I am a veteran. I served in Iraq in 2003. I took the time this morning to write an e-mail to Lew Rockwell at LewRockwell.com which he subsequently posted it on the sites blog. It can be viewed below and here. I also ask that anybody who feels the desire to leave jingoistic knee jerk comments to keep the language clean and constructive.
Subject: from a veteran on veteran’s day
I’m an Iraq veteran. I served with the British Army in 2003 but I currently reside in the US. This ‘Veteran’s Day’ crap irks me. Why do I want to be thanked? Is it because I helped kill poor ‘brown’ people in a foreign land for reasons nobody quite understands? Or is it because we got rid of a ‘despotic’ leader only to install an puppet of the American Government? Or is it for being a pawn of the Anglo-American empire that has helped to erode civil liberties in the western world through fear based propaganda peddled by Governments?
Today is always a fun day though. I get to wear my Ron Paul ‘just come home’ t-shirt. I like to get into conversations with people. Neo-cons are always the best. They literally short circuit when a veteran opposes the war based on moral and ethical reasons. Some even call me a traitor. I take that as a compliment. If being a traitor means I don’t have to kill innocent people in a far away world, than I’m okay with that.
I think we should have a ‘Collateral Damage’ day. We can all remember the innocent people who were killed by Anglo-American troops for nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I imagine neo-cons would again call me a traitor though….
For anybody who is wondering what the featured image is, it is a picture by a British journalist called Tim Hetherington. He took the picture of an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2008 and described it as showing “the exhaustion of a man and the exhaustion of a nation”.
It won the World Press Photo award in 2008.