Sunday, June 30, 2013

Japan lost WWII - but Militarism won

I have always believed the statement, "My country, right or wrong" to be silly. Did it apply to Nazi Germany? To post-Pearl Harbor Japan? Of course not. So why does it apply to the United States of America? After WWII the U.S. really set an impossibly high standard requiring soldiers ..."with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes." Okay, so Bradley Manning should be given a medal - by that standard. Obviously, no country allows its soldiers to share its secrets. Yet, this high standard really was influential to young Americans ... it smelled like American Spirit.

Here are some quotes I took from
"In 1953, the Department of Defense adopted the principles of the Nuremberg Code as official policy" of the United States. (Hasting Center Report, March-April 1991) 
We are all bound by what U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert K. Jackson declared in 1948: [T]he very essence of the [Nuremberg] Charter is that individuals have intentional duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state." At the Tokyo War Crimes trial, it was further declared "[A]nyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes." 

Hippies (and Yippies and the Students for a Democratic Society) grew up in this post-war world and took to heart the notion that these words were the true statement of American policy. When Viet Nam War protestors stood in front of draftees and urged them not to go to war they were more in tune with America than was Richard Nixon! The ire they aroused was what was unAmerican, not their protests. But Nixon took what could be argued is a more real emotion - that citizens must fight whenever their government orderes them - and began the so-called "hardhat" and "silent majority" tactic. He added draconian drug laws and racist agendas to the mix and achieved the political equivalent of the CIA's 60's assassination program. He scared the shit out of us. It's no accident that the massive Viet Nam anti-war movement has not been repeated - it was murdered just like JFK, Martin, and RFK.
Americans believe that they are the city on the hill and that the rest of the world is mired in the muck. I am grateful to Barack Obama. I support him, but I shuddered and was shamed when he ordered a repeat of the election process in Afghanistan where people's index fingers were stained with indelible ink to show they had voted. The Taliban cut off some of these purple fingers and then Obama ordered Afghanis to vote again because Republicans claimed the election was tainted. The horror, the horror. As if the USA is ANY kind of role model for fair elections! I don't believe George W. Bush was ever ELECTED President and I believe he, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld are war criminals. American soldiers face the prospect of torture because of their open endorsement of torture.
I hate the distortion of language in the U.S. where someone like me who is criticizing the power structure is accused of "not supporting the troops." The way to support our powerful and brave troops is to oppose their casual deployment. As Pete Seeger sang, "If you love your Uncle Sam (bring them home, bring them home), Support our troops in Viet Nam - bring them home, bring them home. Both the Viet Nam War and the last Iraq War were horrible abuses of our brave soldiers. The conduct of the war in Afghanistan was begun with high-altitude carpet bombing when our stated objective was to get a small group of people. And, for God's sake, I am not unpatriotic to say we have wreaked immoral havoc on these nations.

The world does not hate Americans. They do hate us fucking with them all the time. Most of the world emulates parts of our culture and many countries appreciate what our aid and troops have done for them. That so many Americans have contempt for rest of the world is a product of propaganda and lies. Propaganda and lies that have actually been spread and inflamed by so-called Christian leaders. I'll never forget when during the Republican Presidential debates in North Carolina Ron Paul suggested that American government "do unto others as they would have others do unto us." And the audience in the heart of the Bible Belt laughed. 
The USA regularly makes fun of the French, a major WWII ally. The USA NEVER gives Russia its due for literally dying for us in WWII. And the financing of Communist China gives lie to the statement that we still oppose Russia for being dictatorial Communists. Hell, we PAID for Communist China's rise! Mitt Romney was so out of touch that he made fun of the Brits during his campaign. Great Britain, home of those dandy doppelgangers Thatcher (Reagan) and Blair (W. Bush).
Those of us who pay the high percentage of our income to support the Military/Industrial/Secrecy/Prison Complex (the 99%) can no longer afford the eternal wars for oil and corporate power. 

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