Welcome Mary L. Dudziak (USC) (MDudzuak.com) (Waging Peace) and Host Leah Bolger (Veterans For Peace) (Twitter)

War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences

After September 11th, 2001, everything was different. The deaths of almost 3000 innocent people galvanized this country in a way not seen since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 60 years earlier. President Bush quickly characterized the terrorist attack as an act of war, and announced that the United States was going to fight a Global War on Terror. Within days of the attack Congress had passed an Authorization for the Use of Military Force and the Patriot Act. The United States was at war with terrorism.

Wars are the defining events of the history of the United States and are the markers by which we chronicle ourselves as a nation. We put historical events in order by where they fall in relation to our major wars, which have starting and ending dates that we commit to memory as schoolchildren. We tend to think of the flow of history as moving from war into peace and into war again as if it were black or white.

But since WWII, many shades of grey begin to appear. There has not been a formal declaration of war since that time, yet this country has been engaged in almost continual military conflict since then. When the nation is “at war” the president is extended more latitude, civil rights are abridged and more tax dollars are siphoned into the war effort. But what happens if the conflict never ends? When do we regain those civil rights? When is the money reallocated? When do we go back to “normal?”

In War Time–An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences, author Mary Dudziak explores the concepts of wartime and peacetime. She describes the influences of wartime on legal constructs, governmental roles and on civil society and she makes us think about what defines and characterizes “wartime,” and how that has changed over the years.

Two chapters in the book focus on the Cold War and the War on Terror—both wars which pitted the United States against an ideology—wars which don’t fit into the conventional concept of war. When I joined the U.S. Navy in 1980, I never thought of that as wartime, even though it was firmly established who the “enemy” was, and the work I was doing (anti-submarine warfare) was exclusively focused on countering the “Soviet threat.” Even in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm (the first Gulf War), and though I was still on active duty, I didn’t really feel that I was part of a military “at war.” At the time, I was stationed in Japan, and I watched the “shock and awe” on television.

In War Time we are shown how the Cold War years and the development of the Military-Industrial-Complex moved us into a period (which continues today) of grossly disproportionate spending on the military, permanent infringement on civil rights, and so used to war and militarism that we now accept it as the norm. Terrorism is the new communism and must be defended against at all costs. She also discusses other factors that affect the public’s perceptions of wartime and peacetime, such as the roles of government propaganda, the media, citizen sacrifice, proximity of the conflict, and the number of Americans killed.

As a retired military officer cum peace activist, I was particularly interested in this book as it related the slow inurement of the American public to war and militarism. As someone who is working hard to end war, I am constantly trying to figure out why the public is not more outraged about our current state of perpetual war. Does the American public really feel like we are at war today? Certainly not in the same way they did in WWII when everyone was buying war bonds and growing victory gardens in support of the war effort. Certainly not like they did in the Vietnam War when we saw the fighting on the news every night and most everyone knew of someone who was in combat. Why is wartime so different now? With the size of the Military-Industrial-(…and I will add –Media-) Complex, can our country ever again have a peacetime?

The last sentence of Dudziak’s War Time is worth quoting, because I believe it is the crux of the whole book, and I am afraid, also the sad truth:

“Military engagement no longer seemed to require the support of the American people, but instead their inattention. As war goes on, Americans have lapsed into a new kind of peacetime. It is not a time without war, but instead a time in which war does not bother everyday Americans.”

 

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

139 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Mary L. Dudziak, War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences”

BevW October 19th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Mary, Leah, Welcome to the Lake.

Leah, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

For our new readers/commenters:


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Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Thanks, Bev! Thanks so much for having me.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Hello Bev and Mary! I am very excited to begin the discussion of Wartime.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Mary, How did you come to write this book? Did any of your previous books influence your thinking about time as a social construct? (For salon participants, here is a link to a description of Mary’s previous books: http://www.mdudziak.com/Pages/default.aspx)

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Hi, Leah, thank you so much for hosting this. Basically, I was starting to write a different book about war and its impact on American democracy. But in the literature and in discussions w/ colleagues, I was bothered by the way people talked about “wartime.” As if it was a thing – something stable that pops up occasionally in American history. And wartime is sometimes used as an argument. E.g. – why were we torturing people? Because it’s wartime. I thought I had to figure out how to think about wartime before I could write the other book. One thing led to another, and I ended up writing this book first.

dakine01 October 19th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Good afternoon Mary and Leah and welcome to Firedoglake this afternoon.

Mary, I have not had an opportunity to read your book but do have a comment.

I am a veteran (USAF 10 Dec 76 – 9 Sept 82) and while I believe in the defense of the country, I did protest the Vietnam War and most of the adventurism over my lifetime.

Would reinstating the Draft (with the closing of most of the dodges/loopholes that allowed folks to miss the draft during Vietnam) do anything to slow the adventurism down? It sure does seem that those most inclined to call for use of force are those who have never spent a day in uniform

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Is this book about the U.S.? The introduction seems to imply that but the title does not mention the U.S.

