The Price of America’s Endless Wars

Official Washington likes to think of its wars as “humanitarian,” supposedly bringing “democracy” to faraway lands, but the wars really bring death, destruction and despair, says peace activist Kathy Kelly.

By Kathy Kelly

At a symposium on peace in Nashville, Tennessee, in April, Martha Hennessy spoke about central tenets of Maryhouse, a home of hospitality in New York City, where Martha often lives and works. Every day, the community there tries to abide by the counsels of Dorothy Day, Martha’s grandmother, who co-founded houses of hospitality and a vibrant movement in the 1930s. During her talk, she held up a postcard-sized copy of one of the movement’s defining images, Rita Corbin’s celebrated woodcut listing “The Works of Mercy” and “The Works of War.”

U.S. Marines patrol street in Shah Karez in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Feb. 10. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Storm)

She read to us. “The Works of Mercy:  Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked; Visit the imprisoned; Care for the sick; Bury the dead.” And then she read: “The Works of War: Destroy crops and land; Seize food supplies; Destroy homes; Scatter families; Contaminate water; Imprison dissenters; Inflict wounds, burns; Kill the living.”

The following week, General James Mattis was asked to estimate the death toll from the U.S. first use in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of the MOAB, or Massive Ordinance Air Burst bomb, the largest non-nuclear weapon in U.S. arsenals.

“We stay away from BDA, (bomb damage assessment), in terms of the number of enemy killed,” he told reporters traveling with him in Israel. “It is continuing our same philosophy that we don’t get into that, plus, frankly, digging into tunnels to count dead bodies is probably not a good use of our troops’ time.”

His comment seemed to echo another General, Colin Powell, who, when asked how many Iraqi soldiers might have been killed by U.S. troops invading Iraq in 1991, commented, “That’s not really a number I’m terribly interested in.”

Other generals noted that some of those Iraqi troops, conscripts trying to surrender, were literally buried alive in their trenches by plow attachments affixed to U.S. tanks. More recently, Lieutenant General Aundre F. Piggee acknowledged that during the 2007 U.S. military surge in Iraq, when civilian casualties rose by 70 percent, the U.S. military wasn’t  “necessarily concerned” about limiting civilian deaths.

What are the generals’ concerns and interests in Iraq and Afghanistan? How strong is their concern even for the well-being of their own troops?

U.S. Veterans Complain

Several veterans of U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have written persuasive memoirs about the wastefulness of their deployments, accusing commanders of sending them on futile missions.

U.S. Marines leaving a compound at night in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. (Defense Department photo)

Major Daniel Sjursen, writing for Tom Dispatch, describes the ostensible reasons for the entire U.S. war in Afghanistan as fantasies. He argues that U.S. generals gained promotions and notoriety for strategic proposals designed to win what they knew was an unwinnable war. He describes the squandering of soldiers’ lives to secure villages that had been largely abandoned, and the pointlessness of paying high-tech military contractors billions for weapons useless against homemade enemy bombs:

“That’s right, the local ‘Taliban’ — a term so nebulous it’s basically lost all meaning — had managed to drastically alter U.S. Army tactics with crude, homemade explosives stored in plastic jugs. And believe me, this was a huge problem. Cheap, ubiquitous, and easy to bury, those anti-personnel Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, soon littered the ‘roads,’ footpaths, and farmland surrounding our isolated outpost. To a greater extent than a number of commanders willingly admitted, the enemy had managed to nullify our many technological advantages for a few pennies on the dollar (or maybe, since we’re talking about the Pentagon, it was pennies on the millions of dollars).”

In a spate of recent articles, Sjursen and other veterans of U.S. war in Afghanistan have shredded each of the various rationales U.S. generals and pro-war think tanks have given to defend the wreckage and ruin the U.S. has caused during 16 years of “generational war” in Afghanistan, throughout which U.S. people have been told that the war protects Afghans from the Taliban.

War profiteers and self-marketing politicians have no interest in helping U.S. people understand that war itself is a tyrant, that the sound of nearby gunfire or a drone attack is as much of an order to flee one’s home as any command from a Taliban warlord. Children displaced by war, living in the relative safety of Kabul’s refugee camps find scant protection from hunger, disease, and the harshest winters, while mothers repeatedly tell us that if it weren’t for the children bringing scraps of food scavenged at the market place and working as child laborers in the streets, the families would starve. When will the U.S. end, when will it depose, this war that it has made into a ruler of Afghanistan?

Mubasir, age ten, lives in Kabul. He helps his family by polishing boots every day from 7:00 a.m. to noon. Then, as part of the APV “Street Kids School” program, he goes to school during the second part of the day, assured that the APV will compensate his mother for the income he otherwise might have earned. The APV gives her a monthly donation of rice, cooking oil and a small amount of beans.

In a recent videotaped conversation with Mubasir, Hakim, who mentors the APV, asks if he has any special problems at home. Mubasir responds: “We have many problems. My father is in prison. I cannot manage on my own. There’s not much at home.” Mubasir earns an average of 75 cents to $1.50 per day.

Do you sometimes have fruit at home?” Hakim asks. “No,” says Mubasir. “And meat?” “Never, we’re definitely not able to have meat.”

Asked if he feels tired at the end of the day, after working in the mornings and schooling in the afternoons, Mubasir notes that he does his homework from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. “Then I say my prayers and go to sleep.”

Not Giving Help

Mubasir has never been helped by the U.S. or the Afghan government. But Afghans have learned to help each other. I’ve watched the APV community care, profoundly and practically, about feeding the hungry, bringing drink to the thirsty, and visiting people nearly imprisoned in refugee camps. Every year, they provide warmth for families at risk of freezing to death during harsh Afghan winters.

Afghan children await school supplies from Allied forces at Sozo School in Kabul. (French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde)

It seems simplistic, at first, to contrast the works of peace and the works of war. U.S. politicians endlessly promise us humanitarian wars meant to create stable, democratic regimes wherever our bombs level buildings, reservoirs and electricity plants, dismembering whole economies and countless civilian bodies, creating endless reservoirs of panic and rage and grief from which democracy might grow. Perhaps we forget people like Mubasir because after having heard these implausible platitudes, we forget our humane pretensions and settle down to rooting for our side against faceless enemies of the wrong race and religion.

