by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
– Major General Smedley Butler, War is a Racket (1935)
Yesterday’s post, Empire Destroying Wars Are Coming to America Under Trump – Part 1, outlined my view that President Donald Trump, despite campaign slogans to focus on “America First,” is likely to entangle the nation in major new wars which will precipitate a chaotic and dangerous collapse of U.S. empire.
I base this view on his actions since coming into office, as well as the bloodthirsty war hawks he’s increasingly turning to for advice, with Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton being the most concerning of all. Today’s post will dig into how Trump will attempt to sell his wars, and will also address the role corporate media is likely to play in the legitimization of any future destructive conflagration.
To understand how Trump will attempt to rally his base to support another idiotic overseas conflict, all we have to do is look at his recent obsession with promoting fake patriotism via the NFL national anthem controversy. As I noted in the recent post, Thoughts on Trump, Fake Patriotism and ‘Taking a Knee’:
When I look at Trump’s commentary and tweets in aggregate one thing becomes crystal clear. Trump is trying to redefine America and what it means to be a patriot in superficial and jingoistic terms. He’s essentially grooming his supporters into thinking that worshipping a piece of fabric is what separates those who love this country from those who hate it and want to destroy it. By making this about a symbol as opposed to the ideas that this symbol represents, he allows his supporters to feel they are a part of “taking America back” while not even remotely comprehending what the country is actually all about. It’s like losing weight while eating whatever you want, all you have to do is vomit afterwards. Trump is essentially conditioning his supporters to follow him as he regurgitates all over the Constitution, because as long as they stay true to a piece of fabric or song, they honor the country. Patriotism made easy.
Which is why what Trump did here is the most dangerous thing he’s done since becoming President. He’s using an issue that existed and was already divisive as a way to redefine what patriotism means in America. It’s no longer about free speech, the right to privacy and the rest of it, but rather patriotism now revolves around a song and a flag. A societal embrace of this sort of fake patriotism is how horrible things happen, and I hope most Trump voters are wise enough to see this.
In case you haven’t noticed, Trump isn’t dropping the NFL thing, which makes me even more convinced I’m on to something. If he can convince his diehard supporters and other segments of the U.S. population that patriotism is as simple as flag worship versus adherence to our founding principles, he can surely convince them to support anther stupid war because it’d be unpatriotic not to.
This is precisely why I focused on the NFL issue a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think it’s a distraction at all, rather, I think it’s part of a much larger campaign to get his supporters to accept President Trump as the arbiter of what’s considered patriotic and what isn’t. Today it’s standing for the national anthem, tomorrow it’ll be whether or not you support a new crazy military adventure. He’s preemptively conditioning his groupies to follow him into cataclysm and cheer their own destruction along the way. Mike Pence was a willing participant in this manufacturing of fake patriotism over the weekend via his cheap stunt at the Colts game.
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