How many million are dead from our wars? How many troops by now are dead or are doomed to lives of physical and mental debilitation? I wonder how Obama and Gates et al. look at themselves in the mirror every morning. I wonder if there is still a reflection that appears to them.
Of course, Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates did manage to address the Wikileaks’ issue from their bully pulpits before Obama this week began a masterful shell game of distracting from the horrors in Afghanistan with Iraq faux-success.
But last week, Obama and Gates couldn’t say enough in their righteously performed sound bites about how concerned they are that innocent Afghans may NOW be in jeopardy as well as our poor troops from the leaked disclosures.
What was private first class Bradley Manning thinking? That a release of thousands and thousands of documents proving overwhelming U.S. war criminal activity and what should be a horrifying video of army soldiers callously treating innocent foreign civilians like targets in a video game (apparently S.O.P.) would break the moral coma that America exists in? That the blowback from the perpetrators of evil would not reach Orwellian dimensions of crazymaking projection of their own crimes onto the whistleblowers?
Obama and Gates were busily trying to reframe the Wikileaks story so that it is about a TRAITOROUS act. Not about a 22 year-old private who recognized the insane amorality going on he had a front line view of and did something about it. Who listened to conscience over authority. Who probably thought his brave and bold action would matter to the Good Germans of America. HAH!!! Naive young man.
"Hope was the last temptation of Christ,” dear Bradley!
You can bet the order of the military and administration day right now is to break the sanity and will of this 22 year-old. To make of him an example. And, after all, both departments are very adept at breaking the spirits of 22 year-olds, whether they are good-boy and -girl soldiers or troublemaking conscience-listening upstarts like Manning. I once heard in a tv documentary a soldier apologist for the torture policy explain that they were only ramping up a bit the way they themselves were treated in boot camp. That should give us all pause.
Bradley Manning is now at the mercy of a terrifying matrix that has no qualms about psychological and physical torture, as long as the press won’t call them on it. It is the dirty rotten M.O. now. It is part of the "new normal" as the ACLU declares, started by Bush but really getting locked in by Obama. Cronyism with rat bastards.
Let’s look, too, at the regimes we actually support and have supported, including Afghanistan’s. If the US government can’t support the decent human beings in other countries, considers them the enemy of their elite amoral cronies, why would we expect them to be capable of loyalty to the most decent citizens in our own country? Our own human rights activists. As well as loyalty especially to the young and exploitable volunteer army. Young people entrusting the corrupt U.S. power and money addicted establishment with their very lives.
Hard to reconcile Bradley facing 50+ years prison time from trying to bring reality — surreal reality — to America. We watch as our amoral leadership goes earnestly after victims. The soldier whistleblower. At the same time this administration gives the torture, war and Wall Street monsters a walk.
Let’s plug up the truth to power people. Let’s ignore what is happening with, to and by our troops!!!! Dope up the troops even more. Validate acts of atrocity. Increase the frequency of deployments. Deny charges that horrifying sustained levels of stress are creating homicide, sex abuse, domestic violence, alcoholism, suicide, drug addiction among the troops. Minimize their deaths or critical woundings.
The horrifying statistics of suicides and addictions among the troops are shadowing the truth-averse media, however. So much so that there even appears to be a program in place now that tries to train troops to use “positive thinking” when in combat. To allay their natural trigger-happiness by not “catastrophizing” — again — while in combat. The intention is to help the troops and that seems noble, but do I need to even explore how outrageous and ridiculous the nature of that solution seems? I guess the MIC operatives had better get more and more of those drones ready, since real human beings are not up to the massive evil exploiting them for craven corporate agendas.
I witnessed something not long ago that sums up the way I see the governmental and military leadership of this country relating to the troops. Please indulge me.
I was sitting in a downtown NYC subway car during a non-rush hour part of a weekday. At one stop the doors opened and about a dozen terribly excited cub scouts rushed aboard, grabbing seats and each other, amidst squealing, roughhousing and yelling. Two men accompanied them. The men sat at the far end of the car, engrossed in their own conversation. One of the men, clearly the "alpha" leader, suddenly barked to the kids a warning that they were only going a few stops. He was short and square. "Napoleonic" I concluded.
After a few stops, that shorter man stood up, gripped the vertical pole near the end of the car, and ordered the boys to stand up since the next stop was theirs. The boys looked helpless and confused. I realized that for them to get up on the hurtling train would mean they had nothing to hang onto. Not a good idea on the NYC subway. These kids would be especially vulnerable to the dramatic lurch of its stopping. They were too short to hang onto the horizontal railings way above us which even some adults have trouble reaching. Most of the kids weren’t near the intermittent vertical poles. Standing up? Their bodies knew this was not a good idea.
"For God’s sakes, get up!!!!" Mr. Empathy boomed. I started to form the word, "Wait!" as if the guy was going to listen to the likes of me, anyway. The kids obediently — obediently — that is, counter-intuitively … trustingly … rose as one …. or were, more likely, collectively levitated by this guy’s last shrieking howl! The kids tried to balance themselves in the moving car but in seconds it had lurched to a stop. Every last kid was pitched violently one direction or another, right off his feet. Embarrassed no doubt. Many seriously bruised no doubt. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.
Clueless Napoleon, instead of recognizing what a BIG FAT NON-EMPATHETIC JERK he had just been, looked bewildered at the poor little guys pulling themselves upright. "What the hell are you DOING????? What’s the matter with you!!!!!" he demanded in disgust. "Now, let’s GO!!!!!" The kids hopped to it. Nothing like macho man to inspire INSTANT fear and compliance.
Two levels of horror I felt witnessing this less than five minute scenario. The first was how obtuse this empathy-challenged leader was in insisting the boys risk standing when unlike him they were not safely grounded. The second horror was that after having created a situation in which they had hurt themselves, he did not exhibit ANY sense of compassion and responsibility – the ability to respond – but instead BLAMED THEM and pushed them onward!
Now the floor of a subway car for small fry cubs is not an Afghanistan Hamburger Hill for young adult troops, but you get my drift. The U.S. military treats its young trusting and vulnerable soldiers LIKE THAT BIG, DANGEROUS, UNCARING JERK.
By making our troops kill innocent people, the rat bastards, the political and corporate oligarchs, get to kill targets in the way of their economic and political aggrandizement, and callously discard a suffering portion of the population young enough and naive enough to trust a dysfunctional, amoral American leadership. I saw a sign for a movie on a subway platform earlier today. The Expendables. I have no idea the plot line but not hard to see how they arrived at that name and attitude.
I wonder how the troops feel hearing the mantra "support the troops" being used to con the continuation of these illegal wars that destroy their futures or very lives. These troops come to recognize soon enough no doubt they are being used as hit men and women and/or cannon fodder for corporate profit-making.
The rat bastards who give gushing lip service to the "troops" and use them as leverage to keep war contractors, oil companies, corporate lobbyists, chickenhawk powerplayers or military Meet the Press (while the troops are meeting death) generals happy, who have been so very willing to leave the troops in harm’s way for nearly a decade now. And though the wars in the Middle East are pretty much circling the bowl in terms of U.S. political or military success, the rat bastards won’t let themselves surrender to reality.
They are willing to keep on sacrificing the troops. And, the SAME troops, with the revolving doors of deployment, set them up to play Russian roulette with their lives. How many deployments can you manage to live through without going crazy or getting killed? And if you don’t get killed, well, who can escape the "going crazy" part of it?
Manning to country:
“I did my part. You do yours.
END THESE INSANE WARS!”