Humane aid is desperately needed in Afghanistan, but it can only evaporate in corruption if people bearing weapons control it. Resources meant for impoverished people are predictably diverted toward the benefit of various factions fighting a war. Warring factions within Afghanistan, including the U.S. Army, cannot do the works of mercy as they pursue the works of war.

War has its own agenda and remains the worst of many dark outcomes for Afghanistan until the U.S. resolves to contribute nothing more to the region but the plentiful reparations it will owe once its pointless war is surrendered, and its troops have gone home.

My young Afghan friends live in a country which is maddened, bloodied, and broken. They know what war generates. Yet they still believe it’s in the interest of U.S. people, including the generals, to abolish war and live together without killing one another.

Kathy Kelly ([email protected]) co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence (

86 comments for “The Price of America’s Endless Wars

  1. Fred Jakobcic
    July 6, 2017 at 20:48

    I am now reading MY LAI: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness, by Howard Jones (2017). The darkness is worse now, and the excuses just a lame for the endless wars and interventions and other intrusions the US military finds itself, be it permanent bases, lily pads or other installations of US of any kind. Have the policies really changed since Vietnam, the excuses, the manipulation or the lies designed to get people to go along with whatever, however, wherever for whatever reasons the US policies that forever keep this nation in war footing, the armed industry in profits and the bully mentality in force. When you come down to it, is it little more than saving ones face, the excuse of, and flag-waiving, jingoism, kind of patriotism that has little real substance just to get the public behind whatever action the neocons want. That the idea of manifest destiny and exceptionalism are often used, also, to keep endless wars going forever seems to sick. Human life should matter more than this and values should be other than this. To target those who question this endless war stuff, who are critical of this, is leaving out the question and the answers as to why must this be other than what I have already questioned. to be a patriot one does have to go along with every action of their government. Patriotism is not nationalism, nor is nationalism patriotism. Get smart and think. There is an extreme failure of real integrity and leadership in both major parties. Give others a chance.

  2. July 6, 2017 at 17:35

    Let me throw this out to anyone that is familiar with Jim Rickards, a financial analyst that appears often on RT’s Boom Bust. Back in April I did a blog on the corporate intelligence network(Deep State) and towards the bottom of the blog there is a link to one of Rickard’s videos where he asserts he was contracted by the CIA to issue a report on the prospects of a financial meltdown. He actually mentions a conspiracy between the Federal Reserve and the IMF to issue a world currency and predicts bank closures and the end of the U.S. dollar as a currency(perhaps to be replaced by a digital currency). The financial meltdown i find very credible, but the world currency seemed a bit over the top. I couldn’t find a reference to it in CN’s archives. So… my question here is probably best put to Ray McGovern, Are you familiar with the report? Also, do you know who authorized it? Thank you in advance.

  3. Mickey Winfield
    July 6, 2017 at 06:00

    Heartbreaking. Don’t look now but that’s not ‘democracy’ the US is spreading out there. Looking at the history of the US, especially in Latin America, over the past century we’re far more likely to crush democracies to install far right fascist regimes who will force American style predatory capitalism on other nations in the interest of US corporate interests. Sickening.

  4. DL
    July 5, 2017 at 23:12

    Americas is an obtuse empire, and war is its business.

  5. Abe
    July 5, 2017 at 19:04

    “the fact that the US is willing to go to any extent to protect the anti-Assad forces fighting under its nose is also evident from the way the US is still opposed to seeing Assad in power as Syria’s legitimate ruler. Two thing clearly point to this fact.

    “First, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, told House Foreign Affairs Committee on June 28 hearing that the US should decide on its role in Syria for the time when ISIS is driven out, ‘because a healthy Syria is not with Assad.’ Ambassador Haley’s latest remarks at the hearing, titled ‘Advancing US Interests at the United Nations,’ could indicate a possible change in America’s future objectives on Syria. She had previously said that Washington’s priorities in Syria had changed with the new administration, and the US would no longer focus on the removal of Assad.

    “Second thing that adds to this seeming policy shift is the way the White House is involved in propagating about yet another possible chemical attack in Syria by Assad. On June 26, the White House official stated that Syria was planning another chemical weapons attack and ‘would pay a heavy price’ if it came to pass. Ambassador Nikki Haley quickly chimed in on Twitter saying that any further attack would ‘be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia and Iran who support him killing his own people.’

    “The above mentioned change in policy and the preparations being made for extending the war to Iran has also found some support within the Republican ranks. […]

    “Is then Iran the next overt target of the US and its allies? The answer to this intriguing development-in-the-making has to be in the affirmative. It is going to be the culmination of Trump’s policy of ‘isolation of Iran’ that he laid down during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia. There is no gainsaying that this extension of the Syrian war would find ready-made support among many Arab-Gulf states, who would see in this policy a ready-made opportunity to cordon off their only chief rival in the entire region. Not only would they jump on the American bandwagon but also willingly funnel billions of dollars, contributing to transforming the whole region into one living-hell, a hell that wouldn’t take much time to knock on their own doors.”

    Washington’s Devastating Next-stage of the War in Syria
    By Salman Rafi Sheikh

  6. SteveK9
    July 5, 2017 at 10:55

    Instead of complex discussions on our foreign policy, I simply tell colleagues at lunch … I simply want us to stop bombing, and killing people … that’s all. America has no need of an empire. For those who think we need oil, it can easily be replaced by uranium. After the past 50 years I could use a little isolationism.

