Category Archives: War Profiteering

The Blood Barters

Let me ask you one question
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.

Jack Booted Republican Brownshirt Thugs?
The Washington Post’s latest bit of sleazy yellow journalism in the aftermath of yesterday’s march on the Pentagon is a perfect example of this tactic (note that while the counter demonstrators were a minority that the piece is spun decidedly to the right). Here is a portion of the story of the sort of jack-booted Republican thugs that turned out to harass the protestors think back to the Tom DeLay sponsored goon squad that terrorized Miami-Dade County in 2000 and stopped the recount – all that was missing yesterday was the Horst Wessel Song as a battle hymn (note that while the story does say that they were a minority the spin is decidedly to the right).

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’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.

Collateral Damage

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

Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

– The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter

If Mick Jagger and the boys had any balls left whatsoever they would have opened the garish free market capitalist travesty that was the Super Bowl XL halftime show with the roiling menace of their classic Gimme Shelter followed by Sympathy for the Devil and Street Fighting Man despite their pre-arranged set. Once the anal retentive fuck-sticks who run the heavily censored corporate media were able to scrape their jaws off of the control room floor would they have cut the power to the entire set? If a line like “you can make a dead man come” is too provocative for the childlike minds of the year’s biggest infomercial what would a triple barreled blast of pure sixties rebellion do? A nation obsessed with graphic details about fucking but adverse to any similar graphic details about dying ugly….especially when the dying occurs in an illegal foreign war of intervention that is far more complicated than the bunting draped patiotic horseshit that is now so ubiquitious at national sporting events and other hoohah that distracts the simple minded.

In Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Slaughterhouse Five he uses the books of a fictional science fiction writer named Kilgore Trout to insert social commentary into his overall story. One of ‘Trout’s’ tales addressed the strange contradictions of a society that will accept with open arms one who kills civilians with state sanction during wartime while ostracizing one for silly, superficial reasons:

The Gutless Wonder: This, too, was the title of a book by Trout, The Gutless Wonder. It was about a robot who had bad breath, who became popular after his halitosis was cured. But what made the story remarkable, since it was written in 1932, was that it predicted the widespread use of burning jellied gasoline on human beings. It was dropped on them from airplanes. Robots did the dropping. They had no conscience, and no circuits which would allow them to imagine what was happening to the people on the ground.Trout’s leading robot looked like a human being, and could talk and dance and so on, and go out with girls. And nobody held it against him that he dropped jellied gasoline on people. But they found his halitosis unforgivable. And then he cleared that up, and he was welcomed to the human race.

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:

“You guys burnt the place down, turned it into a single column of flame. More people died there in the firestorm, in that one big flame, than died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.”

And of course he is correct, the dropping of Fat Man and Little Boy and whether it was ultimately necessary against a broken enemy or was merely an opening gambit in the Cold War will be debated until the end of our days but the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will always be interpreted by most as necessary steps to end a long, cruel and far too bloody war and to spare even more American casualites. I can even see the validity of this argument although I am not a convert but these were only two events, albeit massive in the systematic destruction and the breaking of the will of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Regarding the bombing of Japan an excellent resource would be Errol Morris’ fine film the Fog of War during which he interviews at length former Secretary of Defense and Viet Nam war architect Robert McNamara who was Rumsfeld before Rumsfield in his arrogance. The film while not depicting the slaughter on the ground offered a glimpse into the methodology of industrialized mass murder. General Curtis LeMay, McNamara’s superior and the commander of the Twenty-First Bomber Command that devastated the Japanese Home Islands in the late days of the war plays a prominent part. In the film McNamara explains his role in the incendiary attack by chillingly reducing it to the banality of number crunching as to the potential casualty tally. LeMay, who was savagely lampooned in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove as General Jack D. Ripper who kicks off nuclear Armageddon is featured in actual film clips that are among the most interesting parts of the movie.

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”.

“On the nights of March 9 and 10 in 1945 Tokyo was subjected to an incredible incendiary bombardment that destroyed sixteen square miles of the city, boiling asphalt and cooking flesh. Although the true number will never be known it is estimated that nearly 100,000 were killed, most incinerated and most civilians including women and children and the helpless elderly. The fire consumed the city structures that were mainly built out of wood and the heat”, according to Nicholas Von Hoffman as published in Pat Buchanan’s Where The Right Went Wrong “boiled the water in lakes and ponds, cooking those who fled to safety there like human lobsters” But this is always the way that it is in war isn’t it? General LeMay was correct, the victors are never the war criminals and never the terrorists, the infamy as well as the true costs of agrression are not ultimately paid by the warmongers but suffered by the poor bastards who just happen to live under the rule of rogue governments or those that otherwise fall into disfavor with the most powerful of nations.

