A Marine's view on the
I grew up wanting to be a Marine to serve my country. I became that Marine swearing an oath to my country and to my Marine Corps and above all to the Constitution of the United States.
Years after the Gulf War, during which time I served as an infantry Marine in an anti terrorism unit often on heightened alert and always facing the possibility of war around the corner, I learned about betrayal and disregard for all the things I swore an oath to protect. The betrayal was the fact that my brothers in uniform had been exposed to something terrible, not by enemy hands, but by our own countries arrogant use of a toxic by-product on their weapons of war.
As they continued to fall sick and die, long after the war had ended, no party arose to stand up for these troops and through several administrations. They simply died off, told that their illnesses had nothing to do with that war. No news outcries, no public demands or concern, no real care for those who served. Those aware of this deception know better. Those attempting to expose this abomination of twisted policy found themselves speaking to blank and unreacting faces.
Like the veterans before who had been used and exploited once their purpose of killing was done, these Gulf war vets had no voice loud enough for the politicians of either party to hear. And, as a new decade passed by, I watched the facade of a representative political system filled with its own piousness spout rhetorical speeches, grandstanding for the theatre of corporate owned news and corporate sponsors who flipped the bill to get them elected in the first place.
The bite and sting of betrayal bleeds like a gaping wound, never fully healing. A thought never leaves the mind - I would have pulled my trigger to my weapon willingly for my country because they told me to go to war. But who controlled the strings and who made the decisions and for what real cause? The shock of realization that, maybe, the troops have been used not to fight for some altruistic reasons, but instead they were used for a power grab by narrow-minded traitor business men who hold office and use it as a means of job security and as a profit producing generator. A Marine wonders, "Did I participate in a deception that caused the deaths of innocent people for a lie?"
Why did we tell the Iraqi people in 1991 to rise up against their leader, but then allow the republican guard to fly through our containment lines to suppress (slaughter and maim and kill with brutal precision) the rebellion? Why do so many politicians have conflicting business dealings with companies that benefit from the wars we wage? Secret closed sessions by oil men who continually benefit from the wielding of their political influence stirs little emotion from the so-called opposition party. Offshore bank accounts siphon more money from our collective treasury, while the same mega-corporations continue to pay off politicians for the privilege of raping the American working class family. More and more otherwise productive citizens have been tossed behind bars for exercising their private right to personal happiness for smoking a plant, yet neither party has done so much as read the governments own report conducting during the Nixon era that the private use of this plant is absolutely harmless. We have ignored our Constitution that guarantees the right to privacy and happiness within ones own home, attempting to outlaw things a government has no right to interfere with. Somehow it is not against our laws to allow corporations to suck the welfare trough dry as they use sweatshop labour and exploited poor people to create their products (slapping the American spin into their commercials promoting their products). Religion has crept its mad and two-faced head into the realm of political decision making. How corrupt and deep in the shit must one be, before demanding a real change to what has become painfully obvious as a seriously flawed and corrupt system?
After 9/11, no shock to those who followed foreign policy, this Marine watched a sheeply Congress tuck tail and blatantly attack the Constitution with minimal oversight or questions for their "president". The image was marketed that we were united, but everything was disgraced by the gutless elitists who could not afford to look soft on terrorism because, ultimately, it is their own skin they protect and not the document for which better men have fought to protect. Those representatives who stood ground and defied the call to shred our most sacred document, were branded as traitors and left to dry. Unheard of executive secrecy regarding business dealings with the family of our enemy had no strong voice from the so-called opposition party. When an un-elected group known as the supreme court placed a man in office, insulting the very core of our ability to show that the people are the owners of our democracy, the leading opposition candidate tucked his tail and laid down like a lap dog. A leader inspires and leads by example; holds principles higher than personal gains; attempts to grow and expand and look out for his men and women under his watch. Most of our leaders show no form or shape that even closely resembles the desires of most people I hear and know.
Many today are getting into semantic arguments over which pile of shit and lies is the better plate to swallow. Here we all are with no real fear of reprisal before us should we care to take the large leaps and risks of pushing forth a real change in this bleeding and dying democracy. No one with guns will intimidate us for demanding real changes, yet many around us are comfortable with small accomplishments rather than aggressive leaps that come from the best of principals, inspired by the greatest leaders of history. We here today do not need to make dramatic personal efforts, like some have done (risking more than reputations to defy corrupt power). We need only to shoot for high standards collectively, yet we somehow fall short for what some consider wise and obtainable achievements.
Life is too short and the lies are too big to sit around and demand so little when the only thing stopping us is us. With so many disenfranchised people out there who feel the lies and weight of generations of corruption on their backs, those "grounded" intellectuals who nit pick the minor differences of one party over another offer no inspiration to those looking for a loud and untainted voice to say what everyone feels to be true - We want a real change and we want it now. We want peace and we want it now. The system is broken and falling apart before our eyes, and minor changes simply are not enough to fix it. The list goes on and is so long and filled with so many problems that it is stunning to hear mediocre voices calling for marginal changes as if that were the best path to follow simply because it seems winnable.
I feel the grand scheme of continual wars and the profiteers who hold allegiance to no flag or concept other than power and money. I hear of the accomplishments of those who proudly stand behind their parties, yet the suffering, the wars, the huge lies never stop. The wars continue for the new patriotic reasons of the moment and the resistance seems comprised of intellectual masterbationists who couldn't inspire a movement out of a wet paper bag. The wars and lies that ignite them go on, while the politicians on all sides of the fence debate and discuss the issues within a confined parameter of options - making sure to never expose the corporate tit that they all suck on to maintain the privileged status, painting pictures of their honourable" duty to country and seemingly clean of the blood on their hands when they send other peoples kids to kill and die for what is the continual lie under some guise of some flag or some god.
The bullshit is so high that those way down in it choke and fight or learn to distinguish bad shit from good shit and take their positions accordingly. Our elderly are un-honoured, our poor are blasted with such a hatred that is rarely directed with the same intensity towards the wealthy whore businessmen that contribute nothing to help alleviate the problems that contribute to permanent poverty. The system does not work ( if by working you mean no more wars of profit and no more poverty and no more sick unseen due to lack of money). We all try to make life better somehow and more than most, we all work hard to affect change, but we are failing and the lies are never ending. I can't stand the terror at night and am not satisfied with small changes. If we're not using our energy to raise up the most resistance possible, then what is the point? Have we realized that we are already beaten that we can't even intellectually agree to push the best resistance to our opponents?
Show disapproval by putting a sticker on your car for all to see - it is the least you can do to reach lots of people. Do something and make it visible. Our efforts to work towards our collective goals are many things, but to me it is less than fullfilling if not totally and truly a loud voice of opposition.