Friday, November 6, 2009

Things to read in the aftermath of the Ft. Hood shooting

As I already mentioned previously, Jonathan Schwarz made a valid point with regard to white privilege.

Dennis Perrin tackles religious intolerance, which has become endemic in the US military, in Last God Standing.

Chris Floyd's article Dark Glass: Hateful Echoes and Hidden Costs is an absolute must-read.

All three are worth looking at within the context of the upsurge of paranoia and hatred aimed at those who practice the Muslim religious faith and those of Arab or Central Asian ethnicity (just look at Memeorandum for a hint of what I'm talking about). The US has been at war for practically its entire history. In a book called On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, former professor Ward Churchill outlined in stark relief the wars - great and small - that the US had involved itself in, concluding that there had never been a year in which the nation had been at peace. He's far from the only dissident scholar or activist to ever make such observations (Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and William Blum have offered similar observations from their various perspectives), and it suffices to say that a nation that is in a constant state of siege is going to have some serious problems - not the least of which is a propensity for a paranoid style of politics, and a tendency to go looking for scapegoats every time something goes wrong.

Really, at this point, the only responsible thing that one can say about the Ft. Hood shootings was uttered by the Iraq Veterans Against the War on Thursday (cited in the Christopher Floyd article mentioned above):
The shootings that happened today are a tragic reminder of the hidden costs of war.
Until the dust settles, that's really all that needs to be said. Then, it's long past time for us as a society to take a good long hard look in the mirror.

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