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Chronicling the collapse of a failed society
In addition to the trillion dollar price tag, 600,000+ dead civilians, 1 million orphans and 6,100 dead American soldiers, we can now add 400,000 brain-injured veterans to the cost of our latest wars of aggression:
Independent experts suggest that more than 400,000 American service members will return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries that could lead to severe personality disorders, and little is being done to help them.
Having wasted countless billions – trillions, in all likelihood – on our five concurrent wars and exposed hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to the dangers of the battlefield, our gifted military leaders have identified the true culprit behind our reckless spending: health care for soldiers.
Afflicted veterans have every reason to expect their government to continue to treat them as expendable waste, as the Pentagon actively opposes formal diagnoses of the condition, known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and denies the validity of treatment that its own researchers have said could help. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for a cut in the military’s $50-billion-a-year health budget, saying “health care costs are eating the Defense Department alive,” according to a Huffington Post article in January.
And that in a nutshell is the very essence of American empire. Exploit the little guys for all they’re worth, using them in any way necessary to reap maximum profits. Because war is, after all, little more than a business venture for the giant corporate entities within the military-industrial complex. Just as the private sector throughout America has little interest in providing health care for the workers it underpays and overworks, so too does our for-profit military increase it profits for its shareholders by cutting corners on such luxuries as medical care for the severely wounded.
Virtually every elected official in Washington is an accomplice in this disastrous and grossly exploitative state of affairs, yet the masses are once again distracted by the circus that our presidential elections have become. Forgetting that it was the Republican Bush administration which gave working and middle class Americans the worst thrashing in modern history, the ignorant plebes are now finding themselves mesmerized by the only alternative to Obama that their tiny, corporate-media-raped minds are capable of comprehending. If things are bad under the Democrats, they reason in their own rudimentary way, then the Republicans must be the solution.
It all gets a little tiresome after a while, sharing a country with such intellectual simpletons. Are Americans really as stupid as their political and social inclinations would lead us to believe? After all, you can only watch a guy punch himself in the face so many times before you start questioning if he’s not quite all there. The American people have been clubbing themselves in the back of the head with a spiked mace for the last forty years, so it’s only natural to start wondering if they’re a little on the slow side.
But it’s not that Americans are stupid, it’s just that we’re so damn lazy. All of the comforts of the modern age have created a nation of slothful hedonists, who have been sold a notion of America as the ultimate good guy. The Soviet Union was the evil empire that lied to the masses and was rife with corruption – they were the bad guys, not us. According to this simplistic dichotomous world view – as comforting as it may be – we are necessarily the opposite of the Soviets. Our media is therefore incapable of spewing out propaganda, and our government is deemed as being largely beyond corruption. So greed is perceived as simple ineptitude, and shallow media coverage is understood as being reflective of a black-and-white world.
As for me, I’ve simply unplugged myself from the machine. Understanding that every last bit of information from a corporate source – CNN, NBC, ABC, NY Times, Disney, NFL, Gap and Mickey D’s – is little more than a tragic farce, it’s impossible to take any of it seriously any more. The same goes, of course, for our two major political corporations. When both Republicans and Democrats are bankrolled by multinational, multi-billion dollar corporations, how can anyone still expect them to represent the interests of the common man?
Bearing all this in mind, our country takes on an almost comic aspect. And it’s only with a great sense of humor that it’s possible to maintain one’s sanity in the vast madhouse of America.