Congratulations to all those who’ve graduated from American service academies commissioned as second lieutenants or ensigns. Americans are thankful you’ve chosen to be professional military leaders who’ll command forces defending these shores.
While the above is the preferred job description, their profession encompasses the less savory demands of our modern capitalist republic. These United States no longer face adversaries which threaten its being. Therefore, any taking up defense of this super state is a misstatement.
Not since the Roaring Twenties have our armed forces been so intricately bound with corporate interests. Even during Vietnam there had been some pretense of halting the nefarious spread of nationalism mistaken as communism. It was just right place, right time luck that DuPont and Bell Helicopter reaped fantastic profits. What had once been a straight-forward picket of sovereignty is now far more protection and expansion of the super state’s great overseas mercantile concerns.
Our enlistees don’t function as praetorians. Given the draft’s demise and their volunteer nature, they serve as mercenaries of a sort who keep air and sea lanes open. Those wearing our nation’s insignia on their blouses also occasionally subdue wayward foreigners in order to maintain barge-in access to markets whose raw resources are vital to Western consumers.
Today’s troops are successors to the cynical, puttees and campaign hat wearing, interwar forces who brought banana republics to heel. Except now oil, and eventually precious elements, is the loot, not fruit.
In his commencement speech to West Point graduates, James Mattis, Donald Trump’s defense secretary, made a fatuous remark affirming as well as illuminating America’s blindness and deficiencies regarding threats to Western Civilization. The retired marine general insisted that the newly-minted officers would somehow provide a bulwark against what the rest of us can freely call radical Islam. Indeed, radical Islam is a menace which seeks to punish the West, not just the United States.
Unless the graduates speak proficient Arabic, are well-versed in Islam, possess acute deductive skills, can sift through mounds of intelligence shards that will construct a recognizable vase, they and those commanded shall be useless against opponents seething to inflict jihad upon us.
First and foremost, can the freshly-minted interpret the opposition as they are? Or will they continue the myopic line of misinterpreting them as we wish to see those asymmetrically arrayed against us?
Only police departments and intelligence agencies can blunt most of the assaults against civil society by religious zealots.
When I still lived and worked in Metropolitan New York, I was always skeptical seeing a military presence augment the city’s duly-sworn law officers in a transport hub such as Grand Central Terminal. A thicker deterrent might’ve dissuaded those whose causes pushed political goals instead of hungering for martyrdom.
A political group whose members wanted to survive and see their ideology take root and bloom. For instance the IRA and FARC.
Such cadres intended sacrificing much, though not their lives. They wanted to glory in the deliverance of their handiwork. Based on perverted Islam as they have, radical Muslims have assured themselves no sacrifice too great for faith because they will reap ultimate vindication through generous reward in the hereafter.
Not only do dead-enders crowding the holy warrior ranks have zero compunction about killing, but even less reluctance regarding dying. Generally we Westerners value life. We put a premium on living. The torments we’ve aroused and our hubris have unleashed upon us don’t view tomorrow with our same considerable relish.
Rather than seeing the next day possibly improving, tomorrow is just another anguish date on an agony treadmill. As nebulously sweet as a fork-tongued imam can present, how could “paradise” not be an infinitely preferable place to reside?
Anyway, back to the empty might inside Grand Central.
While the spear carriers added to the cast of security theater production doubtlessly soothed the easily spooked and just as naively calmed, anybody with a grasp of what Westerners consider Islam’s lunatic fringe sadly saw the additional protection as potentially more meat for the grinder.
The more infidels such believers can blast to smithereens on the way to paradise, um, more meat for the grinder, the greater the glory. Of course for Westerners there is no rational comprehending that. Which is why the puzzle must be solved from the other side’s clues.
Gorier than mere grist for the mill, didn’t the former usage emerge from World War I, a conflict whose centenary America only started commemorating this year? Eventually hearing Der Trump speechify about an epoch that put the United States on the global stage will really test holding simultaneous opposing thoughts since the vile pig has just recently taken steps which withdraw us from those same boards.
An Expressionist painter, Otto Dix maybe, no, George Grosz, splattered hues the color of blood and viscera on a canvases based on the above theme. Left to the Der Trump we may have a revival of Expressionism that derives from beastly conduct and our horror to it.
If massive shows of force fail dissuading terrorists, the demonstrations do compel the more reasonable among them to exhibit second thoughts. Ideology-based organizations seek inflicting the deepest misery while sparing themselves the least amounts of the same. Islam’s Holy Warriors have already counted themselves as expendable. They see us as thoroughly without value.
So an officer barking commands or threats at such a weaponized human wastes his or her breath.
In fact, doesn’t that walking IED, through his manner invite the officer to come closer, to join him in nihilism? Theirs will become a perfect collision of opposites, one between the hell-bent and the servant who pledged to protect.
Each becomes a member of their respective camps’ honored dead.