  7. E. Leete
    July 5, 2017 at 10:45

    SCUTTLE THE ARK – a memo to Noah:

    people are disgusting for their bovine acquiescence to the tyranny juggernaut of dysfunctional, obsolete overpayunderpay economics
    they are disgusting for not being horrified by the extreme horrors this causes
    they are disgusting for a million trivial tv shows amidst the horrors
    they are disgusting for a billion trivial conversations amidst the horrors
    they are disgusting for not being in earnest to get out of the mess
    they are disgusting for actively ignoring their ubiquitous knowledge that money is power so they can keep on shoveling overpower to the least scrupulous
    they are disgusting for not picking up on the hints that have been thrown out to them
    they are disgusting for fiddling while the world burns
    they are disgusting for their vanity, their self-flattery, their egotism, their prejudice, their violent beliefs
    they are disgusting for their denial, for their facile head in the sand behaviour, for the poverty of their horizons
    they are disgusting for their epic lack of shame at not being fair
    they are disgusting for thinking they have some right to go on seeking agreement on answers to all the wrong questions
    they are disgusting for their failure to prioritize sanely
    they are disgusting for straining gnats whilst swallowing the camel of overpay
    they are disgusting for using division of labor as an excuse to allow overpayunderpay
    they are disgusting for keeping fairpay justice in chains in the darkest dungeon
    they are disgusting for their epic failure to install simple mechanisms to counter for the ceaseless, automatic drift of wealth from earners to non-earners
    they are disgusting for their avoidance of getting real and going after the root of all horrors
    they are disgusting for their devotion to silence on superextreme economic unjustice
    they are disgusting for their overpowering love of having the chance to have otherearned wealth
    they are disgusting for their selfdestruction
    they are disgusting for many reasons there is no longer any point in listing
    most of all they are disgusting for erecting a wealthpoverty, masterslave situation whenever they have an egalitarian opportunity so they can indulge their taste for sadomasochism for a few centuries and then when they get tired of that, have a killfest, and then do it all again

    • mike k
      July 5, 2017 at 19:34

      Noah and his folks felt they were exceptional. Then they started worshiping themselves. And the rest is history…..

  8. July 5, 2017 at 10:42

    “The Works of Mercy: Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked; Visit the imprisoned; Care for the sick; Bury the dead.” From the New Testament?

    And then she read: “The Works of War: Destroy crops and land; Seize food supplies; Destroy homes; Scatter families; Contaminate water; Imprison dissenters; Inflict wounds, burns; Kill the living.” From the fire and brimstone OT?

    Where are all the God-fearing American Christians that say they worship Christ, the ‘Prince of Peace?’ Or is that asking too much when most people have their faces planted in their not-so-smart phones?

    • E. Leete
      July 5, 2017 at 11:43

      My letter to “American Christians”

      Why don’t you take a test to see if you have been on the same side as God. It is easy to claim you are godly, and God is on your side, but how’s your record?

      What is God seeing in his little black book?

      How many faces of the poor did you grind today?

      To be a Christian, it is not enough to say ‘I am a Christian’ and give your heart to Jesus and sing songs in church regularly – you have to love. How well did you love? To love, you have to give when you see need when you have means – how many times did you give when you saw need when you had means?

      Be perfect even as your Father is perfect – been perfect lately? Have you even tried to be perfect? Do you do anything that entitles you to the name Christian? How is your heart? God sees hearts not labels – hearts not churches – hearts not songs. Seek and you shall find – how much seeking have you done? Have you sought anything lately? Have you really sought the truth about life? Or have you rested on the laurels of the Bible? Have you said in your heart: I am Christian because I go to church and therefore that makes me superior?

      Going to church doesn’t make you Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car. Have you loved your enemies? Have you loved others as yourself? Have you acted toward others exactly as if they were you? What is your record? How many points can you give yourself as a Christian? By every test of what a Christian is, how well do you rank?

      ‘Test everything and hold on to what is good’ – did you obey this biblical injunction? Did you even once in your life ever think of obeying this biblical injunction? Did you grapple with the contradictions in the bible and strive to pierce them to attain understanding? If God exists, and is right, and is love, then obedience to him is happiness, is peace and joy and safety and the love of other people and other nations.

      Is justice a virtue? Is justice part of godliness? Well, IS IT? Did you establish what is justice in pay and strive to keep your country on that path of justice? Did you ever worry about the range of pay in your country and other countries? Did you worry about the amount your country stole by stealing people from Africa? Did you move towards full just compensation for the robbery? Did you work out how much slave labor gave to America and pay it back?

      Did you suspect that there might be overpay when people got a million times the average hourly pay, although they were not, could not, have worked a million times harder per hour than the average – could not have worked even twice as hard per hour as the average?

      Did you look at liberty, equality and fraternity on one side, and look at your country on the other, and see some difference, some distance? Did you ponder why the founding fathers first thing passed laws to limit fortunes, to prevent concentration of wealth? Did you even know they did? Did you meditate the relation of concentration of wealth and injustice, and the relation of injustice and disobedience to God?

      Did you pay the slightest attention to the causes of happiness and unhappiness, peace and violence? Did you say: my fellow Americans, it is very worrying, we have extremes of wealth and poverty, although people are working equally hard – we have people working harder and getting little and people working less hard and getting heaps – this is injustice – the purpose of government is justice, because without justice there is no peace and happiness – we have to correct this – we are grinding the faces of the poor, we are becoming an unchristian nation – we will all go to hell if we continue injuring so many people?

      Did you obey the golden rule? – did you earnestly strive to do no injury? – did you see that injustice in pay was a great injury? – did you fear for your place in heaven if this injury to the underpaid continued?

      No – you bathed in the glory of being Christian, of being good, of being noble and great and wonderful, without ever testing yourself against Christian standards. You put on a mask of being Christian, by going to church and priding yourself on your greatness and goodness, and your soul and your country continued to sink into hell.

      You completely failed at being Christian.

      You are not Christian. God is not proud of you – he leaves you to the fate you have chosen – you are a child that has gone ever downhill, from worse to worse, all the time raising your head higher and higher in pride and vanity. You cannot hear and you cannot see what you have done – ‘they don’t know what they are doing’

      God is love, so his commands make you happy – and even with that, you did not make a list of all the commands and check yourself weekly against them. Did you obey the command to lower the proud and raise the meek? Have you ever once thought of obeying that command?

      Not once!

      Did your preachers ever preach any of these things?
      No, you have never heard such things before – not once!

  9. UB
    July 5, 2017 at 10:09

    The Patriotic Son

    When Adam split, his sons did too;
    The Common Man and the Bombing Man
    Today the first can’t get elected,
    While the second cannot be detected
    Their ratio has climbed to a billion to one,
    So we round all up to the Patriotic Son

  10. mike k
    July 5, 2017 at 10:03

    Excellent article on the inner wound of war:

    • mike k
      July 5, 2017 at 10:06

      War is an attack on the souls of the warriors and their victims and their societies and all that is good and true and beautiful.

