Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Kinds of Hawks

by MICHAEL TRUE

“If voting made any difference, it would be illegal,” according the late Philip Berrigan. This satiric comment seems especially relevant during our present military and economic crisis.

President Obama proposes reasonable remedies, but fails to follow through on them, while Republicans issue counter proposals that are bound to make things worse.

“If it was not clear before, it is obvious now,” according to the New York Times editorial (April 19), that the Republican party “is fully engaged in a project to dismantle the foundations of the New Deal and the Great Society, and to liberate business and the rich from the inconveniences of oversight and taxes.”

Why do we refuse to recognize the economic consequences of our failed policies, or to halt the Bush/Obama war on Afghanistan? According to a U.S. Army lieutenant, “no one benefits from this war… Only the CEOs and executive officers of war-profiteering corporations find satisfactory returns on their investments.”

Some Americans, including politicians, profit from wasteful military expenditures and corporate greed, while 17% of the population remains permanently impoverished. Millions support laying waste to Kandahar, while New Orleans and Detroit deteriorate.

“The remains of villages destroyed by our bombs, the dead killed from our munitions, leave us, too, with bloody hands,” as Chris Hedges has said. “We can build a new ethic only when we face our complicity in the cycle of violence and terror.”

Flaunting our military power around the globe, we resort to brute force and economic domination,

Must we, as a people, squander our wealth and our young people in wars of conquest and intervention, financing 1,000 military bases around the world, funding corrupt dictatorships, and imposing “democracy” on countries whether they want it or not?

Going along to get along, Democrats and Republicans support policies that justify torture, undermine the right of habeas corpus, destabilize unions, abandon our once-admired educational system, and neglect our own people.

Dismantling a war culture that has undermined democratic governance and cultivating a peace culture mean promoting cooperative rather than domination models, locally, nationally, and internationally. Why not?

Initial steps in this direction require our (1) reducing the military budget, larger than all military budgets in the world combined; (2) abolishing tax breaks for the filthy rich and the multinational corporations; (3) reviving community self-reliance to reduce our dependence on agribusiness and foreign fuel.

Over the past fifty years, creeping militarism and unchallenged corporate greed have undermined our institutions one by one. Preferring comfort and complacency to confrontation, people who should know better, including academics and intellectuals, are silent, while members of the media frequently serve as a public relations agents for the Pentagon and legislators pretending to be “war hawks and deficit hawks” at the same time.

Voting for the right, as Henry David Thoreau said, is not doing anything for the right. Since the founding of the U.S., an active citizenry has succeeded in eradicating slavery, liberating women, upholding human rights, and organizing workers by taking risks essential to cultivating a peace culture.

Nonviolent people power helped to remedy previous crises, to uphold justice and to de-escalate violence. Congress may eventually get around to voting on these issues, but by that time the hard work will have been accomplished by all of us joining to force them to do so.

In commenting on public issues, one wants to be balanced and useful, as well as to retain integrity and to be honest about the present state of affairs. Our present crisis, as in the 1920s or 30s or 60s, appears to require ordinary people resorting to demonstrations, sit-ins, and strikes, to sustain democratic governance and values that are dear to informed citizens.

MICHAEL TRUE, Emeritus Professor, Assumption College, is Vice-president, Center for Nonviolent Solutions, Worcester, MA.

 

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail