Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Death Cult Day

Yesterday was the day we set aside for celebrating our national death cult. November 11 is a firm date; it can't be moved for the purpose of creating a three-day weekend, and, like those who have been killed in wars, it never changes.

The problem with Memorial Day is that it conflates a just regard for the pain, misery, and extraordinary personal sacrifice combat veterans have experienced, and which I acknowledge and respect, with an enthusiasm for war, and by extension an enthusiasm for death and suffering. This dreadful holiday sends a message which declares on the one hand that the sacrifices made by veterans are more than should be asked of anyone, but at the same time asserts that this pain and torment is something that future generations should aspire to and seek to emulate.

Be a real man. Hold up as heroes those who have suffered and died in the current invasion of someone else's country, and be prepared to sign up for the next one yourself, wherever it may be. It will be your rite of passage.

Read this, and then consider: the ongoing and endless despair of dead combatants' surviving family members, the daily misery of those maimed in combat, and the psychological torment of those who have seen too much of what war can do. These are not things to be glorified and romanticized the way we currently do on Memorial Day.

And this is not the way we'll put an end to war. Better we should turn away from war's horrors in disgust, and swear a solemn vow, "No more Vietnams; no more Iraqs; no more Afghanistans."

The current economic depression we're experiencing signals that the way of life we've pursued these past 60 years is dead, and I pray that the war machine which that departed way of life fed on, along with the bloody-handed ruling class who engineered it, are likewise boxed up and ready to lower into the ground.

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