The Warfare State claimed another needless victim on Saturday, April 20th, 2019, but the media’s silence is the only sign. Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley died in Ninevah, Iraq in a non-combat related incident. This is just another person who will never see their family again thanks to the endless wars in “defense” of an American Empire. Spc. Riley’s death hits close to home to me, for he grew up less than two hours from my home. I know some of his friends.
While I never new Riley, I know how painful a loss like this can be. We must consider, however, whether or not this was necessary to protecting freedom. We have been in Iraq in some capacity since before I was born. That country isn’t any freer as a result. If we actually valued the lives of soldiers like Riley’s, we would bring them all home.
The Warfare State: America’s Deadliest Parasite
The military makes up around $989 billion of the US’s current spending. This number alone should raise eyebrows, but the human cost is simply inhumane. At least 8,000 US soldiers have been killed since September 11th, and thousands more have been wounded. None of these deaths happened in defense of liberty. Rather, every single casualty that has occurred is a result of the power-mongers in Washington DC. 9/11, after all, is a result of blowback.
While the American Warfare State has cost Americans trillions in tax dollars, it has cost thousands of lives and millions of people will suffer from PTSD as a result.
War is far from humanitarian. It has made us less safe and less free. Spc. Riley is just one of the millions of examples of the cost of war. The unfortunate truth is that the government has exploited incidents like 9/11 to indoctrinate the public into supporting the US’s illegal and immoral wars.
If we wish to be free, we must bring the troops home and refuse to fall for the siren song of the Military Industrial Complex. Those charlatans are an enemy of liberty, and they do not care for the trail of blood and corpses that they leave behind.
Spc. Ryan Dennis Orin Riley: A Forgotten Casualty of War
So why has no mainstream outlet reported on Spc. Riley’s death? To put it bluntly, because they can’t use this death to start another war. When 4 soldiers were killed in Niger, the corporate press served as the war trumpets for the neocons in power. Each outlet added their own spin for why we need to stay in Niger or why we need even more troops in that nation.
None of these “journalists” managed to ask: why are we in Niger in the first place? If we weren’t there, those four soldiers would be alive and with their families right now. Instead, the media used them as propaganda pieces to continue the endless wars.
Because Spc. Riley didn’t die in combat, there is only one group to blame: the United States Military. The US Military convinced Riley that he would fight for freedom by enlisting. They offered him a sense of belonging. They offered him a rite of passage into manhood. The military, had they not lied to him, would not have Riley’s blood on their hands. To do Spc. Riley justice, bring the soldiers home. It’s the only way to honor the troops of the past and the present.