Posted this on Facebook today and felt like cross posting it here.
I feel obliged to post this after seen all the posts in my timeline connecting patriotism with the US military. There are ways to express love for your country without expressing a love for war or the machine that wages war.
Omitting an expression of support for your country’s military is not unpatriotic. Neither is criticizing it. The last three decades have seen the US at war in Libya, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq (again) and Libya (again). On what’s left of this independence day weekend, consider that citizens of other countries are patriotic too. Try to remember that we’re part of a global whole and every citizen of Earth has fears, hopes and dreams and they too are proud of their history and would prefer that it remain intact.
Consider that the idea that we keep American families working on peaceful private enterprise on US soil instead of dividing them through military deployment is also a patriotic goal.
Remember that a quarter of world military spending is what we spend on our own war machine.
There will always be evil in the world and fighting evil will always create jobs and new wealth and those jobs and that wealth are missed when they’re gone. But at what cost do we go looking for new wars? At what cost do we glorify the military industrial complex as part of what makes us American?
On what remains of this fourth of July weekend, remember that old maxim: That you should treat others the way you want to be treated. And lets instead celebrate our open culture, our freedom of speech and our freedom to choose who governs us, whether they wage war and how they treat others on our behalf.