by Chris Hedges
May 3, 2010
We are approaching a decade of war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq is in its eighth year. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands more Afghans and Pakistani civilians have been killed. Millions have been driven into squalid displacement and refugee camps. Thousands of our own soldiers and Marines have died or been crippled physically and psychologically. We sustain these wars, which have no real popular support, by borrowing trillions of dollars that can never be repaid, even as we close schools, states go into bankruptcy, social services are cut, our infrastructure crumbles, tens of millions of Americans are reduced to poverty, and real unemployment approaches 17 percent. Collective, suicidal inertia rolls us forward toward national insolvency and the collapse of empire. And we do not protest. The peace movement, despite the heroic efforts of a handful of groups such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Green Party and Code Pink, is dead. No one cares.
Copyright © 2010 Truthdig
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).
Chris Hedges: Violence is our primary form of communication (must-see)
Chris Hedges: Media Sanitizes War (at the Teach-In)
No space on Earth for the thunder of peace & conscience
US War Crimes Exposed: Revelations of an American Soldier by Finian Cunningham
Video allegedly shows US forces killing two reporters and six others By Daniel Tencer
H.Con.Res.248: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5c of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the… OpenCongress
H.R.4650: Stop Outsourcing Security Act – U.S. Congress – OpenCongress
More videos of the Teach-In:
Teach-In on Capitol Hill on Ending U.S. Wars
Rep. Kucinich Urges: “Anti-War Teach-Ins Across the Country!”
Jeremy Scahill: Torture Is Ongoing Under Obama!
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“Most of the audience of about 70 were peace activists who, as is usual at such events, were joined by a motley collection of conspiracy theorists who believe 9/11 was an inside job…”
You know what? A “Conspiracy theorist” is what YOU are. You report on conspiracies every day of your sorry life. If it wasn’t for “conspiracies”, you couldn’t put food on the table. And it just so happens, that 9/11 “conspiracy theories” have made the leap from theory to fact while you were obviously too busy to notice.
Educate yourself. And stop cooperating in divide-and-conquer ploys by indulging in tired and meaningless pejoratives, (“motley?”) while you whine that you’re being ignored. Maybe if the moribund peace movement could join with the growing 9/11 Truth movement, it would no longer seem that “no one cares.”
Thank you, Lorraine! Very well-said.
I have just begun reading Hedge’s latest book, “The Death of the Liberal Class,” and was very dismayed when I read this passage. A follower of his work for some time, I am struggling with this seemingly disparaging remark. Given the focus of the book (i.e., liberals/progressives as “useful idiots” and tools of the neoconservative movement), I found the passage to be ironically inappropriate.
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It’s not too late. This is the most opportune time to expose war for what it is — a fraudulent system enabling mega-corporations to exploit (kill or enslave) people and steal resources of the invaded country for profit. Our military-industrial complex merely clears a path for them to do so, at our expense.
The logical outcome is for all countries to require that the mega-corporations hire their own ‘security’ force to clear their own paths… they can afford it, apparently, and the private forces already exist… and bring our troops home to defend this country against these same corporations invading us for the same reason. Like drilling offshore?
Problem solved, retire all the ‘lifer’ generals, and we’ll see how far the corporations get when they try to contract purchases for bombs, etc., to kill us or others. Removing the ‘military protection’ against ‘real’ crimes such as murder will stop this behavior quickly.
I imagine the psychological rationalization would become a bit different to manufacturers of ‘killing machines’ when there is no military to buy their products, only corporations who wish to plunder & pillage. The people already see them as the pirates they are…
Unfortunately, it will take Kucinich and his small group to create and pass these laws, however, preventing corporations from using our military in this manner and the fact that private contractors already outnumber the troops, is a step in the right direction. It seems this is the best place to start.
SUSAN , the trouble wit Kuchinich is that he endorsed Barak Obama for president and his health bill that will hurt the poor . that still doesn mean its too late. but the left and my fellow socialists have sold out big time . who is left ?
Nader for president 2012
Maybe so, Rocket, but then, I’m a Dennis kind of girl… Scoppertop on youtube. The health bill will eventually result in single-payer, the gulf states are now seeing what other US-exploited countries have seen for 40 years, and the time is ripe to introduce a bill of corporate responsibility and sole liability. There is really no such thing as war; it’s about whose ‘profit’ interest is being exploited or protected.
“I’m a fool to do your dirty work” should be the mantra for the department of peace; it is finally time to reveal the farce. “U.S. Interests” are no longer “corporate interests” worth killing our children for corporate gain.
Yes, “we will all be consumed”. The military-industrial-financial-media complex is such an immense juggernaut that we are powerless before it. History teaches that the only way that the only remedy for an evil empire is DEFEAT. Wherein we will all be consumed.
Most people understand what is going on. It didn’t help that so many other demonstrations were taking place around this time …
Hedges and his cohorts need to commit to political action as in a party like the Green Party …
The time for analysis is over … It’s time to take political action … It is time to commit to the political process … It is time for the Green Party.
I agree with you mmckini. Supporting and voting third party is our best remedy.
Chris never fails to say the words that we all need to hear. He is such an enlightened, highly perceptive man. Yet again, I give him a standing ovation.
This article is spot on and badly needed. I beleive there a good many citizens in this country that are aware of the conditions here at home and in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. There needs to be more of an awareness a more serious debate on the subject covered in this piece. I do believe that the people in this country on both sides of any given issue, feel powereless to reallly affect any real change. Hence the small turnout at the Rayburn Bldg. or the vocal demonstrations held mearly as a way of venting collective frustration. I’m afraid this nation is in for some very bad economic and social consequences as a result of apathy and selective ignorance.
There are many who care Chris Hedges. Our voices are blocked, you are right. Also, many who would care are not paying attention and do not know how or what to pay attention to. I believe we need the music to help us. I’ve started organizing local musicians for a “Choosing Honor” tour… a launching of a “We Party” to help awaken people to their own power. It is all about money, how we spend it, save it and who prints it. Unless we change the way money works, return to how our US Constitution meant it to work, nothing is going to change. Pay attention. I will be posting on http://www.choosinghonor.com as events come together. Something is happening, if we make it happen. The time is now, and people do care.
Mary T. Ficalora, author of Choosing Honor, Avail Press
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