All Americans’ behavior is understandable if one acknowledges that we are constantly subjected to propaganda of various kinds. We have been propagandized to believe that some lives, white Americans’, are more valuable than others, namely anyone not white nor from the United States. There is no other way to explain why the government’s killing of thousands of people abroad is met with a shrug, if it is acknowledged at all. Americans are like spoiled children, whining over their suffering, while showing no empathy for anyone else’s. They feel that only their victimization is worthy of note, and in fact many of them support their government’s acts of violence carried out around the world.
[In] the US, most people don’t even know that their own military just blew away three young Afghan children. The sad truth is, even if they did know, they wouldn’t really care. There’d be no outpouring onto the streets of people demanding a halt to the air attacks and the drone killings. Only 28% of Americans say they object to America’s drone warfare, though it is clear that drone attacks are leading to the deaths of hundreds — perhaps thousands — of innocent civilians. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, a survey of 20 countries about reactions to drone warfare found that in the US only 28 % of Americans said they disapproved of America’s drone warfare campaign. In countries that are normally America’s allies, like Britain, Germany and Japan, disapproval rates were 47%, 59% and 75% respectively. In the US, the survey found 62 % of Americans actively support drone warfare, giving America the distinction of being the only country surveyed in which a majority of the public supports killing by drone.
The attackers of the three schoolgirls in Pakistan, who have been arrested already, will almost certainly be imprisoned for their heinous crimes. Not so the pilot and the targeting personnel who called in his deadly strike that led to the deaths of three Afghan children. They will come home from the war hailed as “heroes” by any Americans they meet. People will pass them and say, “Thank you for your service” — even though that “service” includes killing little children.
I leave it to readers to imagine how they think this impacts on the parents and relatives of the children who were killed by America’s “brave” military. I know though that if a foreign military blew my kids away with impunity and for nothing, they would in that moment create an enemy for life—and Liam Neeson’s character would have nothing on me in terms of my desire to exact vengeance, either.
Those befuddled Americans who are still asking, “Why do they hate us?” should think about this a bit.
"Maturity dawns when you begin to look back at your life and long to be able to make amends for your blindness. Because changing the past is impossible, it follows to strive to possess a greater degree of self-awareness in the present. By this measure, we, the people of the US, insulated in the eternal present of our media hologramatic bubble and in the thrall of perpetual post-adolescent-level self-involvement, have some growing up to do.
Circumstances change, people change, yet the people of the US cling to an outmoded and ossified view of themselves, their nation, and the world at large… but events keep moving right along. For example, given the degree of danger, and by danger, I mean, global wide, species (including our own) devastation, begot by Industrial Age-engendered Climate Chaos — we cannot afford to go about business as usual.
On consideration of the path we are heading down, at exponentially increasing speed, uprising (engendered by mortification and propelled by outrage) would appear to be an appropriate course of action. If you were embarked on a journey across the high seas and discovered the captain and his officers were all suicidal madmen — then mutiny would be a viable option.”
If people do not actively combat a political regime which oppresses them, it may not be because they have meekly imbibed its governing values. It may be because they are too exhausted after a hard day’s work to have much energy left to engage in political activity, or because they are too fatalistic or apathetic to see the point of opposing the regime; or they may spend too much time worrying about their jobs and mortgages and income tax returns to give it much thought. Ruling classes have at their disposal a great may techniques of ‘negative’ social control, which are a good deal more prosaic and material than persuading their subjects that they belong to a master race or exhorting them to identify with the destiny of the nation.
Terry Eagleton, Ideology: an introduction, p.34
[n.b. immiseration is as good a technique of control as inspiration, or even the misidentification of the needs of the ruling classes as your own. Along with force, a technique of increasing the rate of exploitation (austerity) can be a technique for reducing the capacity of the working class for resistance.] (via itsworsethanthat)
From Gary Kamiya:
If in the year 2000 the U.S. president had told the American people that the government would soon begin using robot planes to track people, including U.S. citizens, all over the world, and would reserve to itself the right to kill them without trial, it is safe to say there would have been an enormous uproar. But that is exactly what is happening today, and nobody cares. The majority of Americans, including those who were opposed to the war in Iraq, have no problems with their government killing at will, so long as the killing is done in the name of “national security.”
How did this happen? In retrospect, the war in Afghanistan was the prime culprit. That endless, Sisyphean war was the thin end of the wedge. In that murky, shifting struggle, it was normal for the U.S. to arrogate to itself the right to kill the Taliban wherever they were in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Once that precedent was established, it was an small step to killing bad guys in Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Libya. And so, by imperceptible steps we arrived at the place we are now, where 77 percent of liberals support President Obama’s vastly expanded killer drone campaign, where an American citizen can be remotely vaporized at the touch of a button and no one cares. The war on Afghanistan set the precedent that shaped the entire “war on terror” paradigm. The chimera of “safety from terrorism” led us by easy stages to begin waging dirty war across the globe — changing the definition of war, eroding moral and legal standards and greatly increasing the likelihood of ugly future consequences.
The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
Robert M. Hutchins (via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity)