In the wake the latest mass shootings I wonder if they’re related to our never-ending wars?
Since the El Paso and Dayton attacks there has been the usual cry for gun control or more mental health screenings, along with blame focused on domestic terrorism and racism but an examination of the violence inherent in the maintenance of the American empire is decidedly absent.
Allow me to explain something our leaders and corporate media never will. Crimes committed on the periphery of empire always return to the homeland. Always.
When you think about it, the only reality these two young shooters, one 21 and the other 24, have known is war. Even though they haven’t been on the receiving end of airstrikes, the reality of America’s endless war on terror is the Predator drone equipped with a Hellfire missile controlled by a young video operator not much older than the killers.
One of America’s greatest leaders made this connection between imperial and domestic violence. Perhaps, that’s why he was assassinated? At the Riverside Church, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, Martin Luther King portrayed the war in Vietnam as an imperial one, prosecuted at the expense of the poor. Vietnam, he said, was “the symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit,” and, if left untreated, if the malady continued to fester, “we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
This speech, which has been dropped from the more conventional memory of King civil-rights activism, was intensely controversial at the time, angering enemies and supporters alike. Many of his close personal aides felt that he shouldn’t have given it.
The reason for the hostility was the same then as it is now. King made the connection between foreign and domestic policies, drawing clear the inexorable ties between domestic policy and unjust aggression abroad.
Until the next mass shooting expect the bi-partisan establishment and their corporate media enablers to focus on domestic terrorism or mental health or violent video games or gun control. What they won’t discuss is the violent US foreign policy that’s inherent in the maintenance of an empire.
Maybe that’s why Americans don’t seem to make the connection between the violence over there and the violence right here in the homeland?
Going further, this lack of interest in international affairs must thus be understood as a crucial weakness of our modern republic. If America has any hope of returning to her roots as a democratic republic Americans will have to start paying attention to foreign policy. Foreign policy is not rocket science. In other countries citizens are well versed on international events and geography. It’s only here in the USA that people are clueless about the rest of the world.