Stop Telling Veterans That They Are Heroes


Veterans are not heroes! Veterans are also not bad people; many wanted to make the world a better place – but they couldn’t see past the propaganda and ended up serving the MIC (Military Industrial Complex or Military Intelligence Complex) to further the aims of the Anglo-Zionist Empire.

Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw has a popular post going around on Twitter at the moment admonishing Senator Bernie Sanders for saying that the US government should not go to war if it can’t afford to take care of its veterans.

“Watching Bernie pander to different groups to get their vote has always disgusted me, but now it’s personal,” Crenshaw tweeted. “I didn’t go to war so that you would take care of me, Bernie. I went because I wanted to serve and our country needed it.”

This “look at me, I’m a veteran” song and dance is par for course with Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who lost an eye to an improvised explosive device on his third deployment in America’s evil and unjustifiable Afghanistan occupation. When Crenshaw says “I went because I wanted to serve and our country needed it,” he is being delusional, and feeding into his delusion allows him to continue dominating public discourse with obnoxiously propagandistic takes like the notion that the US should continue its forever war without even so much as ensuring that it can take care of the people whose lives are chewed up and spat outby the imperial war machine.

Dan Crenshaw did not serve his country. Dan Crenshaw is not a hero. Dan Crenshaw participated in a military occupation that after 18 years and counting has claimed tens of thousands of lives for no benefit to any ordinary American at all. All he served during his time in that country was the geostrategic imperialist agendas of unaccountable government agencies and the profit margins of war plutocrats, yet upon returning home he’s been able to convert his stint as a glorified hired thug into social collateral which got him elected to the US House of Representatives and secured him a punditry platform from which he can spout war propaganda. All because people agree to play along with the completely nonsensical narrative that US war veterans are heroes.

You see this time and time again: a completely fact-free fairy tale about heroism and fighting for freedom is treated as unquestionable dogma by a populace who has agreed to treat US war veterans with reverence and respect, despite the fact that they chose to pour their time and energy into what is literally the most unhelpful and destructive endeavor that you could possibly devote yourself to. This unquestioning reverence is then consistently twisted into leverage for war propagandists to use in glorifying acts of mass military slaughter which benefitted no one and made the whole world worse.

The tightly controlled narrative about American veterans being heroes is always, always, always used to advance war propaganda and never to accomplish anything that is of service to mankind. It’s an impulse which serves no one but the powerful. Of course veterans of US wars should be taken care of, and taken care of far better than they currently are, but not because they are heroes. Rather, they should be cared for because they spent time in a highly traumatic environment which sends home many highly traumatized people who will need a lot of help in order to reintegrate into society in a healthy way. What they went through was a horrible tragedy that nobody should ever have to go through, not a glorious thing that more people should aspire to enlist into.

It is more cognitively comfortable for veterans and their families to maintain the fairy tale that those who helped facilitate US imperialism are heroes who did something helpful and meaningful, but the fact that human minds are preconditioned to select for cognitive easeis a glitch in our operating systems which causes unhelpful cognitive biases; it’s a flaw we need to overcome, not a virtue to be coddled. By continuing to coddle it you are facilitating war propaganda, and war propaganda is the indispensable foundation of war itself. By facilitating war propaganda you are participating in the war machine as surely as someone who takes up arms and fights in it, only less honest because, as Representative Crenshaw’s face attests, at least someone who takes up arms is putting some real skin in that monstrous game.

It’s like veterans are engaged with us in a bizarre live action role-playinggame, where they pretend to be the heroes and the rest of us pretend to be the thankful civilians whose freedoms they fought for. But continuing to LARP with them in this way creates nonsense like we see in Crenshaw’s tweet, and in the ridiculous smears against NFL players choosing to take a knee during the national anthem, and in the bleating of “Support our troops!” as a one-line shutdown of anyone who protested the Iraq invasion.

Don’t participate in that stupid, war-facilitating, power-serving LARP. Don’t say “Thank you for your service” to veterans. Don’t pretend to agree with them when they claim to have fought for your freedom and democracy. Openly disagree with people who promulgate this narrative. Treat Veterans Day and Memorial Day as days of grieving and truth-telling, not celebration and glorification. The worshipful propaganda narratives that have been built up around veterans are an important cog in the war machine’s consent factory, and they should be attacked as unapologetically as war propaganda narratives about what’s going on in Syria or Iran.

