Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Intercept -- We Need Memorial Day To Obscure The Unbearable Truth About War

The Intercept’s Jon Schwarz highly recommends a visit to Arlington National Cemetery. “There may be nowhere where American history is more highly concentrated in all its kooky cruel splendor — and so there’s also no better place to ask questions about it.”

Here’s an excerpt:
"But of course if you spend time with the dead from the Civil War and the Boxer Rebellion and Iwo Jima and Apollo 1, you’ll also find yourself asking larger questions. Every time I’ve gone there, as I’ve looked out from Lee’s hilltop mansion at the hundreds of thousands of soldiers quietly feeding the freshly-mown grass, I’ve wondered why human beings just can’t stop fighting wars.

"The fervent pomp of Arlington to me always exudes desperation, as though we’re trying to suppress any acknowledgment that war’s the silliest thing people do. We sort ourselves into teams based on imaginary lines, dress up in costumes, pledge allegiance to pieces of cloth, and then mercilessly slaughter total strangers.

"This reality — that waging war is both extremely unpleasant and fundamentally ridiculous, yet we keep doing it – indicates that it must serve some important purpose.

"And all the history books I’ve ever read and all the history I’ve lived through suggests what that is: Wars are less about conflicts between societies than about conflicts within societies. Every country has a militaristic right-wing, and nothing helps that right-wing triumph over their domestic enemies more than a state of war. And just like a pharmaceutical company that doesn’t want to cure diseases when managing them is so profitable, their top priority is never bringing the war to an end, but maintaining and expanding their power within the country.

"Amazing enough, Donald Trump recently told the National Governors Association exactly this, even if neither he nor they understood what he was saying. 'We never win. And we don’t fight to win,' Trump declared. '$6 trillion we’ve spent in the Middle East … and we’re nowhere.' "

“We’re nowhere," and continued perpetual wars will be our future. We do obscure the truth about war in so many ways. It will not stop until Americans understand that “The Greatest Casualty of War Is Our Future.” That we don’t fight wars to keep men free but to line the pockets of wealthy people, the pockets of the arms dealers, and the military equipment and supply industry, and all others who benefit from war.

We Need Memorial Day To Obscure The Unbearable Truth About War

By Jon Schwarz