U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries may be militarily effective, but they are killing innocent civilians in a way that is obscene and immoral. I’m afraid that ignoring this ugly fact makes Americans complicit in murder.
I don’t think it makes all Americans complicit, because many of use did not vote for or support the people who enact these policies, and it’s not like taxes are voluntary. But it does make some of us complicit, and it unquestionably makes our government guilty as — there’s really no other word for it — hell.
Yup. As I noted after Obama’s re-election: “If you voted for Obama, you not only registered your approval of the things you like, you also officially condoned the many atrocities he’s committed and corrupt policies he’s championed. Congratulations, you’re an accomplice to heinous acts.” Those heinous acts being everything from prosecuting whistleblowers, corporatism, and indefinite detainment without due process, to record deportations and the murder of innocent children with drone bombs.
Same applies to Romney-supporters, of course, or supporters of pretty much any politician. But when you re-elect someone who is a confirmed perpetrator of these acts, you can’t feign surprise when he continues to do what he has already done.
(And of course those of us who didn’t support warmongers are not complicit.)
In 2008, I graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. It was not long after graduation that I started flying C-130s out of Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. I was a bright-eyed, self-described, patriot doing what I thought was the right thing: giving back to, and trying to protect, the country that had given me so much. It wasn’t until my first deployment to Iraq that I started questioning the United States’ involvement on the other side of the globe. Why, exactly, was I there, and what was it that the U.S. government was trying to accomplish? While in Iraq, I started doing some serious research into the history, politics, and economics of the government. As time went on, I became more and more infuriated with the results of my curiosity-driven investigation.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, point I recognized was that the United States had absolutely no right to invade Iraq. The war was justified through hundreds of lies when, in actuality, it had nothing to do with 9/11 or even terrorism. Early in my research, I came to the conclusion that the people responsible for starting the war should be punished for the high crime of initiating a war of aggression. To my disbelief, no one had, or has since, been held remotely accountable for this heinous crime.
Unfortunately, Iraq is not the only war crime for which the United States is guilty. Since both sides in a war usually claim that the other side started the war, I prefer to look at where the war was fought for a better idea of who actually started it. The United States has a long and steady history of starting wars in other countries that no one seems to remember and that schools fail to teach. The results of this constant warring have been the deaths of many millions of people, the destruction of unimaginable amounts of wealth, and the ruining of countless lives – on both sides. Based on the ease and boneheadedness with which it goes to war, and the fact that it has many times more damage-causing resources than any other organization, I believe the United States was, and still is, the most dangerous threat to peace and prosperity on this planet.
Another hard to swallow, yet painfully obvious, realization I had was that the U.S. government has now turned to full-blown fascism. It has direct control of about 40 percent of the economy through government spending, while a never-ending list of rules and regulations controls the other 60 percent of the economy. The United States uses perpetual war to drive imperial ambitions all the while encouraging people to support and praise the military responsible for enabling this imperialism. The government interaction with the people it claims to be helping is textbook totalitarian, as evidenced by NSA spying, TSA harassment, recent handling of protesters as seen on YouTube, militarization of police, the failed War on Drugs that has led to the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the elimination of the Bill of Rights. It quickly became clear to me that the biggest threat to the American people had become none other than their own federal government.
After months of study, I finally hit the point where I had seen enough. I decided not to work for such a wicked organization, regardless of the consequences. I proceeded to tell my commander that I was not going to work for an evil empire, and then I talked to the legal department about resigning my commission. A year and a half after my initial request, the Secretary of the Air Force finally accepted my resignation, waiving the last seven years of my active duty service commitment.
For those of you still working for the U.S. government in any capacity, I ask that you seriously reconsider exactly who it is that you’re working for. You don’t want to be guilty of working for the bad guys and end up on the wrong side of history. Do some soul searching, gather the courage it takes to do what’s right, and then quit.
