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Connect the Dots
Host: Lila Garrett
Guests: Farah Almousani of Courage to Resist
David Swanson (Rootsaction.org)
Tim Carpenter (PDA)
Good Monday morning. Welcome to Connect the Dots. I’m your host Lila Garrett and, as always, I long to wake up on Memorial Day to find our country at peace with the world. Instead of mourning the young men and women who think they died fighting to protect their country, let us mourn the truth. Let us mourn the fact that most of the time our beautiful youth died to keep our permanent war economy alive. They died for what Eisenhower referred to as the military-industrial complex. They died for the power and profit of strangers. Had they thought of the expression “die for your country” as a public relations con job would they have risked their lives in such massive numbers? Of course not. But profiteers & presidents are so good at selling war…and most of us are so bad at knowing when we’re being manipulated, it hurts us to recognize that practically since its inception our country has been in a state of perpetual war. This is a cause not for celebration, but for shame.
You feel I’m being disrespectful of our fallen perhaps? I am not taking into consideration the sacrifice and “glory” of Memorial Day? You feel perhaps this should be a day of prayer and other religious rituals? Very well….How about this?
What if God actually was an old guy with a white beard, rather than an abstraction. And he stood on top a mountain holding out his arms and roared to the millions of armed service people below him, about to be shipped off to war. What would he say??? I don’t know about your God, but my god would cry out…..
“Stop! You think you’re going off to save democracy, to protect your country, to create freedom and equality? Know that you are fighting to maintain not your country but your country’s permanent war economy. Know that you are about to kill strangers and very possibly get killed yourselves for the power and profit of Lockhead Martin, Boeing, Northrup-Grummon. Are you ready to die for General Dynamics, Chevron, British Petroleum, and the drone makers? Are you willing to lose a leg or an arm or your mind for Raytheon, BAE and the Koch Brothers? Are you prepared to spend the rest of your life in a wheel chair for Bechtel SAIC, General Electric…and rest corporate America including the military.
Perhaps you don’t think in those terms. Perhaps you think you’re going to protect the helpless, feed the hungry? Know that what you are going to create is more helpless, and you will primarily feed the fat-cats that profit by these war.
You’re prepared to go to war to protect your country from attack you say? Know that your country is in less danger of attack from the outside than the outside that is from your country.
“But there are terrorist”, you say. They do have to be stopped. Yes they do and the first place to stop them is right here. At home. The most lethal terrorist technology ever invented is the drone. The instigator and the leader of Drone development is the United States. Drones that kill recklessly, randomly, turning everything and everyone in their path to rubble. Unmanned murderers capable of wiping out hundreds, thousands, potentially millions in a plane without a pilot that looks like a toy….or even a bug. Drones that create instant enemies for the US…..that cause not fewer terrorists around the world, but more. After all, what have potential victims of drones got to lose?. They see the collateral damage drones cause. They know there’s no place to hide. We’re going to get killed anyway, they think. It’s all done by remote control from some safe office building cozily tucked away in American towns by military people who play the drone like a video game. Fun for the sender; death for the unsuspecting receiver. Drones are an exciting new game for the Masters of War.
Insert: Keaton Simons sings Bob Dillons Masters of War.
What happens when sweet, well meaning young people equate patriotism with blindly obeying their country’s orders them to kill strangers? What happens when public relations campaigns convince young people that their slogans are real….“mess with the best, die like the rest,” the Marines tell us. “cocked locked ready to rock” they brag. They make you feel good when they call themselves…..the Marines. the few, .the proud. It makes you want to be one of them.
One the young people who confused that public relations slogan with the truth was Bradley Manning. When he was 18 he joined the Army to fight for his country in Iraq. What he discovered was the reality of war. Destabilization, confusion, the anonymity of the killers and their victims. Killing for its own sake, killing for kicks, the obsessive, compulsive need to kill that takes over what once were decent, sane young people.
One day Bradley Manning witnessed one of these mass killings for sport by American marines in Iraq. They wouldn’t stop. Horrified, Manning reported this to his superior officer. He was told to keep his mouth shut. He didn’t. He gave the video of the killings to Wikileaks so the world would know the truth about war. And now, 3 years later a military court is about to decide if he will pay for his honesty with his life. After 3 years of confinement and torture in military prison, he’s finally getting a trial, and that’s because a million protesting Americans refused to allow him to be hidden away any longer. Is justice possible for Bradley Manning? So far he has been refused the right to speak publicly about what he saw or what he has suffered. In other words he is not allowed to speak in his own defense. How’s that for honoring our first amendment?
Farah Almousani, Campaign organizer for the great organization Courage to Resist, was present at his last hearing. What is in store for this genuine hero for peace and sanity? What’s in store for the rest of us who believe in his cause?
(to listen to this interview and the other interviews with David Swanson and Tim Carpenter, follow the instructions below.)
Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)
KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;
99.5 China Lake
Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.
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