If it is, why has the U.S. not won a war since WWII, and then the Soviets won the war in the west, while it took an A-bomb for U.S. to win war in Pacific.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:03 pm
In response to Mary L. Dudziak @ 5

In your book you point out that even though the U.S. hasn’t formally declared war since WWII, we have been involved in almost constant military conflict since then. How has the public’s perception about wartime changed over the years, and what do you think are the reasons for this change?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

This is a reply to dankin01. sorry — just figuring this out!
Andrew Bacevich makes this argument very powerfully in his new book Breach of Trust. I agree with him that by not requiring the sacrifice of most American families, it is easier to take the country to war. And keep it there.

BevW October 19th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

As a reminder – technical note,
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Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:06 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 6

I am a veteran as well as you, and have often discussed the role that the draft has/had in the public’s response to war. I do believe it had a lot to do with lack of support for the VN war, but I don’t believe there is any chance the draft will be brought back, nor do I believe it should be. There are other compelling reasons not to engage in war.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:06 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 7

Hi, thanks for your question. The book is about the U.S. On winning wars — there are of course lots of wars we don’t usually remember. The US “won” the war with the little island nation of Grenada during the Reagan Admin.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I remember “war” with Grenada well. Embarrassing that you should place that in the “win” column. Especially after Reagan slinked away from Lebanon with his tail between his legs.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:08 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 7

Yes this book is about American perceptions of wartime and peacetime. When I was reading it I was wondering about how people in other countries feel about wartime. I think for countries who have been occupied, or have had combat waged on their soil, it must be very different.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:09 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 8

Thanks for your question. One thing that has changed since WWII is that the American people don’t pay a lot of attention to American military engagement. In WWII and Vietnam there was a draft, and war was widely discussed at home. It was an important issue in American politics. Now war is waged without most Americans paying attention.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

The U.S. war with Afghanistan is the longest war in our country’s history, yet it is virtually ignored by the media. How does the media influence our perceptions of wartime, and what role does the media play in public support or opposition to war?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:12 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 14

When I first gave a paper about the idea of “wartime”, a British woman in the audience said: people KNOW when they’re at war. She was thinking of Germany bombing London in WWII. Since American conflict largely happens outside US borders, everyday Americans don’t “know” they’re at war without hearing or reading about it.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Right. That’s what I was referring to in an earlier comment. Societies who have been occupied or have seen combat on their own land have a much different feeling about war. Do you think most Americans even believe we are “at war” right now?

dakine01 October 19th, 2013 at 2:14 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 11

I agree that there are myriad of reasons to not go to war but none of those reasons seem to penetrate the consciousness of the American public. It is far too easy for politicians and media to trumpet how wonderful the war is and going to bomb other countries when there are so few actually impacted by doing so.

And all the “Thank you for your service” doesn’t quite balance the scales

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Thank you for joining us, Mary and Leah.

Mary, I am of the vintage that well remembers the “cold war” … which war and its “fall-out” lasted for quite a time.

Are we not, now, as a nation and as a society, engaged in perpetual war, now that the term “endless” seems to have gone out of political fashion?

And, is not “war”, a too readily applied term, as in the “war” on drugs, and what now appears to be our end-phase period of capitalism, as we become increasingly militarized (as well as fear-mongered) in order to maintain our hegemony over as many resources as possible?

A number of questions, I realize, but all quite related, for words are now quite as tortured as those who the President deems to be our enemies, as it is becoming increasingly clear that a presidential “finding” legitimized that torture or “enhanced interrogation” as euphemism would have it.

DW

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 2:15 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 14

U.S. has waged war, in the sense of overthrowing existing governments, in 50+ countries since WWII. It does not take imagination to know how those citizens think about U.S., since 99s in those countries were worse off after U.S. intervention.

Take Libya. Gaddafi brought it into the 20C. NATO + NATO & Gulf state supported death squads have taken it back to the 10C.

Can’t even get Libyan oil into the export market. But that was one of the objectives, wasn’t it? To remove Libyan oil supply off the market so that oil prices would stay high.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

“…without hearing or reading about it.” Exactly! When was the last time you saw a story about the Afghanistan war on television?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:15 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 16

Afghanistan is often said to be the longest war in US history. But this leaves a lot of war out of the discussion. The US fought the Philippine independence mvt for many years after the Spanish American war. I posted a figure from the book that shows all the US wars in the 20th C that soldiers could get a medal for: http://wartimebook.blogspot.com/2013/10/what-20th-century-wars-did-soldiers-get.html

The role of the media is tremendously important. Let me get this answer up, and then I can say more.

BevW October 19th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

We have had almost a whole generation, or most of their adult lives, having grown up during a wartime. How do you see this effecting future decisions about “war” and foreign affairs?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:19 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 18

Not sure what the polling data is on this — but the idea that we’re “at war” is often used in policy discussions (e.g. why NSA surveillance — b/c we’re at war w/ dangerous people). But the Amer people aren’t called upon to do anything in the way Americans were asked to buy war bonds, plant victory gardens, etc., in WWII. Total war required that the people be mobilized. FDR needed broad support.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:20 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 19

I agree with you, and Bacevich is very powerful on this.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:20 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 21

Yes, you are right. Though this illustrates the point that Americans are indifferent to these military conflicts. First of all, they don’t know about them, but secondly, unless there is a direct impact on the American Way of Life, they don’t care.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I remember domestic “discussions” of VN well. Was not on the radar screen until draft and deaths caused large scale demonstrations, and those were vilified as unpatriotic, demonstrators were shot at Kent State.

Some authors, such as Fall & Halberstam, caught on in the 1960s, but the war did not end until the 1970s.

