Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wars? What wars?

As usual Greenwald 'gets it'.
One significant cause of America's indifference to the wars we are waging is that those wars have virtually no effect on the overwhelming majority of Americans (at least no recognized effect), while they impose a huge cost on a tiny sliver of the population: those who fight the wars and their families. Hiatt acknowledges that fact: "it's yet another reminder of American society's separation from its professional military." If anyone would know about that, it's the endless-war-loving, nowhere near-a-battlefield Fred Hiatt.

Everyone from the Founders to George Orwell thought (and hoped) that the massive societal costs which wars impose would be a deterrent to their being fought, but, given the types of wars the U.S. chooses to wage, most Americans who express their "support" for them bear absolutely no perceived cost whatsoever. Worse, many who cheer for our wars enjoy that most intoxicating and distorting reward: cost-free benefits, in the form of vicarious feelings of strength, purpose, nobility and the like, all from a safe distance. It's very difficult to generate attention for political issues that Americans fail to perceive so directly and tangibly affect them -- that's why the failing economy receives so much attention and our various wars (and civil liberties erosions) do not.


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