Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Sins of the Ruling Class, part 1

Now that the election is clearer, I’ll comment a bit on big picture stuff. This is old-school blogging because I’m feeling my way through these issues, struggling instead of writing a big essay.

People were so disgusted when Trump said that he would go after the family members of terrorists. They thought it was sick and sociopathic and disqualified him from the presidency. Meanwhile, Obama has policy of using drones to strike terrorist targets and 90% of the people killed are civilians. I suppose it is an improvement on Bush, who had us invade two countries with ground troops. While Bush was president, Clinton voted to authorize the disastrous war in Iraq. She refused to call that vote a mistake while running against Obama. And even though Obama is “better” than Bush, he has further destabilized the region with illegal military actions1 and arguably helped the rise of ISIS. Clinton was Obama’s secretary of state for some of this, so she shares some of the blame. Plus, she is, by all accounts, even more hawkish than Obama. The disastrous Iraq War should’ve discredited everyone involved and completely destroyed neoconservative influence on foreign policy. Yet many of the same people are still around. Clinton’s foreign policy would be a continuation of our current sins.

We rightly criticize Trump, but I have to reject the privilege discourse on this subject. As US citizens, we are privileged to not live in fear of drone strikes2. We are privileged not be one of the over hundred thousand dead Iraqis. We are privileged not to be the foreign dead in Clinton’s future wars that we will surely erase from our collective memories.3

1 I suppose legal is up for debate, but most presidents have been acting unilaterally with military actions for decades. I consider this dangerous and illegal, an impeachable offense. But a cowardly Congress doesn’t care, and our society collectively shrugs.

2 Except the US citizen we did target.

3 Recently, I saw a statistic going around comparing the US dead in wars versus the US dead domestically from guns. It’s supposed to be a frightening statistic that scares of from guns. I totally agree with more regulations on guns and less guns in general. The statistic, though, is problematic because it erases all the foreign — and native — people we killed. It’s a lot.