Listened to Dallek’s Nixon & Kissinger. Wasn’t about VN at all (source was Nixon office tapes) but about how they could play it to achieve max U.S. political advantage.

RevBev October 19th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Do you see any energy for a peace movement? That has been discussed here at the Lake.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

On the surface it doesn’t seem as if the American people are being asked to sacrifice, but the truth is that 50 cents out of every discretionary tax dollar are being spent on the Pentagon and war. Paraphrasing Eisenhower, every bullet that is made…is taking away from human needs.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:25 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 28

And of course, now, eCAHN, every politician must not appear “weak” … even so-called “progressives” such as Elizabeth Warren supports both the foreign “helping the helpless” wars and the continuation of the domestic war on drugs.

DW

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 27

Presstitutes.

USA! USA! USA!

Industrial concentration in media has reached amazing portions. Something like only 6 major media outlets left, with profits in the millions, whereas Soros, Koch & ilk have pockets in the billions.

But even when U.S. media was allegedly more proliferate, support the home team was the common & expected theme.

Think about going against McCarthy during 1950s.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 31

Speaking of politicians..as a veteran and an anti-war activist, I am really bothered by politicians who conflate support for the troops with support for war and militarism. How is language about war and wartime used to achieve political ends?

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 32

Yes, that’s why I now call it the Military-Industrial-MEDIA-Complex.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 2:28 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 31

every politician must not appear “weak”

Why not? Israel & Saudi campaign contributions?

U.S. pop would love diplomacy instead of war.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:28 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 20

DWBartoo, thanks for your comments & questions. On the issue of endless war, this is how it looks to me. This is one of the reason I wrote about the idea of “wartime” — looking at wartime as a kind of time. I think that “wartime thinking” undermines our ability to see that our war is not limited in time, but ongoing.

If you can excuse a sort of academic explanation, in my book I describe the usual way we think about wartime this way: time is seen as linear and episodic. There are two different kinds of time: wartime and peacetime. Historical progression consists of moving from one kind of time to another (from wartime to peacetime to wartime, etc.). Here’s a visual on that:
http://wartimebook.blogspot.com/2013/10/wartimepeacetime.html

So the idea of “wartime” assumes that war is, by definition, temporary. But in the American experience, esp. Cold War & after, conflict is instead ongoing.

Add to that they way the “war on terror” is conceptualized. A war against ideas, or a war against an amorphous group, is a recipe for ongoing war.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:28 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 30

Well, Leah, our society is not encouraged to ponder “opportunity costs” as that would be too complicated and might well result in some reluctance to embrace more war, even as happened recently when the political class sought to “retaliate” against Syria for killing human beings – by killing MORE human beings. Frankly, anti-war sentiment is higher, now, than I have ever before encountered, and I say that as the result of speaking to many people over the last six months.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I posted this as a reply to DW, but meant for it to be a question for Mary: As a veteran and an anti-war activist, I am really bothered by politicians who conflate support for the troops with support for war and militarism. How is language about war and wartime used to achieve political ends?

BevW October 19th, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Mary,
Since WWII, did you find a change in the language about war and “wartime” through the years up to 9/11? After 9/11 it changed again.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:31 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 22

Adam Berinsky is brilliant on this topic. Makes the point that “the facts of war do not speak for themselves.” We “know” about war, most of the time, through the media and through elites talking about it. So war is, essentially, narrated and given meaning — not by the shooting and dying itself — but by the way it is talked about to us at home. And if a war is not a prime topic of elite & popular discourse, we just ignore it. War is left to the gov’t and to the soldiers deployed. And the contractors, of course.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:32 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 27

agreed.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Yes, Mary, I consider that peace “time” may be but a nostalgic memory for those of us old enough to remember some periods of, apparently, relative calm. Although, that was only on the surface, as this nation has long engaged in “clandestine activities” … one thinks of Latin and South America, for example.

As Bev has suggested, we now have many young people, all four of my daughters, the eldest of whom is twenty-five, for instance, who have experienced war as every-day reality.

I very much appreciate you very thoughtful and spot-on responses.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Why isn’t the American public more outraged about the money that is being spent on war? Is it because of the fear that the govt and the media have fomented?

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 2:36 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 27

But,but…there is a direct impact lower wages less social services ie safety net (unemployment, food, shelter, more poverty. All to pay for the huge budget, 50% of our taxes, for weapons for ourselves and other “allies”.
War is simply a well established business that DEMANDS funding. Waste, private contractors equipment manufacturers are just part..then surveillance state unlimited spending to spy on EVERYONE globally.
On the peace side Syria and Iran are examples of negotiations rather than military action. But MIC loses big buck. So war is practiced opaquely or using third parties. We still pay big time. Instead of jobs for people the military coaxes them into contracts.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:36 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 28

War & politics are bedfellows. I’ve been doing some research on Vietnam (for next book). Looking at the politics around the time of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, when Congress ratified the use of force in Vietnam (though they didn’t realize how much power they’d given the president). This happened in Aug 1964, right before the Democratic convention. Democrats wanted to support LBJ to help him look strong against Republican Barry Goldwater. Looking back, Sen. Fulbright, who shepherded the resolution thru the Senate, pointed to the election as a reason unity in deciding to go to war was necessary….

