Nobody Cares About Dead Soldiers: Patriotism and the Bolstering of National Security Policy

John Glaser, June 15, 2012

There is a society-wide civic dogma which props up the warfare state, and its conspicuous dishonesty is on full, naked display.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that US soldiers home from the war in Afghanistan are killing themselves at a rate of one per day. According to Pentagon numbers, “154 military service members committed suicide during the first 155 days of this year.” And “During the same period,” the article continued, “136 U.S. troops died in combat in Afghanistan.”

This week, the 2,000th US soldier died in Afghanistan.

According to the dogma – often described as patriotism or nationalism – ordinary Americans across the country should be livid. The dogma doesn’t imply that any of them should care about the vastly more numerous Afghans that have been killed and suffer unimaginably as a result of Washington’s savage decade-long war. They are the un-people. But the civic dogma, which claims to support the troops, does indeed suggest that daily suicides by our valorous army men warrants attention and outrage.

Notably (yet unsurprisingly), such attention and outrage is absent. This indicates the central falsehood of the civic dogma. It is clear that, for most citizens, supporting the troops is only important on the way into war. When national security policy is questioned by the minority who see it for the abomination it is, that is when the civic dogma matters most – not when troops are killing themselves and continuously dying in a war that not even the war-mongers seem to think worthwhile.

Patriotism and nationalism, close relatives of our natural human tendencies, are now handed down to us from above. The powerful revel in its magic: citizens believe fervently that “America” does good abroad and that soldiers defend our freedoms, and the helpful corollary is that national security policy is insulated from any harsh criticism. Those lives that our brave men and women in uniform end mercilessly don’t get talked about too much. Hypocrisy on a global scale is papered over. This civic dogma is accentuated when it is empowering and bolstering the state and its sustenance, but is absent when those glorious ones who have committed themselves to killing on the orders of Washington are in bad shape.

(h/t Dafina Mulaj)




20 Responses to “Nobody Cares About Dead Soldiers: Patriotism and the Bolstering of National Security Policy”

  1. When I see Obama, Bush, Clinton and Co. in uniform taking point and getting blown to bits for "the team" then and only then might I believe there is something worth fighting for. As they never get their tender hands dirty, nor sully their conscience with images unworthy of a demi-god, I can only say, To hell with them all".

  2. Tell it Glas – torch 'em good with it.

  3. Much TRUTH in the article. Seems that the silence is probably due to becoming "conditioned" into an ongoing war state , supported by propaganda …..while thousands die and are left to suffer in a destroyed nation. How many more years will they "justify" their activity in such acts of destruction and play it as if there is benefit to them??

  4. PS…..History is filled with atrocities done in the name of "nationalism" and "national security". One is meant to tug at the emotions, while the other is designed to keep said population in a constant state of low (or varying) grade fear. Fearmongering has been very successful through the ages….and continues to be so today. We all see living proof of it when we observe the radical changes in the US.

  5. How do Americans forget what happened on 9/11? I’ve been there three times. I am now disabled but would suit up and return if asked. Stop making MY SACRAFICE stand for your whining.

  6. Not surprising, in that "supporting the troops" is nothing more than an empty slogan, endlessly regurgitated by an over-indoctrinated Amoricon public utterly incapable of the critical thought required to make it actually mean anything. To actually "support the troops," as in caring for them after they're no longer useful as cannon fodder for Big Brother, requires John and Jane Q. Public to face up to the ugly realities of what they've allowed in their names. It would also make them put their proverbial money where their loud, ignorant mouths are, getting them neck-deep in the aftermath of their beloved Amerikan warmongering (can you imagine John and Jane being forced to spend time in a VA hospital with someone rendered unrecognizable by an IED?).

    No, the only time John and Jane Q. Amoricon become enlivened over the issue of PTSD and its lethal after-affects is if the violence is directed outward, toward them. Then, far from apathy, their reaction is one of "lock'em up and throw away the key!"

    Thus it's been since 1775, thus it will always be.

