In Psychopathy Legitimized, Reed, who is no pansy, nor antiwar, expresses the view of many current and former soldiers -- at least, those who have not yet gone over to the Dark Side. Following are excerpts:
On Antiwar.com, I find a loutish American general, James Mattis, martial feminist, talking about the fun he has killing Afghans. Yes, fun, wheeee-oooo! and ooo-rah! too. He says, “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” adding “guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyways. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.” What must he do with prisoners?
A joyous killer, possibly orgasmic. Note mandatory flagly background, pickle suit, and stupid colorful gewgaws so he looks like a goddam stamp collection. Stern gaze is necessary to become a general. From defending the Constitution to the pleasure of watching Afghans die: The military has come a long way.
I’ll guess he fell just shy of graduating from third grade. He sure ain’t much of a general, no ways, I reckon. Just the fellow I want representing me in the world.
Does General Dworkin-Mattis speak of manhood? Odd, since his military is being badly outfought by the unmanly Afghans that are fun to kill. By the Pentagon’s figures the US military outnumbers the resistance several to one. The US has complete control of the air, enjoying F16s, helicopter gun-ships, transport choppers, and Predator drones, as well as armor, body armor, night-vision gear, heavy weaponry, medevac, hospitals, good food, and PXs. The Afghans have only AKs, RPGs, C4, and balls. Yet they are winning, or at least holding their own. How glorious.
Man for man, weapon for weapon, the Taliban are clearly superior. They take far heavier casualties, but keep on fighting. Their politics are not mine, but they are formidable on the ground. If I were General Dworkin, I’d change my name and go into hiding. Maybe he could wear a veil.
Perhaps the US should recognize that it has a second-rate military at phenomenal cost – an enormous, largely useless national codpiece. It is embarrassing. The Pentagon’s preferred enemies are lightly armed, poorly equipped peasants, which makes for a long war and thus hundreds of billions of dollars in juicy contracts for military industries. Yet the greatest military in history (ask it) gets run out of Southeast Asia, blown up and run out of Lebanon, shot down and run out of Somalia, with Afghanistan a disaster in progress and Iraq claimed as an American victory rather than Shiite. Do the aircraft carriers intimidate North Korea? No. Iran? No. China? No. For this, a trillion dollars a year? ...
Now, it is regarded as treasonous to question that Our Boys are the best trained, best armed, toughest troops in the world, and I’ll probably get punched out in bars for pointing out the awful truth. Let’s imagine an experiment. We take Killing-is-Fun General Mattis-Abzug, and a thousand GIs, and a thousand Taliban, and let them fight it out in any patch of wretched barren mountains of your choosing. On equal terms. What you think? Same weapons.
Good idea, General? You eat what they eat, wear what they wear, they have no medical care, and neither do you. If they get lung-shot and die the hard way, you do too. It will come down to guts and motivation.
Motivation: It counts, general. I believe it was Bedford Forrest who said of some of his troops, “Them cane-brake boys jest plain likes to fight.” I guess there must be just a whole lot of cane in Afghanistan. The Taliban will go to any length to cut your freaking throat because you have been killing their wives and children, fathers and brothers, and you will fight for… for…well. Uh. Big oil, AIPAC, Ann Coulter. Or a promotion for General Mathis-Abzug. Anybody want to put odds on the outcome?
And General, killing them might be a tad less fun when you couldn’t do it from the safety of a gunship. Just a thought, General. ...
Funny how things look if you think about them. Patriots talk about the tragic deaths of young Americans in Afghanistan. Well, okay. Other things being equal, young guys getting shot to death in a pointless war is not a swell idea. I’m against it. In fact, the more you see of it, and I’ve seen a lot, the worse an idea it seems. Of course, a logician might point out that if you didn’t send them to Afghanistan, they wouldn’t die there – would they?
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