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:37 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 42

DW, I wonder if your daughters feel like the U.S. is “at war.” For them it’s just the way things have always been. We have a military that is engaged “over there” but is that really war?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:38 pm
In response to RevBev @ 29

I wish I saw energy for a peace mvt. There was a glimmer when there seemed to be a growing coalition between libertarians & progressives, e.g. during the confirmation hearings for John Brennan as CIA director, when Rand Paul did his filibuster. I tend to think that most Americans are too distant from war to be engaged politically, however.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:40 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 30

Yes. If we paid for war with real current dollars, rather than debt, we could more clearly see the costs.

BTW great site on costs of war — economic, human & other: http://costsofwar.org/

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:41 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 38

A superb question, Leaha.

I consider the “You are either with us or against us!” war cry of GW Bush, which IS the classic “argument ad bacculum” (argument with a big stick) to be very typical, if more blatant than most, but certainly such calls seem, so far, to often resonate with the “exceptionalism” which Obama vigorously waved about in his UN speech.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I have heard many people in the peace movement claim credit for stopping a war on Syria. How much credit should be given to the American people? Do you think Congress’ reaction to Obama’s overreach had something to do with it?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:45 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 33

I agree that support for troops gets conflated w/ support for war/militarism. This isn’t directly enabled by the language of “wartime.” Instead I think it’s become a feature of American politics. For example, one Christmas President Obama had a tree at the White House with yellow ribbons on it. It was the “support our troops” tree. He and the First Lady called upon Americans to write thank you notes to soldiers. But there was no discussion of what the soldiers were doing, what the purpose was of their mission, why the nation was asking them to wage war. By calling upon us to support our troops, many think they’ve done all they need to. When what’s needed is deep political engagement w/ the nation’s use of force.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:45 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 49

There are a lot of more subtle uses of language that push people subconsciously. Look at the change of the name from Department of War to Department of Defense!
The Global War on Terror became “Overseas Contingency Operations.” Lots of examples…

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:46 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 46

My daughters, do feel that we are at war, because it is something that they have heard discussed, and discussed themselves, since they were quite young. Although many of their cohort are far less aware, and possibly, and I think this is your concern, Leah, are either inured to war or hardly aware of its existence, excepting those for whom joining the military is an economic “necessity”.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

That’s a good example of the artificiality of “supporting the troops.” Yellow ribbons and bumperstickers…
If our government REALLY wanted to support its troops, it wouldn’t send them into illegal, immoral, unwinnable wars of choice.

lakota October 19th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I feel so out of place with so many “intelligent” people asking “intelligent” questions and engaging in “intelligent” conversation, when these wars have absolutely nothing to do with anything “intelligent”; they’re all about people who have the power to make war for their own personal reasons, namely MONEY. “look for a false flag”.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:48 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 52

Precisely, Leah. And I am always amazed by how many do not realize that Eisenhower originally spoke of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex. However, owing to the outrage of the political class, modified his term to its more familiarly … MIC …

DW

Ready October 19th, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Industry ties of commentators profiled
Commentator Identified as Industry ties
Stephen Hadley former National Security Advisor Raytheon, RiceHadleyGates, APCO Worldwide
James Cartwright former Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Raytheon, TASC, Accenture, Enlightenment Capital
Frances Townsend CNN national security analyst and member of CIA and DHS advisory committees MacAndrews & Forbes, Monument Capital Group, Decision Sciences
Anthony Zinni former Commander in Chief of US Central Command BAE Systems, DC Capital Partners
Jeremy Bash former Chief of Staff to DoD and CIA Beacon Global Strategies
Nicholas Burns former Under Secretary of State Cohen Group, Entegris
William S. Cohen former Secretary of Defense Cohen Group
Wesley Clark former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Wesley K. Clark & Associates, MFG.com
Roger Cressey former National Security Council staff Booz Allen Hamilton
Charles Duelfer former chief US weapons inspector Omnis
Adam Ereli former State Department deputy spokesperson and ambassador to Bahrain Mercury LLC
Michele Flournoy former Under Secretary of Defense Boston Consulting Group
Michael Hayden former CIA Director Chertoff Group, Alion Science and Technology, Next Century Corporation
Colin Kahl former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East consultant to the Defense Department with TS-SCI clearance
Brian Katulis Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress Albright Stonebridge Group
Jack Keane former Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army General Dynamics, SCP Partners
Patrick Murphy Iraq veteran and former US Representative from Pennsylvania Fox Rothschild LLP
Madeline Albright former Secretary of State Albright Stonebridge Group
James “Spider” Marks former Commander of the US Army Intelligence Center Stony Lonesome Group, Willowdale Services
Chuck Nash Fox News military analyst and retired US Navy Captain Applied Visual Sciences, Emerging Technologies International Inc.
John Negroponte former Director of National Intelligence McLarty Associates, Aamina, Oxford Analytica, Intelligence and National Security Alliance
Robert Scales Fox News military analyst and former Commandant of the US Army War College Colgen (see correction)

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:50 pm
In response to BevW @ 39

Sorry if I am getting behind! Great questions & much to discuss!

Since WWII — the changes are in the nature of American war. The idea of “wartime” continues to be used as if “wartime” still fit what we think of as the WWII model: a good war bound in time with a definite beginning and ending. The Cold War obviously didn’t fit that model. Even the name signals that. War is not “cold”.

