Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/09/riptide-american-militarism
Anyone who volunteers for the American military or works for a Pentagon contractor is complicit in the Empire’s war crimes.
The insertion and heroization of former American soldiers into the police forces and other positions of power is ongoing and dangerous.
These people are trained to kill on command, to hate the other, and to have no conscience. They’re automatons, but the few who have consciences, such as Chelsea Manning and those who testified against the murderous Navy Seal whom Trump loves so much, are punished for being ethical.
Many of the worst conservative ghouls, such as the Oregon legislator who threatened violence against state Democrats recently, are lifelong military and military contractor mercenaries.
And of course Erik Prince is still walking around free, and his sister is in the Cabinet.
Eisenhower warned us. We didn’t listen.
Our military and intelligence operations are largely so opaque that democracy is not even possible. When the tentacles of projected power are unknowable to the citizen who has a job and a life and zero access to information, largely due to a duplicitous and complicit media structure, how is one to be informed? I certainly was not during my career, even though I tried to get informed through (what was at least better) media such as the Sunday shows and an array of periodicals. While I do get on my high horse from time to time about the ignorance of most Americans I must recognize that their is an [The] Assault On Reason (Al Gore, 2007) under full steam. Whenever I try to enlighten someone, they inevitably want the bumpersticker answer. They NEVER are willing (or perhaps have the time) to do the serious study that is required to gain a sense of context into just how this country and world work. The knob twisters know this and exploit it at every turn. “Support Our Troops” is such an easy thing to say or write. With the subtext of “Bring Them Home” I would agree, but such would be viewed as unpatriotic by those enamored with flyovers, flags, and fireworks. Until The Enlightenment can be relit, I expect few things to change. Fortunately, there are many in the upcoming generation who are tired of the razzle-dazzle and are beginning to ask pointed questions. Let’s nurture them as they are the country’s best hope.
The US Military is still seen by most Citizens of that Country as the most respected institution in Government. This the result of brainwashing akin to what we used to see in those 1950’s movies where it the North Koreans or Russians subjecting their citizens to the same. Indeed those 1950’s movies ironically were actively brainwashing the Public even as they pretended to speak to the virtues of Western Society.
Added to that one can not separate US Militarism from Capitalism and the Corporations. The US Military is all about ensuring that Capitalism and the Corporations formed under its presence remains the only acceptable economic system on the Globe. Ultimately just as it was in the 1920 and 1930s when Smedley Butler pointed it out , it all about the money and it all about the 1 percent. There a bit of a chicken and egg argument here as to which came first but Human History has shown that the most Militaristic of nations always have a 1 percent of its wealthiest and most powerful members promoting war. If we want peace in our time we have to rid ourselves of those parasites first.
Yeah, just a little more about that peachy state senator of ours here in Oregon:
(From the Oregonian)
Oregon Sen. Brian Boquist can only report to the Capitol if he provides 12 hours’ notice, so that officials can arrange for additional state troopers to ensure the safety of employees and the public.
A legislative committee issued that decision after lengthy deliberations on Monday, in response to Boquist’s threats last month against Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and state troopers.
Boquist, a Dallas Republican, made the statements after Gov. Kate Brown hinted she would consider sending state police to round up Republicans if they walked out of the Capitol to kill a sweeping climate change bill.
In a June 19 floor speech, Boquist told Courtney, “If you send the state police to get me, hell is coming to visit you personally.”
Later the same day, Boquist suggested in an interview captured by a KGW television crew that he would shoot and potentially kill any state police sent by the governor and Senate president to bring him back to the Capitol.
“This is what I told the superintendent,” Boquist said, referring to OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”
Good topic to discuss. But indeed, nothing new here. The US is and has always been a militaristic empire and the US population is heavily propagandized compared to most developed countries. These are established historical facts.
“Yes, in December 1941, the American people did finally begin to mobilize in a big way and march off to war, however reluctantly, and, in the end, they did decisively defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.”
The American people did not march off to war. Just the soldiers did. It was the peoples of Europe who endured the war in their homes and communities, who were displaced, and who were active in a splendid popular resistance. And in the end, the Nazi were defeated, but not by America who entered the war at its end (and bombed Japan for now justified reason)…Russia kept a big burdain and so did many other European countries. Even this historian is filling this article with propaganda. Sorry, but the historical facts are historical facts.
Just to add to this. After the Battle of Stalingrad , the German Generals considered the war lost suggesting they could not regain the initiative and counseling surrender or a mass retreat to pre 1939 borders so as to have a narrower front. The USA entered the war in late 1941. The Battle of Stalingrad occurred through most of 1942. The USA was barely into the war when the Russians in essence had “won it”.