  11. July 5, 2017 at 04:45

    So, we conspiracy theorists know who the real “Axis of Evil” really are ie Israel, by far and away the number one sponsor of terrorism, 2 the United States, Saudi Arabia and another handful of Wahhabi rogue countries, why can’t the United Nations do anything? Because Americas controls it and it makes its laws as it goes along.

  12. Virginia
    July 4, 2017 at 22:23

    Really, this is my best Fourth ever! I’ve loved reading all your comments which say in sum, because of who you are, there really is reason for hope. And the Twain War Prayer! Wow!

    Thank you all!

    Happy(?) Fourth.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 5, 2017 at 02:28

      Virginia – same to you!

  13. July 4, 2017 at 18:38

    The America Empire is over. The American People really never wanted an Empire. It was foisted on them, and then we had to make the rest of the world safe for our Empire…….er, I mean Democracy. I guess other countries just got tired of the CIA’s assassination program and the Pentagon’s aggressive defensive policy.

  14. July 4, 2017 at 18:20

    Thank you, Stephen, an excellent and poignant meditation on July 4. America is often called a Christian nation, but the terrible God of the Old Testament is their god. Those Afghan children in the photo look anxious, and they do not have the chance to have a normal childhood because of the beast of the USA. I hope a world movement against the inhumanity of this country is developing; we need the world to rise up against this country.

  15. July 4, 2017 at 16:37

    I ask:
    Will “God Bless America”?

    For the horrific wars that were planned
    And all the killing in many lands
    For destroying countries and cities too
    And all the victims of its many coups
    Will “God Bless America”?

    For watching Syria on hellish fire
    Was regime change its desire?
    For selling arms to despots and dictators
    And all the other evil creatures
    Will “God Bless America”?

    For its illegal invasion of Iraq
    And all the fallout from this attack
    Children contaminated with depleted uranium
    Was this a “gift” from America at the millennium?
    Will “God Bless America”?

    For killing helpless children with drones
    Decimating their countries and destroying their homes
    Leaving any still alive horribly maimed
    Are the assassins who do this evil and insane?
    Will “God Bless America”?

    For also helping to bomb Libya
    And aiding Al-qaeda in Arabia
    Does America really bring “democracy”?
    Or has it become a powerful hypocrisy?
    Will “God Bless America”?

    Yemen is another country on fire
    America’s “allies” is the bombing choir
    Supported by Uncle Sam and others
    And starving people die and smother
    Will “God Bless America”?

    Will war crimes with its allies go unpunished?
    Is the rule of law and justice finished?
    Does anyone care about crimes against humanity?
    Are we in hands of a ruling insanity?
    Will “God Bless America”?

    Is the “land of the free” creating hell on earth?
    Is world war three awaiting birth?
    Or is killing, bombing, destroying, just Hysteria?
    Or should it be called a hellish Amnesia?
    Will “God Bless America”?

    “Woe to those who call evil good” (Isaiah 5:20).
    [more info at link below]

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 18:07

      “Beware lest the light in you be darkness.” So many now are deluded, and think war is good and peace is treason.

      Thanks for another excellent poem. It is really dark, but I love it – because it tells the Truth.

      • mike k
        July 4, 2017 at 18:10

        Your poem reminded me of Reverend Wright’s Jeremiad “God damn America.” He had the courage that Obama lacked. When Obama repudiated his long relationship with Reverend Wright, he effectively signed his pact with the Devil, and sold his Soul to the Deep State.

        • mike k
          July 4, 2017 at 18:17

          Obama’s move was like when to become a member of a street gang, you have to kill somebody – then they know they can trust you to do any evil thing they have in mind. When Obama threw the Reverend under the bus that told the Deep State Rulers they could count on him to do any dark things they needed done. He passed his initiation, and went on to order death and suffering for millions of innocent victims. He was Devil’s own for sure.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 4, 2017 at 18:35

      Stephen J. – such an excellent job, Stephen! Very well done.

    • Virginia
      July 4, 2017 at 22:16

      No, God does not bless evil! in answer to your query, which was rhetorical, but it’s worth stating the fact.

  16. Virginia
    July 4, 2017 at 15:33

    By the way, all, I mentioned reading Andwar el Sadat’s autobiography. It’s reported there are preparations for a cease-fire in a few days in Syria. Sadat learned that a cease-fire is often called for by the disingenuous — by those who want to use that time to take more of a country, resources, plant themselves in the country they’re trying to over take. In other words, those of us who are inclined to do so, pray. No, actually the saying is “watch and pray.”

    Perhaps this called for crease -fire is the real thing. That’s a thought, isn’t it?

    • backwardsevolution
      July 4, 2017 at 15:45

      Virginia – that is hopeful. I think twice the Russians have stopped fighting because of some agreement between them and the U.S. (I can’t remember when; a few years ago, I think). And, you’re right, each time the U.S. and ISIS used the time to get into more favorable positions, rearm, etc. IOW, nothing changed for the good. So I hope that Russia does not trust them this time, but instead gives them about two days to clear out. Any more time than that is unnecessary.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 18:36

        The American attack on Deir ez-Zor is one of those cease fires that was not observed.

        • backwardsevolution
          July 5, 2017 at 02:27

          Joe – yes, thank you.

        • Skip Scott
          July 5, 2017 at 11:04

          That no one was fired, court marshaled, or even slapped on the wrist for Deir Ez-Zor shows who’s really in charge of US foreign policy. Until the intelligence agencies and the pentagon are brought to heel, it doesn’t matter who the President is. They rule, rather than serve, successive administrations.

