on the other hand believe that if we refocused our dollars on domestic issues like re-bolstering our national infrastructure, creating jobs in places we forgot, and assuring that our troops get the mental help they need once they come back to their families. If this country is under the belief system that public servants make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, then we ought to consider our recompense once they do arrive at the shores.
Let’s remember thus.