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Wed Oct 1, 2014, 05:39 PM

 

Hedges: "America's 'Death Instinct' Spreads Misery Across the World".

America's 'Death Instinct' Spreads Misery Across the World
Truthdig * By Chris Hedges * Sept. 30, 2014
War and national security are used to justify the surrender of citizenship,
the crushing of dissent and expanding the powers of the state
.


Those who use violence to shape the world, as we have done in the Middle East, unleash a whirlwind. Our initial alliances—achieved at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dead, some $3 trillion in expenditures and the ravaging of infrastructure across the region—have been turned upside down by the cataclysm of violence. Thirteen years of war, and the rise of enemies we did not expect, have transformed Hezbollah fighters inside Syria, along with Iran, into our tacit allies. We are intervening in the Syrian civil war to assist a regime we sought to overthrow. We promised to save Iraq and now help to dismember it. We have delivered Afghanistan to drug cartels and warlords who preside over a ruin of a nation where 60 percent of the children are malnourished and the Taliban is poised to take power once NATO troops depart. The entire misguided enterprise has been a fiasco of gross mismanagement and wanton bloodletting. But that does not mean it will be stopped.

More violence is not going to rectify the damage. Indeed, it will make it worse. But violence is all we know. Violence is the habitual response by the state to every dilemma. War, like much of modern bureaucracy, has become an impersonal and unquestioned mechanism to perpetuate American power. It has its own internal momentum. There may be a few courageous souls who rise up within the apparatus to protest war’s ultimate absurdity, but they are rapidly discarded and replaced. The state rages like an insane King Lear, who in his madness and desire to revenge himself on his two daughters and their husbands decides that:

It were a delicate stratagem to shoe
A troop of horse with felt. I’ll put ’t in proof.
And when I have stol’n upon these sons-in-law,
Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

And kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill is the mantra chanted with every new setback in the Middle East. How many times have we rejoiced at the murder of those we demonized—Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and dozens of others. But as soon as one hunt for the fountainhead of evil ends, another begins. Those we kill are swiftly replaced. Fresh terrorist groups take the place of the old. The Khorasan Group, the U.S. government assures us, is a more sinister and deadlier version of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which was once touted as a more sinister version of al-Qaida. We cannot extinguish our enemies. They spring out of the ground like the legion of hostile warriors that rose up when Cadmussowed his dragon’s teeth. Our violence spawns violence and never-ending configurations of enraged militants. We will keep spawning them until we stop occupying the Middle East.

http://www.alternet.org/world/americas-death-instinct-spreads-misery-across-world

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Reply Hedges: "America's 'Death Instinct' Spreads Misery Across the World". (Original post)
99th_Monkey Oct 2014 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Oct 2014 #1
99th_Monkey Oct 2014 #2
gopiscrap Oct 2014 #3
Scootaloo Oct 2014 #4
rhett o rick Oct 2014 #5
99th_Monkey Oct 2014 #6
rhett o rick Oct 2014 #7

Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Oct 1, 2014, 05:49 PM

1. Damned straight.

And yet a further reminder that we must constantly fight the notion that the solution to violence is 'more violence'. I just left a comment in regards to a posting on another blog about the need to 'keep some swords' rather than beat them into plowshares that is apropos here as well.

This is beautifully written, but flawed by the worldview the author has accepted - the cage of the 'necessity of continued violence' as the solution to 'continued violence', rather than one of the main reasons that violence continues to exist.

You have correctly identified that violence is a normal instinct of humanity, and has always been, a relic of our evolutionary past. But you incorrectly assume that violence as a tool for social change is a necessity to create that change. We have seen, though, many instances in history and indeed, everyday law, that change can arise even in the absence of violence on the part of those who desire change. So while violence can occasion changes that result in progress in stabilizing societies, it is not unconditionally necessary to achieve such gains. Indeed, it is that very notion of the acceptance of violence as an acceptable means of social change that enables the creators of Rwandan genocide or Nazis to rise to power.

That acceptance of violence as the means to create change is not the solution to such atrocities, it is the father of such atrocities.

As well, this worldview backstops the false dichotomy that we must either accept violence as a necessity to stop evil, or simply accept the loss of 'peace'. By ignoring the fact that societal change occurs in many nonviolent ways as well as violent ones, one simply discards the ability to reduce violence, rather than increase it in the name of 'peace'.

We have the power to change many of the things that give rise to international players such as ISIS peacefully. Peoples who feel they have decent lives and hopeful futures are poor recruits for groups like ISIS. They recruit mainly based on despair and unfairness, and a hatred for those they see as promoting violence upon themselves - the harvest of violence is future violence.

If, instead, we stop helping dictators who oppress their own peoples, and instead work to empower those people directly, improving their lives so they see us not as enemies, but as friends, groups such as ISIS will never be able to recruit enough emotionally (and perhaps physically) scarred recruits to pose a threat across international boundaries.

Our violence and exploitation of others creates the terror our children and grandchildren will face. The best gift we could give unto future generations is simply to reject the notion that swords are 'necessary to protect the harvest', and instead recognize that sharing the harvest is the best way to protect it.


(Edit: obviously the excerpted passage does not refer to Hedge's piece, but rather the one I was just mentioning that refers to the need to continue to play 'world cop'.)

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 1, 2014, 06:22 PM

2. +100 Thanks. ~nt~

 

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Oct 1, 2014, 06:34 PM

3. Totally agree!

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Oct 1, 2014, 08:53 PM

4. The only antidote to hate is empathy

 

There is no magic number of people we can blow up to stop this. There is no line past which one more bullet will bring success.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Original post)

Wed Oct 1, 2014, 11:19 PM

5. Those that want to kill have so much power that I don't see hope in our future.

 

They are willing to spend our money (not theirs) to make citizens safe in the USofA even if it takes our last dollar and we starve.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 2, 2014, 12:33 AM

6. I seriously doubt that "keeping us safe" is even part of the equation.

 

Rather it's all about keeping the MIC fat and happy by creating new "enemies" to fight,
while also scaring the bejesus out of the citizenry so we give up our constitutional rights.

This is a "two-fer" for the 1%

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 2, 2014, 09:32 AM

7. I agree. I should have put "make citizens safe" in parenthesis. Of course the only

 

citizens they want to keep safe is themselves.

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