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Unnecessary Sacrifice

Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, held a press conference Thursday defending Trump’s phone call to the widow of a U.S. soldier killed overseas, and criticizing a Congresswoman who supposedly listened in on the phone conversation. (Hmm, didn’t I hear about Kelly constantly listening in on Trump’s phone calls with Ivanka and others?)

Kelly described what happens to killed soldiers, describing how officials prepare the soldiers’ bodies for transfer back to the U.S. And Kelly described them as the “best 1 percent this country produces. Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them. Many of you don’t know anyone who knows any one of them. But they are the very best this country produces, and they volunteer to protect our country when there’s nothing in our country anymore that seems to suggest that selfless service to the nation is not only appropriate, but required.” (“Required”? Don’t tell me, “required” as a payback of “gratitude” for the freedom that the nation “gives” us? If that’s what he means, then apparently he didn’t read the Declaration of Independence, that refers to unalienable rights, among them the rights to life and liberty. Not atypical of today’s bureaucrats, however.)

And he later stated “But at the end of the day, ladies and gentlemen, you have to understand that these young people — sometimes old guys — put on the uniform, go to where we send them to protect our country.”

Well, they actually are not being sent overseas to “protect our country.” That just isn’t true, as Jacob Hornberger pointed out again recently. As Hornberger wrote,

If a foreign nation were to invade the United States, U.S. troops would be said to be defending their country. But no one is invading the United States. Instead, it is the U.S. government, operating through the troops, that is invading other countries.

Therefore, it stands to reason that U.S. troops who have died in Niger, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Vietnam, or Korea have not died for their country. They have died for their employer, the U.S. government, which has ordered them into those faraway lands to kill or be killed.

Gen. Kelly went on to say, “You know, when I was a kid, every man in my life was a veteran — World War II, Korea, and there was the draft. These young people today, they don’t do it for any other reason than their selfless — sense of selfless devotion to this great nation.” (Nope, it’s because they were duped into serving and sacrificing their lives, to get shot, bombed, wounded, crippled for life, or murdered, and for no good reason except to serve the egos of the bureaucrats and the profits of the defense contractors. And that’s the truth, now. That really is the case, whether the people want to acknowledge it or not.)

Apparently, like many Americans Gen. Kelly seems to have been indoctrinated throughout years of government schooling, and probably an authoritarian upbringing, made to recite a Pledge of Allegiance to a flag that is really a pledge of loyalty to the government, and probably raised to glorify the U.S. State. I’m only speculating here.

And I am assuming that Kelly probably views the American flag as “sacred,” and something to be honored (really, worshiped). But the truth is, these authoritarian nationalistic attitudes, promoting self-sacrifice to serve the “nation” and dependence on its central planners in Washington, are really mystical and collectivist in nature. And they are contrary to the principles and philosophies which are the underpinnings of the “America” the early pioneers dreamed of: individualism, freedom of thought and conscience, self-governance, self-determination and independence.

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