“But Caitlin!” you may say. “What about World War Two veterans?”

Well, fine, but they’re in their nineties now and you should probably be telling them whatever they want to hear anyway. And while we’re on the subject, do you notice how far back you had to reach in US history to find a war in which veterans arguably fought for a just cause? The fact that the last possible example is on the cusp of living memory tells you all you need to know about your impulse to argue with me on this one.

I’m not saying to be mean to veterans, and I’m not saying veterans are bad people, in fact, one of the most heinous injustices about these corporate wars is that they turn many of our finest and bravest young people toward the very most toxic and pernicious ends possible. Many of them sincerely enlisted due to an impulse to help make the world a better place; it’s the same impulse which led Julian Assange to set up a leaking outlet to help expose unaccountable power structures, the only difference is that Assange saw clearly through the fog of propaganda and they did not. But the reverence and fairy tales have got to go.

There are no war heroes. There are only war victims. It’s time to grow up and stop pretending otherwise.


Alexander Jacques September 19, 2019 - 5:20 am

My father and his three brothers served in the first World War, first two brothers in the British navy, third brother in the army(killed and buried somewhere) fourth brother was a USA Marine and an Engineer who cleared the way for the advancing brigades. My brother and sister served in the second world war, he was killed and is buried in Holland. My sister survived and married a veteran prisoner who spent 5 years in a Japanese war prison. I lived away from the original family until I was 13 years old. Then I returned to it and met my relatives and father and stepmother. Of course I was amazed at this change and did question my father often, One time I asked him what he thought about wars, He said to me, We have no choice, Alex, we have to kill them. it took me quite a while to figure that one out, I am one of 20 children, one father, two mothers 10 in each group. My oldest sister, being a veteran, I discussed wars with her also and found that wars were not pleasant to say the least.
In my late 20,s I got quite drunk with my brother in law and we ended up in the Navy. I stayed in for 3 months and when I realized it was a brain programming session , I gave them a hard time and was finally released, That was a good move and it relieved me greatly. I will be 89 years old next month on the 20th, I have learned much about life and the world during my time on this planet, We have not advanced much from the animal world as we continue to kill each other as the animals do. When my father told me, We must kill them I came to the conclusion that war was only for one reason, I am convinced that it is a system of population control, Think about it, we would not be able to feed the exploded population numbers if we had no wars. so my father was correct in one way, But I do think we should find a more sensible way to accomplish this mission, The world we live in on this planet is very young. I am sure it will change drastically in time and I wish everyone a great future , thank all of you for the opportunity to write about it. Alexander Alfred, Aiken, Jacques

Dennis O'Neill September 19, 2019 - 8:24 am

That is a fascinating family history. I would suggest that war is more about resource control and population control though not in the sense you are suggesting because the earth can support a larger human population than exits if its resources are managed well, but rather population control in the sense that when the permanent US war for profits machine kills a sizeable number of young men and kills and traumatizes a large number of innocent women and children of whatever resource rich country it wants to exploit, then the capitalist gangsters can move in easily to steal the labor and resources of its trauma victims. That’s the population control aspect of war that is intentional and it’s motives are not to make the earth a Garden of Eden, but a Gesthemane where people can be traumatized and their resources easily stolen by thugs.

Alexander Jacques September 19, 2019 - 8:46 am

I agree with your statement completely. You are much better educated than I and you explain government control in a true way, I understand what you have written , our stories may be a little different but are similar in many ways ,Thank you very much for your reply, I appreciated it. Alex

