killing machines?!

New York

Two quotes from this article haunt me:

"The 'methods that increased the firing rate from 15 percent to 90 percent,' Grossman writes, 'are referred to as ‘programming’ or ‘conditioning’ ' intended to address — or redress — 'the simple and demonstrable fact that there is within most men an intense resistance to killing their fellow man.'”


“Once an army is involved in war, there is a beast in every fighting man which begins tugging at its chains."

In sum, the military's purpose in training young men and women is to twist, destroy, and pervert basic human decency, empathy and consideration of other human beings-- everything that most likely his or her family has also strived to cultivate in him or her-- in order to serve the aims of empire.

Thus, the military is essentially an evil institution.

Additionally, I feel that there is a high possibility that young men in particular are attracted to the military because culturally, men are associated with war, aggression, and violence. Such cultural cues are transmitted to young men in our society in regards to "entertainment" (movies, books, video games, etc.) and the gun culture. War is seen as an outlet; an easy way to travel the world and "get some action" as noted in the article. Getting some action often translates into becoming a man and translates into earning respect in the military and in the home country. The military also provides a convenient cover for the unfortunately high number of young people who lack personal discipline, have perhaps some criminal/deviant intentionality, and/or who are lazy (dont want to work anywhere in the real world or dont want to do what's necessary to develop their skills)/have poor economic prospects otherwise.

This is why I do not support the military. I do not support the troops. I do not support these soldiers.
I do not support veterans or sympathize with their war wounds. In my mind, these are indiscriminate murderers and psychopaths, plain and simple. Each made a choice to join an evil institution and to murder their fellow human beings. That is part of the job description, and this fact is never hidden from any recruit. I think that the country's reaction to the punishments against Calley in the My Lai massacre are sickening and indefensible. Those were not 'good boys.' Those soldiers were sickos who took advantage of a situation to indiscriminately murder innocent, defenceless human beings, and the defense of such murderers speaks volumes about our own culture.

My brother recently joined the military. We were a lower middle class family deeply opposed to war for political ends. We were refused toy guns as children. My brother volunteered to help disabled kids in his school as a second-grader. He has never been in a fight, and has always attracted friends due to his good nature, easy going personality, and diplomatic skill. He never had an interest in sports, and cared more about people. My father, a conservative Christian an strict disciplinarian, found it a bit hard to 'relate' to my brother. My brother witnessed physical abuse on his mother and sisters throughout his youth, perpetrated by my father. I think that he learned to associate masculinity with violence. My parents struggled to give him everything he wanted, and he reaped the benefit of being the youngest child so at this point my parents were more seasoned and stable. I watched my parents grieve (literally). This broke my heart. Our hearts are broken to know he will either be murdered or maimed, or committ the murdering or maiming. My brother-- soft, gentle as he was. Holding a machine gun. All for an unjust war or two or three. All for the benefit of the psychopathic war mongers and generals.

My mother has asked repeatedly, "What's the point of having children?" To her, having given her blood sweat and tears over to raise a boy to this state is more than she can fathom or bear. When I watch news reports of the wounded returning home, the 21-year old man or woman with a young family who is brain dead or otherwise incapacitated, I think "what a waste." I become angry. I instantly can empathise with the anger of that person's mother, who no doubt sacrificed her whole life to raise a functional and healthy person in society, only to have him or her crumpled up like garbage in the prime of their life, all for these sick wars.

The American military is no different from any other in history. Occupying forces of any country have been known to commit war crimes and genocide and mass murder, occasionally for sport. Little wonder as to why the so-called terrorists and people the world over hate us so. The monetary scraps we throw at them in compensation will never come close to leveling the debt we have incurred, and it will never be enough to wash the blood off our hands.

Ike Solem

One of the basic rules of military conflicts is that the longer they last, the more likely they are to degrade into mindless savagery and slaughter.

For example, at the outbreak of World War II, bombing raids on civilian targets were considered unthinkable by the Allied forces. By the end of the war, you had Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Hamburg, Dresden. If the war had dragged on further - say, if D-Day had failed - then it's likely that nuclear and chemical weapons would also have been used against civilian targets.

