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Ear to the Ground

America the Militarized

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Posted on Dec 12, 2011
Wikimedia Commons

Coming to a neighborhood near you? A Predator drone, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force.

For some strange and troubling reason, the Senate’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which could drastically change the way the American military relates to U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, failed to raise much of an uproar. Now we may have homeland drone surveillance to worry about, too, according to Salon’s Glenn Greenwald.  —KA

Glenn Greenwald in Salon:

The LA Times quotes a retired U.S. General acknowledging that Predators are used “in many areas around the country, not only for federal operators, but also for state and local law enforcement.” Customs officials who own the drones claim there is legal authorization for this usage because they indicated in their budget requests to Congress to purchase the Predators that one purpose was “interior law enforcement support.” But Jane Harman — the former Blue Dog member of Congress who was the Chair of the Homeland Security Sub-Committee at the time the Predator purchases were approved — insists that “no one ever discussed using Predators to help local police serve warrants or do other basic work.” But even if you believe Customs officials, think about what they’re saying: the importation of drones to U.S. soil for law enforcement purposes was authorized not by a new law or regulatory scheme, nor pursuant to Congressional hearings or debates, but all because they inserted the phrase “interior law enforcement support” into their budget request — such a trivial mention that even the Chair of the Homeland Security sub-committee says she didn’t even realize this was being approved.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, December 15, 2011 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

GOOD POINT

Tom Hank’s character in Saving Private Ryan is a schoolteacher who’s gone to war.  Today, his equivalent is a professional military careerist.

A good point well made by the example of a relevant cultural attribute of our society. I figure it is due to the lack of an alternative that they seek the framework of a military existence.

First, the pay is not bad. Room & board is included and the rules are strictly enforced. None of these criteria are available easily in private life.

[I am not so sure about the lack of “individualism” because it seems a cultural trait that is unique to Anglo-saxon cultures. Collectivity is the opposite attribute and fairly common within the other European, Middle-eastern and Far-eastern nations.]

The phenomenon may also be ascribed to the “dumbing down of America” by the media that has taken the upper hand over schooling in terms of molding the beliefs and values of our young. We are indeed a materialist society fixated faddishly on the accumulation of material goods - but we are not the only ones as the rest of the world wants very much the same.

MY POINT

Without the adoption broad-based of some cultural attributes based upon the philosophical notions of fairness and egalitarianism, we become a society obsessed by hierarchy or class. That is, getting to the top (“winning”) becomes a key objective and the means to do so, often bordering on lawless, are justified by the monetary ends obtained.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, December 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s the holiday season -  people are out trying to kill each other at Walmart and Target.  Nice time to bring the bill up for a vote.

In the twilight of empire, the native population will not be treated any differently than the conquered.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, December 13, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Two dots to connect in the ‘militarization’ of
America

—do you know that the rest of the world manages to
start events like a soccer game without everyone
standing up and singing the national anthem?  You
might see it when a national team plays, but somehow
the local soccer club manages to start their games
without a battalion of troops on the field, giant
flags spread out across the field, soldiers bringing
yet more flags out onto the field, and everyone
standing in unison and singing the national anthem
with any who object being threatened with being
beaten down for not being patriotic enough.

—The History Channel was showing some color WWII
footage called “The Color of War”.  One episode is
about the building of the American army from its tiny
peacetime force of around a hundred thousand.  One
part is striking in that they talk about how
individualistic and independent the men who came into
the army were and how they had to be taught how to
supress this into being soldiers.  Today, our youth
are trained and taught how to be submissive soldiers
who follow orders long before they join the Army.

—Along the same lines, watch “Band of Brothers”
followed by “Generation Kill” back to back.  Notice
how in WWI, the soldiers were civilians who happened
to be in the army. They defined themselves by their
peacetime professions, and they talk constantly of
going back.  By the Iraq war, this contrasts with
soldiers who are obviously professional mercenaries
and who regard the military as their career and what
defines them.  Tom Hank’s character in Saving Private
Ryan is a schoolteacher who’s gone to war.  Today,
his equivalent is a professional military careerist.

To the tune of Yellow Submarine ...
“We all live in a military state, a military state, a
military state.
We all live in a military state, a military state, a
military state.”

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 13, 2011 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

RE: “I’ll vote against the Democratic-Republican corporate war machine! Now who is it that I can vote for?”

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By pundaint, December 13, 2011 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

I’ll vote against the Democratic-Republican corporate war machine!

Now who is it that I can vote for?

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 13, 2011 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Naomi does a fantastic job of bringing in the historical aspects of what happened in Germany and what is happening stateside.

Very revealing and poignant to say the least.

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 13, 2011 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Naomi Wolf made a great documentary out of a book / lecture she does describing what J.F.K. is remembered calling a ‘monolithic conspiracy.’

Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ml3ovfRrw

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, December 13, 2011 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

By thecrow, December 13 at 4:46 am

“For some strange and troubling reason”

Right. It’s a mystery. Whatever could be the reason? Hmmm…
====================================================
Thanks “thecrow” for the link to Lynn Margulius exposition of the 9/11 false flag operation. May God bless her soul for her contribution to the truth! I will add this to my massive collection of material on the 9/11 truth; from which I hope to write a book.

Though not a scientist myself, but a social scientist, using my educated commonsense, I always maintained that the 9/11 terrorist attack was an inside job.

Though the title of this Truthdig thread is “America the Militarized,” I do think that a more appropriate title would be “America the Terrorizing and Terrorized.” The “Terrorizing” are the political-military-industrial complex in America, and the “Terrorized” are the American people themselves along with the whole sad world.

Is there a chance in my lifetime that the truth will be uncovered in a court of justice?! This is the question that keeps torturing my restless soul!

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thecrow's avatar

By thecrow, December 13, 2011 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

“For some strange and troubling reason”

Right. It’s a mystery. Whatever could be the reason? Hmmm…

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/between-us-and-the-enveloping-darkness/

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By RHONDA, December 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For years I’ve lived next to a huge military base, and
I’ve seen every type of plane.  This fall, while
walking on nearby woodsy trails, I wondered about these
strange, noisy, low-flying planes that looked like
flimsy gliders.  The implications here are very
disturbing and creepy.  My peaceful walks may never be
quite the same.

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By Chris Herz, December 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe there is no great furor over this act of tyranny because few expect the moribund government of corruption in Washington to be capable of anything different.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, December 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Watch a man of commonsense, namely Dennis Kucinich, giving the American military-industrial complex a piece of his sober mind! 


http://youtu.be/iIvdeuGItoY

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Napolean DoneHisPart's avatar

By Napolean DoneHisPart, December 12, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Everyone is asleep…. worrying about what they’re getting for Christmas… they’ll welcome tyranny as it will be dressed in hero fatigues…  good bye Constitution, good bye Bill of Rights…

Heil!!

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