I was caught off guard by the number of American Muslims yesterday on Veteran’s Day making sappy, over the top paeans to military servicemen and how amazing they are and how much they have sacrificed for “defending our freedom.” How obsequious can you be? The last sustained ground invasion of American land was arguably the War of 1812 or the Revolutionary War. The only “defending” the American military industrial complex has been doing especially in the last 60 years is occupy, invade, and do whatever else it can do to maintain US strategic interests and hegemonic control of the world economy. And “collateral damage” in the form of millions of innocent lives be damned, whether they be Native Americans, Vietnamese, Iraqis, or Afghans, not to mention the victims of all of the US’s proxy wars all over the globe.

And you might say that while the US military juggernaut is to blame but not the individual servicemen, I disagree. How can you agree to join an organization that will make you a tool for wanton destruction and killing of innocent people? You can’t claim ignorance for something like that. It’s like you join the mob without doing the minimal amount of research to know what the mob does and how it does it. So no praising servicemen for their “immense sacrifice” from me. Instead, let’s praise conscientious objectors and critics of American imperialism who sacrificed their reputation and livelihood to take the unpopular stance standing up for what’s right.