Thursday, March 22, 2012

Support the Troops?

OMNI SUPPORT THE TROOPS NEWSLETTER #1, March 22, 2012.   Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace.

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:   For a knowledge-based peace, justice, and ecology movement and an informed citizenry as the foundation for change.

Dick:  Support the Troops?
Shea:  Hatred and Killing,  Support These Troops?
Massacre in Afghanistan?
With Ears?
Psychopaths in the Military at War?
The Outrage?
Junger:   The Pulpit?
Ignorant Troops?
Education Against Militarism and Empire

Support the Troops?

Yes, support the troops.
But not those who pissed on dead Taliban fighters.
Yes, support the troops.
But not those who killed all in the Afghan wedding party.
Yes, support the troops.
But not those who tortured captives in Gitmo and Bahgram.
Yes, support the troops.

Definition Power (who controls the language controls the people)
The U. S. Constitution grants power to Congress to call out the militia to “suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”  The Constitution declares our right of national self-defense.    But what is the “nation”?   Now our leaders include in the US “nation” all its advance bases.       And what is “defense of the nation”?    US soil has been invaded only three times: War of 1812, Pearly Harbor 1941, and World Trade Center/Pentagon 2001.    Yet now “self-defense” is defined as “national security,” and our leaders go to war around the planet—over forty illegal invasions and interventions since 1945 and now “projecting force” through 900 military bases in over 100 countries all part of the US “nation” to be defended.. From D. C. trace your world map westward:   Homeland, Pacific, Asia, Europe, Homeland!   Attack any base anywhere and you have attacked USA.

Indoctrination Power: Support the Troops
How our leaders persuaded its populace to believe such an absurd yet massively bellicose and lethal a definition is a dark reality of US history since WWII.   The books I mention in this Newsletter significantly add to our understanding of that history.  One consequence of the new definition—the unceasing call to “support the troops”-- functions to sustain US wars for the “security” of the “nation” strung out around the globe.  The slogan “support the troops” helps to explain how the new disastrous definition has been sustained.   It also reveals why the slogan is losing its powerful grip over the public, as the public increasingly questions the “self-defense” claimed for the wars and the legitimacy of the new name in 1947 for the Department of War    The “support the troops” slogan, while it might be valid in defense of the homeland, has lost its persuasiveness in the defense of all of the advanced US bases scattered over land or sea in the several military jurisdictions into which the planet has been divided by the Department of War—the Department of Conquest and Empire.  Consider the logic of our leaders which has undernourished the public for sixty years:  The US has the right to invade and intervene in order to defend what? old conquests.   Heard that before?   Listen to the speeches and the boots of the Roman, British, and Nazi imperial rulers and troops.
Of course we want our loved ones and those of our friends and of our countrymen and women to return safe.   But as the public learns more about the illegality, immorality, and massive waste of the US wars, the more urgently do we want our loved ones home and the less we support leaders of the wars.  For several years the public majority has wanted the troops to leave Afghanistan and Iraq.   And as the excuse of “self-defense” for the wars is increasingly found untrustworthy, and as evidence of the subversion of the morality of our troops by war has become more available (we should support all the troops?), even respect for the troops, the imperial instruments of conquest, and the righteousness of the troops in their killing and being killed,.has declined.

A Desperate Defense of Empire
The constant resort to the slogan, “Support the Troops,” reveals its weakness and the desperation of the imperial rulers.   For justifying and continuing US military expansion abroad by appeal for sympathy for the agents of empire, regardless of the brutal, terroristic behavior of some, enlists diminishing conviction.   Repeated expressions of gratitude to warriors for risking their lives to preserve US “freedom” and “safety,” when their risk has little to nothing to do with US freedom or safety but much to do with command of world resources, exposes the illusion of the slogan “support the troops.” 
Ironical Effect:   Empathy
As the validity of the “defense” rationale for war has declined the public has more keenly recognized the humanity of the “enemy” troops in Afghanistan and Iraq whose families and government similarly cry out “support the troops.”     For who are the defenders, who the aggressors?   Who is defending what?  

"Afghanistan: A Gathering Menace: Traveling with U.S. Troops Gives Insights into the Recent Massacre"
By Neil Shea, American Scholar blog, posted March 16

Afghan Villagers Were Threatened by US Troops Ahead of Massacre

Witnesses: Troops Lined Up All Men From Mokhoyan, Told Them They'd 'Pay'

by Jason Ditz, March 20, 2012
| Print This | Share This | Antiwar Forum
The incongruous stories surrounding the March 11 massacre on Afghan civilians in two villages took another turn today, with reports from witnesses in Mokhoyan, one of the two villages targeted, that they were threatened by US troops just days before the massacre.
The witnesses say that troops rounded up all the men from the villages after a roadside bombing, lined them up against a wall, and told them they would “pay a price” for the attack.
The witnesses put the date of the bombing at either March 7 or 8. Previous stories had massacre suspect Robert Bales supposedly “upset” about a bombing in which one of his friends lost a leg.
The military would neither confirm or deny any bombings in the area, only insisting that they would investigate anything that might be related to the shootings. They likewise gave no comments about the threats in Mokhoyan.
If confirmed, the threats would also appear to support the Afghan probe’s version of the massacre, which had an organized group of over a dozen US troops carrying out the massacre, as opposed to a lone man, as the US maintains.

