Donald Trump's election has elicited impassioned affirmations of a renewed commitment to unvarnished truth-telling from the prestige media. The common theme: you know you can’t trust him, but trust us to keep dogging him on your behalf. The New York Times has even unveiled a portentous new promotional slogan: “The truth is now more important than ever.” For its part, the Washington Post gr
"Why has discussion and debate about (the Military's deficiencies) not found a place among the Nation's political priorities?"
At this point in time, if anyone writing seriously about the state of the US today doesn't acknowledge the Captured Media, they show either Incredible Ignorance or Complicity.
The Media's "Uniform" Worship, whether Military, Police or even Firefighter, is a glaring reveal of Totalitarianism infecting our Democracy.
Once we accept their Elevated and Revered status in US Society, we will not question when they start to "Purify" us of Dissenters.
Many other good questions by Colonel Bacevich (West Point '69), are undermined by the underlying truths that have long been evident to all who have been paying attention, through these many years, WAY beyond the point of asking questions about them any longer.
Well, I'm blaming the American people here, as the blame should be placed on them for so much of this. The US citizen has a responsibility to inform themselves. It's a grave dereliction of a citizen's duty, especially in today's interconnected world, to not be aware of what Mr. Bacevich is talking about. The American citizens need to take responsibility for the risible voter turnout, for their lack of knowledge (or even care of) world non-hegemony-approved facts, as well as the fact that the politicians are not scared of the voters.
No, don't blame the Kardashians, put the blame right where it belongs.
Plus, that uniform worship of all things military isn't limited to the media. It's in the airplane seating-military-first rules, it's in the daily superficial deference and preferences given to the idea of veterans' "sacrifice" (meanwhile using their bodies as paving stoves to allow the military-industrial complex to cover over and destroy anything resembling basic human decency.
Yeah, your last paragraph describes the very results of the Media's Military Uniform Worship, as it seeps into every fiber of our Societal Cloth.
Without the Captured Media's daily, incessant, one sided view being all that many Americans get to hear or see, this wouldn't happen, and voices like ours would be heard by those who need to hear them the most.
Good anatomy of mostly international policies. But it's not just the media that is silent about them, no presidential candidate was ever questioned on these by the people (except for Stein who volunteered condemnation of them). These excellent 24 points describe a solid system, and a public conversation on system change is a cultural taboo, and/or a very dangerous endeavor.
(1) The "truth-telling" media must not offend their advertisers . . . "and now a word from our sponsors promoting dangerous boner-pills for you to ask 'your doctor' for . . . "
(2) The "defense industry," which includes makers of computers and toilet paper, are "job creators" and must not be questioned, for every congressional district depends upon them.
How dare you call me an imperialist; I represent God, Christ, and democracy!
And Sinclair Broadcasting Group is buying Tribune Media Group, which will create a transcontinental monster of brainwashing. SBG does not hide the fact that it strives to consolidate its market share and dominance in those areas where the duopoly is most likely to spend truckloads of cash. And it has an open and deliberate association with that arm of the oligarchy - the GOP - most absolutely owned by the oligarchy.
The local TV station here is SBG owned (NBC, FOX, and MEtv.) I recently visited a relative near Sandusky and after watching the news on the local NBC affiliate there for about 5 minutes I was sure it was also owned by SBG. Sure 'nuff, when the closing credits rolled, there was SBG.
SBG positioned itself, through acquisitions before the farce of an election we just endured, in battleground regions that turned the electoral college tide. They raked in mountains of cash and they also partisanly abetted Trump's rise (they would have done the same for any eventual GOP candidate). This recent acquisition I suspect is a result of their analysis where the battlegrounds are likely to be in '18 and '20. SBG is a powerful and active member of ALEC and the other Koch brothers efforts.
The evening routine on the local SBG TV station goes like this: the local pretty talking heads give us the corporate HQ scripted spin on today's national events and then immediately segues to the SBG-produced "Terrorism Alert Desk" where every manner of conflict is reduced to the verdict of "evil terrorism."
With all due respect Mr. Bacevich I believe things are a lot further along than your very fine words would hope to remedy.
For Democracy to function and survive requires the engaged participation of the people. Our abdication of the duties of citizenship have led us into this dystopian morass. We have abandoned the levers of power to self-serving profiteers to use to exploit us all, at which they have become extremely adept. Comprehending our plight, our history, the value of developing critical thinking skills coupled with a renewed appreciation for a continuous American grassroots revolution will be required if we are to escape the totalitarian future/present. The odds do not look good, but there are no other options.
This is why i love Bacevich.
I would expand your mention of cultural taboos to include steereotypical racial animosities in the plots and subplots of TV and cinema action dramas.
The simple and most precise answer to the 24 bullet points is that eternal occupations and wars equal an eternal revenue stream for the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC). Ever since Viet Nam MIMIC and the politicians it owns have never failed to sustain occupations and wars as long as possible to keep taxpayers' money flowing into MIMIC's hands.
Follow the money.
Instead we can look forward to hard hitting investigative stories like "New studies show teenage boys think about sex a lot. " ha.
I would say ever since WW2. The "Vietnam Era" is different because there was the victory of the Vietnamese, a challenge from the U.S grassroots and a near-revolt by the mostly-drafted U.S. military. Also, the media and Congress were less complicit.
The American people for the most part have no real say in any of this:
And from there (VN) to Iran, where after several decades of a US/UK puppet regime - a police state - Iranians kick out the Yanks and say "Get out, and stay out." The unforgivable transgression, denying US supremacy. Tell me again, which are the fanatical zealots?
So, abortion rights, rural job loss, collapse of Obamacare insurance coops... and maybe Obamacare, collapse of EPA, net neutrality, nibbling away at social security... NONE of these things matter, in comparison to foreign policy issues? Huh? Insane, stupid article.
Yup. That's the pattern.
What Mr. Bacevich doesn't address is the importance of military spending on the rise and fall of the US stock market and economy. If there isn't huge spending on the development, production and marketing of military weaponry, etc., then what will be the basis of the American economy? ...big box stores? ...fast food restaurants? ...almond orchards? ...feed lots for cattle? ...drug stores? ...marijuana, opioids? ...more freeways? ...more cell phones? ...more Trump towers? To me military spending is convenient as the basis of the American economy because it frees American minds from having to think seriously, rigorously and creatively about current social issues (e.g., drowning in plastic trash) and/or how to attain and sustain a thriving and functional economy that works for all without having to kill everybody or blow up everything.
The outcome of all the domestic problems that you rightly mention, are inextricably bound together
with the foreign policies and priorities that Bacevich so masterfully elucidates in this extremely thoughtful essay.
Another way to look at the connection has been submitted in the excellent comment by RUCyrious above.
Andrew Bacevich, like Chris Hedges, is a master at peeling off the mask of "conventional wisdom" which spews forth 24/7 from the corporate media. He makes us question things that most have been
conditioned to accept in this "Empire of Illusion", to borrow a common Chris Hedges phrase.
He is right. These 24 issues are, he says:....."none seriously covered, discussed or even debated in the American media or in the political mainstream." That is so obviously true, despite the fact that these 24 points contain within them decades upon decades of squandering our national wealth, as well as representing an existential threat, potentially, to the Earth and all life on it.
It takes an exceptionally courageous person to publicly raise these issues, and I laud him for doing so. Good job, Mr. Bacevich!