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An Open Letter to the Troops: You’re Not Defending Our Freedoms


Sign the Memorial Day Scroll
Posted by Laurence Vance on May 26, 2012 08:22 AM
According to Generation Opportunity:

Throughout our country's history, men and women have given their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy today. Memorial Day is set aside as a day to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom.

This Memorial Day, we ask you to join us in standing for the true meaning of this national holiday by adding your name to our "Freedom is Not Free" scroll.

To add your name to the scroll on our homepage, simply fill out the form on the left.

Once your name is added, please ask your friends and family to join us in honoring the sacrifices made by all the brave Americans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms.

What a load of crap. If you only read one thing this Memorial Day weekend, don't read anything I have written. Read what VMI grad and Army reservist Jacob Hornberger wrote last Memorial Day: "An Open Letter to the Troops: You’re Not Defending Our Freedoms."


Dear Troops:

Yesterday – Memorial Day – some people asserted, once again, that you are “defending our freedoms” overseas.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Those people are just repeating tired old mantras. The reality is that you are not defending our freedoms with your actions overseas. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Your actions overseas are placing our freedoms here at home in ever-greater jeopardy.

Consider your occupation of Iraq, a country that, as you know, never attacked the United States, making it the defender in the war and the United States the aggressor. Think about that: Every single person that the troops have killed, maimed, or tortured in Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

Yet, the countless victims of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq have friends and relatives, many of whom have become filled with anger and rage and who now would stop at nothing to retaliate with terrorist attacks against Americans.

Pray tell: How does that constitute defending our freedoms?

It was no different prior to 9/11. At the end of the Persian Gulf War, the troops intentionally destroyed Iraq’s water and sewage facilities after a Pentagon study showed that this would help spread infectious illnesses among the Iraqi people.

It worked. For 11 years after that, the troops enforced the cruel and brutal sanctions on Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. (See “America’s Peacetime Crimes against Iraq” by Anthony Gregory.) You’ll recall U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it.”

By “it” she meant the attempted ouster of Saddam Hussein from power. You will recall that he was a dictator who was the U.S. government’s ally and partner during the 1980s, when the United States was furnishing him with those infamous WMDs that U.S. officials later used to excite the American people into supporting your invasion of Iraq.

The truth is that 9/11 furnished U.S. officials with the excuse to do what their sanctions (and the deaths of all those Iraqi children) had failed to accomplish: ridding Iraq of Saddam Hussein and replacing him with a U.S-approved regime

That’s what your post-9/11 invasion of Iraq was all about – to achieve the regime change that the pre-9/11 deadly sanctions that killed all those children had failed to achieve.

No, not mushroom clouds, not freedom, not democracy, and certainly not defending our freedoms here at home. Just plain old regime change.

In the process, all that you – the troops – have done with your invasion and occupation of Iraq is produce even more enmity toward the United States by people in the Middle East, especially those Iraqis who have lost loved ones or friends in the process or simply watched their country be destroyed.

In principle, it’s no different with Afghanistan. I’d estimate that 99 percent of the people the troops have killed, maimed, or tortured in that country had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

Why did you invade Afghanistan or, more precisely, why did President Bush order you to do so?

No, not because the Taliban participated in the 9/11 attacks and, no, not because the Taliban were even aware that the attacks were going to take place

President Bush ordered the troops to invade Afghanistan – and, of course, kill Afghan citizens in the process – because the Afghan government – the Taliban – refused to comply with his unconditional extradition demand. You will recall that the Taliban offered to turn bin Laden over to an independent tribunal to stand trial upon the receipt of evidence from the United States indicating his complicity in the 9/11 attacks

Bush responded to the Taliban’s offer by issuing his order to the troops to invade Afghanistan, kill Afghans, and occupy the country. In the process, U.S. officials installed one of the most crooked, corrupt, and dictatorial rulers it could find to govern the country, one who is so incompetent he cannot even hide the manifest fraud by which he has supposedly been elected to office.

In the process of installing and defending the Karzai regime, the troops have killed brides, grooms, children, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and countrymen, most of whom never attacked the United States on 9/11 or at any other time. They simply became “collateral damage” or “bad guys” for having the audacity to oppose the invasion and occupation of their country by a foreign regime. (It should be noted for the record that U.S. officials considered these types of “bad guys,” as well as Osama bin Laden and other fundamentalist Muslims, to be “good guys” when they were trying to oust Soviet troops from Afghanistan.)

