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How to Sustain Perpetual War (It’s Easy; Hide the Bodies)


#1

How to Sustain Perpetual War (It’s Easy; Hide the Bodies)

Peter Van Buren

Sustaining America’s state of post-9/11 perpetual war requires skillful manipulation of the public at home. The key tool used for this purpose is the bloodless narrative, a combination of policy, falsehoods and media manipulation that creates the impression that America’s wars have few consequences, at least for Americans.

How can the American government sustain its wars in the face of dead soldiers coming home? Why is there no outcry among the American people over these losses? The answer is the narrative of bloodless war.

The Dead


#2

This prescient article is as pertinent today as when it was written in 2015. Americans are shielded from the endless war's atrocities as if they're in never, never, land. The 'Nam taught US officials that war is an ugly business as the TV had harrowing images on a nightly basis that never ended and turned Americans against seeing young soldiers killed every day. So these days we're treated to 'sanitized' versions of war and along with it a bunch of patriotic BS. War sucks! The US has been at war almost my entire life in one form or another since my birth in 1954. And yes it still continues and American soldiers are still dying now mostly by their own hands. These inconveniences won't be talked about in public forums as vets try to deal with the atrocities seen and committed abroad. These vets need support when they return from imperialist adventures by a government that could, seemingly, care less. So keeping the 'people' unaware of these tragic outcomes perpetuate America's perpetual wars. Sad.


#3

War is always hell. It makes matters worse when the war at hand is one brought under fraud and deception as is our Global War On Terror.

All those young men, like Pat Tillman, are there for the best ideals and motivations. But like Pat Tillman and the rest of the public, they have been deceived.

In reality they are fighting and dying for empire and military aggression, nothing more.


#4

The thing about being in a perpetual state of war is that it begins to feel normal and eventually, you forget that we are at war. If you don't see the bodies or see footage of the fighting, you don't really see the war. Instead you see parking lots with rows of tanks, sometimes you see military vehicles from which armed men get out of or get into or you see soldiers going on patrol/you see soldiers coming off patrol. The state of war as seen on TV news becomes so ordinary! Nothing to see. Move along! but we are at home elready and there is no place to move along except to change the channel and tune into a sitcom with a laugh track!

How about privatizing perpetual war using mercenaries? Then you could actually forget that we are even at war at all!

What else is on? This episode is a rerun!


#5

"The answer is the narrative of bloodless war." No, it is the professional army, an institution at variance with our national tradition.

"There seems to be a lack of concern among too many people about the state of the nation, and a too easy acceptance of policies and actions of a kind that a generation ago would have appalled the citizenry. The apparent broad acceptance of the "volunteer army" idea comes to mind- a concept completely at variance with our historic development. Up to now, a blessing of our system has been that those who go into the military service, whether by enlistment or through the draft, could hardly wait to get out. But today, because of the exigencies of the times, there is a chance that we may turn our back on this fundamental principle: a large, standing professional army has no place in this Republic." The Pentagon Propaganda Machine...J. William Fulbright. 1972

As long as there are armies they are only legitimate if they are citizen armies in any democratic system of government...bring back the draft, Now.


#6

About Mortality Salience

The following is an excerpt from an article on mortality salience, which was published in the Journal of 9/11 Studies (June 14, 2007) by Laurie Manwell, a behavioral neuroscientist:

“Studies evaluating psychological reactions to death and traumatic experiences, and in particular 9/11, in the context of terror management theory ((internal citations omitted), report that a number of outwardly-aimed psychological defenses are used when people are reminded of their mortality (internal citations omitted). When people are prompted by thoughts of death, known as mortality salience, most often they react by inflating their faith in their personal worldview. For example, they may display greater bias towards their country or religion (internal citations omitted). The effect of 9/11 then, on Americans in particular is well summarized by Kosloff et al. (2006):

Consistent with this research, the years since 9/11 – an event that made mortality quite salient to most Americans – have been replete with surges in patriotic fever and persistent efforts to fortify faith in the American worldview and its value (internal citations omitted).

Research on terror management theory also shows that when people are reminded of their mortality, they exaggerate the number of people who hold similar worldviews; a phenomenon called consensus bias (internal citations omitted).. Similarly, information appearing to represent the majority opinion tends to induce immediate persuasion, in comparison to minority opinions, which often induce immediate resistance (internal citations omitted). Recent research by Tormala et al. (2007) confirms this:

The traditional explanation has been that people seek to publicly agree with majority messages and reject minority messages to avoid aligning themselves with deviant groups or positions (internal citations omitted). Thus, whether it stems from simple, low-effort rejection or more thoughtful but negatively biased processing, people often show immediate, direct, and public resistance to messages associated with minority sources (internal citations omitted). Of interest, though, initially resisted minority sources have been known to exert a hidden or delayed impact. For example, when people resist minority sources, they often show evidence of persuasion when their attitudes are measured at a later point in time (internal citations omitted).

