Does the Military Defend Our First Amendment Freedoms?
It happens almost every time I write an article that is critical of the U.S. military. But it happens every time I write an article on Veterans Day that is critical of the U.S. military.
In either case, I get a few e-mails that upbraid me for daring to criticize the military and its soldiers—as if you could really separate the two. The soldiers, after all, are the ones who do the actual fighting. You can’t have a war without soldiers.
Sometimes the writer of one of these e-mails informs me of his current or previous military service, but usually not. In fact, most of the criticisms I receive in response to my articles about the military are not from soldiers at all. They are typically from armchair warriors, employees of defense contractors, or people who have had a relative in the military—none of whom have ever “served” a day in the military. I can’t even remember the last time a Vietnam Veteran wrote me and expressed anything but anger and regret for what he did while fighting in Vietnam.
One of the usual statements that my critics make is something along the lines of this: U.S. soldiers fight and bleed and die so that you can have the right to write the (bullshit, crap, nonsense, lies, hate, garbage, baloney, drivel, tribe, gibberish) that you do.
Here is an actual example, and it is from a veteran:
I just read your column on your feelings towards U.S. Marines. I could not disagree with you more. If you actually read this I’d like to ask you two simple questions.
- Who gave you the right to write such a piece?
- Who allowed you to print it?
You never gave it second thought did you? You most likely wear your 1st Amendment right of free speech on your sleeve and wave it for any critic to see how YOU have the RIGHT to write such dtibble.
Your and your
Article from LewRockwell