Appreciate veterans, condemn the cause

Appreciate veterans, condemn the cause

Gigi Wade, Opinion Editor

     Although veterans have inarguably served our country well, the military as an institution should not be applauded for its efforts overseas or its treatment of its forces.

   In light of Veterans Day and Trump’s recent hike in military spending, we must question the quality of the institution that dictates a great portion of our foreign policy. According to The Daily Bell, “The Truman Doctrine was the official beginning of an aggressive ‘peacetime’ intervention during which America became the world’s policeman.”

     Because the United States has always operated on the assumption that our presence is wanted, this mindset coupled with our habitually aggressive response to discord, has made matters worse for countries like Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan.

     There’s a name for the logic that guides United States foreign policy: fascism. History has laid out the rules of militaristic fascism: create a foreign enemy and use it to rationalize war.

    Let’s do a quick comparison; according to the Baltimore Sun, in total, since 2002, ISIS has killed 33,000 people around the world. In the same span of time, the United States has killed around two million Muslim civilians in the Middle East alone.

      A common response is that because the US has the most potent source of hard power in the world, and our forces have to stop aggressive autocracies from killing their citizens. In theory, this would be a good use of our strength. The reality is that the US has never been a force for good when it comes to preventing genocide: take Rwanda, Cambodia, Darfur or even World War II.

     Internally, the military has serious problems as well. 70% of men and 52% of women serving are white, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell wasn’t repealed until 2010, and only 4% of reports of sexual assault result in convictions. This, like the majority of my argument, has to do much less with the individuals serving and much more with the institution that creates the conditions for it to be exclusive. The rhetoric surrounding the military has always been white, heterosexual male-centric; service is considered to be the epitome of masculinity and allegiance to the flag, a concept that has alienated anyone different.

     So this Veterans Day, think about who you support- the veterans who risked their lives in service or the complex that sent them into the Middle East to murder.