But in the book I show the way that even WWII didn’t fit that model. The US was militarily engaged before Pearl Harbor, esp in the North Atlantic. FDR used his Commander in Chief powers. And those powers lasted long after V-J day.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:51 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 42

Thanks, DW! I will have more to say about covert war in the next book. I’ll try to write fast…

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 2:51 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 50

Polls showed overwhelming opposition to starting another War against a ME country. Americans are sick of wars. They want out of Afghanistan and Iraq. They do not get the underlying reasons for power and influence globally. The carnage and destruction to the victims. Iraq was USA/Saudia ally against Iran. Oil! Hegemony! Power! Wrap it in a flag who could oppose, only the truly brave and patriotic.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:52 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 52

We see the same thing with drones which are, officially, to be termed “unmanned aerial vehicles” or “remotely piloted aircraft” …

The subtle euphemisms of “military assistance” …

DW

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:53 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 43

This is the 34 million dollar question, of course. I tend to think that it is actually because they’re not paying attention. Wartime happens in someone else’s neighborhood. If we had a line on our tax returns showing how much of our annual tax bill goes to wars, that might perk people up.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Lakota and Ready–You both are right. It IS all about the money. I think the Military Industrial (and Media) Complex are driving our foreign policy. The U.S. is the largest arms exporter in the world, and our answers to every problem are to use the big stick. But when we use, sell, or give away arms and equipment it only goes to line the pockets of the defense industry–largely subsidized by the AMerican taxpayer. Which brings me around to the point I made earlier…why isn’t the average American just outraged about how their tax dollars are being spent?

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 2:55 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 52

Hundreds of special OPs by JSOC. North Africa! Is there a forecast of the death and destruction and costs? Also have a way to contain terrorism?

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I find it very concerning, Mary, that so few, even today, do not yet fully understand that the “incident” never happened as Johnson, McNamara, and Rusk would have had us “believe”, that just like Iraq, we were lied into war.

DW

Ready October 19th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Let’s see if Americans support war.

Let’s have where we want our tax money to go to on our IRS returns.

If you want highways and bridges, put in the amount.

If you want to educate the country, put in the amount.

If you want war, put in the amount.

I’m willing to bet the money directed at war would drop by more then half that they are spending every year.

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 2:57 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 54

That put them in harms way with targets on them.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 2:58 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 50

I think Syria is a really interesting example. I think that the public reaction was part of the story. I tend to think of it as a political story. Pres. Obama came saw the opposition, and perhaps thought about how that would affect other things on his political agenda? It’s entirely possible that Obama the constitutional law teacher was also part of this, and it’s more consistent w/ his pre-presidency thinking to involve Congress. But when he gave his speech indicating that he was going to ask for Congress’s support, he also said that HE DIDN’T NEED IT. That he had power without Congress’s approval. And in the meantime, drone strikes in other nations continued.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 2:59 pm
In response to bigbrother @ 61

Yes, but there was overwhelming international opposition to the war on Iraq. Millions of people were in the street, yet we went to war anyway. Do you really think that Americans are sick of wars? I don’t think most Americans even care–if they were so sick of them, they why is the anti-war movement so small?

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

An alternative, Mary, might be that other peoples might come to tire of our behavior and bring war to the “Homeland” a name birthed by endless war, invented by political “warriors” many of whom, or their cronies, directly profit from war, or, as I prefer to call it “organized mayhem” … which, too often, spins well away from “controlled” to dangerously consequential.

War is “something” that “happens” … “over there” … for, as Frank Zappa, tongue-in-cheek, reminded us, “It can’t happen here!”

DW

bluewombat October 19th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

In the spirit of truth in labelling, I feel the Department of Defense should have its original name, the Department of War, restored. This might help to clarify people’s minds as to where their tax dollars are going. I even have a slogan for my proposed campaign, one sure to disarm the right-wingers and military-industrial-complex types who will oppose it: “Afraid of a little war, weenies?”

Are you with me, Mary?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:03 pm
In response to lakota @ 55

Lakota, thanks for your comment. Many argue that once business became inextricable from American war, money helped create perverse incentives. This was part of the idea behind Pres. Eisenhower’s speech on the military industrial complex. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

Ready October 19th, 2013 at 3:03 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 70

If Americans had any idea how little they got back from government compared to Europeans and Japanese for the taxes they pay in they would be in the streets by the millions.
Why do we get so little back? Because a trillion dollars a years is being poured into the war-police state machine.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:04 pm
In response to lakota @ 55

Absolutely correct, lakota. “War is a Racket”, as Smedley Butler reminded us. A damned lucrative one.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I think politics had a lot to do with it. In previous conflicts the Congress has almost abdicated their responsibilities under the Constitution and given them over to the Executive. Obama wasn’t counting on Congress to all of a sudden remember their responsibilities. Obama saw trouble down the line if he went ahead.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:07 pm
In response to Ready @ 67

great idea — at least the part about itemizing war.

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 70

Yes but. The opposition to Syria/Iran attack was clearly influencing congress and the WH to back away from the “Redline”. Kerry was war stumping..then he backed away from confrontation with Russia/ China opposition. The international community and the British Parliament’s decision to support us were probably more powerful not than polls here. Together that war was put into the covert basket at Defense.
Leadership from the outside will cool the wars a bit…drones and torture not so much. I was an activist in the 68/74 movement Korean ERA vet.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 72

Ah, a proponent of plain English, are ya then, bluewombat?

