Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Greatest Stock Market Crash Of Your Life Is Just Ahead… – Warns Harry Dent - GoldCore
2.Budget 2016: Borrowing, Lifetime ISA, House Prices, Economy, Syria, Brexit and Stocks - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold Price Intermediate Top - Clive_Maund
4.Brussels Terror Attacks, Death of the European Union, BrExit Wake up Call - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Stock Market Maybe This Time is Different? - Tony_Caldaro
6.UK House Asking Prices Break Above £300k! Housing Market Paralysis - Nadeem_Walayat
7.A Big Reason Why Silver Price Is Set To Soar - Hubert_Moolman
8.The Financial Crisis Has Just Begun; Is The American Dream Is Over? - Chris_Vermeulen
9.Gold Stocks Spring Rally - Zeal_LLC
10.GLX, GLDX, Baby Gold Bull Market Stillborn? - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Gold Commitments of Traders and More - 1st May 16
The Magic of Gold Ratio Charts - 1st May 16
Consensus Forming: China Heading Back Into Financial Crisis - 30th Apr 16
The Next Technical Price Targets for Gold & Silver - 30th Apr 16
Stock Market Downtrend Should be Underway - 30th Apr 16
Gold And Silver – A Clarion Alarm Call For All Paper Assets - 30th Apr 16
US Economic Statistics LIES, LIES AND OMG, MORE LIES - 30th Apr 16
Stock Market Strong Elliott Wave Relationship is Developing - 29th Apr 16
Fed's Kaplan: Brexit to Factor in US June Interest Rate Decision - 29th Apr 16
Silver Miners Strong in Grim Q4 - 29th Apr 16
Is Silver a better bet than Gold in the Near Future? - 29th Apr 16
How to Use the CoT Report in Gold Investing? - 29th Apr 16
Sri Lanka is Intriguing: Areas to Consider for Value Investing - 29th Apr 16
Gold “Chart of The Decade” – Maths Suggest $10,000 Per Ounce Says Rickards - 29th Apr 16
Are We or Are We Not in a New Gold Bull Market? - 29th Apr 16
Silver: The “Five Year Plan” and the Great Leap Forward - 28th Apr 16
Michael Hudson: The Wall Street Economy Has Taken Over The Economy and Is Draining It! - 28th Apr 16
AUD/USD - Trend Reversal or Just a Bigger Pullback? - 28th Apr 16
A Gold Revaluation Could Transform Your Financial Status - Overnight - 28th Apr 16
Monetary Policies Misunderstood - 28th Apr 16
Gold Bullion vs Gold Miners - 28th Apr 16
OECD Suggests BrExit Would Cut Net Migration by 1.2 Million by 2030 - 28th Apr 16
MP Naz Shah Punished for Tweets Made During Israel's Genocide of Gaza Palestinian People - 28th Apr 16
Global Recession in 2016 and Beyond - The Obvious Evidence - 27th Apr 16
Why Gold Bugs Need to Stop Listening to The Fear Mongers and Start Thinking for a Change - 27th Apr 16
BlackRock’s Fink: Fed to Raise Interest Rates by Quarter Point ‘at Best’ - 27th Apr 16
Gold More Productive Than Cash?! - 27th Apr 16
Donald Trump Will Fire Janet Yellen and Be Trapped - 27th Apr 16
Money Saving Gardening by Propagating Roses From Cuttings - Propagating Rose Plants Over 2.5 Years - 27th Apr 16
Facebook Censors Pro Trump and Negative Hillary News - 27th Apr 16
This is the Era of the Democrats and Your Taxes are Going Up - 27th Apr 16
Long Awaited Gold Price Breakout - 26th Apr 16
Crude Oil Price Double Top or Further Rally? - 26th Apr 16
Madness in the Crimex Gold and Silver Trading Pits - 26th Apr 16
Britain's Prospects: GBP and BREXIT - MAP Wave Analysis - 26th Apr 16
CRB, Gold, Oil, Cotton, Coffee - 7 Must See Commodities Charts - 26th Apr 16
Gold Price Target is $3,000 and Silver is $75 per Ounce - 25th Apr 16
Parameters for a Stock Market Sell Signal-in-the-making - 25th Apr 16
Stock Market Dangerous Divergence - 25th Apr 16
Gold Miners Nub is the Sweat of the Sun - 24th Apr 16
US Dollar Price Forecast - 24th Apr 16
Stock Market Upside Objective Reached - 24th Apr 16
Why Leftist Greeks have more reasons than Liberals to favour Entrepreneurship and Support Entrepreneurs - 24th Apr 16
The Dow Jones is a Catalyst for Misplaced Stock Market Optimism - 24th Apr 16
Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft and Ships - 24th Apr 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Catching a Falling Financial Knife

Notes from the New War Generation

Politics / US Politics Feb 15, 2013 - 10:57 PM GMT

By: Submissions

Politics

I was born in 1991. I’ve lived over half my life in a nation at war.

