COVID-19 exposes US Armed Forces

2020/04/1586241704.jpg
Read: 835     10:40     07 April 2020    

Reports in the media this week have shown that the U.S. Armed Forces — which are the core of the imperialist state power — are far from immune to the coronavirus. Both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the hit has political repercussions.


Not only has the pandemic affected the bodies of the troops, the reaction of the Pentagon to this threat has begun to affect their consciousness. It has exposed the dual character of the rank and file of the U.S. Armed Forces: On the one hand, obedient troops are the enforcers for the empire of capital on a global scale; on the other hand, troops who resist reveal they are workers in uniform.

On March 26 the Army Times reported: “The Army’s top leaders say they are ramping up restrictions on soldiers as coronavirus cases increase across the force and internal memos acknowledge that Army policies so far have been ineffective in combating the pandemic. … Across the force, soldiers told Army Times this week they were concerned by their commanders’ decisions to continue to train and hold formations.”

The Business Insider ran a more general article discussing the COVID-19 situation on bases around the world. To summarize, few steps had been taken to provide “social distancing” — soldiers and sailors live close and work close to each other — and the availability of tests was no better than for U.S. civilians. Thus the pandemic was spreading rapidly and the soldiers were worried.

In the Navy, the reaction of the sailors on the Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was even more dramatic. The ship’s captain had written a four-page letter to Navy officials, where he asked for the crew of the aircraft carrier to be evacuated and for “decisive action” as the coronavirus spread onboard. “We are not at war,” he wrote, “and therefore cannot allow a single sailor to perish as a result of this pandemic unnecessarily.” (USA Today, April 3)

When Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on April 2 fired Captain Brett Crozier for writing the letter — which wound up published in the San Francisco Chronicle — hundreds of sailors on board chanted “Captain Crozier! Captain Crozier!” and clapped as he left. A video on Facebook showed them cheering him.



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News Line

COVID-19 exposes US Armed Forces

2020/04/1586241704.jpg
Read: 836     10:40     07 April 2020    

Reports in the media this week have shown that the U.S. Armed Forces — which are the core of the imperialist state power — are far from immune to the coronavirus. Both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the hit has political repercussions.


Not only has the pandemic affected the bodies of the troops, the reaction of the Pentagon to this threat has begun to affect their consciousness. It has exposed the dual character of the rank and file of the U.S. Armed Forces: On the one hand, obedient troops are the enforcers for the empire of capital on a global scale; on the other hand, troops who resist reveal they are workers in uniform.

On March 26 the Army Times reported: “The Army’s top leaders say they are ramping up restrictions on soldiers as coronavirus cases increase across the force and internal memos acknowledge that Army policies so far have been ineffective in combating the pandemic. … Across the force, soldiers told Army Times this week they were concerned by their commanders’ decisions to continue to train and hold formations.”

The Business Insider ran a more general article discussing the COVID-19 situation on bases around the world. To summarize, few steps had been taken to provide “social distancing” — soldiers and sailors live close and work close to each other — and the availability of tests was no better than for U.S. civilians. Thus the pandemic was spreading rapidly and the soldiers were worried.

In the Navy, the reaction of the sailors on the Aircraft Carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was even more dramatic. The ship’s captain had written a four-page letter to Navy officials, where he asked for the crew of the aircraft carrier to be evacuated and for “decisive action” as the coronavirus spread onboard. “We are not at war,” he wrote, “and therefore cannot allow a single sailor to perish as a result of this pandemic unnecessarily.” (USA Today, April 3)

When Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on April 2 fired Captain Brett Crozier for writing the letter — which wound up published in the San Francisco Chronicle — hundreds of sailors on board chanted “Captain Crozier! Captain Crozier!” and clapped as he left. A video on Facebook showed them cheering him.



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