Society misinformed and uninterested in national and international affairs

By Tyler Hess

What has people so misinformed or uninterested these days in the general affairs of the U.S. and the world? Is it the corporate domination of the media? Is it the over-stimulation of the moving images everywhere all the time?

What has people so lackadaisical toward the widespread destruction continuing daily? Is it the physical distance from murderous drone strikes in the Middle East? Is it the moral distance between the starving Somali and greenhouse gas emissions? Whatever it is, my disgust always reaches a point where any attempt at clever journalism merely falls flat compared to the bare truth. And since, I would assume, the majority of this campus hardly turn to independent journalism, I feel it more influential to simply state the following conveniently overlooked facts. All of the following news was compiled from Democracy Now!, hosted by Amy Goodman. I highly recommend this news outlet.

On Monday, the U.S. accused Pakistan’s spy agency of supporting the Haqqani militant group in a recent attack on a U.S. embassy in Kabul. Nothing of course, in the mainstream media, mentioned actually proven U.S. financial and military support of the Haqqani network. The founder, Jalauddin Haqqani, actually visited President Reagan at the White House in the 1980s to seal a deal for financial and military support, and originally was an American-prized Muhajadeen fighter in Afghanistan. This seems oddly similar to the case of Bin Laden. Fund and train, or demonize and kill. Whichever is convenient for the time.

More drone strikes are being launched this week, extra-judicially to state the obvious, in Somalia. This comes just days after reports emerged that the Obama administration is “building a ring of secret drone bases in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula from which to target alleged militants.” No mention of how these single, supposed militants will be spotted from 50,000 feet above and singularly killed with no “collateral damage,” aka innocent civilian life.  Oh, was there supposed to be some kind of judicial process in there somewhere? Again, no mention on the aid needed for the millions starving.

A U.S. soldier has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a series of so-called “thrill killings” that left three Afghan civilians dead. Andrew Holmes, 21, confessed to firing a heavy machine gun at a boy from 15 feet away, taking one of the child’s bones and smoking hashish from it. This is of course not indicative of the entire military, but still a sign of the intense psychological instabilities resulting from an environment of massive stress and violence.

Yet another Mexican journalist was found decapitated after writing about drug cartels. Maria Elizabeth Macias, editor of the Primera Hora newspaper, was found dead on Saturday, Sept. 24. This comes in a string of tens of thousands of murders over just the past few years on the U.S.-Mexico border region, a region in which U.S. agents are “encouraging the sale of thousands of guns to middlemen for Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to gain access to senior-level figures within Mexico’s criminal organizations. The weapons were eventually linked to numerous crime scenes in the United States and Mexico…”

The Obama administration has announced plans to sell $53 million worth of military equipment to Bahrain, just months after the Gulf state brutally cracked down on Shiite protesters. The proposed sale includes bunker buster missiles, armored vehicles and wire-guided missiles. As if the U.S. approved Saudi troops that killed thousands earlier this year in Bahrain were not enough. But wait, it’s all about freedom and stuff, right?

The “Occupy Wall Street” protest in Lower Manhattan has entered its 13th-day as hundreds of people continue to camp out just blocks from Wall Street. These displays of public protest concern rampant financial corruption, corporatism and militarism. On a local level, these protests extended to Lexington, Ky., with protests and occupation occurring in front of JP Morgan Chase bank on Main Street.

And if these basic realities do not invite the youth of this campus to engage in manifesting the future they hope to see, Gandhi sure clarifies why we must all take part: “Anyone who says they are not interested in politics is like a drowning man who insists he is not interested in water.”

With student debt and rampant wars, the water just keeps on rising. Will you drown, or rise up?