          • backwardsevolution
            July 5, 2017 at 14:14

            Skip – the top half of the intelligence agencies and Pentagon should be fired. Bring in new blood and get rid of these warmongers.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 5, 2017 at 14:27

            Boy Skip you said a mouthful. Presidents don’t run policy bureaucracy does. Who belongs to this bureaucracy is anybody’s guest. We know names like Brennan, Morell, Clapper, McCain, the Kagans, and Netanyahu, but who else? Our country has been betrayed by some, and purchased by others, but our military does not act in the American people’s interest. Don’t blame it on the soldier, because our uniformed patriots are more rather the victim, as they are heartlessly abused with deployment after deployment. Our National Treasure in order to support all these lengthy military engagements has been reduced to such a devastating deficit, that it makes an economist dizzy while trying to draw us any way out of this ever growing debt. All this to kill an insurgent enemy who looks more like the civilians we are suppose to being liberating, so we kill them all. This Middle East military adventure over these last 16 years has only brought death, destruction, emptiness, and loss, to those who had never signed up for it in the first place. Our U.S. strategy somehow even if we declare victory, will linger on as a troublesome affair, and in the end we will have loss the most we could have gained by fighting for it, and that is trust.

  17. Stephen
    July 4, 2017 at 15:08

    And yet, despite all of the terrorism and murder fomented by the United States, there are occasionally moments of genuine wonder and amusement at the incompetence of U.S. foreign policy. Recalling an episode of Crosstalk some months ago, a regular guest of the show, Dmitry Babich made the point that as a result of the Obama administration’s foreign policy an actual miracle occurred. As if by magic Russia and China became fast and firm allies after centuries of national as well as cultural enmity.
    Perhaps when the U.S. blunders about the world badly enough, the Spirit world or the Divine is called upon to intervene.

  18. Cal
    July 4, 2017 at 14:46

    The War Prayer

    by Mark Twain

    It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory with stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

    It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

    Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams — visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!

    Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

    God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest,
    Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!

    Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory —

    An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord and God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

    The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

    “I come from the Throne — bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import — that is to say, its full import.
    “You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently.


    “Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it —

    For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

    We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
    (After a pause.) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

    It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 17:51

      Twain was not a fan of groupthink.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 4, 2017 at 18:33

      Thanks Cal I learn something new everyday, and today you taught me Twain. Joe

      • E. Leete
        July 5, 2017 at 11:25

        Mark Twain wrote a very short story that is even better than his war prayer, but extremely few people know of it. You can find it here:

        A trio of snips: “…Under the system I propose the fools would imagine they were all free. I would get a maximum of results, and have no responsibility whatever. They would cultivate the soil; they would dive into the bowels of the earth for its hidden treasures; they would build cities and construct railways and telegraphs; their ships would navigate the ocean; they would work and work, and invent and contrive; their warehouses would be full, their markets glutted, and:
        The beauty of the whole concern would be
        That everything they made would belong to me…

        …The hell of poverty, that outer realm of darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth – the social Gehenna, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched – here is a whip more effective by far than the keenest lash of the chattel slave owner, urging them on by day, haunting their dreams by night, draining without stint the life blood from their veins, and pursuing them with relentless constancy to their graves…

        What a beautiful arrangement – ambition urging in front, want and the fear of want bringing up the rear! In the conflicting interests that would be involved, in the throat-cutting competition that would prevail, in the bitterness that would be engendered between man and man, husband and wife, father and son, I should, of course, have no part. There would be lying and cheating, harsh treatment by masters, dishonesty of servants, strikes and lockouts, assaults and intimidation, family feuds and interminable broils; but they would not concern Me. In the serene atmosphere of my earthly paradise I would be safe from all evil. I would feast on the daintiest of dishes, and sip wines of the choicest vintage; my gardens would have the most magnificent terraces and the finest walks. I would roam mid the umbrageous foliage of the trees, the blooming flowers, the warbling of birds, the jetting of fountains, and the splashing of pellucid waters. My palace would have its walls of alabaster and domes of crystal, there would be furniture of the most exquisite workmanship, carpets and hangings of the richest fabrics and finest textures, carvings and paintings that were miracles of art, vessels of gold and silver, gems of the purest ray glittering in their settings, the voluptuous strains of the sweetest music, the perfume of roses, the softest of couches, a horde of titled lackeys to come and go at my bidding, and a perfect galaxy of beauty to stimulate desire, and administer to my enjoyment. Thus would I pass the happy hours away, while throughout the world it would be a hallmark of respectability to extol my virtues, and anthems would be everywhere sung in praise.
        Archimedes never dreamt of anything like that. Yet, with the earth for my fulcrum and its private ownership for my lever, it is all possible. If it should be said that the people would eventually detect the fraud, and with swift vengeance hurl me and all my courtly parasites to perdition, I answer,

        “Nothing of the kind, the people are as good as gold, and would stand it like bricks – and I appeal to the facts of today to bear me witness.”

        Worth reading the entire short story – and passing it around

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 5, 2017 at 14:10

          Thank you, I’m getting Twained a lot here today, and I’m that much smarter for it. Joe

  19. Dave P.
    July 4, 2017 at 13:56

    Men who sit in their air-conditioned control rooms near Las Vegas, and kill – with deadly bombs from drones – helpless, innocent men, women, and children in their homes in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria are not humans in the sense the humans were made to be. They have been transformed into some kind of devilish killing machines. After days’ work, they come to their big air-conditioned comfortable homes to their wives and children . Next morning, they get up and go for another days’ kill. They are not killing terrorists as the government tells us. The overwhelming majority of the victims are innocent people. What a way to make a living. They – these killing machines – probably love their wives and children, and think about life and death! May be they go to church too on Sundays and listen to the sermons. This is the World we live in!

    And the people at the top – who rule in Washington – like Mattis, McMaster, people in Congress, and elsewhere can’t be that different from the ones sitting in the control rooms near Las Vegas. In this dismal Era, it is comforting to see that there are few rational people like Tulsi Gabbard, Jeremy Corbin, and others left who can feel the Human Pain.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 14:15

      The purpose of boot camp, military training, is to turn a human being into a mindless killing machine. The purpose of the Government Propaganda arms is to make nonmilitary citizens oblivious to and tacitly accepting of the murder being done with their tax dollars. A nation of Zombies is the goal of all this organized effort. The so-called education perpetrated on children is the beginning of this societal brainwashing.

