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We're All Prisoners of War Now

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/01/12/were-all-prisoners-war-now

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Cogent well written article by retired Lieutenant Colonel Mr. Astore. Yes, we are all POW’s. I would phrase it this way: the reason we are all POW’s is because America is for all intensive purposes, a military dictatorship.

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I would more aptly call it a Pentagon dictatorship, with defense contractors being the puppet masters.

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An excellent article about the monster of militarism and perpetual war, the true
“elephant in the room” that just keeps on metastasizing, depleting and polluting.

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Some of US have broken out of this mold* of thinking, but are still trapped in this system, especially as it affects US budgets plus endorsement of state violence without regard to due process. While we individually have the ability to escape USA directly, we cannot escape the threat of nuclear war, a threat used by USA to prevent the US war machine from serious counter-actions.

One option that would help would be to estimate annual US civilian deaths due to over-bloated war budgets; they likely exceed US military deaths by a large amount despite being a small fraction of total world civilian deaths due to those budgets.

I remember some years ago at a pro US sport event, not pausing respectfully for the national anthem as I was returning to my seat. I was initially disturbed a bit and wondered why I did what I did. I almost immediately realized that what I respected was the lyrics and recognizing their context; as a result of a US invasion of foreign territory and destroying a civilian village, USA suffered a counter invasion.

I note that while US MIAs from the SEAsian war are not that large, SEA MIAs likely number in the tens to hundreds of thousands.

I intended mode of thinking, but mold better fits the tight confines of mainstream US thinking, plus the rot in vales that supports that thinking.

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Diminishing resources - finite planet - growing populations with growing expectations.

Yes - all prisoners of war - everyone on the planet - a struggle for survival - which is nature’s way.

I never forget the gist of that disturbing movie “The Age of Stupid”, you know - the question posed by the last man standing ~

~ Were we really that stupid - or did we, in a sense - think we were not worth saving ? ~

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This goes on because there is a concerted effort, conducted by expert professionals, to keep us mentally colonized. As an example, early on in this piece: “it’s why we set aside Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November.” --to honor veterans. Only November 11 was originally ARMISTICE DAY–to celebrate the END of war. Mother’s Day in May was created to unite mothers globally in resistance to war. Did you know that? Someone did a study and found 800 movies and 1000 TV shows that have deals with the Pentagon, some funding or use of military facilities in exchange for allowing the Pentagon some say in the story. I’ve noticed that “military science fiction” is one of the biggest subgenres, while in romances, quite often one of the main characters is a Navy Seal or some similar thing, even an assassin–sometimes the woman is too. In other words, we are programmed to see organized violence as heroic. Surely without all that programming, we’d see it as disgusting and dangerous.

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I would agree if you included CON…GRESS!

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No, William Astore, contrary to the far-fetched claim you put forward in this article, we are NOT all Prisoners of War now. Your argument that the POW/MIA flag should now be a symbol for your ludicrous claim that all Americans are “prisoners” of the military-industrial complex is obscene. The POW/MIA flag stands for our POWs and our over 80,000 unrecovered MIAs, and their families (like mine) who still wait for their return - nothing more or less. For you to appropriate it for your wild-eyed anti-military ideas is an insult to those POWs, MIAs, and their families. Furthermore, the American people are in no way prisoners of the military-industrial complex. We support our military - and the budget it needs - because its mission is to protect us from genuine and serious threats:, international terrorism, the rogue states that sponsor terrorism, the aggressive CCP regime in China and the expansionistic Putin regime in Russia. You appear to be ignorant of each one. In fact, given your evident hatred of the military you once served, I’m sure you would be perfectly happy with cutting the ENTIRE Pentagon budget devoted to recovering our MIAs and POWs, and spending it instead on something which is more worthwhile in your view, like deprogramming our citizenry from any silly notions of traditional patriotism. Your argument, Mr. Astore, is both baseless and insulting.

On the point that “we” support our military budget, I will concede. It’s not like some other issues where the US public thinks one thing and Congress does another (e.g. taxing the rich more). According to Gallup (~https://news.gallup.com/poll/288761/record-high-say-defense-spending-right.aspx), only 31% of the people polled thought our defense budget was too high with 50% saying it was about right and 17% saying it was too low (I have no idea what would be enough for people in that last group).

I wouldn’t be surprised if polls on your other points (that the US military actions are in defense against terrorism, China, and Russia) showed agreement with many in the US. But that doesn’t make you any less wrong, and I have no idea what you think you will accomplish here on a site with people who in a huge majority oppose our war footing, think the war with Vietnam was criminal and not just a blunder, thinks our current actions (Yemen, and many other countries) are criminal, and think we spend way too much money. I hope some day we will prevail and change attitudes.

So you think China wants to attack its biggest customer in a military way? I agree that they are quite willing to use espionage to steal information, but they have no interest in attacking us. Likewise, I realize Russia is going to try to disrupt our portion of a networked world as I have no doubt we do to them. More effective computer security is much better handled by other governmental functions than the military and needs nowhere near $1 trillion to accomplish.