So, you’ve seen this page and now you’re angry and offended.


Tshirt

Here is a quick guide to help you.

The first thing you may want to do is attack me. You’ll maybe want to tell me I’m a loser who has never contributed anything to society, who lives in my mum’s basement and has a grudge against the military because they rejected me, or that maybe a soldier stole my girlfriend who wanted a “real man” instead of a coward… something like that.

The problem with that is, you don’t know me. You know nothing about me, so your attacks on me mean nothing to me. They don’t upset me. You’re not actually attacking me, you’re attacking the person you imagine me to be in order to allow yourself to continue to feel superior, and to therefore restore your sense of self worth at my expense. Once you realize this, you’ll probably then ask why I “hide behind a page, instead of using my real name”. You’ll ask me personal questions, “have you served”, “are you a Muslim”, “do you have a degree”, etc. If I answer, you’ll ask for more and more proof, and then if I don’t give you that you’ll call me a liar. You’re just fishing for information so you can attack me with greater accuracy because you can’t hit a target you can’t see.

The real question you should ask is why this affects you so deeply. Perhaps you’re too used to having people suck up to you because of your military record? Perhaps your whole identity is rooted in what you feel you “gave for your country” and now you feel like everybody owes you some gratitude? Maybe thinking of yourself as a war hero is all you’ve got to distinguish yourself? If you are or have been a soldier, you’ve seen war. You’ve seen death and destruction, maybe even lost friends… if you’re so tough, why should what a stranger on the internet thinks make you so angry that you want to swear at them and threaten them with violence? When you do that you don’t make me question my beliefs, you make me think you’re an unstable, violent individual who lacks self control and probably shouldn’t be running around foreign countries with a gun.

The thing is, I don’t need your approval or to justify my existence to you. This page isn’t about me. It isn’t about you either. It’s not a personal attack on you because, hey, I don’t know you either. It’s not an attack at all, it just says that I don’t believe that being a soldier automatically makes a person a hero. It’s about how the hero worship of soldiers translates into support for war, and silences dissent about foreign policy as if to question war is to insult or betray the troops.

It’s about the issues, and attacking me won’t actually make them go away.

I don’t accept that you fought for me. I didn’t ask you to do it, you volunteered. As far as I’m concerned you’ve been used to fight wars which were more about economic gain and global power than they ever were about my freedom. In doing so, you’ve actually created more problems and dangers, and possibly caused innocent people to suffer too. I can’t thank you for that, even if you were well intentioned. I’d rather you hadn’t done any of it, I’d rather you stayed home safe with your family, I’d rather discourage other young men and women from making the same choices. At the very least, I’d like to enable them to make a more informed choice.

It’s people who cheer for every war and tell young people it’s noble and heroic to die for their country who harm soldiers, not people like me who ask questions and try to encourage people to think and consider if military action is necessary or wise. If you’ve truly suffered and sacrificed, you have far more reason to be angry at them for causing you real loss and injury than to be angry at me for hurting your feelings.

Take a breath, read what we are actually saying, think about it. If you still disagree then come and say why in a calm, coherent fashion.

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3 thoughts on “So, you’ve seen this page and now you’re angry and offended.

  1. Very interesting website, impressively written article, and very well developed points. I seen a picture that one of my friends shared from you, and it was about how our patriots are invading other countries and killing their patriots. That’s one of the best things I’ve read about war, and it really puts a lot of it into perspective.

    After investigation of the page, I decided I was going to “like” it because I wanted a good source of anti-war (ish) news, but then I seen the title. Definitely a title that can be a little off putting given I’ve never seen much like it before, but I agree with it. At first, it kind of feels insultive, but, like you said, it’s really a positive belief that you’re enforcing. You’re tired of people killing and dying in the name of stupid things, and then us calling those people heroes.

    Lots of respect and keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, we will do our best. The title is provocative, but is a deliberate challenge to the blanket worship of soldiers regardless of what they may or may not have done, or to what end. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the site and thank you for your comment.

      Like

  2. No, not at all. I agree with you. I respect the military only to the extent that they are people. I don’t consider their job noble at all. Murder is murder despite being in a context society considers “okay”. And blindly following rules from your superior even when they collide with your personal values can hardly be considered courage or nobility. Overall there’s really nothing about it worth of admiration or worshiping. The fact that many people want their children to become soldiers and feel proud about it really turns my guts upside down… There is just something deeply wrong with it.
    However, I would just like to say I think we shouldn’t look at them with such anger or disregard… I see that there is much more to the military than meets the eye, you see it too, but I don’t think they see it. From what I see, they truly believe they are doing it for the greater good and they value obedience and patriotism (values that are of course distorted). Furthermore, I think it really must be a traumatizing job… To have to endure such atrocities and to be put in such situations of violence… And on top of that to take lives from other people… That must be like having your Humanity ripped off their chest.
    Anyways, I liked your posts and I’m interested in your blog so see you soon :).
    Claudia.

    Liked by 1 person

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