The escalation of the war in Vietnam in the 1960s followed similar lines - atrocities became normal, nothing to think twice about. Likewise, there's a long record of Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan in the 1980s - even very plausible allegations of the use of biological weapons against insurgents. Similarly, there was the introduction and escalation of systematic torture by U.S. troops and contractors in Iraq as that insurgency gained strength in 2003-2004 - an insurgency fueled by the ongoing occupation and the colonial CPA group run by Bremer, which was so obviously bent on controlling the oil.

This is just one of the many reasons why prolonged military conflict, especially when it involves the occupation of a foreign country for years on end, is a bad idea. Brutalization of the occupier is inevitable. Incidentally, the increased use of airstrikes against Afghanistan villages ever since Petraeus took over from McChrystal also fits this theme.

The huge economic drain that such prolonged warfare entails is another good reason to avoid it at all costs. If such guidelines had been followed, the Afghanistan conflict would have been over long ago. What we should have done, of course, is to have gone into Afghanistan with an Iraq-scale invasion, captured bin Laden & associates (not allowing him to escape to Pakistan), and then left immediately afterward - it would have been over within six months.

The invasion of Iraq was always unjustified, and was based on lies cooked up about WMDs and ties to Al Qaeda, with the ultimate goal being control of Iraqi oil production. There's no justification at all there, and under international law that counts as a war of aggression aimed at capturing natural resources, aka "a war crime." For more proof that this was the case, see the recent book by Greg Muttitt.

All in all, the first decade of the 21st century will go down as one of the most shameful in U.S. history, it seems.


Anonymous said...

Statement From the Family of Osama bin Laden

Statement from the family of Sheikh Osama bin Laden

I Omar Ossama Binladin and my brothers the lawful children and heirs of the Ossama Binladin (OBL) have noted wide coverage of the news of the death of our father, but we are not convinced on the available evidence in the absence of dead body, photographs, and video evidence that our natural father is dead. Therefore, with this press statement, we seek such conclusive evidence to believe the stories published in relation to 2 May 2011 operation Geronimo as declared by the President of United States Barrack Hussein Obama in his speech that he authorized the said operation and killing of OBL and later confirmed his death.

If OBL has been killed in that operation as President of United States has claimed then we are just in questioning as per media reports that why an unarmed man was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world. If he has been summarily executed then, we question the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated but USA has set a very different example whereby right to have a fair trial, and presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a court of law has been sacrificed on which western society is built and is standing when a trial of OBL was possible for any wrongdoing as that of Iraqi President Sadam Hussein and Serbian President Slobodan MiloŇ°evic'. We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems and crime's adjudication as Justice must be seen to be done.

It is also unworthy of the special forces to shoot unarmed female family members of Binladen killing a female and that of one of his son.

Most importantly, when it is a common knowledge that OBL's family is residing at one place outside KSA, why they were not contacted to receive his dead body. His sudden and un witnessed burial at sea has deprived the family of performing religious rights of a Muslim man.

Anonymous said...

Finally, now that the operation is concluded we wish the Government of Pakistan to release and hand over all minors of the family and all the family members are reunited at one place and are repatriated to their country of origin, especially female members of the family to avoid further oppression and we seek international support to that effect.

Without agreeing to the ways of OBL as to how he professed, believed and operated, We Omar Ossama Binladin, and my brothers, the lawful children of the Ossama Binladin (OBL) herewith demand an inquiry under UNO to reach to the accuracy of the facts as stated by United States into the fundamental question as to why our father was not arrested and tried but summarily executed without a court of law. We are putting these questions to the United Nations, OIC, President of United States that a necessary evidence is presented to the family in private and or public to make us believe what they claim, and all the remaining family members are repatriated and united after necessary initial investigation.

In making this statement, we want to remind the world that Omar Ossam Binladin, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances. Despite the difficulty of publicly disagreeing with our father, he never hesitated to condemn any violent attacks made by anyone, and expressed sorrow for the victims of any and all attacks. As he condemned our father, we now condemn the president of the United States for ordering the execution of unarmed men and women.

Failure to answer these questions will force us to go to International forum for justice such as International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice and UN must take notice of the violation of international law and assist us to have answers for which we are lawful in seeking them. A panel of eminent British and international lawyers is being constituted and a necessary action may be taken if no answers are furnished within 30 days of this statement.

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