Today, it's Libya. Now, let's see. Are we there to unearth Moammar Gadhafi's Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or is it to bring liberation and democracy to the Libyan population? Oh, no, this time, it's to keep Gadhafi from "killing his own people." The missions just keep changing, don't they? Well, that's the way it is when you have the responsibility to police and supervise the entire world.
When you're in the driver's seat, it matters not how much the lies pile on top of one another. All that is necessary for such lies to succeed, writes Paul Craig Roberts, "is for the government to have its story ready and to have a compliant media. Once the official story is in place, thought and investigation is precluded." As is now conventional, the capper at the top of the lies is the one that claims that even the most contemptible actions are performed "for the sake of national security," that is, in defense of our homeland. Who could have a problem with that?
Paul Gottfried, in describing the ease with which the supposedly leftist Barack Obama incorporated all those conservative patriotic rhetorical themes into his January State of the Union address, shows how the phony "vision" thing is accomplished, whether by Republican "patriots" or by cynical neocons, or by even more cynical liberals.
All one has to do is follow Obama's lead as he gushes over how good we Americans are, and how the unfortunates who happen to live outside the U.S. simply "dream" of enjoying a democracy such as ours. We see that Obama quickly learned the tricks of the trade, and this is how the trade works: Talk ceaselessly about American "exceptionalism," the neocons' clever bit of hyperbole designed to convince the slow-witted public that America was conceived as a "propositional" nation, not one founded on a specific ethnic or cultural identity.
Once the "propositional" thing has been established, it matters not if you're a left-wing progressive or a Republican Evangelical Tea Party patriot. This is why Obama can successfully co-opt right wing rhetoric in such a bald-faced manner. Gottfried writes, "Once we've defined our country as some kind of propositional thing, then the leader is free to identify what the country is and how to force its citizens to comply with that proposition." Whatever the "proposition" of the day might be. Egalitarianism, inclusiveness, diversity. George W. Bush managed this trick very well.
Gottfried contends that once you enunciate this propositional idea, "then you can fit your own program into it, e.g., launching wars to spread democracy or throwing tax money at one's favorite donors such as teachers' unions." Instead of challenging the Republicans' hubristic notions of "exceptionalism," Obama learned that, "It's better to celebrate America as an exceptional place held together by an 'idea,' as long as you get to define that idea and use it to push your own stuff."
It should be clear by now that no President who comes along will ever have a problem pushing the Pentagon's "stuff" on this country, since there will never be any significant noise of protest from the white boys on whom falls the primary responsibility to suit up and lead the fight in these worthless entanglements. There is little chance you will ever hear complaints from these misguided patriots who are ever eager to serve as cannon fodder. They can't get to the next front soon enough. Their right wing evangelical Moms and Dads have done too good a job teaching them their duty to obey any and all calls issued forth by the Pentagon's Puppets. What, me question?
Even as the wheelchairs filled with broken, mutilated bodies come rolling home, there's another batch of prospective heroes waiting to become the next victims. One would think that the dauntless Major General Smedley Butler had never opened his mouth to disclose the heartless truths he had learned in his 33 years in the Marines. What is it he called himself? "A muscle-man for Big Business." Essentially, a sucker.
One supposed good piece of news for these wounded young men, according to a New York Times report, is that their survival rates are now higher, even though a great many are missing multiple limbs (multiple, mind you) and genitals. Well, what's a lost testicle or two for your country? To sacrifice your body when fighting an invading enemy in your own homeland, while defending hearth and home, is horrible enough. However, to end up as a 21-year-old basket case at the behest of war racketeers is insufferable.
And those that were left, well, we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead --
Never knew there was worse things than dying.
For I'll go no more "Waltzing Matilda,"
All around the green bush far and free --
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more "Waltzing Matilda" for me.
Last year, in Afghanistan, greater numbers American soldiers fell from explosive devices, suffering what is described as "grievous injury," that is, bodies that will never be the same again. But, hey, what 20-year-old warrior still harbors plans to date another girl, anyway? After engaging in the vicious wars of the 20th century, white men are accustomed to dying before passing on their sperm. In the last century, they were kept busy expiring as youth in their country's misrepresented World Wars of I and II, to say nothing of Korea and Vietnam. Who needs more white folks, anyway? Whites don't appear to give a damn about their own race's demise, so why should anyone else?
Speaking of white folks, when are we going to have that candid discussion about the possible connection between genes and the warrior mentality, that the soon-to-be-former Senator James Webb hints at in his remarkable book Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America? It may not matter who appears to be running the military machine, but what do we know about why the machine is driven at all? What propels this machine? Is it merely dirty lucre, or is it some natural internal engine at work in the hearts and souls of particular white ethnics, that cannot be turned off, although totally irrelevant to the genuine welfare of this country?
