Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

MEMORIAL DAY

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Another Memorial Day. I guess a BBQ is the tradition.  Mexican food here, I live in a pretty secular household. Just another day on the farm. Memorial Day is an American holiday, it started after the Civil War. The only American War where the homeland suffered. The death toll was also horrific, by most measures the first or second worse mass death event in US history. I know I was taught in high school that the period after the Civil War was one of the most peaceful in US history. Ostensibly because the country was tired of war. I’m older now, and I suspect a lot of natives would question that assessment. Much of the west was being constantly warred on after the Civil War, some of the worst massacres of natives occured after the Civil War. And, well, primarily in the Southern US, terrorist wars were launched and conducted against African Americans. Hardly a nation at peace. The figures I looked up say the US has been at war over 91% of its existence.

And a lot of Americans died in those wars, this is the day we remember them. Soldiers who lost their lives fighting in America’s wars. Well, skol, here’s to them. Most of them were good people fighting for their country. Even the ones that weren’t, well, being killed in a war is a hell of a price to pay for whatever their situation might have been. I’ve spent my whole life studying war, such exquisite madness. I have nothing but respect for those who served, I served myself. And the ones who died, in battle or of their wounds later, I hope their families and loved ones keep their memory alive, this day and all days.

That’s acknowledging their sacrifice with words, but I’d like to go a bit further. What was their sacrifice for? I would guess many would say to protect America and its freedoms. Certainly those in my lifetimes. And here’s my first divergence with the standard narrative, no matter how noble their sacrifice, that doesn’t mean the wars America’s soldiers died in were noble. In my opinion none of America’s wars in my lifetime have been just wars, they have all been foreign wars of choice. And I think it’s a damned shame Americans died in those wars, and the best way I can honor their sacrifice is to be a voice for peace, so no more Americans die in stupid foreign wars.

A mission I think is even more important today than ever before in my life. The US is deeply involved in a pointless foreign war, the Russo-Ukrainian War, that America played a huge role in instigating. A terrible war, though all wars are terrible. This is the big lie that has been foisted on the American people, the idea that war is noble. That there is such a thing as a good war. And so so many Americans are convinced that this war is it, this is the good war, a war that brings back memories of ‘The Greatest Generation.’ That would be the World War Two generation, arguably America’s last just war. Putin is the next Hitler, destroying him is our only best choice, he is a monster who can’t be trusted. Snort. That’s a “does not follow” false argument for readers who stay up on such things.

While the Russo-Ukrainian War is terrible, it’s not the epic stand of freedom and democracy against tyranny. And ruthless though Putin may be in the defense of Russia, he’s not Hitler hell bent on recreating the Soviet empire. Or to put it in perspective, Hitler was in charge of the world’s second most powerful nation, modern Russia is barely in the top twenty. US military aid to Ukraine is already more than Russia’s annual budget for God’s sake. This is a war America should be trying to end, not promoting. People are dying, the sooner the war stops the better, then people can sit down and work out a solution. Diplomacy, it’s worked before.

I hope all had a good Memorial Day, and celebrated it as they thought appropriate. I drink to peace and those who pursue it.

Copyright © 2022 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: Public Domain colorized World War One photograph. “29 May 1918 The Third Battle of the Aisne. French infantry coming back through Passy-sur-Marne, pass a British regimental band resting by the roadside.” When I first saw this picture I wrote: ‘They’re all dead now, some didn’t live out the war, some may not have lived out the week. All real people with lives, hopes, dreams. Even the people who remember them as grandparents and the like are getting long in the tooth.’ Kinda how I feel this Memorial Day, all those who died in war were real people with loves and lives. Tragically cut short. We can do better.)

Written by unitedcats

May 30, 2022 at 8:55 pm

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