Soldiers Never Died For Your Freedom Rejecting the lies of empire.

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Jesus and his disciples had a lot to say about how Christians should treat other people. He even went as far as telling his followers that they must love their enemies if they want to be considered a child of God. This is a radically difficult and counter-cultural command that has far reaching implications.

If Jesus commanded people to love every person, including enemies, then that rules out going to war against them. The early Church understood Christ’s command this way. They forbid service in the military because it would require killing enemies instead of loving them. It only took 300 years after the time of Jesus for mankind to invent a theology to get around this command. Ever since then Christians have been killing their enemies instead of loving them. This has been justified for many reasons over the centuries.

Today in America the justification for ignoring Christ’s command to love our enemies is the excuse that soldiers have fought and died for the very freedom that allows us to worship God. Therefore, the logic is that it is a necessary exception to following Jesus because it is what allows us to follow Jesus. While this certainly wasn’t the mindset of the early Church and those closest to Jesus, it has become the narrative of the day.

There is just one problem.

Dying for Freedom?

There is a story that the empire of America echos every chance it gets: 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 can be heard at sporting events, memorial services, airports, churches, and everywhere else that anyone will listen.

There is one major 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. To many this sounds like a bold claim. Prove it, right? Let’s take a look at every major military conflict that the U.S. has been in, starting from the most recent (at the time of this writing) to the oldest.

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.

Pakistan

The Pakistan 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 Pakistan was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Libya

The Libyan government has never invaded the United States and tried to take away our freedoms. Therefore, any U.S. soldier who has died in Libya 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.

Somalia

The Somali 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 Somalia was not killed protecting our rights and freedoms.

Iraq

The Iraq 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 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 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 (to fulfill its treaty obligations) after FDR successfully provoked the Japanese into attacking the U.S. Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor, in hopes 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.

Never Ending War

Why Lie?

So, why the lie? Why keep saying that U.S. soldiers have died protecting our rights and freedoms? Perhaps 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. But more importantly, the lie is necessary for the empire to continue to survive. This is why keeping up the lie becomes “a matter of national security.”

After World War II the war machine never turned back off. An entire industry that profited from war was built and was never torn back down. President Eisenhower, in his farewell address, warned the American people: “Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. …we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions… we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Since that time, the American economy has transformed around profiting from war and the spoils they bring. It is ironic that in Eisenhower’s warning, he used the imagery of makers of plowshares making swords. The prophet Isaiah prophesied a time when God’s people would beat their swords into plowshares, weapons transformed into instruments of agriculture, and there would be no more war (Isaiah 2:4). Scripture identifies this prophesied time as the arrival of Jesus Christ. With the coming of Jesus, war has been abolished as his followers now work for peace instead of war.

Isaiah prophesied the work of Christ and his peace. Eisenhower prophesied the work of anti-christ and its war.

The Lies Work

The lie that America fights for freedom is a lie that is repeated endlessly from grade school and onward in attempts to indoctrinate. In fact, the indoctrination is so perfect that it actually doesn’t matter what the troops are doing overseas. Whatever they are doing is automatically considered to be “defending our freedom.”

Consider a hypothetical. Suppose there is some country thousands of miles away that is minding its own business. There are no attacks on the United States or even threats to attack the United States. The only problem is that the regime is not sufficiently submissive to the U.S. government. The U.S. government decides to invade the country and install a pro-U.S. regime. The troops are sent into battle. Some are killed. Countless more people are killed on the other side.

There is no doubt that millions of Americans will automatically conclude that those U.S. troops killed and died “defending our freedom”, notwithstanding the fact that our freedom was never at risk. Remember: that hypothetical country never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. Yet, many Americans will nonetheless honor their brave and courageous soldiers who died or lost arms or legs while “defending our freedom.” It is how the indoctrinated mind works.

But, how can we be so certain that that’s the way many Americans would react to that hypothetical situation?

Because that’s what happened with Iraq, a country whose government never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. Thus, not one single U.S. soldier died in Iraq “defending our freedom” because our freedom was never threatened by Iraq.

Reject the Lie

Over 120 countries have freedom of religion and none of them have soldiers fighting all over the world to maintain it. The majority of countries have freedom of speech. And, for all the military bases that the U.S. has (it has around 800) in over 70 countries, America still isn’t the freest country in the world.1 America is outranked by 16 other countries for having the most freedom.2

If you invade another country, you aren’t defending your country — you are attacking people who are defending their country from you.

As Sun Tzu, a Chinese general and author of The Art of War, once wrote, “all warfare is based on deception.” Satan is the great deceiver who comes to kill, steal, and destroy (Revelation 12:9, John 10:10). The more power that a worldly nation acquires, the more it operates according to the power structures of Satan, which are inverse to the power structure of Jesus. Romans rallied around their troops “for the glory of Rome.” That worked for them. For America, troops are honored because “they defend our freedoms.” It’s the same old lies with a fresh coat of paint.

Nations of the world, who are controlled and ruled by Satan will always use lies to further death (1 John 5:19). Jesus offers another way.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Footnotes

  1. Vine, David. Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World. Metropolitan Books, 2015
  2. Human Freedom Index 2018, Cato Institute