Tuesday, June 05, 2012

US Policy of Terror: Attack Rescuers and the Grieving.

Many of us have asked why the Germans didn't stand up to Hitler. Why they allowed him to get away with the unspeakable. Well, here we are, almost 75 years later, and the elite's military industrial complex wages illegal war after illegal war, killing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent civilians, based on nothing but packs of lies, in order to guarantee their massive power and profit. But what about us? The 99%.

What explains the lack of outrage and discourse regarding this insane and immoral policy? What explains the apathy? How long before the terrorism and crimes against humanity, starting with the Native Americans, and African Americans, that we've inflicted on others visits upon us?

Glenn Greenwald reports on the slaughter of grieving friends and family, and the murder of first responders.

In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that after the U.S. kills people with drones in Pakistan, it then targets for death those who show up at the scene to rescue the survivors and retrieve the bodies, as well as those who gather to mourn the dead at funerals: “the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.” As The New York Times summarized those findings: “at least 50 civilians had been killed in follow-up strikes after they rushed to help those hit by a drone-fired missile” while “the bureau counted more than 20 other civilians killed in strikes on funerals.”

This repellent practice continues. Over the last three days, the U.S. has launched three separate drone strikes in Pakistan: one on each day. As The Guardian reports, the U.S. has killed between 20 and 30 people in these strikes, the last of which, early this morning, killed between 8 and 15. It was the second strike, on Sunday, that targeted mourners gathered to grieve those killed in the first strike
At the time of the attack, suspected militants had gathered to offer condolences to the brother of a militant commander killed during another US unmanned drone attack on Saturday. The brother was one of those who died in the Sunday morning attack. The Pakistani officials said two of the dead were foreigners and the rest were Pakistani.
Note that there is no suggestion, even from the “officials” on which these media reports (as usual) rely, that the dead man was a Terrorist or even a “militant.” He was simply receiving condolences for his dead brother. But pursuant to the standards embraced by President Obama, the brother — without knowing anything about him — is inherently deemed a “combatant” and therefore a legitimate target for death solely by virtue of being a “military-age male in a strike zone.” Of course, killing family members of bombing targets is nothing new for this President: let’s recall the still-unresolved question of why Anwar Awlaki’s 16-year-old American son, Abdulrahman, was killed by a U.S. drone attack in Yemen two weeks after his father was killed.

I ask this sincerely: what kind of country targets rescuers, funeral attendees, and people gathered to mourn? If a Hollywood film featured a villainous King ordering lethal attacks on rescuers, funerals and mourners — those medically attending to or grieving his initial victims — any decent audience member would, by design, seethe with contempt for such an inhumane tyrant. But this is the standard policy and practice under President Obama and it continues through today. Recall the outrage that was sparked when WikiLeaks released its Collateral Murder video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter during the Bush era firing on unarmed rescuers, who had arrived to retrieve the initial victims who had been shot and were laying wounded on the ground. That tactic continues under President Obama, although it is now expanded to include the targeting of grieving rituals.
The War Prayer. By Mark Twain
It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came-next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!-then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation -- "God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever--merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory -

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,"Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said

"I come from the Throne-bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import-that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of-except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this-keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer-the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it-that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory-must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

"Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

5 comments:

Anonymous,  01:22  

It's what is called "Empathy Deficit Disorder". It's based on the American way of life.

From Morris Berman's book, Why America Failed, pg 60:

"Douglas LaBier, a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C., has a name for this type of behavior," (he's referring to the hustling nature of so many Americans), "which he says is rampant in the United States: empathy deficit disorder. Basically, it's just a fancy term for not giving a damn about anybody but yourself. LaBier claims that empathy is a natural emotion, but that Americans unlearn it from an early age because ours is a society that focuses on acquisition and status and avoids inner reflection."

Anonymous,  01:25  

There's also a book called something like "When Boys Don't Cry Tears They Cry Bullets." The premise being that a lot of families condition their sons not to show empathy because it's considered a "girl" thing, or the proof of being a sissy. Men must be hard and tough and firm.

When France sought to get Bush to cool his jets about a planned retaliatory attack on Iraq (naked vengeance unleashed) and discuss the matter, the right wing noise machine went to work turning France's stance into "that sissy thing," too.

The discrediting of attributes associated with the feminine gender, part of a several thousand year campaign to steal power and influence from women is a HUGE part of this social conditioning construct.

To maintain a ready fodder of soldiers (i.e. Mars rules), the male population pool must not be encouraged, no less permitted, to feel empathy or feel much at all apart from rage, sexual vigor, and the RUSH of speed-driven pursuits.

Notice that every viable presidential candidate must sound tough on crime and ever eager to pursue wars. This type of messaging wears a population down and turns the unthinkable into norms. Being an empire means never having to say you're sorry for the senseless, recurrent slaughter of innocents. (You see, all this didn't start with Obama. It has a deadly long legacy.) Fortunately, there are higher powers than an excessively armed nation run adrift.

Paul Langford,  15:10  

What is needed is for articles like this to be published regularly on CNN, FOX, MSNBC, along with nightly news coverage until complacent Americans are shocked into an awareness of just what their government is doing in their names. America is an"exceptional" all right, exceptionally brutal.

Anonymous,  15:16  

shut up and go to the mall and be a good consumer "patriot" and help our economy purchasing a ton of crap you don't need and can't afford.

Roth's stepchild 16:32  

15:16, I hate to admit this, but patri-idiot that I was, did just that. On 9/12/01, I purchased stock in many of the companies hit on 9/11. I sincerely thought I was doing my patriotic duty. Nevertheless, that's when I started down the proverbial "rabbit hole" and started to understand my education and conditioning was nothing more than dumbed-down propaganda. Very eye-opening, to says the least.

Paul, I couldn't agree with you more, but that will never happen. Our corporate controlled media literally serves the military industrial complex, Big Pharma, Big Oil, etc.

1:22/25, very interesting. I believe that there is an ever-increasing empathy deficit disorder by design. One of the key components is the video gaming that young boys, especially, love, serves only to desensitize to violence and death. They use the same type of "games" in military training.

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