“I saw men wearing American military uniforms who had collected strings of what they said were human ears and toes as combat souvenirs.   They kept Them with pride and some even laughed as they told how a human being reacted as his ear was being hacked off.  There are many members of law enforcement and the military who truly quality as heroes, but tor the term ‘hero’ to be applied by…to the aforementioned is the equivalent of spitting in the face of our Founding Fathers.”

1.                             Careerism and Psychopathy in the US Military leadership « Fabius ... - Cached
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May 2, 2011 – Careerism and Psychopathy in the US Military leadership ... John Boyd of the U.S. Air Force. The careerist's singular aspiration is “the ...
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Apr 22, 2007 – The U.S. military: homicidal psychopaths. From ... all the while claiming legitimacy as "the world's police force" because of our so-called ..... U.S. Air Force brutally murders another 40 Afghan . ...
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How to verify military claims. When a sociopath wants you to believe that he's honorable, ... The U.S. Army Center of Military History lists all Congressional Medal of Honor ... Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross and Air Force Cross. ... sociopath, psychopath, con artist, con man, fraud, con game, sociopathy, ...
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Mar 14, 2009 – By 1953 the CIA, U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Chemical Corps were ..... (former microwave scientist and specialist, Kirkland Air Force base). ...
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Representatives from the all branches of the U.S. Military – – Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force Armed forces – – promised American citizenship to every ...
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Jun 24, 2011 – Violence is defined as “is the use of force to kill, injures, or abuses others, ... The five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces – Army, Navy, Air Force, ... Not surprisingly, many psychopaths are criminals, but many other ...
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You have to be a certified psychopath to; join the Delta Force", a US Army colonel from ... (SOT) is that they do not distinguish between civilian and military oppositions, ... Afghanistan and Pakistan through commando raids and air strikes. ... Special Forces General from the Bush-Cheney era to head the military ...
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File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick ViewJun 23, 2011 – agency of the United States Government, while such officers and ... one of the branches of the United States Military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, ...... ABDUL-LATIF said that he was looking for a “psychopath. ...
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May 5, 2011 – Careerism and Psychopathy in the US Military. By G. I. WILSON, USMC Ret. ... John Boyd of the U.S. Air Force. ...

Pissing on the Dead Enemy the Outrage?
Sebastian Junger.    “We're All Guilty of Dehumanizing the Enemy”
 The Washington Post, RSN, Jan. 14, 2012
Junger writes: "As a society, we may be disgusted by seeing U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters, but we remain oddly unfazed by the fact that, presumably, those same Marines just put .30 caliber rounds through the fighters' chests. American troops are not blind to this irony."
This essay is very like Marlantes’ book, What Is It Like to Go to War?

“They Died in Vain; Deal With It “
Posted by: "Dave"   mplsstreetrwy
Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:55 am (PDT)
However well meaning their intentions, the preachers' negligence and
timidity in confronting basic war issues merely help to perpetuate
unnecessary killing. It is high time to hold preachers accountable.
Ray McGovern , Common Dreams

Many of those preaching at American church services Sunday (August 7)
extolled as "heroes" the 30 American and 8 Afghan troops killed
Saturday west of Kabul, when a helicopter on a night mission crashed,
apparently after taking fire from Taliban forces. This week, the
Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) can be expected to beat a steady drumbeat
of "they shall not have died in vain."

But they did. I know it is a hard truth, but they did die in vain.
As in the past, churches across the country will keep praising the
fallen troops for protecting "our way of life," and few can
demur, given the tragic circumstances.
But, sadly, such accolades are, at best, misguided — at worst,
dishonest. Most preachers do not have a clue as to what U.S. forces are
doing in Afghanistan and why. Many prefer not to think about it. There
are some who do know better, but virtually all in that category
eventually opt to punt.
“…in 2006, half of all Americans, according to a Harris poll, still believed Saddam had WMD when the invasion began, and 85 percent of American troops stationed in Iraq, according to a Zogby poll, believed the U.S. mission there was mainly ‘to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks.’” 
Engelhardt, Tom.  The
American Way
of Wars.

