Friday, May 4, 2012

Panetta tells troops to behave as they destroy and kill

The mendacity of the US political leadership has descended to lows that before now would have been unthinkabgle. The norms of "civilized" behavior have been so debased by the throbbing corruption of the American empire that we have the example of the US secretary of aggressive war importuning the troops to mind their manners as they go about their malignant mission:
Panetta warns Afghanistan-bound U.S. soldiers on behavior | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged a group of Afghanistan-bound soldiers on Friday to be on their best behavior when they reach the war zone, warning that thoughtless photos and actions can endanger their mission and their lives.
"These days it takes only seconds, seconds, for a picture, a photo, to suddenly become an international headline," Panetta told solders at Fort Benning, Georgia."
You couldn't make this up, of course, because before this time in history actions spoke at least to some degree louder than words. Now, however, with the mass-media megaphone that our "leaders" command, they simply bleat out the appropriate message for the folks at home, and no one pays any mind to a reality that is deficient in both morality and humanity.

Lest it slip anyone's mind, the US is engaged in a variety of wars of choice against far-off Muslim nations who either posses strategically important resources (oil, gas) or are situated in strategically important regions (the energy heartland of the planet). In the wars, the US uses its superior armaments to battle indigenous forces possessing only small arms and no sophisticated command-and-control capabilities. In short, they're vastly outgunned, and yet manage to fight the most sophisticated military force in history to a standstill.

To a fighting force hopped up on drugs and propaganda, this cannot but be supremely frustrating. US and allied troops, under the illusion that they fight for truth, justice and the American way, find themselves up against a determined adversary that they've derided as towel heads and sand niggers, and there seems to be no way out for our modern-day crusaders.

Hence, they are prone to behave badly. One would expect as much from a cohort indoctrinated redneck mercenaries from the Bible Belt who think it's god's will to kick some fuckin' ass and get revenge for 9-11. No one needs to teach them how to hate and how to kill -- and all they learn at Ft. Benning is how to do it more efficiently.

Now, under the cheerful demeanor of our Nobel prize-winning commander-in-chief, we are learning the troops how to smile as they kill, in John Lennon's famous formulation. We must murder with a glad heart and a warm smile, lest we give the folks back home the wrong idea about our beloved and misunderstood troops. They bleed for our money, they die for corporate profit, but they must never forget that in every ugly situation, a little PR and perception management goes a long way to smoothing out the bad vibes one creates while making collateral damage of the people who stand in the way of our imperial project.

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