As a people, we have ceded our power to reverse the decisions of our rulers who make incessant war and continue to fund a global Empire with our dollars and the lives of our soldiers. There is essentially no anti-war movement in the country save for a few websites and valorous anti-war heroes who have been marginalized to the fringes of political non-discourse.
The vast War Machine complex is utterly melded with our foreign policy and those who reap insane profits from not only waging the wars but also ‘rebuilding’ what we bomb and otherwise fuck up: infrastructure, indigenous employment, civil society in the name of what? Our security? Theirs? Providing relief from tyrants we’ve been supporting for decades when there was profit to be made, and resources to be stolen?
We resist less, of course, because there is no draft. We know in the back of our minds that the Criminal Amoral MOTU Class keeps the minimum wage low so that joining the military is one way for the poor to provide for their families, to maybe get an education later…some sort of health care they couldn’t otherwise afford.
They are crafty buggers; they know that there will never be a draft again; they’ll make sure that the middle class won’t engage in massive protests against their aims of ruling the world through killing brown and tan people anywhere on the planet they please.
They offer great signing bonuses, and bonuses to re-enlist, and promise after-care that proves to be another lie. Many soldiers are working on their seventh…their eighth tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, God knows where any more…because they thought that joining the National Guard was some sort of good deal. We can call them fools; gullible…but they believed what their government told them, then came the ‘Stop Loss’ game-changer. Stories of suicide, untreated PTSD, education benefits denied, home foreclosures, long waits for appointments at VA hospitals are common; it’s unconscionable.
We can spurn those who joined the National Guard, or enlisted in the military, but we should be careful about doing it. Some join up to kill people or bully people; I know a few myself. But for so many, the military is now a de facto jobs program. It’s a loathsome reality.
And by now, it’s acceptable to our citizenry and Congress that we pay private mercenaries and contractors to run our wars and intelligence services for us; even prisoner interrogations. These contract forces are for more expensive, and have no oversight, and are essentially rogue agents, accountable only to their ‘dark army’ bosses. Congress could care less; they hold some hearings and inquiries, whitewash it all with some White Paper no one heeds (wink, wink); ‘The bidness of America is bidness’ (Molly Ivins), and shoot; if your campaign contributors need you to turn a blind eye to the calumny and perfidy and corruption involved…you can just borrow their Madison Avenue lackeys’ propaganda to justify your votes for military budgets and ‘interventions’ that are MORE LIES.
We’ve now spawned a whole new breed of Liberal Hawks now, Third Way Democrats who are following Dick Cheney’s Secret Energy Plan for chrissakes, and pretend our missions are humanitarian. The news is finally leaking out about how eager the media have been to buy the most bullshit stories about the Lockerbie Bomber and Libya, and leave it to Matt Taibbi at freaking Rolling Stone and a few others to make some of the connections between Gadaffi and American Banks and IMF neoliberal financial ploys.
Even when a story breaks in mainstream media that tells some of the truth, no one cares to connect the dots. It’s far easier to ignore decades of past US roles and relationships that make our cynicism apparent as we pretend to support the Arab Spring, but continue the same old aggressions against former friends in business, or trumpet our President who’s been ‘leading from behind’; and using a newly invigorated NATO to build a partnership with Arab Nations to fight proxy wars against Iran and for resources, bribing or punishing despotic regimes for playing ball with us…or not.
“Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike the other way.”
~ Jean Anouilh
They’re building ever bigger and more potent weapons and warplanes and missile defense shields, using plenty themselves, but selling this shit all over the planet, often in direct opposition to our stated foreign policy or sanctions. (wink, wink.) Diplomats are arms salesmen, as is our President. Who is there to hold these defense contractors accountable? The Congressional Cranks who fill their coffers with their filthy lucre for re-election, or want seats on their boards after their ‘public service’? Not so much.
They all seem to like the sanitizing of war; unmanned drones carrying bombs can whistle in on a target and Kapow!…wreak death and destruction on ‘targets’ and civilians alike with brief ‘We’re-so-sorry-your-children-were-‘collateral damage’ apologies. But shoot; even the Liberal Hawks can be persuaded by our President that 7,000 bombing sorties in Libya didn’t constitute a war since none of ‘our’ folks were ever in jeopardy.
Empire is costing us trillions of dollars: costing us trillions, not those who profit from it, those Masters of War who are now so interwoven into the fabric of our economy and government and foreign policy; we, the other 95% of the citizens pay for it, in taxes and joblessness and poor health care, hunger, failing schools, broken water systems, planet-damaging energy sources…and fear, anger…and the Death of Hope for the future.
These Masters of War can remain so well-hidden that they often have no personal names, they’re just embodied as corporate logos and massive cold steel and glass buildings on Wall Street and financial districts around the globe; they’re in the marble halls of Washington think-tanks and seated at the heads of corporate board tables, owning and operating the political class like the evil puppeteers they are. They consolidate the media ruthlessly and exert control over the internet in order to make sure that The Truth is harder and harder to find.
“In Russia we only had two TV channels. Channel One was propaganda. Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you: Turn back at once to Channel One.”
~ Yakov Smirnoff
Ah…they’ve done their jobs so well that anti-war activists are either relegated to punch line status in the MSM, or hounded and harassed by any number of police state departments of security and intelligence. The goal, of course, is to make certain that the lies are not exposed, our national fear quotient stay high, and respected journalists like Sy Hersh are discredited by their peers.
“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”
~ HL Mencken
They keep us poor, they keep us uneducated, and they keep us scratching the other tribes’ eyes out over items in the 24-hour-news cycle. They keep our eyes focused on faux battles in Congress, and too tired and fearful and addicted to consumer life, and distractedly and blithely accepting that our enemies ‘hate our freedoms’ instead of the way we treat the world as our own to plunder and occupy.
Too few are left to act as the Conscience of America, too worn down by The Machine to act as a countervailing force. They’ve won…for now.
“Tell the people they are safe now
Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.
Death has gagged his accusations
We are free now, we can kill now,
We can hate now, now we can end the world
We’re not guilty, he was crazy
And it’s been going on for ten thousand years!”
October 6, 2011 marks the ten-year anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. Ten years! And they’re waging war in so many other nations besides there, Iraq, and Libya…through JSOC and AFRICOM and drone-kills and CIA hit squads and CIA agents provocateurs working to overthrow governments they fear and despise, creating ever more enemies for our nation along the way.
Don’t let them continue; resist in any way you can. Including:
And remember: They’re maiming and killing children in our names. Humanity’s children. Our brothers’ and sisters’ children.