Notes From the Underground

It's Getting Ugly Up There

Month: July, 2012

All-Volunteer Armies are Inherently Bad

All-volunteer armies sound like a good idea but that’s an illusion. They’re extremely expensive to maintain and the primary beneficiaries are Defense Contractors like Haliburton. All-volunteer armies are an easy stepping stone to war.  If you have them and pay for their upkeep and training it makes it easier to justify using them. It’s been too easy to maintain the criminal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because everyone points to the volunteer and says “this is what you signed up for.”  In too many cases it wasn’t. In an economy like ours countless 18 to 20 year olds signed up because they couldn’t find jobs or afford to continue their education after high school.

The all-volunteer army feels an obligation to “do their duty” without challenging authority so they are much easier to deceive. Viet Nam was a 1 year committment; after 12 months in hell you got to go home. The all-volunteer army has been conned into going through seemingly endless cycles of redeployment lasting many years because the burden of combat is placed on the backs of the few. Because of that we have astonishing levels of PTSD that have destroyed marriages and allowed children to grow up without parents. Worse,  we now see an average of 18 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans a day killing themselves as a result.

The All Volunteer Army scam has allowed the US to rack up at least $4 Trillion in debt and it’s not over yet. That money went to a handful of defense contractors who charged hyper-inflated prices and have now developed their own army of mercenaries like Blackwater that they “lease” back to the US government as “security forces.” Those mercenary armies are beyond civilian control and don’t negotiate price.

The plan proposed in the Times Op-ed has a lot of merit and should be considered. Draft is a hotword that implies war and death and Compulsory Public Service sounds ominous too but a large number of modern, industrialized countries have obligatory service requirements that are beneficial to society and, in this economy, with millions of young people with no forseeable job prospects or the ability to pay for higher education, it’s worth a try.  With our current military-industrial complex and an all-volunteer army endless war is just about inevitable.


The American Endgame

The Repugs and the neo-cons know they can do as they like because the majority of Americans are either too stupid or too lazy to pay attention to what’s going on; that’s how we wind up with Governors like Rick Scott, Jan Brewer, Scott Walker and Chris Christie.

I don’t think the neo-cons expect Romney to win and are smart enough to know it’s probably better if he doesn’t. Romney will fuck it up as he always does and his gaffes will  cause too many people to take a closer look at what’s really happening as the neo-cons consolidate government control at the local level. Once they control local government, they control it all. Rather than try to impose fascism from the top down,  it’s easier, more effective,  less conspicuous and even cheaper to do it from the bottom up. State Assemblies can be bought for the price of a bucket of popcorn and a Big Gulp.

FEAR, FEAR and more FEAR, that’s their weapon. Scare the populace enough and they’ll do whatever you want. It’s all there in Orwell’s 1984. We’re all subject to any form of Big Brother surveillance and we live in a society where “Doublespeak” is comfortably accepted. “The Patriot Act” takes away most of our civil liberties. “Citizens United” would be more aptly named “Corporations United” The “Department of Homeland Security”  is just a euphemism for “The Fatherland.” It’s the same concept. The neo-cons have successfully created an “us against them” image  of the world where civil liberties are a luxury we can no longer afford, where your local librarian can be arrested for refusing to provide, without a warrant, records of the books you read to the FBI, a society where torture is not only considered acceptable but, to many, laudable. A society where you can be ordered to “produce your papers.”

So it may be “game over” politically for a while. Trying to recall RWNJ governors is a waste of energy. Mass public demonstrations and general strikes would be far more effective and that’s what the neo-cons really fear; they showed their hand with their reaction to the Occupy protests; they’re more afraid of us than we should be of them.

The battle of words will go on but the battle for freedom never has and never will be won with words alone; it takes action, intense, meaningful action. We have to fuck them so that they know they’re being fucked. We are Americans and that means something.