George Carlin on Endless War
The late George Carlin’s take on the reasons we are involved in what seems like endless wars:
“We like war, we’re a war-like people! We like war because we’re good at it! You
know why we’re good at it? Because we get a lot of practice. This country’s only
200 years old and already we’ve had ten major wars. We average a major war every
twenty years in this country, so we’re good at it! And it’s a good thing we are; we’re not very good at anything else anymore! Hah? Can’t make a decent car,can’t make a TV set or a VCR worth a fuck … got no steel industry left, can’t educate our young people … can’t get health care to our old people … but we can bomb the shit out of your country alright!”
Carlin goes on to express the racism that permeates most wars. This seems to be an ugly little truth that most people of non-color go out of their way to avoid (both on the right and left). Yes, I understand that the primary component to most if not all wars is Wealth (natural resources, cheap or slave labour) but race and religion always allow us to dehumanize those who are not like us with a little more ease.
”Especially if your country is full of brown people. Oh, we like that, don´t we, that’s our hobby? That’s our new job in the world: bombing brown people! Iraq,
Panama, Grenada, Libya – you got some brown people in your country – tell ´em to
watch the fuck out … or we’ll goddamn bomb them!”
Above Carlin refers to the first time we bombed Libya: he had no way of knowing that it (the sulfur free oil ) was so nice, we had to do it twice.
“But when’s the last white people you can remember that we bombed, can you remember — can you remember ANY white people we’ve ever bombed? The Germans!
They were the only ones, and that’s only because they were trying to cut in on
our action! They wanted to dominate the world – bullshit, that’s our fuckin´ job!
Now we only bomb brown people. Not because they’re trying to cut in on our
action, just because they’re *brown*!”
Unlike most on the right and about 60% of the left Carlin did not fall in lock-step As soon as the bombs were dropped (or fired).
”Now you’ve probably noticed I don´t feel about that “war,” the way we were told
we were supposed to feel about that war … the way we were ordered and
instructed to feel by the United States Government to feel about that war …
you see, I tell ya … my mind doesn’t work that way … I got this real moron
thing I do – it’s called, “thinking,” – and I’m not a very good American because
I like to form my own opinions. I don´t just “roll over” when I’m told to.
Sad to say most Americans just “roll over” on command. Not me – I have certain rules I live by.
My first rule:
I don´t believe anything the government tells me. Nothing. Zero. Nope.”
During the reign of the USSR the state news paper Pravda would be posted in the square to allow the good people of the Soviet Union access to the latest news. The inside joke among the Russian people was that everything one reads in Pravda, consider the reverse to be true. Am I the only one to notice that our media has fallen into lockstep once again as they did with Iraqi and Afghanistan? Carlin made note of this as well:
“And I don´t take very seriously the media or the press in this country, who, in
the case of the Persian Gulf War were nothing more than unpaid employees of the
Department of Defense, and who, most of the time functioned as sort of an
unofficial public relations company for the United States Government.”
Carlin goes on to say the unthinkable:
”So, I don´t listen to them, I don´t *really* believe in my country, and I gotta
tell ya folks, I don´t get all choked up about yellow ribbons and American
flags. I consider them to be symbols, and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.”
He said that he did not believe in his country; kind of like admitting you are an Atheist in Saudi Arabia (could lose your head). Carlin’s position seems to be somewhat close to my own: I do not hate America (although I have said so in jest); but nor am I in “love” with an institution (government). Being a little freaky, I limit my love to people.
”Me? I look at war a little bit differently. To me war is a lot of prick waving,
ok? Simple thing, that’s all it is, war is a whole lot of men standing out in a
field waving their pricks at one another. Men are insecure about the size of
their dicks, so they have to kill one another over the idea.”
Bill Maher once said (I paraphrase) that the size of a guy’s penis is inversely proportional to the size of the vehicle he drives. Calrin takes a similar view concerning war.
”That’s what all that asshole jock bullshit is all about. That’s what all that
adolescent macho male posturing and strutting in bars and locker rooms is all
about – it’s called, “dick fear!” Men are terrified that their pricks are
inadequate, and so they have to compete with one another to feel better about
themselves, and, since war is the ultimate competition, basically men are
killing each other in order to improve their self-esteem.”
”This whole country has a manhood problem, big manhood problem in the USA, you
can tell from the language we use, language always gives you away. What did we
do wrong in Vietnam? We “pulled out.” Eh, not a very “manly” thing to do, is it?
When you’re fucking people, you’ve got to stay in there and fuck them good! Fuck
´em all the way! Fuck ´em ´til the end! Fuck ´em to death! Stay in there and
keep fucking them until they’re all dead!”
For years I have listened to old guys lament that “we should have not had our hands tied in Vietnam”, or “we should have done it right!” My God; we kill 3 million in Vietnam, what would have happen if our hands were not tied, or we “did it right?”
When I first heard Carlin utter the lead sentence below as a human being it tore my heart out!
”We left a few women and children alive in Vietnam, and we haven’t felt good about ourselves since. That’s why in the Persian Gulf George Bush had to say, “this will not be another Vietnam.” He actually used these words: “This time
we’re going all the way.” Imagine an American President using the sexual slang of
a thirteen-year-old to describe his foreign policy.”
I miss George, his honesty, guts, wit and intellect.