“There’s no growing threat or shrinking threat or threat of any sort from anywhere on earth to the US military.” — David Swanson
That the United States has always been so deeply afflicted with structural and cultural racism that it sometimes goes unnoticed and needs to be addressed is hardly disputable. Who is anybody kidding? Have you seen U.S. history? Have you seen the United States?
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.
It’s been a dream of peace-loving people everywhere for over 20 years now for a U.S. government to end a war and to speak in support of having done so. Sadly, Biden is only partially ending one of the endless wars, none of the others having yet been fully ended either, and his remarks on Thursday were too glorifying of war to be of much use in the cause of abolishing it.
For decades I — and, no doubt, everybody else who points out the power and effectiveness of nonviolent action — have had the endlessly recurring experience of being asked “But shouldn’t people defend themselves with wars rather than do nothing?”
Mexico once had a problem with a local provincial government promoting illegal immigration from the United States into Mexico in order to engage in the illegal slavery of illegally trafficked people. The locality involved was called Texas. For years, Mexico let Texas get away with its lawlessness and immorality, including not paying taxes, and including killing Mexican soldiers. Then it sent an army to lay down the law. Texans warned each other that soldiers were coming “to give liberty to our slaves, and to make slaves of ourselves” (meaning to end the actual enslavement of anyone and to require that people abide by laws and pay taxes).
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.
The similarities between the movement to abolish war and the movement to abolish police and prisons jump out at me anew when reading Mariame Kaba’s We Do This ‘Til We Free Us, which is about police and prison abolition. The book has a foreword by Naomi Murakawa that includes this:
“War and preparations for war are not just the pit into which trillions of dollars that could be used to prevent environmental damage are dumped, but also a major direct cause of that environmental damage.
When Democrats were handed the U.S. Congress in 2006 to end the war on Iraq, and they escalated it in order to “oppose” it in the 2008 elections, it’s possible some of them were not being completely forthright and respectful toward you, their loyal supporters.
RT on Apr 2, 2021
Historically speaking, the Cold War was a great ideological confrontation. Western liberalism vs Soviet communism. According to Joe Biden the great geopolitical struggle of our time is democracy vs autocracy. For Biden we are in another great ideological struggle. But there is a difference: the west, particularly the U.S. is the only ideological actor.
It is extremely easy in the United States to obtain guns, to find places to practice using them, and to find trainers willing to teach you to use them. There’s no need to have any contact with the U.S. military in order to dress and act as if you’re in the military, as many mass-shooters do, some of them waging their own delusional wars against immigrants or other groups. But it is remarkable that at least 36% of U.S. mass shooters (and quite possibly more) have in fact been trained by the U.S. military.