Thursday, February 23, 2012

Serving our country

As I was waiting in the clinic waiting room an old codger wheeled himself up to the receptionist desk, gasped and sat down in his wheeler. Then one of the receptionists said, “We see you have served your country and we appreciate that.” Of course I’m no longer surprised by idiocy but it’s a good example of the insanity that has gripped this nation for years most especially since WWII, the “good war.” That soldiers serve their country is not just debatable but flatly untrue. They serve the State which is another thing entirely; indeed one might refer to the US army as the Wall Street army for that is who they are serving.

This military worship is so misplaced as to be laughable. From looking at the film of the US helicopter shooting down innocent civilians in Iraq to news reports of American soldiers raping young girls and murdering their families in Afghanistan one has to realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg. How many atrocities have been committed by our troops is anyone’s guess. But these are the realities of war; this is what war is, and what it does. War isn’t a humanitarian effort, or a social movement like women’s lib, it’s a disgusting act of violence that no matter how you dress it up stinks to high heaven.

Even going to so-called “radical” websites like counterpunch one invariably comes across various forms of military worship. Consider the following statement from Andrew Cockburn…


It might be hoped that the urgent needs of our troops fighting in Afghanistan would spark a note of realism regarding the systems developed to help them. Sadly, such is not the case. The home-made bombs constructed with farm fertilizer and torch batteries that are the Taliban’s principal and devastatingly effective weapon have sparked many a multi-million dollar countermeasure on our part. One such is a surveillance system grandiosely christened Gorgon Stare. Developed at a cost of $320 million, and carried on Reaper drones, it allegedly enables us, as one air force general boasted when it was first unveiled, “to see everything” over a ten square-kilometer area, including insurgents planting bombs.

Cockburn’s main complaint seems to be that we aren’t helping the troops enough not that they have no business being in Afghanistan in the first place. Who needs propaganda when you have radicals like Cockburn spewing it out for them? Cockburn says “[I]t might be hoped that the urgent needs of our troops fighting in Afghanistan would spark a note of realism regarding the systems developed to help them. Sadly this is not the case.” The urgent needs of our troops? Really and truly? Does Cockburn really mean it is so sad that our troops need better weapons to murder “insurgents” with? Truly he does. One might ask what about the Afghans who are merely people fighting an invasion of their lands whatever name radicals like Cockburn might tag them with.

Then we have Amy Goodman who breathlessly tells us what she heard regarding Lt. Kernel Danny Davis from a Rolling Stone reporter which I replicate below…


"The fact is that you have a 17-year army veteran who's done four tours – two in Afghanistan and two in Iraq – who has decided to risk his entire career (he has two and a half more years left before he gets a pension) because he feels that he has a moral obligation to do so."

Apparently Davis’ veracity is unimpeachable, his bravery unquestioned, his nobleness beyond reproach, having done four “tours”, two in Afghanistan and two in Iraq, certainly a record to be proud for a military worshipping nation like ours though nobody seems to ask just what Davis was doing on these “tours”. As Cockburn thrills us at the beginning of his article, Davis, in Cockburn’s own words…

Serving U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Danny Davis has been attracting notoriety following his courageous statement that senior military commanders have been systematically deceiving the American people about the war in Afghanistan.

Has everyone been born yesterday? You don’t mean to say that our courageous military commander commandos have been lying to us? Gasp, shock and awe, baby. Of course they have been lying to us just as the government has been lying to us, as every pea-brained jackass of a politician has been lying to us. The point has never been that we have been told lies, the point has never been that our brave servers of the nation need more and better weapons to murder, rape, and steal with. The point is that what we are doing is morally wrong. We are murdering innocent people and sometimes worse than murder. Torture, rape, pillage, destruction, and murder are emblazoned on our American banner and here are the very people who supposedly stand against such things celebrating the acts of violence as something noble and the overall wonderfulness of our uniformed goon squads. I would suggest to Cockburn and Goodman that if they are truly antiwar to stop worrying about the lies and the lack of gooderer and betterer equipment with which to murder innocent people with and pay more attention to the wars themselves and not get bogged down in propaganda that promotes war and writing it themselves for they do more harm than good. The reason being that as long as people accept and promote the idea that soldiers are doing good things than the wars themselves must be doing good things and this just is not true, not true at all.