Like others in my generation, I remember proudly the response of the American people to the war in Vietnam. I remember the marches, the sit-ins, the protests. I remember the small Midwestern liberal arts college I first attended deciding to shut itself down as its students readied to pour into the nation’s capital and I remember being tear gassed in Berkeley.
Vietnam pales in magnitude when compared with the military actions launched by the US since the turn of the century. Since 2000, US troops have fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
War, no longer an anomaly, has become common fare.
The virulence of the US government is increasingly evident towards its own people. In certain arenas, and against certain kinds of people, the US has become brutally aggressive against its own citizens.
The response by the people of the United States to its continuing incursions abroad has been colorless, to say the least. No schools shut down, no massive mobilizations on Washington, no general strikes. As far as the domestic violence goes, the response is equally bland. One might posit that the people of the US have become accustomed to their bellicose government.
In light of the history of protest, how does one account for the muted response of the American people? …
Hasn’t she heard? There’s a WAR ON TERROR and a WAR ON WARMING and a WAR ON DRUGS and a WAR ON RUSSIAN AGGRESSION and a WAR ON UNRULY FORESKINS and a WAR ON DISORDERLY BIRTH and a WAR ON RECALCITRANT CHILDREN ….. There’s no time to think! Seek out and obey your state-sanctioned authority figures!