With only a few days left to the start of a new year, the majority of the mainstream media and blog-o-sites are busy preparing and displaying either a roundup of major highlights of the past year or predictions on the highlights of the coming year. The Boiling Frogs Post will be doing neither. This is not due to being a contrarian. Okay, to make it more accurate: this is not solely due to me being a contrarian. I may include a few macro highlights, but those highlights cover a much larger time span. I am looking at least a few decades in the past with an emphasis on the last decade. Similarly, I may make a prediction or two, but then again, those won’t be limited to the coming year but rather the coming few years.
Now, if you are getting in a holly jolly mood and don’t want to ruin it, just skip this post. Either don’t read it, or, save it for after the jolly holiday break. However, if you are like me and are able to reflect on grim realities yet enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones, then please be my guest and read this yearend post.
The Expanding Wars at Home & Abroad
Let’s start by saying: “So what’s new? Same-O-Same-O” and be right, shall we? I am not talking about this almost-over year. I am talking about the year before, and the year before that, the decade before, and the decades before that. When was the last time we ended a warless year? Thinking? That’s right, just keep thinking. Let me put it this way: If you were to ask the 15 year olds they’d tell you: I’ve never had such a year. If you ask a 100 year old (assuming their brain functions are still intact) they’d squint, and squint a little more, and then say: a couple of years here and a couple of years there. Now, if you ask a knowledgeable realist who knows his history he’d say: Not in the last hundred years. That’s right: not in the last century.
Of course everybody knows that we’ve had the World Wars, Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Bosnian War, Kosovo War, War on Terror, Iraq-Afghanistan-Libya wars and a few others. Some would be knowledgeable enough to mention the unmentionable wars: our covert wars all over the world-whether in Latin America, in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Some would add our ‘Secret Wars’-whether in Somalia or in Syria. A few would mention other wars, such as the War on Drugs and the coming War on Guns.
Basically, we’ve been in a constant war mode - declaring and waging wars - overtly and covertly. Similarly, our media, and now that includes the pseudo alternatives and blog-o-media, year after year, this time of the year keep busy with the soon-to-be-past year’s wars as their highlights. Actually, it should be more like lowlights, but let’s stick with the traditional expressions for this post.
I wonder what kind of reaction we would get from people (if any) if the year-end media war highlights would include a longer time-span: take the ending-year’s wars, and then add them and truly highlight them next to the list of all our wars for the past century. And then include the results and consequences of every single one of those wars. By that I mean:
The number of our soldiers killed, plus the number of the soldiers killed on the other side, plus the number of civilians killed (civilian casualties aka collaterally damaged human beings), plus the number of handicapped for life for all sides, plus the dollar cost involved in each war, plus what these dollar costs translate to for our nation’s citizens, plus the number of destroyed civilian homes and infrastructure - plus what was really achieved from those wars for our nation’s people, their security-image and financial well-being.
For example: take the Vietnam War, and do all of the above fact-checking and calculations. Millions dead on their side, tens of thousands dead on our side, hundreds of thousands injured for life on both sides, and the billions of dollars spent, and … what the heck was the result again? What did we achieve? What was it really for? What did we the people gain from it?
Yeah. That’s what I mean by a different highlighting each ending year. I wonder what kind of effect that would have on our majority. I wonder what kind of effect doing that would have on the perpetual wars course of our nation. However, I don’t ever wonder why our media has never done this, and why they would never do it. Do you?
Same goes for our ‘other’ wars here at home. This year they will include our about-to-begin War on Guns in their yearend highlights. But don’t expect them to put it in a reality context by listing all our other similarly declared and waged ongoing wars such as the War on Drugs. No. Don’t dare being that naïve by expecting that from our government propaganda outlets. They won’t list facts such as:
After over five decades the amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs is more than $51,000,000,000, and that the number of people arrested in 2011 in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges: 1.53 million. Or that in 2008, 1.5 million Americans were arrested for drug offenses and 500,000 were imprisoned … Or how marijuana constitutes almost half of all drug arrests, and that marijuana accounted for 82% of the increase in the number of drug arrests.
No. Don’t expect to see factual highlights like that. Instead expect to see a glorified highlighting of a newly declared war. This coming year will be all on the War on Guns. The year or so after that it will be the War on Provocative Internet Text, and a couple of years after that it will be the War on … whatever. Trillions of dollars more. Tens of thousands of more government foot soldiers sucking up our nation’s wealth. Millions more incarcerated. And with all that: Far bigger problems associated with whatever it was we officially declared the war against. Let’s put this under my predictions for the coming years. Shall we?
I checked several places and dictionaries for the definition of War. Pretty much the noun refers to: A Conflict carried by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation. I am going to emphasize ‘between the parties within a nation’ and say that our government’s wars have been expanding, and will be expanding to a point where one party is going to be known as ‘the government’ and the other ‘the people.’ Let’s put that under my list of predictions for the coming years.
Our government has been secretive for many years, but in the last few decades has become far more secretive of many of its operations and intentions. Yet, when you look at its perpetual wars agenda, you see some incredible transparent signs as to its real agenda, and even more so to its real status and position. Let me give you an example:
The gradual and bold expansion of the Czar title within the US government, followed by very little adverse reaction from the general population. Woodrow Wilson’s Industry Czar followed by Roosevelt’s Transportation Czar, Synthetic Rubber Czar and Food Czar. Nixon created the offices of Drug Czar and Energy Czar. We have had Obama’s Terrorism Czar, Cybersecurity Czar, and War Czar.
Some may argue the symbolic nature of the czar positions without the absolute power going along with it. For me, and a few others, it is neither about the level of actual powers nor is it about the process and its rationale. It is about the usage of this grandeur term by the government, and most importantly it is about the people of a nation that pride themselves as the offspring of a nation’s founding fathers who loathed and fought kingdoms and tyranny. It is about what our people have been reduced to. It is about the apathy and absolute indifference towards all government realities contradicting the nation’s founding principles-Constitution. It is the escalating level of Zombie-ism.
When the realities on the ground point to a government with its self-image as the absolute power, when the permanent status of our nation is war- internally and externally, when the notion of a government of the people by the people for the people appears to be replaced by the people governed and ruled by the Czars, when the people lack reaction thus any counter-action, and when the majority become apathetic Zombies … well, then, unfortunately it becomes easy to come up with fairly solid predictions not only for the coming year but many years to come: The expansion of the government czars, the continuation of our perpetual wars, and our nation’s people becoming poorer, more subservient and Zombie-like.
Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post, Founder of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.