The year is 2009, and with a new year comes a new Memorial Day. To many, this is a day to show their gratitude to all of those that have lost their lives in support of these United States of America. Some show their gratitude, but only after they first mourn the loss of one or many close to them. I am one of those people.
On June 10, 2007, a childhood friend of mine, Adam G. Herold lost his live in what was called Operation Iraqi Freedom.
I mention this only to show that I am not detached from such sacrifices. I mention this only to show a well-rounded perspective. I am not an agitator simply to get a rise out of people, I am not necessarily a die-hard pacifist and I am certainly not unpatriotic. However, I am 100 percent against the “wars” in Iraq and the now escalating “war” in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
I know I am not alone in this matter, but it seems to be that no else remembers what happened the last time we marched into war. Few seem to remember what a lack of critical analysis and dissent among our media elite can do. They are supposed to question the policies of our government and force the truth out. They are supposed to ask—and ask critically—is this the right solution to the problems in Afghanistan?
Instead, the war drums are again blaring. All the major media outlets have again fallen into line. They agree that we should increase the military budget, again. They agree that this war is “necessary,” like the Iraq War, and they believe that the United States government and their private war mercenaries are the proper solution to all of our threats overseas.
As in the lead-up to the Iraq war, there is no historical perspective, there is no foresight and there is no substantive dialogue. Instead of bringing in voices against the escalation of war in Afghanistan, the pundits—at the behest of their superiors—are bringing in the same “analysts” who—according to David Barstow, investigative reporter at the New York Times and winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for his articles Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand and One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex.—are directly benefitting from such war policies. Why?
On a day—Memorial Day—when we are supposed to show gratitude for the sacrifices of the fallen and give thanks for the freedoms for which they historically have sacrificed, let us not do forgotten yard work or go to the lake or fire up the grill.
Let us, instead, use this day to create a dialogue and frank, open discussion of the escalation of war in Afghanistan.
Start a conversation with your brother, your mother, your father, your friends, your neighbors, your pastor, your rabbi, your boss, your co-worker or even with yourself through reading. Or, like myself, start this conversation through the use of the Internet and allow anyone curious to engage in a new direction of thought.
Let us show our gratitude for one of the freedoms most taken for granted—the freedom to speak your mind openly and without persecution. What better way to show gratitude for those who have sacrificed for our freedom to speak than to utilize that same freedom? Only through dialogue can the truth be known.