I’m with you … 100%.

(You do realize that Reagan rescinded Carter’s directive, that all federal regulations must be written in plain, comprehensible English, I’m certain.)

;~DW

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:09 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 71

Except that it does “happen” here when security policies are targeted at particular groups, dissent is thought to be subversive & triggers surveillance, etc.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

A lot of our discussion has been about the economic aspects of war. Why aren’t Americans more aware/cognizant/concerned/outraged about the moral aspects of killing other people? Recently some Congressmembers (and the president of course) were willing to go to war with Syria because of the innocent people who had been killed by gas. Why aren’t Americans just as upset about the innocent people that we are responsible for killing?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:10 pm
In response to bluewombat @ 72

Yes to the first idea. Let’s call it the Dept. of War.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

O can do anything he wants at any time. Unitary executive, esp wrt national security policy. IOW he could have bombed Syria any time without authorization, as Clark & Gore did to Serbia in 1999. (BTW did you consider NATO wars as U.S. wars?)

That O did not do that, despite warmongers Kerry, Powers & Rice and who-knows-what from humiliated Petreaus faction, indicated O was looking for a way out. U.S. citizens’ calls & emails to congress (didn’t see stats on how many there were) probably made a mild diff, but it was Lavrov & Putin who were the biggest factor that stopped the Vile V escalation.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:11 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 76

Did Obama perceive that “trouble” to be foreign or domestic, Leah, or both? How would you “read” that?

DW

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:12 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 76

I’m not sure that they all remembered their responsibilities. I think many of them remembered their opposition to any thing Pres. Obama does. I think it was a mix of motives.

bluewombat October 19th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

OK, maybe I need a better slogan…

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Ah, absolutely it happens here, Mary, and you’ve put it precisely as it should be. That is what I meant by my earlier suggestion that our once civil society, not only under assault by the wealthy, but also shaken profoundly by the obvious failure of a functioning rule of law, is being “militarized” …

DW

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Globalization of the economy has opened up more military support for hegemony all over the globe.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:14 pm
In response to bigbrother @ 78

bigbrother, thanks for your comment. I agree w/ your ending point.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:14 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 84

More domestic, I think. He hasn’t cared what the rest of the world thinks about our foreign policies, or if they are within the bounds of international law. No, I think we was surprised by the pushback that he got from Congress, and from both parties. I think there was a good possibility that Republicans might have started impeachment hearings had Obama gone ahead. Had Obama been a Republican, I don’t think there would have been as much opposition.

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Department of Peace! Countries that don’t have war expense can wage peace with high employment and better living standards. PS Thanks for the books and anti crime efforts.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:17 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 90

Opposition from the political class, which includes the media, Leah, or from the populace?

DW

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:18 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 81

Leah, you are asking such great and important questions! I wish we had answers. As to how we got to this place: after Vietnam — no draft; HUGE increase in use of military contractors, so the US can have a large military footprint w/o many troops. And then technology — way before the drones. 1st Gulf War under Bush I — military & political leaders thought the American people were now behind war b/c smart bomb technology made it look precise w/o “collateral damage.” These things together helped insulate Americans from the experience of their nation’s war. This history has enabled the country to go to war w/o bothering the American people.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:19 pm
In response to bigbrother @ 91

Department of Peace!

That’s supposed to be the State Dept, but Kerry & Hillary are the biggest warmongers of all.

When State Dept isn’t advocating war, it is doing biz deals for large multinational corps.

What does Commerce dept do these days.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:21 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 92

Mostly from the political class and the media. The public hasn’t seemed to care that much about violations of the Constitution and the War Powers Act WRT declarations of war. The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in 2001 is most certainly unconstitutional, but I don’t think most of the public even knows what it is or what it said.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:22 pm
In response to bigbrother @ 91

Thanks. But along w/ George Orwell — I think “peace” and “war” have been conflated….And for many years “peace” has been the argument for war. So peace-talk is not always going to be helpful.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:24 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 81

I think many citizens are concerned about the death toll, Leah, I find that to be so in many conversations. However, the media, which is part of the political class, does not cover such “concerns” and has other “expedient” fish to fry … the fourth estate is, now, essentially dealing in propaganda, that, recently, having been made legal for the Dept. of “defense” to engage in, domestically, so the stenographic segment of the political class, now has a more “free” hand to let loose the jingoistic palaver.

DW

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

War is peace is the short version of O’s igNobel PP speech.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Mary, this is my final “prepared” question, but I want to post it now to make sure you have time to respond to it.
One of the conclusions your book makes is that it is the public’s indifference and/or inattention that have allowed the government to keep us in a state of perpetual war. Do you see this book as something of a call to action? Is this an “anti-war” book?

bigbrother October 19th, 2013 at 3:25 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 94

Yes…The Clinton/Bush war Cartel has destroyed the middle classwith the support of Israel and AIPAC. I agree David Swanson our FDL anti war activist who looks forward with pleasure defeating Hillary. Again Thanks for this Blog
Mary and Leah!!!