  7. Surely there is some truth to what you say.

    But nowadays, when Israel Firsters run US war policy and virtually nobody from their little tribe is to be found in the US military (not to say these "Americans" do not sometimes appear in the IDF), the disconnect between those implementing the policy and those tasked with carrying it out is greater than ever

  8. Seems that when PEACE becomes as "lucrative" as WAR……only then will things truly change. And to think that Obama got the Nobel Peace prize. ( his duration as prez has been a continuous war , with new "interventions" considered all the time. What is wrong with that picture??

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  10. I've said much the same for a long time now, and like most other truths, I am more often hated for it than commended. Even when the majority of people came to loathe the war and the warmongers who support it, that didn't change anyone's mind. No matter that I — and many others out there — said it from the beginning, and continue to say it.

  11. IMHO…..it matters little that some resort to hatred and rage towards the TRUTHS that have become more obvious with each passing day , regardless of the BS the propaganda machine spews. If that is all they can offer is "hate" of truth tellers, their insecuriities are such that even psychotherapy might not help. They for the most part have been brainwashed by the slogan oriented society where the mind is exposed and absorbs the propaganda sound bites much easier and faster than real THOUGHTS and IDEAS , let alone QUESTIONS. For some to question is too intimidating as they are too afraid of being non conformist . For them it is the line of least resistance.

  12. To not react with outrage might then lead one to the realization that the country they so love (and most honestly do love this country) has become a global tyrant that slaughters all those that refuse to bow it its will. That's not a comforting thought when you have tied your very identity to The State. The "Proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men that died that gave that right to me"-crowd can't fathom the idea that the United States goverment is approaching evil on par with the 3rd Reich.

    It's also tied to the symbols of the state such as when it's mentioned that someone burned a flag. The reaction is one of collective ownership and violence. "Tha'ts OUR flag and if you burn it I have the right to beat you up" .

  13. Locally there was some vocal reaction to some vets that had the temerity to fly Old Glory upside down near the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall. Which brings up another thing. Am I the only one that seems an almost pagan-like reverence for when this "moving wall" comes to town? Motorcades, solemn ceremonies and reverence on the order of idol worship, it all seems to follow this wall

  14. Peace IS more lucrative than war. The problem is, lucrative peace, which over the long run is infinitely more wealth-generating and wealth-sustaining than war's destructive madness, requires non-violence and voluntary cooperation – two things that are anathema to the power-drunk psychopaths who have ruled human civilization (if you can call it that) for the last several thousand years. Unless or until we rid ourselves of this psychopath class, preferably through peaceful means, we'll never experience the "peace as enduring prosperity" paradigm in action. Given human nature, I'm not optimistic about the long term.

  15. Maybe we should ship the contents of our VA hospitals that has accumulated over the last ten years to Tel Aviv and let the marionette masters deal directly with the consequences and costs of their machinations. I hear that their main military medical center in Tel Aviv (their equivalent of our Bethesda or Walter Reed) is a fairly decent, modern facility, but I doubt it will remain that way once several tens of thousands of new additions from across the Atlantic start flooding it.

  16. Nope, you're not alone and you're not off the mark in your observation. It's happening EVERYWHERE in the UFSA, whenever and wherever anything even remotely military in theme comes up or takes place. The paganist worship of all people and all things military is escalating to levels that I doubt characterized even the Third Reich at its most strident and militaristic. It's an inexcusable phenomenon for a nation supposedly based on republican ideals and whose laws are supposedly based on the natural law and the rights of man.

  17. America exists only for War…

  18. "America exists only for War… "

    that certainly seems to be the case. All one has to do is examine its history. The periods of time when america has NOT been at war or in a war or starting a war are few , short and far between. It is hypocritial for it to claim that it is a country of and for peace. NOT TRUE.
    People talk about loving their country……AS IF THAT APPLIES ONLY TO THE US inhabitants. again: NOT TRUE. Most people love the country they live in and see its flaws and its positives in an objective manner. As objective as mankind can be. The difference is that the US propganda machine literally indoctrinates its population into an extreme form of nationalistic "pride" . and all that goes with it. Since when was excessive PRIDE a constructive quality. ?? It blinds one to the realities of the truth.

    BTW: Some very exellent thoughts posted on here. Refreshing to read and learn from.

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