Thursday, October 04, 2007

"Phoney Soldiers"

The following is an extended comment from a post on a US military blogg. The post itself is by Alex, a young soldier (pictured) who has just returned from an extended 1 year tour of duty in Iraq. It is his second post dealing with Rush Limbaugh, a US MSM columnist, dubbing those in the military who voice opposition to the Iraq war as 'Phony Soldiers'. The post comment encapsulates a burgeoning domestic disillusionment with 'The American Dream'. It's description of the gross subordination and corruption of the political process to the interests of Plutocratic Globalised Corporate America and its military enforcers in a largely phony 'War on Terror' rang some loud bells with me.
Well Alex, I knew it would happen. Your last post got Americans sided off and slinging shit in the now usual polarized way, wasting the American dream with all of its great potential unrealized. We could have been a better country than this. I for one am no longer willing to argue with people who are bitterly, viscerally opposed to everything I believe and know.

All any of us have is our own reality, arrived at carefully or carelessly. Me, I'm a Democrat, lifetime. I study the Constitution and read the writings of the Founders. I think about what is required of an American citizen if our grand experiment is to survive. I read all I can from as many diverse sources as I can find to understand what's going on in the world. I arrive at my own views. I don't want them spoon-fed to me.

I didn't believe Bush even while he campaigned for the White House with his promise of a "humble" foreign policy. I knew who was behind him. I was right. When 9/11 came I was as traumatized and angry as anybody. But I also knew there was something fishy about it, and something very convenient for the neoconservatives. Apparently, by the way they responded to Bush's way of talking about it, a lot of Americans thought 9/11 was as simple as a glass of spilled milk. They still do today.

When within weeks 9/11 rage was steered onto the need to crush Iraq, I KNEW there was something fishy about it. I knew a lot about Iraq. After all, we'd been to war there ten years earlier. I was highly skeptical of the allegations coming from the White House all pressing for war. I was 100% skeptical about the flowers and chocolates and cakewalk talk, because I knew about the way the horrible Hussein had with blood and fear held together the incompatible ethnic and religious divides in that country, had been keeping the lid on what would explode into chaos without him or someone like him.

I knew Iraq and al Qaeda in league was an impossible farce. I knew it. I knew it, damn me. I knew it but I let the administration sow doubt in my mind. And then, the only way I can put it is, Americans became the victims of terror for the second time in a year. What am I referring to? I am referring to the specter of a "mushroom cloud over an American city" -- Saddam's nuclear weapons given to his partner bin Laden and blowing us up. Who could have the gall to terrify Americans, reeling from 9/11, with this if it wasn't true?

Cheney said it. Bush said it. Rice said it. Rumsfeld might have said it, I can't remember. Then Limbaugh screamed it. Hannity screamed it. O'Reilly screamed it. All of FOX TV and AM talk radio screamed it. A bunch of Paul Reveres, apparently... patriots sounding the call to arms.

And then, like 95% of Americans, I blinked. I flinched. I turned my back on everything I knew about the matter, because in my heart of hearts I did not believe any US government could lie to the American people about something like that. To do so would be an unspeakable act of cruelty and cynicism inflicted on a whole country suffering varying degrees of PTSD from watching those planes hit the skyscrapers again and again, hundreds of times, thousands of times. I fell back to the usual place we go when we surrender our freedom and sovereignty as citizens, accepting that I did not have the intelligence that the White House had, that this was something only they could know, something they would never say if it wasn't true, and doubt it as I might, I could not afford to disbelieve it, which would be tantamount to inviting the blinding sun-bright mushroom of death over my own city and my own loved ones. So when Shock and Awe came, I was all right with it.

But I was wrong and 95% of America was wrong. Bush lied. Cheney lied. Rice lied. They knew they were trick-fucking a defenseless public and they had the cold heart to go right ahead and do it. And so did their cheerleader Rush Limbaugh.

Americans want to trust their leaders. But the unspeakable has happened and we've been had. It's all out in the open now. But many still can't face the truth.

And here we arrive at the end of my little confession. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. I will not be a child who trusts his child molester daddy. I will not be a wife who trusts her wife-beater husband.

The architects of this war, and their media mouthpieces, have committed the ultimate acts of savagery and contempt against the very people who depend on them with their lives for nobility, for courage, for selfless leadership, for the TRUTH. They have betrayed us, over and over again, day in, day out, with their lies and their fear mongering.

Look at the comments on your last post. Why are we a divided nation, as divided as we've ever been since the Civil War, divided friend against friend, father against son, family against family? Because of LIARS, cynical, heartless liars with hidden self-serving agendas that cannot stand the light of day. Liars do not heal or unite or produce happy outcomes. But they can divide. Look at us.

I don't care about Rush Limbaugh or George Bush. Just don't tread on me any more, fellas. Keep the snake oil to yourselves. I am awake again. And I'm not going back to sleep. I am committed to only one thing: trying to pick my country up from the rubble of division, confusion and fear to which it has been reduced, and to attempt CPR on the American Dream until somebody pulls me off the body politic and pulls a sheet over it. That's all there is left to do.
The rest of the blogg provides unvarnished insights into the ugly realities of the occupation. As for example in Alex's description of a relatively trivial incident consequent on revised tactics intended to get the military to interact with Iraqui civilians more:
We were one of few units to see Iraq before and after the surge. If the media got anything right, it was that the surge failed. The idea, as birthed in a bloody, mucous-y blob of counter production by General Petreaus, is quite simple on paper, impossible to execute in a meddling reality. The concept is that combat troops would move from their huge bases that housed obscene luxuries like beds, flushing toilets and running water, and into outposts within the most dangerous parts of the city. The key to it all would be 24/7 interaction with Iraqi Army and a constant presence among the Iraqi citizens, giving them confidence in the mission of coalition forces. The building we picked used to be a whiskey distillery, and we've been busy putting up concrete barriers and wire around it. A house was too close to where the wall was supposed to be, so engineers blew it to smithereens and sent the family packing. The father owned the plot for forty years and comes by every so often to collect the useful bricks left scattered a hundred yards in every direction. Before he entered once, I patted his seventy year old frame down like a common criminal.

Talk about community interaction!

No comments:

Post a Comment