On Sunday, while writing a paper/scrolling through Facebook, I came across perhaps the most odious heap of liberal bull shit to ever be thought into existence, and because I had a paper to write and work in the morning, after reading the Headline and first few lines, I knew that I would be too angry to be productive if I read it. So this morning, I took a longer look at it.
A brief summary of the article: “members of the military are rapists and laugh as they kill people and if politicians actually thought of them as heroes they would totes not neglect them and they don’t even like fight for freedom they fight for like corporations and stuff so stop worshipping these criminals AmeriKKKa down with the patriarchy occupy wall st #hope #change.”
Sexual violence against both men and women of the military is absolutely rampant and the military deals with it atrociously. As a culture, the military is extremely private and secretive (as they must be) but that is part of why this epidemic is completely mishandled. The wellbeing of soldiers, marines, sailors and guardians should indisputably come first. I believe wholeheartedly that new policies need to be implemented to ensure that anyone proven guilty of rape is stripped of their titles and dishonorably discharged. No member of the military should have to live in fear of being violated by one of their own in addition to the malignant foreign threats that they face on a daily basis.
Military men and women are extensively trained to destroy an enemy, and unfortunately in some cases that dehumanizes whoever they’re fighting. This dehumanization leads to some military members being able to do vile, despicable things without guilt or even take pleasure in it. I won’t defend those actions, but I will say that the vast majority of military members are not blasphemous savages that kill people for fun. These are people with hearts, and consciouses, and morals that often fight for a country they love while being given orders that they don’t always agree with and it’s a part of the sacrifice that they make on behalf of Americans everywhere.
The author of the Salon article claimed that the last time we fought a war for freedom was 70 years ago. When Russia invaded Afghanistan and was driving spears through the heads of babies for the entirety of the eighties it was us arming the Afghani rebels, sending our troops and sodomizing Soviet ass. I’m not saying that we’ve never fought an unnecessary war or that we’ve never been on the wrong side of history, but history isn’t as black and white as Howard Zinn would like you to believe. The United States isn’t always the bad guy.
And I don’t even know where to begin with the idea that because veterans are systematically and politically neglected, they can’t really be heros. I’ve actually been mentally paralyzed by the overwhelming stupidity of this claim.
Your parents don’t work for a month to put food in the fridge, clothes on your back and a roof over your head. They work day in and day out year after year, and as a country, we’ve become the spoiled, ungrateful child not understanding or appreciating that neither freedom or security are free or come without persistent effort. Is the United States always right or morally sound? Of course not. Is the military exempt from thoughtful criticism? No. But someone that sees the people they love twice a year and makes less than minimum wage to fight for a country that rarely gives them the respect, benefits or healthcare they deserve is a fucking hero, point blank period.