Robert Koehler: Apparently protecting national security also means forgetting the Korean War, or never facing the reality of what we did to North Korea from 1950 to 1953.
Robert Koehler: Ever since 9/11, I’ve been driven by an urgency to understand why we as a nation accepted Bush’s war of revenge so enthusiastically and felt so little empathy toward the innocent, sitting-duck populations we were about to carpet bomb.
Robert Koehler: Despite the horror and violence and hatred, this moment, too, is part of our world — and reaches beyond itself, reaches into the heart of every occupant of Planet Earth. I don’t know what it changes, but I know it opens a door.
To my ongoing perplexity and despair, what is never part of the story is the concept of karma: what goes around comes around.
Suddenly I’m thinking, yet again, about George McGovern, who said as he accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1972: “I have no secret plan for peace. I have a public plan.”
Robert Koehler: Suddenly the U.S. president is Julius Caesar (or maybe Caligula) with orange hair, hugging fellow tyrants, ramping up the military budget, decapitating social spending, bombing Fourth World civilians without restriction and making America great in the only way he can imagine: “fighting to win.”
So maybe war — with its unquestioned, trillion-dollar annual drain from the U.S. budget — remains “a kind of religion,” but only if the public at large can be kept at a distance from its stench and realness.
Robert Koehler: Could there be a bigger contrast — in attitude, style, comportment, philosophy? What irony that the two names are now linked in history: Donald Trump forever the successor to Barack Obama, forever the orange-haired blot on his legacy, forever the surrealistic next chapter of the American narrative.
Robert Koehler: What we are seeing in the streets right now. Americans — indeed, people across the planet — are ceasing to be spectators in the creation of the future. The protests we’re witnessing aren’t so much anti-Trump as pro-humanity and pro-Planet Earth.
Robert Koehler: The deeply flawed F-35, the most expensive military weapons system in history, is ultimately projected to cost over $1 trillion, but no matter: “It will bring cutting-edge technologies to the battlespace of the future.”
pledge allegiance to . . . what? The Electoral College, to no one’s serious surprise, voted Donald Trump in as the nation’s 45th president, and the pot of outrage in the American spectator democracy begins to boil. No, no, no, no, no, no, no — no to all his right-wing and idiotic cabinet and […]
Robert Koehler: If Trump, instead, is the reincarnation of Bull Connor, someone who makes a dark, hidden ugliness suddenly clear to the public at large, then his rise to power may be the harbinger of profound, positive change.
Robert Koehler: The big hole in this democracy is not the candidates; it’s the bedrock, founding belief that the rest of the world is our potential enemy, that war with someone is always inevitable and only a strong military will keep us safe.