Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On Armistice Day

Today is Veteran's Day is the U.S. but originally today was called Armistice Day. Today commemorates the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Over time, the day has morphed into Veteran's day and I feel like that is unfortunate.

Veteran's Day has turned into a celebration of all things military instead of the somber remembrance of war that it should be. War is always industrialized mass murder and a military is the organization dedicated to carrying out industrialized mass murder.

Armistice Day began as a way to remember those who died in the calamity of World War I. When President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill creating Armistice Day into law he said the purpose of the day was to "be dedicated to the cause of world peace."

I wish that instead of a day glorifying the military we could actually work on the original cause for the day. One way we could do this we be to look at just what a calamity war really is. We could perhaps reflect on the fact that there were nearly 11,000 casualties on the last day of World War I that occurred after the Armistice was signed but before it could take effect.

We could look to World War II, which as we all know was an unambiguous "good war." The war started when Hitler's Germany invaded Poland and when the war ended Stalin's Soviet Union occupied Poland.

Perhaps instead of taking pride in our immense military might we think about what it actually gets us. War is more destructive then we ever imagine and as we enter into our eighth year in Afghanistan with the capture of Bin Laden looking less and less likely it should be clear that we are not going to get out of the war in Afghanistan what we put in.

Perhaps if we reflected on these things then we would see war as the stupid and sadistic state of affairs that it really is then we might come closer to the original intent of the day.

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