Category Archives: War Is A Racket
FOX NFL crew in Afghanistan.
Maybe Terry Bradshaw wasn’t really so dumb that he couldn’t spell cat if you spotted him the first two letters after all, as former Dallas Cowboy and lottery winner Thomas ‘Hollywood’ Henderson once said but like all chickenhawks he can’t resist the allure of the uniform even if though he never have the guts to wear one in service to anything other than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Much to my horror I turned on the electronic crackpipe for my weekly fix of NFL football on Sunday only to see the pregame jockocracy for FOX in Afghanistan where our fine young men are being blown to bits while the CIA supports the illegal heroin trade. You have to hand it to that vile Aussie roo-fucker Rupert Murdoch, he is nothing short of the modern melding of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Goebbels and by fucking GOD can he furnish the pictures for the wars.
Hitler dabbled in crude forms of television back in his heyday, it never amounted to much given the lack of modern technology and the grim reality that the entire Red Army was about to descend on Berlin with all of the viciousness of the Dick Armey of Darkness leaving Der Fuhrer with other things to deal with but imagine what could have been had the Nazis actually managed to WIN the war. It would be exactly like FOX’s flag sucking NFL pregame show today, a miracle of propaganda for millions of unemployed drooling, beer-addled slobs looking for meaningful work and wantin’ to open a giant can of Murkan whup ass on them sand niggers after the terrurst [sic] raghead ran amok at Fort Hood and gunned down a bunch of our precious little green Army men. It’s another strange contradiction in this land of stupidity and nationalism that were they blown up by the Taliban or whatever druglord’s CIA backed army that they happened to stumble upon it wouldn’t merit a mention, Americans don’t want to know much about their cannon fodder unless their deaths can be used to justify more murderous war crimes and profiteering. Shit, stuff like this must even make an aesthetic like renegade General Stan McChrystal’s dick get hard. It is the most overtly fascist thing that I have seen since General Petraeus goose-stepped out in full dress regalia to flip the coin at last year’s Super Bowl.
It was the most despicably grotesque immersion in the barrel of shit that is war pornography propaganda since George W. Bush danced the two step like Danny Fucking Kaye with his plastic turkey in Baghdad on Thanksgiving. And it’s only getting worse from the looks of it, as this disgustingly phony Barack Obama administration pimps ‘CHANGE’ while bestowing the power of the state upon insurance industry parasites to force the peasants into buying into the big scam, the coming escalation of the Afghanistan heroin protection racket is coming. Just look at this Newsweek revisionist history swill about how Vietnam could have been WON to float the idea out there again like a Bouncing Betty. It’s almost like we are back in the 80’s and John Rambo is going back to whup ass, followed by Chuck Norris and Dolph Lundgren. And you wonder why I am pissed off at chrome domed, privileged establishment lapdog Terry Bradshaw dressed up like fucking George S. Patton jacking off into the mouths of moron America during halftime, even whaleshit eventually settles on the bottom of the sea, for the war pornographers at Fuckin Fox they only set up a Halliburton rig and start drilling.
The one thing that I really didn’t understand about the NFL’s radioactive treatment of the Grand Poobah of white populist propaganda was how hypocritical it is of a sports league to bar Limbaugh from the fraternity of assholes while reducing itself to nothing more than a nationally televised regular recruiting venue for the ruinous illegal wars that have destroyed this country both morally and financially over the past eight or so years. The creeping militarism that has so debased us as a society should not be something that in any sane country would be viewed as some sort of holy virtue but it should rather serve as a pox upon us, a scarlet letter of shame on our foreheads scribbled by Satan’s claw dipped in the blood of a freshly decapitated Palestinian or Iraqi child. Were we less sophisticated there would just be parades of missiles and tanks and planes and trains and automobiles and thousands and thousands of precious little green men, after all, that’s the way that it is done in any dictatorship and by fucking GOD it is worshipped by all in the OPEN. Here in the star spangled land of misfit toys it is somehow treated as though it’s dirty, has to be sanitized and delivered by smooth talkers like Jimmy Johnson, it’s the moral equivalent of lurking in alleys to score blow jobs from foreclosed soccer moms turned crack ho’s. Does FOX know any shame? Then again, would Jack Bauer crush the testicles of a child with a pair of pliers?
