Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

09.20 Al Gore Is Still Optimistic [24:06 video; rather than future Frankenstein governments, how can we better ensure having brilliantly efficient & competent governments?]

09.20 Florence sparks pollution fears after excrement-filled 'hog lagoons' overflow

09.20 EU must end new petrol and diesel car sales by 2030 to meet climate targets – report

09.19 Air pollution linked to much greater risk of dementia

09.19 Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings [that capitalists suppressed this for continuing profit is the most unforgivable crime ever]Trump administration rolls back methane pollution rule despite harmful health impacts [continuing in the tradition of stupid capitalism at all costs]

09.18 'I was horrified that children are breathing air this dirty inside the school' [if your government isn't working, change it!]

09.17 California plans to show the world how to meet the Paris climate target

09.16 Universal healthcare was unthinkable in America, but not any more

09.16 Air pollution particles found in mothers' placentas

09.16 Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?

News Media Matters

09.20 Morning Edition’s Think Tank Sources Lean to the Right

09.19 Taibbi: Bernie Sanders’ Anti-Amazon Bill Is an Indictment of the Media, Too

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

09.18 Voters Are Ready for a Green New Deal. Are Democrats?

09.18 'This Election Is Last Chance to Stop Them': Kudlow Confirms Trump and GOP Ready to Gut Safety Net After Midterms [Yes, there are far too many sociopaths]

09.18 You'll miss Trump one day

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

09.20 Trump Should Be More Worried About the Brennan Dossier

09.19 'Killing a generation': one million more children at risk from famine in Yemen [Does America's government have empathy? Does it understand the concept of morality? The Saudi Air Force would be ineffective without U.S. military assistance...]

09.19 ‘Tied to trees and raped’: UN report details Rohingya horrors

09.16 Merchants of Death Profit from the Bombing of Children as a US-Backed War Goes Largely Ignored

Economics, Crony Capitalism

09.16 If Jeff Bezos wants to help low-income people why not just pay them better?

09.16 Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk

International & Futurism

09.18 Racist rioting in Chemnitz has reopened Germany’s east-west split [We are all mixed-race after 10,000 generations. Helping suffering people makes us feel good, so become their friends instead.]

09.18 'Unconscionable' and 'Appalling': In Affront to Those Fleeing US-Backed Wars and Persecution, Trump Slams Door on Refugees

09.17 For Whom the Climate Bell Tolls

09.17 How to Humanely Solve Europe's Migration Crisis

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: The Dishonor of Militarism
SPEAKING OUT:

The Dishonor of Militarism

by Sheldon Richman
Thursday, 2 September 2010
The U.S. government has committed the greatest imaginable betrayal of American values as professed in the Declaration of Independence: Born in rebellion against an empire, America now is the empire against which others rebel.

What a blown opportunity! Glenn Beck gathered thousands of people at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday to urge a restoration of American honor—but not once did he mention the most egregious assault on America’s honor: militarism.

It would have been a perfect time to call for dismantling the American empire, ending the bloody occupations and covert wars in Muslim lands, and terminating the gross violations of the rights of Americans and foreigners alike. Under the guise of the “war on terror” those things have stained this country’s reputation—perhaps beyond repair. Yet judging by the speeches at Beck’s rally, you would never know they were happening. He and his fans must think those things don’t dishonor America.

Beck says the country must return to its values, but he seems not to realize that the U.S. government has committed the greatest imaginable betrayal of American values as professed in the Declaration of Independence: Born in rebellion against an empire, America now is the empire against which others rebel.

Here’s a clue to how out of touch with reality the event was: Beck’s headliner, Sarah Palin, praised the military as “a force for good in this country, and that is nothing to apologize for.”

No? I guess she’s been too busy the last nine years to realize that the American military is a weapon of empire. Rather than keeping the American people safe, it endangers them by occupying foreign lands, imposing corrupt puppet governments, and killing resisters as “insurgents,” “militants,” and “terrorists.” Regularly occurring “mistakes” take the lives of people not even suspected of resistance.

Far from opposing the militarism that has taken the lives more than a million people since 2001, Beck and Palin embrace it. As the Associated Press reported, “The event’s website says the rally is to pay tribute to America’s military personnel and others ‘who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor.’” I suppose those “others” are the politicians, military bureaucrats, lobbyists, and defense contractors pursuing an agenda as far removed from integrity, truth, and honor as it can be. Those are the people who lied Americans into illegal wars that by the government’s own reckoning create more “terrorists” than they destroy. When a member of the military actually acts with integrity and honor, as PFC Bradley Manning apparently did by exposing to Wikileaks what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s threatened with half a century in prison.

For Beck, all that is to be ignored. He told his audience, “This country has spent far too long worrying about scars and thinking about scars and concentrating on scars. Today, we are going to concentrate on the good things in America, the things that we have accomplished, and the things that we can do tomorrow.”

Well, the people in the Middle East and Central Asia whose lives have been scarred by U.S. policy can’t wait for Beck and his crowd to get over their feel-good session. They want the bombings and surges to stop now.

It is unseemly to brag about how good “we” are while the U.S. government causes such misery day after day across the world.

Until we understand the “scars” and the deeds that continue to cause them, they will overshadow any good things. It is unseemly to brag about how good “we” are while the U.S. government causes such misery day after day across the world. Beck touts America’s exceptionalism, but to those receiving its Hellfire missiles, that just means America can trash the rest of the world with impunity.

Shame on Beck for ignoring all this.

Beck and his audience make themselves irrelevant in another way. They claim to be concerned about what they call “socialism”—government domination of the economy—but they have no clue that today the greatest impetus for it is militarism and empire. Those cost an incredible amount of money—more than $1 trillion a year—and divert an intolerable amount of scarce resources and labor to the politicians’ hegemonic purposes rather than to making average people’s lives better. Without the bloated national-“security” apparatus, companies would compete for consumers’ patronage in the marketplace rather than striving to become government contractors milking the taxpayers.

How ironic that a rally for honor and against socialism gave a pass to the biggest sources of disgrace and government consolidation of our time.


Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of The Freeman magazine.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on September 2, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: