As we go into the fourth of July weekend, which is all about bombs bursting in air, fireworks and hotdogs, let us not get sucked up into the seductive militarism that tries to attach itself to this celebration of our revolution freeing us from the British, a celebration where, however, patriotism can get confused with imperialism, where power projection can get confused with national defense, and let us at least ponder, for a moment, what Major General Smedley Butler of the Marine Corps, in a lucid statement, once said:
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes. (source)
And now let us look at some people who also feel very strongly that war in general is not only wrong but horribly threatening and destructive to all sentient life on the planet, particularly at this stage in the planet's evolution, where resources for survival are dwindling and social problems magnifying exponentially. Let us look at people who not only talk the talk about a peaceful world, but walk the walk to create it.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I had the day off and overslept some, so I had to pick up the pace to get dressed and eat before I took off for the other side of Norfolk, at the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base - the intersection of E. Little Creek Blvd. and Shore Drive to be exact. It was already hot outside when I rushed to my car and turned on the ignition. The weatherman was promising temperatures in the 90s today for all of Hampton Roads, Virginia and here it was at 8:00 am and it already felt like 80 degrees.