FOX, the slime dispenser that it is used Veteran’s Day as an excuse for their worshipping of war but it was only a convenient excuse, one wonders if there will soon be a day when the NFL pregame studio is festooned with Birther, Deather and teabagger paraphernalia with good ole Terry Bradshaw and the others dressed up like Redcoats. I have to give CBS credit, they were just true to their corporatist ways by trotting out Jared Fogle for the thousandth something time, a manufactured celebrity selling shit sandwiches. On FOX there was Howie Long with that big shit-eating grin as he preened in his cammies thinking that he was back on the set of Broken Arrow again, all that was missing was George W. Bush strutting across the deck of the aircraft carrier in full Maverick regalia and Chris ‘Pinky’ Matthews drooling over his codpiece.
Today the propaganda mills are in full throated roar, the alleged Fort Hood ‘shooter’ is being tied to the Iman of the mosque of the alleged 9/11 ‘hijackers’ (black ops patsies) that was allegely visited while they were being trained for that oh so glorious day in American history that must be remembered, seared into our little lemming consumerist consciousness and revered for it as nothing else has justified the transformation of a democracy into a corrupt police state as well as justified the wars without end. If there has been a bigger disappointment with the Obama administration than the ongoing wars, corporate sellouts and failure to hold the Bush regime criminals accountable then it has been the use of their phony War on Terror rhetoric to justify the continuation of this shit. These are dangerous times of mass insanity, when Goldman Sachs executives like the reptilian Lloyd Blankfein have the audacity to proclaim that his usurious tower of moneychangers is doing God’s work while using their ownership of the government to stockpile flu virus vaccine while the poor, dumb, impoverished military worshipping. Jesus juicing schmucks go without and it’s not universally denounced then we truly live in Never, Neverland.
Now from all indications of late, as the long belated Iranian attack is pushed forward by Israeli fifth columnists and the treasonous military brass that they are allied with and with the REAL unemployment rate around 20 percent with the jobs permanently gone, the corporate plunders having cut the flesh to the bone for the sake of the filthy dollar we shall have our holiday stockings filled with fear and the jolly fat bearded man who is the avatar of American capitalism, Santa Claus will be replaced with visions of another bearded man dancing along with sugarplum grenades in the sleeping heads of babes. Osama bin Laden is coming a callin’ just in time for Christmas and the holiday stockings will be filled with fear, that you can count on and FOX’s demonic elves are already working overtime in their little shop of horrors to fill his sleigh.
As Roy Baty once said, “quite an experience to live in fear isn’t it?, That’s what it is to be a slave.”
Just my two cents over the morning cup o’ joe
It’s another Monday morning in dumbass America, one of the top stories is that the remains of Captain Scott Speicher, the Navy pilot shot down during Daddy Bush’s Gulf War soiree has now been found. Now it seems that I recall, among all of the other lies being used to build the case for the attack on Iraq that would kick off the PNAC’s global domination tour the ‘fact’ that Capt. Speicher was being held in one of Saddam’s torture prisons was another one of the justifications. It turns out that Speicher’s body was buried by Bedouins in the desert after they saw the plane go down. So, the neocon propaganda was just that – bullshit, right up there with the infamous soldiers of Saddam ripping Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators and throwing them on the floor, perfect for the thumb-sucking saps in the USA that sold Gulf War I like it was the fucking Juicemaster or something. It was just as easy as lining up the rubes and whipping them into a frenzy over apocalyptic conjecture of smoking mushroom clouds and all of that other horseshit.
Today American troops are still bogged down in Gulf War II, Afghanistan and in too many other contries to count, a giant sucking black hole for money and a boon for defense stocks. Don’t ever count on any sort of meaningful reform for the national health care system as long as the pigs who run the system are engaged in the lucrative and bloody art of war profiteering. General Smedley D. Butler put it best, “War is a Racket”. Now if war is a racket then the selling of it is an art form to a public suckled at the teat of the goddess of war since their first breaths. Now throw in all of the ‘schooling’ which is really an indoctrination of American exceptionalism, a totally bogus version of history meant only to brainwash and then turn the babbling automatons loose in a militarized police state protected by a bought and paid for media and volla….WAR! So the Scott Speicher as a captive of the New Hitler’s torturers has been debunked but the ongoing corporate crusade against progressive society is ripping into overdrive.