Thus, one of the most common responses to being asked to consider alterative [sic] accounts of 9/11 is that one does not need to because very few people believe them, when in fact, there are substantial numbers of people who do question the official account, and their questions are not trivial ones.

In addition to engaging in consensus bias when their self or worldviews are threatened, people also display an escalation in behaviors that confirm their worldviews, such as defending national and religious icons and derogating those with dissimilar views, some even to the point of aggression (internal citations omitted). Such reliance on bolstering personal worldviews in the face of threat may resolve feelings of uncertainty and distress in the short-term, but may have serious consequences for oneself and society at large in the long-term (internal citations omitted). McGregor (2006) highlights these consequences:

Indeed, mortality salience threats (self-threats) have not only caused zeal about in-group preferences and other forms of worldview defense (internal citations omitted), but they have also increased Americans’ support for terrorism strikes (internal citations omitted). Other kinds of self-threats similarly have caused increased extremism and zeal about suicide bombing, the American invasion of Iraq, and capital punishment (internal citations omitted). In social conflicts in which opposing groups feel threatened by one another, indulging in awesome displays of pride and militant conviction may insulate the self but, unfortunately, may also shock one’s opponent with additional threats. In response, opponents may likely mount reciprocal zeal and further fuel the cycle of zealous extremism. Research on defensive zeal, the present findings, and lessons gleamed from history’s zealots and crusaders, indicate that although zealous responses to threats may be alluring, they can also be self-defeating. Even though zealous responses to threats may feel right because they relieve concern, strategically they may be woefully wrong. [italics added]

As we can see then, when discussing the events of 9/11, any information that contradicts or threatens a person’s worldview or self-regard, can automatically trigger defensiveness, which itself then becomes a significant barrier to objective evaluation of the subject. Asking someone to consider evidence that contradicts the official story, and more importantly, to begin to think about how these alternative accounts could change their worldviews, is a request that needs itself to be carefully considered. Specifically, we need to consider how reminders of death, and more drastically, threats to one’s perceived fundamental freedoms, can trigger non-conscious defensiveness that blocks a person from engaging in such discussions.”


#7

I remember watching the Vietnam war on television every night. We no longer see those sorts of reports.


#8

I remember too. The military learned that you can't show the truth about war and then expect that people will want to fight in one! Hollywood could could show John Wayne (who actually dodged the draft in WWII) fighting the glorified myth of war but you couldn't show a just arrested Vietnamese prisoner on his knees in the street being executed with a pistol bullet to the head because he didn't answer a question! Nor could you show what napalm did to human flesh. Nor keep a running count of genocide where nightly you might hear that when a village was captured that there were 17 or 20 dead and only two or three guns captured. You couldn't show chemical warfare (Agent Orange) being sprayed on villagers' rice paddies nor carpet bombing grass huts with B-52 bombers.

The military learned that you couldn't actually show the horrors of war and not have people start asking questions!


#9

Hypocritical generals speak of collateral damage and the cost of war as though to remind us that the dead people we're being shown 24/7 by the mainstream media are the enemy and therefore not human beings. Did you ever ask yourself why these bodies appear to be civilians, including children - not enemy soldiers? Where are the weapons in these horrific scenes of war? Instead we count ourselves lucky because the dead are not Americans, and it's not America that is being totally destroyed. Our military is defending us from terrorists. Wait a minute! Weren't these 7 countries the same ones we claimed as friends before American companies started selling weapons to their rebels, who were then supposed to use them to help us overthrow their tyrannical government?

Our grief does not come from outright war caused by an outside enemy in our homeland. Our grief is caused because we all know someone - a friend, a family member, or someone we pass on the street - who has suffered terrible injuries and mental anguish from fighting in continuous wars for more than 15 years - wars where the weapons are IEDs and suicide bombers and that are now being waged by the U.S. in 7 countries that we know of - wars we have not even bothered to declare. And though we will never know the number of actual American deaths from these wars, we know that there have been many who have died - sometimes at their own hand - among the men and women who are hired by Uncle Sam to carry out the orders of our government.

