Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veterans Day

Congratulations, you got maimed for your country.

Yesterday was Veterans Day in the United States, and the internet floweth over with teary-eyed exhortations to thank those selfsame veterans for their service.

I do not rightly understand that.

Reading all those articles, blog posts and cartoons, you would think that the USA has been under constant attack since World War II. It seems only thanks to all those veterans that the Americans got to keep their freedom and (more importantly!) their style of life. Only if I remember correctly, the last two wars America fought were started by her, as an aggressor. I doubt that turbaned Mujahedin would have overrun the States after 9/11, had they not defeated Afghanistan and Irak.

It is true, America has also fought quite a number of "just" engagements, if you so will. The NATO-actions in Ex-Yugoslavia, the second gulf war about Kuwait, Somalia and others I approve of wholeheartedly. Many others although, not the least of which is the Vietnam war, were, if not unnecessary, then certainly not the only thing standing between America and her (mostly red) foe. And some were, so I suspect, mainly fought because of misplaced pride.

Furthermore, since the end of conscription in the United States in 1973, all personnel in the armed forces are volunteers who knew what they were getting into when they signed up. So you can honour your veterans all you want, but I for one think the world might be a better place if there were not that many of them to go around. Perhaps the administration of President-elect Obama would consider to abandon the "Hulk smash" 'tude?

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