America’s wars are remote. They’re remote from us geographically, remote from us emotionally (unless you’re serving in the military or have a close relative or friend who serves), and remote from our major media outlets... They’re even being fought, in significant part, by remote control — by robotic drones “piloted” by ground-based operators from a secret network of bases located hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from the danger of the battlefield...
Contrast [WWII] with our current 1 percent wars. In them, 99 percent of Americans have no stake. The 1 percent who do are largely ID-card-carrying members of what President Dwight D. Eisenhower so memorably called the “military-industrial complex” in 1961. In the half-century since, that web of crony corporations, lobbyists, politicians and retired military types who have passed through Washington’s revolving door has grown ever more gargantuan and tangled, engorged by untold trillions devoted to a national security and intelligence complex that seemingly dominates Washington. They are the ones who, in turn, have dispatched another 1 percent — the lone percent of Americans in our All-Volunteer Military — to repetitive tours of duty fighting endless wars abroad...
Think here of the “shoe bomber” in 2001 and the “underwear bomber” in 2009. Why did the criminally inept actions of these two losers garner so much attention (and fear-mongering) in the American media? As the self-confessed greatest and most powerful nation on Earth, shouldn’t we have shared a collective belly laugh at the absurdity and incompetence of those “attacks” and gone about our business?
Instead of laughing, of course, we allowed yet more American treasure to be poured into technology... We consented to be surveilled ever more and consulted ever less. We chose to reaffirm our terrors every time we doffed our shoes or submitted supinely to being scoped or groped at our nation’s airports...
As Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, put it recently to Time: “Long term, if the military drifts away from its people in this country, that is a catastrophic outcome we as a country can’t tolerate.”
09 December 2011
American citizens are distanced from U.S. wars
From an essay in Salon:
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Thanks for your posts over the last several days. I saw four of them as pieces of the same problem, drones, the Jon Stewart clips, the Jefferson Bible, and society’s distance from the wars we are in. There’s also a TV show called “Person of Interest” that fits nicely. We’re sacrificing our freedom and rights for “security” and there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans behind their public rhetoric. I’d say, “Don’t vote because it only encourages ‘em”, but there must be a better approach.ReplyDelete