July 24, 2014. The last post on One Voice until now.
On May 28, 2019, we are facing a reevaluation.
In this age of saturated media, how do we create voice? Who do we want to be when we are constantly creating versions of ourselves on infinite platforms? Mines of links on links on links and shares on shares on posts, pictures, tweets, the origin of which can become a mystery. Infinite voices wax and wane. In some ways, social media platforms have rendered blogging obsolete, but the origin story will never be authentic or completely indicative of this project.
July of 2014 featured a pictorial representation of names of civilian casualties in the Gaza strip. 5 years later, and sadly, I could pick up right where I left off. Instead, let’s take a brief look at a similar cyclical concept that my tried and true outlet, Truthout, has explored in the United States.
In an earlier post, I showed a clip of Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK protesting at one of former President Obama’s press events. CODEPINK rallies against U.S. militarism and strives to protect human rights. Benjamin seems to be throwing every act of terror and as many civilian casualties as she can as her voice carries through the room while security drags her away.
“U.S. Navy, the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Groups transit in formation for a joint photo exercise on August 14, 2007.” STEPHEN W. ROWE / U.S. NAVY VIA GETTY IMAGES
James Carroll writes about his current perspective on forever wars:
“In the Trump era, such American saber rattling, especially by hyper-hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton, feels so unnervingly routine that it might not have even made me sit up. Then I read that the latest Middle East deployment included a task force of — god save us from memory! — B-52s, the massive strategic bombers dating from the 1950s that wreaked such havoc in the first great war of my adulthood: Vietnam. Even as that now-ancient national trauma popped back into my mind, I chastised myself. Not every provocative U.S. naval deployment in sketchy waters off some distant coast is a set-up for a replay of the Gulf of Tonkin, that war-igniting North Vietnamese “attack” on U.S. destroyers that never was.”
Now ancient? More like an ancient resurrected creature. A never ending forever war that transforms into another and yet another. If you look at those B-52’s and see Vietnam, you see the beginnings of some of our routine assaults on international territories. But you can fly them back to our shores as symbols of the wars within our borders in this era full of violence on our bodies, our choices, and our livelihoods and education. Most of us can barely look up to the sky to see the aircrafts, let alone recognize their flight patterns.
“Yes, many Americans have come to disapprove of those forever wars, but what have we citizens actually done about them? Have we been waiting all this time for a mode of prudent protest to emerge? Looking for a reasonable way to object, for a realistic method of civic dissent to miraculously appear?”
Stimuli that provoke protests have been creating assaults on our senses and minds that has grown exponentially. Our anti war protests are feeding back and forth from streets to the world wide web, so perhaps we are waiting not for something realistic, but something organized. Who or what will it take for a good old anti war protest? Will we ever see that kind of fervor again? What does that look like now? The scale the author calls for is unclear, but it’s safe to say a Vietnam size action isn’t on the horizon.
“Now, those ancient, ghostly B-52s are threatening to fly in yet another possible war in the Middle East, even as the Pentagon’s lies keep coming. Yes, that building has five rings, but they’re hardly golden (as that Christmas song has it). The U.S. war machine keeps chugging along, spitting lead. What can stop it? I ask this, regretting the day I had a chance, however laughable, to lend a hand in putting an obstacle — if only a bit of rubble, if only for an hour — in its way.
My three friends — those three French hens of that Christmas moment — acted. I declined to do so when still a young man, because it seemed too absurd to me at time. Here’s something far more absurd, so many years later when I’ve become an old man: America’s unending crimes of war have come to feel utterly routine. In our moment, John Bolton’s bloody mischief continues to unfold and even a peep of actual public protest is missing in action.”
There must be some way to uncover whose voices uplift anti war urgency over the noise of B-52’s.
Taken from James Carroll’s, As US Rattles Its Sabers at Tehran, Where’s the Protest?
-My voice is not currently one looking for incorporation or input (i.e., submissions), but it is a possibility in the future and features will be coming soon.-