Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Anti-War? Better Damned Well Believe It!
" Why of course the people don’t want war...But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” - Hermann Goering, Nuremberg, 1946
I admit that if an anti-war gene exists, I was probably born with it. Even from an early age of 5 or 6 going through my parents' 'Book of Knowledge' whenever I came across war scenes and accounts I thought most of them stupid.
WWII, as I learned more about it, especially from my dad (a WWII vet), was perhaps the one exception because non- participation wasn't an option given the Third Reich's designs on the entire world. After I learned (by 1971) how close the Reich was to a nuclear weapon, thanks to the atomic physicists (like Werner Heisenberg) they had working on it, a pacifist stance would have amounted to ....well, I don't even want to think about it.
But, most wars are tomfoolery, fought under false pretenses and done mainly to fill the pockets of corporate bastards, oil tycoons & companies or shadow government enclaves. Vietnam is a case in point, started entirely on a false pretext via the claim two American ships (the Turner Joy and Maddox ) were fired on by N. Vietnam. But in 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that the Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese Navy on August 2, but that there were no North Vietnamese Naval vessels present during the incident of August 4.
In other words, all bullshit whose only outcome was the deaths of 58,000 Americans, $290b gone up in smoke, and an unfathomable toll in injuries and disabilities - including from Agent Orange. JFK had actually planned to pull all personnel out of Vietnam by 1965, using his National Security Action Memorandum 263, but his assassination prevented that. Once LBJ got in, he issued NSAM 273 to retract Kennedy's order which paved the way to launch a full scale war with over a half million men under arms. Most of us, in the deep politics arena, believe LBJ acted in accord with the orders of oil tycoons - like Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, and assorted banks - as well as the still growing U.S. defense industry which demanded a new slew of weapons used, bombs blown up, jets shot down - so they could make more. And get more defense contracts, more profits built on blood.
Iraq was an equally bogus intervention and "war" - actually more a blitzkrieg invasion followed by a prolonged occupation. The Bushies wanted to go into Iraq to have a more or less permanent base in the Middle East, and also to punish Saddam - after Bush Sr. was threated by him. Bush Jr. then wanted to exact vengeance.
This perspective is useful in approaching Ann Jones' new book, They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America's Wars -- The Untold Story,. Jones' message is devastating, and especially when one considers that virtually all of the death and destruction in U.S. wars is on the other side. Yes, while we lost 58,000 in Vietnam - the Vietnamese (not including the N. Viets or Viet Cong) lost more than 2.5 million. Many dead from napalm and Agent Orange an indiscriminate "body bag" hunts - where the war had been based totally on numbers called "body count". But no one ever checked to see how many were really "friendlies" and not Cong.
In Iraq, something like 4,000 U.S. troops were killed but nearly 600,000 innocent Iraqis - according to World Health Organization stats (which I would accept long before any "official" U.S. government stats - when it can't even be truthful about the JFK assassination).
As blogger David Swanson observed re: Jones' book:
Know a young person considering joining the military? Give them this book.
Know a person not working to end war? Give them this book.
Swanson was referring in part to how many soldiers in Iraq, hit by IEDs for example, had to have their genitals cut off- penises tossed into medical waste bins - after lower torsos were obliterated. Apart from those gnarly issues, Jones' Introduction alone will get the attention of even the most warmongering nut or brainwashed zombie (okay, perhaps not the latter)
One excerpt is:
"Contrary to common opinion in the United States, war is not inevitable. Nor has it always been with us. War is a human invention -- an organized, deliberate action of an anti-social kind -- and in the long span of human life on Earth, a fairly recent one. For more than 99 percent of the time that humans have lived on this planet, most of them have never made war. Many languages don't even have a word for it. Turn off CNN and read anthropology. You'll see.
What's more, war is obsolete. Most nations don't make war anymore, except when coerced by the United States to join some spurious 'coalition.' The earth is so small, and our time here so short. No other nation on the planet makes war as often, as long, as forcefully, as expensively, as destructively, as wastefully, as senselessly, or as unsuccessfully as the United States. No other nation makes war its business."
Well, no one can argue that! But the question remains: Why is it that the U.S, takes the cake in making war its business? I provided some reasons in a previous blog post: http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2013/09/why-need-for-so-many-military-attacks.html wherein I observed:
"The more conflicts, attacks that can be expedited the more ordinance, bombs, cruise missiles, etc. are destroyed in the process of attacking and hence the more additional ordnance, bombs, cruise missiles etc. have to be manufactured to replace them! Can't have any inventory building up on the defense contractors' shelves, now can we?"
In effect, endless war enables the most prodigious ideal of the profiteer: endless obsolescence via destruction. Eliminate by war $600 billion in tanks, fighter jets, assault rifles, ships, bombers and you have to make another $600b more to replace them - often more - because of inflation and increasing oil prices. The U.S. then, has honed this endless cycle of "creative" destruction to a tee.
Add in the fact that making all these weapons assures hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country - in both Reepo and Demo districts- and you have the ideal "capital works" jobs program. Hell, Colorado Springs thrives on it. Take away the military weapons money and support and this little burg sinks into the abyss.
What is more, you ensure almost NO votes from any of these districts against any military actions, interventions, planned occupations- because of course, the economic welfare of their little military fiefdom depends on them! Exactly what Ike warned about when he warned of the spread of the "military industrial complex".
Those who want to gain more insight are advised to get Jones' book, and also try to get hold of the documentary DVD: 'Why We Fight'.
In tandem, they will shake you to your core. And if they don't, well count yourself among the 'Walking Dead'!