      • mike k
        July 4, 2017 at 14:19

        Doesn’t it seem obvious why the military finances the ultra violent video games our youth is so obsessed with “playing.” And what of the lying psychologists who say this has no relation to the attraction of these deluded kids to go to war so they can live out with real guns their fantasies?

        • mike k
          July 4, 2017 at 14:22

          I bet you most of those young drone jockeys got their first experiences of the thrill of violence from video “games.”

          • backwardsevolution
            July 4, 2017 at 15:23

            mike k – not all kids who like to play video games end up being violent. It depends on other influences as well (from parents, extended family, friends, their intelligence, curiosity, whether they were given the freedom to question authority).

            What I have never been able to understand is military families, generation after generation who never question anything, who send their children off to the slaughter as if it’s the only thing to do.

            So even though my son played video games constantly and was an expert at it, there is not a hope in hell that he would be sitting in one of those chairs killing people from far away. I have filled in the other side of the equation for him, or at least informed him that there is another side. On his own, he ordered up four history books and began to read. He got about halfway through and decided he’d had enough. He told me that he could see the same things happening over and over again..

            Video games probably helped, but IMO these young drone killers probably never had anyone telling them otherwise.

    • Brad Owen
      July 5, 2017 at 07:01

      They are playing video games and racking up big scores, like they were taught to do when they were children. They were conditioned early in life, as Bertrand Russel counseled…being taught to say “snow is black”. Go to Executive Intelligence Review (EIR), type in their search box “Congress of Cultural Freedom” (CCF)…making the World safe for Fascism.

      • Sam F
        July 6, 2017 at 10:29

        There is certainly a video game and Hollywood hero connection for those who train to kill. But as b-e notes above, the children who play soldier usually figure this out with some guidance. My boyhood friends and I played Army every day in the woods and fields, but would never have dreamed of actually being impolite to someone. Later we learned the awful truth of war.

    • Peter P
      July 7, 2017 at 21:55

      Very well said.

  20. mike k
    July 4, 2017 at 13:52

    Write us a fourth of July poem Stephen?

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 13:53

      Or any of our other gifted poets.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 4, 2017 at 14:12

        We lied.
        They died.

        • mike k
          July 4, 2017 at 17:41

          Good one. Minimalism. Succinct.

          • Gregory Herr
            July 6, 2017 at 21:32

            Roses are Red
            Blood is Too
            Smell the Dead?
            Sacre bleu!

            I don’t know French
            or Paris in Spring
            Wish I had a Wrench
            to Fix this Thing

            A stanza too many?
            shouldn’t have started
            Thoughts for a penny?
            from Earth soon parted

            Born on the 4th
            directed by Stone
            Wish something come forth
            to bring the boys home

  21. backwardsevolution
    July 4, 2017 at 13:02

    “Official Washington likes to think of its wars as “humanitarian,” supposedly bringing “democracy” to faraway lands, but the wars really bring death, destruction and despair, says peace activist Kathy Kelly.”

    I don’t think Official Washington thinks that at all. Official Washington likes to make YOU think that its wars are “humanitarian,” supposedly bringing “democracy” to faraway lands, but THEY don’t for one minute believe this.

    Not only do wars bring death, destruction and despair, but they also bring a ton of MOOLAH to those who want the wars in the first place. New resources to rip off, lucrative arms deals, the installation of puppet governments, lots of campaign contributions for politicians, IMF loans that never get paid off, privatization of the defeated country’s public infrastructure, and job safety for the war machine. The list is long.

    Death and destruction is just a part of doing business.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 4, 2017 at 13:31

      You can hear the conversation now, can’t you? “Gee, boys, how are we going to sell another war to the taxpayers?” Excuses are bandied back and forth until “humanitarian” and “spreading democracy” are voted the winners, something the people can get duped into believing. Apple pie sells.

      If people start getting uppity about how costly the war is or how long it is going on, a false flag is conveniently manufactured out of thin air in order to “scare” the public into continuing to go along. Now “fear for their safety” is being used. “Look, your tax dollars are actually protecting you.”

      These are the types of people who actually loathe words like “humanitarian” and “democracy”.

      • mike k
        July 4, 2017 at 17:39

        The protection racket is a big source of revenue for the Mafia – our US Government that is.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 18:23

        Your comment backwardsevolution made me recall a time long ago when a distinguished Vice President of marketing for a big department store gave me a lecture on the word ‘quality’. His well worn advice, was always interject the word ‘quality’ into your slogans, logos, and brand identification. That by doing this, you as a distributor are reinforcing the idea of your product having the most ‘quality’ that money can buy. He ended by saying, and you might want to make sure the product works, but no matter say your product is made of the highest ‘quality’ known to man….and especially known to women.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 13:50

      The US Government is a giant Mafia dealing in violence. It has the distinction of being the most evil organization on the planet. “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” Martin Luther King.

    • Dave P.
      July 4, 2017 at 14:24

      backwardsevolution: You are right on everything. But I do wonder sometimes that living in the world they live in Washington, much of the official Washington does believe in their rhetoric. How can they keep on lying and lead normal, sane lives !

      • backwardsevolution
        July 4, 2017 at 15:38

        Dave P. – yeah, I know you’re right on that. There are those types as well, the believers. These are the useful idiots that the really smart, calculating people use to carry out their plans.

        “Bring in the believers. Get them out in front of the cameras, crank up the humanitarian agencies…..” Blah, blah, blah. Yes, there’s a veritable army of people who sit right at the top of the bell curve: just smart enough to carry out orders, but not smart enough to realize they’re being manipulated. To these types of people, there is never another side to any question. In fact, there is no question at all.

        • Dave P.
          July 4, 2017 at 21:01

          backwardsevolution: Yes, what you said is true. I often think why Mattis is doing what he is doing. He has been leading there in the killing fields since 2001 in Afghanistan. He was responsible for the death and destruction in Fallujah and many more places. He is single, does not seem to have women friends. They write in the newspapers that he is like a monk. He reads all these books – Marcus Aurelius and others. And now he is at it again – in the death and destruction business.

          What is he living for? Helping building this empire! For whom – for the 1% who rule. Hitler, they say, was fighting for his Master Race to rule over others! He had his raison d’etre to do what he was doing.

