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.
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.
The vast majority of people who experience war directly, first-hand, rather than through Hollywood movies or politicians’ speeches, are the people who live where wars are waged. In wars involving distant wealthy nations on one-side, some 95% of those killed or injured or traumatized, and 100% of those bombed out of their homes are people against whom war is waged, most of them civilians and the rest of them people doing exactly what any Hollywood movie or politician would tell them — have told them — to do: fight back.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Aug 15, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge with Danny Sjursen, a combat veteran and West Point graduate.
We don’t know what the long-term damage is of coronavirus in those who recover. We don’t know who will die among those who catch it. We do know that we each have a responsibility to avoid catching it and avoid spreading it. Here are some ways to do that.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on May 9, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Matthew Hoh, former U.S. Marine Company Commander, about the high rates of veteran suicides. Hoh served two tours in Iraq as a Marine and with the State Department. He resigned his position as a State Department political officer in Afghanistan in 2009 in protest over the Obama Administration’s escalation of the war.
I know it’s stiff competition, but hear me out.
The threat of nuclear apocalypse is higher than ever. The threat of irreversible climate collapse is higher than ever and massively contributed to by militarism. The trillions of dollars being dumped into militarism are desperately needed for actual defense against these dangers including spin-off catastrophes like coronavirus. But military jobs and weapons production jobs (producing weapons for dictatorships and so-called democracies around the world; the U.S. handles 80% of the globe’s foreign weapons sales) are being deemed “essential” and actually being boosted with more funding.