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Letter: "Who we are"

Letter: "Who we are"

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A large portion of the American public is aghast at the recent “insurrection” and sacking of the Capitol building, but should we really be surprised? President-elect Biden says, “This isn’t who we are.” One can only hope the incoming administration will not continue the long-standing government tradition of telling us what we want to hear, while doing the exact opposite. Since the end of World War II, America’s military and intelligence communities have conducted “insurrection” and regime-change assaults on a long list of foreign countries, from Iran to Chile, the Congo, Cuba, Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Venezuela. While we can’t help but wonder what the soldiers and spooks who have participated in those operations have brought home with them in the way of attitudes and opinions, we must admit that this spirit of regime toppling has become so endemic to our government, military, and intelligence that now it is precisely who we are. Can we really be surprised that many of our veterans have come home with imperialistic ideas, which, when mixed with PTSD, addiction to adrenaline and many other substances, and traumatic brain injuries, leaves them all too eager to display their fighting skills on the steps of the United States Capitol?

It’s nice of our leaders to deny it, and to keep their operations “covert,” but in this New Year our military and intelligence communities boast a total budget of more than a trillion dollars, ample reward for their hollow promises that some sort of “victory” in Afghanistan is right around the corner after a sad history of 20 years, more than $4 trillion spent, and the deaths of more than 2,500 American soldiers and “contractors.” The simple fact is, our government has accepted empire as its ultimate goal, and we must acknowledge that our nation is in the business of death and destruction. That is precisely “who we are,” and what we have become. I was appalled by the assault upon our Capitol, and I have little hope that Biden-Harris will address the root of the problems.

John Ketwig, Bedford


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