John Chuckman



“Washington ‘Risks Getting Drawn Into Yet Another Ground War in Middle East’”

Donald Trump, from all evidence so far, appears to have been sucked into the same swamp bog that Obama was.

The imperial concerns of America’s unelected military/security/corporate establishment take precedence over everything else, including elected government.

It does seem Trump has been trumped.


Response to another reader’s comment; “It’s not a risk. Americans love war, they are a nation of sick individuals.”

There is truth in what you say, but there is an understandable reason for it.

America has no first-hand knowledge of serious war.

All of its wars since 1865 have been abroad, inflicting suffering on others from which its own population is pretty much secure.

Even in WWII, a war which claimed more than 50 million lives, America’s losses were small, about 300 thousand. The gigantic battles and the horrific bombing were never seen once in America.

Had Americans experienced what Russia and Europe experienced over the last century, their views might well be different.

I’ve long observed how few Americans really care about what is happening to “foreigners.”

It was that way in the Vietnam Holocaust, a ten-year exercise in extreme brutality serving little point.

Americans only got excited over the relatively small number (small, given the world’s experience of war) of Americans coming home in boxes, especially when those boxes contained draftees.

The estimated 3 million Vietnamese slaughtered in various horrible ways – napalm, early cluster bombs, carpet-bombing – literally meant almost nothing in America.

Nor did the horror America left behind matter much – land mines, cluster munitions, and a sea of Agent Orange, etc. – things which kept killing Vietnamese for many years and do still.

The death of about 60 thousand “boyz” in achieving all that was the only thing that mattered and still matters.

I remember how enraged American officials were when they lost the war. They refused to undertake any obligations like reparations or land-mine clearance.

And when they talked to the Vietnamese, which was rarely, they insisted on crazy things like having suspected crash sites for American planes dug up to find some old bones and buttons, as though the Vietnamese hadn’t huge and urgent problems with which to deal. But, no, they had to find America’s bones and buttons and ship them home. It was insane.

The entire war was utterly insane, but to this day you will not find large numbers of Americans who admit that, so indoctrinated were they on the “threat” of communism. Feelings towards Russia today still reflect that indoctrination because the Pentagon has always found it useful to have a boogeyman in pushing for still larger budgets.

The one thing that came out of Vietnam for Americans was an end to the draft. A very-well paid professional armed force also offers job opportunities in a society which increasingly has trouble generating jobs, at least for young people without good skills.

The Pentagon also determined to become as hi-tech as possible, minimizing the actual exposure of soldiers. They learned in Vietnam that the coffins coming home in even modest numbers literally created civil unrest.

These new ways of doing things enable the Pentagon to pursue America’s many colonial wars – and that’s all any of America’s wars since WWII have been, dirty little colonial wars – with a minimum of disturbance “back home.” Americans mostly now never give a thought to what is being done to “foreigners.”

And, of course, as we know well, America’s corporate news media make sure Americans never see the gruesome results of the professional army’s work. The only time broken bodies and pools of blood ever appear in America’s press is when the deaths are misattributed to the very governments America’s establishment is trying to destroy, as in Syria.

So, we live in a strange world of shadows in which most of what America’s government does abroad is never even explained to Americans, and so long as great numbers of coffins are not being shipped home, Americans just don’t care.

This is a near universal reality in America including most parts of the political spectrum. You don’t hear even a self-declared “socialist” like Bernie Sanders railing against the horrors America inflicts abroad. Never. He’ll only brag something like having voted against the Iraq invasion many years ago, and that’s it.

It is nation of affluent navel-gazers whose ruling establishment pretty much has a free hand to kill and destroy abroad on a grand scale. After all, in the years of Obama and Bush, America killed maybe 2 million people in its Neocon Wars, absolutely none of them a threat to the United States.

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