--Andrew Bacevitch.   Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War.  Metropolitan Books, 2010. 
--Paul Buchheit, ed.   American Wars: Illusions and Realities.  Clarity P,  2008.  Nineteen illusions used to justify US wars refuted.  Swanson and Buchheit and all of these books reinforce each other.   Rev. Peace and Change (July 2011): “excellent offerings.”
--James Carroll.  House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power.  Houghton Mifflin, 2006.  The best examination of the Pentagon ever written.   I have an extra copy if you wish to borrow.
-- Nicolas Davies.   Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.   Nimble,  2010.  US leaders’ deceptions that led the nation to mass killing and maiming, and the book on US violations of International law during our “humanitarian” invasion and occupation of Iraq.
--Dimaggio, Anthony.  When Media Go to War: Hegemonic Discourse, Public Opinion, and the Limits of Dissent.  Monthly Review, 2009. 
--Hochschild, Adam.   To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.   WWI remade our world for the worse.  Gives major attention to mainly English opponents of the war. 
--Iraq Veterans Against the War, Aaron Glantz, ed.   Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupation.  Haymarket, 2008.
--Johnson, Chalmers.  Trilogy: Blowback, Sorrows of Empire, Nemesis.  Last book before his death:  Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope.  Metropolitan, 2010.
--Lily, Robert.  Taken by Force:  Rape and American Gis in Europe during WWII.   2077.  (Refused publication by publisher in 2001 because of 9-11.)
--Mayer, Jane.  The Dark Side: the Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.  Doubleday, 2008.
--Mickey Z.  There Is No Good War.  
--Parenti, Christian.  Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.   Nation Books, 2011.   Global conflicts to arising from warming and what we must do.
--Perrin, Dennis.  Savage Mules: The Democrats and Endless War.  Verso, 2008.
--Richard Rubenstein.  Reasons to Kill: Why Americans Choose War.  Bloomsbury, 2011.   Seven rationales used by our government to initiate wars and the conflict resolution principles and methods essential to preventing wars.   
-- Barry Sampson.   The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism. A. K. Press,  2009.  Ever thought of what one Abrams tank does to earth, atmosphere,  and species?
--Scheer, Robert.   The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9-11 and Weakened America.   Twelve, Hachette, 2008.
--Sheehan, Cindy.  Myth America: 20 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution.   2010,   For free PDF: ;
--(John Rule. )    David Swanson.   War Is a Lie.  2010.  Fourteen myths that leaders have used to herd the public into war.
--Swanson, David.   Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.  Seven Stories P, 2009.
--Tanaka, Yuki and Marilyn Young, eds.  Bombing Civilians: A Twentieth Century History.  New P, 2009.  
--Tirman, John.  The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars.   Oxford UP, 2011.  Rev. The Progressive (July 2011):  “the definitive study.…a must-read.”
X--Wills, Gary.  Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State.  Penguin, 2010.  Step by step chronology of the growth of presidential power.
--Woodward, Bob.  Obama’s Wars.  Simon and Schuster, 2010.

BOOKS   (older, 1992-2006,  all also powerful truthtellers valid today)
--Blum, William.  Two books:  Killing Hope and Rogue State.  Together catalog all US illegal invasions and interventions since WWII.
--Burbach, Roger and Jim Tarbell.   Imperial Overstretch: George W. bush & The Hubris of Empire.  Zed, 2004.
--Ignatieff, Michael, ed.  American Exceptionalism and Human Rights.  Princton UP, 2005.  US disregard of international laws for US advantage.
--Kinzer, Stephen.  Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to IraqTimes Books, 2006.
--Mann, James.   Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet.  Viking, 2004.
--Quigley, John.   The Ruses for War: American Interventionism Since World War II.    Prometheus, 1992. 
---Solomon, Norman.   War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.  Wiley, 2005.
X--Edward Wood, Jr., Worshipping the Myths of World War II: Reflections on America’s Dedication to War.  Potomac, 2006.  
--Worth, Roland Jr.   No Choice But War: The United States Embargo Against Japan and the Eruption of War in the Pacific.  McFarland, 1995.  Makes a convincing case of equal blame for the colonial WWII Pacific.

“How the Power of Myth Keeps Us Trapped in War”
By Ira Chernus,, posted January 20

Woehrle, Lynne, et al.  Contesting Patriotism: Culture, Power, and Strategy in the Peace Movement.   Roman & Littlefield, 2009.  Rev. Fellowship (Spring 2010).  A deep grounding of the peace movement is its effort to reclaim the attribution of “patriotic” for criticism of the nation-state when it wages war.  The book traces the many ways “in which major groups in the peace movement have advanced this cause in their publications over the past 20 years.”

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