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Tuesday, April 27, 2004

From Jeff Danziger.

Pat Tillman deserves respect for giving up the high-paid brutal life in the NFL for the low-paid brutal life and death of an Army Ranger. But, with all due respect, lets not give him undue respect. It troubles me that military service, even for corrupt regimes for dubious (at best) reasons, is seen as the most honorable thing to do. I'm not at all convinced that Kerry volunteering to go kill Vietnamese is really all that more honorable than Bush ducking out (although the Bushie attempts to label Kerry as unpatriotic or something are ridiculous, as is Bush's macho strutting in military regalia). Unlike most of his fellow soldiers, Tillman had a very viable economic alternative to enlisting. The imperial media is exploiting his death as heroic to convince America's youth that enlisting in the military is somehow "defending one's country," even though that is highly questionable in the case of Afghanistan and a flat-out lie in the case of Iraq.

Bush was able to get away with his criminal wars (as was his father) in large part because of the militaristic leanings of a large part of the population. Many of those coffins are filled with soldiers who joined the Army because they couldn't get a job at McDonalds, and who realized months ago that they were fighting for a lie. Their stories aren't being told in anywhere near the detail that Tillman's is.