Is this military machine genetically-driven by a people who just can't help themselves and must create reasons to make war, so they can be excused for killing? Are we dealing with an unstoppable Terminator of sorts, a relentless machine that just cannot be shut down? Let's face it, this country has never, ever required military protection. There has never been a country less in need of military protection throughout its history.
Webb, along with other observers, recounts what appear to be deep-seated behaviors among the population that migrated to the colonies in the 18th century, mainly from the borderlands of Scotland and northern England. He tells of "this peculiar culture," in which the surest way for an ambitious young man to make his mark was through military performance or "conspicuous acts of bravado." Webb writes, "By selecting leaders based on military skill and a penchant for action rather than educational or commercial acumen, a dilemma would evolve in later centuries, manifested clearly in the Scots-Irish of today's America."
But how well these men did fit into yesterday's America. As cited by historians like Grady McWhiney, Frederick Law Olmstead and David Hackett Fischer, this population from the British Isles brought cultural mores and social patterns that appeared so inborn they would almost guarantee ongoing conflicts and violence. They persisted in finding ways to justify fighting with everybody, from outsiders to those within their own familial circles. Was it their DNA? Was this behavior chromosome-driven?
As far as the rulers of this new world were concerned, what better breed of men could be asked for in a society that would forever devote itself to war making? These new migrants were first put to work helping to mop up the Indians, and would henceforth become the indispensable warrior force in all of this country's subsequent battles and wars. Fischer called the migrants from that turbulent region of northern England, where the Scots and English had made war and committed atrocities against each other for centuries, "some of the most disorderly inhabitants of a deeply disordered land." This disorderly band found their own unique niche in the new world.
After political leaders finished setting American citizens against one another in a bloody civil war, they then set about warring against the world. Here's some of what the twice-decorated Medal of Honor winner, Major General Smedley Butler, speaking in 1933, had to say about America's "noble" wars:
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street.
The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
If General Butler lived today, would he be charged as a WikiLeaks snitch? Even after these right wing patriots learn, via leaked cables, of this government's use of deceit and intimidation to undermine the governments of other countries, and to control the American public, this information is merely looked upon as real politik. In other words, this is how the real world works, these wild-eyed evangelicals will tell you. And they send off the next generation of their sons to die or lose their genitals for the deceivers.
It ain't me, It ain't me,
I ain't no senator's son,
It ain't me, It ain't me,
I ain't no fortunate one, no,
Yeh, some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give,
oh, they only answer, more, more, more, yoh,
Nothing reaches these religious sycophants, whose perverted sense of patriotism is second only to their perverted attachment to the Republican party. Not even the wisest men among them can get a hearing. Take the case of Rev. Chuck Baldwin, for instance, an evangelical himself. He writes:
George W. Bush and Karl Rove have made mincemeat out of the Religious Right. They have shown everyone that once you win the support of the Christian Right with rhetoric, you can get by with just about anything.Rev. Baldwin is exasperated with those he calls "gullible pawns" and "robotic foot soldiers for universal and everlasting war," who will not resist even the most reprehensible government policy, if it is demanded by The Leaders. "They see no harm in the decimation of individual liberties," says Baldwin, "as long as it is a Republican who is stealing them."
Sadly, this is what the Christian Right just doesn't get: ninety percent of the time, it doesn't matter a tinker's dam whether a Republican or Democrat wins the White House. Both parties are mostly dominated and controlled by the same interests. Both major parties carry water for Big Money conglomerates. Both parties are heavily influenced by globalists and internationalists. Neither party has any loyalty to the U.S.
Constitution or the principles of liberty.
This is why even a blatantly unconstitutional law like the Patriot Act meets with no resistance on the part of this "conservative" camp. If the phony Tea Partiers possessed just an iota of regard for the Founders' Constitution, they would be out in the streets protesting the existence of this travesty. Instead, it is their camp that recently voted for its renewal.
Susan Lindauer, one of the first victims of this un-American legislation, who was imprisoned for more than a year without trial, writes: "Nobody who has supported that wretched law should ever be allowed to brag of defending liberty again. That goes for the Tea Party. By voting to extend surveillance of American citizens, they have abandoned the principles of freedom that brought about their rise to power. They have shown their true face."
These right wing, military-loving robots will not tolerate any messing with a chance to engage this country in war. At one time, they were enthusiastic supporters of Patrick Buchanan, whom they even put forward as a presidential candidate. He was considered a super patriot among them. That is, until Buchanan took positions against George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. At that moment he became toxic, and was drummed out of the patriot corps. Buchanan put his money where his principles were and, along with two partners, founded a new magazine to give voice to obstinate dissidents like himself.
During the clamor over the comments of the singing Dixie Chicks, who dissed the execrable George W. Bush at one of their concerts, for which they were duly punished by southern "patriots," an interesting thread appeared on the Country Music Television site. In it, a commenter, Leanne, wondered out loud if country music fans would be respectful towards the incoming President Obama. She speculated:
"Will they get up in arms if someone like Trace Adkins or Toby Keith [both adamant rightwing supporters of Bush and critics of the Dixie Chicks] says something disrespectful about soon-to-be President Obama -- here in the U.S. or even on foreign soil? I’m thinking Mr. Keith will be able to say whatever he wants about Obama at his concerts and the majority of country music fans will simply cheer him on.
"So, it’s somewhat disingenuous to suggest that the uproar over [Natalie] Maine’s remarks was a result of someone saying something negative against the President. I’m more inclined to believe that the anger was because she dared to say something about a Republican president, because I’m sure Obama will not be shown such patriotic respect by the fans who currently claim to be so respectful of the office of the president.
"I just don’t believe that they would have been so angry if Natalie had spoken out against Clinton in the ’90s, and I don’t believe they will be angry if country artists say something disrespectful about Obama in the next four years, no matter what soil it’s said on."
I wondered about this, too. But I wondered more specifically if the white boys would be so willing to suit up and take their bodies abroad to fight in a war attributed to Obama, such as we have today in Libya. Well, as it turns out, there was nothing to wonder about. Just put a military uniform on any one of these men, point him in the direction of something to bomb or some civilians to slaughter ("collateral damage"), and he will salute and shout "Hallelujah!"
Indeed, it matters not who sits in the White House. Who cares if a white or a colored or a Klingon orders the charge? Besides, the white boys probably are smart enough to figure out that Obama, like every other President, amounts to nothing more than a Pentagon Puppet. They understand where the orders really come from.
After all, these are the descendants of those sturdy combatants of World War I, a worthless enterprise of murder, if ever there was one. And soon followed by yet another worthless excursion of murder, dubbed World War II, the symbol of white heroism, the ultimate propaganda offered up by Hollywood in more films than it's possible to count. General Butler could have told us that the race or ethnicity of the Pentagon's Puppet in the White House matters nothing. For it is the military machine that runs the show.
Because so many of the military and political leaders come from the same stock and culture as the young men they recruit, they know not only how to dupe these boys through the language and terminology they employ, they're clued in to the right clichés to use, even down to the biblical references. And, what with dear, old Mom and Dad egging them on, in their own blind Christian fervor, these young men don't stand a chance to offer rebuttal.
He's five foot two, and he's six foot four,
He fights with missiles and with spears,
He's all of thirty-one and he's only seventeen,
He's been a soldier for a thousand years.
He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist, a Baptist, and a Jew.
He knows he shouldn't kill, but he knows he always will,
Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you.
Eric Peters describes the breathtaking stockpile of weaponry supposedly required for our "national defense" – fleets of aircraft carriers, a million-man army, fleets of "stealth" aircraft, nuclear submarines loaded with ICBMs – any one of which could lay waste to most of the world and would certainly, utterly destroy any single country. He writes: "It's really all about projecting power on others, who have done nothing to us, other than resist American hegemony, or otherwise behave uncooperatively. All for the sake of the military industrial cartel."
In keeping with these facts, some time ago, Paul Craig Roberts offered this droll suggestion. He claimed that since the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with America's national interests, but everything to do with armament profits for the military-security complex, why not just allocate a percentage of the federal budget to this dangerous gang? Why work at concocting reasons for invading country after country, so that special lobbies can extort entitlements for their weapons manufacturing clients?
Roberts says we should skip the middlemen in these transactions and simply give these arms manufacturers and their shareholders the money directly, with the provision that they cease producing new armaments. He explains, "No one, at home or abroad, would have to be killed, and the taxpayer would be better off." This ought to keep the Lockheed-Martin missiles crowd happy, while not threatening their big bonuses. And there would be no more young men without limbs, eyes, or genitalia.
Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one's paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget's stretched so thin
And there's more comin' home from the Mideast war
We can't make it here anymore
Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I'm in
Should I hate 'em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They've never known want, they'll never know need
Their shit don't stink and their kids won't bleed
Their kids won't bleed in the damn little war
And we can't make it here anymore
Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let 'em eat jellybeans let 'em eat cake
Let 'em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can't make it here anymore