The thing that really grabs my gonads are all of the ridiculous spin pieces about Barack Obama’s falling poll numbers on health care reform. Like all good propaganda these polls (not that I think polls are reliable to begin with, you can make a poll say anything just like a good accountant can produce miracles) are truth mixed in with outright falsehoods and given ZERO context. Of course the savior’s approval ratings are down, he has yet to live up to any of the hype, the wars go on and the only ones getting bailed out of the economic catastrophe are the banksters. Of course the imbeciles, the racist haters and the dead enders will always be against national health care because they are beyond saving. Pathetic wretches who believe anything that emanates from the foul pie hole of the porcine propagandist Rush Limbaugh and that moon-faced little Nazi vermin Glenn Beck. If the glimmer twins (and their goat barn preachers) say that Obama is a secret Muslim, a terrorist symp and a certified COMMIE then that is exactly what he is and there is nothing on earth that can override the FOX/EIB programming. It’s as embedded in their thick skulls as their thumbs are up their puckering assholes.
The real reason that national health care is losing popularity faster than say a typical season for the Detroit Lions is that liberals and progressives are recognizing it for what it is – another of the big con games in which corporate power uses the corrupted state as an enforcer. Get ready for forced mandatory coverage and the scum of the insurance industry writing the legislation. Now Americans are going to face the threat of punishment unless they buy insurance from the same swine who have really been killing Grannie by denying her care. The rest of the stupid scare tactics – get ready for an multi-billion dollar August onslaught since Max Baucus and the other pigs in the pocket of the industry were able to extend the game – with lies, pandering to the lowest common denominator and more racist filth to destroy any chance at the public option. It’s already a done deal and all over by the actual wetwork. I have already seen the most farcical type of fraud in that Obama’s plan would deprive the elderly (heard of fucking Medicare?) of necessary operations to fund abortions courtesy of Tony Perkins’ and the [Manson] Family Research Center and some stuff out there on the perimeter that the ‘racist’ Obama is using the health care reform drive in order to push slavery reparations.
The ‘Birthers’ will feed on the lies as they always do, the problem more than the violent idiots of the Republican base is the media that gives this crap credibility by even bothering to give it any publicity at all. In a country where the typical lemming has been conditioned to define ‘news’ as that boiled down bullshit that is seen on CNN in thirty second clips delivered by big haired, big titted bimbos who stare into teleprompters and mindlessly repeat the daily talking points any mention of the numbskulls and the neo Confederate knuckle draggers in the headlines is taken as legit. The corporate campaign to incite the morons, scare the shit out of the old folks and sow just enough confusion with the average American dumbass to drive a stake through any sort of health care reform is going to be shock and awe….and Harry Reid and his fellow traitors will be kicking back on another of their taxpayer funded vacations while the dirty work is done.
Oh, and the job just gets tougher for anyone who challenges the system, new is that MSNBC has now reigned in the sharp dressed man Keith Olbermann for his tirades against the idiot Bill O’Reilly (who in any decent society would be incarcerated in a padded dungeon), FOX you see was starting to interfere with the real business of defense contractor GE which employs K.O. and he was muzzled. I have been pretty up front in my criticism of Olbermann as of late and taken no small amount of flak for being that way and now it appears that my perception was correct and that he has changed. Look for GE to also now find more ways to apply pressure to Rachel Maddow (a good journalist with a bad gig) and that centrist pig Ed Schultz as the real agenda is out of the bag. Face it folks, this fascism, a more refined version so as to not upset the sheeple as they blindly shamble off to slaughter but fascism nonetheless. And look out for that coming forced Swine Flu vaccination, resistance will not only be futile but criminal as well.
And it’s just another day in the land of birthers, buffoons and bizarreness…have a happy Monday and be proud that you live in the land of the largest gulag system of for profit prisons in history.
Just my two cents over the morning cup o’ joe
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul
-Bob Dylan “Masters of War”
Somewhere within that great morass of collective national ignorance are the great stories of our untaught and largely suppressed history and the real heroes who inhabit it. They are the real heroes whose sacrifice and efforts in building a great nation and a truly compassionate and progressive society are in direct conflict that those who have mounted a decades long drive to erase their efforts and to remake America into the cruel fool’s paradise of a militaristic, Social Darwinist, monopoly capitalist spoils system where the less fortunate are subordinated to be lesser humans, servants and cannon fodder for the never ending wars on which the engine of empire is fueled in the early days of this sordid new American century.
