Tuesday, July 26, 2011

U.S. Military Action Makes Americans Less Safe?

I came across a rather unsurprising headline today:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says Osama bin Laden's death has raised the risk of anti-American violence worldwide.  The State Department said in a global travel warning Tuesday that Americans should take precaution and maintain vigilance about terrorist threats, demonstrations and the possibility of violence against U.S. citizens.  (source)
Of course, "death" is a sanitized term.  Bin Laden did not die.  He was assassinated, while unarmed.  But I digress.

This State Department memo confirms a suspicion I have long held: far from "keeping Americans safe," U.S. military aggression around the globe has actually made being an American more dangerous.  While one can argue about the legal justification of the Osama Bin Laden kill/capture mission, the "blow back" from this and many other U.S. military actions will be fierce and longstanding.  It only stands to reason that American journalists, tourists, and other travelers have and will continue to be targeted and subjected to undue dangers due to their nationality.  This implicit support for the world's largest military superpower - one that has regularly chosen force over diplomacy for over sixty years - has led many American journalists to pose as Australians, Brits, Canadians... anyone except for Team America, World Police.  One begins to wonder if, on balance, Americans would be safer at home and abroad (as well as more fiscally sound) if the military literally did nothing other than lay off 80% of its personnel and patrol the border.

"FUCK YEAH!" - it's no accident that
Team America consists of puppets.
Realize, of course, that any act of retaliation from Islamic terrorist cells from the Bill Laden assassination will merely serve as further justification by U.S. officials for prolonged militarism in the Middle East (as promised in the Project for the New American Century - source), perpetuating an ongoing cycle of violence which assuredly started long before September 11th, 2001.  I do not claim to be an expert on U.S. foreign policy or the political history of Northern Africa or Central Asia, but it seems clear to me that the assassination of Osama Bin Laden (as well as the bizarre and barbaric act of throwing his body into the ocean), predator drone strikes in Pakistan, kill/capture missions in Afghanistan, the continued occupation of Iraq, and the new military misadventures in Yemen and Libya are draining the resources of Americans at home and making them less safe abroad.  So long as the last act of aggression serves as justification for the next, peace and prosperity will remain distant notions playing in the background while the military industrial complex continues to aggress pre-emptively against any who would seek oppose it.

Unfortunately, drastic reduction to U.S. military operations may prove to be too little, too late; vendettas have been claimed on all sides and asymmetric violence will remain appealing to military strategists for the foreseeable future.  When the only tool one has is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.  To U.S. military power, the hearts and minds of Afghans have been lost.  As Molly Ivins once observed, "it's hard to convince people that you're killing them for their own good."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Marcus Bachmann is Super!

A loving musical number for the "gay-curing" Christian doctor who is so far in the closet that he's having adventures in Narnia with Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Range of Debate

With all the partisan bickering going on this week in Washington with regard to raising the limit on the US National Debt, it's worth revisting an observation by America's greatest living intellectual dissident:

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate." -Noam Chomsky