This got posted on Facebook tonight. Please read it and then come back to this post
I started writing a comment and it kind of got away from me. I cut my comment out and pasted it here.
I'm tired of watching young men and women get sent to places to fight and die for a constructed ideal.
I'm tired of watching innocent children get bombs dropped on them.
I'm tired of watching world leaders choose who to defend based on the innocents' strategic important to those of us in the West.
I'm tired of having to listen to the same bullshit we've been hearing since we were kids, watching the Vietnam war unfold.
I'm tired of video games glorifying violence while society decries it when people of colour use it.
I'm tired of my tax dollars buying ammunition, guns, airplanes, and other tools of war, when our infrastructure is failing, our schools are underfunded, and while our health care system places no value on the most vulnerable in society because it can't afford to.
Mostly, I'm tired of wars being waged because too many people are too damn stupid, lazy, or pigheaded to figure out a way to think through a problem and find a solution.
Yes, many people are going to die. But instead of accepting this as an inevitable and marching off to war; being fed a lie that somehow our oh-so-comfortable way of life is being defended, let's perhaps ask our leaders to do better.
I'm tired of the jingoism that says "Our soldiers are fighting for our freedom." Because guess what. They're not. Whether or not the rebels or the gov't prevails in Syria will make not one bit of difference to your or my freedom. It didn't matter in Viet Nam, it didn't matter in Iraq (both times), and it sure as hell doesn't matter to your freedom (or mine) now.
If defending innocent people from war crimes, from dictators, from genocide, from human rights violations, from all the monsters in the world - as our leaders would have us believe - then we'd be sending soldiers to Nepal, to Yemen, to Guatemala, to the DRC, and to myriad other places around the world where people suffer at the hands of others. But we don't. We send our soldiers to the places that are strategically important. And we lie to them and tell them they're serving their country.
Maybe they are. But they're being done a huge disservice. These men and women who go off and fight and die under Canadian, British, American, and other flags, they aren't serving the people of their country. We don't want them to go to these places and we don't benefit from them being there. They go because governments and economies benefit. That innocent people get helped is a side benefit.
It is in these people that the soldier should find strenght. They are the lucky ones. They are the ones to be in the fortunate enough position of living in a hellhole that has something the west wants. They get saved because of our greed, and because our soldiers are willing to fight to preserve our sense of entitlement to the world's riches.
Let's stop lying to our soldiers, and to the desperate people in all corners of the globe - they're better, and smarter than that. So are we.