A Message from Ron Paul: Speak Truth to Power on Veterans Day
Veterans Day was initially called Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I and recognize the soldiers who died. Today it’s a day in the United States to recognize all veterans in all wars—not just those who died or were wounded or even served in a war at all. It’s designed to heap praise and adulation on all things military. In doing so, in the name of patriotism, it therefore endorses all of our war policies, right or wrong. Every veteran becomes a hero and no questions are to be asked of the wisdom, morality, or constitutionality of our wars of the past 100 years.
At one time, especially in Europe, it was called Remembrance Day—a day to remember those who died. Remembrance Day could be a better name if we remember that almost all wars make no sense and intellectually digest the flawed excuses for our involvement. This is not likely to happen, except for the few historians who are willing to tell the truth.
Making all veterans heroes and endlessly lavishing great praise on them is designed as a distraction from the consequence of a deeply flawed foreign policy. Constantly we hear veterans being thanked for their services, for protecting our liberties and the constitution. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The wars, especially of the past 70 years, were used to justify undermining our liberties at home while abusing the constitution and significantly contributing to our bankruptcy.
If one does not march lock step in support of our veterans, one gets blamed for being unpatriotic.
Of course, many soldiers over the years under dire circumstances performed many brave deeds to best protect and save the lives of their fellow soldiers. Just staying alive was enough to preoccupy all soldiers pushed into battle without much opportunity to change policy.
Nevertheless, being a veteran myself, I am insulted by many who profusely thank me for my service when they themselves did everything possible to avoid the draft yet only too anxious as a political leader to propagandize for more senseless war and killing.
Unfortunately World War I was not the war to end all wars and make the world safe for democracy. That failed, and the war propagandists continue winning the PR fight.
Veterans Day celebrations are not only useless, but detrimental if we do not use them to speak truth to power and make the case for a noninterventionist foreign policy. That is the only road to peace and prosperity for a nation.