What do you say to young folks who might be looking at joining the US military? To me, the moral aspect of becoming a paid killer of innocent men, women, and children is enough but that does not seem to deter the tens of thousands who each year look into joining the military. In the Vietnam war era many young men joined some service other than the Army just to not get drafted into the Army. One can understand that sort of defensive thinking even if he disagrees with the morality of it.
But today there is no draft and there is no reason to compel a young man to join the military other than his wanting to participate in the violence while earning a good living.
Laurence M. Vance wrote about five reasons to join the military the other day:
Here are five reasons to join the military from a slightly different perspective:
1. To kill people. Young men have been killing people by the thousands for years in their video games. I guess that is why the military uses these games as recruiting tools. The aphorism “Join the Army, travel the world, meet interesting people, and kill them” has never been truer. Just ask the hundreds of thousand of dead Iraqis and Afghans.
2. To build your ego. You can wear your uniform in an airport and be thanked for your service by throngs of people you have never seen before. You can wear your uniform to church the Sunday before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Veterans Day and be asked to stand while someone asks God to bless the troops. And when you leave the military, just telling people you are a veteran will bring forth shouts of glory, laud, and honor.
3. To be part of the president’s personal attack force. Since World War II, the U.S. military has been exclusively used by the president for purposes other than the actual defense of the country. Soldiers that went to Iraq and Afghanistan, like those that went to Korea, Vietnam, and all the other countries where the U.S. military had no business going, go as part of the president’s personal army. And if they join for financial reasons – as recommended by Marco O’Brien – then they are simply mercenaries like the British hired to fight Americans during the Revolutionary War.
4. To commit random acts of depravity and violence. Want to urinate on dead bodies? Want to bomb wedding parties? Want to kill civilians for sport? Want to rape foreign women? Want to take body parts as trophies? Want to destroy a town and its entire infrastructure? Want to pose for photos with murdered civilians? Want to torture and humiliate prisoners? Then the military is the place for you.
5. To pervert the purpose of the military. Invading countries, occupying other countries, enforcing UN resolutions, nation building, establishing democracy, changing regimes, training foreign armies, opening markets, supplying peacekeepers, assassinating people, maintaining no-fly zones, providing disaster relief, dispensing humanitarian aid, and fighting foreign wars – that is, anything but actually “defending our freedoms” – perverts the purpose of the military.
Mr. Vance hit the nail on the head with that list! I am sure many young men would deny most of the list, but it rings true to my ears. He went on to give a reality check and five reasons not to join the military. These reasons are something every young man and woman should know about:
And here are five real reasons to not join the military:
1. To be killed. There are almost 5,000 U.S. military personnel who came home from Iraq in a flag-draped coffin or a body bag – if there were enough pieces of them to be picked up in the desert sands. Another 2,000 U.S. troops died in Afghanistan. And for what? Absolutely nothing. They all died in vain and for a lie. Why be added to those casualties?
2. To destroy your family. Multiple duty tours and increased deployment terms are the death knell for stable families. Do you think it is good to deprive a child of his father, and in many cases his mother, for months at a time? What makes you think that the military will never send you away from your family for an extended period of time? What makes you think that you and your family will be able to “handle it”? U.S. military families are the unseen victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
3. To never have another independent thought. You will be expected to blindly follow the orders of your superiors without questioning their purpose or morality. You will often times not be in a position to know whether an order is in fact dubious or immoral. You will be expected to, without reservation, drop that bomb, fire that weapon, launch that missile, and throw that grenade, as well as kill people and destroy their property.
4. To suffer severe injuries. Many thousands of U.S. military personnel have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds have had limbs amputated. Untold numbers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some soldiers will spend the rest of their lives unable to work or drive a car. Others will live out their days as physical and/or emotional basket cases. What makes you think that you will not be sent to Afghanistan, Yemen, or some other God-forsaken place the U.S. military has no business being and emerge unscathed in body and mind?
5. To commit suicide. The suicide rate among active duty and veterans of the military is at an all-time high. No one joins the military with the intention of committing suicide, but dealing with broken relationships, strained families, chronic pain, PTSD, depression, deaths of fellow soldiers, substance abuse, multiple deployments, and/or adjusting to life after the military can come with a price that some are not willing to pay.
To join or not join, that is the question. Your life and the life of your family depend on your decision. After you join, you may never be stationed overseas, never face enemy fire, never be in danger, have a wonderful family, made a comfortable living, see the world, retire after twenty years, and then get a good job with a government contractor – and then again you may not do any of these things. You may die in a training accident before you are old enough to drink. Whatever you do, don’t listen to the promises of the lying pimps known as military recruiters.
To make a living killing innocent men, women, children, and babies is so horrific that I can not understand what sort of man wants to do this work. Perhaps real evil does exist in the hearts of men and that they want to kill babies in foreign lands is the ultimate proof of it. Perhaps they are propagandized and deluded and really think they are “protecting” us. Perhaps they just don’t think about it and just sign up.
It is time to make the young aware of what they are considering. If you know someone thinking of becoming a hired killer for the Empire, you should at least make sure they know what the job is.