Permanent War Is Bad for You

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But It’s So Good for Business; What Can We Do?

I wonder if the American dedication to permanent war over the past quarter century worries you as much as it does me. And it’s looking more permanent every day, as if the country had developed a bellicose addiction. It comes in colors: black ops, pre-emptive strikes, war by false flags, war by proxies, mercenary wars. What to do about it? I’ll do what I normally do, write it up, in the vain hope that someone will at least notice the absurdity and injustice of the situation.

I’ve got some specific concerns regarding this “Permawar” business.  Permanent war means victims every day, victims of all flavors, young and old, saints and sinners, most every type of person in fact, except politicians and war profiteers. I do want to include soldiers in this list of victims. They are, after all, human beings, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, all with families, dreams and ambitions to lose in a war. And most of them don’t want to be there in the first place.

Then there are the elderly and children, the utterly helpless. Yours are safe at home for now, but theirs are daily exposed to the biblical wrath of American military might at the hands of GI’s, U.S. “contractors” or neighboring proxy killers on the ground. Or they are victims of the even-more-sinister remote death from the sky delivered by troglodyte mannish boys playing video games in Nevada.

The Effect on the United States is Devastating

I’m also worried about the kickback damage done to the Americans at home. War is expensive. The twelve-zero sums that finance the forever wars have to come from somewhere. They come from the domestic budget, and don’t leave much money for anything else. This is why any European country has better roads and bridges than the United States. Between the defense budget (“defense” being an Orwellian euphemism, of course) and the refinancing of the country’s biggest banks and finance companies, the American lower and middle classes were pauperized. Their poverty begat a deficient education system which begat inequality, which begat delinquency and the largest prison population in the world.

That’s another issue that is seldom mentioned by “responsible journalists,” the fact that most of these wars seem made to order for arms manufacture profiteering. Does the mass media live in another dimension that doesn’t permit them to see certain aspects of the permanent war game? Permawar is a hedge-fund manager’s dream: an unending stream of parasites to be parasited. The reconstituted banks, meanwhile, have ascended straight into heaven on the backs of their investments in the arms-of-mass-destruction business. (You’re not going to pretend that cruise missiles and nuclear bombs aren’t “arms of mass destruction,” are you?)

One is tempted to wonder if the Permawar Machine wasn’t created purposely by a group of demented plutocrats to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich–The Trickle Up Machine–which they, never to miss a chance to exercise their fine sense of irony,  dubbed benevolently the “Trickle Down Machine.” So it goes.

Self-Censorship on Auto-Pilot

It also strikes me as uncanny that scarcely anyone over there who writes or speaks on the subject in the mainline American media ever mentions the fact that most of these senseless wars are about “the enemies'” strategic natural resources, the main (but far from only) one being oil. “What about Afghanistan?” you ask. “They don’t have oil wells.”

That’s true but, according to surveys done by the United States Geological Survey  a decade ago, Afghanistan sits atop a trillion-dollar lode of gold, silver and platinum, as well as significant quantities of iron ore, uranium, zinc, chromium, tantalum, bauxite, coal, copper and natural gas. Some experts have suggested that this impoverished, war-torn Himalayan country might also be on it’s way to becoming “the Saudi Arabia of lithium”, thanks to vast deposits of the raw material used in phone and electric car batteries. In all it amounts to an Aladdin’s cave just waiting to be plundered. This article from The Independent (August, 2017) highlights President Donald Trump’s interest in the subject.

Small, Important Voices

The most compelling comment on this lamentable situation comes not from the all-powerful American mass media, but from the humble blogosphere. Here’s a moving paragraph from a 1915 blog post by Jase Short entitled The Permanent War on Afghanistan-A Personal Reflection:

“9/11 and the war on Afghanistan woke me up to the situation in the world and made me who I am today. But what is shocking is that … the people of Afghanistan have been subject to the same violence for 14 straight years. They do not have the privilege of shrugging their shoulders or enjoying the emotional distance of screens. They are there when the daisy cutter bombs hit, when the hunter killer teams collect their grotesque trophies of human body parts, when killer robots massacre wedding parties. Caught between the occupation, its local agents, and the Taliban itself, these are the people whose lives have been turned into instruments of global politics.”

I wish I had said that.

Read the full story in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for commenting and sharing.

The Godzilla Flag Is Loosed on the U.S.A.–2/2

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The Pledge of Allegiance is a Socialist Invention

The Wikipedia has an excellent article on the Pledge of Allegiance and I want to cite a couple of  quotes from it. I’m sure they won’t mind:

“The Pledge of Allegiance, as it exists in its current form, was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898).

