Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

AMERICA'S VIOLENCE CONTRADICTION

This photo is from a Junior-ROTC "field day" at a school in the south. The article along with the photo said, in part, "Maj. Hicks speaks to the eager group of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadets about what it means to be a Cavalryman and what the Cavalry does."

I remember the Cavalry. They were the ones who hunted the Native Americans down and killed them. Now they do it in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

We weep and wail and wring our hands when domestic terrorists kill innocent people, as was done this past weekend in Tucson, Arizona. But each and every day our kids all over the nation are being brainwashed about the joys of violence, the thrill of war, the glory of killing the "enemy" and few blink an eye. People somehow separate the killing done by our "hero" soldiers from the senseless random slaughter on our streets at home.

But these can't be separated. They are linked. They come from the same wellspring. They come from America's addiction to war and violence.

We glorify the gun and we glorify the shooter. But then, just now and then, the nation says (as in the case in Arizona), "No, not this time. This violence was not good." But to those brought up listening to the overwhelming public support for guns and glory the messages are just a twisted jumble of confusion. The loudest bang is the one that gets internalized by the majority of the citizenry.

It could change, but we'd have to make a serious national commitment to step away from the bar stool where we keep taking just one more drink of the hot red blood of violence. It could change, but we'd have to keep our president home instead of thrilling in his secret holiday trips to visit the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan to remind them that the nation is behind their killing of innocent civilians in endless war. It could change, but the Congress would have to cut the military budget and transfer the money into mental health programs for those who are living close to the razor's edge and are just one radio talk show host's angry rant about "big government" away from a violent rampage.

It could all change, but each of us would have to do more than shake our head in disgust and say to ourselves, "This is a crazy country." We'd have to step up and take some responsibility, do something to publicly express our deep frustration and concern, and demand that we stop putting our children at the trigger end of machine guns.

We'd have to connect the dots between "random gun violence" and our national obsession with occupation and killing people around the world who happen to sit on land that is wanted, for whatever reason, by multi-national corporations.

We could do something, if we..............................

2 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

If we are parents or have some influence with parents, we can get rid of television in our homes. Just for starters.

1/11/11, 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Brother Jonah said...

There WAS a UN General Assembly Resolution, against using children or training children as Military or Militia.
Most Americans know it only because one of the charges leveled against the Iraqi government was about child soldiers.

But it was a G.A. Resolution. Not Security Council. U.S. can't do jack about G.A. but they got Security Council veto power.

Shirley Temple Black, (former child star) was the U.N. ambassador.
ReaganBush didn't like the idea because it would ban children being trained as Paramilitary in Boy Scouts, (the closest ReaganBush ever got to acknowledging that Scouts were founded as a Paramilitary group... get the lads interested in uniforms, regimentation, "duty"....

AND... JROTC. Also other sleazy bits like Military Recruiters going to schools to convince kids to grow up Killer.

1/12/11, 1:54 AM  

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