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The Tucson Shooting and the End of the Frontier Myth

By       Message John Grant     Permalink
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Hello darkness my old friend,

I've come to talk with you again,

                 - Paul Simon, 1964


Jared Loughner with Glock
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The same year the Tet Offensive in Vietnam made it clear our war there was a quagmire there was a spate of domestic political assassinations in America. It was a highly polarized and volatile time when people struggled with issues of race and class. Civility suffered.

 

Forty-three years later, the similarities are stark. The economy is distressed to the point poor and working class Americans are fearful and uncertain about the future. Meanwhile, the world of high finance has rebounded and is again thriving; and the military budget consumes more than half of US tax resources.

 

The National Security State keeps Americans in the dark about exactly what it is doing around the world. Citizens are told US troops will be removed from Iraq next year -- maybe -- if everything is stable and leaving is in our interest. Meanwhile, our leaders are escalating the war in Afghanistan and expanding it into Pakistan.

 

The fact is US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is not really a "war," as much as it is an expensive, and virtually permanent, imperial occupation that began under Bush and is continuing with little change under Obama.

 

Most Americans have no personal stake in either occupation, and a majority of them consistently tell pollsters they're opposed to the occupations. Yet, our military presence continues.

 

Americans have become cynically acclimatized to this state of affairs, which amounts to a passive moral accommodation to their government's use of lethal violence in the far reaches of the globe.

 

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I'm a 68-year-old American who served in Vietnam as a naive 19-year-old kid. From that moment on, I've been studying and re-thinking what US counter-insurgency war means. I live outside of Philadelphia, where I'm a writer, photographer and (more...)
 

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