Dennis O'Neill September 19, 2019 - 1:57 pm

Thank you for sharing your history and while I agree with your assessment of humanity I am encouraged that much of humanity is awakening to the incredible deceptions we have been under. It is now well established and increasingly more widely known that WWI, WWII, the Great Depression and all the US wars were intentionally engineered for maximum exploitation by elite, mostly by people in the UK, but also in the US and elsewhere. None of the wars happened the way the propaganda history books we’re forced to read in indoctrination camps called schools happened as written. Israel is a creation of collaboration by racist supremacist Zionists, the UK and the US and its sole purpose was a divide and conquer wedge to use to gain control of the oil and gas resources in the ME. Large numbers of devout, Orthodox Jews were vehemently opposed to its creation and huge numbers remain opposed to it today. Human history is divide and conquer and there is now overwhelming evidence that off planet beings are deeply involved in human affairs and have been. Disclosure of our real human history is being trial ballooned even in propaganda mainstream rags like the New York Times which has had a decent number of pieces on ET’s and now a Congressman is making substantive inquiries of the Navy on the subject. Things are looking up for human societal evolution.

Alexander Jacques September 19, 2019 - 3:45 pm

thank you once more, Dennis, I appreciate your stories, Please keep them coming. you are an interesting writer on government affairs and the crooks therein.

JayTe September 19, 2019 - 5:51 am

Dear Catilin, Although I understand your point of view, I don’t share your sentiment. Maybe you were aware of all that was going on in the world at 18 years of age, but many of us were not. Fortunately for myself, I knew that I could never be part of the military because of experiences of people in my family as well as certain films made me aware of the daft things you would be forced to do since it you didn’t you could be courtmartialed. But others who had a different experience believed in that they would be serving a greater purpose than themselves by joining the military. When some come to realise the truth, they do their time and get out. Others whose only skills are what they learned in the military, stay in or apply those skills in the private sector. I don’t look down up them. I only hope that they were not forced to do things that would compromise their integrity in the name of uncle Sam. Any person who chooses to serve and does it with integrity is someone to be respected. It goes the same for everybody irrespective of the country. Even those who fought for Germany at the front. For those who killed innocent civilians be it going house to house in Fallujah or in concentration camps is another story. They are the ones to be scorned, despised and prosecuted for war crimes.

Dennis O'Neill September 19, 2019 - 8:23 am

You mostly seemed to miss the entire point of this opinion piece perhaps because you suffer from delusions that war is an honorable, productive way for humans to resolve differences and/or fail to see what Gen. Smedley Butler saw so long ago after “serving” his country when toward the end of his career he realized he was little more than a gangster for capitalist thugs. The US permanent war for profits of a select few has been operating almost continuously for the entire history of America including slaughtering the indigenous people who were here as we’ve been at war for over 90% of the time the U.S. has existed, and almost all unnecessary wars of imperialism. This piece doesn’t disrespect or suggest denigrating people naive or desperate enough to be canon fodder for false flag wars like our most recent unwinnable endless wars for energy resources and some portals, only that we don’t believe the bullshit narrative you lap up like it’s a chocolate cake.

tomnchrist October 2, 2019 - 12:48 pm

It falls more on the Congress and all of Government to determine when and who we go to war with. Then bring that responsibility down to the Citizenry, who either voted for the Government in power, or who lazily let it happen by not voting or standing up against it. The GI in the foxhole, ship or Airplane is obliged to follow the lawful orders of the government, and is a hero for doing it.

Arlyn Tombleson October 8, 2019 - 6:38 pm

I have said for the past 40 years that we should not be saying that soldiers are heroes myself. I’m glad that you have said it as it is bandied around all too often. We were the invaders from the Fascist US empire to distribute drugs world-wide for the insidious CIA in Burma, Laos Vietnam and Thailand. It was also to Catholicise Vietnam as there was a secret deal to bring millions fof Catholics from North Vietnam

My father served in the US Navy for 24 years and went to the Gulf of Tonkin in which that was the kickoff for the Vietnam war in which all of the politicians like to call it a”conflict” That was just another lie of Vietnamese PT boats attacking a ship in which my father was on the USS Ticonderoga at the time. He did two tours of the gulf.
The US commander of the ship lied and President Johnson lied about the so-called incident to start the invasion and occupation of Vietnam and decades later confessed.
It is all about “Full Spectrum Dominance” Goggle it

30-Year Anniversary: Tonkin Gulf Lie Launched Vietnam War

What really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964

I was in the 25th Infantry Division 1st Battalion 5th Infantry mechanized from May 1968-1969

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