(Since I’m devoting all of my writing energy to a project that cannot be shared publicly, I’ll be reruning some old ones and trying to post some more heady reading material from elsewhere along the way. Original posting)
The US military just can’t help themselves when it comes to troops being killed. They lied about Pat Tillman’s death, and here’s another example: “Contrary to U.S. military statements, four U.S. soldiers did not die repelling a sneak attack at the governor’s office in the Shiite holy city of Karbala last week. New information obtained by The Associated Press shows they were abducted and found dead or dying as far as 25 miles away.“ Perhaps it’s out of shame or embarassment, but there is something that plays into this urge to supress the truth rather than deal with what these events actually mean. Is it so unbelievable that our enemy could kidnap four of our soldiers, drive away, kill them and never be caught? Or is that fact something we can live with, as long as the public doesn’t hear about it? I think the latter is right on, and the sad truth is that any number of US soldiers could be kidnaped, killed and then dumped on the side of the road like these four were, and to the bosses it wouldn’t cause anything a swig of peptol bismol wouldn’t fix.
Dick Cheney would respond to it like this, “Oh yea? Well you can tell the group responsible for this that they can kidnap and kill whoever they want, because we’re not leaving!” To some people that sounds like evidence of strength, but to me it’s just further proof that these troops that die at this point in the war really represent nothing more than the cost of doing business. Their deaths are something we as a society, along with the majority of our government, pretend to care about in the same way that we pretend to care about people who got cancer because their water was contaminated by a company’s pollution. Truth of the matter is, as a whole we simply shrug it off and go on with our day. Of course, it would be crazy if Dick Cheney were to respond to an entire family with leukemia and breast cancer by saying, “You can kill this family and every other family on this block…you hear me chemicals? Go ahead and kill these kids, we humans aren’t going anywhere!”
The logical response would be to find out how to keep from poluting the drinking water, but people like the ones we have calling the shots at the moment don’t think on that level at all. In terms of their role as the protectors of the republic, they protect entities rather than people. The entities they protect will in turn take care of the people, so there’s nothing they have to worry about along those lines. So a problem with education or lack of health care or work can be fixed in a number of ways, and the prefered method is to have the military fighting a war at all times. It creates work on the back end as equipment and weapons are needed, and for society’s dead-enders and/or the fools who really believe in the concept of killing Arabs halfways across the world to protect their neighbor living in the suburbs of Phoenix, the front line is a good place to deposit most of what the government would have had to pay for during your life anyhow.
When you run the numbers, it’s certainly not as simple a business model as say, systematically raising the niccotene level in cigarettes, but with the ability to continue grinding up bodies and equipment, expending rounds of ammo at the pace we are without any power within government willing to put an end to it, the promise of continuous orders for vehicles, uniforms, weapons, body armor, etc. and the subsequent lifelong need for medication, therapy, surgery, medical equipment, etc. for the veterans…our private sector then finds itself flush with opportunities to ramp up production, spread some stock options around, and takeover the operations of its competition. Once these businesses are given enough time to consolidate, the price per item cost will lower, and even more money can be made.
The key ingredient of course is human bodies that can pull the trigger and be maimed and/or killed in the war. As long as there are troops wearing uniforms, the public can be told of their absolute heroism and how they’re our best and brightest, with the story line that the war is what allows you and I to have our freedom. A universal farce that works like a charm, as regardless of the circumstances of the war in question, the soldier is to be compared with those who defeated Germany and the Brittish, and any indication to the contrary, like evidence that the troops are not only far from our “best and brightest” but that they are also apt to exhibit behavior common amongst the uneducated thugery of inner city ghetos throughout the homeland, is sure to be confronted with a thunderous wave of condemnation that is so exact and overwhelming in it’s force, that whoever was making their living by providing commentary prior to that moment, will most likely never have the opportunity to do so afterwards.
This video (Iraqi soldiers beating detainees while US troops cheer) brought me back to a time I remember quite well, as it began for me not even a decade ago. You’re in a humvee with your fellow soldiers, part of a combat unit and what takes place inside our “hearts and minds” would never make it past network censors, let alone the level of decency that exists within most communities around the world. In fact if you were to pluck out a handfull of trained killers from any line unit in theatre today, and put them in front of an auditorium full of kids in the frame of mind they’re in on a daily basis, those kids would most likely be scarred for life, and if the birds-and-the-bees discussion had yet to take place, it would have to start that night at home in an uncomfortable way like, “Mommy, does your snatch smell like salmon or clam chowder?”
Hence the reason for officers and medals, as the face of this organization cannot include any of these people and still be taken seriously by the general public. That they’re heralded as something just below demigod within our media and the underlying culture is proof that there is in general, a very good business reason for highlighting the legend and ignoring most everything else. Which doesn’t explain why the military can’t just admit that four soldiers were overtaken by twice as many of the enemy, and driven away with before anyone even noticed they were gone. Perhaps this type of lie has more to do with the career of a few officers than anything else, as I’m sure the platoon leader and company commander of the unit those soldiers belonged to are kissing their careers bye-bye. Though how can you blame anyone for anything at this point? Afterall, Rumsfeld did say, “stuff happens”!
It’s a cost of doing business. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get in touch with my broker.
Update: Another video you need to watch – CBS News Report on the effort to secure a single street within Baghdad.