I was 17 when I went into the Army Reserve here in the U.S. It was one of the most awesome times of my life and had a positive enduring impression. Now that I have said what was good about it, here is the bad.
Old men training and sending young boys to war. Young boys who are trying to find their manhood being trained to kill and die many more times than not to enrich a small group of people – greed. It’s all wrapped up in patriotism and fighting for what is right. Like killing humans is right.
There are other occupations that I could have been training to do that would have given me the same confidence and maturity I gained from basic training. Occupations that are helpful to humankind, not destructive.
Finally let me say to the good soldiers and lovers of soldiers out there – my son also served and I respect service members. But the truth is they use us. Sure there are “bad guys” in the world, however our leaders are not really trying to solve the conflicts and problems that produce angry people willing to kill. In fact, that is what they made us. Then we go back home, many of us scarred and mentally broken trying to piece our lives back together, while the ones who sent us to war get richer and gain accolades as great leaders.
Yes, care for and love the soldier. And distrust our so called leaders. Watch them and think outside the box and you will soon find yourself really disliking most of them. Malcolm X once said, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
Those “leaders”, they don’t give a damn about any of us. At all my brothers and sisters…at f’n all!
Peace is Possible, but we have to work for it and train for it, just like they taught us to train for war.
Michael T. McPhearson is the Executive Director of Veterans For Peace (USA).