History is replete with societies that bestowed their greatest rewards and honors on warriors. Those societies also embraced slavery and suffered enduring poverty. The 20th-century witnessed infamous nation-wide experiments with subjugating the individual to the Collective. Those experiments resulted in genocide and enduring poverty. Humankind escaped such atrocities only when and where bourgeois virtues and pursuits – such as self-responsibility, minding one’s business, industriousness, and commercial enterprise – came to be held in high regard and widely practiced. While bourgeois values and pursuits have long been, and remain, contemptible to too many professors, preachers, politicians, and pundits, the danger is that these values and pursuits are increasingly held in contempt again by the public. Conscription … – premised on the anti-bourgeois superstition that the individual must be forcibly molded into a compliant subject by the supreme and mighty State – will only further erode those values that sustain a liberal and open society.
History is replete with societies that bestowed their greatest rewards and honors on warriors. Those societies also embraced slavery and suffered enduring poverty. The 20th-century witnessed infamous nation-wide experiments with subjugating the individual to the Collective. Those experiments resulted in genocide and enduring poverty. Humankind escaped such atrocities only when and where bourgeois virtues and pursuits – such as self-responsibility, minding one’s business, industriousness, and commercial enterprise – came to be held in high regard and widely practiced.
While bourgeois values and pursuits have long been, and remain, contemptible to too many professors, preachers, politicians, and pundits, the danger is that these values and pursuits are increasingly held in contempt again by the public. Conscription … – premised on the anti-bourgeois superstition that the individual must be forcibly molded into a compliant subject by the supreme and mighty State – will only further erode those values that sustain a liberal and open society.
Iraq was not a mercenary war, as Patrick Cockburn contends. It was a U.S. war. Privatizing security (his terms, not mine) in Iraq may have been bad, even very bad, but it was not the recipe for the Iraq disaster. The recipe was the U.S. aggression itself. Mr. Cockburn had it nailed much more clearly in one of his articles in 2003.
Blackwater and other trigger-happy “contractors” or “mercenaries” that worked or still work for the CIA and the U.S. government were and are simply government armed forces. The organization chart looks different than the U.S. Army, because their men under arms are employed by a company being employed by the U.S., but they are directed by the U.S. at the top and that’s who pays them (with taxes).
These mercenaries have absolutely nothing to do with free markets, free market ideology or such market institutions as outsourcing. And just because they are not drafted doesn’t mean that they are some sort of privatized military force. They are a government force, albeit somewhat less directly than inducting soldiers into the official armed forces, and that makes them public. They and their activities should not be confused with privatization of defense or privatized security companies. The same is true of prison companies that work hand in glove for states. They are basically arms of the state, employed and directed by them and paid by them (via taxes).
The Iraq War was never a privatized war. It was always a U.S. war, bought and paid for by the U.S. In all of its wars that it has ever fought, the government always causes profits in the industries that are supplying the means of war. Iraq was not special in this regard.
If a draft agreement between the Obama administration and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is finalized, U.S. troops will remain in that country indefinitely — instead of being withdrawn at the end of 2014, as the administration has said.
This is a confession of failure. America’s longest war is nowhere near its end. …
The draft agreement … states,
This Agreement shall enter into force on January 1, 2015.… It shall remain in force until the end of 2024 and beyond, unless terminated pursuant to paragraph 4 of this Article [requiring two years written notice]. [Emphasis added.]
Under the proposed agreement, the U.S. government would continue to train, arm, and assist the Afghan military. “In addition,” the unsigned document continues, “the Parties acknowledge that continued U.S. military operations to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate and agree to continue their close cooperation and coordination toward that end.”
“Continued U.S. military operations” reportedly includes raids on the homes of Afghans, which have created so much anti-American sentiment. The issue of raids has held up a final agreement, but the New York Times reports that the logjam was broken when the Obama administration agreed to write a letter “acknowledging American military mistakes in Afghanistan and vowing not to repeat them.”
The Times said the two governments have agreed to terms “allowing American-led raids on Afghan homes under ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to save the lives of American soldiers.” …
Despite a $17 trillion national debt, American taxpayers will continue to be on the hook, as the agreement commits the U.S. government to
seek funds on a yearly basis to support the training, equipping, advising and sustaining of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), so that Afghanistan can independently secure and defend itself against internal and external threats, and help ensure that terrorists never again encroach on Afghan soil and threaten Afghanistan, the region, and the world.
