|Two war criminals living it up|
The minute I heard that a US soldier massacred 16 Afghan civilians, the first thing that entered my head was that the guy went nuts. Just like the guy that shot the students at Virginia Tech went nuts or the kid that shot Giffords went nuts.
Well it turns out that in this particular case, the Staff Sergeant was on his fourth combat mission in 10 years. He went nuts. In January, they finally caught the Iraq veteran, Itzcoatl Ocampo, the "serial killer" as the media referred to him that was going around killing homeless people. Killing Iraqi's was OK though, no charges of serial killing there. In Iraq you're a hero for being a serial killer. Back in 2010, Matthew Magdzas another veteran shot his wife who was 8 months pregnant, killing both her and the child, shot his 3 year old daughter his dog and then himself. Iraq destroyed these young lives as it destroyed and is still destroying the lives of millions of Iraqi's.
I remember first reading about the Magzdas' incident in some newspaper and the first comments I came across was that they didn't think infidelity or money issues were the cause. The first thing that came in to my mind was, "How about Iraq?". This is why the Bush's Cheney's Obama's and others don't send their children to fight "their" predatory wars. Magzdas didn't just annihilate his own family. He took from the his parents and his wife's parents their grandchildren. What horror must have filled hi head for him to do such a thing!
My father was a prisoner of war in Japan for three years and nine months. He was captured in Hong Kong in 1939 and taken to Yokohama where he worked for Mitsubishi. He ran away from home after his mother died at the age of 14 and joined the army at 16, lying about his age. "I always wanted to be with horses" he told me, and saw the army as the only chance of doing that for a working class kid from Salford. He never saw a horse after that. His experience not only messed him up, it had serious consequences for our family life, for my mother especially and my sister and me.
Obama is now apologizing for this latest rampage that follows on the heels of book burnings and urinating on dead bodies. "He had a traumatic brain injury and problems at home" military officials release in the media. As an aside, I am not impressed by the phony morality about urinating on dead bodies. Of course it's not right to do that but to think its OK to blow people to bits in the interest of profit but not to piss on them afterwards is a warped sense of morality if you ask me.
Anyway, this guy was considered fit for combat duty and deployed to Afghanistan in December, officials announce to us through their media. He was trained as a sniper, so killing was his trade, just like Izcoatl Ocampo and Matthew Magzdas and thousand of other young working class men and women who sign up in this economic draft we have in the US. They teach these youngsters in boot camp that the enemy are less than human, they hate us; it is god's will that we should kill them. And for any normal being, to do this is a very traumatic thing. it's bad enough when you have to do it to defend your home or family, but to do it as an occupier, as an invader, that's another matter. See the movie, The Ground Truth to get some idea of how they brainwash working class youth in their military training camps.
And their media glorifies war and violence as do their video games that the US military has a hand in designing. Schwarzenegger, Stillone, and John Wayne who made millions making violent pro-war movies never experienced the real thing. If the real thing doesn't kill you it damages you severely both mentally and physically.
The now hated Taliban, the former government of Afghanistan whose officials, every one of them, were on the payroll of the US government until 1999 have vowed retaliation. They will "take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr," They have announced. We can't blame the residents of countries the US invades on behalf of the energy corporations to not fight back. The drone assassinations in Yemen and Pakistan, the support for every dictator and thug in the Middle East by US capitalism is at the root of anti-American feeling and hatred throughout the world and particularly among Muslims. I traveled in Iraq in 1971 and the Iraq's, Muslims and all, were kind and generous to me despite the rotten role of British imperialism in that region. Most people know there are governments and people, but we have to make it clear we don't support our government in these situations just as I learned to oppose the terrorism of the British state in Northern Ireland when I was young.
Those that represent the greatest danger to our troops are those Americans responsible for US foreign policy and send our youth in to these situations to uphold it under the guise of freedom and defense. Many of our young people join the military for one reason only, to get an education and hopefully a job when they get out that will provide them with a relatively secure existence. The best thing we can do for the troops is bring them home.
The other side of these predatory wars is the cost. I pointed out in a previous blog a recent report out of Brown University estimated that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq along with the undeclared war in Pakistan is costing the US taxpayer $4 trillion and will take 225,000 lives, both civilians and soldiers, mostly poor people who have not threatened the US in any way whatsoever. “The current number of war refugees and displaced persons -- 7,800,000” the study says, “is equivalent to all of the people of Connecticut and Kentucky fleeing their homes.” US foreign policy that leads to this human misery is at the heart of anti-American feeling and the root of terrorism. "body counts" are not important unless its Americans in the eyes of the Pentagon.
US foreign policy, continued under Obama after the imbecile Bush, is criminal. We cannot travel in so many countries of the world as Americans because of the actions of our government. The cost in resources, material and human is staggering and is the reason public services, jobs and our living standards at home are being savaged by the 1%---we have to pay for their wars.
It's not about brain tumors or domestic disputes. it's about capitalism and profits and the struggle for the world's resources.