Friday, November 21, 2014

American Warmongers

Americans are warmongers. Most of us just do not realize it.

Most Americans are not impacted by our wars. We fight them using a praetorian class of professional soldiers who volunteer to go to war.

At worst, we Americans grumble about our taxes, but we pay them. Sometimes editorialists will complain about American imperialism, and strategists will claim that our wars are stupid and counterproductive, but that is pretty much the limit of popular resistance to American wars. There are no hippies complaining and protesting as there were in the Vietnam war era. We have no modern Jane Fonda, though the "winter soldier" John Kerry merits mockery as Secretary of State. 

Our soldiers die in our wars, and we mourn their loss deeply, but we also lavish our military with equipment and technology to a point where more of us survive incidents that used to be fatal than any previous time in history. We have never had so many amputees.

If there is a quid pro quo between America and its soldiers, this is probably it: Just keep the Veteran's Administration funded. We will fight your wars.

No other Army in the annals of warfare is so capable of demolishing enemies and suffering minimal effects from the exercise. We used to lose thousands of lives during the Vietnam conflict in a single day. Modern kill ratios are monstrously in our favor. I would not have it any other way.

We soldiers mourn our dead, and we would like it if our leaders were worthy of our sacrifice. But we mostly do not care. We are soldiers. We will go to other countries and dispense American policies at gunpoint whether it is a nice thing to do or not. We will not follow illegal orders, but short of that we obey our commanders. We are soldiers.

The American military industrial complex that Ike warned us about has found its sweet spot. Civilians are not inconvenienced by war, and the arms industry makes more guns and bullets and bombs and missiles than ever, getting paid with money that is barely worthy of the term. When the government needs more funds to pay for more munitions, the Treasury just sends over an IOU to the Fed, and it prints them. This is a vast oversimplification, of course, but fundamentally, this is what happens. 

Every bomb dropped overseas represents a job that an American worker retains. We drop a lot of bombs. The corporations that make them are crazy wealthy, and they charge our military top dollar for weapons systems and munitions. So the Pentagon goes to Congress and says "we need more money to buy more bombs." Our Congress marks up the budget, Treasury sends that IOU over to the Fed, and the war machine gets fed.

Nobody is troubled by our hypocrisy or our immorality except foreign critics, and most Americans pay them no mind. Americans just keep going to the mall. Soldiers go to war, mostly for the adventure of it all, I guess. American politicians are never held responsible for any of this, and the losers are the people that we kill overseas, in antiseptic campaigns that we experience as YouTube clips.

It is a pretty sweet racket. Except for those that we kill.

Very few of us truly care about the victims. They are out of sight, out of mind. No adversary has brought the war home to America, excepting the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, and Al Qaeda on 9-11. God help them if they do it again.

The difference between Americans going to the mall, and Americans baying for the blood of "terrorists™," will be something to behold.

Mark my words.


Post a Comment

<< Home