I read this article and pretty much agree 100% with its synopsis. What do you guys think about this? The Troops Don’t Defend Our Freedoms by Jacob G. Hornberger How often do we hear the claim that American troops “defend our freedoms”? The claim is made often by U.S. officials and is echoed far and wide across the land by television commentators, newspaper columnists, public-school teachers, and many others. It’s even a common assertion that emanates on Sundays from many church pulpits. Unfortunately, it just isn’t so. In fact, the situation is the exact opposite – the troops serve as the primary instrument by which both our freedoms and well-being are threatened. Let’s examine the three potential threats to our freedoms and the role that the troops play in them: 1. Foreign regimes Every competent military analyst would tell us that the threat of a foreign invasion and conquest of America is nonexistent. No nation has the military capability of invading and conquering the United States. Not China, not Russia, not Iran, not North Korea, not Syria. Not anyone. To invade the United States with sufficient forces to conquer and “pacify” the entire nation would take millions of foreign troops and tens of thousands of ships and planes to transport them across the Atlantic or Pacific ocean. No foreign nation has such resources or military capabilities and no nation will have them for the foreseeable future. After all, think about it: the U.S. army, the most powerful military force in all of history, has not been able to fully conquer such a small country as Iraq because of the level of domestic resistance to a foreign invasion. Imagine the level of military forces that would be needed to conquer and “pacify” a country as large and well-armed as the United States. I repeat: No foreign nation has the military capability to invade the United States, conquer our country, subjugate our people, and take away our freedoms. Therefore, the troops are not needed to protect our freedoms from this nonexistent threat. 2. Terrorists Despite widespread fears to the contrary, there is no possibility that terrorists will conquer the United States, take over the government, and take away our freedoms. At most, they are able to kill thousands of people, with, say, suicide bombs but they lack the military forces to subjugate the entire nation or any part of it. Equally important, while the troops claim that they are protecting us from “the terrorists,” it is the troops themselves – or, more precisely, the presidential orders they have loyally carried out – that have engendered the very terrorist threats against which the troops say they are now needed to protect us. Think back to 1989 and the years following – when the Berlin Wall fell, East and West Germany were united, Soviet troops withdrew from Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union was dismantled. The Pentagon didn’t know what to do. Unexpectedly, its 50-year-old “official enemy” was gone. (The Soviet Union had previously been America’s “ally” that had “liberated” Eastern Europe from Nazi Germany.) With the fall of the Soviet empire (and, actually, before the fall), the obvious question arose: Why should the United States continue to have an enormous standing army and spend billions of dollars in taxpayer money to keep it in existence? The Pentagon was in desperate search for a new mission. “We can be a big help in the war on drugs,” the Pentagon said. To prove it, U.S. military forces even shot to death 18-year-old American citizen Esequiel Hernandez in 1997, as he tended his goats along the U.S.-Mexican border. “We’ll help American businesses compete in the world.” “We’ll readjust NATO’s mission to protect Europe from non-Soviet threats.” “We’ll protect us from an unsafe world.” Then along came the Pentagon’s old ally, Saddam Hussein, to whom the United States had even entrusted weapons of mass destruction to use against the Iranian people, and gave America’s standing army a new raison d’être. Invading Kuwait over an oil-drilling dispute, Saddam provided the Pentagon with a new official enemy, one that would last for more than 10 continuous years. Obeying presidential orders to attack Iraq in 1991, without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, the troops ended up killing tens of thousands of Iraqis. Obeying Pentagon orders to attack Iraq’s water and sewage facilities, the troops accomplished exactly what Pentagon planners had anticipated – spreading deadly infections and disease among the Iraqi people. Continuing to obey presidential orders in the years that followed, the troops enforced what was possibly the most brutal embargo in history, which ended up contributing to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, deaths that U.S. officials said were “worth it.” Obeying presidential orders, the troops enforced the illegal “no-fly zones” over Iraq, which killed even more Iraqis, including children. Obeying presidential orders, the troops established themselves on Islamic holy lands with full knowledge of the anger and resentment that that would produce among devout Muslims. Obeying presidential orders, the troops invaded and occupied Iraq without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, killing and maiming tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis – that is, people whose worst “crime” was to resist the unlawful invasion of their homeland by a foreign power. All that death and destruction – both pre-9/11 and post-9/11 – have given rise to terrible anger and hatred against the United States, which inspired the pre-9/11 attacks, such as the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, and the attacks on overseas U.S. embassies, the 9/11 attacks, and the terrorist threats our nation faces today. Through it all, the Pentagon simply echoed the claims of the president – that all the death and destruction and humiliation that the U.S. government had wreaked on people in the Middle East, as well as its unconditional military and financial foreign aid to the Israeli government, had not engendered any adverse feelings in the Middle East against the United States. Instead, the president and the Pentagon claimed, the problem was that the terrorists simply hated America for its “freedom and values.” If the American people had dismantled the nation’s standing army when the Soviet empire was dismantled, the federal government would have lacked the military means to meddle and intervene in the Middle East with unconstitutional military operations, sanctions, no-fly zones, bases, invasions, and occupations. Therefore, there never would have been the terrorists attacks against the United States and a “war on terrorism” for the troops to fight, not to mention the USA PATRIOT Act, secret search warrants and secret courts, the Padilla doctrine, and other federal infringements on our rights and freedoms. Finally, but certainly important, despite being the most powerful standing army in the world, the U.S. troops were not even able to protect Americans from terrorist acts, as best evidenced by two terrorist attacks on the same target – the World Trade Center, first in 1993 and then again in 2001. 3. The federal government As our Founding Fathers understood so well, the primary threat to our freedom lies with our own government. That’s in fact why we have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – to protect us and our freedoms from federal officials. If the federal government did not constitute such an enormous threat to our freedoms, there would be no reason to have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Yet, what is the primary means by which a government takes away the freedoms of its citizenry? Our American ancestors gave us the answer: its military forces. That is in fact why many of our Founding Fathers opposed a standing, professional military force in America – they knew not only that such a force would be used to involve the nation in costly, senseless, and destructive wars abroad but also that government officials would inevitably use the troops to ensure a compliant and obedient citizenry at home. Consider the words of James Madison: A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people. Here’s how Patrick Henry put it: A standing army we shall have, also, to execute the execrable commands of tyranny; and how are you to punish them? Will you order them to be punished? Who shall obey these orders? Will your mace-bearer be a match for a disciplined regiment? Would U.S. troops obey presidential orders to deploy against the American people and take away our freedoms?