The graphic examples of civilian ‘collateral damage’ aren’t something that the public want to see or know about, they like their wars sanitized, neat, convenient, and morally clear along the lines of a John Wayne movie or other simplistic celluloid trash. Americans are mostly ignorant and express indifference at the true suffering of war and are generally the most mindless and unenlightened citizens of the world’s most dangerous of empires. We as a society gorge ourselves on violent fantasy on television, in movies and in video games reveling in every beheading, rape, dismemberment, shooting, knifing, incinerating and bludgeoning as long as we can remain safely detached and free from ever having to consider the actual consequences of violence. This is hypocrisy, a society so conditioned to accept the abominable as long as it is a part of the great American myth of righteousness and destiny glorifies death but when that death is real, nobody wants the gory details of what is perpetrated in our name. The exception being the near masturbatory glee that the mutilated and widely displayed corpses of Uday and Qusay Hussein elicited from a voyeuristic public addicted to sensationalistic cheap thrills. The bullet riddled bodies of the sons of Saddam were constantly and graphically displayed in order to feed the bloodlust necessary for rabid and continued support of the war against the Islamic savages.

The outrage over the images was made all the more conspicuous by it’s absence.

A while back, after the early afterglow of ‘Shock and Awe” had subsided and when the truth was slowly starting to seep out that “mission accomplished” was just another two word phrase along the lines of bull shit and cluster fuck I read a letter to the editor in my local newspaper that had dared to display the gruesome hanging of the charred corpses of four ‘contractors’ who were killed by a mob in the Iraqi city of Fallujah which would go on to be severely punished later. Some ridiculously dumb bitch had the audacity to write expressing her “outrage” that she actually had to explain this to her children. Americans love their wars as long as they don’t actually have to see what is being done in their names. As for the four ‘contractors’ I have no mercy and nothing but contempt for them, they were mercenaries, nothing but parasites that move from host to host preying on human misery for both the thrill and the money that comes with it but that alas is lost on those who shelter their spoiled children from all but electronic video violence. I doubt that she bothered to dash off a similar protestation over the bloody display of the war trophies that were the sons of Saddam.

What is lost in translation was the fact that the government was contracting mercenaries to do the wet work for the military. It is obvious that they were targeted for a reason, quite possibly the torture or murder of friends or family members of the rioters during one of the death squad raids that are now common in Iraq. I find the ongoing use of these ‘contractors’ to be repugnant and abhorrent, not only are they far more highly paid than the actual members of the military but they operate independent of any sort of congressional oversight and bear no accountability for their actions. I have no sympathy for bastards like that who are cruel violence junkies and arrogant psychopaths more into it for the thrill of the kill than the actual money. Just think of how great that a heroin addict would find it if he could be paid for riding the dragon. The assemblage and widespread use of private armies by the Pentagon is a very foreboding thing and may prove to have extremely grave consequences to us at home if their existence becomes acceptable to the general public and future domestic operations are commenced. Blackwater, one of the top mercenary firms was providing ‘contractors’ in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and no doubt these paramilitary goons already have contingency contracts lined up in the event of a ‘terrorist’ attack on the homeland.

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:

“I saw the heads of my two little girls come off, my girls — I watched their heads come off their bodies. My son is dead.”

An army public relations officer stated that it was “A miscommunication with civilians” after which the surviving members of the family were offered monetary compensation for their loss. As Bob Dylan once sang “money doesn’t talk it swears” and the true obscenity in this tableau is that we as Americans are so ignorant of the culture of others and so empty in our very souls that anybody could possibly offer money as a remedy for this atrocity. Unfortunately things such as this don’t get much play in the American mainstream media, there is always a Michael Jackson, Laci Petersen, Tom and Katie, Bennifer or Kobe Bryant to exploit in order to save some pathetic cunt from having to explain the insanity and abhorrence that is a war being waged in her name to some pathetically spoiled child who is pampered and indulged on the now traditional journey to become a selfishly ignorant and obese adult in the land of plenty while the impoverished children of the third world are dying of starvation.

