Today it is the soldier, the recent veteran, Navy SEALS, the Army wives, and in general, anyone that has served the US military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere in the Middle East on its mission to disrupt, pummel, and kill an entire civilization and that benefits financially and receives and expects thanks for their dirty deeds on a daily basis.
Yesteryear was so different. The era when my parents joined the military was one in which truth prevailed, no one expected thanks, and the great majority that joined did so to escape poverty at home. The military was a great thing for my parents and both joined to see the world, learn about new cultures, and earn a decent living with many benefits. Neither of them expected you to pat them on the back every day and thank them for their service. Yes, prior to September 11, 2001, most people that joined the military did so to have a better life and had no issue admitting that fact. They were thankful for opportunities afforded by the military.
Things have changed, and not for the better. Following that fateful day in 2001, we had gang members from inner cities, bigots and racists, and people that needed a way out of the poverty they were destined to joining the military forces. I'm sure there were a few good guys in there somewhere, but they were not the majority by any level of measurement. While some may be secretly thankful for the change in destination, the great majority would prefer that those refusing to thank them for their service (like me) in the War on Terror were dead.
The people that claim to defend our freedoms today actually helped the US government bury any real freedoms forever. Our culture is all about war and death today. As former president G.W. Bush stated in September of 2001, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Blind obedience was what he demanded from the American people and over time it is exactly what he has received for the most part. The rest of us with questioning personalities were labeled terrorists, criminals, traitors, and agitators.
Mainstream media is to blame
I read an article several days ago in which the writer brought-up the importance of media in forming thoughts of the citizenry in the pro-war culture we exist in today and I cannot locate it - if I find it I'll link it herein. Anyway, shortly after September 11, 2001 (November 20th), my time was occupied by my arrest and the subsequent harassment by agents of the Orlando MBI. I had little time to think about what anyone was doing in the Middle East until after my trial and acquittal in January of 2003. I rarely watched television and I have not changed even today. Indeed, I was preoccupied.
Back in early 2003, before I took a long trip to South Texas, I was working with a friend on occasion as a caregiver for an elderly woman when my friend needed a night off or had some other reason that she couldn't be there. The woman that she took care of was named Marianne. Well, Marianne had the television on all night long and she'd sit in her chair, watching CNN, and cheering the embedded reporters and the military soldiers they traveled with in Iraq. Marianne was an armchair warrior like so many others in the US. After watching it for a short while, I couldn't take it anymore and stopped helping my friend.
The entire idea of embedded reporters sucked-in so many that were previously disconnected from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. For many of them, it was not much different than a game - like so many of those Xbox and Wii war and soldier games. Probably half of the country became armchair warriors during the years of embedded reporters. There is an entire generation that is growing-up with a war and death mentality that society has yet to deal with; good luck with that.
I mentioned Army wives in the second paragraph herein and it was included as a result of the tv show, "Army Wives" that seems to have taken over the Lifetime channel. I used to enjoy an occasional movie on Lifetime, such as, "The Interrogation of Michael Crowe," but these days the good ones are few and far between. I have never watched that show about Army wives and imagine that it has no interest except from, well, Army (include all military branches) wives to be general. Who gives a rat's behind? Not me. Some have jobs, but most live off of their husband's war pay (i.e. the American taxpayers).
Yeah, that last thought will result in yet unknown backlash, but whatever - if the shoe fits. It is a culture that appreciates, profits from, and even loves war. Somehow being called a traitor by any one of them diminishes the word in general. Yeah, we are all traitors because we do not support your war machine money tree. Right. How dare we abhor and speak out against killing and death! Get indignant because it fits the created mold.
The Information Game
Sometimes the information game is a game of misinformation as it is with Alex Jones. Jones and people like him killed the real 911 truth movement with wild, unsubstantiated theories, often referred to as conspiracy theories. As a result, anyone that doubts any information disseminated by the US government and its representatives today have the label of 'conspiracy theorist' or 'crazy lady'.
As if demanding to know where NORAD was on that fateful day that changed our society forever is somehow a conspiracy theory. As if knowing the real-time futures and options trade information for the time period surrounding that day can be categorized as theory at all. As if finding passports of the alleged terrorists in the rubble remaining or picturing jets hijacked with box cutters is not a conspiracy theory. Not all of us fell off of the turnip truck somewhere in Idaho.
Along came Bradley Manning, accused whistleblower extraordinaire. How dare he help the American people to be more informed and know precisely what these warriors are really doing in their name. How dare he. Go ahead - be indignant and call him the traitor of all traitors because it fits the mold you have created. We are supposed to be like the image of the three monkeys and remain silent while murder, death, and the end of an entire civilization takes place in our name. We dare not speak lest we also be called traitor. Yup, you've got the system down to a perfection and this is your time to shine.
Of course none of that real and accurate information could have been disseminated without the involvement of those real journalists and publishers that had no interest in embedded reporters from CNN et al. of past. Today we also have the information advantage of hacktivists and an entirely different culture that is sick and tired of lies, murder, drones, and armchair warriors. Yes, you can apply that 'traitor' label as we expect you to, but it won't shut anyone down on the topic. We know that the true meaning of the label was diminished long before you entered the game and is utterly meaningless today, at least as it relates to the actual definition.
So pull out those angry, indignant sock puppets and promote your cause, which is little more than money in your bank account. You may fool most of the people, but many are drugged these days so that's not any sort of accomplishment. You will never fool all of the people.
Oh how I long for the days of time past.