Sunday Sermon: Shooting Back

(Content Warning: war, death)

I’m going to begin today’s sermon with a transcript from a podcast I recently heard. It’s David Wood, speaking at Politics and Prose on “What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars.” Wood’s view is that wars can cause “Moral Injury” – a sort of post-traumatic stress disorder to our sense of right and wrong. The bit that stuck in my mind, which I went back and replayed and bookmarked, was an example that he gave – an example that is very typical of the experiences of many soldiers:

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Gear is No Substitute For Competence

Content warning: War, Death, Violent imagery.

The other day I posted about the Iraqi army advance on Mosul, and observed that one of the vehicles in the picture appeared to be a US-made M-1 Abrams main battle tank.

I didn’t think that, at $5 million apiece, and still being fairly high-tech, the US would let gear like that out into the wild. TL;DR: I hadn’t realized how badly the warmongers in Washington have been screwing up.

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A Blip

A few years ago, I read a book about the big terrorist bombing in New York. You know, the one in 1920. And it got me interested in the turmoil of the time – a time when, largely due to the depression, Americans were realizing that capitalism wasn’t quite their friend after all. So I wound up reading about the bonus army and how they were suppressed with cavalry and tanks commanded by heroes.

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Pay More Get Less

Conservatives will tell you they favor small government, reduced taxes, and traditional social values. Oddly, in the US today, that somehow translates into “there is no amount of money that is too large to spend on the military.”  We’re treated to a constant barrage of pleas for financial assistance from the pentagon, particularly, and its bootlickers, in general, in spite of the pentagon’s claiming it doesn’t have any way to tell where the money is going. Basically, the taxpayers are pouring money into a bucket that has the bottom knocked out, and the crooks holding the bucket keep shouting “It’s EMPTY! Pour FASTER!”

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What Do You Mean “We Don’t Know What We Did With The Money?!?!?”

As we charge forward to the quadrennial “Changing Of The Oligarchy” ritual, one topic that remains off the talking points is: ‘defense’ spending. Some candidates favor spending vastly more, others slightly less, but none of them appear to be serious about adjusting the money-valve from the ‘full on, locked’ position.

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