Saturday, January 1, 2011

01-01-11 A "HAPPY" NEW YEAR?

Make it a "Fulfilling" New Year

The Activist Newsletter receives many communications from our readers. We answer most of them, and rarely if ever share the message and our reply with newsletter readers. Yesterday morning — New Year’s Eve — a very brief message arrived with a question, which we answered a few hours later. But since today is New Year’s Day when many of us are thinking about the year ahead, we decided send you this question and answer, using just the first name initial of the woman who wrote to us:

“On 12/31/10 8:36 AM, “F” wrote:
“Jack, Why is the US doing the drone bombings in Pakistan?  Why don’t we hear
more about them?  F.”

Dear F:

Drones are the latest stage in the development of automated warfare.  Eventually, when the technology is ready, Washington’s continual wars with one enemy or another will mainly be fought by remote control.

Within a short time, the Pentagon will be fully prepared to hit a target with high explosive missiles from a U.S. base to anywhere in the world in less than one hour — with pinpoint accuracy — thanks to computers and space satellites.

The purpose is to militarily dominate the entire world without causing sufficient American casualties to arouse antiwar sentiment at home.

Wars greatly benefit the U.S. economy, as George W. Bush frankly told the late Argentine President Nestor Kirchner a few years ago. Successful wars that  extend American hegemony pay off even more in future benefits. Thus, powerful antiwar movements — such as the Vietnam era U.S. peace movement or in the first years of the Iraq war — are detested by American governments because if successful they “hurt” business and weaken hegemony.

Western Pakistan is an excellent place to test automated drones, and to train soldiers and CIA agents based in Virginia, New York State or Colorado in how to kill “enemies” half-way around the globe before heading home to dinner and playtime with the kids.

Most Americans don’t really  care how many poor Pakistani, Afghani or Yemeni peasants, workers and children are slaughtered in drone attacks or through our government’s other deadly means, mainly because “our” troops aren’t getting killed in large number and “we” at home aren’t suffering anything at all (even higher taxes because it’s a credit card war).

Many more Americans cared about civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan when Bush was president. But now that a Democrat is in the White House, all’s right with the world — so bombs away! This is a crying shame for us as Americans — all the more so because so few are crying in shame.

It’s difficult to wish you a “Happy” New Year under such troubling circumstances.
Instead we do wish you a fulfilling 2011 of increased resistance to America’s unjust wars, of opposition to those responsible for the worsening climate change crisis, and of solidarity with the poor and a commitment to fight poverty and inequality.

For peace, and against imperialism,

Jack (Jack A. Smith, editor, Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter)

PS to our readers: We wish you all a fulfilling 2011 of resistance to war, climate change, and poverty.