Monday, November 5, 2012

The US Garrison State



Op-Ed Contributor: The Permanent Militarization of America
By AARON B. O’CONNELL
Published: November 4, 2012



Aaron B. O’Connell, an assistant professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and a Marine reserve officer, is the author of “Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps.”

[Excerpted] But Eisenhower’s least heeded warning — concerning the spiritual effects of permanent preparations for war — is more important now than ever. Our culture has militarized considerably since Eisenhower’s era, and civilians, not the armed services, have been the principal cause. From lawmakers’ constant use of “support our troops” to justify defense spending, to TV programs and video games like “NCIS,” “Homeland” and “Call of Duty,” to NBC’s shameful and unreal reality show “Stars Earn Stripes,” Americans are subjected to a daily diet of stories that valorize the military while the storytellers pursue their own opportunistic political and commercial agendas.... 

Uncritical support of all things martial is quickly becoming the new normal for our youth. Hardly any of my students at the Naval Academy remember a time when their nation wasn’t at war. Almost all think it ordinary to hear of drone strikes in Yemen or Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. The recent revelation of counterterrorism bases in Africa elicits no surprise in them, nor do the military ceremonies that are now regular features at sporting events. That which is left unexamined eventually becomes invisible, and as a result, few Americans today are giving sufficient consideration to the full range of violent activities the government undertakes in their names.

Were Eisenhower alive, he’d be aghast at our debt, deficits and still expanding military-industrial complex. And he would certainly be critical of the “insidious penetration of our minds” by video game companies and television networks, the news media and the partisan pundits....
[END EXCERPT]


Majia here: And who are the casualties of American wars? Sadly, many are civilians, particularly in the drone wars being waged ceaselessly.

Drone warfare has caused many civilian casualties in countries that the US hasn't even declared war against:

U.S. Relaxes Drone Rules: Obama Gives CIA, Military Greater Leeway in Use Against Militants in Yemen." The Wall Street Journal April 26, 2012 see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-approves-broader-yemen-drone-campaign/2012/04/25/gIQA82U6hT_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines
 

Sadly, children are often "collateral damage" in overseas wars, particularly those involving drones:
 
[Excerpted]: Child casualties in the conflict in Afghanistan rose by more than a quarter last year, the UN said Wednesday, with an average of nearly five youngsters killed or injured every day in 2011. A UN report on children in armed conflict said a total of 1,756 children were killed or injured in the war in Afghanistan in 2011, an average of 4.8 a day, compared with 1,396 in 2010. The UN children’s agency UNICEF said more than 300 under-18s were reportedly recruited to fight in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants are waging an increasingly bloody insurgency against the government and its Western backers. June 13, 2012 http://dawn.com/2012/06/13/five-children-a-day-victims-of-afghan-war-un/

The report available here http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42646&Cr=afghan&Cr1#.UJGQGoaDmSo


PREVIOUS POSTS ON THE US GARRISON STATE

Oct 19, 2012
Transformation of American society into a “garrison state” ( http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/us-as-garrison-state-educating-for.html) is ongoing and serves the interests of private corporations over the general interest of ...
 
Oct 16, 2011
The garrison state is a result of government by and for the military - industrial complex. While much has been written about the US as a military industrial complex, I am going to share some of my thoughts on the subject written ...
 
Jan 21, 2012
Transformation of American society into a “garrison state” ( http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/us-as-garrison-state-educating-for.html) is ongoing and serves the interests of private corporations over the general interest of ...
 
May 15, 2012
MAJIA HERE: Relevant Background Readings from my Blog. On the US as a Garrison State http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/us-as-garrison-state-educating-for.html. Forging the American Garrison State by Privatizing ...
 
Jul 06, 2012
http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/drone-warfare-arms-race-escalates.html. On the US as a Garrison State http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/us-as-garrison-state-educating-for.html. Forging the American Garrison ...
 
Jul 08, 2012
RELATED POSTS Drone Makers and their Friends http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/kpbs-drone-makers-and-their-friends-in.html. Forging the American Garrison State by Privatizing the State's Repressive Apparatuses ...
 
May 30, 2012
Forging the American Garrison State by Privatizing the State's Repressive Apparatuses http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/forging-american-garrison-state-by.html. Fundamental Right of Habeas Corpus Discarded ...
 
Apr 22, 2012
Transformation of American society into a “garrison state” subject to ceaseless, ubiquitous, internal policing as well as never ending warfare, serves the interests of elite individuals and organizations over the general interest of ...
 
 

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