“Freedom isn’t Free” means more than sending American troops off to war, it requires the participatory citizenship of Americans here at home.
As it was with Vietnam, the War on Terror was a war of choice advocated for long before a political justification was introduced. Vietnam had its Gulf of Tonkin incident and the attacks of 9/11/01 brought us the 9/11 Wars. Investigative journalist Pepe Escobar’s “This war brought to you by” from 3/20/03 described how the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) had been lobbying since 1997 for wars in the Middle East and Asia. Retired General Wesley Clark was told by colleagues in the Pentagon just 9 days after the attacks of 9/11/01 that the upcoming War on Terror planned for the overthrow and regime change of 7 countries in 5 years (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran), as per the PNAC paper of September 2000. So far 5 of the 7 countries have been overthrown or destabilized, and Iran and Lebanon remain in the crosshairs of the current administration.
The government’s official story concerning the Gulf of Tonkin incident proved to be a deliberate misleading of the American people. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution, passed just 3 days after the supposed attack on U.S. destroyers off the coast of North Vietnam, allowed the White House to wage war in Vietnam for the next 8 years until the American people had had enough of it. The Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed overwhelmingly by Congress 3 days after the attacks of 9/11/01, with no investigation and very little debate, also gave the White House a blank check to wage war on “terrorism” … a behavior, not a nation state … anywhere and on anyone on the planet it saw fit. The AUMF of 9/14/01 continues to this day to be the sole justification used for the ongoing 9/11 Wars.
The “Masters of War” learned from Vietnam; next time do not impose a military draft, buy up and consolidate the media to control the messaging and reporting, and then get the entertainers and talking heads to celebrate anyone who wears a uniform as a “hero” for keeping us safe and protecting our “freedoms”. Let’s also remember Reich Marshall Hermann Goering’s statement at Nuremberg, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” So any questioning or protest of our wars abroad risks being viewed by one’s fellows as not supporting our troops sent into harm’s way on what history has shown most often to be a lie.
Until we the American people perform our own due diligence regarding the government’s “justification” for putting our troops into harm’s way, to include holding accountable to the fullest extent of the law those who have misled us into war, “thank you for your service” is not enough.