8 thoughts on “Seriously, Have We Lost Our Soul?

  1. Thanks to the exposure of this story by KDKA, the Army has corrected the problem for this soldier. It should never have happened, but was the result of a bureaucratic error.

    Any other soldier who has errantly received notification that they have to pay back their signing bonus after a line-of-duty injury-related medical discharge should call the Army’s Wounded Soldier and Family Support Hotline at 1-800-984-8523 in order to reverse the charges.

  2. Aunt B., I suggest reading Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine.” In one chapter of the book (the one I’m reading now) she has begun to explain how the Pentagon has been overtaken by the sort of genocidal technocrats who were once held in check by the Cold War.

    To answer your question, this country has never had one soul or spirit. It has always been hosting a battle between the values of fairness and egalitarianism and the forces of greed and hatred.* The latter forces have always been dominant in our foreign policy; that’s why the CIA exists and that’s why we have a standing military. But our more avaricious tendencies were held somewhat in check not only because of the threat posed by the Soviet Union, but also by the alternative the USSR and communism appeared to offer to many fledgling, post-colonial states. When the Bolshevik and Maoist permutations of communism collapsed or mutated, the U.S. was left with no opposition. The imperialist military-industrial complex that had steadily built itself into a global powerhouse and domestic political and economic juggernaut wasn’t just going to go away.**

    This leads me back to your original point, Aunt B. The reason these soldiers are getting screwed is because they’re just numbers in the corporate military complex. The Rumsfeld Pentagon is run by the aforementioned genocidal technocrats, and they are sociopathic armchair warriors who believe in a streamlined, heavily privatized military. They are corporate-minded, and what is the first thing corporations do when they want to cut costs and fatten the bottom line? They fuck over labor, which in this case means abusing and discarding both the active duty troops and the reserves (especially the reserves, since they come cheaper).

    *For the benefit of those who are likely to misinterpret my meaning, let me elaborate on this statement: I believe this dynamic is not a black-and-white struggle. That is to say, it is not as simple as some people being purely greedy and hateful and some people being fair and generous. Human beings are rarely, if ever, that simple. Often these forces are struggling within individuals and situations.

    **Remember how Clinton was lambasted for ‘hating’ the military and trying to downsize it? He was not guilty of that charge, but if you read Klein you’ll understand what that noise was all about.

  3. Pingback: Good News for My Military Readers! « Tiny Cat Pants

  4. Eh, CS, I would say that having spies and a standing army isn’t necessarily a sign of greed and soullessness. Spies and armies are signs of being a state in the modern world. It’s what the states does with them and how they are allowed/ordered to operate that are going to fall on one side or the other of the divide you mention.

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