In our past lie the keys to our future but in the revisionist reworking perpetrated by the greatest propaganda machine that the world has ever known it will never be understood by the majority who take solace in tough talking cowboys and ‘plain spoken’ men who provide easy answers for an increasingly complex and dangerous world. History is always written by the victors rather than the vanquished and in a country where the victors have been corporatists, reactionary right-wingers and the military industrial complex it is no wonder that we are spoon fed distortions, oversimplifications and outright lies as history. The indoctrination into the warrior world of laissez-faire monopoly capitalism, the worship of the state and the acceptance of the grand destiny of God’s chosen empire begins with the constant onslaught of televised imagery, the war toys and the desensitization of violence and condoning of the exploitation of others from the earliest days of cognitive capability.
Television is the greatest tool for indoctrination and central programming that ever has been invented – bar none and to the corrupt oligarchy it is gospel. The tabula rasas of impressionable children have already been subjected to consumerism, class exploitation and the acceptance of a national mythology and the requisite violence by the time they even get to the classroom where the job will be completed by a system that no longer in any way encourages critical thinking and individualism – only acquiescence, obedience and conformity are desirable…those not adhering are then culled out and will face the lifelong stigmatism that has only two destinations, death or a place in the burgeoning network of privately owned, for profit prisons – another growth industry in America that nearly rivals that of the great war machine itself.
The blame for the dark cloud of willful ignorance upon the land over the true consequences of the waging of war lies not only with the purveyors of the immaculate Hollywood fantasies that transform industrialized slaughter into grand, glamorous adventured dripping with glory and valor but also with the media in its entirety (excluding the alternative media of course which lacks the firepower to compete with the corporate goliaths) that drums out the hypnotic cadence about the glorious potential that lies in the grand adventures that war brings along with that most precious of commodities that is American exceptionalism. Add a punditry composed of psychopathic hired guns who routinely decry pacifists and war critics as traitors while omitting the inconvenient truth that the vast majority of the luminaries of the right-wing attack machine have never worn a uniform in the service to the country.
The ongoing psyops campaign is relentless and has been far too successful in gene splicing Sinclair Lewis’ domestic fascism with a dystopian vision that not even Orwell himself could have imagined. Note this story citing a defense industry think tank that distorts the looting of the treasury and racking up of unpayable war debt like a plague upon the unborn by making the argument that the ongoing occupation of civil war ravaged Iraq as a “relative bargain”. I mean give me a fucking break, this is what happens when highly compensated ‘experts’, bean counters and paid public relations flacks are retained to use a shadowy, state run media apparatus to sow disinformation and outright lies.
The story that did not merit much in the way of real coverage from the media conglomerates, their boards packed with members of interlocking directorates who also serve the energy cabal and defense contractors is the scandalous news that Halliburton will soon be fleeing the USA to relocate it’s corporate headquarters to Dubai. When the potential for something even remotely resembling oversight on Dick Cheney’s former (and some may argue current) employer suddenly becomes possible with a Democratic Congress armed with subpoenas and questions on no-bid contracts, mismanagement, war profiteering and outright looting then HAL is outta here.
That is the way that it always goes with the blood barters in the defense industrial complex to whom the cynical jingoism and invocations of patriotism don’t mean jack shit when it comes to trafficking in human misery, death and pestilence. The blood barters only see the color of money and not red, white and blue like the miserable dupes who they always so easily exploit to send their young off to die in illegal wars fought for greed and the imperialism of a rapacious strain of militarist capitalism run amok. But hey, war is all about glory, John Wayne, apple pie and the shoveling of the big lie of spreading democracy as though it were so much manure.
And leave it to the media to play down or otherwise skew the coverage of anti-war protests and the anti-war movement in general by low balling crowd counts, giving equal time to dead ender, right-wing counter protests by giving representatives (often ditto head dopes whose bellicosity and twisted world views mimic those of Michael Savage and other fascist propagandists) space in stories for their statements even if they happen to be outnumbered 100-1 in the interest of being ‘fair and balanced’ and always finding the one burned out hippie stoner in the crowd who is festooned with peace signs and carrying a guitar.
