As international support for Obama’s decision to attack Syria has collapsed, along with the credibility of government claims, the administration has fallen back on a standard pretext for war crimes when all else fails: the credibility of the threats of the self-designated policeman of the world. [T]hat aggression without UN authorization would be a war crime, a very serious one, is quite clear, despite tortured efforts to invoke other crimes as precedents.
Noam Chomsky on the impending war in Syria
The thing about the current state of the NSA Domestic Spying programs is that nobody seems to care.
This problem of apathy is probably because privacy loss on this scale is not really a tangible thing to most people. It’s hard to imagine how big a city is, let alone a country, and how many people are seeing your every tweet, status update, phone call, etc.
You threaten to “take away” people’s guns, they balk.
You threaten to “take away” people’s health care, they scream bloody murder.
But you tell them that the government is spying on them? Well, no biggie! They do that to everyone, and it’s to stop Terr’ists™.
What seems to happen is that people think of it as an either/or question:
1. The government has to watch everyone
2. The Terr’ists™ among us will kill us all.
It rarely seems to occur to us that this reactionary spying is caving into what the terrorists want. When you live in constant fear of being killed going about your everyday life, then, to turn a phrase, the terrorists have won.
When you have the NSA doing elaborate legalistic acrobatics to say that seizing phone records, passwords, bank information, is not “unreasonable search and seizure” because it’s not on paper, that’s some bull.
So where does it stop?
Submitted by: kellanium
So, when you thank me for my service, it disturbs me … a lot. First off, it brings to mind my wasted youth and lost innocence, and the horrible and unnecessary deaths of good friends and comrades.
Second, it reminds me of my responsibility and culpability for the pain and suffering I caused innocent people, again something I would rather forget, but cannot.
Third, it reinforces my belief that you have absolutely no idea about the nature and reality of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, because if you did, you would understand that thanks are inappropriate.
Fourth, it reminds me that many of those who feel the need to offer thanks were apathetic about - or even supportive of - the war, while they refuse to participate themselves or did little or nothing to end it.
And lastly, I have to admit that I doubt the sincerity of these expressions of supposed gratitude, as “Thank you for your service” is just something to say not because you care about what I did or sacrificed, but only to demonstrate your supposed good character, or patriotism and/or “support” for members of the military and veterans.
Camillo ”Mac” Bica, PhD, "Don’t thank me for my service"
Camillo is a professor of philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is a former Marine Corps officer, Vietnam veteran, longtime activist for peace and social justice, and the coordinator of the Long Island Chapter of Veterans for Peace.
What Obama has specialized in from the beginning of his presidency is putting pretty packaging on ugly and discredited policies. The cosmopolitan, intellectualized flavor of his advocacy makes coastal elites and blue state progressives instinctively confident in the Goodness of whatever he’s selling, much as George W. Bush’s swaggering, evangelical cowboy routine did for red state conservatives. The CIA presciently recognized this as a valuable asset back in 2008 when they correctly predicted that Obama’s election would stem the tide of growing antiwar sentiment in western Europe by becoming the new, more attractive face of war, thereby converting hordes of his admirers from war opponents into war supporters. This dynamic has repeated itself over and over in other contexts, and has indeed been of great value to the guardians of the status quo in placating growing public discontent about their economic insecurity and increasingly unequal distribution of power and wealth. However bad things might be, we at least have a benevolent, kind-hearted and very thoughtful leader doing everything he can to fix it.
Glenn Greenwald, Obama’s terrorism speech: Seeing what you want to see