A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Politics: War Atrocities

Goya, War

Because, as you know, this blog is dedicated to peace, to the end of war and its atrocities, to the hope of a brighter tomorrow when we will no longer throw our children — and everyone else's — into the gaping maw of Moloch.
The combat soldier, as an absolutely deprived person, responds to direct situational exigencies. [...] Deadening fear intermingles with acts of bravery. [...]

If enemy prisoners are taken, they may be subjected to atrocities in the rage of the battle or its immediate aftermath. The soldier's distaste of endangering civilians may be overcome by his fear that [the enemy], of any age or sex, can be responsible for his own death (Ed: Or the death of those of his comrades whom he has been trained to think of as his best and only friends.) Where the opportunity arises, looting often occurs. War souvenirs are frequently collected either to be kept personally or later sold to rear-echelon servicemen. (Italics added. Editorial note from ThePoliticalCat.)

— Charles C. Moskos, as cited inMalaya and Singapore During The Japanese Occupation
The "absolutely deprived person" status that is inflicted on servicemen as part of their basic training has the effect of deadening them to all that is human and humane. Apparently, such deadening no longer has the desired effect, for even these poor, pitiful humans retain some vestige of conscience and feeling. They come back from their war crimes with PTSD, and inflict upon their loved ones, neighbours, families, and society in general, the cost of rehabilitating them and dealing with their costly and painful suffering.

Thus, our armies now seek robots, "unmanned drones," that do not, and cannot, suffer any twinge of conscience about killing the innocent, the unarmed, the civilians who are so unfortunate as to live in a zone of war.

It is stated as a matter of fact in many of the memoirs written by PoWs in the Pacific Theater during WW II that their Korean and Taiwanese guards were often more brutal and inhumane than even the Japanese soldiers, who committed unparalleled war crimes in their imperialist expansion into Southeast Asia. Upon reading at greater length of the treatment meted out to these unfortunate "Imperial subjects" of Korea and Taiwan, it becomes clear that the dehumanization process to which these unfortunate "subjects" were subjected could only be remedied or stalled by inflicting upon their helpless prisoners torments that were at least as unpleasant as those that they themselves suffered.

Thus the cycle continues. Each person one rung up on the ladder of abuse directs their kicks and blows to those one rung below. Those at the very bottom of that ladder have no one upon whom to vent their frustrations and rage, and so turn them inward and punish each other and themselves, as they have been taught and shown to do.

Picasso, Guernica

When will humanity emerge from these dark ages? When will we evolve beyond the need of war? It must come soon, or we will surely destroy ourselves and all we hold dear. Iran announced the existence of a hidden uranium-refining facility, and everywhere, the neocons have crawled out of the woodwork demanding an immediate attack upon that unfortunate nation. Why? Because the government of the State of Israel, a bunch of neocon hacks and hawks to the last man, are "afraid" of the possibility that Iran might soon have nuclear weapons. Earliest estimates of this happening range from one to five years. Not that facts should get in the way of hysteria, of course.

Israel possesses an arsenal of nuclear weapons, but will neither confirm nor deny that it does so. Israel is not a signatory to the NNPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). Iran is. Iran has notified the IAEA, as required by its membership in the IAEA, of its "secret" facility. Iran has also agreed to permit IAEA inspectors to assess its nuclear sites. Israel, not being a signatory to this, most important treaty, refuses to release any information whatsoever about what its doing with nuclear power. Israel is a hawkish state, constantly engaging in acts of hostility against its neighbours, supported by the U.S. to the tune of $10 million in taxpayer money PER DAY. In addition to obscene yearly quantities of military aid. Just this year, despite our own horrendous economic situation, we gave Israel nearly $3 billion in military aid.

The interests of the Israeli people are not being represented by their government, which prefers to use its own civilians as an excuse for further armament rather than negotiate peaceful solutions with its neighbours. Children of Abraham, of Hagar and Sarah, the time has come to beat your swords into plowshares. If you do not, then you will all be obliterated when the Third World War begins, because there are too many people who want it to begin on your doorstep. It is not a war that anyone will survive.

As Tom Lehrer sang, "We'll all go together when we go." Rather than contemplate the death of every living being on this planet, let us work together to a just solution. It can be done, if we all insist on it. Those Christian Dominionists who want Armageddon and The Rapture, do you think that teacher who said "Love thy neighbour as thyself; there is no greater commandment than [this]" would care for your efforts to create Armageddon?

Crossposted over at The Peace Tree

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At 1:48 PM, Blogger Friend of TPC said...

Hi TPC and kudo's for another great post from you! And of course, those neocon creeps who want to war monger and torture so bad they can taste it, would never be willing to go to war themselves. No, they'll happily send someone else to kill and do the dirty work and die while they sit back on their fat asses and get rich off the war profits. Have I told you how much I hate these people!

And having a brother who came home from Vietnam with serious PTSD, I about vomited when sonny boy Bush invaded Iraq. Both our society and Iraq will be suffering as a result of that for generations. It all makes me sick.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger thepoetryman said...

Yes! This piece is wonderfully written, TPC. Thank you for your struggle for peace. We need more of your kind of cats.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Thank you, dear friends. I've been reading about WW II and am about to begin reading a massive quantity of material on the VietNam conflict.

FoTPC, I'm so sorry about your brother. I hope his life is better now.

Poetryman, I'll be posting a lot on war and peace in the coming days. Thanks for your encouragement!

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Friend of TPC said...

After all the death my brother saw on both sides of it, I don't think he'll ever really get over the PTSD. But at least he has gone to the VA and gotten some help in the last couple of years.


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