This morning while driving home, I heard the beginning of the memorial President Obama was giving for the military personnel gunned down in cold blood by one of their own at Ft. Hood in Texas. As soon as I realized what NPR was broadcasting, I changed the station, because I just couldn't stomache any more hypocrisy .
Our government has been using and abusing the military for many years now. Historically, military personnel have been used for cannon fodder from the very beginning of our country. In recent years, the United States' War on Terror has taken men and women from every corner of our country and turned them into lethal killers, an all volunteer corps, mostly made up of poorer individuals who joined the military or National Guard for the educational benefits attached. They were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan war theaters multiple times, for longer and more intense deployments as the years passed. The National Guard units, which are designed to provide security in our own country, were regularly deployed to war zones and, more often than not, left a gap in their communities and their families that is an unforgiveable act of the government. Schooled in brutality, war crimes were committed on people of invaded nations, at the direction of their military commanders and the Commander in Chief. When these "good soldiers" returned home, broken in mind and spirit, the government essentially turned its back on them. If a local grocery store treated their employees the way that our government treats its personnel, they would soon have to close their doors, because no one would work for them.
Our military troops have been subjected to horrors that defy reason. Both their military commanders and the President who is Commander in Chief, owe them much more than they will ever receive in compensation. What price do we put on broken minds and lives?
Now, they can't figure out why a military psychiatrist turned into an assassin when faced with deployment to a country where he might have to kill members of his own religious faith! Our government, the media and every frigging politician in sight is horrified that such a thing could happen. Human beings were not designed to be killing machines. When you turn a human being into a vehicle of murder, how can you express outrage when he does what he was taught to do? I'm surprised that they are surprised. Sadly, this will not be the last time this will happen. You can't keep pushing people beyond their endurance and expect them to happily adjust to it. People break, even military people, maybe especially military people. I cannot fathom the suffering and destruction they live through on a daily basis. There have been too many lives destroyed by war, not just the lives of those we are at war with, but also the lives of those we hire to wage our wars.
I firmly hope that President Obama realizes this, because the absolute worst thing he could do is send more young men and women to their deaths by expanding the Afghanistan War. It would be much better to end both wars and turn all those resources being wasted into furnishing decent jobs for the rebuilding of our own country. Surely there has to be a more constructive use of our resources. I would rather see our young military personnal working in our country, and I'm sure they would too. If not, we are going to see a lot more of these mass shootings that desperation is the cause of. Not all heros have to be dead heroes, you know!
I dream of a world where all people live and interact with each other with respect and not fear.