The military is a “menacing and hyper-masculine,” “feral fighting force,” and so it should remain. “Mold the military into a friendly purveyor of soft power that fits with a political, social-engineering agenda—nation building—and you are guaranteed that cynical, unethical master manipulators will continue to use and abuse it” (“Grunts, Get In Touch With Your Inner-Muslim”). Those power-hungry members of the media-military-industrial-complex were out in full force today justifying the continued deployment of American men in Afghanistan, even though these men are losing their minds.
Ryan Crocker, America’s ambassador to Afghanistan, appeared on the Voice of the Empire (FoxNews) to make the rickety case—you’ve heard these simplistic, deeply stupid arguments many times before—that the intentional, methodical massacre of at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children, by a United States Army sergeant, should in no way alter the magic mission underway in that region.
Residents of three villages in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province described a terrifying string of attacks in which the soldier, who had walked more than a mile from his base, tried door after door, eventually breaking in to kill within three separate houses. The man gathered 11 bodies, including those of 4 girls younger than 6, and set fire to them, villagers said. [New York Times]
Yes, this solider is individually responsible for his horrific acts. Above all, however, blame lies with the people who keep him and his fellow combatants locked in that country—these poor sods cannot desert this immoral occupation (or refuse to carry out nightly raids on private homes) for fear of being court-martialed, now can they?
Blame the King’s comitatus as well for penning these men like animals in that blighted and benighted country—blame “the sprawling apparatus … that encompasses not only the emperor’s household and its personnel … but also the ministries of government, the lawyers, the diplomats, the adjutants, the messengers, the interpreters, the intellectuals” (“Our Overlords Who Art in D.C.”).
And don’t forget “America’s neoconservative pundettes. Never underestimate the contribution neoconservative women in the scribbling and broadcasting professions have made to sexing up war. When babes with bursting décolletages quake and quiver for action, their fans do more than just look, they listen” (“To Pee Or Not To Pee is Not the Question”).
UPDATE: An RT commentator (who else?) pointed out that a war such as the one waged in Afghanistan gives rise to atrocities. This is because soldiers have no clear enemy or mission. The enemy is everywhere. The enemy is the Afghan people who’ve fought against invaders forever; who are waging a war of resistance against an occupier. This enemy strikes at our men and melts back into the landscape. Men lose their brothers, and they lose it. Since the enemy is ephemeral, soldiers, some of whom are on their fourth or fifth tour, lash out indiscriminately.
An impressive man, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen—he commands Western troops in Afghanistan—took the liberty of speaking on behalf of the Afghan people today, on Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room. The mission is not in peril, promised a resolute Allen. The 90,000 or so US troops currently in Afghanistan are going nowhere (I’m sure they’ll be overjoyed to hear this).
Allen also assured his listeners that the massacre over the week-end was the act of a lone wolf. I’m sure that the scores of victims and their families are comforted by such statistical assurances.
This is the second time I’ve heard Allen refer to the Afghans as “The noble Afghan people.” What’s up with that? Is he trying to sound like “Lawrence of Arabia”?