â€œI support our troopsâ€, â€œI stand by our troopsâ€
This sentiment is one of the largest axioms within discussions of politics and society. â€œHow dare you!? They went over and fought for our freedom so you could say that so you better show some respect!â€. This has gone on to create a false dichonomy that If you don’t support the wars, you must not support the troops. Not supporting the military itself would surely be heresy under this paradigm! But can we separate the two? â€œBut aren’t the troops The Military?â€ you might ask. The answer to that question is Kind of, but not really. It’s a classic case of toxic collectivism. The troops are the independent gears that drive the entire mechanism of the military. They are not the policy writers, they are not the decision makers, they are not the order givers, they are not the foreign policy. They are the trained order obeyers. Now, you can’t have wars without the individual troops seeing the legitimacy of the orders given, no more then you can have government within of populace of people who understand self-ownership. Now, I know what you might be thinking: â€œBut Mike, that means your blaming the troops for wars! Shame on you!â€, but that is not the case. Just how the political system uses all kind’s of techniques such as ceremonies, official looking seals, misdirected language (â€œthe government is by, for, and of the people!â€) and theatrics to trick us into acquiescence, the military operates in much the same fashion.
Many of us are familiar with how incentives operate. You will get more of something if you incentivise it, even if the thing in question is bad. Needs and benefits seem to come before doing the right thing way more often then not. If you have a propaganda apparatus telling you and everybody else that the thing in question is actually good, well then that’s killing two birds with one stone. Not only is the need taken care of and/or the benefit gotten, but said propaganda/political apparatus has ready made a mindset of acceptance and your hands, on the surface, are washed of of any moral or ethical implications. Now I can suit up and drone bomb people, conscience free! Again, this may sound like I’m blaming and not supporting the troops, but the fact of the matter is the troops are victims of a heavy, life long psychological conditioning towards incentivising their actions the same was as voters who vote for a horrible tyrant such as Bush or Obama are doing so in hopes of achieving change. The intent is good, but it’s been manipulated into something ugly. Let’s examine the facts:
Wars are based on lies. They are business as usual to governments, and are used to promote political agendas (Example), economic agendas (Example), exert control on foreign populations (Example), and exert psychological control on domestic populations (Example). These lies are below the surface, and unless it shows up on TV, are usually attributed to the dogmatically used term â€œconspiracy theoryâ€. Fortunately, the government is so corrupt, that many of these lies have come through the TV for everybody to legitimize. Look no further then the gulf of tonkin lies of the Vietnam War , the weapons of mass destruction lies of Iraq War, the sarin gas lies to start war in Syria, or the covered up drone war on Pakistan. Heck, the head of intelligence of Turkey just got caught red handed plotting an attack on their own people to get NATO (Read: The U.S) involved in a war in Syria. Those of us intent on exposing such things are very familiar with this. Wars and attacks are used to generate fear. Fear generates hate. If you can lie to the people, and create a nation of fear and hate towards the victims of that lie, you can lead the people by these powerful emotions to act on them, especially if you incentivise those actions. We already know what the fear is. It is the same fear of terrorism that has led to passive acceptance of draconian measures such as the Patriot Act or the NDAA. The same fear that has your hawk, neocon types saying â€œlets just nuke emâ€, the same fear that led tens of thousands of young men to destroy Iraq, kill over a million people there, and open the door for Al Qaeda to come in where they hadn’t been there previously. If the goal was to fight terrorism for the sake of freedom, even if you bought that line, you are forced to admit it was a dismal failure as Iraq is now overrun with Al Qaeda, and we have more and more of our freedoms legislated away, enforced by brutal police state. Not exactly what the troops think they are signing up for.
So we have established the fear. Now what about the incentives? These breakdown into into personal and psychological. The personal are easy enough to understand and combat. The military will tell you whatever you want to hear to get you to sign up. â€œYou’ll have a wonderful careerâ€ â€œYou’ll sit in the sun in Hawaii!â€ â€œYou’ll get an education AND a jobâ€. These are complete and total falsehoods in many cases.
