How can President Biden honor our troops? By remaking our civil-military culture and putting a stop to endless wars.
“These days, everybody adores the troops – at least rhetorically,” writes retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson in Business Insider. And our new commander-in-chief – who ends his speeches with the exaltation “May God protect our troops” – certainly talks the talk. The question is, will he walk the walk, and actually honor and protect our troops and veterans by ending “absurdly hopeless wars.”
“This is such a no-contest, best-practice, undeniably needed, overwhelmingly necessary action for America to take, that one puzzles over why it even needs suggesting,” Wilkerson argues. “But it never does get done.”
“Why are we becoming so heavily mired in the fringes of our empire?” Wilkerson runs the numbers: “Eight hundred-plus overseas bases and counting; billions spent maintaining them, special operations forces in dozens of countries to combat a threat — international terrorism — that a CATO Institute study demonstrates, conclusively, has about the same chance of harming one of us as an errant lightning strike. Then there are America’s armed drones flying over at least nine countries — none with which we are constitutionally at war; covert operations ongoing on at least three continents; cruel sanctions on so many people and states that we can barely keep up with them — a sanctions web it will take a century to unravel, if ever.” All of which contributes to over half the world’s population believing that America is the greatest threat to their future.
So, why not “stop the endless, stupid wars, and all the other incredible idiocy induced, and then start unwinding America’s demonstrably counterproductive imperium?” Because there’s no money in it.
There are just too many too powerful people pocketing that blood money — from formidable defense contractors, to revolving-door generals and admirals, to members of Congress, to the executives of the big banks and financial firms,” Wilkerson explains. “All profiting mightily from the empire’s treasury.”
And we, the common citizenry, are all complicit. “As has become the custom with America’s wars, conditionally-selected young people are dying, suffering devastating wounds, or living with life-long post-traumatic stress, homelessness or worse — committing suicide at unprecedented rates— whilst the self-selected huge majority carry on as usual.”
If we don’t all take an oath to put an end to this, “we ought hereafter to hang our collective heads in shame.”
Read the full piece here.