The loved ones of lost soldiers deserve more than comforting words. They deserve justice.
There are so many points made in this piece that it’s difficult to highlight only one. Peter Bloom does a good job here of exposing the “elephant in the room”, the one whose name must not be spoken, namely our continuing and expanding “wars of choice”. This is the number 2 problem that we must face, sooner or later, second only to man-made climate change!
My question: DID HE REALLY KNOW WHY HE WAS SENT THERE?
If you had asked a Roman soldier what he was fighting for, whether it was 25 BC or 225 AD, he would invariably have said, “For the power and glory of Rome”. And he was illiterate. If you told the average American soldier that he fights for Wall Streets profits and to take the commodities from places like Africa and turn them into tranches to be sold to investors, s/he wouldn’t know what you were talking about.
War really is a racket and all wars really are bankers wars.
Our troops are being used for cannon fodder for the enrichment of the 1%.
Nothing more, nothing less.
So, the key dates in the backstory to the present events run from 2011-2016.
WAR IS A RACKET by Gen. Smedley Butler. A must read.
I read it a long time ago, and I could not agree more! A must read.
American wars have been and are probably the best racket ever designed by man.
When I “signed up” for the military at the start of my career in the 1970s, I didn’t do it to participate in never-ending wars and hold the hopes of some day becoming a martyr. I signed up because my wife was pregnant and I didn’t have health care and the military offered some pretty decent coverage. I also signed up for the training and for the opportunity to see some of the world. I am deeply offended by the cavalier attitude of trump and this administration and also about the general attitude of the American public who seem to have adopted the mind-set that it’s OK to ignore these wars that are not only costing us a goodly part of our national treasure, but also a lot of our young people. Things were definitely better when we had a draft and everyone (but the rich) had skin in the game and were just one lotery number away from going to war themselves. People protested the Vietnam war precisely because they didn’t want to participate in it. PEOPLE, most of our military members don’t sign up for the chance to go to war, they sign up for many other reasons, chief among them, economic reasons–at least, that’s the way it was during my 20-year career. Patriotism is something that the elites of the nation use to disguise their grab for the world’s resources. We are not in the Middle East because they pose a threat to the US. Quite the contrary, our presence over there is what is posing a continuing threat to us here at home as every person we kill in these senseless wars produces many more potential terrorists. A good reference would be how the colonists reacted to the abuses of the English during the Revolutionary War. These wars are a no-win situation for the US, anyone with any knowledge of history can see that.
Do we know what he was sent there for? Was he a radiological expert? Is there uranium in Niger? I can’t confirm it. Another blog mentioned his qualifications in a comment.
Look, how many generals are running the Whitehouse daycare? Does this qualify as a soft coup?
One thing that really bugs me about “liberals”. They can also be right wing authoritarians. That is, unquestioningly subservient and invested in a personality that ticks the right boxes. I used to be one. The country you believed in is gone. It’s gone. I wanted to indicate something about revolution and changing our collective story, but was overcome with an overwhelming sense of futility.
At the same blog- cadent arma togae.
I was drafted and served during the few months of “peace” we had before we found out that we were sending “advisors” to Nam. The amerikan military political industrial complex couldn’t abide peace, even though we were supplying several dictators in Latin America with arms. That wasn’t enough for them.
I agree that we need a draft to make people realize that these wars are affecting all Americans, not only the disenfranchised that are in the shadows. When young people are put at risk and begin dying across all spectrums of our society it will get their familie’s attention and we will stop being so complacent.
If politicians and their loved ones, especially the rich, were made to serve in the military with no exemptions, wars would quickly end.
16 years into the never-ending war, it ought to be pretty darn obvious that it is all a scam, and part of me thinks that at this stage anyone who joins the armed services is guilty of moral negligence, at minimum. The USA is the Predator Nation, it seems so obvious.
On the other hand, most Americans live inside the most perfect propaganda bubble ever created, where I see supposedly educated friends parrot absolute BS from the ‘news,’ such as ISIS being the greatest existential threat, & so on. So I guess that I should cut a lot of these poor suckers some slack.
Still, I have to think a lot of people are sort of willingly averting their eyes from the truth.
I listened to the whole Kelly speech and there was so much in there that begged a discussion.
Do people really know “what they’re signing up for” when they join the military? Did I, when I went to nursing school?
Are all war deaths inherently worth it? Especially in a time of so many wars of choice to defend corporate interests?
Kelly’s need to turn the war dead into some holy group of people was cringe inducing. I found myself wondering if his surviving son felt he needed to die in order to be important. Every war dead should cause a national examination of conscious? Was their sacrifice called for?
I wrote elsewhere that in a Trump cabinet over run with military retirees who are positioned (if nothing else in their portfolios) to profit from ongoing war, are they “up to” the task of questioning our ongoing war involvements? Though it’s not like this happened during the Obama administration either. But really, his own son’s had 5 deployments? That feels pretty abusive.
Though I thought Kelly’s pointing out the way military service is now being done by a small fragment of the population was a question worth asking and I understood his underlining of that point by only taking questions from people who were or knew Gold Star families, he darn well better not make a habit of it. He is supposed to serve all of us.
I initially thought his criticism of the Congresswoman was just a weak argument–he’s fussing because someone took credit for funding the building of a government office in a certain district? Like someone who is life time military doesn’t understand that the military gets a budget because someone in Congress advocates for it and others vote for it? Seemed like a silly point of squeamishness. Well then compound that with he either deliberately lied or someone Collin Powelled him and he was given a fallacious speaking point.in his speech.
So much wrong with that speech.
We have had plenty of war when we had a draft. Not sure that the draft in and of itself will deter war. But I agree we need it just because it will keep more Americans asking, “Wait, why are we going there?”