Starting in 2001, when I was just ten years old, the War on Terror and it’s two biggest projects to date, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, have shaped my view of war as a regular facet of life, a part of being an American. It’s just something that we do. This puts me in an unfortunately un-special class of about 90 million U.S. citizens who can lay claim to this bitter benchmark, one that grows each year as more blood is shed and lives torn apart in the fog of perpetual war. Though we’ve seen no bombs fall or bullets fired in front of our eyes, we are most certainly a product of war’s specter, albeit in a different sense than our grandparents were.


After World War I, World War II, and Vietnam, millions of soldiers returned from Europe and Asia shaken from the decimation of modern warfare. With each of these wars, the US government mobilized our country for war to such a degree that even those who did not fight knew someone who did. As the flag-draped coffins came back every day, Americans felt deeply, personally impacted by the human cost of war. Today, the pain of losing a loved one is as real as it ever was, but the proportion of the population that feels it has shrunk, as the demographics of our military has generally shifted to America’s rural—and too often working-class and working-poor—communities.

For most Americans, our most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not been as present.

I see of some of the effects of war at home, to be sure: full body scans at the airport; the cultural persecution of Muslim-Americans; and the thousands of veterans, returned home to their families, hardened externally and softened internally by the truth of an eleven-year battle. But effects on the ‘home front’ of this war are often unseen. We talk about the Patriot Act, about warrantless wiretapping under FISA and the general stripping of civil liberties that has taken place in the name of stopping terrorism, but these things are intangible to many U.S. citizens. With each year that passes, I worry that, for myself and millions of others, these losses will cease to truly be seen as losses, and simply become the new normal.

The War on Terror
I also know that a percentage of the money I’ve given to the federal government has gone towards the continuation and expansion of this global war on terror. In the first ten years of this diffuse war, the U.S. spent over $7.6 trillion on defense and homeland security, with $1.36 trillion of that going to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. God only knows how much has been spent in the drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. So where did my contribution go, specifically? An aid package for Afghani refugees? A young soldier’s first assault rifle? Questions without answers beget more questions without answers, and eventually melancholy. What I do know is that the money I have given to the federal government fuels the war machine, and does not directly help the people on the ground.

Even the dead become abstractions, number puppets used as food for debate. We know exactly how many of our country’s daughters and sons have been lost since that day eleven years ago, but any more information than that is just a guessing game. The estimates for a civilian death toll in Iraq hovers around 115,000, and civilian casualties in the Afghan War’s numbers are so disputed that no agency has even bothered to make a serious estimate of its overall death toll.

But physician and Harvard professor Paul Farmer may have put my feelings best in 2005 when he said, “Where, in the midst of all of these numbers, is the human face of suffering?”

What is adult life without war? For me, it probably would not be much different. If I am honest with myself, I’m often more concerned with finding a job that pays a living wage than trying stopping an intractable, perpetual war that’s mostly taken place out of sight and mind since it began—not for lack of empathy, but out of necessity. Even if I did try, recent history would be a cynical haymaker to any idealism I might have; millions turned out to protest the Iraq War in 2003 before it even began, to no effect. Despite a growth in public opinion that the war in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Pakistan should end, both continue to this day.

That which I do know only reinforces a reticent cynicism within me—reticent, because I generally try to look at the problems facing our country with an open mind and an optimistic (if naïve) hope that they can be worked out. But we live in an age of immediate analysis, communication, and reflection. Despite one war ending just over one year ago and another still happening, it seems possible that more has already been written about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than any other war in U.S. history, including what may amount to millions of articles, blog posts, academic studies, government and NGO reports, and more.

The wealth of information is there about the effects of war; some of it helpful, some of it speculative, some of it contradictory, most of it incapable of reversing the trend of nihilistic, postcolonial annihilation known as modern warfare.

The changing demographics of our society make me hopeful. Although I I have grown up in a political climate of constant loggerheads, revolving doors, disputed elections, financial crisis, and never-ending war, I am also part of the most diverse generation in our nation’s history. My generation is the first to truly have a globalized, instantaneous form of communication, and is, perhaps un-coincidentally, the most left-leaning generation in decades.

I cannot claim to know what conflict the years ahead will bring. Maybe war with Iran, or Pakistan? Perhaps the Syrian Civil War, Greece’s broad meltdown of social institutions, governmental instability in North Africa, and the violent, ongoing hum of the Israel-Palestine conflict will send the Mediterranean into full-blown chaos? Hopefully, none of these things will happen. At whatever juncture we come to, only one thing is certain: For the first time in the lives of those 90 million young Americans, it will truly be our war, failures, consequences, and all.

By A.N. Awn

http://bostonoccupier.com

Copyright © 2013 A.N. Awn - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife