Run the Flag Up The Pole, Boys…

U.S. percentage of the world’s military spending. Source. / Click to enlarge.

There’s a little GI Joe in all of us
By Duncan Echelson / The Rag Blog / July 2, 2008

How military service suddenly qualifies someone for sainthood or instant faux respect is beyond me.


We are forgetting all those war movies, GI Joe comics, “Green Beret” songs, and war hero novels we all read and were exposed to from a very young age. Plus the many hours of playing war with plastic guns that make sounds.

This stuff gets programmed into us at a very young age. So where the flag is run up the flag pole we have automatic responses.

This is the military-industrial complex of the subconscious and it takes much conscious analysis to get free of it and even then in moments of stress and fear, it is easy to lapse back into unthinking flag waving and hero worship.

(Bring out the bloody shirt, boys, there’s money to be made!!!)

After Sept 11, when practically the entire nation had fears of imminent attack from wild eyed Islamic fanatics, we wanted heroes to protect us: hence Bush in military garb, the firm jawed Giuliani, Afghanistan, Iraq……….etc.

This tradition of raising the soldier-warrior to a status that makes us weepy eyed and sentimental is ancient and deeply rooted. Mix that with an annual trillion dollar-plus expenditure and it is a very explosive mix that the politicians keep serving up. (A fair potion of that money gets put into the propaganda machine — most of which is disguised as entertainment and news)

Now look at the graphic representation of our military budget (above) compared to the rest of the world.

The Rag Blog

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2 Responses to Run the Flag Up The Pole, Boys…

  1. Too true — it’s late and I can’t quite recall who it was that said, “Patriotism is the first refuge of a scoundrel” — maybe Mark Twain? But it works because of our deep-seated tribal brain software, in which group survival is more important than individual survival. A couple of hundred years of “individualism” haven’t erased these hard-wired reactions.

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