Chris Hedges’ latest book, The Greatest Evil Is War, is a terrific title and even better text. It doesn’t actually argue a case for war being a greater evil than other evils, but it sure does present evidence that war is tremendously evil. And I think in this moment of nuclear weapons threats, we can consider the case pre-established.
with Chris Hedges
TheRealNews on Aug 5, 2022
Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army Colonel who fought in Vietnam, and Danny Sjursen, a retired Army Major who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, have just published Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America’s Misguided Wars.
I saw “Top Gun: Maverick” yesterday. It was absolutely horrible. The film sets a new standard for state-orchestrated, pro-military, mass indoctrination. Goebbels, chief propagandist for Hitler’s Nazi Party, would be in awe of the shiny death plane and the spotlights and the movie star in his tuxedo.
This week on Talk World Radio we’re talking about refusing military “service.” Our guest Charles Lenchner is a veteran peace activist, organizer, and political campaigner. Born in the United States, he grew up in Israel where he became an anti-occupation activist at a young age. In 1987, he was drafted into the Israeli Army and subsequently refused orders and spent time in military prison. More recently he was a co-founder of People for Bernie Sanders and today is part of the RootsAction team that publishes ProgressiveHub. I also work for RootsAction.
Most U.S. states still have excuses when asked to make voter registration automatic, but in various states — including here in Virginia — draft registration is automatic even for 15-year-olds who want a learner’s permit to drive a car. (This is still only for males, as Congress did not, in the end, extend draft registration to females, at least until next year — once in a while Democrats’ obeisance to Republicans works out well.) The application for the learner’s permit in Virginia, for which you must be 15-and-a-half-years-old, says:
Some are inclined to recognize that Trumpies are dwelling in an alternative universe in which neither climate collapse nor nuclear apocalypse is a concern but terrifying wild hoards of Muslim Hondurans are skipping and dancing into the Fatherland armed with gang symbols, deadly rocks, and socialistic tendencies.
In the political arena of double-speak, outright lies, serpents’ tongues, appalling misnomers, and sins of omission, time alone stands up to champion truth. Time will tell, they say … so listen close to this report:
In some future lovely little war, perhaps with China or some other demonized target, some percentage of the U.S. public may suddenly exclaim: “Hey, since when does a draft include young women as well as men?!” Old tunes will be revised and sung in protest with lyrics about being the first one on your block to have your daughter come home in a box. The tragedies will be played out in tears and screams and flag-covered propaganda-regurgitating rationalizations. Dead women and men will be thanked for the service of stirring up World War III before being dumped in the ground to rot, as some of the living begin to envy them and wonder about the merits of the service they’ve provided.
It’s far from the longest U.S. war. There was no peace before or after it. There is no after it until they end it — and bombing has always been most of what it is. It has had nothing to do with opposing terrorism. It has been a one-sided slaughter, a mass killing over two decades by a single invading army and air force dragging along token mascots from dozens of vassal states. After 20 years Afghanistan was one of the worst places to be on Earth, and the Earth as a whole was a worse place to be — the rule of law, the state of nature, the refugee crises, the spread of terrorism, the militarization of governments all worsened. Then the Taliban took over.
If I were to just read the admirable recent study of U.S. military suicides from the Costs of War Project, my inclination would immediately be to join with President Biden and start proclaiming the war on Afghanistan a success, or with Obama in announcing that the Korean War was a success after all, or with the general U.S. establishment in declaring all wars a noble “service” of some sort. One of the factors that the study suggests may contribute to suicides among recent veterans of U.S. wars is the failure of the rest of us to declare the abominations they’ve taken part in to have been worthwhile. If people are going to refrain from killing themselves if we just pretend to find their wars heroic and glorious, it seems the least we can do, and really not much at all to ask for.
This week on Talk World Radio: draft registration. Is it unfair to young women not to force them to kill and die for weapons profits? Our guest Rivera Sun is the Editor of Nonviolence News, a nationwide trainer in strategy for nonviolent movements, and the author of many books and novels, including The Dandelion Insurrection and The Way Between. She serves on the Advisory Boards of World BEYOND War and the Backbone Campaign. Her essays on nonviolence are syndicated by Peace Voice and published in hundreds of journals.
It’s outdated. It’s dysfunctional. It’s hated by most of the populace. No, we’re not talking about the line at the DMV. We’re talking about the Selective Service and the military draft. For decades, young men have had to register. Now, congress is considering expanding draft registration to women.