Do I respect the service of military people? Sure. I respect their service in the military just as much as they respect my service in the private sector. I have been working my ass off for two decades to keep hospitals financially healthy, some of the best hospitals in the world. Do they respect my service? I guess some of them do. Do they respect as much as much as I am expected to respect their military service? I am guessing not. I am guessing most of them don't have an ounce of respect for what I do. So why should I respect their service if they don't respect my service? Here is the line I usually hear in response to this: "They are protecting our freedom." When I ask how are they protecting our freedom ... I never get an answer. Here is what I get .... insults. Just for asking a question. I get called "ignorant," "stupid," "coward" etc. To this I say "yes, I am ignorant." I am ignorant as to how my freedom is being protected by invading Iraq. Explain it to me! So then I usually ask again, "How is it that my freedom is being protected by the military?" It usually gets worse from there.
I can think of only a handful of professions that actually protect my freedom. The big one, obviously, is lawyers, particularly ACLU lawyers. Whenever our freedoms, that are protected in the Bill of Rights, are challenged, the ACLU lawyers comes to their defense. Whether it is Colonel Oliver North's using the 5th Amendment to protect himself or a Jewish prisoner's right, under the first amendments, to have kosher meals. These folks are the heroes of our freedoms. They fight for our freedom.
The only other professions that I can think of that protect my freedom are teachers who help inform our children of their freedoms, social workers who help those in need maintain their freedoms and politicians who actually pass/repeal the laws regarding our rights. I cannot think of how, someone invading Iraq or Afghanistan is protecting my freedom. They might be influencing a lot of people's opinion of the USA, some of them in not so flattering a way.
We all know these people, the actually heroes protecting our freedom. When you ask a lawyer what they do for a living do they start spewing off bullshit about "protecting our freedom"? No, well maybe some lawyers would, but usually not. Yet the military folks all spew off this nonsense about protecting my freedom. Why does this happen?
I just can't grasp how destabilizing the government of Iraq or dropping napalm in Vietnam has helped my freedom at all. I can't even see how they are even connected.
I am not naive, I know every country needs a military, but it has been a long time since the US military has actually been used for Defense. It is more like Offense. Back in the 1940's when we had an Axis trying to take over the world, yes, you could say that those military people, the Allies, were protecting our freedom. But bombing the shit out of Panama City or Libya .... nope, nothing to do with my freedom. It may have a lot to do with Capitalism, politics or power, but nothing to do with protecting my freedom. When I talk to foreigners about the US, they seem to love our freedom ... aka our movies, our bluejeans, our music, our people, but they hate our military. So not only aren't they protecting our freedom, but they may be hurting it. The more people hate the US, the more likely our government will feel justified invading our privacy, torturing people or killing us covertly. I have a feeling that if our military were cut back a tenth of its size now, we'd have a hell of a lot more freedom and less enemies. Oh ya, we'd save a lot tax money too.
So the next time some military yahoo claims they are protecting your freedom ask them them to explain themselves and let me know if you get a good answer. If they believe it to be true, then they should be able to explain themselves. If they can't, then it is bullshit. Until then, I will continue to thanking my lawyer for her protection of my freedom. Vanessa, a beer is coming your way.