(art by permission of Anthony Freda @ www.anthonyfreda.com) While 95% of the nation’s attention is focused on economic and fiscal matters, I thought it would be a good time to turn our gazes to matters military and ask: What did we learn about the War on Terror this year, Firepups? Well, let’s see: We learned that even though a majority of us have turned against the wars, our leaders are the adults in the room, and believe that War Leads to Peace, and they mean to spread around… a lot of Peace. We learned that Generals who promote and enact failed strategies can rise to the top as long as they command decent PR COIN spin from the MSM & Next-gen COINTELPRO; ‘You can trust your war…to the man who’d like five stars.’ (not to mention your CIA) We learned that bombing a nation does not constitute war if US soldiers aren’t being shot at, and that civilian deaths are known in military jargon as bugsplat, and that we kill far more splat than bug with our bombs, but that if the operation assessment guesses that fewer than thirty civilians might be splat to the one bug, it’s A Go! We learned that ISAF forces have prioritized the safety of ‘our’ troops over the safety of the indigenous civilians, and that hearts and minds are won with baskets of hundred-dollar bills rather than…that other thing…oh yeah; getting the hell out of Muslim nations that believe we are the scourge of the world, unrepentantly contaminating their Holy Lands, partnering with despots and criminals in the name of American Empire claiming their resources. We learned via Hillary’s BFF, Harold Koh that the President has the God-given right to assassinate pretty much anyone he wants, as long as a couple of ‘reliable’ folks tell him they deserve it. And that includes American citizens; no partiality shown. We learned that the new face of war is antiseptic and targeted, conducted from consoles in Nevada and other faraway locations, and that civilian casualties only count when enough of a body remains for it to be identified; and the corollary is that most drone bombs don’t leave much evidence, which keeps civilian body counts…low. But we have learned to clean up our messes. We learned that spreading democracy abroad sometimes takes some sticks…and Hellfire. We learned that we especially like to help out countries that have lots of resources, or else hate Iran, though when the two coincide, so much the better. We learned that we are Very Afraid of Al Qaederites, who are easily conflated with Talibanners, and a sleeper cell may be hiding in your neighborhood; if you see a brown person, you are reminded to be vigilant: report any suspicious behavior to the FBI @ 1-202-FUC-KYOU; an operator will pass along your message to the appropriate agent. Oh! And we learned that once Obomba and the Hillary Hawk decided to support the Arab Spring at last, Libya may not have been the one to offer our ‘humanitarian help’. Looks like there just aren’t any places to bomb left that will eradicate Gadaffi, but hell; ya bomb a country and accidentally kill boatloads of civilians cuz you go to war in aid of the Rebels you found (a must-read), not the Rebels you’d like. Amen; (and my most profound apologies, Libya) We’ve learned more about the Pentagon’s Dark Armies operating with scant attention or oversight in almost 120 nations around the world, fabulously funded now, and partnered with contract killers…the best on the planet. We learned that there was no peace dividend after killing Bin Laden; the Generals know that our presence and drone killing radicalizes the indigenous population, but figure, hey: we got ‘em on the run; might as well finish ‘em off. And that new fronts have already expanded in Somalia and Yemen, ably aided by bogus MSM Judith Miller-style reporting. We learned in the most hideous ways imaginable, that The Masters of War (yes; please listen), the Fascist Feudal Lords lavish trillions on war while they rob us blind and plunder our families’ futures. They pursue profit over people, and it means that we have officially become the other to them, disposable serfs as our nation devolves, unbeknownst to most citizens, into a second-rate Banana Republic.
‘And I hope that you die And your death’ll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I’ll watch while you’re lowered Down to your deathbed And I’ll stand over your grave ‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.’
Shoot; I almost forgot: we learned that giving Obomba a Pre-emptive Nobel Peace Prize wasn’t altogether helpful.
No no no no…that wasn’t what this diary was supposed to be about. The awesome Anthony Freda for the very first time sent along this piece from the Guardian with one piece of his art…but my keyboard seemed to have a mind of its own. Please; allow me to reset the conversation. Allow me to take you to one of the lands of the victims of our Masters of War…to Waziristan…where Noor Behram has spent the past three years photo-documenting the civilian deaths by American Hellfire. He managed to get to about sixty of the drone-attack sites…and unearthed the bodies; a grim task if there ever were one. He estimates that about 15 civilians are killed for every Taliban (Taliban, not Al Qaeda, note); true estimates say over 2500 have been killed in Pakistan alone. “According to Noor Behram, the strikes not only kill the innocent but injure untold numbers and radicalise the population. There are just pieces of flesh lying around after a strike. You can’t find bodies. So the locals pick up the flesh and curse America. They say that America is killing us inside our own country, inside our own homes, and only because we are Muslims. “The youth in the area surrounding a strike gets crazed. Hatred builds up inside those who have seen a drone attack. The Americans think it is working, but the damage they’re doing is far greater.” The Guardian piece describes some of the photos on display at London’s Beaconsfield Gallery, two of the images burn into my brain. As Hellfire damage to children is often so much more complete, this is achingly sad: “There are pictures, too, of the cheap rubber flip-flops worn by children and adults, which often survive: signs that life once existed there. A 10-year-old boy’s body, prepared for burial, shows lipstick on him and flowers in his hair – a mother’s last loving touch.” Oh, for all you brown people killed by our country…and for your families and all who loved you…and the families you will never have…we are so sorry, and in some wee measure share your pain. For you…for all of us…and for future generations we hope will get it right and find ways to cooperate and not make war.