The most expensive gift ever

I hate war. I maintain, and it's hard to refute this, that the US has not engaged in military activity since WWII that was legitimate (with the possible exception of our mission in Afghanistan, but having totally mucked that up I'm not hopeful). By legitimate I mean a war we engage in to defend our territory. Japan, a nation-state, attacked the US on December 7th 1941. No other sovereign country has attacked us since then.

Currently we have a government (Congress AND the President) who have allowed our country to get stuck in an irrational, pointless (literally-there is no point to it, because our justifications keep changing or are at best amorphous) expensive war. Technically, constitutionally, it's not even a war. Congress has not declared war since WWII.

The part of Arlington cemetery that is used for soldiers currently serving is not part of the official tour of the cemetery. I think that too says something profound: we hear people constantly say that "they" (the soldiers) died to keep us free (from what currently I cannot imagine since we have not been attacked by a nation-state since 1941) but we aren't allowed to see their coffins come back from the Middle East, and we can't see their honored places of rest in the nation's cemetery. I guess that the government is afraid that if we pull back the curtain too far, we might just start giving a damn about the men and women who serve-not we the people, if we are honest with ourselves-but the agenda of the government. We just might stop paying taxes, stop electing anyone not dedicated to ending the killing of our young soldiers, making a greater demand on our elected public servants to focus on things like, say, fixing roads and bridges and levies and not spending so much time trying to convince a country that was perfectly happy to have a dictator at its helm for 24 years without doing a goddamned thing to get rid of him. I have a friend, from college, who left her husband in the US and quit her academic career to return to Burma (from which she had been expelled and made a stateless person, in the US at the mercy of our government) to re-join its resistance (the movement lead by Aung San Suu Kyi). Was there ever anything like this in Iraq? Aside from the Kurds, who just wanted to be left alone to govern themselves, I don't think so. The US is giving Iraq a gift it never wanted.

A very expensive gift.

For all the women and men, and their families, who have served in the military, I thank you. I can't imagine what you have given. For all the souls departed who served in the military, I pray that you rest in eternal peace. For all those souls, living or dead, who bear the responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, and killing, I pray God gives you the justice you have earned.

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