The biggest threat to the USA is not ISIS or Russia. It is the gullibility of the American voter in the face of a union among the media and the Military/Industrial/Secrecy/Prison Complex. General Electric and its subsidiary NBC are prominent examples. Norman Solomon is well informed on this and you can read one of his articles on the Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting website here: http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/the-military-industrial-media-complex/
We The People are in the dark and so are most reporters. We just don’t know what the secret institutions of our government are up to. I argue that, in our imposed ignorance, we must use our minds, our hearts, and our guts in a kind of three-branch exercise of reaching conclusions. I believe that our government either utterly failed us in the months before 9/11 or that components of our government were involved. Either way they were nothing short of criminal and incompetent. Their answer was to spend trillions of dollars on war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the creation of a new bureaucracy, Homeland Security that does more to add to the national debt and militarize our police forces than it does to protect us. The CIA, et al, failed us so let’s create a new agency to add to the confused and deadly menace. Jeez. The military incursions have been proven through the hands of ISIS and the Taliban to be more deadly than helpful. Our troops were pawns in the hands of the Military/Industrial/Secrecy/Prison complex. The fact that they died and were maimed in numbers far less than in the Viet Nam War results in fewer and smaller protests, though the wars were equally dismal failures.
I hear Vice-President Joe Biden say we will follow ISIS to “the gates of hell.” The upcoming Presidential campaign will pit two main candidates against each other in a bid to outdo each other in hawkish rhetoric. Voices of peace will be called traitorous and weak – un-American. President Obama will be trashed by both Republicans and Democrats. In short, Mr. Biden, we are more likely to follow our terrorist enemies to the halls of bankruptcy and ruin than to the gates of hell. We will spent a trillion here and a trillion there and end up with more terrorists than we started with.
Our willingness to be bled dry leads us to give terrorists their cheapest weapon. We are more than willing to bleed money. And terrorism, like education, is such a handy issue to spout off about in campaigns while never admitting that our actions don’t fix anything in the long run.
I have an idea that would work, I think.
Let’s reinstate the draft with new provisions. One provision is to draft every single able-bodied young man and woman of average and above-average intelligence into service. Conscious Objectors, in my plan, would be defined in the same way they were during Viet Nam. As I remember, and know from a Mennonite friend from those days, one needed a family history of belonging to a pacifist sect. You can’t become a pacifist at age 16 or 17 and have it recognized by the government. The way to prove you are a pacifist will be to accept non-combatant service in and near the most dangerous places or to go to jail for the length of mandated military service. No college exemptions. No mental health exemptions. They can be weeded out and placed in treatment facilities in which the living conditions are no better than field conditions for the fighting private. No deferments. No cushy jobs for the kids of the rich. Come to think of it, since we are so gung-ho about privatization, let’s no longer allow cushy, but necessary, jobs to be military positions. Privatize those jobs, no deferments. Congress must prove its patriotism by passing a law that all non-pacifist children of Congressmen/women currently serving or out of office be put on the battlefield or in the most dangerous locations. We must, I’m afraid, exempt the Congressmen and women or we will never have young people eligible to run and hold office.
In addition to the draft law, there will be funding/tax laws. No more credit card warfare. When Congress (or the president or any damn thing public or private) wishes violence to be done in the name of We The People, we will have an immediate flat tax imposed to pay for it. As costs increase, so will the tax rate.
There. In a short, but impolitic phrase, Americans must feel the pain of what we do in the world. It’s done in our name. We must share the burden or not pick up the load at all! Oh wait! If we are sharing the burden, why the hell do we allow General Electric, et al, to profit? It’s more insane than my proposed laws.