Two things have come to my attention this week that have me concerned and I think both are ultimately due to the government’s continued fear-mongering efforts around terrorism. How much will we give up to protect ourselves against a military tactic?
1. Senate Bill 1867 - Bipartisan legislation being considered in the U.S. Senate would expand the military’s power to go after any terrorism suspect, including American citizens, anywhere in the world—including within the United States—and confine them indefinitely without being charged or tried.
So what does this mean? Why are we spending so much money on militarism and trying to pass bills in which infringe on the rights of American civilians? Are we really that much more concerned with our military might than with our own well being and diplomacy?
Problems I foresee with the current situation:
I honestly do not see how our current trend toward militarism and nation building is sustainable over the long haul. We are simply making too many enemies and taking away too many civilian liberties (re: patriot act, S. Bill 1867).
Regarding S. 1867: This marks an end to the preservation of American civil liberties and basically grants the military the right to act on American citizens. Of course the bill says American citizens involved in “terrorist activities”, but how is that defined? Does a group like OWS speaking out against the government qualify as terrorist? Does a group dissatisfied with the government qualify? Perhaps in the short term the government couldn’t get away with doing anything too extreme, such as bombing its own people, but what about 20 years from now, what about 100 years? Does this bill have the potential to be abused? YES!
That is the problem. People get used to things, we become desensitized to the actions of the government and soon it becomes normal. Then, sooner or later, someone abuses the right and suddenly America is no longer the most free nation in the world. Remember how pissed off everyone was over the Patriot Act? It passed because people were afraid after 9/11. Congressmen promised to overturn it – but it’s still here and people are getting used to it. Slowly, the people are getting used to such things as invasion of privacy and the assassination of citizens without due process (re: Anwar al-Awlaki ). Will we begin to accept attacks on groups of American citizens because a private panel of government officials declare an individual or group a terrorist threat? I hope not! Being American should mean more than that – it should mean freedom and due process. I think people will look back on this garbage like we look back on segregation and the civil rights.
Regarding our Militarism: First off, the obvious. Why the hell are we spending so much on war when we have so many problems at home? For our safety? Why does the US have its hands in so many pots? We spend more on military action than everything else in the budget combined – that doesn’t seem balanced to me. That sounds more like the redneck down the street spending 60% of his gross earnings on shotguns to shoot the “colored folk” who want to move into his neighborhood. Not to mention we are almost 15 trillion in debt! What the hell is going on here and why is no one saying anything!?! Republican or Democrat the PEOPLE have to agree that something is wrong here!
I can’t help but think that if we continue our current path of militarism that the future will not look back kindly upon us and that the history books of a couple hundred years from now will record us as the token example of why Greed and Violence destroys a nation, not as the savior of democracy and American “values” (which values are we spreading via war?). I hope we can turn it around.
In other news: Also, several of the independent news sources I read/listen to say to expect us to invade or somehow get mixed up with Syria soon. The mass media isn’t talking about that or covering it at all – so lets see if that comes to fruition. If it does it will really seal the deal for me regarding traditional media outlets. Hell, even time magazine seems to be carefully molding our American brains… (Re: time magazine us vs. them)