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:26 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 95

Legal scholars tend to think that Authorizations for the Use of Military Force give us the kind of involvement of Congress in going to war that the Constitution contemplates. It doesn’t have to say “Declaration of War” in the title for it to satisfy the constitution. The real problem w/ the post-9/11 AUMF is that it was very broad, giving the president power to wage a war that goes on & on.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:28 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 95

Well, Bush v. Gore went by with nary a ripple, Leah, and I consider that set the stage and sent a “signal” for more outrageous efforts on the part of the executive to further its power, even beyond what it obtained with the first use of atomic weapons.

Checks and balances are essentially nonexistent, as both Congress and the Court accede to virtually every executive demand, from the war power to unquestioned secrecy, of an order of magnitude that well ought to sober ANY honest observer or citizen of a purported democracy.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:29 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 97

If you talk about war deaths with the average American, they think only of the American soldiers who have died. The propaganda has changed completely from the VN war when we advertised how many enemy had been killed as a sign of our progress. Today, no mention is made of the number of “enemy” killed. In fact, wasn’t it General Franks who said “we don’t do body counts.”
If the American people saw photos of the children our government has killed, I think that might resonate, but the media is not about to do that, because they are part of the machine.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Right, I am not arguing that an AUMF cannot be legal authorization in lieu of a declaration of war. But I am saying that the 2001 AUMF is unconstitutional because it was simply a blank check for perpetual war anywhere. The laws of war do not apply to what should have been a police action–to arrest and prosecute those responsible for 9/11. Authorizing war because of 9/11 was a knee-jerk response that wasn’t lawful.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:33 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 99

Leah, thanks for this & all your great questions. Yes, my book is an anti-war book. It’s not a call to arms in the way a some more direct works on war might be. In its most focused way, it’s a call to pay attention that we are in ongoing war. People use idea “wartime” to signal that we’re in an era that will come to an end. That’s part of what wartime means. But that doesn’t fit the wars we’re in.

It’s also a critique of what has become of American war politics — of the way the American people have been isolated from decisions about going to war. This facilitates their inattention. This is what allows the president to go it alone. If the people don’t care, their congressmembers don’t have an incentive to push back, and there are no meaningful limits to presidential war power.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:34 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 104

War is about power. “Legal” procedures are red herrings.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:34 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 102

I agree–and that’s why I think Obama was surprised at the pushback he got from Congress regarding Syria.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:35 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 103

I have found that many with whom I speak, Leah, do bring up the subject of how many Iraqis have died, how many Afghans, even how many in the less mentioned “secret” wars such as in Pakistan. I admit that I might, in subtle ways, encourage such thoughts, but I am very much convinced that many citizens CAN be encouraged to think beyond what the political class would like them to concentrate upon. I suspect that is part of Mary’s purpose in writing this book and the one she plans to write next. Those of us who do understand must engage an effort to share that understanding, effectively and consistently.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

So! What do we do about it? The deck is decidedly against us anti-war activists. We have so little power when it comes to accessing our government and influencing its policies. Everything is corrupted by the influence of money.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Has U.S. killed & maimed more innocents than Hitler & Stalin? Granted they were more time efficient, but over the years, who’s winning the killing game?

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 104

But the constitution doesn’t require that Congress only declare or authorize good and moral wars. Or only wars that make sense. Your points about morality are so well taken, and I agree that there should have been a law enforcement rather than military response. But as to whether the AUMF was lawful — I think it was a bad law, but it wasn’t unconstitutional. Congress has the constitutional power to do terrible things.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:39 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 107

Do you consider, Leah, that Congress was “encouraged” by push-back from “the people” or did that body arrive at its response, reluctant or otherwise, on its own? I think that popular disgust, which has been building for quite some time, did have some significant effect. If nothing more than stiffening “backbones” in certain places. That is not to over rate popular pressures on Congress, of course …

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:41 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 110

Is this a serious question? If one man murders a family of three and another man murders a family of 5 is that any worse?
The point against war is that killing people in the name of peace doesn’t make sense.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:43 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 109

Another crucial and yet unanswerable question! There is at least a minority voice in congress, academia & elsewhere that Americans need to have more “skin in the game”. That national service, including military service, is a way to overcome the broad military-civilian gap. That if more Americans were required to serve, then the nation would make smarter choices. That a largely professional military makes it too easy to go to war.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:44 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 113

We must always and also remember, Leah, that the killing is done in our names … yours and mine, that we bear the moral consequence, even the “good” Americans … do … for ALL that is done in our names.

DW

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 112

I hope that the people’s pushback was very influential, and I think that it was…I am just skeptical of claiming it as a true victory for the peace movement. I think a lot of it was opposition from Republicans to ANYthing that Obama proposes.
There is still a strong push for military action against Iran. I think the MIC needs to have enemies to keep the machine going. So, Syria didn’t work out (for now)…so we turn our attentions somewhere else.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 110

I do not know these sad statistics. But check out the Costs of War website: http://costsofwar.org/ They might have an answer.

RevBev October 19th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

This is a bit OT…Do you have a view of what youngsters are learning on any of this topic these days? It used to be that war toys and war games were very exciting….most boys had an arsenal and knew the enemy. Has that heroic view changed at all with the change in draft/kinds of wars, etc?

