Fred Reed wrote a great column on the stupidity of going off to kill foreigners simply because "your country" tells you to:
Last night Vi and I watched for the first time a documentary, shot by my friend Jim Coyne, on Joan Baez and the movement against a war no one any longer remembers, far away, on another planet. It was lovely filmwork. Jim is a genius. I may have to stop having friends. I feel inferior to all of them. It gets depressing.
Of no interest to anyone but me, perhaps, it completely changed my understanding of Baez, whom I had regarded for forty years as just another pretty voice. No. Smart, tough, principled in a world that isn’t. I hereby apologize.
In that war—I forget what planet it was on—the freaks and professors and mothers and the simply decent finally managed stop the carnage, though only after the Pentagon had killed 60,000 American kids and a million or so Vietnamese, not to mention devastating Laos and bringing Pol Pot to power. God I’m proud. We’re such a force for democracy.
When the GIs left Asia in ’73, the commie peaceniks thought they had won. And they had, for ten minutes. The grip of the military on the country loosened briefly.
Unfortunately the soldiers learned. Not how to win wars, which they do poorly if at all, but how to keep a war going. Winning a war isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The promotions and contracts stop. When you are paid to do something, it is in your interest not to finish doing it.
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