One wonders how independent Afghanistan can be if Americans are footing the bill. …
Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. government would continue to be the guarantor of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and its authoritarian regime, a commitment that could endanger Americans, as well as cost them much money. …
Thousands of Afghan noncombatants have died in the 12-year war, yet Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and reports of U.S. progress are not merely gross exaggerations, but outright lies. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and its offshoots have spread to Iraq, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, and Africa.
In other words, the U.S. government has lost a war it never should have begun.
Further U.S.-inflicted bloodshed will do nothing but make matters worse. It’s time for the U.S. military to leave.
I wonder where Obama keeps his Nobel Peace Prize. Does he proudly display it next to his bowling trophies and his Certificate of Completion from that HTML course he took or does he tuck it away in a sock drawer?
Commemorating Veterans Day, people honored Americans who have served in the U.S. military, especially those who have fought and died in America’s foreign wars. In doing so, however, it’s easy to forget the fact that what the soldiers fought for and died for in those foreign wars wasn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
Consider World War I. American soldiers fought and died in that war under the notion that it would finally be the war that would end all European wars into the future. It was also a democracy-spreading war — that is, the war that was supposed to make the entire world safe for democracy.
Alas, it was not to be. Within a relatively short time, Europe was it again, this time with World War II, which really was just a continuation of World War I.
In other words, American soldiers in World I fought and died for nothing. Perhaps that’s why they changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day, hoping to block out from the memories of later generations of Americans what a waste of life and limb and money U.S. intervention in World War I had been.
In fact, it’s actually worse than that. In the absence of U.S. intervention in World War I, the likelihood is that the warring powers would have entered into a negotiated peace, given the long lasting, deadly stalemate on the battlefield. U.S. interventionism succeeded in altering the balance of power, resulting in the total defeat of Germany and the vindictive and humiliating Treaty of Versailles that was imposed on Germany. That’s what Hitler pointed to in garnering the support of the German people during the postwar chaos in Germany.
Not surprisingly, the American people said never again to participation in Europe’s wars. That placed President Franklin Roosevelt in an awkward position. He wanted the U.S. to intervene, once again, in the second world war. His problem was that at that time, U.S. officials were still complying with the constitutional provision requiring a congressional declaration of war. FDR knew that he could never get a declaration of war given the widespread antipathy toward getting involved in another war.
But FDR knew that if he could provoke the other side into attacking first, that would resolve his problem. He tried first with Germany but they refused to take the bait. So, he went to the Pacific, where he began intentionally provoking Japan, with such things as an oil embargo, Flying Tiger attacks on Japanese military forces in China, and humiliating terms in peace negotiations with the Japanese.
While there have been debates ever since on whether FDR knew that the attack was coming at Pearl Harbor, one thing is for sure: FDR wanted Japan to attack the United States somewhere, opening a “back door” into the European conflict as well.
It seems to me that FDR’s provocations against Germany should always be considered on Veterans Day, given that those provocations resulted in the deaths and injuries of many U.S. soldiers at Pearl.
World War II has always been sold as the “good war” because “we” liberated Eastern Europe from Nazi tyranny. Actually, however, the “we” isn’t an accurate description of who won the war.
Keep in mind, first of all, why Britain and France declared war on Germany in the first place. It was to free the Polish people from Nazi tyranny.
So, what was the result after World War II? Well, yes, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe were liberated from Nazi tyranny but ended up spending the next 45 years under the communist tyranny of the Soviet Union.
In other words, it wasn’t “we” who won World War II, it was the Soviet Union, the communist regime that, ironically enough, had invaded Poland at about the same time that Nazi Germany had.
