All American solders swear an oath “..to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic” because that is the primary purpose of our armed forces. Yet since the end of the Cold War almost all of our foreign conflicts have not involve people who posed a direct threat to the United States or its Constitution. And as for enemies, we made them enemies of us when we took it upon ourselves to interfere in their affairs to protect the oil interests of Saudi Arabia, a dictatorship that share none of our values of freedom, equal rights, and democracy.
I recently watched a YouTube video of Retired Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff who in 2007 expressed our actions abroad (https://youtu.be/_8rbHwMXMT8) as he experienced it after several tours of duty. He said that all the people he fought and killed were no threat to our country or our Constitution and were people similar to us.
All these people really wanted is to live in their countries and raise and love their families just as we do. They kill us because we foreigners placed our troop on their soil who killed their family members while trying to impose the political will of the U.S. government upon them. I wonder how we would feel if they came to our country with overwhelming military force and imposed their political agenda upon us? Would we not resist them with all our might?
Yes some terrorist have come here and killed thousand of our citizens after our military presence in the Middle East for decades, but does that give us the right to escalate our presence with the Gulf War killing more than ten times as many people who had nothing to do with 9/11. Does this give us the right to continue our presence there a decade later to protect Saudi oil fields? Is such vengeance for 9/11 any better than Al Qaeda’s vengeance of us on 9/11? How does our subsequent actions make us any better than the barbarism we accuse them of and now of ISIS? Is this what we mean by our troops defending “..the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign..“? Whose democracy are we defending and against what threat?
It seems hypocritical of us to use our military might to achieve political aims by forcing people abroad to adopt democratic ways such as in Iraq that don’t even work for us when our real motives are to protect foreign oil. Why don’t we spend our hard earned tax dollars trying to help the poor in our own country raise above their level of poverty and education so they can become productive tax payer? It isn’t as if we have so much money that we can throw it away at making war with others. Why not have more compassion for our own people instead of vengeance against others abroad? How much do we really value human life when sending soldiers in the prime of life into harm’s way against perceived enemies who pose no real threat to the Constitution of the United States to kill as if the lives of these people were worth nothing? Are American live worth more than Arab lives? Does human life have unequal value?
Do our actions embodiment the spirit of the Declaration of Independence that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” when being pushed around by the British Crown? Maybe these words apply only to some Americans. How little we seem to have learned from our own history. We had less right to fight against Great Britain than the Arabs to fight against us since the colonies were part of the British Empire and the Middle East does not belong to the U.S. Or have we extended the Monroe Doctrine to the Middle East?