Apologizing to our veterans

Another Veteran’s Day has come upon us. Many people around the country will be making their various symbolic displays of cultish patriotism while belittling anyone who doesn’t feel bothered to do so. Given how many times attempts to belittle me have been made, I’m kind of numb to it at this point.

It’s actually quite sad that a lot of people constantly exhibit the charade that without our military we wouldn’t have our liberties, and that isn’t true.

For one, we don’t really have our liberties anyway. Our government seems intent on taking them from us whenever it is deemed convenient, and as the late George Carlin said, “rights aren’t rights if someone can take ’em away”. So what have our veterans allegedly defended, and why, then, should we really be thanking them for anything?

Chief on the list of atrocities of this nature occurred in 1942 when the Federal government rounded up tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans and put them in concentration camps. George Takei was arguably the most famous victim of this atrocity. Natural born and naturalized citizens were detained against their will by government officers under Executive Order 9066. Sure the government eventually released them, but the fact they were rounded up at all is the atrocity. No due process, no lawyers, no nothing. No ability to appeal their detention in a Court of Law, no habeas corpus rights. Nothing. Their rights were stripped until the government decided they could have them back.

So again, what exactly have our veterans defended? The Constitution? Please… The military isn’t defending anything except our government and their military adventurist foreign policy.

Second, how can we say that our military has defended our freedom when our freedom has never been under threat by any particular state or force our military has openly attacked since the Second World War? Our liberties have always been under greater threat from within than from without. If you want to see who is trying to take away your liberties, all you must do is just look around and look in a mirror. We are doing it to ourselves.

We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed and over-regulated and overrun by bureaucrats. The Founders would be ashamed of us for what we’re putting up with. Matter of fact, if you look at every single problem we’re facing today, it’s because of the lack of respect for the rule of law and the Constitution.

— Ron Paul, MD [R-TX(14)]

Now there is one veteran to whom I do owe a lot of thanks and plenty of gratitude: my father. And no it’s not for the vapid “If it weren’t for him I wouldn’t be alive” kind of thing. It’s far greater than that. You see my father not only got me interested in computers at a young age, he’s also been my mentor for pretty much the entirety of my professional career and before it. It is in large part because of him that I am as successful as I have become, though I haven’t always taken all of his advice.

This year is also 25 years since my father left the Navy, taking his honorable discharge in 1987 and moving on, ending an exemplary 12 years of service at the pay grade of Chief Petty Officer (E-7), to which he was promoted three or four years prior. He joined the Navy in 1975 on the tail end of the Vietnam conflict and left several months after the incident involving the USS Stark in 1987. His only regret, or at least the only one he’s voice to me, is leaving before he was eligible to wear gold stripes.

Veteran’s Day is kind of the opposite of Memorial Day. Where Memorial Day is about those who went to prosecute some mission the government of the United States deemed worthy or necessary, typically for international political reasons more than anything else, Veteran’s Day is about those who did come home, even if they didn’t do so in one piece. I noted in my Memorial Day commentary the irony of how we remember those who died at the ceremonial start of summer, while recognizing those who lived in the twilight of Autumn.

And in recognizing those who lived, we shouldn’t be thanking them.

Today, this 11th day of November, we should be apologizing to them, apologizing to every veteran who has served in Korea, Vietnam, and the various other conflicts following the Second World War. Most especially we should be apologizing to every veteran who was sent overseas to prosecute this military adventurism that has taken place under the guises and excuses of “protecting and spreading freedom and democracy”.

We have lied to our military men and women. They aren’t protecting and spreading freedom, as I’ve explained herein previously. They are prosecuting a political foreign policy that is more about securing current US interests abroad while trying to twist the rest of the world so they say “How high?” whenever we say “Jump!”

Arguably the last time the freedom and liberty we enjoy as Americans was ever under threat was during the Second World War. To those who fought in that conflict and came back home we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. We are stewards of the liberty they helped preserve.

To those who fought in Korea, Vietnam, and every conflict since, we owe one hell of an apology that can never be adequate.