This week, I’m pleading with my legislators to not go to war, a process that lays bare the assumptions underlying both militarism and mass surveillance.
After trillions of dollars and millions of lives wasted in the Middle East, we are somehow politically no farther forward than we were in 2002.
Like back then, the leaders of both parties are banging the drums of war and raising the spectre of an unchastised enemy becoming a haven for terrorists to attack American soil.
Congress is united that Something Must Be Done.
The Something is apparently, again, bombing brown people to kingdom come.
Once again, a compliant media is concerned mostly with how much war they can push for how quickly, not with interrogating the powerful on why this is such a goddamn emergency that the only option is war. They are running solemn editorials asking whether President Obama is showing enough kneejerk belligerence (known in Washington as “leadership”) or not quite enough and the effect of said insufficient kneejerk belligerence on the goddamn midterms and the goddamn presidential election two years hence.
Yes, I get it. Who controls the US Senate is interesting. Who gets to sit in the Oval Office is also interesting. But you’d think that the thousands who will surely die from our bombs would also be interesting, and would have some weight in American decisions.
They do not; they count for nothing, or even less than nothing; they are “roaches“. And it is more or less taboo to talk about how “eradicating” them, in Rick Perry‘s phrase, might well come back to bite us, even when ISIS enjoys vigorous recruitment and funding precisely because we have been bombing in the Middle East for a decade now and have very little good to show for it.
A coldly rational assessment of the last decade of bombing suggests that US interests have not been advanced as a result; the US is no better loved; instead, we have put those we love in harm’s way, and have tortured and imprisoned and killed on an enormous scale, and for some reason it has only generated more hostility and suspicion. Why should we ever have expected it to be otherwise? Why expect it to be otherwise now?
How about this for a cheaper and more effective suggestion?