|Feb 14, 2013 - Issue 504|
my sweet old etcetera
aunt lucy during the recent
war could and what
is more did tell you just
what everybody was fighting
isabel created hundreds
hundreds) of socks not to
mention shirts fleaproof ear warmers
etcetera wristers etcetera, my
mother hoped that
i would die etcetera
bravely of course my father used
to become hoarse talking about how it was
a privilege and if only he
could meanwhile my
self etcetera lay quietly
in the deep mud et
eyes knees and of your Etcetera)
-E.E. Cummings, “[my sweet old etcetera]”
In the dark
They could not see
Who had gained
-Langston Hughes, “Peace”
The armed forces of the
Americans, Liberals, Tea Partiers, Progressives, Leftists, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Partiers, and Christians, are unique. The philosophy of American exceptionalism attests to the nation’s unique role in the world and to its difference from the other –isms such as fascism and communism.
Consequently, it is unlikely to
witness in the upper classes and the nobility, who waltzed while fellow
citizens died of starvation or disease, any parallel here in the
Come hell or high water, Americans flock to Wal-Mart or their local gun dealer and cherish gun ownership more than freedom itself!
In the meantime, the body count in
It is incomprehensible but no less real.
The more things change, the more
things advance. Gone is large-scale fascism in
It is France, right?
When there are plenty of Dead Presidents to go around who is counting? Just thank the well-armed French troops and the well-trained Malian soldiers for their “partnership.”
Hitler only had a little more than 10 years.
In the old days, when the
Chemical defoliants ravaged the land (see Nick Turse, “The American System of Suffering 1965-2014,” The Nation, January 8, 2013). “Helicopter machine gunners began firing on locals. By 1969, bombing and shelling were day-and-night occurrences.” Villagers fled for the mountains, writes Turse, “trading the terror of imminent death for a daily struggle of hardscrabble privation.” Others still ended up in “squalid” refugee “resettlement” camps. According to one eyewitness and survivor, 78-year-old Pham To:
Those who remained in the village suffered more when the troops came through. Homes were burned as a matter of course. People were kicked and beaten. Men were shot when they ran in fear. Women were raped. One morning, a massacre by American soldiers wiped out 21 fellow villagers.
“Leaving aside those who perished
from disease, hunger, or lack of medical acre, at least 3.8 million Vietnamese
died violent war deaths according to researchers from
In those days, however, a “revolutionary” and “new” people, staged an era of spectacular protest. A high count of military casualties- and causalities, high and deep among the protesters send U.S. troops stumbling over one another to flee Vietnamese military and villagers and city dwellers alike.
Things are different today.
The daily, monthly, yearly body count keeps Americans safe. The neutralization, extermination, liquidation of other human beings is but a sacrificial offering to the gods, to the universe, for the longevity of the greatest nation the world has ever seen (or experienced!) - not to echo past empires that have said much the same.
The altars, furnaces, gulags, the Dionysian frenzy, and the Viennese waltzes among the stately high rises command the American people to turn their heads and hold their noses - and they oblige because “politics” boils down to the “politics” of Scott Walker and the like. Democrats and or Republicans - and there is no other alternative to this reality. The electoral process has the U.S either in the grips of “socialism” or living out the “King legacy.”
War saves lives! War saves a lifestyle!
It is imperative that those in
serve of the Market silence Americans old enough to remember the body count and
suffering in Europe and
Turse is right to note that
Americans just do not get it. “Reporters, pundits, historians, generals,
politicians, or other members of the chattering class” manage “to miss the one
unfailing parallel between
The suffering of others goes unnoticed. But how successful has that campaign of change been? What a successful slogan on the other hand, this inertia on the part of the American public shows just how successful, echoed in every regime since the Nixon regime. Behind a Nixon, a Carter, a Reagan, a Bush I and II, and a Clinton in between, Americans listened for the promise of change. And Americans changed, and apparently, Americans believe in this change!
Few Americans, writes Turse, have
“ever personally experienced anything like what their tax dollars have wrought
in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and
Or Pakistanis or Yemenis or
Somalis who, if they do not know it, are the newest sacrificial lambs for the
Silence some and dazzle the young!
According to a well-tuned
propaganda documentary, Rise of the Drones, featured on PBS’s NOVA last month (Lockheed Martin and the Koch
Foundation for Science funded this propaganda for the continuation, advancement
Incomprehensible, huh? The
And the music is pulsating because this is such a revolutionary adventure into the future!
I should add that the scientists and developers of drone technology are just Americans who do not intend for their inventions to be deployed against humans in warfare. They just want to serve the flag. Oppenheimer bought the same narrative.
The “remote pilots” featured in The Rise of Drones are key to the whole
operation. Pilots are heroes, so naturally, these remote pilots represent the
future’s heroes. For remote pilots sitting in front of computers, maneuvering the
drones, the word “kill” is, I guess, inoperative. It is now- “SPLASH!” - as in
“bug splash!” (Already acclimated to a video game world where people are
expendable “bugs,” these remote pilots are easier to train). “The
This shift, change, saves lives!
“Pilots” stay at a safe distance, and I suppose the Empire need not worry about
misfits like bombers in
The Rise of Drones features the future, the future of warfare! It is inevitable moving of time forward. Who does not want to move forward? As retired General David Deptula explains, it takes too long to gather information on the enemy. Gone are those days - welcome to the future - to forward thinking and rapid responses to a threat!
Where in all this talk in the old ways verses the new is there reference even to a decrease in the body count?
Drones, the tool “of choice for
taking out militants outside of
While the U.S. Congress stages a show of concern, questioning the legality of drone strikes and the legality of Obama’s (the Executive Branch’s) right to list and kill Americans, the U.S. Empire is working to affect the future of change. Well, is this not the reason Barack Obama selection and slogan of change galvanizes (and enriches) Wall Street, Bernanke, Summers, Spritzer, Brennans, AIG, Goldman Sachs, and Lockheed Martin ($126, 932, Opensecrets.org). Dr. King’s selection by the oligarchy would be incomprehensible to someone with his principles who could not manipulate the national and international laws and declare war on the world’s citizens. King is exactly where Americans in 1968 (and maybe even now) want him to be. Dead!
Drone warfare arms Americans with the right to kill while disarming Americans of their Constitutional right to due process if
charged or detained by the legal apparatus of the government. Unfortunately,
too many citizens in the
The future of drones is the future
of profits for individual Americans as well as for corporations. As we know,
the good ol’ American is entitled to be just as enterprising as the giant
Incomprehensible? No. Drone warfare saves capitalism and with capitalism, an American lifestyle of violence!
In the dark/They could not see/Who had gained/The victory.
The masterminds behind the idea of
drone warfare, of perpetual warfare, tap into the psyche of the American
people. There is something attractive to Americans in this down-spiraling
transformation of themselves and of the State. It is the best of Sci-Fi writ
large: a terrifying enemy with exceptional advantages appears on the planet.
Before the end of the
 Turse, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam
 See Kevin Gosztola, “‘The Rise of Drones’ Is Mostly a BS Infomercial for the Military Defense Industry", Firedoglake.com, January 24, 2013.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member and Columnist, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American Literature/Cultural Theory. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.