Friday, April 15, 2011

US Wars: Why Public Silence?

If you simply do your own historical study you will soon discover that the US has intervened or invaded over 40 nations since WWII.   (See William Blum’s 2 books.  Chalmers Johnson’s Blowback trilogy plus a fourth volume 2010, Dismantling the Empire.   A dozen books by Noam Chomsky.   countless articles.). The leaders of the US have struck nation after nation for 70 years, nations that have not attacked or threatened the US and therefore in complete violation of the UN Charter, a treaty and therefore US law. During the administration of Bush II our best traditions were trashed while, for examples, 1) we harmed people around the world:   the armed forces were authorized to torture, the CIA kidnapped terror suspects and transferred them to secret “black sites” torture centers, and the CIA assassinated supposed terror suspects; and 2) the Department of Justice rewrote laws and morality to justify torture and permitted illegal electronic surveillance of the US general public.   Our leaders have chose armed violence, especially horrific air war, often as a first rather than last option for 70 years, resulting in the deaths of millions of people, and the majority of the US public has been complicitly silent,    continuing on with business as usual as though none of these outrages had occurred..    The result has been desperate, violent retaliation, suicide bombing, roadside bombs, exploded embassies, insurrection, financial ruin, and national insecurity.    So let’s ask, WHY HAS THE PUBLIC BEEN SILENT?   Dick

WHY DOES MAJORITY OF US PUBLIC ACCEPT the US SYSTEMATIC SUBVERSION OF LAW-- ILLEGAL US INVASIONS, SLAUGHTERS, TORTURES, AND ASSASSINATIONS-- WITHOUT SPEAKING UP PUBLICLY AND ORGANIZING TO RESIST?    (Letter in ADG 9-20-09 by Mack Goree of Mountain Home: “Where Is the Outrage?”)    I have been asking people this question, and have received these replies.  There’s some repetition, but there are also excuses yet to be added.   Just yesterday an acquaintance explained why the present condition of the US didn’t get him down.  He believed in cycles of history, we go down, but then we rise, down, rise—regardless of the hundreds of Native American nations eradicated, only down for them (and by the US Europeans).  That rationalization for doing nothing and enjoying our distractions I added as number 38.    I haven’t tried to arrange them in an order of more to less importance; maybe one of you would begin that task.    

  1. Materialism (I’m doing ok, the invasions are not hurting me).
  2. Ethnocentrism, US exceptionalism (only we are right, others do wrongs).
  3. Biblical arguments of inevitability of war until Armageddon and destruction of planet (preached by Rev./Brig. Gen. McClarty, formerly pastor or Univ. Baptist Church, and other right-wing Christians).
  4. Minimizing the U.S. casualties compared to traffic accidents, etc. (Fox News’ Brit Hume).
  5. Avoidance of reality of harms, of books and films that tell the truth (awareness would mean responsibility and accountability for the problems, see Andy Rooney, Common Non-Sense [2002], p. 11).
  6. Sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
  7. Hyper-Patriotism (our country right or wrong).
  8. Support the troops (opposing a war will endanger our soldier boys and girls).
  9. Huge number of veterans (most families have someone in the military or were in military).
  10.  Money, jobs (military bases and military-industrial complex offer jobs).
  11.   Military-industrial complex distributed around country to every state (to enlist as many congressional representatives as possible).
  12.   “Defense” Department (illusion that the wars are for defense instead of offense; e.g., that the invasion of Iraq was for U. S. security and freedom).
  13.   Fear of “enemy” (communists, drug distributors, Muslims, now “terrorists”).
  14.  Christian Fascism (see ref. below).
      16.       Obedience, blind faith in leaders.
      17.      Militarism sold via the mass media.
18.          An irresponsible, controlled or intimidated media.
19.          Callous indifference to human and species suffering.
20.         Ignorance of the damage being done.
21.           Popular need of a sanitized view of U.S. illegal wars (to keep their dream of America's righteousness alive).
22.          Macho syndrome (wars enable fulfillment of masculinity myths).
23.          Original Sin, genetics (we are born violent and warlike, wars are inevitable).
24.          Willful ignorance (refusal to face reality of U.S-caused harms, even its slaughters).
25.          Scarlet O’Hara avoidance syndrome (“I can’t think about that right now.  If I do, I’ll go crazy.  I’ll think about that tomorrow.”).
26.          Myth of U.S. as exceptional City Shining on the Hill.
27.           Self-absorption, self-regard, paying little attention to news, "It hasn't anything to do with me."
28.           Accept government propaganda justifying the war because it's easier than thinking for yourself .
29.           Xenophobia, fear and loathing of aliens who threaten cherished economic, religious, and other verities.
30.          Addiction to, complicity with, power ( As a society, we are so accustomed to our standard of living, most people will stand by willingly, because we believe deep down that these acts of aggression and illegal interventions keep us on top. )
31.          Politically charged times necessitate public political neutrality (what is really being said here, since the US has been engaged in permanent war since 1941?)
32.          War removes younger men and gives older men access to women.
33.          Cynicism (situation hopeless, so we might as well enjoy ourselves).
34.          Fear (terrified of confronting the things that disturb us).
35.          Fear of losing our comfort and wealth.
36.          Inadequate education in critical thinking and skepticism.
       37.   .Conformism (go along, get along).
  1.  Belief in cyclical history.

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