Pat Tillman--Revisited and Laid to Rest


After a long, hard day of toil and service to mankind, I opened my virtual mail box to find numerous messages concerning my 2002 column about Pat Tillman, the pro football player who gave up a promising, lucrative career in the NFL to become an Army Ranger. Through reading these messages, I learned the sad news that Mr. Tillman had become a recent addition to the growing list of war dead in Afghanistan. I recall no more than mild objection toward my original column. However, after his death, this column that raised nary an eyebrow at the time was now causing havoc. Militarists galore, after a bout of Googling, arose out of the woodwork to voice their displeasure. The comments sent were always long on passion but usually short on originality. It seems that with Tillman's death, a mythic, glorious hero has been established as part of the party propaganda structure, and the manufactured ideal must be defended at all costs. As one critic claimed about my original column, 'At the time your comments where merely inappropriate. Now they desecrate the memory of an American hero.'

Expect the State propaganda masters to play up Tillman's death to the max. Much will be written and said about his 'supreme sacrifice.' The same predictable comments, the same clich's and slogans will be repeated ad nauseam; carefully crafted repetition to keep the masses mollified and unconfused (see Goebbel's Principles of Propaganda #14). His name and story is certainly more valuable and useful for the masters than Jessica Lynch. It won't be necessary to twist the truth to glamorize a phony heroic exploit. Tillman's experience follows the script perfectly. Government schools will be named after him, encouraging students within their walls to choose the same road of doom. I'm sure a made-for-TV movie (the sheeple's favorite medium) is already in the works (see Goebbel's Principles of Propaganda #6). His grave will be swooned over by those who live by the commandments of 'duty, honor, country' but are oblivious to the alternative Decalogue that came down from Mt. Sinai.

While watching TV footage about Tillman, I observed an interesting before and after contrast. First, there is Tillman, the college football player, bearded with hair a bit on the long side, running, yelling, full of enthusiasm and life, enjoying his physical blessings that God has bestowed. The next image showed Tillman at the completion of training, smartly dressed in Class A uniform, head and face shaven. The animated facial expression of a free man, ready for a future of unlimited possibility, was now replaced by a blank stare, indicating a mind and soul washed clean of any individuality. That mind was now focused like a laser beam on nothing but obeying whatever orders his new master may issue.

Who did Tillman serve? My critics almost unanimously made reference to him 'serving his country.' I would counter that a more accurate statement would be that he served his GOVERNMENT. That's who employed him and who gave him his marching orders. Millions inhabiting the country he claimed to represent, as I, would have preferred he not been there at all.

He certainly didn't serve God. Instead, he served Man and carried Man's spiritual baggage of arrogance, hubris, pride and greed that has sown the seeds of destructiveness since the days of Adam and Eve.

What follows are a few selected comments from critics and my response:

Pat Tillman fought for you.

This has got to be the most arrogant plank of the militarist's creed. A person puts on a uniform and is instantly transformed into a know-all, see-all seer who has exclusive abilities to recognize good from evil, take responsibility for the well-being millions of others, and kill in their name. What inspires a person to develop such a Christ complex? If Tillman was 'fighting for me,' why was I never consulted and asked permission to be represented in such an endeavor? Fighting for ME? Isn't that rather presumptuous? If he HAD asked me, I would have told him, "Go home, mind you own business, be productive, and don't create enemies for me and others." This statement, in a nutshell, is at the heart of the very principles this country was founded upon. Tillman and Co. have merely contributed to their demise. Tillman and Co. don't fight the terrorists, they work for and defend them! Remember, the Commander and Chief who ordered Tillman to go to Afghanistan, fight the enemy and die (if necessary) gave that very enemy $43 million in aid just six months prior to the initial invasion! Now, who's the enemy?

What am I next to believe--that Tillman and his colleagues would be willing to be nailed to a cross in payment for my sins? Sorry, but Someone with a much better pedigree beat you to it.

If Tillman and his clones fight for me, they're sure doing a lousy job of it. One, despite spending $400 billion/year stolen from tax serfs, they can't even protect me against a few misfits armed with box cutters. Two, they travel to the other side of the world to fight tyrants that are no threat to me while they ignore the tyrants in their own back yard, i.e., Washington D.C. What about the induction oath they took to "defend the Constitution of the U.S. against all enemies, foreign and domestic"? But then, Tillman and his colleagues would actually have had to READ the Constitution to understand that they are party to illegal, unconstitutional actions and war crimes and should be charged accordingly.

It is through the dedication and sacrifice of men like Pat Tillman that allow you to write the articles you write, speak the things you do in public, and breathe the free air you do.

. . . God did not bestow your freedom on you.