Not only is the military experience itself a sobering dose of reality that can be completely overwhelming, as shown by the heartbreaking suicide note of veteran Daniel Somers, but the post military experience can be just as harsh:
– The pentagon is cutting military benefits while simultaneously maintaining the largest military budget in the entire world by far
– Veterans are 50% more likely then civilians to be homeless
– Veterans have a much higher unemployment rate then the civilian population
– Returning veterans unhappy with their experience are being called a major domestic terror threat
– Veterans are killing themselves at a rate of about 22 a day and more soldiers are killing themselves then were killed by the wars
– The Pentagon is pushing to brain chip veterans to wipe them of their memories
– It is being made legal for the military to operate at home, effectively legalizing occupation of the united states by the U.S military
– veterans are being stripped of their natural right to own firearms
– Since we have established wars are based on lies, we can conclude that the thousands of men killed and hurt were unnecessary and a pre-meditated loss of life.
Another tool the military uses to incentivise membership are appeals to emotions such as nationalism, and achievement. They tell you its an honorable thing to join the military and to â€œfight for your countryâ€. But as shown by the facts above, and written about by 5 Star General Smedly Butler in his book War Is a Racket, we see that in most cases (all cases since World War II really), that troops aren’t really fighting for their country at all. Wars serve to benefit and profit the banking institutions that claim debt on war loans. It benefits the arms dealers and clean up contractors of the world. It empowers the government class over their populations as it incentivizes that nasty fear we talked about. When you have a government full of political/corporate revolving doors such as the Bush/Bin Laden family oil interests, Cheney/Haliburton, Obama/Muslim Brotherhood, its little wonder where the interest comes from to start these wars in the first place considering they are used to move forward political and economic agendas. Nationalism, or the arbitrary pride in ones country, serves to create division and a belief that â€œmy country is better then yours so we can do what we want around the worldâ€. History has shown us, how dangerous such a mentality can be. It serves to increase obedience to otherwise atrocious acts. The only ever use of the nuclear bomb comes to mind. Who cares if they were surrendering anyway, they were just Japs, right?
They also fill their members heads with a sense of pride or achievement. That only a real man can serve his country and go to basic and endure the rigorous training. Keep in mind, these are impressionable 18 year old kids who are facing a world of choices which can seem overwhelming. Throw in the lack of options due to a devastated economy which has produced over 20% unemployment and these kids are ripe to be convinced to make some bad decisions. The truth though, is that there is no pride in a government check beyond what they tell you there is. There is nothing harder or more honorable about being paid by taxpayers to train yourself. You want a real challenge? Work everyday, pay for a gym membership and go through your own training regiment while navigating your other responsibilities. Now that is an achievement!. But through state run schools, media propaganda, and other rhetoric, our kids are molded to see honor in the military. A testimony by a a refuge from North Korea shows just how deep such methods can ingrain into ones mind. This can only be overcome with education and confidence of a kid’s ability to believe in ones self to make it in this wold in an honest way. I’m looking at you, parents.
So it seems to me there is a common thread here. Why is it incumbent on us to â€œsupport the troopsâ€ in the first place? I’m not expected to â€œsupportâ€ employees anywhere else, that is the employers job. And from the data presented here, it looks to me the people who aren’t supporting the troops are the military themselves! It’s not you and me that are lying to kids to essentially coerce a signature, Its not us ordering troops to protect Afghan poppy fields for kids at home to shoot into their arms. We’re not the ones ordering a pre-emptive foreign policy of aggressive invasions and occupations resulting in such mental trauma that suicide is a common option. I’ve never once placed a troop into a morally unjustifiable war zone for 3 or more tours. Nobody I know has ever cut benefits to the troops, while asking more and more of them. These people are having the troops swear an oath to the constitution while not even requiring that it is read or understood. The biggest enemy to the troops is not terrorists that are in a defenseless third world country (most of which were created as a response to occupation anyway), but the opposite: The military itself is the biggest enemy of the troops! To support the troops is to stand in stark contrast to this institution. I support the troops by encouraging that they do everything in their power to disobey, disassociate, and educate others about this corrupt institution. I support the troops by trying to undo what was done to them by the military.
There’s plenty we can do. Education, is key, but it’s not enough. Education needs to be followed up with action. If you own a business, hire a vet. Tell vets about groups like Iraq Veterans Against The War or Oath Keepers where they can network and talk to people without the VA labeling them mentally unstable. Talk to your friends about the truth if they are considering signing up. Let people on the inside that they can file conscientious objector status and get out. It’s going to be a pain in the ass, and they are going to attempt to get you to not do it, or say you can’t do it, but you CAN. Tell them the story of activist vets like Adam Kokesh and Kristen Meghan. Let them know they are not alone. If it is false incentives based on fear and lies that got them into it, then we are going to have to create incentives based on truth and love to get them out them out of it.