More, more, more.
More, more, more.
Very astute article. It's amazing how many times the "experts" are just dead wrong.
One thing the author is wrong about....there is, I am sure, a large minority, which is growing,
that is FED UP with the military....
I have been sick of this glorification of the military for quite some time now...
and, although it seems to be considered impolite, I am saying it to anyone who will listen.
I even said it to a co-worker who is in the Reserves.....
I am sorry, this just has to STOP... just stop...
Any educated person ought to be able to figure out by now that despite the window dressing of pseudo-democracy and 24/7 political reality TV, USA is in reality a Military Dictatorship. Anyone wanting to push America in the direction of a more just, stable & humanitarian society needs to reckon with this fact, sooner or later.
I've been impolite for decades and I'm a veteran.
Exaggerating doesn't help the issue. We are not a military dictatorship. Militaristic, most definitely.
" It's dangerous to deify any public institution let alone the country's bureau of violence."
That has to come to an end! But until the majority of Americans and military people quit hiding behind the flag and their disingenuous, false patriotism and reach that conclusion; nothing will ever change. And here is why: A 600 billion dollar military budget for the current fiscal year!
If we were a functioning democracy, Congress would provide oversight & set limits on the Pentagon. But in fact, it is the Pentagon calling the shots. Everything in the US budget is on austerity, starving to death. But not the Pentagon.
Generals make disastrous decisions, setting nations aflame, leaving chaos, & destruction, accomplishing NOTHING but making the world a dystopian hellscape.
Do they ever face consequences for their crimes? No, only when they have extramarital affairs.
And when was the last time a Dem or Repub ran for POTUS & promised to END a war, any war at all? How about the two-thousand-never election?
So, yes, this is a Military Dicatorship. Sorry to harsh your mellow.
Race card? WTF? What about the Dead Soldier Card?
Right on. There is only one org in the gov. that cannot, and never has been audited--the Pentagon.
Dear Major Dan -
A very good and thoughtful article - I'll be sure to read your book. Several comments: I think you are mistaken about the magnitude of US military spending. One can say that it is at around $ 600 billion per year only by buying into phony accounting - by excluding the costs of the intelligence services (CIS, NSA and many more), spending on veterans programs (retirement, VA, etc.), and even nuclear weapons research and production (!). The actual level is in the neighborhood of $ 1.2 TRILLION. Second, I'd say you are partially incorrect on Cuba. It is key that in Oct., 1962 Russia had tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba, and was prepared to use them to repel a US invasion. The US did not know that at the time, very very scary . .
http://www.ips-dc.org/more_lucky_than_brilliant/ ( I am the author)
Lastly, here is another take on the issue of worship of the military . . Who even remembers Armistice Day?
Sounds like you may be a candidate for Veterans For Peace - I've been active in it for over ten years. Our convention this year is in Chicago, Aug 9-13 I think it would be great to have you as a speaker . .
You can contact VFP through their website, or me at email@example.com
From my perspective, your post was spot on and not an exaggeration. If one agrees with Cicero's definition of democracy: " that democracy is participation in political power" then when it comes to the American, military we are indeed a military dictatorship wrapped in the flag of a democracy, because the majority of Americans have no political power when it comes to their Defense Department and it's egregious, 600 billion dollar budget.
I have two poems I wrote some time ago that bear on the subject at hand. One is an acrostic poem on Armistice Day and the other is just on our wars.
Now is the day that we remember
Our dead, the wars, each falling ember.
Veterans, Poppy clad, march in sadness and pride,
Ever mindful of the dwindling companies they once marched beside.
Men, long turned grey, who remember the youth and strength
Bourne by them into war, adventure, endless length,
Ever yearning, at last, for home, for hearth, for peace.
Remembering all their lives the horrors that wars release.
Eleven, eleven, the day the guns fell still,
Leaving only the stench of gas, and bodies, and graves to fill.
Eleven, eleven and the “War to end all wars,” had ceased.
Vengeance and madness! Again the dogs of war unleashed!
Ever rending a new generation to feed their maw.
Now, war follows war, each more cruel, more raw,
Tears the fabric of life, slays man, woman, child; death in the rough.
