Friday, August 1, 2008

A Few Good Billions

Is anybody else bothered by the fact that we taxpayers spend untold millions, if not billions of dollars, for the armed forces to advertise? What made me think of this was the slick ad that appeared on the screen before the movie the other day. "Army Strong" is the current Madison Avenue theme to entice young people into the ranks, where they will be taught to say, grunt, shout "hooah" at all occasions--esprit, ya know--and not incidentally, of course, be fed as human fodder into the maw of whatever war whatever commander-in-chief, even a dangerously deluded one like Bush, wants to send them. These campaigns are devised by the most talented ad agencies money can buy. And why not? Money is never an object to the military. It gushes from an unending spigot since neither Congress nor the American people, not to mention a president, have the intelligence or courage to question the billions upon billions upon hundreds of billions this country spends on "defense," one of the best examples of Orwellian speech our government has devised. The American military hasn't defended anything since the end of World War II except the right of corporations to operate without hinderence anywhere on the globe they choose.

We're such a bunch of unreflecting morons! Spineless sheep! We citizens who have it within our power (still, but maybe not for long) to determine the course this country takes. But we've gotten so dumb, so uninformed, so addicted to the consumption drug, we bow to the Defense Department god and give it everything it wants, we internalize its adverstising slogans, and we break out the flags at any and all military adventures the US launches. Meanwhile the country is falling down around us.

It's difficult to find out exactly what military advertising costs us. I tried the standard Google searches but couldn't turn anything up. Why shouldn't this be an easy number to come by? I did discover this interesting tidbit reporting that the Air Force is spending our money simply on advertising for itself. Got that? Not for recruits, simply for PR, so we, through our elected agents of capitalism, will give them even more millions. Well, somebody might object to this, but don't go betting a court anywhere is going to find anything wrong with it. We already live in a military state.

[And then there's recruiting in high schools, ROTC, and other intrusions of the military into the fabric of our lives. But that's for another day.]
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