Memorial Day is Based on a Lie

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Today, Memorial Day, Americans across the land will hear the same message: that U.S. soldiers who have died in America’s foreign wars and foreign interventions have done so in the defense of our rights and freedoms. It is a message that will be heard in sporting events, memorial services, airports, churches, and everywhere else that Memorial Day is being commemorated.

There is one big thing wrong, however. It’s a lie. None of those soldiers died protecting our rights and freedoms. That’s because our rights and freedoms were never being threatened by the enemy forces that killed those soldiers.

Let’s work our way backwards.

Syria. The Syrian government has never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who has died in Syria was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Niger. The Niger government has never invaded the United States and tried to take away our freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who has died in Niger was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Iraq. The Iraq government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who has died in Iraq was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Afghanistan. The Afghan government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who has died in Afghanistan was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms. Even al-Qaeda never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Its terrorist attacks, including the one on 9/11, were retaliation for U.S. interventionism in the Middle East.

Panama. The Panama government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who died in Panama was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Grenada. The Grenada government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who died in Grenada was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Vietnam. The North Vietnam government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who died in Vietnam was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Korea. The North Korean government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who died in Korea was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

World War II.

The Japanese government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who died in the Pacific theater in World War II was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms. The Japanese attack on U.S. Naval forces on Hawaii was intended solely to prevent the U.S. Navy from interfering with Japanese attempts to acquire oil in the Dutch East Indies in response to President Roosevelt’s oil embargo, whose aim was to provoke the Japanese into attacking the United States so that the U.S. could get into the European part of war.

The German government never invaded the United States and try to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who died in the European theater in World War II was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms. Germany wasn’t even able to cross the English Channel to invade England, much less the Atlantic Ocean to invade the United States. In fact, the last thing that Germany wanted was war with the United States, as reflected by Germany’s refusal to react to President Roosevelt’s repeated provocations to get Germany to attack the United States. Germany only declared war on the United States after FDR successfully provoked the Japanese into attacking the U.S. Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor, in the hope that this would provide a back door to entry into the war in Europe.

World War I. The German government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who died in World War I was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms, especially given the ridiculous aims of U.S. intervention into the war: to “end all wars” and to “make the world safe for democracy,” a word that isn’t even in the U.S. Constitution. In fact, it is perversely ironic that it was U.S. interventionism into the conflict that contributed to the rise of Nazi Germany and World War II.

The Spanish-American War. The Spanish government never invaded the United States and tried to take away our rights and freedoms. Therefore, any soldier who died in the Spanish-American War was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

So, why the lie? Why keep saying that U.S. soldiers have died protecting our rights and freedoms?

Because the truth is too embarrassing and too shameful, especially when one is an ardent supporter of all or some of these foreign wars and interventions. It’s easier to salve one’s conscience by simply buying into the lie, a lie, needless to say, that is advanced in every public (i.e., government) school across the land.

The idea is that if everyone is made to believe the lie, then everything is fine.

That’s one big reason why statists resent us libertarians. We don’t countenance the lie. We speak the truth. None of those U.S. soldiers who are being honored today died protecting our rights and freedoms because the forces that killed them were never trying to take away our rights and freedoms.

Libertarians are much like therapists. We cause people to face truth and reality. But the problem is that all too many people don’t want truth and reality. They like living the life of the lie. It’s comfortable. It’s safe. It enables them to continue supporting the foreign wars and interventions and thanking the troops for protecting our rights and freedoms, even if it isn’t so.

Oftentimes, people go a real therapist to figure out why they are feeling depressed, despondent, or anxious. After one or two visits, however, many of them quit and run for the hills. That’s because the therapist is causing them to confront the truth and reality regarding their personal situation. But that’s not what they want. They want to be healed without having to confront their life of the lie and their denial of reality.

It’s the same with so many Americans who continue to support foreign wars and foreign interventions. You can see it especially at big sporting events, where the public-address announcer asks everyone to stand up and honor the troops who are protecting our rights and freedoms. Most everyone immediately rises and, practically with tears in his eyes, begins cheering. The same lie is repeated in church pulpits across the land. The congregation dutifully recites, “Let us pray for the troops, who are protecting our rights and freedoms.”

Meanwhile, there is mass drug addiction and alcoholism across the land. Ever-rising suicide rates. Mass murders for unexplained reasons. All this mostly by people who spent 12 years of their lives, six hours a day, five days a week, being molded and formed by government officials in public schools.

Add to all that the loss of liberty that Americans have suffered at the hands of their own government, which now wields the omnipotent power to assassinate them, incarcerate them without trial, torture them, and secretly spy on them, all with the aim of protecting their rights and freedoms. And with hardly anyone noticing how perversely ironic all this is, especially on Memorial Day, when so many Americans are honoring the troops who, they are convinced, died protecting our rights and freedoms.

It’s what a life of the lie — a life that denies reality — does to a society.


Originally published on 2018-05-28

About the author: Jacob G. Hornberger is the founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

Source: The Future of Freedom Foundation

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