Peace is Patriotic
I never understood why those who support wars are considered patriotic and those who prefer to advocate for peace are not. One may think that keeping the troops safe at home, unless needed for self-defense, would be prudent and patriotic. One might even consider that diplomacy and negotiation would be more patriotic than rushing to war for the sake of the vested interests in the war machine. How can you demonstrate love for your country by creating misery, death and destruction abroad, just to benefit national corporate interests?
War is a very ugly thing. It is very seldom a solution. If war was indeed vital for national interests, why is it that mostly the poor get to fight it? Since the abolition of the draft, mostly the poor and those looking for opportunity are the ones signing up. It is easier to send someone else's son to die than it is to send your own. That is why many of the powerful elite do not have their sons or daughters serve in the armed forces.
If we would have used the money we spent on the war in Iraq in our own healthcare system, we would have enjoyed free healthcare for a decade. It is so ironic that many of our citizens would rather spend a trillion dollars killing people in other countries and showering corporations with the spoils of war, than healing themselves, their children and grandchildren.
As a former soldier, I do appreciate the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. I know what is like to serve in time of war. It is my opinion that the best support I can give the troops is to advocate for peace. Why put my fellow compatriots in harms way to line the pockets of oil corporations, weapon manufacturers and profiteers. I love my country. I love the men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect me. As far as I'm concerned, the words "thank you for your service" mean nothing if you are willing to send those same people into battle out of hate, prejudice or ill conceived revenge.
Humans are tribal by nature. It is easier to incite hate and fear than it is to create understanding and consensus. Let's evolve together as humans and work to create a just and peaceful world.