So, what did U.S. soldiers (and British and French soldiers) die for in World War II? They died so that the Soviet Union, rather than Nazi Germany, could control Eastern Europe…
Billions of dollars worth of fraud, purchasing things they already have or things that completely fail. Because, after all, it’s not their money. This is one of those stories that we’ve all known to be true, but is nonetheless shocking and outrageous when confirmed…
Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.
Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. …
And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. “A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,” Woodford says. “We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.” …
Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take “unsubstantiated change actions” – in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called “plugs,” to make the Navy’s totals match the Treasury’s. …
At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defence agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found. And plugging isn’t confined to DFAS(pronounced DEE-fass). Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information.
A review of multiple reports from oversight agencies in recent years shows that the Pentagon also has systematically ignored warnings about its accounting practices. “These types of adjustments, made without supporting documentation … can mask much larger problems in the original accounting data,” the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said in a December 2011 report.
Plugs also are symptomatic of one very large problem: the Pentagon’s chronic failure to keep track of its money – how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen. …
As the use of plugs indicates, pay errors are only a small part of the sums that annually disappear into the vast bureaucracy that manages more than half of all annual government outlays approved by Congress. The Defense Department’s 2012 budget totalled $565.8 billion, more than the annual defence budgets of the 10 next largest military spenders combined, including Russia and China. How much of that money is spent as intended is impossible to determine.
In its investigation, Reuters has found that the Pentagon is largely incapable of keeping track of its vast stores of weapons, ammunition and other supplies; thus it continues to spend money on new supplies it doesn’t need and on storing others long out of date. It has amassed a backlog of more than half a trillion dollars in unaudited contracts with outside vendors; how much of that money paid for actual goods and services delivered isn’t known. And it repeatedly falls prey to fraud and theft that can go undiscovered for years, often eventually detected by external law enforcement agencies.
The consequences aren’t only financial; bad bookkeeping can affect the nation’s defence. In one example of many, the Army lost track of $5.8 billion of supplies between 2003 and 2011 as it shuffled equipment between reserve and regular units. …
Because of its persistent inability to tally its accounts, the Pentagon is the only federal agency that has not complied with a law that requires annual audits of all government departments. That means that the $8.5 trillion in taxpayer money doled out by Congress to the Pentagon since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited, has never been accounted for. That sum exceeds the value of China’s economic output last year. …
The Pentagon has spent tens of billions of dollars to upgrade to new, more efficient technology in order to become audit-ready. But many of these new systems have failed, either unable to perform all the jobs they were meant to do or scrapped altogether – only adding to the waste they were meant to stop.
Mired in a mess largely of its own making, the Pentagon is left to make do with old technology and plugs – lots of them. In the Cleveland DFAS office where Woodford worked, for example, “unsupported adjustments” to “make balances agree” totalled $1.03 billion in 2010 alone, according to a December 2011 GAO report.
In its annual report of department-wide finances for 2012, the Pentagon reported $9.22 billion in “reconciling amounts” to make its own numbers match the Treasury’s, up from $7.41 billion a year earlier. It said that $585.6 million of the 2012 figure was attributable to missing records. The remaining $8 billion-plus represented what Pentagon officials say are legitimate discrepancies. However, a source with knowledge of the Pentagon’s accounting processes said that because the report and others like it aren’t audited, they may conceal large amounts of additional plugs and other accounting problems. …
The secretary of defence’s office and the heads of the military and DFAS have for years knowingly signed off on false entries. …
Congress has been much more lenient on the Defense Department than on publicly traded corporations. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, a response to the Enron Corp and other turn-of-the-century accounting scandals, imposes criminal penalties on corporate managers who certify false financial reports. “The concept of Sarbanes-Oxley is completely foreign” to the Pentagon, says Mike Young, a former Air Force logistics officer who for years has been a consultant on, and written about, Defense Department logistics. …
The practical impact of the Pentagon’s accounting dysfunction is evident at the Defense Logistics Agency, which buys, stores and ships much of the Defense Department’s supplies – everything from airplane parts to zippers for uniforms.
It has way too much stuff.
