What A Great Idea

war profit

War for war’s sake does not help the economy
Any more than breaking a window creates a job.
If that were the case, then why not increase
military adventurism until the economy improves?

In fact, why outsource overseas at all?
Those foreigners are taking away jobs from Americans!
Washington can march right in and topple itself
and replace the existing government
with a puppet regime, accountable only to Washington
and the corporate cogs in their war machine.

Those could be American weddings hit with drone strikes
It could be American bodies piled in a heap
Because there wouldn’t be enough time to bury them all
Let’s make America great again

The previous regime
had access to weapons of mass destruction
as well as massive oil reserves
which can pay for the war

or at least pay off the cronies
And stick the taxpayers with the bill
Future Americans can pay for a war
they weren’t even alive to see. [Read more…]

Chris Kyle’s Disgrace Shows the War Cult’s Strength

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Late American war hero Chris Kyle is in the news again. And it’s nothing good. Documents have surfaced revealing that media darling and universal symbol of badassery lied even more than we previously thought, and about the most holy of subjects: his military record. In a sacrilegious display of stolen valor, Kyle invented not one, not two, but three medals that he never received. Worse still, he was called on his embellished record by his comrades, and decided to run with the lie anyway. And lastly, to put the final nail in the coffin of this travesty of honor, everyone who knew of Kyle’s embellishments was too afraid to speak out against this arrogant fraud of a human being.

I’ve written before about the stunning backlash thrown at anyone and everyone daring to question, let alone criticize, Kyle’s record. This created an environment where the self-styled hero could lie at will about his own accomplishments without facing even the distant possibility of repercussions. And remember, this is a guy who didn’t need to make anything up. Kyle did four deployments, racked up an impressive body count, and legitimately earned four of the seven medals for valor that he claimed. Yet he still decided to lie about an extra three medals, killing car thieves and looters in the US, and punching a poor old veteran in the face. Not because he needed to, but because he wanted to further inflate his ego, and knew no one would stop him. [Read more…]

Why We Should Criticize Chris Kyle

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There’s a hero’s story sweeping the hearts and minds of America. The legend of a righteous warrior who piled enemy bodies high. A marksman whose heroism saw no equal. The legend of Chris Kyle. A legend that we must crush.

To be honest, I don’t really care either way about Chris Kyle. In my view, he was a hired killer like so many others who have participated in the wars of the last decade or so. He had similar motivations and actions to the thousands of veterans of both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and deserves no special praise or condemnation beyond any normal servicemember.

Yet I feel the need to criticize Chris Kyle’s legacy. Why? Because we can’t.

There are plenty of reasons why we might scrutinize the wars and their moral justifications, including those who carried out these conflicts’ implementation. Raise a disagreement with American hero at large Chris Kyle, however, and face a swift backlash. Not on the issues. Not on the wars. Not on Kyle’s actual record. No, the condemnations offered heretics such as myself concern the basic premise of questioning purported heroes at all. It isn’t being wrong that’s the sin. It’s dissenting. And that’s frightening. [Read more…]

Mideast Conflict: A Blanket of Hatred

ISIS

Xenophobia has always been regarded as an internal problem for states, and while many governments have taken some kind of measure towards educating people against it, often it seems to end up on the back-burner. However, the long term consequences of persisting xenophobia are beginning to show.

Media attention has recently been given to ISIS as the world is beginning to wake up to the threat they pose. Meanwhile, hundreds of Muslim and activist teens have run away to join the ranks of Jihadist fighters. How did this come to happen, and who must be held responsible?

A brief summary of the past two decades:

– 1990: Iraq annexes Kuwait. The official reason quoted is that Kuwait had been accused of stealing oil from Iraq by slant drilling, opinions on the true reasons are divided.

– 1991: The US, Saudi Arabia, the UK and France and later Kuwait form a coalition to fight off Iraq’s occupation. Iraqi forces are bombarded by air and sea, and a ground assault follows. A ceasefire is declared 100 hours after the ground campaign is launched. Vast numbers of chemical weapons are apparently found and destroyed. President Saddam Hussein is allowed to remain in power.

