Monday, May 13, 2019

Somebody's been smoking Hemp For Victory...

THIS stuff is what drives me nuts about the current American pash for tongue-bathing soldiers.
When speaking of the Americans who are going to take it in the shorts because of the trade wars with the PRC that are fun and easy to win Senator Tom Cotton (R - Arkansas) consoled them that:
"There will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make."
Except those farmers and manufacturers and Sears customers getting hit with these costs didn't ask to be dragged into a pissing contest with the PRC over Fitbit parts any more than those GIs asked to be walking the streets of Kabul trying to remake Afghanistan into Belgium.

To equate these trade wars with the "blood of heroes"?

It's despicable on it's face, but, worse, it makes taking issue with the trade wars to a level of Dolchstoß comparable to betraying the Noble Soldiers. It's a version of Godwin's Law, a rhetorical trick designed to put a stop to debate.

Worse, it's deeply dishonest, if for no other reason than those "fallen heroes" didn't "fall" as "sacrifices" in a war declared by the People in Congress, or to any sort of existential threat to the United States, or, for that matter, for any sort overarching national interest, but in a bog-standard squalid little imperial expedition in the global hustings that has been ginned up largely by lies, misdirection, fear, and pants-pissing panic.

I love my Army brothers, but the guys holding down a slot in Asia or Africa today aren't holding back global fascism, or facing the might of a hostile superpower. They're doing the dirty business of empire. If my country wants them to do that business that's one thing. But if Tom Cotton - or my country - wants to drag me and every other American into a trade war in Asia and justify it by comparing it to that service?

He and it need to come to me first and make a case for that trade war and that service, not simply assume that they're worth blood and/or treasure and demand I respect that because some poor bastards are getting hosed wasting a year-and-a-half in fucking Helmand Province playing whack-a-muj.

Because if you gave me the choice between:

1) "Sacrificing" in a boneheaded trade war with China because I "support the troops", or
2) Skipping the trade war AND ending the expeditionary wars in Asia and Africa and bringing those troopers home?

I'd go with Door #2.

It'd be bad enough if We the People really were Army-mad, but in a nation where barely anyone bothers to give up a couple of years to the tree suit it REALLY drives me nuts when I run across this faux-militarism stuff.


  1. The U.S. has a general cultural problem with its devotion to veterans and more generally jobs with obvious relation to dangers (military, police, firefighters).

    The former has a smell of militarism, while the latter is in part about Republicans catering to job groups whose labour unions are pro-Republican.

    That's just my opinion, of course.

    1. I'd buy the "militarism" stuff more if more Americans were willing to actually, y'know, join the "military". But right now it's ridiculous; it's like watching a drag show version of "Rambo". I get that the wingnuts are all in on the "luuurve-the-troops" drag show, but that nobody else seems willing to stand up and say that it's perfectly patriotic to question whether it's a good idea to be bombing West Buttfuckistan or hucking crazy money at aircraft carriers when people in American cities are drinking fucking lead.

    2. A case in point is Senator Cotton's infatuation with Cadet Bone-Spurs. Cotton and all the other right wing politicians that are brown-nosing at Trump's draftdodging feet are turning the Senate Chamber into Little Buttfuckistan.

      Most farmers know that Trump is hurting them badly and that his bailout is only short term. China is finding new sources for farm products that they currently import from the US. So the farmers here are never going to recoup the losses that Trump has saddled them with. There may be some that goose step to Cotton's words. But others may mutiny against Republican inevitability in midwestern elections next year.

      Cotton himself is up for re-election next year. Even if he is re-elected, he may just squeak by. Hopefully he will heed the message. Strange to me that many of the people who voted for him claim to detest Ivy League Liberals, yet they conveniently disregard or shrug off Cotton's Harvard education. Ditto for Mike Pompeo from Kansas. And the Brokohontas himself also has an Ivy League skeleton in his closet.

    3. I would argue that there really is no connection between how big the military is and how militaristic a society is. Militarism is a cultural trait which largely boils down to "Civilians are stupid, throw rocks at them." If anything a smaller military will lead to more militarism as there is a greater mystique around military service.

    4. To be fair, the sabotage of the American agricultural sector may be a long-term boon:

      Aquifers get depleted, California and other places should conserve a lot of river water that's being spent on fields, soil erosion is a thing and many agricultural fields would become much higher quality if given a rest of a couple years.
      Cattle health and meat would get better if cattle wasn't so much on a corn diet.

  2. Yeah, I rolled my eyes at that. But at least Cotton has some standing given that he enlisted in the Army and and volunteered for infantry when he could have had a cozy JAG position. So at least he has walked the walk.

    I'm pretty much sick and tired of the faux veneration of veterans and military service, but it's slightly less retching when it comes from someone who has been there, done that.

    1. That actually made me throw up a little MORE in my mouth because at least in theory Cotton should know better than anyone about The Old Lie. And be even more disgusted than anyone at faux yellow-ribb0n "patriotism" and the brutal cynicism of using "the troops" to get the public to support any sort of moronic thing, like, oh, say, a land war in Asia.

      And perhaps he does.

      If so, he's an incredibly cynical bastard then, using his DD 214 to force the civilians into supporting his orange boss' fun-and-easy-to-win-trade-war.

      So...nope. Worse, not better.

    2. Yeah, you make a good point, he should know better.

    3. And speaking of people who should know better...Orange Foolius is asking for a friend about pardoning accused war criminals:

      Fuck me sideways.

  3. And speaking of land wars in Asia...