People like me who are opposed to war are often pitted against those who serve their country. This is a rhetorical trick, of course, which can easily be turned on the tricksters. After all, those who advocate sending young men and women to fight and die and get maimed in wars and occupations of choice are on thin ice when they claim to “support” the brave individuals they use as geopolitical pawns.
It’s sad and unfortunate that the military-industrial machine provides the only sure-fire jobs program for the poor in this country.
My beef is with the trap, not the quarry. (Since this is such a simple distinction, I have to assume the righties who don’t get it are being disingenuous. Or, in some cases, maybe they’re just plain dumb.)
I recently found my photo above was used on the cover of a newsletter (PDF) put out by the Navy League of Santa Barbara, a civilian non-profit organization in support of sea service personnel.*
You know I’m not going to be all rah rah for this group, or agree with them politically on much (if anything). But we can surely agree that, whatever our political differences, the life choices of individual sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen are not at issue.
(Did I ever mention I was a finalist for a Navy ROTC scholarship before withdrawing? How different my life might have been if I’d gone to sea as a junior commissioned officer instead of on the road with a band of hippies. And speaking of my photos being picked up, the ad agency that was putting together the annual report for NW Natural — sheesh, another Neil Goldschmidt connection — bought the rights to use this photo, but they never used it, apparently, at least not in anything I could find publicly.)
*The photo, like most of my photos on flickr, is offered to anyone for free use under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike license. My thanks to the Navy League of Santa Barbara for adhering to this license and giving proper attribution. I’ve found several instances where people have felt inclined to use my photos without following the simple terms of the CC license.