As war protesters marched toward Arlington Memorial Bridge en route to the Pentagon yesterday, they were flanked by long lines of military veterans and others who stood in solidarity with U.S. troops and the Bush administration’s cause in Iraq. Many booed loudly as the protesters passed, turned their backs to them or yelled, “If you don’t like America, get out!”
Several thousand vets, some of whom came by bus from New Jersey, car caravans from California or flights from Seattle or Michigan, lined the route from the bridge and down 23rd Street, waving signs such as “War There Or War Here.” Their lines snaked around the corner and down several blocks of Constitution Avenue in what organizers called the largest gathering of pro-administration counter-demonstrators since the war began four years ago.
The vets turned both sides of Constitution into a bitter, charged gantlet for the war protesters. “Jihadists!” some vets screamed. “You’re brain-dead!” Others chanted, “Workers World traitors must hang!” — a reference to the Communist newspaper. Some broke into “The Star-Spangled Banner” as war protesters sought to hand out pamphlets.
“Bunch of hooligans in motorcycle jackets!” one war protester shot back.
The large turnout surprised even some counter-demonstrators. Polls show public opinion turning against the war in Iraq, and the November election was widely seen as a repudiation of the administration’s policy.
So well-coordinated has the pro-war media become in the aftermath of Vietnam and the placement of right-wing operatives in every news outlet in America to parrot think tank created, focus group tested messages that reduce the entire anti-war movement (even though it happens to be a veritable melting pot of every demographic segment of America) into the same cartoon figures and caricatures that have been used to deviously and often subconsciously manipulate mass opinion ever since the military industrial complex and the corrupt system upon which it depends upon was deal that very serious one two punch of the fall of Saigon and the outing of Richard M. Nixon as a malevolent criminal. Nixon alas was only a symptom of a virulent stain of neo-fascism that while having long existed in this country has grown increasingly powerful in an inverse relationship to the decreasing attention spans and chronic intellectual shortcomings of the pubic at large. In reference to the media I love this line from Charley Reese (a small part of a larger overall condemnation of power from his latest column that I am stealing a portion of for my own purposes) that: … just remember that money buys whores, and whores service their customers.
Such is the culture of the Bushreich, where the sanitized, misleading and dishonest portrayal of American virtues and our divine moral superiority are exalted and those heroes from the past who spoke out have been effectively lost in a time warp. There is one great voice that does not turn up in textbooks and his message was a condemnation of the callousness of the blood barters and his voice was one that spoke from experience. He is the highly decorated (two medals of honor) former USMC General Smedley Darlington Butler.
General Butler was one of the earliest critics of American intervention and the plundering of foreign countries for the benefit of Wall Street looters who were all too glad to trade lives for profit. Butler wrote the scathing War Is A Racket that was a no-holds barred indictment of the early military-industrial complex. Butler told it like it was, not a convenient thing for the revisionist historians who write the textbooks to indoctrinate the good little Americans in the religion of the always great, always righteous and blessed land of plenty.
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and 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 benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on 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 that he could do was operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
Wall Street has always had a vested interest in dabbling in war and death, despite all of the rah- rah red meat exhortations of patriotism or more appropriately nationalism that serve to keep the masses energized those who operate behind the scenes only real loyalty is to wealth and in maintaining the interests of the elite – those who will never lose sons or daughters in any of the hellish wars that are waged primarily for their benefit. A connection that the overwhelming majority of the rest of the peasants will never be able to make due to an incessant barrage of propaganda and corporate brainwashing via the electronic crackpipe to keep the rabble in line.
I recently had an opportunity to catch Eugene Jarecki’s movie Why We Fight that offers a very serious and dare I say bi-partisan look into the corruption of the military industrial complex and the dangers that it poses to American values. President Eisenhower warned of this in his farewell address over four decades ago but it went unheeded and the ongoing wars, military actions, occupations, weapons sales to other countries that have become a constant of American life ever since are a growing blight on our nation’s soul.
