The conventional view of U.S. wars follows a formulaic line: We are innocent victims of unprovoked attacks. The sleeping giant wakes and reluctantly goes to fight. All military action is imbued with benevolent intentions: human rights, democracy, and liberty. There are parades and flag-waving. Solemn ceremonies and gun salutes at funerals honor the fallen. But who asks for what and for whom were they killed? Who benefits? Weapons manufacturers and mercenary contractors make out like bandits. Thats a taboo subject. Resources? Empire expansion? Dont go there. Stick to patriotism. You can mouth the typical prattle of they died for freedom. The Afghan war is Operation Enduring Freedom. And war crimes? Thats what they do, not us. Tribunals? Same deal: for them. Wars are packaged and sold just like any other commodity. Propaganda is skillfully used to win over the population.
This program is part of AR's Zinn Centenary Celebration. Throughout August we'll be featuring some of his most memorable lectures.