Nukes and Misdirected “Manhood” in Washington, D.C.
12 Jun 2019 – How can it be that Washington, D.C. expands its security policies in exactly the wrong direction, one that literally endangers America, our families, and the world?
Do we really want to trust our safety and that of our children to “modernized” nuclear missiles and to more plutonium pits, the triggers for nuclear bombs?
“In examining how one U.S. president after another took the military into unnecessary wars, historian Alexander DeConde in his study of Presidential Machismo found that presidential power over the military allowed leaders to test and prove their virility.”
In “Unmaking War, Remaking Men” Dr. Kathleen Barry describes how many men suffer from “core masculinity,” meaning, these men psychologically experience the possession of nuclear weapons and a large military force as increasing their (unconscious) sense of manhood!
Remember Dr. Helen Caldicott’s book “Missile Envy”? Does “We are #1!” and “Make America Great Again’” sound familiar? President Trump has vastly increased the already bloated military budget.
We are now in a dangerous nuclear arms race.
We turn to the new members of Congress bringing a progressive agenda and the opportunity to convince doubters that progressive goals (e.g., the Green New Deal) are feasible and practical. But in presenting these issues to Congress, progressives face a history of narrow-minded resistance and racist intransigence primarily from older white men, many of whom disregard the peoples of color who their bombs land on and even reject the scientific warnings about climate change.
“Core masculinity” renders it difficult for mostly older white males to envisage a more enlightened means of safety and security. Their sense of manhood is too unconsciously intertwined with myths of white superiority, sexism and a need to be “strong.”
The “masculinity of war” with its emphasis on violent power results in exaggerated Pentagon budgets that diminish resources for universal health care, child care and free education. These rights are given a lower priority and derided as “entitlements,” as if the military and nuclear weapons are the only “valid” expenditures.
The Pentagon’s war-making budget contains increases for nuclear missiles, more plutonium pits, and the insanely expensive failing F-35. Congress supports the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) program underway to “modernize” its 1,650 strategic nuclear warheads. Euphemistically labeled a nuclear “Life Extension Program” at a cost of $1.7 trillion over the next 30 years, it is more aptly seen as a LIFE EXTINCTION PROGRAM.
Does anyone really believe that the U.S. military doctrine of nuclear deterrence will be successful for the next 30 years? Can this dangerously misguided macho assumption be rejected before it is too late?
Traditional masculinity reinforced by blindly accepted patriotism reduces empathy in our leaders in Congress. They become ever more unfeeling as they routinely accept ever larger budgets for war-making… and try not to think about the harm they are doing killing in faraway lands and at home depriving millions of Americans in need of health care, child care, affordable educations, food and shelter.
Behind every issue be it health care, child care, education or climate change lurks the question of a sudden nuclear nightmare, and of course, war itself. Men’s ability to annihilate their own families seen worldwide in domestic violence makes it psychologically feasible for them to take down not only their own kin, but the whole global family.
The most serious danger for national security occurs when a psychopath becomes a national leader as in the case of Donald Trump where the nation’s foreign policy is based upon militarism, racism, and jingoism. Unfortunately for us, President Trump, a malignant narcissist, also fits the psychopathic profile. Such a person cannot be trusted due to lack of conscience, lack of empathy for others, and lust for power over others by any means necessary.
Psychopathic leaders will reject proposals that might actually create a peaceful and healthy world. They will look down upon the United Nations, reject world federal union such as a “new UN” under the Earth Constitution, and refuse to disarm the weapons of mass destruction — creating paranoia and the very nuclear arms race now underway with Russia and China.
Psychopaths are prone to lie, cheat, steal, and kill. There is an attraction to sadism (eg, torture) and “winning” by any means necessary. This personality type is predatory by nature, but often able to appear “normal” in social situations, and indeed can come off as intelligent and charming to his admirers and followers.
It is time for the new members of Congress to make a crisis intervention (“Remaking Men”) before it is too late by withdrawing and replacing the Pentagon’s LIFE EXTINCTION PROGRAM. We urgently need a new, safer vision for security. The theory of nuclear deterrence is too risky, and militarism as US foreign policy is literally a dead end. It is an ideal time to look for wiser approaches.
The Green New Deal should be developed but in the context of a progressive foreign policy that aims for a new governing structure for the UN (“Unmaking War”). “World union now” must be taken seriously. We must look at the United Nations in a new, respectful way.
The UN General Assembly should launch an immediate review of the obsolete UN Charter. The Earth Constitution can serve as a model for a modern Charter that equips the UN with the tools that the peace-seeking nations need to end war and eliminate all weapons of mass destruction.
Roger Kotila, Ph.D. is a psychologist (ret.) with many years of clinical experience with the California Dept. of Corrections doing psychiatric diagnosis and treatment with inmates. President of Democratic World Federalists and Editor of Earth Federation News & Views, he supports a “new UN” under the Earth Constitution. Email: email@example.com
Kathleen Barry, Ph.D., sociologist, is the author of Unmaking War, Remaking Men (2011) and also Female Sexual Slavery (1983) and Prostitution of Sexuality: The Global Exploitation of Women (1995). Her work launched a global movement against sex trafficking which treats men buying prostitution as violence against women.
Tags: Arms Industry, Arms Race, Conflict, Geopolitics, International Relations, Military, NATO, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Trump, USA, Violence, War, power, west, world
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