Was there another way to bring bin Laden to justice? Yes, the criminal-justice route, which was the route used after the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

That’s right. Same target, different date. In fact, the accused terrorists – Ramzi Yousef in 1993 and Osama bin Laden in 2001 – were ultimately located in the same country, Pakistan.

In Yousef’s case, he was arrested some three years after the attack, brought back to the United States, prosecuted, and convicted in federal district court. He’s now serving a life sentence in a federal penitentiary.

No invasions, no bombings, no occupations, no killing of countless innocent people, no torture, no war on terrorism, and no anger and rage that such actions inevitably would have produced among the victims, their families, and friends.

In bin Laden’s case, we instead got a military invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, where the troops have killed, maimed, tortured, and hurt countless people who had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

How in the world have your invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq defended our freedoms here at home? Indeed, how have the assassinations and bombings in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and who knows where else defended our freedoms?

All these things have accomplished is keeping foreigners angry at us, thereby subjecting us to the constant and ever-growing threat of terrorist retaliation here at home. As I have pointed out before, the U.S. military – that is, you, the troops – have become the biggest terrorist-producing machine in history. Every time you kill some Iraqi or Afghan citizen, even when accidental, ten more offer to take his place out of anger and rage.

That’s the same thing that was happening prior to 9/11. In fact, there were some, including those of us here at The Future of Freedom Foundation, who were warning prior to 9/11 that unless the U.S. Empire stopped what it was doing to people in the Middle East (including the deadly sanctions on Iraq, the support of Middle East dictators, the stationing of U.S. troops near Islamic holy lands, and the unconditional money and armaments to the Israeli regime), Americans would be increasingly subject to terrorist attacks. On 9/11, we were proven right, unfortunately. (See Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson.)

How does the constant threat of terrorist retaliation arising from your actions in Iraq and Afghanistan make us freer here at home, especially when you – the troops – are responsible for engendering the anger and rage that culminates in such threats, owing to what you are doing to people over there?

Consider also what the U.S. government does to our freedoms here at home as a direct consequence of the terrorist threat that you, the troops, are producing over there. It uses that threat of terrorism to infringe upon our freedoms here at home! You know what I mean – the fondling at the airports, the 10-year-old Patriot Act, the illegal spying on Americans, the indefinite detention, the torture, the kangaroo tribunals, Gitmo, and the entire war on terrorism – all necessary, they tell us, to keep us safe from the terrorists – that is, the people you all are producing with your actions over there.

In other words, if you all weren’t producing an endless stream of terrorists with your invasions, occupations, torture, assassinations, bombings, and Gitmo, the U.S. government – the entity you are working for – would no longer have that excuse for taking away our freedoms.

This past Sunday, the Washington Post carried an article about American wives who were recently greeting their husbands on their return from Afghanistan. Newlywed Anne Krolicki, 24, commented to her husband on the death of one of her friends’ husband: “It’s a pointless war,” she said.

That lady has her head on straight. She’s has a grip on reality, doesn’t deal in tired old mantras, and speaks the truth. Every U.S. soldier who dies in Iraq and Afghanistan dies for nothing, which was the same thing that some 58,000 men of my generation died for in Vietnam.

Please don’t write me to tell me that you all are good people or that you’re “patriots” for simply following whatever orders you are given. All that is irrelevant. What matters is what you are doing over there. And what you are doing is not defending our freedoms, you are jeopardizing them


Jacob G. Hornberger
The Future of Freedom Foundation

Reprinted from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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Yes there are such people who go into the military thinking that

One such man was Pat Tillman!
He went over there to fight the bad guys, but soon found out about the lies of these damned wars over there.
He wanted to speak the truth when he came home about the atrocities and that the war was a fraud as far as it "keeping us free"
Our own troops assasinated him at point blank range.
Very sad. Breaks my heart!

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

Apology accepted :)

Apology accepted :)


Darn! no_more would have been a perfect user name for me! LIKE!

I was the same way

Sometimes I began to think that maybe we shouldn't be in these wars, but figured that the powers that be must know better than me so it must be okay.