Fallujah would go on to perish for our sins, targeted for destruction by a series of brutal military operations to quell the insurgency and to avenge the deaths of the mercenaries and to wash the bitter taste of public humiliation from the mouths of war planners. In a series of sieges that reduced the city to rubble civilians as well as combatants were targeted, snipers targeted ambulances, access to the main hospital was blocked, hundreds of Iraqis were killed and the ‘collateral damage’ was significant. A foreign documentary entitled Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre was produced and showed that the U.S. military was using incendiary White Phosphorous in the assaults. The video is highly recommended although not for those without a strong stomach, the evidence is as brutal as the imagery of the burned bodies. Of course this would never be allowed to air in the homeland. The media downplays the truth that is the charnel house of Iraq, there is always a king’s crusade to glorify or a celebrity to worship or a lurid sex scandal to lasciviously salivate over. Just another day in the empire according to the corporate press of the ruling party.

For real journalism and truths about the bloody quagmire we must utilize foreign sources, a sick joke in a land where a free and unimpeded press is supposed to act as a vital check against the tyranny of madmen. Dahr Jamail is essential reading for those who seek to stay informed as is Robert Fisk whose brutal honesty would serve as a slap across the face were any domestic sources permitted to carry his columns on a regular basis. Were the corporate media to have any balls or the majority of the public have any brains this is what they would be reading:

So we are going to support the myth. As the headless bodies are found along the Tigris, as the mortuaries fill up, as the American dead grow far beyond 1,700 – and, let us remember, the Iraqi dead go into the tens of thousands – Europe and the rest of the world still support the American project. The smell of the dead pours into the street through the air-conditioning ducts. Hot, sweet, overwhelming. Inside the Baghdad morgue, there are so many corpses that the fridges are overflowing. The dead are on the floor. Dozens of them. Outside, in the 46C (114F) heat, Qadum Ganawi tells me how his brother Hassan was murdered. “He was bringing supper home for our family in Palestine Street but he never reached our home. Then we got a phone call saying we could have him back if we paid $50,000 [£27,500]. We didn’t have $50,000. So we sold part of our home and many of our things and we borrowed $15,000 and we paid over the money to a man in a car who was wearing a keffiyeh scarf round his head. “Then we got another phone call, telling us that Hassan was at the Saidiyeh police station. He was. He was blindfolded and gagged and he had two bullets in his head. They had taken our money and then they had killed him.” There is a wail of grief from the yard behind us where 50 people are waiting in the shade of the Baghdad mortuary wall. There are wooden coffins in the street, stacked against the wall, lying on the pavement.

The American public has neither the time nor the stomach to trouble themselves with vagaries as this and the absence of the widespread syndication of Fisk’s work is a testament to a nation of selfish, apathetic, timorous fools who are far more concerned with halitosis than the stench of burning and rotting corpses that is so commonplace in the wars fought in their name. The atrocities of course take place in any war, war is a horrible thing, not something of valor and honor but an exercise in sorrow, death, destruction and the piles of stinking corpses and shattered lives that are left in the aftermath, such is as it always has been and always will be in the future. A public too accustomed to the sanitized death and violence of their false little worlds of television and video games and never forced to confront the real thing.

And So It Goes…

The military industrial complex has a vested interest in hiding this from the general population and of perpetuating the myths through propaganda. Hiding behind impugning the patriotism of others and invoking empty sloganeering such as ‘support the troops’ is not only of the lowest form of morality but of the highest form of cowardice and in the case of those who turn their magnetic ribbon stickers sideways to represent the Jesus fish, hypocrisy and apostasy. A large number of Americans ignorantly spout the jingoist phrase “nuke them all” when referring to non-Caucasian, non-Christian countries, specifically those in the middle east. This only reinforces their stupidity and lack of knowledge of the true horrors of war borne by those whose only crime was in happening to be citizens of a regime deemed to be an enemy of the American state and therefore subject to the full wrath of the arsenal of democracy, an arsenal that will always be restocked by the merchants of death that are the defense contractors.

Our cultural priorities have become so fucked up, corrupted and polluted that a glimpse of a woman’s nipple shown on national television dominates all media coverage and elicits outrage while the illicit occupation in Iraq with women and children being blown apart into bloody bits in the name of the never ending and all encompassing ‘war on terror’ does not make it into the national psyche who are more interested in getting their next hit of vicarious celebrity living off of the electronic crack pipe. Our idiot king has alienated us from the rest of the world and the psychotic court jesters of his rogue administration only continue to conspire to lead us all down the path that will ultimately conclude with the destruction of the very ideals of a democratic society if not the lives of those not only here in America but throughout the world. The crack down on dissent is coming that much is certain, too many people are starting to become restless and beginning to ask questions for it not to.

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.