“They Keep Us Free”

By Doug Newman

It is so easy to apply the “hate” label.

Disagree with Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Barack Obama and the left brands you as hating black people. Ask responsible questions about the role of the military and the right brands you as an unpatriotic hater of America.

Me. Ricky Recruit. 1983.

I am a retired Naval Reservist and I have had several family members and countless friends who have been in the military. However, in recent years, I have become indescribably frustrated at veritable idolatry that too many Americans display toward their military.

In a constitutional republic, which America stopped being at least 100 years ago, has a solemn responsibility: defending the nation’s borders, shores and air space.

Lots of clichés frustrate me. Few do so more than these: “Our troops keep us free” and “our soldiers give us rights.”

While it is their duty to repel invaders, it is not and never was their duty to keep us free.

Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia had enormous military establishments. How did that work out?

A very similar scenario is unfolding here in America.

The USS Ohio alone has enough nuclear payload to obliterate any Arab nation in a matter of hours.

America has at its disposal roughly half the world’s military spending, a 300-ship navy, thousands of planes, tanks and nuclear warheads, and 300 million firearms in private hands. No foreign power is going to conquer us militarily.

Indeed, no foreign power has invaded us in an attempt to conquer us since – get this – 1812. Really! Pearl Harbor is 5000 miles from Washington DC. Indeed, a Japanese admiral was quoted as saying that it would be pure folly to invade the American mainland as there would be a skilled rifleman behind every blade of grass. Hitler is thought to have said something very similar.

But what about 9/11? 9/11 was a suicide attack. The 19 hijackers are dead. You cannot take over a country, impose Shari’a law, convert everyone to Islam and force all women wear burqas when you are … I am going to say this one more time for those of you in Rio Linda … DEAD!

The Constitution gives us a tool to deal with things like 9/11: a Letter of Marque and Reprisal. This is a sort of warrant to go after the specific perpetrators, i.e. those who had a hand planning and financing the crime. Since it is wrong for foreigners to kill innocent Americans, it is just as wrong for Americans to kill innocent foreigners. God does not hold America in any special favor.

It has been said that on September 11 a horrific crime took place and on September 12 the American people became suspects. Wars are always an excuse to suspend domestic liberties. Please take the time to listen to this presentation by Judge Andrew Napolitano.

I can think of no worse dishonor to our troops than to send them to fight and bleed and die “for our freedom” while at the same time relinquishing that freedom here at home.

Yes, America gained its independence through war. However, unlike any of our current wars, the Revolution was a defensive war against an imperial government that had overstepped its bounds. Those who risked their lives – whether it was the death warrant 56 of them signed in Philadelphia or on the numerous battlefields from Lexington to Yorktown – knew that their liberty was their own responsibility, and no one else’s.

They defined patriotism is asserting their God-given rights against the depredations of their government. Their Constitution set up an intricate system of checks and balances as a shield against federal tyranny. Power ultimately rests with “We the People.” This Constitution is not a self-enforcing document. Our liberty is ours to use or lose.

Just in case anyone is confused, the guy in the white shirt is the patriot.

Patriotism is not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or getting all weepy-eyed whenever Lee Greenwood starts singing or putting a yellow ribbon on your bumper. Patriotism is, in Jefferson’s words, “eternal vigilance” against any and all encroachments on your liberty, no matter how apparently minor. Tyranny is like cancer: early detection is a wonderful thing, but outright avoidance is even better. The notion that the military should “keep us free” has zero basis in any of our founding documents.

For several decades Americans have recklessly disregarded their God-given liberty out of a false hope that government can provide man-made security. This tendency has been especially odious in the ten-plus years since 9/11.

The big uptick started right about the time I enlisted.

America already had the world’s highest incarceration rate at that point, largely as a result of the grotesquely unconstitutional War on Drugs. And most people didn’t care. After all, Lee Greenwood said they were still free.

Since 9/11, the majority of the American people have accepted – in the name of “safety” and “security”: warrantless searches and spying, the suspension of habeas corpus, sexual assault as a condition of travel, rampant police brutality, indefinite detention without any semblance of due process, severe restrictions on peaceful protest and surveillance drones in our skies watching our every move.

Can predator drones be far behind?

When your government runs wild abroad, what makes you think it won’t run wild at home?

Or do you even perceive it as running wild?

It is bad enough that so much liberty has been taken away in the name of “security.” It is worse that the American people have allowed this.

Is this how we “support our troops”? Is this how we “thank” them?

