Peace in our time

Dead in the Water

Jacob Stewart, Columnist

I’ve got half a bottle of Irish whiskey tempting me, readers. It whispers to me from the kitchen in a gentle brogue. I must say, folks, it’s been a challenge sitting here in this ugly sobriety. The urge to uncork the bottle and drown out all of the chaotic noise is almost unbearable.

We’ve been told, time and time again, that we ought to be thankful to our troops. These men and women are protecting our right to call ourselves free, and while I do respect those who wear the uniform (whether it be the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines), I can’t help but think of how we’ve all been lied to— civilian and solider alike. From the Spanish-American War to our most current conflicts overseas, the American people have been force-fed the idea of freedom and how it must be protected at all costs, despite the fact that our personal freedoms have very little to do with it.

Since the destruction of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor, the United States government has managed to orchestrate a number of ways for the country to roll up its sleeves and beat the crap out of one nation after another. With the Spanish, it was control of vital naval ports in places such as Cuba and the Philippines. In Korea and Vietnam, it was to show how capitalism was superior to the communist way of thought (a global pissing contest), and in Iraq and Afghanistan, we sought to not only fight for oil, but to give the religious right a reason to kill off whole scores of people who just happened to maintain a different faith. Over the course of all of these conflicts, we’ve found ourselves sided with rebels or desperate governments that we either left behind (in the case of the Cuban and Filipino guerrillas or the Republic of South Vietnam) or completely screwed over. A brutal cycle set on repeat.

For all of these conflicts, our government was the party responsible for making the final decision, but now, this no longer seems to be the case. No, in this modern age, we find ourselves on the brink of war with Iran due simply to the fact that our absentee commander in chief is at the beck and call of the Saudi royal family.

Yes, folks, that’s right. No longer is the White House the seat of military power in this country. Our armed forces are now reporting to Riyadh.

We’ve gone from being the world’s police to nothing more than a private military corporation, bankrolled by a radical religious government that has no problem beheading women or children for breaking a strict theological law that is as outdated as our own Constitution, and let us not forget that they are also responsible for the murder of an American journalist who, in his pursuit of the truth, was butchered in Saudi Arabia’s Turkish embassy.

This is why, in my opinion, if a person claims to be our commander in chief, they should be the ones to go out with the troops, to lead by example. Yet those days exist only in the history books. We now are in an age when a nation’s military no longer serves its own people, but foreign powers that care little for the safety of those being sent over.