Pursuant to a not-quite-conversation on Facebook regarding this meme I posted, I will sum up what happened and where I stand on this. It was interesting that this lady, a fellow Bernie supporter and Universal Healthcare supporter, found this meme as a reason to potentially unfollow me even with as much as we have in common politically. =O
I can say I was surprised at this. I mean I write about some rather controversial things such as: prostitution, polygamy, polyamory, gay marriage, Angry at the Third Party Split, and the Cancer of Capitalism. Surely one of those would have triggered her before this meme. But no, this was the meme of all of the memes and posts that I have posted that potentially broke the camels back for her. =O
This is her explanation as to why she is offended at this meme:
To me, that flag, more than anything else, represents the ideals of hope that my father spent defending in the hot jungles of the South Pacific and freeing the oppressed in northern China. It is what the boy next door lost his life for at age 19. I simply can not see it be mocked because to me that means that you mock the hope in the hearts of those good men and that sickens me.
To take offense to this meme means that she has missed the point and is not as politically awakened as she would like to think. Believe me, as a veteran of the Iraq War, I can appreciate her sentiment, but also, as a former service member who is politically aware I really wish she would be pissed about something that really matters, which I will go into below. I have pulled in my responses to her from that thread and will rework it here for a much more broader audience.
Why this Meme is Important
The very important point of this well put together meme is the ridiculousness and significant harm of patriotism and nationalism (as well as all of the other ‘isms of the world) all of which need to die and to which we need to evolve beyond if humanity is to ever know anything resembling peace. Hell, her potentially unfriending me just proves the point. That meme, which creates for her a perceived slight against some fabric, is more important than what I am about to talk about below:
I was one of those soldiers who went to war. I participated in Desert Storm. I valued the freedom that the US flag supposedly represented, but which has been corrupted and broken for many, many decades now. The US flag is now the world-wide symbol for terrorism. Surely, that fact should piss her off more – the fact that the symbol that she supposedly loves has been broken and perverted, and instills fear into innocent people throughout the world.
Many, many soldiers and service members have died, not for freedom, but for corporate profits. That is the problem. For a long time the United States has not been a country:
The US is the largest supranational corporate conglomerate whose primary export is terrorism, and these corporations (defense contractors, fossil fuel industry, pharmaceutical industry, banking industry) have the largest military in the world at their beck and call.James O’Neill
That is what should piss her off more and it is for this reason that many, many soldiers have died for – corporate profits – and NOT freedom.
Let me give you a little more perspective. I was stationed on the USS Enterprise during the bombing of Iraq. It was the Enterprise that bombed the shit out of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. I was apart of that and it sickens me. I have to live with that. We were not there for freedom. We were there for one reason – so Dick Cheney’s company, Haliburton (and other US companies) can reap the benefits of taking over it’s oil fields (and other industries). The Iraq War happened for money and oil – that is what our soldiers died for. Afghanistan was about opium for the opiates provided by the pharmaceutical companies and it still is today. The price for continued corporate profits is the blood of our service members and the innocent civilians of the world. Corporate profits demands a blood price and it always will.
Major General Smedley Butler, a decorated marine, summed this up better than I could with his specific experience in this process during World War I and after: War is a Racket (Youtube) or War is a Racket (Business Insider) and which was turned into a small book: War is a Racket.
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this countryâ€™s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.Major General Smedley Butler (War is a Racket, 1935)
If our country actually cared about freedom then we would not be terrorizing the world. We would be leading humanitarian efforts in places that needed it like: Flint, Puerto Rico, Somalia (or any other African country), Palestine, Yemen or any other place where millions are dying each year due to war, starvation, disease, etc. Do you know why we do not care about those areas? There is no money to be made there. Our corporate owners do not care about those areas because there is no money to be made in saving the world.
Hundreds of thousands of military personnel joined the military because they want to help their country and to help to really bring freedom to world only to die for corporate profit while terrorizing innocent people thousands of miles away. Their honorable sacrifice has been betrayed, perverted, and dishonored for corporate profit. That is what should piss her off.
If you want the US to freedom someplace the best thing you can do is to declare that you have massive oil reserves. Here is an amazing meme that illustrates this:
As a part of that corporate perversion of our country and its symbols, here is what the US flag now represent:
- Red – for the blood of our honorable service members and the blood of the innocent slaughtered and terrorized for corporate profits
- White – for the corporate ownership of our government
- Blue – for the blind patriotism and nationalism that powers its world-wide terrorism
- 50 Stars – for the 50 wholly owned corporate owned subsidiaries of the United States
Now, just to be clear that I am not bitching to bitch, not senselessly raging against the machine. I also provide answers to our many problems to help solve them. Here are my posts which talk about those answers:
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