It is estimated that one in three CIA drone strikes in Pakistan kills a child . Between 2004 and 2011 at least 168 children have been killed in America’s drone war in that country alone.
In the purported digital age one is frequently presented with the notion that communication will inevitably make society a more coherent whole. Yet media technology has failed to conquer the combined obstacles of the censorial use of language and geographic distance when it comes to relating the many horrors of modern warfare. Instead, such technology has reinforced a now familiar tradition of language games that cleanses atrocities from the popular memory.
With few exceptions the news that will shape public discourse is subject to a de facto censorial process of powerful government and corporate elites beyond accountability to the public. It is here that Sigmund Freud’s notion of repression is especially helpful for assessing the decrepit state of media and public discourse in the United States. In Freud’s view, one’s collective life experiences are registered in the subconscious, with those particularly disturbing or socially impermissible experiences being involuntarily suppressed, only later to emerge as neuroses. Whereas suppression is conscious and voluntary, repression takes place apart from individual volition.
On the one year anniversary of the events leading to the meltdown of Tokyo Electric Power Company’s nuclear generation plant in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, the problems posed for the environment and biological life have only intensified. This is because for over the past twelve months the remains of the seemingly distant nuclear reactors continue to emit dangerous radioactive pollutants into the water and air that are cumulative and will remain for many lifetimes. This may come as a surprise to most Americans because there has been a veritable news blackout on the event and its aftermath by Japanese and US news media since June.