Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dirty Wars without end

We saw this film on Friday night. If you have a chance to see it -- distribution is fairly wide so you might have a chance -- I'd recommend it. People who read this blog likely know how the United States has organized its killing forces for secretive, permanent war all over the globe. Without being bloody, the films shows you a few of the people we are killing and the places where they were living.

The sound and music by David Harrington and the Kronos Quartet serve as emotional glue to war reporter Jeremy Scahill's narrative. It works.

Dirty Wars is also a book.

Scahill's work reminds me of this from George Orwell's report from his foray into soldiering:

… every war suffers a kind of progressive degradation with every month that it continues, because such things as individual liberty and a truthful press are simply not compatible with military efficiency.

It is hard to imagine where our current war is taking us, since it is designed to grind on without end.


Rain Trueax said...

the military industrial complex (which Eisenhower warned about) wants constant wars. They do what is required to get them. Americans could demand something better but they don't. Most who read Scahill or see the film, already believe the wars are wrong. How do you get it to those who are being duped by the ones who want the wars in the name of 'power' and money?

janinsanfran said...

Hi Rain -- on this occasion you are asking a question that I actually know a little about.

There are many ways to tell a story and many ways that people enter a story. These things change and shift over time. But basically, a lot more people can gradually come to feel that the wars are their story and they don't like 'em.

* when someone they know has been to the wars and comes back different or damaged or withdrawn and people experience that and explore what it means. Iraq Veterans against the War (larger constituency than its name) remains important in that.

* one of the results of our wars is that our country ends up with many quite excellent people living here with ties to the nations of the world we have disrupted/destroyed. These folks bring a broader perspective that becomes part of the fabric of our perspective.

* our governments are perpetually starved for resources to carry out the basic jobs that people expect of them: maintaining the roads, schools, etc. Where is the money going? Oh yeah -- we need ever more high tech toys to kill people across the world...

Different aspects of the experience of living on the homefront of the empire reach people in different ways and at different times. At the moment, we're quite war averse having just seen a dismal round of this, so there are consequences to politicians who lead us into another one that is visible. So they want the war to be invisible. But invisible gets harder and harder in this world.

I don't despair about this.