          • backwardsevolution
            July 5, 2017 at 00:25

            Dave P. – “What is he living for?” I really don’t think he could answer that question, Dave. Raised in a bookish household with no TV, his Wiki page says. Wow, strict. He was engaged to be married, but she called it off just days before the wedding. Good call, I say. Sounds like he lives for war. Probably not a barrel of fun at a party.

            Not unlike most people. They start off going in a certain direction and they never get off. He’ll probably be buried with his copy of Marcus Aurelius. I’d feel safer if I knew he had children or a partner, even a dog, something or someone he could think about whenever he was thinking about war.

    • Nancy
      July 4, 2017 at 16:07

      You nailed it.

  22. Virginia
    July 4, 2017 at 12:51

    Interesting that someone mentioned Chris Hedges because I was just thinking about mentioning that he has a 2- part interview with Noam Chomsky at shows.

    I can hardly celebrate these national holidays anymore. It makes me think how we all as children are brought up honoring war. The victims and the costs go beyond description, cannot be counted, are are too little mentioned if at all. So thanks for the article to remind us.

    Peace will never be achieved by war but by love — divine Love. Maybe the Fourth of July should be designated a Day of Prayer.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 13:47

      Yes. Instead of the rockets red glare, a day of prayer for all the victims of war. Excellent suggestion. Maybe there is a way to get this idea out to more of us “peaceniks.” It could become a meaningful alternative to all the bombs bursting in air. And I concur in your idea that only the development of unconditional love can save us from the violence we have unleashed, and bring the world to peace. “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix Thank you Virginia.

  23. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 4, 2017 at 11:51

    And the missiles red glare w/bombs bursting in air = American Exceptionalism and/or Manifest Destiny.

    And now the 21st century hostile takeover of the USA by right wing wealth. The America of FDR is DEAD


    Trump, the Alt-Right & Christianized Fascism

    By Abby Martin and Chris Hedges

    For the first time in modern history, a fringe wing of Christian extremists have obtained the highest seats of power in the US government—from Mike Pence to Betsy DeVos.

    This new development is coupled with the emergence of the Alt Right, the Trump movement, and the rise of fascist movements abroad.

    Renowned journalist and author Chris Hedges has embedded himself in what he calls “Christianized Fascism” and warns that this is the biggest danger we face under Trump.

    video >>

    • Brad Owen
      July 5, 2017 at 04:13

      This has been going on since American Tories “retired to private life” after Yorktown. Always the wealthy and most powerful faction, still pimping for Empire, THERE is your right-wing wealth. What was won on those battlefields was lost to the Tories of Wall Street. Then there is the Synarchy Internationale, cooked up by Napolean’s generals and the most regressive factions in theCatholic Church, still operating, planning for a new pan-European “Holy Roman Empire”. THERE is your Christian fascism. After their fiasco of WWII for a World fascist Empire, they decided that the NEXT time they must START with USA in their pocket, and went right to work on this almost before FDRs body was put in the grave. They think they sealed the deal with Sept 11th 2001. They may be right . This from EIR website search box: ” Return of the Monarchs” “Synarchy against America” “Black Nobility” “Cecil Rhodes RoundTable Group” ” Inter-Alpha Group”.

  24. Patrick
    July 4, 2017 at 11:10

    It is never good enough. If a 3rd world country is suffering from armed rebels,…the helpless shout: “Please Americans, help us! ” and if harvest is not as expected and poverty leads to fighting,…the media will put a microphone under the nose of the US president and ask: “what will you do to stop the fighting and ensure food distribution?” If Asad launches a chemical weapon on his own population,… “Mr President will you let the innocent population be killed?” If Sadam invades,…If Putin sends little green men,…it is never good enough! And if Potus sends troops,..they are occupiers and they should leave asap. And if they leave asap then they ‘abandon’ the population. And any problem that is then still left, well it was caused by the US because they made the mess. — it ‘s so easy to stand aside and criticize those who try to help.

    • Adrian Engler
      July 4, 2017 at 12:25

      The illegal US interventions in countries like Iraq and Libya (and supporting Islamist militias in Syria) have caused enormous suffering, killed many people, and worsened living conditions enormously. It is completely absurd to present them as benevolent attempts to “help” people in these countries that did not go as well as expected.

      In many countries that are threatened by “rebels” and terrorists (which are often financed by the US and US allies), the reaction of the US is to blame the government of a country if does not surrender to them for all of the violence and then support these militias, which mostly have ideologies that are incompatible with human rights, even more.

      “If Asad launches a chemical weapon on his own population” – The Syrian government would not have the slightest interest to use chemical weapons, especially not that the Syrian army is winning. No investigation has been made at the place of the alleged crime, and it is obvious that the extremist militias are interested in blaming the Syrian government.

      “If Putin sends little green men” Well, since you are so much in favor of interventions that violate international law, you should perhaps also be in favor of the unification of Crimea with Russia, which violated the Ukrainian constitution. A clear majority on Crimea was in favor of it (this was supported by independent Western and Ukrainian polls), most people on Crimea did not support the coup by nationalists and right-wing radicals in Kyiv that also violated the Ukrainian constitution (there was not even the semblance of a correct impeachment procedure) and felt threatened by extremist Ukrainian armed paramilitary groups like the Right sector. In contrast to the bloody US and NATO interventions that leave cities in rubble and lead to disastrous consequences (e.g. in Libya to mass murders of Black people), the Russian intervention in Crimea did not lead to any bloodshed (and it has prevented a situation like in Donbass, where the Ukrainian army, together with fascist militias like the Azov battalion bombs and shells a part of its own people).

    • July 4, 2017 at 18:05

      Pat the Troll…please go back to your day job…quit trying to play serious researchers and commenters…

      PS,,,parrots evidently make good trolls…

    • Peter P
      July 7, 2017 at 21:42

      If you research carefully you will find the evidence “Assad used chemical weapons” is lacking, and that some rebel groups use them in collusion with the Western MSM as war propaganda to blame the Syrian govt.

