The argument is usually the same, and honestly valid — our men and women service members are in harm’s way and aren’t honored as much as we feel they should. I agree. There should be more done to honor them and, more importantly, end unnecessary US interference with foreign affairs and bring them home to allow them to make more positive contributions to themselves and their families than living off of the federal government for what appears to be very little return overseas, and not for lack of their trying.
But Whitney Houston has been dead FOUR DAYS! Three! She’s one of the most gifted singers of the last 20th century — barring what happened to her with Bobby Brown — and she dies unexpectedly, I’d say she will get a due minimum of a week of general coverage on the tube. And already people are crying foul?
Were a debacle of celebrity worship to fill the airways more than a week or two, I might grow worried, but three days?
I’d bet half our military forces overseas are mourning for her the same as the rest of us are. They’re still Americans! They’ve all lived in this country sometime in the past 18 years, minimum, and I’d bet all but a mighty few know who she is.
If anything, I’m decrying hero worship here. Our service members deserve so much from us for fighting these wars. They need our support. They need us to stop our politicians from sending them where we don’t belong so they can cry havok and let slip those dogs of war. We don’t need to fight most of these wars! And when we do get involved, we’re hamstrung from getting in and out.
We’re not nation builders, and we can’t let our politicians use our brave men and women in uniform as carrots for the violent, putting them in harm’s way so they can justify continuing war.
However, we can’t worship the concept of “our folks overseas” when they shouldn’t be there! Bring them home, get them proper medical care at the government’s expense (because we all allowed our government to do this to us), and get them settled into the economy where they can build their own businesses and contribute more to creating wanted products for market than killing off foreigners on their own soil.
People are jumping at this opportunity to glorify their patriotism while forgetting that at the end of the day, whether it’s Whitney Houston or Spc. Tom Franks from Arkansas, they’re both just as dead, and in many ways, for just as pointless a reason.
I honor the specialist for serving his country, but I do not honor the country for sending him where he didn’t belong. I honor Whitney Houston for her voice, but I do not honor the manner in which she died.
There isn’t much more to say on this topic, but I hope I’ve made it clear that we can’t justify continued participation in foreign conflicts on the premise that we’re already there and already “in danger.” Psychology has a term I can’t remember for continuing a course of action for previous investment, not for the actual potential return. And that’s exactly what we’re doing overseas.
Here’s my direct political soapbox moment — when several CIA and Homeland Security experts and directors agree with Ron Paul’s policy of foreign nonintervention, I want you to take a long thought about what nonintervention actually means. It doesn’t mean we would let Japan get away with Pearl Harbor. It means we’d deal with them militarily and then return. It means we don’t get mired in Vietnam. It means we don’t get involved in foreign conflict to make ourselves feel better, because no matter how good it makes Suzie feel that her peers are going overseas to fight for the unjust, she is just as ignorant about how each side often contributes to the “unjust” conflict, how cultural differences don’t mean squat when compared with American values, and that her best friend dying and leaving behind his wife and kid wasn’t worth saving another foreign dictator’s control of oil and double-agent status with the US government.
Stop worshipping American militarism. Stop glorifying the patriotic death when there’s no patriotic return on it. Stop hating Whitney Houston because she didn’t wait to die until after our boys came home.