Heaven itself must cry in pain, “For the love of God! Enough! Enough!”
For Remembrance Day 2008
© Stephen M. Osborn 11/11/2008
Forgotten Wars, Forgotten Warriors
Korea, they say, was not a war.
It was a “Police Action.”
Which would you rather die as?
A “policeman,” or a soldier?
Or would you perhaps rather live?
At least Korea had a reason,
Flawed, of course, but a reason.
Most of the world pitched in to fight
On one side or the other.
How many died before it finally burned out?
Vietnam was an accident, turned into a war.
A people who fought for their independence.
A millennium against the Chinese,
A century against the French.
Thousands died, were tortured, jailed.
Overrun by Japan, they fought for freedom.
At war’s end, they were given back to France,
So again they had to fight;
At Dien Bien Phu, they won.
The time of rejoicing was short.
Like Korea, the country was divided up.
The Western Nations made the decision.
South Vietnam to be “ours”
North Vietnam to be “theirs.”
No one asked the People of their desires.
Once more the Vietnamese had to fight
To expel the foreign occupiers,
Remove their puppet governments,
Reaffirm their independence.
Does hubris come with power, or vice versa?
Advisors were sent in
To help build the ARVN army.
Then to fight with the ARVN;
Finally to die with the ARVN.
Would you rather be No. 1, or No. 58,178?
Rulers were changed as the war went on.
The key is, the war went on.
The Phoenix burned on its pyre
Hatching new warriors for the cause.
For every village that dies, avengers arise.
A new Pearl Harbor was needed,
To fully unleash the dogs of war.
Tonkin Gulf was the catalyst,
A Black Op by the USA.
B-52's can destroy property, but not ideas.
We carpet bombed the north,
Poisoned the land with Orange and Purple.
Our troops were collateral damage,
Not to be recognized for years.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
As the years rolled on,
We found it impossible to tell
Friend from foe, in a country that
Simply wanted us out!
Strange that all peoples resist occupation.
Finally, the last helicopters left Embassy Row
Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City
And we had learned a hard lesson,
Now engraved upon a wall.
Only vets learn the real lesson of war.
Thirty years later,
Another “Pearl Harbor,”
Another pair of wars,
The foundation poured for yet another Wall.
They who dodged ‘Nam start a new war.
Read the above poem again
Make the place names Afghan, Iraqi, Yemeni, Syrian.
Substitute DU for Agent Orange
Government denial is still there
We don’t count their dead, or show ours.
Now, in the Pentagon, the plans are made
At Bush/Cheney’s desperate urging.
We, or Israel (with our backing)
Are next to nuke Iran!
And thus unleash the final holocaust.
Russia, China, and others, no doubt,
Will retaliate with nukes of their own.
In time, not long, there will be few left
To count our dead, or remember.
The Nuclear Dragon will have eaten us all.
How long will it be before We the People
Break the wheel of death?
How many more thousands, or millions, to die
To be maimed, poisoned?
What happened to our Constitution?
Once upon a time we defended!
We fought for freedom, democracy,
Not oil and Empire...once upon a time.
We don’t need Roman Legions.
Let us remember our dead, not create more.
© Stephen M. Osborn
19 December 2006
Call us the new Prussians ( sans the dueling scars and monocles ).
Congress did require the Pentagon to be audited, but they never followed up the failure to do so by cutting funding.
Seems auditing the Pentagon is one of the few bipartisan ideas in Congress. At some point Congress may realize the military is pissing on their lapel flag pins.
"Let us remember our dead, not create more."
Eloquent in memorium.
It is not the military that makes the US a non-functioning democracy. The military does the bidding of the rich who control the country. Our involvement in the middle east is because of the rich's need to control the oil. The military is just used to maintain that 'control'.
The majority of americans don't, but there is a segment of the population that does control the purse strings, the rich. They also use the military to fight for their interests. The wars we fight are to control the empire the rich created for themselves.
I would disagree with you in this way; this officer is doing his duty in spite of everything in his article. It is our elected officials who have served up dishonor tor country and it is us citizens who have failed ourselves by allowing the shameful march toward imperialistic hegemony to go on. My sincere thanks to this Major for his bravery in writing this article. Now if only we will listen and take action.