November 2, 2006

The military is not sacred

Sam Smith (Progressive Review) wrote an excellent piece yesterday about the worship of the military by Americans. It closes:
I sometimes fantasize that war will be the slavery of the 21st century, which is to say a concept once widely accepted is turned into the pariah practice it should always have been. For this to happen abolitionism will have to replace pacifism; it is not the good of the resister that is important but rather the evil of the practitioner. We need to demystify the military, pointing out not just its moral weaknesses but its logical fallacies. We should sensibly regard people who walk around with pins on their chests celebrating their life as, at best, somewhat unstable. And we need to remind the media that it can not call itself objective and repeatedly rebuff the voices of peace. [emphasis added]
A letter from a local progressive activist a while ago decried the Iraq escapade but also expressed pride in thanking returning soldiers for doing their best. But military service is voluntary, and this far into the occupation any soldier involved is a willing actor in the crime, a willing servant of the psychopaths in Washington.

The responsibility is not Bush's team's alone. The president cannot wage war without the approval of Congress, which has never hesitated to keep the money flowing and to buy into the legalization of torture, extrajudicial detention, and unwarranted spying. Responsible, too, are all of the nation's governors, not one of whom refused the deputization of their National Guard forces for an illegal war.

As Smith suggests, perhaps the peace "activists" are mostly interested in showing how good they are. They don't ask why a man abandons his family to be with his friends in Iraq, as if it's just a weekend hunting trip -- no, they thank him if he survives and mourn him as a victim if he is killed. When such an avatar of militaristic evil as John Negroponte comes to town, they cower, "sensitive" to the feelings of their neighbors. Not only is every soldier responsible for choosing to participate in Bush's madness, but so many pacifists and leftists also validate the fetishization of force.

It is like honoring George Bush for not being as much of a drunk as he once was. So he can drive the getaway car more safely. Slavery is wrong, no matter how "good" the slaveowner. There is no noble war, and there are no noble warriors.

Vermont, anarchism, anarchosyndicalism