US revisionist historians are loathe to admit that as “Communists” defeating “Fascists” does not have the same ring to it as “Fascists defeated by Democracy”. Even regarding Stalingrad where the Russians suffered nearly 2 million casualties , these revisionists will pretend it was the USA and the Western allies that helped win this battle. They overstate the aid provided by lend lease and overstate the impact of Germany sending some small number of troops and aircraft to North Africa from the Stalingrad area to deal with the allied landings there. (Outside the trucks most of the equipment provided by the western allies was seen as substandard by the Russians and the German Luftwaffe had already lost the Air battle at Stalingrad when they transferred Luftwaffe units to Africa. If they had kept those added ground forces at Stalingrad , it would have just meant more soldiers surrendering after operation Uranus).
The American Military is not now, and never will be engaged in a “War on Terror.”
Rather, it is a "War on The Nations That The Duopoly Hates."
Greed is the main motivator.
Don’t be fooled by the lies the MSM spreads for the 30 pieces of silver they’re paid.
Flee the Duopoly’s mind control now.
Go online today and re-register as an Independent, a Green, a Socialist, anything other than a supporter of the corruption and cowardice we are subjected to 24/7 on the “Boob Tube.”
Be a “Boob” no longer.
No arrest warrant for this fool?
Thank you for that expanded information.
Boquist is a lifelong military mercenary.
He also is an animal abuser dairy farmer.
A dangerous, evil, brutal man, he has no place in any position of power.
Notice also that the armed reich-wing militia in Oregon threatened violence on behalf
It’s amazing that he and the other gun nuts weren’t all arrested and charged with sedition.
Support for militarism is bipartisan. Here is a line from the 2016 Democratic Party Platform:“Democrats believe America must continue to have the strongest military in the world.” My “representative”, Nancy Pelosi consistently votes for our giant military budgets. They are happy spend hundreds of billions on the war on terror and 20th century weapons systems while failing to see climate change as by far the greatest threat to our national security.
This is one of the clearest examples of the need to have more than the 2-party system; we need more than 2 viable political parties. Both the Green Party, of which I’m a member, and the Libertarian Party oppose our endless wars. We need people leading the country who, first and foremost, want a peaceful world so that us humans can work together to solve the existential threats we’re facing.
Boquist is the poster child for 90% of what’s wrong with America.
You’d certainly think so. I mean, he essentially threatened the OSP (Oregon State Police) with homicide.
But, no, he’s just been before some ‘legislative committee hearing’, and that’s probably going to be that.
Yet the more I think about it, I start wondering how many of our OSP folks, along with a fair number of other uniformed ‘law enforcement’ types around these parts, might just be in agreement with his attitude and approach to dim-ocracy, or a perversion of Mao’s ‘political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’.
Who knew we might have Maoists here in the Pacific Northwest?
You might be right about the police, it sure seems like they’ve been giving the alt-right a pass at the protests, at least by the way MSM has been reporting it anyway.
It is the Military take over of every aspect of our lives that has made me so ashamed to be a part of the sadistic Militarization of America.
You cannot go to any type of Ball Game without a salute to the Troops.
Thank You For Your Service has become an obnoxious meaningless refrain that to me conjures up killing innocent men women and children overseas.
Whatever happened to the ideals of JFK who tried to push the nation toward peaceful relationships with everyone around the globe thru the Peace Corp.
That has been replaced by the War Corp.
Now we send Storm Troopers around the world dressed like Star War robots Terrorizing and Bullying third world nations instead of teaching them how to grow healthy crops and produce clean drinking water.
Unfortunately the John McCain’s and Lindsey Graham’s have dominated our thinking for the last few decades.
It is either BOMB, BOMB, BOMB Iran or KILL, KILL, KILL everyone on the Planet that does not obey our orders.
Thank You For Your Service and thank you for making every nation in the world hate America.
“Thank you for your service” more accurately put “thank you for your service to the political and commercial powers who have deprived me of many human rights and have been exploiting every aspect of my life from birth to death.”
“Thank you for your service” is one of the symbolic manifestations of the inverse totalitarianism.
The problem is that the “winner takes all” electoral system leaves little room for other parties to compete successfully.The Democratic and Republican parties, with the exception of a few progressives, agree on the major issues such as handouts to industries, slack regulation of financial institutions, unlimited military budgets and other initiatives that benefit the 1%. These politicians all have the common goal of enriching themselves and their billionaire donors.
To distract the population, there are furious arguments between the parties pertaining to gun ownership, immigration and abortion. These issues “differentiate” the two parties, though they are of little overall importance. These discussions makes the people feel they live in a democracy, and are in effect red herrings that keep the population distracted while the politicians and the billionaires loot America.
Such a well written essay… I have nothing to disagree with.
But I am 100% convinced nothing will change what is going on - the militarism, the endless enemies list we must foment conflict or war with, the corporate ( aka fascist) control of our government and economy and the complete and if necessary violent suppression of the people advocating and fighting for peace and actual democracy…
It’s really depressing to be constantly smacked in the face with the fact things are just sinking deeper and deeper. Every flicker of hope glistens brightly for a short time and then is summarily snuffed out…
I agree with your sentiment but other nations do not need the benevolent white man to teach them how to grow healthy crops. Most other parts of the world have been farming for thousands of years.
Our corporate farming methods of mono-culture, Monsanto and pesticides have destroyed our farmland.