"I even cheered while watching our powerful military wiping out so many places, saying "Wow, they aren't gonna mess with the U.S."."
What you wrote here reminds me of what I saw a Santorum supporter say in Santorum chat once. She said, "We have to put the fear of America in them!". I couldn't believe any rational being, especially a professing Christian like her, could think in such a way. It's disgusting and quite sad. I mean, how would she feel if the Chinese decided to "put the fear of China in Americans"??

Sorry for my little rant there, it just bothers me and I had to get that out. :)

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till." -J.R.R. Tolkien

No, you are right!

There are people in the church that think like that! I know them. To make up for my stupidity I have been working on them. I don't see the church teaching that thinking at all. What I do see is church people thinking Fox News is the only good conservative news channel to watch(LOL), so that is ALL they watch. Fox is good at brainwashing. They will put in many stories on how evil the government is to take religious rights away and them mix it with all their war propaganda. Fox is the anti-Christ of the Christians and many don't know it yet(a wolf in sheep clothing if you will).


The link aren't working.

Voted down

I voted this garbage down because it attacks the wrong people. If you want to blame the right people blame the politicians who allow the U.N. To misuse OUR brave men and women and the American people who vote for them. Horrible post for today of all days. Shame on you!


as a VMI grad & former US Army Reserve Officer himself,

Jacob G. Hornberger INTIMATELY knows what he's talking about.


IF you don't deem today to be appropriate, then just WHEN do you think it'll be?

While we do have a lot of awakened veterans among us, the message is geared at neoCon servicemen/women or simply too naive to know, who blindly follow the State/the Leviathan and actually believe in their corporatist mission as propagandized to them by govt terrorists.

Besides, simply google "Nuremberg Tribunal" and " 'just following orders' is NOT an excuse!" should square this away to any honest observer of history.

All this rah-rah misguided nationalism falsely parading itself as Constitutionalist patriotism, isn't anything new we're observing before us.

Almost everything and anything that human free will allows in the form of visibly exhibited human behavior has been done, be they good or Evil.

There's nothing new under the sun, just degrees, even Evil.

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Regular German army in WWII

Regular German army in WWII also had a lot of brave men, my grandpa one of them. Still nothing to be proud of.

We sign up to defend the Constitution and the United States

To the extent we are sent to unconstitutional wars that is because people are electing politicians that send us and not holding them accountable.

We the troops put our faith in the American people to use us wisely. We are just like you. We are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers. There is a lot of us who believe in liberty and the constitution, and continue to serve with the faith that the American public will come to their senses and realize that our primary purpose is to protect the homeland.

You don't have to celebrate us, or thank us for our service. We willingly do this job for various reasons. You should realize that we are not your enemy, and focus your energy on those in power.

Tu ne cede malis.

2014 Liberty Candidate Webpage:

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wolfe's picture

You are not a tool.

You are a thinking, living, breathing person with a mind, opinions, beliefs, values, and make choices accordingly.

You cannot say that you are sent into unconstitutional wars. You cannot say you are sent to wars over greed, and profit, and genocide. You can only say that you went, that you chose to go.

You chose to go when you signed the paperwork. You chose to go when you followed orders. You chose to go when you boarded the plane.

And you chose to kill in the name of government, corporations, money, and religious genocide when you chose to pull the trigger.

Do not confuse participating in these wars with those who have actually fought and died for freedom.

I do not say these things out of disrespect. Quite the opposite. Because you are here, I believe you are more intelligent than your average person, and want to help show you the rest of the truth.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

if the military gets small

if the military gets small enough they just draft people.


they get the foreigners to join

wolfe's picture


Which would be a good thing. Look at Vietnam. The more obvious the slavery, the less likely it is to stand for long. That is the reason inflation is used more than taxes. It hides the slavery better.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Instead of defending American

Instead of defending American Liberty, the troops are being forced to defend poppy fields....

Never be afraid to ask simple questions.

You explained it in your own

You explained it in your own post. "Forced".


LOL. pathetic

LOL. pathetic.

Typical ignorant neocon statement

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution

IN the 1960's they drafted

IN the 1960's they drafted us. Some of us had enough of that and all I can say is research the protests of the 60's.

