It is fairly useless to discuss the 21st century without discussing the military aspect. Now, as to what antics the military is actually up to, I will leave to more qualified people (Cain is your go-to guy, here.). Right now, I want to talk about the 4 basic messages the military sends or receives.
First, the message to recruits: Having a son who just went through the recruitment process, I got a pretty good look at the way they advertise the military. When I enlisted a quarter of a century ago, they were advertising that you’d learn a trade. Now they push “Are YOU tough enough?” This, of course, is part of the indoctrination that soldiers need to do the job they are actually required to do (see message to the military and message to the people, below).
In WWII, only 20% of riflemen fired their weapons, even while under direct fire. In Korea, that number went up to 85%, and by Vietnam it had reached 95%. That’s a 75% increase in 20 years. This is why the message is “Are YOU tough enough?” They aren’t looking for people who are looking for a trade, they’re looking for people who will shoot when they are told to shoot (which, of course, isn’t exactly contrary to the goals of any military), and shoot without worrying about the why.
Second, the message to the people: “These soldiers are fighting for YOUR freedom.” Americans have been conditioned to view huge defense budgets as necessary (we spend 5 times more money on our military than China does, and ten times more than France, the next runner up), or we’ll all be under communism/Sharia law by next Tuesday. Obviously, this is crap…The American military hasn’t fought for the rights of its citizens since 1814. Every war since has been about hegemony, economics (almost the same thing), or to safeguard allied nations (Korea, WWII), mostly to preserve hegemony.
Third, the message to the military establishment itself: “You will fight wars as directed by the president”. At almost no time in the last 100 years has the military fought on a declaration of war from congress (WWI and WWII only, out of 11 wars and numerous “interventions”). The military, or at least anyone having served more than one term, understands their job precisely: To advance American interests by force of arms when diplomats and business leaders cannot do it (or, in the case of Iraq, before it’s even tried).
Last, the message to other nations: “So long as we have hegemony, international law is what we say it is, and is enforced or not enforced based on our interests.” Make no mistake, the United States is largely viewed as the biggest armed robber in history, by any nation that has staggered into our crosshairs over the last 200 years. Central and South America hate us, and with very good reason…We used the US Marines to force trade “agreements” down their throats for a solid century. Now, of course, it’s the Middle East’s turn in the barrel.
Needless to say, these conflicting messages have a deep impact on the way we see the world, and the way the world sees us. Americans who believe that the military is there to defend our freedom instinctively rage out on any nation that criticizes our military policy, or even disagrees with it (“Freedom Fries”, anyone?). People from other nations view us as nationalistic yahoos (and they’re correct in this), and their leaders view us as barbarians at the gates.
Obviously, this is all both intentional, and deliberate, on the part of the actual policy-makers in the United States (and some of her “allies”, such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, and a few other nations with seemingly diametrically opposed objectives).
And I have to ask you this…If we are getting support for our policies from both Saudi Arabia and Israel, at the same time, then what are the chances that our military is being used in a manner which is first and foremost in our own interests? Yeah, those chances are somewhere between Jack and Shit, and Jack left town.
Combine that with the fact that all the news you hear comes from a grand total of 6 news organizations, all of whom are in bed with the government and its corporate backers, and you can see why there’s no real solution available to the common man via recourse to the law.
This is “your” America, folks.
Stick ‘em up.
Okay for now,