      Similarly if you research the Ukrainian coup and civil war you eventually find that the US State Dept and CIA and oligarchs like George Soros collided with nationalist and neo-Nazi parties and paramilitaries in overthrowing a democratically elected President Yanukovich in a violent putsch. The Russian response to securing Crimea and their main naval base, and sending weapons to ethnic Russian Ukrainian people in Donbas was reactive not initiatory to the conflict. Furthermore in Crimea it was bloodless and bolstered by overwhelming support in a democratic referendum.

      As to Saddam – he was a tyrant and probably mad. But he was opposed to Islamist extremists and as the Iraqis I’ve met have all said – they didn’t like him, but what the US and the vassals of the willing did seemed by idiocy or design to cause mayhem and destruction of their nation.

      And why is it that the opium harvest in Afghanistan is at an all time high after 16 years of US rule?

  25. mike k
    July 4, 2017 at 11:04

    It’s so simple really. A gang of heartless murders have taken over America, and are rampaging across the world killing and starving millions. And they lie about it, and the American People believe their lies, and do nothing to stop them. Most Americans are complicit in these atrocities done in their name, by their silence and refusal to stop those perpetrating them. We need to meet the real enemies of Humankind – they are us.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 11:06

      I have no sympathy for the cowardly refusal of many of my fellow Americans to face the truth about their country and themselves.

      • Cal
        July 4, 2017 at 15:06

        hummm……what is the truth ?…think you know? Its some where between those who go for America is evil since its creation and those who think it cant and never did any wrong.

        George Orwell said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

        • poodle w.
          July 5, 2017 at 01:17

          Apparently, you think that you know the truth. I will throw in with mike k.

        • Sam F
          July 6, 2017 at 09:26

          You are both right. Mike is not arguing the extreme, only that Americans are “complicit in these atrocities” since “a gang of heartless murders have taken over America” which does not reject its prior history or potential.

      • E. Leete
        July 5, 2017 at 10:51

        Edith Leete, agreeing with you, mike k:

        “I have always been dreadfully sorry for the poor people of that day on account of the misery they endured from poverty and the oppression of the rich. Henceforth, however, I wash my hands of them and shall reserve my sympathy for more deserving objects.”

        “Dear me!” said the doctor, “what has so suddenly dried up the fountains of your pity?”

        “It seems,” said Edith, “that these very people, these very masses of the poor, had all the time the supreme control of the Government and were able, if determined and united, to put an end at any moment to all the inequalities and oppressions of which they complained and to equalize things as we have done. Not only did they not do this, but they gave as a reason for enduring their bondage that their liberties would be endangered unless they had irresponsible masters to manage their interests, and that to take charge of their own affairs would imperil their freedom. I feel that I have been cheated out of all the tears I have shed over the sufferings of such people. Those who tamely endure wrongs which they have the power to end deserve not compassion but contempt.”

        from Edward Bellamy, EQUALITY, pp 14-15

        “Those who tamely endure wrongs which they have the power to end deserve not compassion but contempt.” indeed.

    • Nancy
      July 4, 2017 at 12:48

      On this 4th of July, we must admit that the United States was founded by rich, white men who terrorized, exploited and annihilated the native population and then proceeded to build the “great nation” that is now terrorizing the rest of the world on the backs of black slaves.
      This is as it has always been.

      • Cal
        July 4, 2017 at 15:07

        And gave you free speech.

        • Virginia
          July 4, 2017 at 15:18

          Does the end justify the means? Couldn’t we have good without getting there by way of evil?

        • hillary
          July 5, 2017 at 19:38

          Where is this “free speech” available ?
          We all know that certain topics are just not available & are OFF LIMITS in the MSM.

        • Skip Scott
          July 6, 2017 at 12:00

          Yes Cal, we are free to speak here in our sound-proof free-speech zone (for now). Try getting your speech into the New York Times or on to the Nightly News.

        • Ted Tripp
          July 6, 2017 at 15:50

          I think “free speech” and other bits of the Bill of Rights were part of the con-job that whoever “gave you” in order to build their rich man’s paradise.

      • john wilson
        July 5, 2017 at 04:37

        You are right Nancy and the notion the American state is doing all this murderous killing to bring democracy to other countries and is humanitarian is the joke of the century. Its done to make money and keep the money war machine going for ever, which in turn is owned by the rich and even richer.

        • E. Leete
          July 5, 2017 at 11:06

          We daily despise and deride the world’s wealthpower giants for their lack of a single scruple, and yet we humans continue to dangle the carrot of unlimited personal fortunes in front of every human – knowing full well the least scrupulous amongst us will always be going hardest after that carrot and trampling every and anything under the wheels of the juggernaut of their monomania for wealthpower and the influence and control provided them by overfortunes – – so I ask: who are the crazy ones, eh – them, or us??

          Look, Humanity: we are so insanely far from reality that pay in this world now ranges from a thousand dollars a second to the same amount per lifetime – per lifetime! The non-negotiable price of human and planet survival is pay justice. Money is power – and everybody knows. Overfortune is overpower, underfortune is underpower. Tyranny is where overpay overpower is. Duh. We humans are either going to murder the diabolically stupid, self-harming idea to allow unlimited personal fortunes on this planet or we WILL succumb to the very negative results of having the next and the next and the next wealthpower giants, until the violence attached to the injustice sets off the last bomb.

          Place your bets

      • Sam F
        July 6, 2017 at 09:57

        There is substantial truth in all of these views, because serious wrongs were done in early US history, and one must study that carefully to believe that the founders were sincere in their declarations of principle. That reservation of personal judgments is uncomfortable for many, and one should accommodate their desire to rush to judge the whole history as hypocritical, because they are applying good moral principles against simplistic patriotism, and need to make that step first.

        But at the same time, rejecting the sincerity of the founders in declaring principles is not helpful, because
        1. Most of them were sincere but did not see how to apply those principles as fully as we apply them today;
        2. We need to use this language of democracy to express the problems and solutions for our government;
        3. It is more practical to fix our institutions damaged by economic corruption, than to start over again.

    • Gregory Woods
      July 4, 2017 at 13:06

      Yet even you continue to feed the Beast….

      • Sam F
        July 6, 2017 at 09:29

        I’m sure that he feeds the beast as little as possible to get by.

Comments are closed.