FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Killing for the Flag

by Jason McQuinn, Chuck Munson And Tom Wheeler

The U.S. is the only nation-state to have been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism. The U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on governments to observe international law. After deliberately targeting the civilian public health infrastructure, the U.S. military imposes a continuing economic blockade on Iraq which has directly resulted in the deaths of hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of children. The U.S. government is the primary financier and arms supplier for the decades-long Israeli war against the entire Palestinian people. The U.S. armed forces and U.S. organized and/or financed ally or proxy forces have killed millions upon millions of civilians since the end of World War II. This is the not-so-hidden meaning of the Stars and Stripes as the vast majority of people around the world understand it.

Now the U.S. government has begun what it bills as an open-ended “War on Terrorism,” which conveniently ignores the fact that in the late Twentieth Century and the beginning of the Twenty-first Century it is the United States of America that, by its own definition, is the most prolific terrorist force in the world. While at the same time U.S. leaders are choosing to target whichever individuals, organizations, regimes and/or nation-states–among the wide array of opponents of U.S. policies–are deemed most convenient this week, leaving the rest for next week, next year or the next decade. This is, of course, a recipe for perpetual war, which is as well understood by President Bush and the other architects of the “New World Order,” as it was by the architects of a similar project of world empire that was proudly proclaimed the Third Reich, under a flag with a similarly not-so-hidden meaning.

Perpetual war serves a number of purposes for the present administration. It is under wartime conditions that the U.S. state will, at least initially, face the least resistance as it finishes the now over two century-long process of gutting the Bill of Rights and voiding the inconvenient parts of the U.S. Constitution. It is under conditions of war that the campaign to defeat the anti-globalization movement can be fought with increasingly militant and dirty tactics. It is under wartime conditions that all opponents of U.S. policies anywhere in the world, including within the U.S. itself, can be most easily labeled “terrorist,” at the same time that the mass media can be most easily mobilized as a total propaganda machine. And it is under conditions of war that the arms production, oil production and military technology corporations that funded President Bush’s election by the Supreme Court will be most handsomely rewarded without too many questions ever being asked. And best of all, wartime conditions lend themselves to the easy mobilization of xenophobic, politically reactionary, flag-waving patriotism. The kind where a complete and utter absence of popular intelligence is made up for by the cathartic release of long pent-up anger at being forced to live under frustrating conditions in an alienating world with no real hope for any beneficial social change in sight.

However, while conditions of perpetual war may be fortuitous for the fortunes of the current regime and its backers right now, there is little reason to believe that the game won’t end a lot earlier than they think. In fact, there are already clouds on the horizon that will only grow more threatening: the unhappy reactions of regimes the world over that are disquieted by an American rogue state increasingly out of control, the pleas of would-be allies that will continue to be destabilized by their bullying, rapacious “friend,” the glaring failure to derail the anti-globalization movement around the world (with only a partial exception within the U.S. itself, where it has been slowed more effectively), the meltdown of the Argentinean economy under the conditions imposed by the IMF (with the threat of others always looming), the failure of the current Israeli strategy of an accelerating campaign of war crimes, and the growing wave of international opinion condemning the American project of empire-which the massive, ongoing covert and overt propaganda war has so-far failed to dent. Waving a hundred million flags all around the country won’t make these problems for empire go away.

And even within the U.S., it’s only a matter of time before the population tires of a war without any foreseeable resolution against enemies that must be continually manufactured. The longer the war on terrorism continues, the less enthusiastic will be the flag-waving and cheering for more bombing campaigns, the mass starvation now in full-swing in Afghanistan, and the continuing delays and frustrations demanded for internal security. Even with the full complicity of the mainstream U.S. media in its efforts to promote perpetual war, dissatisfaction and dissension will once again arise, until even the biggest, most impressive American flags fail to cover up all the crimes against innocent men, women and children throughout the world required to keep the empire of American capitalism growing.

Jason McQuinn, Chuck Munson and Tom Wheeler serve as the editorial collective at the Alternative Press Review.

February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail