“I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force — the Marine Corps…And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. ” – Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (1935) 
Recognized as Remembrance Day in Canada and the British Commonwealth, and Veterans’ Day in the US, the 11th day of the 11th month is an annual occasion to pay tribute to those who have served their countries on the battlefield.
It is taken as axiomatic that soldiers are heroes for participating in violence at the behest of the State. Even where there is a recognition that the war being fought is unjust, such as the Iraq War or the Vietnam War, community members are called on to ‘support the troops.’
There has been a decisive shift away from the notion of remembering the horrors and brutality of war to the veneration and valourization of the soldier. There is a ritualistic aspect to society’s relationship with the soldier. Even the language of ‘paying the ultimate sacrifice’ evokes a religious flavour to the dynamics of militarism.
US military veteran Stan Goff has come to view nationalism as a modern day civil religion, with the Nation as our God and holidays like Veterans Day performing a liturgical function.
In this week’s special instalment of the Global Research News Hour, hosted by contributor Jonathan Wilson, Goff speaks at length about how Veterans/Remembrance Day has transformed from a celebration of peace to a cultural tool reinforcing the drive toward more war, imperialism, and masculine domination.
Following the interview, we hear an excerpt of a March 2015 talk by Joshua Key. Speaking from his personal experiences within America’s military system, especially in Iraq, this veteran shatters whatever myths the public may have about the goodness and righteousness of America’s military engagements in the Middle East and elsewhere.
It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.
Radio station CFUV 101.9FM based at the University of Victoria airs the Global Research News Hour every Sunday from 7 to 8am PT.
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