The Price

The Price September 14, 2013

They don’t know us.

They are our own government, our elected officials, our press.

They claim to speak for us and to inform us. But they don’t know us. Not at all. Not even a little bit.

We are not their sheeple to manipulate and lie to and send to die. We do not and will not endlessly respond with Pavlovian obedience to the bells they ring for us.

That truth is slowly dawning on the insulated and isolated minions who run our cable news networks, sit in our seats of power and claim they speak for us with absolute accuracy. We are not their toy soldiers they move about in a game.

How could they be so wrong about us? After all, they’ve been successfully lying to us and manipulating us for decades. They’ve convinced us to fight and die for no reason at all time and again all over the globe. What is different now?

Perhaps the difference is the price. Aside from phonied-up claims that “supporting our troops” means we have to keep them at war and in war in perpetuity, these people don’t know much about the price. They were beamed into their elected offices and sit in front of cameras that were paid for by beams of corporate money that comes from the same, or interlocking boards of the same, corporations that are making money off these wars.

Their world is not the world of paying the price. It is the world of reaping the benefits.

Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, fought on the ground in Afghanistan. But the moguls of our war machine did not send their young princes to the front. They were too busy getting the finest educations and living the best life, preparing to be the decision makers who send others to die in their place.

The “news” arm of this complex harangues us every night about the high cost of social security and how keeping our word to retirees is fiscal suicide for this country. Simultaneously, they batter us with constant calls for ever higher “defense” spending.

We are armed past imagining. We have more aircraft carriers and all that goes with them than we did when we were fighting the Germans and the Japanese combined. We buy weaponry that actual combat soldiers say fails in the dust, heat and impact of real warfare. But we don’t buy enough body armor for our troops. We don’t provide returning soldiers with adequate medical and psychological care.

And we can’t rebuild our roads or put together meaningful public transportation. This same country that built a railroad that went from coast to coast in the 19th century, that created a national highway system, suddenly cannot spare the cash to develop a national public transportation system that would lower our dependence on the foreign oil that drives these wars. It appears that the same companies that build the bombs can no longer build the roads.

We do not make the goods this country consumes. We import them. Our industry is weaponry. Our export is war. We are breaking our own backs as a nation to feed a war machine we do not need to keep us safe. We are endangering the future of this nation to enrich a few by engaging in endless random wars that enrich a few and impoverish the rest of us.


Maybe it goes back that those beams of money that beam our elected officials into office. Maybe it has its roots in who is signing off on the enormous checks those talking heads are pulling down.

While our standard of living declines, they are living large.

While we fight these wars, they incite them.

And that is the reason why now they are so gobsmacked to find that We the People don’t want to make war no more.

They don’t know anything about the price that we’ve been paying for their wars. Because they don’t know anything about us. We are another country to them. They manipulate us. They patronize us. They don’t respect us. In fact, all they know about us is what they learn from reading polls.

It’s time someone tried to explain this to them. They need to understand The Price.

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

11 responses to “The Price”

  1. I find it ironic that the generation that fought in/against Vietnam is now engaging in even more wars. There are 2 major differences between this war and Vietnam – Vietnam had the draft, which meant that the sons of the elites, even with deferments, were in the war and they knew the price, and second, the media actively covered the war. We saw the pain and death every night on the news, so much of it that people began to realize what was going on and began questioning whether we should be there. There is one other difference. In Vietnam, we knew who the enemy was and the goal was supposed to be a free and democratic Vietnam. In Afghanistan and Iraq, we knew who the enemy was in the beginning – the Taliban and Saddam. But once they were gone, the elites kept coming up with new invisible enemies. Americans will fight, but they need a reason for it and they need to have the pain and sacrifice shared by everyone.

  2. I could argue with almost everything you say in there, but here’s an easy quick one. Heritage foundation has looked at the demographics of people who join the military and they are not as you portray:

    Somewhere in the past I’ve said that you’re one Democrat i could vote for. Based on this perception of our defense (and even perception of our nation: “Our export is war”???) I have to recind that vote.

  3. You do need to go to the doc and get checked out, just in case. I am guessing, but it might be the wine + lack of food and h20 + giving blood. Odd as this sounds, it’s still a beautiful story Manny. Thank you for sharing it … and take care of yourself.

  4. You’re welcome. It didn’t feel like it was well written as i was writing it and finally posted it. But when i went back it turned out to be one of my best writings.

  5. Please Google “War is a Racket by General Smedley Butler”.

    He was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and wrote back in 1935 about how the US military was used as the hired muscle for the monied classes and their financial interests.

  6. I have to agree with your premise, they (those in power) do not know the price, and they do not know the soldiers that they say they support. AND, they do not count the cost of the thousand of innocent lives that will,be lost, all because they don’t want to be seen as weak or to be seen as backing down.

  7. Well, at least two of our highest profile politicalns had family members in combat. Sarah Palin and Joseph Biden. It would have been nice to have a more representative Congress.

  8. Just as troubling is the notion that war has been turned into a for-profit industry for the wealthy and well connected. Haliburton, Blackwater, are big boogey men, but Lockheed is just as involved. I’m not sure that Syria and Libya are equivalents to Iraq and Afganistan, but I am glad that the public is conscious of this.
    I remember protesting agains the coming Iraq war on that chilly February day, there was far too few Americans there.

  9. hey, you all talk about the price for your country and your people. How about considering the price for the people your soldiers bomb for once.