A few brief notes on Thomas Knapp’s reply to my carping. Knapp writes:
I pay more attention to American deaths, because my goal is to influence the opinions of Americans. Americans are the ones who can bring this debacle to an end.
Understood. I have a different goal: to destroy nationalism. Here’s to our mutual success.
I know of no one who volunteers to be a “slave” when joining the US military. Doing so entails a time-delimited contractual obligation, not involuntary servitude (the contract even includes the specific provisions under which one’s enlistment may be “involuntarily” extended).
Throughout history slavery has not been a singular institution. It has sometimes been time limited. Wikipedia (emphasis added):
The 1926 Slavery Convention described slavery as “…the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised…” Therefore a slave is someone who cannot leave an owner or employer without explicit permission, and who will be returned if they escape. Control may be accomplished through official or tacit arrangements with local authorities by masters who have some influence because of their status.
Perhaps calling soldiers slaves is a bit of a stretch, perhaps not. Soldiers are not free humans in any case.
Furthermore, not only do enlistees not volunteer to be murderers, but their oath of enlistment is very specific in that it binds them to “defend and protect the Constitution of the United States,” not to randomly or non-randomly kill individuals without legitimate cause to do so.
Where defending and protecting is a tremendous stretch and includes engaging in mass murder.
And, if they realize they are being misused, it takes some big-time guts to stand up and say “no, this isn’t in my contract, no that order is not lawful, and no, I’m not going to obey it.”
I have two sets of heroes. The smart or lucky ones: draft dodgers. The stupid or unlucky ones: deserters.
But don’t fuck the kids who are dribbling their blood into the sand because they were naive enough to believe that their country would not ask them to do evil things. They’re victims in this thing as much anyone else. You can’t put someone in an insane situation and then expect sane conduct. It doesn’t work that way.
They weren’t put in an insane situation, they volunteered. Granted, many of them don’t have significant ability to think ahead. Given that lame excuse, in lieu of saying “fuck the U.S. troops” I hereby nominate the 1844 killed so far (17 additional winners since your Sunday post) for a collective darwin award.