Monday, April 8, 2013

Are Afghan Lives = American Lives? The Lessons of Vietnam - Why They Remain Unlearned.

My Lai, with some of the hundreds of villagers slain, in 1968 by Lt. William Calley and his troops. Will Americans ever learn the lessons of Vietnam, or remain in denial – providing an excuse for our leaders to start more wars?

The NBC News lead story last night noted the death of a 25-year old U.S. diplomat, her life cut short by a roadside bomb attack. Yes, she was yet another casualty of the odious overlong U.S. occupation of Afghanistan – still continuing even after al Qaeda has been chased out of the country and its putative leader, Osama bin Laden, killed. Less mentioned by our corpora-media was that 10 innocent Afghan villagers, including toddlers and women, were slain in a misguided NATO attack.

Let me spell this out in black and white so that even an idiot ignoramus like my youngest bro can compute it: If you kill more ‘friendlies’ than you do bad guys, you are not going to win the hearts and minds of the people you are supposedly fighting for, and you won’t win any claimed “war”. All the beleagured people will do, as they did in Vietnam, is collaborate with the enemy to rid themselves of the vicious invaders. This stuff isn’t rocket science, and it is but one more reason Obama, in his budget Wednesday, ought to be announcing an additional saving of $600b by pulling out of Afghanistan immediately! (Another $400b would be saved in having less materiel to send back after this farce is finished)

The Russians learned their lesson in Afghanistan, but too late. That involvement essentially laid waste to the USSR, and bankrupted their nation as it’s doing to us. A superpower was reduced to an ordinary power with lots of nukes. Meanwhile,  our politicos are so wedded to the tits of the military- industrial bloodsuckers (including their lobbyist defense contractors) and parasites they can’t or won’t see that. Hence, they refuse to act, though they insist the "deficits matter". Bull pockey!

According to a recent article in The Washington Spectator (Vol.39, No.4, p.6) by Nick Turse, the U.S. still hasn’t learned and applied the lessons of the Vietnam debacle. Because like it or not, our involvement in dozens of conflicts since Vietnam is underwritten by our failure to grasp the lessons of Vietnam. This, as Turse, notes, is because we display a “collective failure to reckon honestly with the reality of the Vietnam War”.

He goes on to add (ibid.):

“The reason that the conflict rises again and again like a B-movie monster is because the United States has long refused to truly acknowledge , let alone take responsibility for, the bombs and artillery shells, grenades and rockets, mines and bullets, incendiary weapons and chemical defoliants that ravaged the land, made refugees of more than 1.1 million, killed an estimated 2 million and wounded 5 million more.”

Why such waste of lives? FOREIGN lives? My personal theory is because this nation, exceptionalist that it is, doesn’t grant the same value to foreign lives (especially of those it seeks to ‘save’) as its own. Hence, it repeatedly gets involved on these ‘Pax Americana’ missions in which more  lives are wasted, destroyed than the putative ‘enemy’ would have done. Because we are so detached from reality in our exceptionalist blindness, we don’t see lives we have taken as wasted but write them off as “collateral damage”.

As if that stupid canard justifies further warmongering and ‘all is well’! (See also the book, 'Collateral Language' and how they are making our language a casualty as well, to mindfuck most of us not paying attention.)

Anyway, Turse goes on:

“Never having come to grips with what this country actually did during this war, we see its ghost arise anew with each successful military intervention. Was Iraq the new Vietnam? Or was that Afghanistan? Do we see the light at the end of the tunnel? Are we ‘winning hearts and minds’? Are we applying the lessons of Vietnam? What are those lessons anyway?”

At least one lesson ought to have been to remove the blinders and cease with the hindsight war mythology, e.g. “Vietnam was a conflict nobly fought by responsible commanders and good American boys who should not be tainted by the occasional mistake of a few bad apples in their midst”.

All of which is balderdash. The truth is Vietnam was a war of choice, initiated under false pretense, fought at the behest of banksters (Wall Street), oil men and defense contractors (who needed to try out new weapons developed since the Korean conflict) and by a manipulative president who nullified the previous National Security Action Memorandum of his predecessor to pull out by 1965.

Its commanders were mostly craven, untested egomaniacs who stayed at the rear while they ordered pizza deliveries and brewskies, as they sent green horn grunts out on ‘search and destroy’ missions. Those grunts were mostly only able to function by taking daily tokes on their weed or other drugs, and if they got pissed at a fellow grunt, or more often an officer, would as soon “frag” him as look at him. Moreover, given the demand for the daily “body count” – innocent villagers such as slain at My Lai, were way more common than generally believed.

But this is a truth that exceptionalist Americans- raised on the codswallop of Pentagon PR and modern “history” books- refuse to accept. However, until they do, we are bound to enter into ever more “wars” at the cost of even more blood and treasure.

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