The best thing about Why We Fight is that it is immune to the sort of Rovian swift boating that followed in the aftermath of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 that had the weak kneed sissies on the DLC controlled ‘opposition party’ running for cover. The film features a cross section of neocon ideologues, politos and serious analysts including John McCain, Chalmers Johnson, Gore Vidal, Gwynne Dyer, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Karen Kwiatkowski among others and is inclusive to viewpoints from both sides of the ideological spectrum. This movie is not to be taken lightly and try as they may to discredit it the Republican slime machine will not be able to make hay so easily as it was when turning Moore into a caricature (a puppet terrorist in the ultra-sardonic and overly scatological Team America: World Police) or for the Democrats to find a convenient scapegoat for their fecklessness and inability to win elections. This is a powerful, truthful and enduring film that asks serious questions that the used car salesmen and charlatans that are our ‘elected’ representatives are not going to want to answer.
Why We Fight zeroes in on the bastard relationship between Dick Cheney and Halliburton – we essentially have a government contractor as Vice President, in the movie he is referred to as a “rolodex man” Outsourcing of military duties such as cooking, cleaning etc are outsourced for profit to private contractors like Halliburton. This is one of the fundamental ways in which the military had changed under the leadership of corrupt men like Cheney. When I did my time about a quarter of a century ago we had our own enlisted men performing the often dehumanizing duties like cleaning the ‘shitters’, cooking and working in support positions such as personnel and logistics.
This use of highly paid ‘contractors’ is a criminal scam designed to bilk the taxpayers into funneling more money to the parasitical firms in Cheney’s rolodex. Now all of these functions are spun off to contractors who then bilk the American taxpayers for billions in order to perform the same functions that our servicemen and women used to do. Talk about a royal scam, this is it. The disturbing rise of private mercenaries is also quite troubling, especially at a time when our own military is being destroyed and I’m sure that I’m not the only one in America questioning the true intent of the Cheney-neocons and unaccountable private armies for hire as provided by firms like Blackwater but that is a story for another time.
The movie is even more important today as the neocon madness is about to be escalated with an impending attack on Iran that is inevitable given the goading by Israeli hard-liners meddling with the U.S. political appartus. This great column by Antiwar.com’s Justin Raimondo along with it’s links is well worth your time in reading if only to see the extent of the danger of having a foreign government (and an extremist one at that) in the driver’s seat of the Rapture bus. Absent some very serious and immediate action by Congress to begin to reign in the monsters that have run amok then we are all in for some seriously troubling times with wars without end, continuing domestic unrest as the population is divided and pitted against one another as a diversion and the dead bodies on America’s tab piling as fast as the blood barter’s ill gotten gains. As Plato once famously stated: “Only the dead have seen the end of the war” and you can bet the house that there will be plenty of them as long as their deaths can be turned into another revenue stream.
Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost it’s way
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
– The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter
Vonnegut of course was present at Dresden on the night that allied bombers laid waste to the ‘Florence of the Elbe’, a historic city as well as a non-military target with little or no air defense system that was packed with refugees and prisoners and was targeted by bombers that incinerated over one hundred thousand civilians. Vonnegut spoke of seeing the boiled bodies of schoolgirls floating in a water tower through his character Billy Pilgrim and also of being forced to dig through the wreckage in the aftermath to find “corpse mines” and described the odor of the bodies:
“They didn’t smell bad at first…but then the bodies rotted and liquefied, and the stink was like roses and mustard gas”He also spoke of a character, another soldier who died of the dry heaves from having to go down into a corpse mine and being overcome by the stench:
“He tore himself to pieces, throwing up and throwing up”
Dresden doesn’t get much mention when it comes to our nation’s war history, neither does the decimation of the Japanese homeland by bombing of civilian areas nor the bombing of Viet Nam nor the brown skinned dead in any other foreign imperialist adventure undertaken by the politicians and their wealthy backers who cash in on the destroyed lives and flesh of those who become victims so that they may live opulent lives of carefree exploitation. I do want to make the statement that in doing so I am differentiating between ‘combatants’ and what is deemed to be acceptable ‘collateral damage’ to those dropping their bombs or launching their shells and missiles from far away lest they actually have to bear witness to the devastation. ‘Trout’s’ Gutless Wonder is a perfect metaphor for the apathetic and cruel philistines who allow for the murder of innocents to take place in their name as long as it doesn’t intrude upon their pathetic and selfish little lives.
