Saturday, May 18, 2013

America - Wounded By Permanent War

The intrepid Glenn Greenwald, constitutional law attorney and frequent guest on Leftist radio on matters of the courts, Bradley Manning and militarization, in his weekly Guardian column adds up the costs of the endless "War on Terror," that, although it went unnoticed this week amidst the media's obsession with a trio of presidential mini scandals, the Obama Administration informed congress this week will continue for "at least 10 to 20 years" on top of the 12 years it has been waged already. At least 10 to 20.

Ensuring this is the fact that the endless war has the backing of all the powerful institutions, Greenwald points out. Congress, the military-industrial complex, the corporate media. The only question anyone in congress is asking, including Republican and Democratic members, with the exception of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, is whether the president needs more authority to wage the war than he has now.

And so the world will keep getting more dangerous and hatred against the US will grow, as our government, instead of helping people help themselves, ravages their countries and kills their citizens, and as we publicly mock them via the media and films and the utterances of public officials. By making sure the war's victims remain out of the public eye, and that working class Blacks and Latinos, with few other economic alternatives available to them, are forced to fight it and the sons and daughters of the White Middle Class are not, public resistance to the war, as it's reflected in the media, at least, will remain minimal.

And the erosion that has taken place to our civil liberties in the name of the War on Terror will become permanent, and will likely get worse. Government will continue to wiretap our phone calls and read our emails. If we say or write anything that can be construed as supporting anyone our government has decided is a terrorist we can be charged with a serious crime. We'll continue living under the threat that at any moment we can be snatched off the street and sit in a prison cell somewhere, forever, without ever being charged with a crime or our case going before a judge, and with knowing that on the authority of the president, without any kind of review and no checks and balances whatsoever, we can be assassinated by a missile fired from an anonymous drone aircraft. We, American citizens, can.

Greenwald makes these two chilling points:

1. "Each year that passes, millions of young Americans come of age having spent their entire lives, literally, with these powers and this climate fixed in place: to them, there is nothing radical or aberrational about any of it. The post-9/11 era is all they have been trained to know. That is how a state of permanent war not only devastates its foreign targets but also degrades the population of the nation that prosecutes it."


2. "Though rarely visible, the costs are nonetheless gargantuan. Just in financial terms, as Americans are told they must sacrifice Social Security and Medicare benefits and place their children in a crumbling educational system, the Pentagon remains the world's largest employer and continues to militarily outspend the rest of the world by a significant margin. The mythology of the Reagan presidency is that he induced the collapse of the Soviet Union by luring it into unsustainable military spending and wars: should there come a point when we think about applying that lesson to ourselves?"



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