Posted by: quiscus | November 11, 2010

November 11, 2010

1.  “Thank a Vet?

Why should we?


Why should we call them heroes, give them military discounts, grant them veterans preference, express our support for them with ribbons on our cars, honor them with a holiday, hold military appreciation church services for them, and thank them for their “service”?

For reasons I explained in “U.S. Presidents and Those Who Kill for Them,” World War II marks the permanent establishment of the American military as the president’s personal attack force to kill by his decree Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Grenadians, Panamanians, Yugoslavs, Serbians, Afghans, Iraqis, Somalis, Yemenis, and Pakistanis. Next on the list is Iranians. Sometimes these presidential decrees are rubberstamped by a congressional authorization to use force, but they are always preceded by presidential lies and warmonger propaganda.

The most undeserved and oftentimes disgusting outpouring of thankfulness I have ever seen is over those who have fought or are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The praise and adoration of those fighting in “the front lines in the war on terror” reaches its apex on Veterans Day, which has become a day to defend U.S. wars and recognize all things military. These soldiers certainly have done nothing worthy of thanks. Sure, they have rebuilt infrastructure – after bombing it to smithereens. They no doubt removed a brutal dictator – and unleashed American brutality in the process. And yes, they have rescued orphan children – after blowing their parents and brothers and sisters to kingdom come.

What is there to thank our soldiers for? They are not defending our freedoms. They are not keeping us safe from our enemies. They are not protecting us from terrorists. They are not guaranteeing our First Amendment rights. They are not defending U.S. borders. They are not guarding U.S. shores. They are not patrolling U.S. coasts. They are not enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies. They are not fighting “over there” so we don’t have to fight “over here.” They are not avenging 9/11. They are not safeguarding the American way of life. Oh, and they are not ensuring that I have the liberty to write what I do about the military.

What, then, should we thank our soldiers for? Should we thank them for fighting an unconstitutional war, an unscriptural war, an immoral war, an offensive war, an unjust war, or a senseless war? Should we thank our veterans for helping to carry out an aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and interventionist foreign policy? Should we thank the military for sucking $1 trillion out of the federal budget?


But, some will say, these soldiers are just doing their jobs. They can’t help it if the U.S. military sends them to fight in an unjust war in Iraq or Afghanistan. They are just following orders. They didn’t enlist in the military to kill people.

What would any sane man think about a doctor who takes a job at a hospital knowing that the hospital instructs its doctors to euthanize old and sickly patients – and then says he was just doing his job, following orders, and didn’t take the job to kill people?


Why are soldiers treated so differently? Why do they get a pass on committing or supporting those who commit murder and mayhem?”

http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance216.html

2.  “Foreign Aid for Scoundrels

The international aid system has a dirty secret. Despite much rhetoric to the contrary, the nations and organizations that donate and distribute aid do not care much about democracy and they still actively support dictators. The conventional narrative is that donors supported dictators only during the cold war and ever since have promoted democracy. This is wrong.

A more important political motive for aid is independent of cold wars or wars on terror. Aid agencies exist to give aid, so they must keep the money flowing. The department of an aid agency assigned to help a country may not get a budget next year if its officials don’t disburse to the country’s ruler this year; so they hand out funds no matter how autocratic he is. (The autocratic recipients know this and know they can ignore any “raised concerns” about democracy, including human rights.) Only the most well-publicized and egregious violators of democratic principles—like Robert Mugabe—get cut off.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/nov/25/foreign-aid-scoundrels/?page=1

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