They volunteer now for jobs and school and then you say they are being forced? B/S.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution

Republicae's picture

I remember the day I got my

I remember the day I got my Draft Card, what an utterly joyous occasion for self-ownership...it made me realize that government is, by nature, a coercive force external which shows no respect for the very law that created it and by which it is supposed to be governed.


"We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States" John C. Calhoun

wolfe's picture

I remember a very similar feeling...

It didn't help that I was listening to lots of heavy metal at the time. I think most here know, but many others don't realize just how anti-war, anti-corruption, and libertarian most metal groups are.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

Support the soldier,

not the war.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
-Thomas Paine

wolfe's picture

That's like saying...

Hate the murder but love the murderer.


Soldiers make a choice to participate in the wars, or not to. Therefore, each and every one accepts the full responsibility of their actions and participation in continuing it, whether using the excuse of "following orders" or not.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

You're entitled to your opinion,

and I'm entitled to mine. Placing blame on troops for where our government chooses to send them and sacrifice them is just wrong. They signed up to defend their country, and their people. They were lied to, they are the victims of this criminal government. Had they known ahead of time what they know know, do you think they would have signed up? Have some respect.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
-Thomas Paine

A handful of ones that I know...

...signed up only because they had a difficult time finding a decent paying job and thought it would be a good way to get help for college. One of them that had returned for a visit from Afghanistan said that all he does is break up drunk fights on the base. Those guys have no clue why they are even over there!

soldiers are usually just

soldiers are usually just high school grads that in truth probably did have trouble finding a decent job because of this economy... they are not evil people. the troops would like to come home just as much as you all want them too. the military gives the most to RP then any other canidate...

Bullshit. The trials at

Bullshit. The trials at Nuremburg weere to put a stop to the "only following orders b/s.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution

wolfe's picture


You start by telling me I am entitled to my opinion, then end with "have some respect", implying that I am not, in fact, entitled to my opinion.

They are not lied to. They simply choose a job, education, glory, or whatever over compassion for fellow human beings.

And to say, "don't blame me for killing, he made me do it" is the worst kind of kindergarten cop-out I have heard.

When they follow orders, they place their personal freedom above the lives of their fellow man.

We all choose. None of us can be excused from our choices by saying, "but mommy, he made me do it".

The politicians would not have the power to create war without a steady stream of voluntary canon fodder.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

If we were really volunteers we could quit.

We most certainly are lied to. I was 11 when 9/11 happened and was lied to by my president, media and teachers. Lies that over the next 8 years spurred a false sense of patriotism that led me to contract with the Army ROTC program at my University. I suspected something was up when I learned of RP and the liberty/truth movement in the 2008 elections. Now a day doesn't go by I don't think about the decisions I will have to make or the orders I will be given or give as I am about to commission as a US Army Officer. And if military service was voluntary we would be able to quit without consequence when we wake up to the truth. But more likely than not we would be put in prison for not following orders. I think it is Rothbard that wrote a good piece on this, search "Myth of voluntary service in US Military" at Lewrockwell.com. It is a delicate line to walk being in the military and being awake, and extremely difficult to deal with. While I agree with this post and your assessment given in the comments above, I know we do not defend freedom, I just hope you don't leave us out to dry. This movement is the only thing that keeps me somewhat sane and gives me the ability to sleep at night. It gives me the courage to speak up and educate my peers and ask hard questions of my superiors. If there was no one out there in this fight with me I would be completely lost.

"War is a Racket" - Maj. General Smedley Butler


wolfe's picture

You can quit.

You prefer your freedom over the lives of the innocent. Compounded by a choice to re-up.

You voluntarily joined. If this country truly needed to defend itself, there would be no shortage of people taking up arms. You don't join the military to defend this country. You join the military to participate in aggressive wars.

There has always been enough information available for you to have known. If you admit that you chose poorly now, good for you. But do not blame your choice or actions on anyone else.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -


It's a choice - Hope they can sleep at night when they use the GI bill for college education that comes from this.

Military paychecks have blood on them as long as the wars are Undeclared by We The People via Congress, UnConstitutional, Pre-emptive & Aggressive, Occupational, Policing.

What would happen if no one showed up? There'd be no war.

RP R3VOLution