In 1970 the students at MIT crowded around the office of their campus President; then the chanting group parted for four young men carrying a battering ram, which was used to smash through the barricaded and heavily locked doors. A sit-in ensued, lasting for days. What were the students protesting? MIT had become the “Pentagon on the Charles.” In other words, it was steeped in military money being used for research into technologies of war and death.
Good readers, I ask you, What has happened to that spirit today? The Iraq War just ended after a decade-long run, and what did it accomplish? The Afghanistan War is the longest in America’s history and what is the point? These wars have been run with horrible inefficiency, made even worse by the corruption of the military-industrial complex. They are rife with atrocities of hellish magnitude, such as Special Forces operatives running around in the night and shooting down pregnant women in their homes, and rockets annihilating entire wedding parties by ‘mistake.’
Folks, what the hell has happened to our spirit of protest? Where is our ethical imperative? Where is our outrage at the horror of what our country is doing, as it prostitutes the ideals of freedom and democracy; as it brutalizes entire countries, hemorrhaging streams of fugitives, millions of people long, and laying a hydra-headed path of despicable murder and mayhem?
Why aren’t we breaking down Presidential doors and rallying in the streets? Why are we complacently bovine as our Empire launches self-destructive and appalling rampages, whose sole benefactor is the avarice-eyed moguls of the weapons industry?
We are selling the souls of our young soldiers to the devil of PTSD, the demon of disability, the monster of amputation and the ghoul of suicide.
What the F*** is wrong with us! Why don’t we yell about the horrors of what our country is doing on a global scale. Are these wars idiotic or what, people? If your answer is yes, please do something, write something, say something, send something, an anonymous card, do anything, speak out -- because at least on paper, at least theoretically, we have free speech; but it means nothing if we let Big Media flood the airwaves and saturate impressionable minds without our own staunch and fervid resistance.
Turn off that TV and go out into the streets to fight, whether they are real streets of oil-stained tarmac or the equally powerful boulevards of the internet.
For god’s sake, our military establishment is absurdly off course and insanely addicted to slaughter. It is a disease rotting out the marrow of our nation, one that splits our population into a pathetic mass of the toiling and floundering, and a small cadre of selfish rulers lavishing in luxury.
Honestly at this point, I don’t expect anyone to do much. Future historians will look at the educated American citizen of the early 21th century and wonder how we could be so docile and intentionally helpless as our dignity crumbles inside us and all around us too.
And when it comes to Republicans, those sheep at the feet of the Corporate Gods, historians will wonder how so many people could become willing advocates of a Greed so antithetical to their own safety, health and soul. To wear the bridle of your own self-effacement so blindly is an immortal stain on the right wing's ability to employ the faculty of reason, and a searing caveat concerning the frailties of human nature.