Thursday, February 8, 2018

#MilitaryParade Is A Turning Point In Glorifying War At The Expense Of The Little Guys

1942 cartoon by Otto Soglow, creator of "The Little King" series.
Militarism in our day has come largely without pomp and circumstance. It's had more of a folksy flavor where rugged individualism is sold as the oxymoronic sizzle on the soldier. Video games, children's clothing and cell phone cases sell endless by war sporting, not gold braid, but camo.

When the Commander in Chief needs a photo op, he's likely to be seen rubbing elbows with the enlisted men, and "his" troops are more likely to be dressed up than he is.

But those were the good old days, when the U.S. dollar reigned supreme and the standard of living for citizens in the heart of empire was unsurpassed (as long as you didn't count Native people and people of color, that is).

Now comes the pomp to compensate for a treasury drained by borrowing to enrich war profiteers, and a populace without the means to get their teeth fixed or buy Grandma's insulin.

What could go wrong?

Below is the latest collection of press clippings on what's going wrong in my neighborhood. 

Today my husband and others of the recently acquitted Aegis 9 will attend a legislative work session for LD17381, a bill to give the 5th largest "defense" contractor in the world, General Dynamics, a $60 million tax giveaway from the people of Maine.

This is in a state where 43,000 children are currently in poverty. A state where the poverty draft blows hard and cold, where per capita deaths in Afghanistan are always at or near the top of the list. A state where we've protested outside the gates of the shipyard building nuclear-capable destroyers many, many times while top brass rubbed elbows with our "representatives" from Congress inside.

Campaign contribution recipients pledge allegiance to General Dynamics/Bath Iron Works
at the christening[sic] of a Zumwalt destroyer in 2015.

"Ship of Fools: Tax breaks for BIW, World War III for us" by Chris Busby in the bollard

"Activists cry foul over General Dynamics stock buybacks" by Nathan Strout in the Times Record

"Stop Corporate Welfare at Bath Iron Works" by Regis Tremblay on Youtube

"Aegis 9 acquitted of trespassing charges, judge rebukes Bath's handling of protests" by Chris Chase in Midcoast Journal

By the way, here's how the cartoon I started this blog post with ends:

After the pomp is gone, in his private bedchamber, the emperor reveals that he's been using a false arm all along to fool the people.

True fascism is the marriage of government and industry, a union that characterizes the 21st century under either Democratic or Republican government. It's a story that doesn't end well.

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