The Market for Dead Soldiers

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The vulgar nature of the state has been no more vividly demonstrated than in Washington’s current withholding of death benefits – including a $100,000 payment – to families of soldiers killed in combat.  This delay stands alongside the closing of national parks, the Washington Monument, and other government services that people actually want, as a means of punishing ordinary people for not insisting on an end to the make-believe “shutdown.”

Do you remember the early days of the Bushobama Wars, when the government and its obsequious media refused to show the planeloads of flag-draped coffins bringing dead soldiers back to America? Such pictures would pose a cost to the war system that were swept under the rug. But when such images could be used as a benefit to the state in pressuring for congressional approval of a budget, such were quickly made available for public viewing via television “news” coverage! Families are anxiously awaiting their $100,000 payoff, we are told, and the checks are being held up by a few days due to the “shutdown.”

During the Vietnam War – whose end was facilitated by daily pictures of scores of returning flag-draped coffins – there was a popular bumper-sticker that read: “war is good business: invest your son.”  The truth of this proposition is now being trotted out for political advantage. What is next? Shall we soon have “dead soldiers” as a commodities market, with prices reported alongside those of soybeans, pork-bellies, and cotton? Will such prices fluctuate in accordance with delays in receiving payments?

I don’t know whether the capacity for sociopathic crudeness is a formal requirement for working in government and the mainstream media, but such qualities would definitely be a benefit to anyone seeking such careers!

10:21 am on October 10, 2013