“In 1892, Francis Bellamy created what was known as the Bellamy salute. It started with the hand outstretched toward the flag, palm down, and ended with the palm up. Because of the similarity between the Bellamy salute and the Nazi salute, which was adopted in Germany later, the US Congress stipulated that the hand-over-the-heart gesture as the salute to be rendered by civilians during the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem in the US would be the salute to replace the Bellamy salute. Removal of the Bellamy salute occurred on December 22, 1942, when Congress amended the Flag Code language first passed into law on June 22, 1942.”

On the same Wikipedia page as this second quote there is a Dorthea Lange photograph of Japanese-American first graders standing in line with their right hands over their hearts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. It is 1942 and they are standing outside the concentration camp barracks where they are interned with their parents for the duration of World War II.

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Flag Waving is Good Business

This inspirational quote is posted on the webside of a flag manufacturer in the state of Washington: “Show your support of our country by proudly flying your flag in 2016. If you have an American flag at home or at your business, it should be should be flown every day—especially on the national holidays and state birthdays listed below.” They would say that, wouldn’t they.

To See Ourselves as Others See Us

People from other countries have trouble understanding the Americans’ devotion to their flag. Other countries have flags but—with few exceptions—they are not objects of worship. Let’s let this BBC correspondent speak for himself:

“What you still don’t see in the U.K. however, are flags flying outside houses, so it comes as something of a surprise when we first set foot in the U.S. Indeed, some Brits have confessed to feeling a “bit creeped out” at the sight. We can stretch to the odd bit of red, white and blue bunting, but only if there’s a BIG occasion like the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or a Royal Wedding. Over here however, it’s not uncommon to see Old Glory in glorious six-foot dimensions hanging right outside the front door of regular houses. Obviously they are everywhere around 4th of July, (American Independence Day), but many homes have flags flying throughout the year.

“In most cases, Americans who choose to fly a flag outside their houses are your normal, common-or-garden folk. Whether or not other nations agree or think it’s odd, these people are proud to be Americans and heck, it’s not harming anyone. Flag-flying and general love of country isn’t quite the neo-Nazi, skinhead thing that it’s often perceived to be in the U.K.

“And flag-flying is very serious business in the U.S.; there are federal guidelines with “instruction and rules on such topics as the pledge of allegiance, display and use of the flag by civilians, time and occasions for display, position and manner of display, and how to show respect for the flag.” I’m betting that not many Americans are aware of how often they break the law either,

“The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. “ Oops. And even worse, “The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. (Imagine the revenue that could be generated if the government cracked down on this.)

There’s even Flag Day (June 14) which was made official by President Truman in 1949, and must be officially proclaimed by the sitting President each year.

And finally, did you know that the study of flags is “vexillology” and a flag expert is a “vexillologist”?

Other Pieces in the Puzzle

The National Anthem is up there with the flag for patriotic morbidity. If it weren’t we wouldn’t have had the recent brouhaha over the black football players “taking a knee” as protests against white police officers killing black people for no cogent reasons. In all fairness the matter was also driven by racism, which added fuel to the already considerable Godzilla issue.

Even the Boy Scouts contribute their part to the Godzilla cause. I loved the Boy Scouts with the marching and saluting, the fire-building contests (I still build a mean fire.) and winter toboganning outings. It wasn’t until many years later, after I was discharged from the U.S. Army, that I realized that the Boy Scouts were a Godzilla paramilitary organization. Religion also plays a part in the Godzilla game. The role of the clergy is to convince the populace that “God is on our side.” And that’s only one of their perversions.

The crowning experience of the Godzilla trip is military service. There you are under orders with a Godzilla obligation to kick down doors, detain all males, shoot family-filled taxis and bomb weddings. Either that or take out whole streets of villages with drone missiles launched video-game style from a bunker in the Nevada desert. There you truly become a star-spangled patriot. There’s only one higher step on the totem pole: to die in the line of duty. That makes you an American Hero. Your little brother gets your motorcycle and your mother gets a broche.

The most tragic result of the Godzilla phenomenon is that it’s virtually irreversible. Young people become old people and die without ever being able to shed the Godzilla mindset. It’s a life sentence. No amount of reasoning will change their minds, which are impervious to facts, logic and humanitarian considerations. Nothing can dent their empty, false and inhuman convictions. In the end the Godzilla society becomes a diabolical perpetual motion machine. We are all victims of the lies we were told as children. So teach your children well.

Now, when right-thinking Americans bewail the shape their country is in, and cast about for solutions, it’s possible that it’s already too late for solutions. This time Godzilla may not be stopped.

Back to Part 1

Read the full story in my ebook, The Turncoat Chronicles.

Thanks for commenting and sharing.