Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rejecting Militarism

on peace (reposted from March 10, 2009)

Peter King writes about Larry Fitzgerald's USO tour to Iraq:

"In every stop on the four-player tour [...] of U.S. military bases in Iraq, the playoff hero told the crowd some version of this: 'Thank you. If it wasn't for you doing what you do, I wouldn't be able to do what I do. I just want you to know how much I appreciate all the sacrifices you're making -- and I'm not alone.''"

I know many people believe this: that the U.S. military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are necessary for Larry Fitzgerald to make millions of dollars catching passes. But I see it as a non sequitur that perpetuates a militaristic culture that glorifies war. This is why I can't share in Nathan Schneider's hope that

"There must be a way to honor such sacrifices as war brings out in people while abhorring the pointless insanity that occasioned it, abhorring it so completely that it can never possibly happen again."

I think this sort of mythology (that soldiers occupying a foreign nation make our necessary lifestyles possible--a belief many hold as a secure article of faith, one that is difficult to refute, yet also difficult to prove) contributes to a culture that sees warfare as necessary and honorable. The conventional wisdom that we are able to live our lives as we do because of soldiers grants a necessity to warfare that I do not accept. I want to reject militarism at all levels.

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