Thursday, April 22, 2010
What Have We Learned?
We've learned from the WikiLeaks video of the slaughter of some dozen Iraqis from above that what we see is routine. That is how the Glorious War On Terror is conducted, that is how is has consistently been conducted for years upon years, that is the daily reality the Wogs face and have been facing since well before the Glory of our Expeditions Abroad was brought into focus by the public opening of the various fronts in our perpetual wars of aggression.
To the Wogs on the ground -- remember, they have no airplanes, no helicopters, no drones with which to defend themselves from the ceaseless slaughter -- the exterminations from above are entirely random, arbitrary, cruel, and extremely brutal. The Killers almost always take out entirely innocent civilian targets, who have no idea they are targets, but the survivors learn that any Wog at any time can -- and quite likely will -- become a target for the Killers From Above. Perhaps they are lucky that their faith provides a fatalist outlook on events so they if by random "luck" of the draw they are slaughtered by the Killers, they will accept their Fate with almost as much equanimity as their Killers deliver it.
We've learned that the military lies, constantly, and that lying is Doctrine,; even when they tell the truth, they are lying. They lie about everything, and they lie all the time. It is their way. It is who they are. It is the world in which they live; it is all a lie, a constant lie, and they want, nay demand, that we, civilian observers of their slaughters and their lies, believe their lies, or at the very least set aside our disbelief long enough for them to get on with their job. Which is the killing of Wogs.
Time and again, we heard the defenders of the Killers claim that the killing was justified because an RPG and AK-47s were found among the crushed and burned and separated remains of the Wogs who were exterminated from above that day. Indeed, from the video evidence, it appears that at least a couple of the Wogs are carrying rifles, but there is no sign of RPG weapons, despite the hysteric calling of the troops that they "see" one. No they don't, they see two cameras which they hysterically misidentify as RPGs and which misidentification they then use to justify opening fire on the Wogs. The rifles seen in the video are never aimed or used in any sort of threatening manner; they appear to be entirely defensive weapons. But weapons just the same.
But the RPG "presence" is the justification for the slaughter, not the rifles, and there is no RPG. No RPG is found. What is found are mangled and destroyed camera lenses which the hysterical declare to be "RPGs" and so it is still being reported that an RPG "round" was found among the dead and mutilated remains, because it is the central lie of the whole episode. The Killers must have this central lie believed.
We've learned that the Killers are hysterics, and they are terrified of Wogs, absolutely petrified with fear of Wogs and Woggery, and their sole response to their fear and their hysteria is to kill, kill, kill! The Killers appear to be so drugged up they can't tell what it is they see on their monitors, so they call it whatever they need to call it to justify the slaughter they are about to conduct, regardless of any reality outside their hysterical fear of the Wogs and what they will do. And we've learned that they will be backed up by their superiors, all the way up to the Pentagon and the White House without reservation.
We've learned that Our Rulers have no shame at this conduct. We've learned that our troops have no shame at this conduct. We've learned that Americans are almost entirely desensitized to this conduct -- or actively cheer it on. We've learned, or we should have learned, that Power, naked, raw and and cruel, is what this so-called War is about, and the application of Killing Power, arbitrary, random, and cruel, is how it is conducted.
Now that we know this, what shall we do? It is the endless conundrum. What shall we do?
There are those who defend the Killers because they're "just doing their jobs," and they should not be held to account for what they do. I've never understood or agreed with that viewpoint, because in fact, they are responsible for what they do, and they cross the line on their own volition. They can say no. There may be consequences for doing so, of course, but there are consequences (eventually) for the slaughters they conduct as well.
That does not relieve their officers and commanders all the way up to the Pentagon and the White House of their responsibility, but it is up to those on the ground and in the air over the so-called "battle zone" to say NO, loud and clear, and refuse to fire, refuse to believe a camera lens is an RPG, refuse to become hysterical killers for... what?
As much as we want to think that it was the protests at home that ultimately ended the Vietnam War, it was just as much the fact that the troops were refusing to continue killing gooks wildly to no discernible object, and that they were even killing their officers rather than continue the insane slaughter of the gooks.
Until the troops in our expeditionary forces take the initiative and refuse to continue the slaughter, it will go on. It is the first step. The command will, eventually, follow. They will have no choice.
The military is nowhere close to that point yet. And as Dan Froomkin points out, absolutely no one in Congress is the least interested in exploring the basis for what is shown in the WikiLeaks video. None. Not at all.
We learned a long time ago that Our Rulers do not listen to what those on the "Left" have to say about anything. It is not in their interests to bother with what the "Left" has to say. They are, on the other hand, more than happy to fret and worry right along with whatever the Rightists and other hysterics have to say, fearful always of what the Rightists might do. Which is one reason why the "Left" is ignored: they have demonstrated time and again they will do nothing, whatever, that Our Rulers need to pay attention to if they don't get their way. Whereas we know the Rightists love to kill people and blow shit up and are heavily funded by Rightist economic interests to hold that threat constantly over the Government and Our Rulers. So they often do get much more than a hearing, they get action to satisfy their demands.
Surprising how that still works, but it does.
The only thing we can be certain of is that the world of Our Rulers and their expeditionary forces is entirely divorced from that of the rest of us, and that we, The People, as it were, have more and more in common with the suffering (and often slaughtered) masses in the rest of the world than we have with those who rule us and seek ever greater levels of control over us.
Provided we learn the lesson of our global commonality with one another -- and our utter alienation from those who rule us -- we will have a way forward. Until then, the path is backwards.
Will we learn that lesson?