In these days of polarized war talk, there’s a line of thinking I’ve been hearing a lot lately and it has crawled into my subconsious and taken root. Generally it comes from someone who is pro-war and/or pro-Bush, but definitely pro-military.
It goes something like this: “Well I/we/they fought in Korea/Vietnam/Iraq to defend your right to say such a thing about what our President is trying to accomplish over there.”
Actually I don’t think so. I don’t recall any of our freedoms being really under attack in Korea and Vietnam and Iraq - unless you mean the freedom to drive big honking SUVs. In the case of Vietnam, I would venture that many of our freedoms were under attack right here at home, much like today. Korea was a faraway police action and the “domino theory” has been proven wrong and discarded.
Now if you are a veteran of WW2 or the Civil War (either side) or the Revolution, then yes, I would say, you fought for my freedoms (particularly the latter). 1812, yes, you too I guess. WW1 vets, probably not. The Indian wars? they fought for land, which I suppose brought some degree of freedom though not of the “rights” variety, unless you mean “property rights”, which our Native American citizens might differ over. And so on.
So I invite all those who unilaterally assume that every serviceman and woman is out there “defending my rights and freedoms” to consider for a minute which of my freedoms are and have been under assault, and by whom. Isn’t the rationale that one is “defending American freedoms” in many cases just a jingoistic catchphrase? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?