FAIR founder Jeff Cohen’s latest piece (Huffington Post, 4/12/13) decries the nonexistent debate over war and its the human costs–including how unchecked militarism blights so many other aspects of American life.
Today there’s an elephant in the room: a huge, yet ignored, issue that largely explains why Social Security is now on the chopping block. And why other industrialized countries have free college education and universal healthcare, but we don’t. It’s arguably our country’s biggest problem–a problem that Martin Luther King, Jr. focused on before he was assassinated 45 years ago, and has only worsened since then (which was the height of the Vietnam War). That problem is U.S. militarism and perpetual war.
In 1967, King called the United States “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”–and said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
Nowadays MSNBC hosts yell at Fox News hosts, and vice versa, about all sorts of issues — but when the Obama administration expanded the bloody war in Afghanistan, the shouting heads at both channels went almost silent. When Obama’s drone war expanded, there was little shouting. Not at MSNBC, not at Fox. Nor at CNN, CBS, ABC or so-called public broadcasting.
We can have raging debates in mainstream media about issues like gun control and gay marriage and minimum wage, but when the elites of both parties agree on military intervention–as they so often do–debate is nearly nonexistent. Anyone in the mainstream who goes out on a limb to loudly question this oversized creature in the middle of the room known as militarism or interventionism is likely to disappear faster than you can say “Phil Donahue.”