God (not W or Tillman or anyone else) bestowed my freedom and rights upon me. Defending them is MY responsibility and mine only. Militarists, full of themselves, honestly believe that freedom and rights come from government, and those who work for said government (mainly them) are the source of that blessing. Their arrogance is nearly beyond comprehension.

. . . thank God you were born in a free country [from the same individual who made the preceding comment]

Wait a minute. I thought God had NOTHING to do with my freedom! Shouldn't I be on my knees thanking Pat Tillman and Co.? Make up your mind!

It does not show "guts" to put your thoughts into print in a free country, that is one more thing Americans far better than yourself have shed blood for you to have the right to do.

Wrong. It does take guts to state the truth when the truth does not match the party line. Any coward can parrot what his masters say is truth. Any coward can give up their GOD-GIVEN freedom, put on a uniform, become nothing less than a slave, and follow orders, no matter how illegal or immoral. Any coward can refuse to THINK. Any individual who does this thumbs his nose at his Creator, empties his heart, mind, and soul of all traces of humanity and becomes nothing less than an android, nothing less than a walking blasphemy.

. . . as a former paratrooper, I know, Pat Tillman being a Airborne Ranger and NFL player, would [have] easily killed you.

That's what The State turned Tillman into--an automaton that knows nothing but to destroy at the command of his masters. That's the "waste" I speak of.

If he had lived, I certainly would hope that a face off would not occur, that reason would prevail among the brainwashed members of the military--that they wouldn't fire on their own. It's very likely he would have killed me, but at least I would be dying to preserve freedom, while he has already died working to preserve and expand State-sponsored slavery.

Without men like Pat Tillman we would still be a colony, or an empire.

Empire? What do you call a government (your red, white and blue) that has military forces in 135 countries? What do you call a government that meddles in the affairs of others worldwide, killing, destroying and having their way, all in the name of "righteousness and democracy." What a pile of manure! The action now occurring in Iraq is classic colonization by an empire. I get a strong feeling this critic doesn't even know what the word "empire" means.

Those who live within empires must remain subservient to that empire. That's the only way an empire can survive. But history has shown that ALL empires eventually collapse from their own debt and immorality, as the American Empire will one day fall.

Exercise the one thing you seem to forget you have, freedom, and leave.

Ah, the classic slogan. I was born here. God put me in this place to call home and I've done so. My existence and inalienable freedom precedes the existence of any state. Am I truly 'born free' as the slogan tells me, or am I born into servitude? Why should I leave? I'm not the abnormality, I'm not the aberration. Those terms instead describe the terrorist American State and its supporters who choose to live in servitude when The Creator has commanded us to live free. 'Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." (I Peter 2:16) Apparently, the militarist's arrogance allows them to claim dominion over my life and home and demand that I submit or leave/die--exactly what they're presently doing to the Iraqis.

And even though you claim your freedoms are being taken away "DAILY" you still have the one that the East Berliners did not.

For now. How many more freedoms must I watch disappear before I finally stand up to this relentless assault?

. . . But you sound like a Muslim or a communist

The classic response that a statist and militarist makes to criticism of its State masters; an extension of their AWOL Commander and Chief's childish philosophy of 'You're either with Us or against Us.' A glance at my previous writings will show that I'm no Muslim. But then, the typical statist/militarist is much too busy watching reality TV and Fox News to be bothered with such a chore. Communist? Take a look at the what the U.S. Federal Government has blessed us with over the past century or so: A central bank, income tax, wealth redistribution, government-controlled education and confiscation of private property--all mentioned in The Communist Manifesto. American statists/militarists support and defend a government that is sufficiently Communist that it would make Karl Marx blush with envy! Now, who's the Communist? This is the government that Pat Tillman died defending. He's a hero? "They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him." (2 Peter 2:19)

. . . to not comprehend the good that is out there leaves one cynical and depressed.

The one comment I received that I can agree with. You don't have to look far to find evil, particularly when you live under the oppression of a state that encompasses itself in every facet of daily life. It's rather difficult to stand by and not expose and comment on it. All governments are inherently evil, and I see nothing positive coming from their existence. I see good only in individuals acting as individuals, not when they act as a part of a state-imposed collective.

Pat Tillman had the freedom to waste his life any way he chose. I did not stand in his way, despite my disagreement with his choice. Tillman is now, however, just another set of remains in a silver box, buried among others who share the same fate. His family is left with nothing but memories, a smartly folded Yankee war flag and a few flashy medals. What has changed? Certainly, nothing has changed for the better--just more grieving families and friends putting aside reason to convince themselves his death is 'worth it.' Meanwhile, the tyrants remain, spinning their destructive wheels, creating still more new adventures requiring the sacrifice of your children.

Rest in peace, Pat Tillman. I'm praying you'll recognize the demons of darkness better after death than you did during your earthly life.

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Columns on STR: 22

Roger Young is a freelance photographer in Texas and has a blog.