– 2001: UK and US carry out bombing raids on Iraq in an attempt to disable its air defense network. This is part of an effort to disarm Iraq on the part of the UN by request of the US on the grounds that the Iraqi government refuses to allow the US to inspect for unconventional weaponry.
Military commander of the Afghan Northern Alliance Ahmad Shah Massoud is killed by a suicide bomber.
9/11 terrorist attacks on the US trigger a global uproar, war is waged in Afghanistan by the US with international support.

– 2003: US invasion of Iraq with international support begins. US forces take Baghdad. Former President Saddam Hussein is captured, tried, and executed by the new Iraqi Government. Iraqi militant group Tanzim Qaidat Al-Jihad Fi Bilad Al-Rafidayn (an Al Qaeda offshoot) joins forces with insurgent Sunni groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council, they declare the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) shortly after.

– 2011: Civil war breaks out in Syria. President Bashar El Assad’s government fights groups of civilian rebel fighters. Casualties are in the tens to hundreds of thousands. US refrains from intervening at first, but decides to support and arm the rebels when Russia lends its support to the Syrian government.

– 2013: ISIL joins the civil war on the side of the rebels, and the name is changed into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The conflict is still ongoing.

– 2014: Al Qaeda disowns ISIS, the official reason quoted being their brutality. They have been accused of war crimes, religious persecution, mistreatment of civilians, sexual violence, and slavery. [Read more…]

War Always Comes Home

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You can’t assemble a totalitarian war machine and expect it to never come home. Sooner or later, all those military-grade weapons end up in your own back yard. Pointed at you.

Over the last several decades, we’ve seen the rise of militarized law enforcement. From no-knock raids to Ferguson under armed occupation, America is beginning to look a lot less like the peaceful land of the free and more like a land where only the brave dare venture. Even sleepy little towns in New Hampshire are getting armored assault vehicles, despite hundreds taking to the streets in protest. Weapons of war are in our streets, and they’re here to stay.

Many ardent critics of America’s transition into the land of checkpoints and armored personnel carriers supported military interventions and occupations abroad. The argument goes, fight them there so they don’t come here. Heavily-armed patrols and universal inspections are easier to tolerate when they aren’t in your back yard, especially when accompanied by the expectation that they will never, ever, happen at home.

As it turns out, that expectation was foolish. The war has come home. To begin with, America’s civilian law enforcement increasingly benefits from tactics, training, and close ties with its military. Train cops with Navy Seals and give them a “war” on drugs to fight, and it’s hardly surprising when officers begin to view the people more like enemy combatants than civilians. With dispositions and training more suited to fighting a war than keeping the peace, it’s easy to see how an otherwise peacefully-solved conflicts could escalate into violence and death. [Read more…]

Gaza Casualties Speak Volumes

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s that tragic time of year again when the Gaza Strip erupts into flames once more, and the usual suspects are quick to paint the tragic and complex issue with the black-and-white brush of their own agenda. And of all those metaphorical brushstrokes, the numbering of casualties on each side is the most revealing. In more ways than intended.

This year the popular propagandistic narrative is that of an evil, genocidal juggernaut of an Israel against a poor, downtrodden Palestinian people, like cattle before the slaughter. According to this fable there are only two sides, two groups, in the conflict. Every act of destruction falls on the conscience of every last person in Israel’s territory, and every dead body on the other end of the border is an innocent child.

Back to reality. There are, in fact, four main groups at play here: the people of Israel, the people of Palestine, the Israeli Defense Forces, and Hamas. The first two groups are simply trying to mind their own lives, and scurry for cover whenever the bombs start to fly. The other two are military groups, ostensibly charged with the safety of their corresponding civilian population. In reality, as in all wars, all this amounts to more death and destruction than protection. [Read more…]