The irony is that we have elected the members of our government to ensure our common good, and instead they seem to think that they are employed by the corporations and the very rich. Maybe because their services have been bought and paid for by those campaign $$s that are being dumped into our elections by the corporations and the very rich... Nothing is free, and following the money leads us directly to the real enemy - those who profit from these endless wars whether they be those who make up the military/industrial complex or those who were elected to govern but instead "work" for those in power behind the curtain of wealth.


#10

Are you serious? I hope not. Not always easy to tell someone's intent, when there's no obvious tone. Privatization would allow you to forget about these disastrous offshore wars? That's a sad commentary.

How about not privatizing war using mercenaries who are going to kill even more innocent civilians in those countries; and, who have a history in engaging in rampant financial fraud, etc. You remember Blackwater? Well, Eric Prince and another idiot are currently proposing to the Pentagon that their mercenary outfits take over the fighting in Afghanistan

 Kushner and Bannon Team Up to Privatize the War in Afghanistan -- July 14, 2017 --  Tim Shorrock -- TheNation

this all came from:
Trump Aides Recruited Businessmen to Devise Options for Afghanistan -- July 10, 2017 -- Landler et al -- NYTimes


#11

Did you miss this sarcasm? >>> "What else is on? This episode is a rerun?" The whole context of the comment is the tone. The point being Prince's mercenaries in the week's news.

Whatever.


#12

The mention of the despicable Cheney is bad enough but the call for continual support of the 'troops' makes no sense. As long as we call the troops heroes, the longer will wars persist. A hero is Cassius Clay later Muhammed Ali who refused to serve in wars of aggression. Pat Tillman was coming to the same conclusion when he was silenced by our own govt.


#13

Is there anything in print on the Internet with regard to this hypothesis? I'd like to read it. Tks.


#14

Okay. I owe you an apology. I see that CD reported on this on the 11th; and, that you commented on it. I just get really pissy about all these wars and coups. Too bad we're such an isolated, ignorant country.


#15
             Sorrow

If all the waving of our flag rose up in mighty winds
That whirled us round and round
So we could not tell
Which way was up and which was down,
We’d blow about the earth
Taking root in land that is not our own
An invasive weed that kills the native species
So we can plant our flags.

If all the cheers of misplaced pride rose up at once
We would not be able to hear ourselves
Or others who prefer the silence
Drowned out by shysters whose fortunes rise
As truth fades to a whisper and disappears.
And If all the greed in grasping hearts rose up in flames
And burned away the victims
Who would be left to do their bidding
And envy them their riches?

If all the tears shed for lives cut short by war
Rose up in clouds that drenched the earth
And pooled in oceans of sorrow
Replenished daily by the grief that doesn’t go away.
That ocean would rise up in angry waves
To punish the ignorance and pride
That cherished our false interests
And threw away those lives.


#16

War is not healthy for children and other living beings.
War why is it good for? Absolutely nothing!!!


#17

In addition to Hiding the Bodies :

Presciently enact Laws that allow the Media to be owned by only a Few Monied Interests, whose Sole Viewpoint becomes Ubiquitous.

Create a "Warrior Class" that has nothing to do with actually Protecting Our Freedoms.

Bury, in an avalanche of Distraction and Mendacity, the true, documented account of the events of 11/22/1963, where Our Democracy was overthrown by Internal Forces, and Endless War began, starting in Viet Nam and Culminating with the In Your Face, False Flag of 9/11. (Still reciting the Names every Anniversary.)

Create, and then Infiltrate, "Spectacle", usually Professional Spectator Sports, where the Military is Ritually Showcased and Lionized, either by a Vet singing the anthem, (usually holding a kid), or a Blue Angels Flyover.

Obfuscate the True Frame of the Wars of Aggression.

Derail, by the Most Efficient Means, any Authentic Wave of Populist Consciousness and Enthusiasm.
(most recently Occupy, and then Bernie)

Hide any Evidence that Life can be more Fulfilling and Enjoyable in places other than "The Homeland".

Undermine the Educational System, so that Critical Thinking, and Creativity, wither away leaving a Submissive Populace, ready to blindly accept the Official Story, in whatever form it may take, at any given moment, to serve the Empire.


#18

War is good for obscene war industry profits.


#19

Or as Barbara Bush said of the war in Iraq: “Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”


#20

It disgusts me to think of all of those who are responsible for your accurate list of schemes - our presidents, our congress, the duopoly, the media, and especially the military/industrial complex - smirking as they dusted off their hands after a job well done - while the sheeple shrugged and drank the KoolAid, not only buying into the stories of the day on the channel that matched their already cast in concrete beliefs but then reaching for their credit cards to buy whatever they saw advertised for sale that day... Please keep howling Coyote!