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Sunday, December 2, 2018

We Need To Stop Normalizing Pro-War Voices In Mainstream Discourse

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It’s strange that while neo-Nazis and white nationalists are almost universally seen as dangerous and toxic, and are typically rejected from media platforms, the figures who advocate for imperialist war are welcomed into mainstream discourse without hesitation.

After all, it’s been statistically shown that these groups are responsible for similar amounts of death and destruction. Since World War II, the United States has carried out invasions in 37 countries. The combined deaths from these wars has now reached over 20 million, with around 5 million of the people killed being Muslims who’ve died in the post-1990 Middle Eastern wars.
And these wars have been completely unjustified. The U.S. burned down every town in North Korea during the unprovoked Korean war, carried out vast assaults against Vietnam and Cambodia that lead to the rise of the genocidal Pol Pot regime, and used 9/11 to launch wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq which have together killed over half a million. The 2011 U.S./NATO invasion of Libya has created a failed state and a thriving slave trade in the region, the U.S. efforts to arm anti-Russian forces in Ukraine have given rise to neo-Nazi militias, and the West’s eight-year campaign to destabilize Syria has created the largest refugee crisis in history. The U.S. also continues to aid Saudi Arabia in its genocide against the people of Yemen, and America’s eight-country-wide aggression campaign is now droning record amounts of civilians.
In a country that isn’t dominated by corporate money and government propaganda, the people who advocate for war would be intensely marginalized. They wouldn’t be given regular appearances on cable news programs, given prominent spots in major newspapers, or appointed by Facebook as screeners for content to censor. And after the deaths of major war instigators like Charles Krauthammer, John McCain, and George H.W. Bush, the political and media class wouldn’t affectionately eulogize them.
But American culture has elevated the perpetrators of atrocities for as long as imperialism and colonialism have been part of this culture, so it’s no surprise that they still dominate the political sphere. And to get them out of it, we need to overthrow the system that perpetuates their agenda of exploitation and conquest.
Capitalism needs to be drastically overhauled. Numerous U.S. wars, from Iraq to Syria, have been started for the benefit of business interests. And the private weapons industry, which depends on the endless wars, is a large part of American economic growth. Therefore, part of the solution is to make war profiteering illegal, which can be done by turning production, distribution, and exchange over to the ownership of the community as a whole.
Militarism also needs to be defeated, since only taking away the power of the capitalist class wouldn’t take away the potential for imperialistic behaviors. America should pull out of all of its foreign military involvements, end its inhumaneeconomic sanctions on Iran, Russia, North Korea, and other countries, close all of its 1000 military bases around the world, and vastly cut its military spending. To ensure that future invasions won’t happen, we need to prosecute all of the current and former officials who’ve carried out the U.S.’ recent wars. This can be done by trying them for the crime against peace, which is the United Nations’ definition of the act of attacking a country without provocation.
All of these changes are possible, because human power can be defeated by human power. Our focus should be on building a massive social movement in opposition to war and corporate power. And a major step towards this is rejecting pro-war voices in our discourse, in the same way that we don’t accept those who voice comparably dangerous views.
Let’s stop letting media outlets, college campuses, and political parties normalize advocacy for war. While the First Amendment should of course still apply, the promoters of war shouldn’t be entitled to a platform. And when they do get a platform, protests need to be held against them. This would bring us closer towards a society that isn’t defined by hate and violence, but by a dedication to peace.

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