I want to at this time take an opportunity to recognize it here for the sake of the memory of the dead and perhaps the hope of the living that we can one day finally recognize war for the profitable, industrialized slaughter that it is by listing a few accounts:
“The firestorm is incredible, there are calls for help and screams from somewhere but all around is one single inferno. To my left I suddenly see a woman. I can see her to this day and shall never forget it. She carries a bundle in her arms. It is a baby. She runs, she falls, and the child flies in an arc into the fire. Suddenly, I saw people again, right in front of me. They scream and gesticulate with their hands, and then – to my utter horror and amazement – I see how one after the other they simply seem to let themselves drop to the ground. (Today I know that these unfortunate people were the victims of lack of oxygen). They fainted and then burnt to cinders.” (Margaret Freyer: Dresden Resident)
“The elephants gave spine-chilling screams. The baby cow elephant was lying in the narrow barrier-moat on her back, her legs up in the sky. She had suffered severe stomach injuries and could not move. A 90 cwt. cow elephant had been flung clear across the barrier moat and the fence by some terrific blast wave, and stood there trembling. I had no choice but to leave these animals to their fate. I had known for one hour now that the most difficult task could ever bring was facing me. “Lehmann, we must get to the carnivores,” I called. We did what we had to do, but it broke my heart.” (Otto Sailer-Jackson: Dresden Zookeeper)
“We did not recognize our street any more. Fire, only fire wherever we looked. Our 4th floor did not exist anymore. The broken remains of our house were burning. On the streets there were burning vehicles and carts with refugees, people, horses, all of them screaming and shouting in fear of death. I saw hurt women, children, old people searching a way through ruins and flames. We fled into another cellar overcrowded with injured and distraught men women and children shouting, crying and praying. No light except some electric torches. And then suddenly the second raid began. This shelter was hit too, and so we fled through cellar after cellar. Many, so many, desperate people came in from the streets. lt is not possible to describe! Explosion after explosion. It was beyond belief, worse than the blackest nightmare. So many people were horribly burnt and injured. lt became more and more difficult to breathe. lt was dark and all of us tried to leave this cellar with inconceivable panic. Dead and dying people were trampled upon, luggage was left or snatched up out of our hands by rescuers. The basket with our twins covered with wet cloths was snatched up out of my mothers hands and we were pushed upstairs by the people behind us. We saw the burning street, the falling ruins and the terrible firestorm. My mother covered us with wet blankets and coats she found in a water tub”. (Lothar Metzger: Dresden Resident)
Among other things Vonnegut later wrote:
In a precursor to modern corporate number crunching the bombing run efficiency was maximized to the point where stripped B-29s were sent in flying so low that they literally reeked of burning flesh, a good and short although militaristic account on LeMay and the bombing has been written by Victor Davis Hanson and entitled The Right Man, this piece is featured in the World War II compilation called No End Save Victory, a pretty good book of essays that you could likely pick up cheap online. The ruthless efficiency of the incendiary bombings even had LeMay himself to comment that “I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal”.
The outrage over the images was made all the more conspicuous by it’s absence.
I am not merely being callous over the violent fate of the ‘contractors’ , I just have far more sympathy for the innocent victims. Victims such as the Hassan family whose seventeen members were packed into a 1974 Land Rover in the early days of the invasion and were driving toward their dream of democracy and freedom from the evil savagery of Saddam. Instead of democracy, this family (the grandfather was dressed in his finest garment, a pin striped suit to look American for the celebratory occasion of their deliverance) was slaughtered in an unimaginably horrific manner by a nervous American soldier at a checkpoint who panicked and unloaded a barrage of military ordnance into the oncoming vehicle. Eleven members of the family were destroyed, not just killed but destroyed…as a veteran you can appreciate the power of military weaponry. Lamea, the pregnant wife of Bakhat Hassan survived the attack that turned the vehicle into an abattoir in which she described as follows:
The equilibrium of international relations has not only been upset by these fools and charlatans but sent off spinning into the depths of some bizarre parallel universe in which up is down, wrong is right, truth is ignorance and war is peace. We have begun the journey down the rabbit hole, let us hope that the rabbit hole does not eventually end up being a mass grave. We are now on the precipice of the new crusades, a war of civilizations and religions perpetuated by those both ignorant of history as well as world culture.
We are now playing for keeps.