The love of violence

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addresses the final year at West Point on May 25, 2019. He told the graduates that they would certainly “land on a battlefield for the United States” and “move to the sound of guns.”

He did not say whose goals they would fight for, whether for oil companies, or banks, perhaps for the ideology of Us world domination, or for the CIA’s drug dealings. In fact, West Point graduates will die without knowing whose interests they were fighting for.

Pence’s speech perfectly illustrates how the matrix works. Innocent and ignorant, as the graduates are, it is child’s play to recruit them as what Smedley Butler, general of the US Navy, has called “a contract killer for US corporate interests”.

Since the Clinton, the US has excelled primarily through war and preparations for war. In U.S. history, wars have always been waged for the Empire, as well as for the economic and financial interests of those who benefit from the Empire. There were only a few years in U.S. history when the government was not at war with anyone. So far, Trump has nailed the many criticisms.

Fifty-six years ago, on June 10, 1963, a much larger man than Pence, President John F. Kennedy, delivered the closing address at American University in Washington. The speech shocked the military and security complex. It revealed to a president committed to establishing peaceful relations with the Soviet Union that peace would jeopardize the budget, power and importance of this complex.

Kennedy’s speech was arguably another trigger for a murder that ended the man’s life five months later. Who is behind the murder we will probably never know, the “perpetrator” was also shot.

The Venture of Peace

President Eisenhower had already angered the military and security complex when he called it a threat to US democracy in his last public address in 1961. But President Kennedy went further when he expressed his intention at American University to create peace and end the threat of war:

I have, therefore, chosen this time and this place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived–yet it is the most important topic on earth: world peace.

What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men. I realize that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war–and frequently the words of the pursuer fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

Kennedy placed a trust in the United States, which after him had no president except Ronald Reagan:

We can strive for relaxation and at the same time be vigilant. Nor do we need to make threats to prove that we are determined. We do not need to block foreign broadcasters because we fear that our faith could be compromised. We do not want to impose our system on anyone who does not want it – but we can and we want to compete peacefully with every country in the world.

Compare today’s Washington to President Kennedy, and you see the total collapse of the United States. Today, we are trying to suppress all the news that does not come from the beaning press that repeats the official statements. We block foreign channels by forcing Russian news outlets to register as “foreign agents.” We delete websites and prohibit freedom of expression on Facebook and Twitter. We know no diplomacy, only threats.

In fact, threats are the hallmark of the US, threats of war, threats of sanctions. The President of the United States distributes the territory of other countries and appoints the President of Venezuela. Today’s US has a fear of peaceful competition and imposes punitive tariffs on everyone from Mexico to China.

When John F. Kennedy was president, the United States was a proud country. Today, they are a disgraceful state in free fall and a great danger to both their own citizens and the world.