Chris Hayes is now a household name. He committed a grave sin in today’s society. He spoke his convictions and did so seriously. Hayes claimed he felt “uncomfortable” calling fallen military men and women “heroes.” Hayes later apologized for his comment. I don’t agree with his conclusion or its premise but I somewhat understand. This is coming from a Iraq war veteran who served with great men in a very unique circumstance. We operated in and around Baghdad disrupting, surveilling, capturing and eliminating terrorists. It was a lot of fun and I don’t regret any of it.
So let me explain.
War and danger teaches one a lot about himself, his fellow-man, and life generally. In the end, I’ll have to ask myself honestly one day if it was worth it. That is a hard concept and something I’ve put off spiritually and intellectually for a while now. If I’m honest with myself, however, I don’t consider it a “noble mission,” especially in light of the monumental failures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Failures that are mostly brought on by the inept nature of the very people we are supposedly helping — and that is to say nothing of our political leadership. That latter point is why I don’t consider our endeavors a noble mission. Successful, yes, if considered that we toppled Saddam Hussein and killed Osama bin Laden. The rest, in my opinion, was hubris.
Nevertheless, Hayes went too far in my opinion. Anyone who joins an all volunteer army and is willing to deploy into danger without the comforts of home, family and country is, by my definition, a hero. But if Hayes has a problem with war itself or at least the bottomless pit of political-war that we have become accustomed to since Vietnam, then why not put the blame squarely on the moral squalor of our political leaders?
If he feels uncomfortable calling veterans and the war dead heroes because it glorifies America’s fascination with small-wars and hegemony, he needs to seriously refocus and consider why men and woman from all sectors and demographics of society volunteer for service and why they fight in the first place. Then he needs to consider those who write policy and make decisions which send those young men and woman to war in the first place. There I believe Hayes will find the source of his intellectual torment.
I am sure Mr. Hayes is a smart fellow but, as usual when it comes to the terminally intellectual, he is wholly misguided.