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:48 pm
In response to RevBev @ 118

I think toys (particularly video games) are definitely “teaching” children who the “enemy” is. It is a shame that they are not taught that war itself is a form of terror.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:49 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 116

I mostly agree, Leah, but consider that most of that “push” to attack Iran is thoroughly political, even, and possibly largely, from certain “allies” … who would benefit from such an attack. Israel and Saudi Arabia, for example, come readily to mind.

I find widespread weariness with war among many, especially among the low-income families whose children are expected to carry the “fight”, it is not across-the-board, but it is growing.

DW

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I was an early feminist, so I also played w/ plastic “Army men.” War-play has gone to another level since then with war-themed video games. And playing video games is apparently good practice for remote warfare. So as far as I can tell, children’s play is more militaristic.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:51 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 120

I hope you are right, DW!

BevW October 19th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

As we come to the last minutes of this great Book Salon discussion, any last thoughts?

Mary, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book, and how we see and talk about wartime.

Leah, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Mary’s website and (Emory University) and book

Leah’s website and Twitter

Thanks all, Have a great weekend.

Tomorrow: David Segal, David Moon and Patrick Ruffini / Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet; Hosted by Timothy Karr (FreePress.net)

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:52 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 113

Yes, it is a serious question, though a sarcastic one. r2p is only the recent reason why the Democrats can lure lefties into destructive wars.

Going back to the Libya example.

Gaddafi “might” have committed some atrocities. He did commit some in his 40+ year regime, while holding a tribal country together & doing vast infrastructure projects.

U.S. & France destroyed all of that in months, not to mention the human cost.

I’m arguing that the U.S. is the most destructive force on earth. Would like to know stats. Would also be interested in how the U.S. compares in vileness to historic empires.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Thanks.

RevBev October 19th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

How sad…a great Salon.

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Thank you to everyone who participated! I’ve enjoyed talking with you.

Just a parting thought — I am teaching about these issues at Emory Univ. My war-related classes are oversubscribed. Many of my students are concerned about the fact that all of their lives has been a “wartime.” A starting point is that they want to learn about it. This gives me hope.

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:54 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 120

Thinking more about your comment…I certainly do hope you are right about people resisting, but back to the issue of Iran. Yes, the push is coming from political angles (and not from the people), but AIPAC is so strong and their influence so great. Congress is afraid to vote against them, just like the NRA. Virtually every vote to impose sanctions against Iran (which constitute collective punishment and could be viewed as illegal) passed with virtual unanimity. The power of the lobbyists can’t be dismissed.

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 119

Well and truly said, Leah!

Are V-2s and drones (remotely piloted aircraft) related?

Are they both weapons of terror?

People DO understand such comparisons if they are not sufficiently well-taught to regard other human beings as “things”.

Consider, if I might stray a bit? We are appalled at bullying in schools, yet as soon as young people leave the schools they find a world in which bullying, in the workplace, in the economic system, in the legal and political systems is the “way” that it is … and war, is that not the supreme expression of the bully? That might is right?

DW

Mary L. Dudziak October 19th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

And I should say — it has been an honor to be here, and to talk with you. Thank you.

Elliott October 19th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Thank you both so much, a great – and important – discussion.

Best of luck with the book – open eyes can see

And as ever, thanks BevW!

Leah Bolger October 19th, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I have greatly enjoyed being a part of this as well. Thanks to everyone who participated, and thanks to Bev for asking me to host!

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:57 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 128

Bingo!

Spot-on, Leah … but change will come, for perpetual war and tyranny is NOT sustainable … the earth itself is also in the balance, and the possible, even likely extinction of the human species … if we do not … soon change our bloody ways.

DW

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Exceptional Book Salon!!!

Thank you, Mary and Leah.

Thank you, Bev, as always …

And thank you, members of the FDL community, you feisty lot, you …

DW

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 3:59 pm
In response to Leah Bolger @ 128

Congress has passed & prez, starting with Clinton (I think) have signed into law so many restrictions on Iran that only complete political overhaul would result in relief on sanctions. Which means negotiations are DOA. Leverett reminder.

karenjj2 October 19th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Sincere thanks for your work, Mary.

eCAHNomics October 19th, 2013 at 4:00 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 133

I’m puzzled that you think tyranny is not sustainable. Hasn’t tyranny been more common than the reverse?

DWBartoo October 19th, 2013 at 4:12 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 137

So far, yes, call it history.

However, even cancer discovers that there is a limit.

Will humanity, in general, dare to step into taking responsibility for their own continued existence?

I do not know.

That is why our time requires us to decide, on the individual level, whether life, itself, is worth the effort to fully appreciate it. Slaves and serfs are much diminished in any capacity to freely experience OR enjoy their own existence.

What is more important … money, power, or life?

I realize, eCAHN, that you consider that a silly question, yet it is really, a question of … to be … or not to … be?

That is where we, collectively, are … at.

Like it or not.

The choice IS up to us, we may accept that and behave accordingly, or we may refuse to choose, refuse to care, and refuse to live.

Because the masters know only excess and not “enough!”, the rest of us must decide … must dare … must care … else tyranny will end with a bang or a whimper … and so shall we.

DW

RevBev October 19th, 2013 at 5:56 pm
In response to DWBartoo @ 138

So, that is the question….Very nicely stated. And how to reduce the fear or merely procede in spite of the fear. As noted above, how long can we think that our country will be safe in the face of our own transgressions? Choices are been made all the time….Thanks for the reminder.

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