Today in the US we have set aside a day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the rest of us have a life of freedom. Wars have been a part of human history since we managed to make our first weapon. In WWI and WWII, there is little doubt our presence was necessary to keep power-hungry leaders in check. Since then, most notably Vietnam, our role in these wars has been questioned by some portion of the public. For those enlisted in the Armed Forces, politics has no place. Armchair quarterbacking is not allowed.
Growing up, I remember watching war movies where people died. Perhaps they grabbed their stomachs and fell over, or they lied in their buddy’s arms and shared a poignant moment before they passed quietly. It all seemed so honorable. Television shows like Hogan’s Heroes and McHale’s Navy made war seem like a vacation. As did most boys my age, I played with G.I. Joe’s. Cowboys and Indians. Cops and Robbers. Nobody ever wanted to be on the losing team. The good guys always win, everybody knew that.
I have four older brothers. They started up the draft again for Vietnam, just around the time the oldest turned 18. Seeing my mom crying while watching the draft was the first time I thought about the reality of war. The oldest brother’s birthday came up in the first twenty dates drawn. A year later, the same fate was true for the next brother. Two years later, a repeat for the next brother. Vietnam ended, but then a mandated draft registry came up in time for my eighteenth birthday. I was never called, but the thought of it weighed upon me as unrest in the Middle East was becoming more prominent.
Recent war movies have become a lot closer to reality. Bullets hit, and blood and body parts go flying. They don’t use .22’s on the battlefield. People die painfully. Those who survive are likely to be in even more pain. The glory has been removed. Thank you, Hollywood.
Just when I thought the glorification of war was a thing of the past, here they come again. The United States Space Force. You can find the promotional trailer on YouTube. Looks like fun, the only thing missing is the slogan “It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure” Oh wait. That’s another branch’s slogan. Copyright infringement. Can’t use that.
If we’re preparing a military division for space, you have to ask, “who are our enemies out there?” I’ve thought this through, and clearly there are only two answers.
- Aliens. This can’t be the answer, because for 70+ years, the government has been telling us they don’t exist. If they did, I’m sure our weapons are no match for theirs. Unless we’ve figured out a way to reverse engineer technology that has crash landed on this planet. Oh wait, I keep forgetting, that doesn’t exist. That, and the government would have to admit they’ve been lying all this time.
- Other humans from other countries. This must be the answer by default.
Are we really going to take our shitty war-mongering habits beyond this planet? And what kind of weapons will we be using up there? If we fire a missile at something and it misses the target, does it continue on its trajectory until it does eventually hit something. Space is a big place, but what if that eventual target is another planet? With people? Will this start a Universal War? There’s an asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter which some scientists feel may have once been a planet. Have we taken this path before?
I think we have enough problems to solve at home, like paying teachers what they’re worth, or this coronavirus thing? Let’s stop glorifying war.
May 26, 2020 at 3:53 pm
Sad, isn’t it? Human beings are programmed (through childhood) to follow commands. Then they allegedly “grow up” and go to war, killing each other for so-called “important reasons.”
Been going on for eons.
What a screwy world!
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May 27, 2020 at 10:20 am
Yes, Tom, it is truly sad. As the world votes in more men who feel a need to present an antiquated vision of what a strong leader should be, I do not feel humanity is safe from war.
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May 27, 2020 at 3:31 pm
We are in more great danger than ever. In the U.S., a narcissistic sociopath who doesn’t care for nature has the nuclear code!
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May 27, 2020 at 8:59 pm
A scary scenario to be certain. Can you imagine if our nukes were already in space, and the time to reach targets were minimized?