George W. Bush recently said, “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home.”
While that may be true, there is a huge overlap between misinformed U.S. soldiers fighting bad guys abroad and later on, still misinformed, fighting “bad guys” at home at events like the January 6 Capitol riot.
Soldiers fighting in Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan didn’t know much about the history, culture, religion, or politics of the people whose soils they were occupying. They were told then by their military commanders to just go and fight, that they were doing what was right. We all learned later on that those wars weren’t right.
Today our high school diplomates who fought to serve their county are full of the patriotism of July fireworks, flag flying, country music, and public carry of guns. All that stuff had a great deal of meaning in 1776 and 1812, but over time the symbols of freedom have, for our misinformed far right, become the substance of freedom. Americans at J6 rallies display less and less of the intelligence and spirit of the real patriots of 76.
Rather than spend all that patriotic emotion attending rallies like the recent one at the Capitol on September 18, they would have done much better to have attended their own states’ annual Constitution Day activities the day before, on September 17.
Rather than celebrating, defending, and deflecting the seriousness of the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, they might have learned something that would have given them pause. It is not enough to just be commanded, one must also be informed.
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