12 thoughts on “Australian soldiers kill innocent Afghans


    As President Obama puts the finishing touches on his much anticipated “jobs speech,” The Washington Post is featuring a story, “A Decade After the 9/11 Attacks, Americans Live in an Era of Endless War.”

    More than 65 years ago, the US celebrated a post-World War II victory Labor Day that marked the rise of the great era of the American middle class, and the hope of an end to armed conflict. But that was not to be, as the Post notes: in World War II, “the players are unquestionably good and the war’s ends are noble…. In the modern warfare battles, the conflicts are unending.”

    This Labor Day, in 2011, the middle class is incrementally disappearing and we are fighting wars that we no longer have a coherent rationale for fighting. But these unending Pentagon battles are a growth industry in a declining job market. They are one of our few “successful” jobs programs, employing everyone from GIs to weapons assemblers to “security” contracting firms to our extensive intelligence network.

    No politician, including President Obama, will seriously challenge the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us to be wary of. It – through the lobbying influence of weapons makers and the mythic power of the Pentagon – continues to wage war because it needs “enemies” to justify its existence, profit and expansion.

    This is where we have ended up: a broken American dream of a ghoulish growth industry, according to the Post:

    This is the American era of endless war.

    To grasp its sweep, it helps to visit Fort Campbell, Ky., where the Army will soon open a $31 million complex for wounded troops and those whose bodies are breaking down after a decade of deployments.

    The Warrior Transition Battalion complex boasts the only four-story structure on the base, which at 105,000 acres is more than twice the size of Washington, D.C. The imposing brick-and-glass building towers over architecture from earlier wars.

    “This unit will be around as long as the Army is around,” said Lt. Col. Bill Howard, the battalion commander.

    As the new complex rises, bulldozers are taking down the last of Fort Campbell’s World War II-era buildings. The white clapboard structures were hastily thrown up in the early 1940s as the country girded to battle Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. Each was labeled with a large letter “T.” The buildings, like the war the country was entering, were supposed to be temporary.

    The two sets of buildings tell the story of America’s embrace of endless war in the 10 years since Sept. 11, 2001. In previous decades, the military and the American public viewed war as an aberration and peace as the norm.

    But in place of the dream is a nightmare, wars that are almost forgotten but drain our economy and kill and maim young Americans who could be helping our nation grow into a brighter future.

    These wars without end last so long that most Americans have basically forgotten that they are still being waged.

    Tell that to the wounded GIs who will be filling up the “Warrior Transition Battalion.” The elitists in DC have given up on offering them dignified work at home and a nation at peace. That is something to deplore, not celebrate, this Labor Day.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


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