Red Lines

Americans know the road of endless war and where it leads. We have been down this road before and have been on it againfor a long time now. Long enough for a new generation to not have known -peace? Peace is not the right word because we are not at war, we are on attack; chasing for power that we lost through arrogance and stupidity (our forté).

In real war countries suffer and even the victors are tested. Our suffering is spread thinly; there has been no war price at home to hit us all –hard. On the home front it is potholes, struggling schools or the un-payable medical expense that defines our collective sacrifice to keep the military fat. Enemy combatants (people defending their homes from us), collateral damage (families of the above) and military losses (our girls and boys) can be easily lost or hidden in a world of digital capitalism; a universe of 24/7 content for profit.

This past weekend while my government did God knows what in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Niger, , N. Korea …(you get the point); I was on YouTube learning how to cook Indian food in my Power Pressure Cooker XL and yeah Trump did something crazy; the usual Saturday/Sunday stuff at my place.

I have seen the good people of Syria gasping for life like fish out of water on this week’s news. Children attended to by horrified adults. Gas attacks, a red line, seriously? What about the rest of it? Many more children have needed attending to or have died because of U.S. attacks over the past two decades and their deaths were no less horrifying.

Where are the pictures of the children we have killed? In WWII, when the allies liberated and then realized the horror of the Nazi death camps, they forced local towns people to see what had happened, so they could never say they didn’t know or later deny the truth.

I demand to be horrified by the images of the deaths I’m responsible for, the one’s worth preserving my freedom while sacrificing my liberties. All of us can go to the net and see this right now if we do the right searches; I am thinking of something different.

Americans need to see our exported horror and mayhem together; on our nightly news, talked abut on our car radios, following us on Facebook and Google instead of getting slick targeted advertisements for crap. We can’t face and stop what we are doing until we see it.

Laura Ingraham’s recent woes remind us that all cable news (really all media) is first and foremost about the money. Bill O’Reilly fell when he couldn’t sell soap anymore, not because he is a pig.  If you can’t sell, screw what you have to say.

There isn’t a lot of money to be made in the public discussions Americans are trying and need to have right now. But there is money to be withheld. I say boycott all of it. Americans are savvy in how they spend their money, let’s be savvy in how we don’t spend it. No legitimacy, no money. I trust people on this one.

A picture of a little Vietnamese girl named Kim Phuc taken by Nick Ut for the AP in 1972 has a lasting effect on anyone that sees it. Burned and naked, a child runs down a dusty road after her village was napalmed by airborne U.S. forces (Kim is now a Canadian citizen). This image forced many Americans to reevaluate our attack on Southeast Asia. Many factors led to the end of the Vietnam disaster, but images from the front lines recorded by an observant press had weight. The U.S. military learned the lesson of Vietnam. We see no real images of our “Wars” unless they have been scrubbed clean and carefully scripted -it’s time for that to change.

Kim Codella is a recently retired California Community College instructor from California and can be reached at