Monday, May 27, 2013

How About No More War Memorials? . . .

The Gadfly has two thoughts he would like to share with you dear reader on this Memorial Day.

First - being a U.S. military veteran, The Gadfly has the deepest respect and admiration for those men and women who have volunteered to serve in our armed forces and who are tasked with the sworn duty to defend the Constitution and bear allegiance to same.  And it goes without saying that the Gadfly humbly honors those who have paid the ultimate price bravely carrying out their sworn duty on behalf of their fellow countrymen.

Secondly - The Gadfly would ask this question of his fellow Americans - at what point do wars of convenience, wars for natural resources, wars for the sake of enriching the already obscenely wealthy and the powerful military industrial complex, and endless global wars against clandestine enemies, real or perceived, finally compel us to realize the utter futility and stupidity of war?  How many more war memorials and Arlington war cemeteries will be needed before we arrive at the sobering conclusion that enough is enough?

The Gadfly spoke previously on the subject of arrogant nationalism and patriotism.  It stands to reason that you cannot convince young men to march off in to war without first appealing directly and passionately to their love and reverence of the beloved homeland, and the more fervent and manipulative that appeal, the more submissive they are to the plea.

And there is no better observer of that subject matter than the great Samuel Langhorne Clemens.  The Gadfly discovered Mark Twain's "The War Prayer" many years ago while engaged in some personal research on Twain's political and religious views.  If you have not read it, do yourself a favor and take 5 minutes out of your busy life to do so. The Gadfly holds no illusions that it will change many minds on the subject of war, but if it makes just a single mind question the wisdom of the people who are incessantly pining for war, then that is about the best result The Gadfly can realistically expect.

"The War Prayer"


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