Yes, but Uncle Ernie and Aunt Ernestine can still molest your children and destroy their innocence with impunity. Pump up da Greenwood…

And if you approve of some pervert groping your crotch in the name of “national security”, what won’t you let Uncle Sam do to you? Don’t moan and groan at me about Obamacare and the IRS. You have already told me that you will let your government do absolutely anything to you. Do you have any self-respect whatsoever?

But haven’t we brought freedom to the Muslim world? No. First, we imposed a constitution on Iraq which ordains shari’a law in Article 1, Section 2. Second, since we are so concerned about freedom in Iraq, why are we not at all concerned about freedom in the most “Islamofascist” nation of all: Saudi Arabia? And finally, life precedes liberty. You can’t support liberty for a nation while at the same time killing thousands of its citizens. If you don’t recognize their right to life, you don’t recognize any of their rights.

It was amusing in a twisted way to watch the American response to the presidential elections in Iran in 2009. The same people who had wanted to nuke the **** out of Iran and kill countless Iranians were all of a sudden in ironclad solidarity with the Iranian people as they exercised their right to vote. Now that Ahmadinejad has been re-elected these people again want to nuke the **** out of Iran and kill countless Iranians.

Isn’t it curious how the most bloodthirsty promoters of this are people who insist they believe in the sanctity of human life?

So what do those who are actually fighting our wars have to say about this? I can’t speak for all of them but I know this: the overwhelming majority of campaign contributions from active duty military personnel are going to the only antiwar candidate in the race, Ron Paul.

As Rudyard Kipling put it in the final line of his poem “Tommy Atkins”: An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Stop listening to all the politicians and media hacks that talk like General Patton from their domed buildings and TV studios, yet have never gotten a speck of dirt under their pretty little fingernails serving one day in the military. War for them is a pornographic fantasy. (Don’t worry. This is a G-rated link.)

Go march a mile in their boots.

Listen to those from places like the South Bronx and Eastern Montana who have been on the ground with bullets whizzing by their heads and bombs going off all over the place and people dying all around them. War for them was a gruesome reality.

Contemplate the absolutely tragic number of combat veterans who have committed suicide. (Do you “support” them?)

And start reassessing the clichés that have molded your thinking until now. I know what you have been told as I was told the same thing. However, the military as we know it is just like almost any other aspect of government: it is sustained by an infrastructure of endless lies. And this is oh so tragic as so many are paying for this with their lives.

Learn what true freedom entails. Read your Constitution and, more importantly, your Bible. Prepare to make a personal sacrifice in defense of your liberty. Just as in 1776, your liberty is your responsibility and no one else’s.
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Highly recommended reading: William Grigg knocks it into the cheap seats.
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About Food for the Thinkers

My name is Doug Newman. I live in Aurora, Colorado, just outside Denver. Food for the Thinkers is mostly about the connection between Christianity and libertarianism. Most Christians do not understand libertarianism. And most libertarians do not understand Christianity. Hopefully, this blog helps clear up those misunderstanding. Check out my old page at www.thefot.us And remember: When you let people do whatever they want, you get Woodstock. But when you let governments do whatever they want, you get Auschwitz.
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7 Responses to “They Keep Us Free”

  1. Mike Blevins says:

    Excellent thoughts! Thank you.

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  5. Eohippus says:

    I wouldn’t advise associating yourself with IVAW, or expressing any positive sentiments towards them. From the moment it was founded up to the present day they’ve had numerous individuals in their general membership (and almost all of their prominent members and board of directors) who have been caught lying. In fact, for an organization of combat veterans they repeatedly failed to notice anything amiss in the absurd stories told by people shown to never even finished basic training. They legitimate veterans they did have almost entirely left the organization (the possible exception being Selena Gomez), and have yet to actually find any legitimate former combat arms personnel (or even someone who actually was in any real danger) that hasn’t lied about their service to speak or even join.

    They’ve also become disturbingly ensconced with outright Marxist groups, and a quick scanning on the Facebook pages of prominent members shows they’re blatantly socialist. Another memorable incident involved kicking out a member who had the integrity to pressure the board of directors to give the boot to members who vocally called for the sabotaging of military equipment. In the announcement of the ban they said that the member who didn’t want to do things to outright get military personnel killed wasn’t appropriate for the group as it ‘sowed discord’ in the organization.

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  7. m says:

    coming from a person in the position you were in, I am amazed that someone would stand up and say the very things that I have been thinking (put more eloquently). There are many who could stand to listen to your argument/thoughts (rather than telling you who not to associate with). Bravo. I enjoy the accomplishments of my country however there are several things we have yet to work out and get right. I also hav several friends and family members who are/were active duty military. They never seem to be the same spitting out the same catch phrase as the one you question.

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