Joe Zarro responds
I will begin by saying I haven't read all of the responses posted to this rebuttal to my column, but I will try to find the time.
I sense a little hositility, but hopefully we can all be civil about this.
"He says nothing of the freedom that allows him to write this garbage without fear of being arrested for treason. He says nothing of the lives that were lost securing that freedom for him."
What this quote fails to realize is that the premise for my argument is that military conflicts are not securing my freedom, but rather securing finances. Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Kosovo and impending war on Iraq have done nothing to secure my freedom of speech. In fact, legislation passed during these periods has hindered freedom of press and speech. Desert Storm blocked the media from combat, learning from its "mistake" in Vietnam. I suspect many of you are in favor of the homeland security bill, which has added provision that limit the Freedom of Information Act, allowing government to be even more secretive than it already is. My ability, as a journalist, to keep an eye on government is significantly hindered thanks to these actions. Also, your duty as citizens to follow your government and maintain your republic is also affected.
For some reason I don't have the credibility to talk about the social effects of the military because I have never been "on the front lines." You don't have to be a part of something to know about it, or have an opinion on their actions. It is that attitude that limits free thought, and allows people to cast aside an opinion of somebody because you don't agree. You will never see me on the front lines -- I am in complete moral opposition to war, and would rather serve time in prison than spend time with a rifle. This isn't cowardice, a lack of sense for duty or hatred this country. Contrary to what many of you think, I do not hate America.
Although I feel like this is falling on deaf ears, I urge all of you to question the consequences of being a soldier. Try to realize that innocent civilians are driven from their homes, often stripped of their lives over complex issues that most of you obviously fail to grasp.
I never said it was all about oil. War cannot be reduced to "oil" or "freedom." They are geo-political struggles that have their roots in resources, politics, international power struggles, economic and physical security. What I try to point out is that today's conflicts are testimony to our imperialism.
If you want to write an appropriate response to this, you should argue that America is not imperialist.
Well this is all I have time for right now. Maybe I'll drop by for another visit. This is only the surface of my opinion.
The floor is yours, dear readers.