The US military has been falling short of its recruiting goals by huge margins. This shortage is undoubtedly due to the rising opposition to the current war from soldiers and military families specifically, and the US public more generally, as well as to the fact casualties continue to rise despite the promise long ago that this war would be a “cakewalk.” Of course, this news is not covered by the mainstream media. Nor does the MSM cover the rising number of conscientious objectors.
Thus, recruiters have had to ramp up their tactics. This includes visiting elementary schools to sell the war message, putting firing ranges on public high school campuses, and delivering personal calls to likely candidates-who, due to the wealth/race inequality of the US, are often young people of color. As the analysis of Fernando Suarez del Solar reveals, the recruitment and subsequent death of his young son are not an aberration, but part of recruitment tactics aimed at securing young bodies of color to enlist as war fodder.
Related to expanding military recruitment initiatives are the stories and images the MSM sell to the public so that our era of infinite war can continue. The administration delivers such messages via its mass media mouthpiece, selling its war machine to the US populace by disembodying the war on the one hand and championing ‘macho’ American power on the other. For this infinite war and the accompanying corporatization, militarization, and hypermasculinization it engenders to successfully continue, we need only continue to believe that what the mainstream media offers us as ‘news’ and to buy into the disembodying rhetoric of war that so successfully numbs us to the real human costs.
Should we decide to end this war, on the other hand, we need to start paying attention, to seek out real news in those places it is still being published, and to widely and loudly voice our dissent. We need to pay attention to the human bodies killed, injured, raped, made homeless and country-less by this war. We need to pay attention to the ways the MSM attempts to divert us from caring about putting an end to this unjust war. As war theorist Cynthia Enloe reminds us, “Inattention is a political act.” As such, we must ask ourselves: do we want to continue on our current trend of criminal inattention, or do we want to wake up and smell the war?
If you choose to wake up, here are a few useful authors and cites with which to (further) educate yourself about this criminal US war:
Authors and activists:
- Carol Cohn
- Cynthia Enloe
- Cindy Sheehan
- Fernando Suarez del Solar
- Arundhati Roy
- Tom Engelhardt
Websites and blogs:
These are just a few — please add your suggestions in comments if you wish! And, have a peaceful, peace building weekend!