“We have about $14 billion of inventory for lots of reasons, and probably half of that is excess to what we need,” Navy Vice Admiral Mark Harnitchek, the director of the DLA, said at an August 7, 2013, meeting with aviation industry executives, as reported on the agency’s web site.
And the DLA keeps buying more of what it already has too much of. A document the Pentagon supplied to Congress shows that as of September 30, 2012, the DLAand the military services had $733 million worth of supplies and equipment on order that was already stocked in excess amounts on warehouse shelves. That figure was up 21% from $609 million a year earlier. The Defense Department defines “excess inventory” as anything more than a three-year supply.
Consider the “vehicular control arm,” part of the front suspension on the military’s ubiquitous High Mobility Multipurpose Vehicles, or Humvees. As of November 2008, the DLA had 15,000 of the parts in stock, equal to a 14-year supply, according to an April 2013 Pentagon inspector general’s report.
And yet, from 2010 through 2012, the agency bought 7,437 more of them – at prices considerably higher than it paid for the thousands sitting on its shelves. TheDLA was making the new purchases as demand plunged by nearly half with the winding down of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The inspector general’s report said the DLA’s buyers hadn’t checked current inventory when they signed a contract to acquire more. …
Over the past 10 years, the Defense Department has signed contracts for the provision of more than $3 trillion in goods and services. How much of that money is wasted in overpayments to contractors, or was never spent and never remitted to the Treasury, is a mystery. That’s because of a massive backlog of “closeouts” – audits meant to ensure that a contract was fulfilled and the money ended up in the right place. …
“This backlog represents hundreds of billions of dollars in unsettled costs,” theGAO report said. Timely closeouts also reduce the government’s financial risk by avoiding interest on late payments to contractors. …
This is a must-read.
In 2003 Iraq’s government had no nuclear weapons (or other WMD). The U.S. government invaded, and before long Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hanging from a rope. In 2011 Libya’s government had no nuclear weapons. The U.S. government led NATO on a bombing campaign to help a group of rebels, and before long Libyan Col. Muammar Qaddafi lay dead on a roadside. Today Syria has no nuclear weapons. The U.S. government and NATO are currently aiding rebels seeking to overthrow (and likely kill) President Bashar al-Assad.
On the other hand, North Korea has nuclear weapons, and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un appears safe from any regime change sponsored by the U.S. government and NATO.
Lesson for foreign leaders who are in the doghouse with the U.S. government: Get a nuke.
Therefore it follows that not threatening a foreign regime is a good way to keep it from following the yellowcake road. And it sure beats threatening war, which all too easily can become actual war.
Iran is not building a bomb. U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies have said so repeatedly. The Islamic Republic, unlike Israel, is a party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is thus subject to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Moreover, the Islamic regime long ago issued a fatwa, invoked many times since, condemning WMD as immoral.
Furthermore, a nuke would be useless as an offensive weapon for Iran. (Iran has not attacked another nation in hundreds of years, but it was attacked by U.S.-backed Iraq in 1980.) Israel has an arsenal of at least 200 nuclear warheads, some mounted on submarines for a second-strike capability. The U.S. government has thousands. Say what you want about the Iranian leadership, but it is not suicidal.
Thus, the only value for Iran in having a nuclear weapon would be in deterring an attack. Stop threatening an attack, and that value vanishes.
Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.
— Kurt Vonnegut
We shall never end wars, Mrs. Barham, by blaming it on ministers and generals or warmongering imperialists or all the other banal bogies. It’s the rest of us who build statues to those generals and name boulevards after those ministers; the rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields. We wear our widows’ weeds like nuns and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices… [It] may be ministers and generals who blunder us into wars, but the least the rest of us can do is to resist honoring the institution.
We shall never end wars, Mrs. Barham, by blaming it on ministers and generals or warmongering imperialists or all the other banal bogies. It’s the rest of us who build statues to those generals and name boulevards after those ministers; the rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields. We wear our widows’ weeds like nuns and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices…
[It] may be ministers and generals who blunder us into wars, but the least the rest of us can do is to resist honoring the institution.
A real hero is a mother who raises children to be kind and honest and eager to learn.
