Smedley Butler is the man--a career U.S. Marine Corp officer, retiring as a Major General--who coined the phrase "War is a racket." (His article over at Wikipedia is here.)
Today is Veteran's Day in the United States, Remembrance Day in most Commonwealth nation-states, and otherwise known as Armistice Day. Originating out of the first World War, this originated as a day to bring back to mind the massive slaughter and ruin of that war. It has, instead, become a pillar of the imperial cult--the secular religion--of the Anglo-American world: The Cult of the Soldier. This insidious, perfidious and corrosive cult exists as a way for Empire and its Thralls to corral the minds of the population into control and then to execute its will upon Civilization.
The Big Lie that the Cult of the Soldier promotes is this: You Fight For Freedom.
This is utter bullshit. The United States has not fought a single war for freedom since, arguable, the War of 1812 (which did not end as well as many Americans are taught that it did) and some argue that it hasn't been so since the end of the American Revolution. (Other nation-states are no better, and often even worse records.) The narratives told, in the U.S. and elsewhere, about the wars fought by those governments in the name of the nation are often a load of crap: half-truths, outright lies, and suppressed evidence meant to cover up the true purposes of these wars- and, therefore, the true objectives and beneficiaries.
Both Iraq wars are wars over oil and geo-politics, fought by we common people--utterly expendable human resources accounted as worth less than the natural resources at issue--for the benefit of Anglo-American oligarchs in government as well as their private corporate fellow travellers. Afghanistan is another similar move, this time for lithium and oil pipeline routes (and that sweet heroin revenue) while cock-blocking Iran as well as China and Russia. Vietnam began with the Gulf of Tonkin fraud, fought for geo-political positioning abroad, social engineering at home (the latter of which they got) and fueling the shadow government that is the merging of the military, intelligence agencies and their private corporate partners. Korea was far less about Communism than it was about geo-politics and power projection. The first world war began with an assassination that's now believed to also be a false flag operation, and the second has so much known and suspected criminality its launching that you could make a career out of writing about it (and some have). The 19th century wars are naked wars of conquest for land and resources, either against native nations or against rival colonizers.
And no, the War of 1812 is NOT an exception; the U.S. attempted to conquer Canada and failed spectacularly. The American Civil War was really about which economic paradigm would dominate these United States; slavery, while important, was not the primary point of dispute.) This pattern persists throughout world history; the only "war for freedom" is the war of a native people fighting off an invasion by would-be conquerers- all else is Empire enthralling a people and using it to consume for its own need or greed, usually greed.
But we today, and our predecessors before us, are constantly told that we have to go far from our homes to kill people we never met for reasons that have sweet fuck-all to do with us (and are actually lies told to us by our supposed "public servants") and everything instead with making some vampiric twat and his friends another fortune through the sacrifice of our blood and bone as well as that of others in apocalyptic fires born of battle and the attendant brutality. We are suckered into waging wars without need for the benefit of Empire and its Thralls, who win NO MATTER WHO LOSES, so long as there's someone left to dominate when it's over.
If there is any just war left to wage, it is by we--the global common people--against Empire and its Thralls (also a global entity, albeit one riven with factions). Turn the guns away from your neighbor, and instead aim it at the aristocrats on the hill giving the orders. If you're in, get out; if you're out, stay out. Refuse to deploy, refuse to fight, refuse to "just follow orders" (because that is still grounds for a lawful execution), and of all just plain refuse: say NO to war. Never again should we send our parents, our siblings or our children to fight for a lie.