I love The United States of America and I am a proud American. Although, there are times our great country has let me down, in our history and now in current events. There are people dying in Sudan, and we are doing nothing about it. Millions died in Rwanda and we did nothing. Genocide killed countless Muslims in Bosnia, and we sent troops after the fact. Warlords killed children in Somalia, using starvation as their weapon of choice, and we pulled out at the first U.S. casualties. Pol Pot and his communist allies killed millions in Cambodia, and the U.S. said it was tired of war in Southeast Asia. This history of non-involvement goes back as far as World War II and earlier.
Why? This is a subject that is very controversial. Liberal conspiracy theorists would have you believe that it is because the government of our nation consists of racists who secretly applaud the deaths of millions of the Earth’s downtrodden ethnic groups. However, there is a far more realistic explanation. Your mother said she didn’t want her son to die to save some other mother’s son on the other side of the earth. How selfish of your mom!
The fact is that millions upon millions of our fellow earthlings are living and dying every day under the control of brutal, genocidal dictators. These men, women and children live every day by the gun. They hide from secret police, they live out painful existences in political prisons, they feed their children what they can and they starve to death for their trouble.
We live glorious lives in this country and we deplore the idea of one of our fortunate sons giving his life for another’s freedom. We do this out of our collective selfishness. The reason politicians don’t send our armed forces out to the aide of the world’s people is because they will be called “war monger” and voted out of office.
Today our all-volunteer military, of which I am a part, works to ensure the freedoms of 50 million people who, until we came to their aide, lived the very lives that I just described. What do we get for the trouble? The people at home pity our sacrifice for such an “unworthy” or even “criminal” cause. Marines are fighting just to be allowed to take part in this great honor that liberals call a mistake, and yet I see more signs that read: Bring Our Troops Home! How selfish of you!
In our sheltered lives we cannot see the pain that exists outside of our borders. Take my word for it as one that has been there, it exists. Next time you meet a Veteran on the street do not give him or her your look of pity. And the next time that you feel like marching in the streets with signs that read: Bring Our Troops Home, instead march over to your Marine Corps recruiting office and tell them you want to set another man free.
Corporal Kenith Zetye has been in the United States Marine Corps Reserves for two and a half years. Zeyte completed his first deployment to Iraq in August of 2003 and is preparing for his second deployment. Zeyte is a CSU senior English major, his column runs weekly in the Collegian on Fridays.