A real hero is a parent who sacrifices time to provide for his or her family.
A real hero is a doctor who heals the sick and mends the injured.
A real hero is a farmer who tends the soil to provide us sustenance.
A real hero shares uncomfortable truths about our world, even at great personal risk.
A real hero is a firefighter who chooses to face imminent danger in order to directly save lives.
A real hero is a carpenter or architect or engineer who builds us the structures that make our lives safer and our world smaller.
A real hero is a scientist who spends his life in search of cures and remedies.
A real hero is a person who voluntarily feeds and clothes the needy, and gives them hope in times of hopelessness.
A real hero is a teacher who explains to us the details of how our world works.
A real hero is an inventor or entrepreneur who dreams of new ways to make our lives better and gives us the inspiration to do more.
A real hero is a writer or performer who lifts our sadness and offers us joy.
A real hero is a fisherman who braves the elements to keep us fed.
A real hero is a businessman who provides what a community demands better or for less than they could find elsewhere.
A real hero is a person who saves his wealth, deferring his own consumption so that others may have a chance to improve their station.
A real hero is a friend who listens to our worries and provides comfort during our trying times.
A real hero is any person who sees others living their lives peacefully, and lets them be.
We encounter many heroes in our day-to-day lives.
Real heroes are peaceful. Their heroics aren’t predicated on inflicting harm. Real heroes are not responsible for the deaths of untold innocents, including children. Real heroes do not perpetuate injustice throughout the world. Their primary value is not unflinching obedience. They don’t face imprisonment for not obeying commands from superiors; they do what they do because they choose to do so. They participate in mutually beneficial behavior. Their remuneration isn’t forcefully extracted from others, nor do they have guaranteed benefits for life. Real heroes don’t expect - nay, demand - public adulation for themselves or their symbolism. And they don’t represent the armed extension of tyranny cloaked in the facade of honor, justice, freedom, and selflessness.
There are many heroes you should thank today, just not the ones you’re usually told to.
Related: On Veteran’s Day
It was exactly 95 years ago: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the moment when major hostilities in the charnel house that was World War I ended. In 1919, November 11th officially became “Armistice Day” in the United States. As it happened, though, major hostilities were suspended for just two brief decades before an even more devastating global war began. In 1954, nine years after World War II ended, with the previous “great” conflict having proved anything but – as once advertised – the war to end all wars, and the memory of its armistice fading, the holiday was officially relabeled Veterans Day. And so it has remained as, in the second half of the last century and the first 13 years of this one, those veterans piled up. There were the ones from Korea, Vietnam, and too many American brushfire interventions to mention, as well as – in our no-longer-so-new century – from the disastrous counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (In Washington’s conflicts in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, where the “soldiers” or “airmen” are generally robots, there really are no veterans.)
Everyone knows how World War I was advertised. In retrospect, however, it could more accurately be thought of as the war that began all wars. Admittedly, trench warfare seems a thing of the past, last seen in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. But World War I launched the age of mass industrial warfare, with the marriage of science, academia, the corporation, and the military leading to everything from nuclear proliferation to drone warfare. Without it, a military-industrial complex would have been inconceivable. While the First World War soaked the earth in blood, as soldiers dug ever deeper into their trenches, it also prepared the way for future wars in which “collateral damage” moved ever closer to the center of any conflict, in which uprooted populations and dead civilians became the essence of war. And after all these years, it’s left one wonder behind: that, given all the blood and horror since World War I began, we somehow still manage to celebrate those wars, whatever we think of them, through those we like to call our “warriors” or “wounded warriors.”
… or “heroes.”
Much respect to J.A. Adande and Kevin Blackistone for calling out the ridiculous association between militarism (and state worship) and sports.
Related: Public State Worship
I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. Drones don’t fly when sky is grey.
— Zubair Rehman, a 13-year-old victim of a US drone strike, who also lost his grandmother, speaking at the first Drone Survivor hearing in history, at which only FIVE of our Congresspeople could be bothered to attend. (via thefreelioness)