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News ::
Pro-War Cliches (english)
28 Jun 2003
An analysis of the illogical nature of the cliches used to justify US interventions and war crimes in other countries.

A common pro-war cliche used by soldiers in defense of their decision to go to war is: " I am fighting for my country." Other variations on this cliche used by both soldiers and civilians are: "My country, right or wrong" and "Love it (my country) or leave it." I realize these are emotional responses possibly driven by the territorial imperative social animals have wired into their brains to defend a given region. This may be the origin of patriotism or nationalism, manipulated to a great extent by the ruling elites for their own interests.

Still, I think it is important to logically analyze what is meant by the word "country." Is it the people, the landscape, the government, the corporations, the constitution, the freedoms, the culture, a combination of things, or exactly what? The resolution of this ambiguity is necessary because the interests of the government and the corporations are not identical to the interests of the American people. For example, an American soldier may return home to find that his former or future job has been transferred to a sweatshop in some Third World country. These soldiers may find their unions broken or their environment polluted by unscrupulous corporations. They may discover these corporations have been reducing pensions and health insurance benefits and lobbying hard for the privatization of Social Security. In addition, if they are ill from some poisonous substance used in the war in which they participated, they will unfortunately find they must struggle to obtain medical benefits. The veterans exposed to Agent Orange and depleted uranium were told their illnesses were simply psychological, and they had to pressure the Defense Department for years to obtain any compensation. While American soldiers were fighting in the latest war on Iraq, George W. Bush was simultaneously and quietly cutting 25 billion dollars from veteran's benefits. World War 1 veterans were promised a bonus for service in that war and after the federal government postponed the payment year after year, these veterans decided to march on Washington, DC in 1932, camp there and demand their bonus. They were attacked by troops under General Douglas MacArthur. Tear gas and live ammunition were used on them. So much for veterans being held in high esteem.

Soldiers who naively believe they are fighting to defend their country or freedom are actually fighting for the large corporation's control over the natural resources and labor power of other countries. They may get a parade and some medals on their return home, but after that they will be treated as disposable items and a burden. The federal government would rather spend money on corporate subsidies, more weapons, tax cuts for the wealthy, future wars for corporate domination and, in general, an upward redistribution of wealth from the working class to the ruling elite. Ruling classes all through history have always been so greedy that they want everything, and the workers have had to struggle mightily to obtain anything at all.

American soldiers who travel thousands of miles to bomb, mutilate, kill and destroy poor Third World people and their dwellings are not brave heroes defending their country and freedom, as depicted by the corporate media. They are brainwashed war criminals, who are actually fighting against their own interests because the interests of working people everywhere are the same-control over the conditions of their work place and the full value of their labor. Nazi soldiers excuses of only doing their duty were not accepted as valid after World War 2. Neither should American soldiers be excused from responsibility by statements of fighting for their country or other meaningless cliches.
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