Thursday, June 16, 2016

Violent Patriarchy On The March Toward Its Own Doom

With people in the U.S. reeling from the mass murder of openly gay men in Orlando this week, very few even noticed the creep of the latest "defense" spending bill through Congress. Instead they focused on the ethnicity and alleged beliefs of the latest in a string of military weapon-wielding men who enter public spaces and shoot everyone in sight. The argument that access to such weapons must be curtailed in order to achieve the low death by gun rates of other rich countries falls on deaf, NRA cash stuffed ears in Washington DC. Anyway, your "representatives" are busy funding their campaign contributors via the next gargantuan budget for weapons of mass destruction.

Does violence breed violence? Let's look at some of the amendments to the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to see what might be growing there.

Both the House and the Senate added amendments requiring women to register for the draft, but only the Senate's version passed thus far. In light of the fact that a woman in the military runs a one in three chance of being sexually assaulted by a man serving alongside her -- and a nearly 100% chance of having her case stonewalled by the senior command if she has the guts to report her rapist -- this is a giant leap forward for violence aimed at women.
Joint Chiefs of Staff from Pentagon at congressional hearing on military law.
On the other hand, if more troops in Okinawa were female, perhaps the local women would be safer

(If you know me at all you know that I oppose U.S. military bases in Japan or anywhere else on the planet. But I am following the logical outcomes of drafting women into the military.)
Codepink protesting the governor of NY's anti-BDS order in Albany this week.
Another NDAA amendment that reeks is the attempt to render the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement illegal if it targets the human rights abuser Israel. BDS has been gaining traction internationally and Israel is feeling the pressure, as evidenced by New York state's governor issuing an executive order that creates a black list of companies and organizations engaging in BDS.

How does Israel control members of Congress or the governor of a vast state like New York? The same way defense contractors control those who allegedly represent us -- campaign contributions and other piles of cash, often funneled through shell entities like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Then there was the amendment to legalize discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-sexual (LGBT) persons by the federal government's contractors. This amendment was offered under the guise of "religious liberty" which makes about as much sense as claiming that Islam is a religion that promotes violence.

Systems of oppression and a jobs program that is almost entirely dependent on manufacturing weapons are what promote violence, extremists of any religious persuasion and their claims to purity via murder notwithstanding.

It is increasingly clear to the people around the planet that the U.S. brand of violent patriarchy contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.

What to do as patriarchy descends into climate chaos and endless war whether led by violent men or violent women? Lift up your voice. Rattle your chains. If you're in Maine on June 18, join us at General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works shipyard for civil disobedience to protest the "christening" of a $4 billion Zumwalt destroyer warship. It's the epitome of what Rep. Barbara Lee called out when explaining why she will not support the NDAA: "We can no longer afford 'pet project' weapons systems that re unnecessary or the Pentagon's unchecked levels of waste, fraud and abuse."

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