Here is what we know and here is what we hardly dare articulate.
The United States is in the phase of its decline that is marked by worship of the military. It is the milieu of opportunity for a despot to engage in attempted empire building. It is an age when a cowardly usurper of power can dare to don a military uniform and strut about as if he had the right to wear it. It is another age in the history of wars of domination when young people are sucked into the war machine, thrown into bloody combat based on no noble cause and described as, “Our brave men and women in uniform,” in order to hide the motives of powerful people whose mission it is to line their own pockets and to force their agendas on unwilling peoples.
Or an attempt by petty dictators to secure for themselves an undeserved heroic place in history.
The age of worship of the military and empire building is an era when a general of the army is “above criticism.” It is an age when it is considered an insult to require an oath of honesty from a highly placed military man or to question the bases of his conclusions.
The culture of the worship of the military has crept upon us unaware in our flush of victory at being on the winning side of two world engulfing conflagrations. Those great generations that marched off in huge numbers to war twice in one century to truly save humanity from tyranny had no notion that from their patriotic heroism would be born a John Wayne cult of the noble soldier-avenger, a superhuman who knew no fear and was always right and always victorious.
When I was in Air Force basic training in the late fifties the word civilian had a mildly pejorative connotation. There was no hot war at that time. But there was a large “standing army.” I accepted all of that and, as a very impressionable eighteen-year-old, felt superior to someone for the first time in my average angst-ridden teenaged life. I felt superior to civilians.
Be all that you can be. The few, the proud, the marines. The unquestioning obeyer of orders and completer of dangerous missions. The lionized and the lied to.
There is not a noble war for justice or freedom being waged by this country anywhere in this world today. There is an ill-fated invasion in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula based on the cynical use of the deaths of nearly 3,000 American civilians, to launch an inane and utterly devoid of any sense of reality or sanity, plan for a “New American Century.” There is perpetual war for nothing noble, waged on lies and continued interminably into the misty reaches of tomorrow and promulgated on more lies, totally politically motivated and manipulated with crafty skill and selfish, shallow reasoning.
The war agenda, which is eating up our national treasure and eroding our freedoms at the speed of blight, which is totally antithetical to anything on which the United States was built, is enabled by glorification of the military, by cynically conferring heroism on the victims of the policy.
Empire building never succeeds for long. Back into pre-history it has always ultimately failed. When Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini tried it we were on the side of justice and freedom. Now, tragically, we are on the other side. We are the invaders, the wagers of pre-emptive war, the kind we fought against just a few short decades ago. And all that was needed for the United States to become the aggressive progenitor of yet another world domination ambition was George W. Bush and company.
The prediction for this phase of earthly empire building is not a rosy one. The shortsightedness, the arrogant adherence to a fatally flawed plan of worldwide hegemony of the promulgators of this current foray into world domination ambition, dooms it to failure, perhaps rather more quickly than others of the past. With no interest in or knowledge of history, this group of mentally challenged and/or mentally unbalanced ideologues, is heedlessly careening down a historically well-worn path which will bring yet another mighty nation to its knees.
One irony of the situation is that these modern architects of rehashed domination theory chose to forego the experience of belonging to the culture of military heroism. Unfortunately, they know how to use it in their blind rush to ruin.