As the United States gears up for its annual mourning orgy for dead U.S. soldiers, there are some words and terms that are bandied about, that are meant to either comfort the survivors, lighten the impact of U.S. war-making, or possibly both. We will take a few moments to look at three of them.
- Fallen Soldier: how benign! A ‘fallen soldier’! So much more pleasant than the truth: a dead man or woman; a son or daughter, mother or father, brother, sister, friend, etc. is dead. He or she has been blown to bits in some foreign country where the poor victim had no business being, but joined the ‘service’ (see below), to uphold the U.S. Constitution, protect the border, maintain national security, or so they were told. They were never advised of the real reason: protecting corporate interests by strengthening U.S. power around the world. And now they are dead, rotting in a grave, sacrificed on the altar of the almighty dollar.
- Gold Star Family, and its variations: Gold Star Mother or Father. This is another gentle term to describe the family of the dead soldier. A gap now exists in the family; this could be a beloved brother or sister that is now forever missing, and/or a mother or father, which can never be replaced, or husband or wife, who will never be forgotten. But let’s not discuss such unpleasantness; wave the flag at the Gold Star family a few times a year, put hand on heart as a tear comes to the eye, and then forget them and the unending grief they feel for a lost loved one. And, of course, continue to ‘support the troops’ by sending more of them to early graves.
- Service: We have saved the best for last. The U.S. government has skillfully convinced the U.S. citizen-lemmings of a new definition of service. First, let’s look at a definition found quickly by doing an online search: “Service: the action of helping or doing work for someone”. That, to this writer’s mind, is a good, concise definition of ‘service’. The U.S. government, however, has been able to convince the populace that when they enter into a legal agreement with the United States, and are stripped of many of their basic rights, then sent to foreign lands to kill the people living there, it is ‘service’. It is ‘service’ to operate a drone in the U.S., target people one has never seen in person, and kill them, often killing those around them. It is ‘service’ to break into homes at all hours of the day and night, terrorize and interrogate the people living there, and then arrest all the males over the age of 12. One supposes that in a very broad sense, this could be seen as helping ‘someone’, since the U.S. Supreme Court has declared corporations to be people (does not EVERYONE see this as totally bizarre?). And certainly, the work that soldiers often die doing serves corporate America.
- Also, the actions described above could be seen as ‘doing work for someone’. U.S government officials don’t want to dirty their own hands, so they get young citizens to do their dirty work for them.
But at least, one might say, they are highly regarded by the government for this so-called ‘service’. Well, no. We will look at just a few examples from history.
On August 4 of 1964, U.S. ships patrolling