Surging in America – militarization of the civilian

When I read articles by ex-military who are concerned about how deeply the Pentagon has become entrench within the civilian world I know that others see the same mission creep that I do.

Surging in America

“I’ve been out of the military for nearly a decade, and yet I feel more militarized today than when I wore a uniform.  That feeling first came over me in 2007, during what was called the “Iraqi surge” — the sending of another 30,000 U.S. troops into the quagmire that was our occupation of that country. It prompted my first article for TomDispatch.  I was appalled by the way our civilian commander-in-chief, George W. Bush, hid behind the beribboned chest of his appointed surge commander, General David Petraeus, to justify his administration’s devolving war of choice in Iraq.  It seemed like the eerie visual equivalent of turning traditional American military-civilian relationships upside down, of a president who had gone over to the military.  And it worked.  A cowed Congress meekly submitted to “King David” Petraeus and rushed to cheer his testimony in support of further American escalation in Iraq.”

. . .

Too few Americans see any problems in any of this, which shouldn’t surprise us.  After all, they’re already recruits themselves.  And if the prospect of all this does appall you, you can’t even burn your draft card in protest, so better to salute smartly and obey.  A good conduct medal will undoubtedly be coming your way soon.”

For a long time most of us probably didn’t that the NSA is a U.S. military operation. The NSA is just part of the mission creep toward a full military dictatorship. Oh really – could the U.S. go down that path? If we look at the fact that the military spy agencies are rewriting the “Freedom” act so that data collection will slide to the side of everything collected rather than reinforcing our fourth Amendment rights to privacy –  yes Houston we have a problem. See for her ongoing analysis of what she calls the Freedumb act.

Our police forces have or are being militarized by the Federal government aka Homeland InSecurity. Cops kill unarmed civilians and it is rare that the offenders face any real consequences for their action – even when they are caught on tape beating someone to death. No accountability – just like the troops in a war zone. In fact some cops claim they need military style armor because they are in a war zone. Meaning that the militarization message has reached the cop leadership. When babies sleeping in their cribs or beds in the U.S. are not safe – like the war zone of Iraq or Afghanistan – we have a problem. When the top cop says that his troops did no wrong when they harmed a baby – we have a problem. When anyone is shot down in their own home – cops got the wrong address – we have a problem. Our forefathers grew intolerant of the British Red Coats breaking into colonists homes over 200 years ago.

The problem with the militarization of the police force along with no accountability for excessive force is that the divide between us vs them is getting wider. As a military brat I saw the them vs us in the civilian off base schools I attended. I’m wondering if the children of cops see the same divide? Well we don’t live in Mayberry any more.

First thing we need to get rid of this war mentality. War on drugs should be a medical issue. Addiction is a medical issue. Look at the legal “drug” tobacco and the addictive power of that weed? The grass root movement toward the legalization of marijuana is the direction our country should be going. I’m allergic to smoke of any kind so I am not making this argument for myself.

If cops really believe that they are at war with all civilians then why not call a cease fire on one of the wars? Then we all need to find a way to heal our country from the decades long war.  How to stop the mission creep of the military? How about combining the military forces into one branch – get rid of the redundancy and overlap in the military, industrial, spy complex. Get the military out of the spying on civilians business. Human being aren’t perfect. There will still be crime. There will still be con men, robbery, assault, rape – all the crimes that have happened will continue – so cops are necessary. However the war on all citizens attitude has got to stop. Not all citizens are the enemy. Laws need to be evaluated and rewritten so that some sort of fairness and accountability is evident. Laws need to be understandable by all – in other words written in English (with appropriate translations). Sounds nice but unlikely to ever happen.


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