July 19, 2011

Imperial Priorities: Obedience First – Character Last

"The doctrine of blind obedience and unqualified submission to any human power, whether civil or ecclesiastical, is the doctrine of despotism, and ought to have no place among Republicans and Christians." -- Angelina Grimke

"When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives." -- Robert A. Heinlein

Monday, July 18, 2011

Imperial Priorities: Obedience First – Character Last

We want to live pure, we want to live clean -- We want to do our best;
Sweetly submitting to authority, leaving to God the rest....
“The Obedience Song,” as sung every week in American Sunday School classes
It is with pride that we see that one man is kept above all criticism -- the Fuhrer. The reason is that everyone feels and knows he was always right and will always be right. The National Socialism of us all is anchored in the uncritical loyalty, in the devotion to the Fuhrer that does not ask for the wherefore in the individual case. We believe that the Fuhrer is fulfilling a divine mission to the German destiny! This belief is beyond all challenge.
Rudolf Hess, June 25, 1934, as cited in an appendix to the official transcripts of the Nuremberg Tribunal
In preparation for the Iraq war, the Pentagon’s war planners devised acomputer modeling program called “Bugsplat” to estimate the percentage of civilian casualties that would result in a given bombing raid. Just before the “Shock and Awe” assault on Baghdad began, Gen. Tommy Franks was informed of twenty-two proposed bombing attacks that would result in what was described as “heavy bugsplat.” He approved all twenty-two raids. 
The term “bugsplat” has become commonplace now that missile-equipped remote-controlled drones have become the Regime’s weapon of choice for prosecuting wars in at least a half-dozen countries. That’s assuming that the term “war” applies to a campaign of state terrorism in which thousands of helpless and entirely innocent people have been slaughtered in unexpected aerial bombardments waged by “warriors” who manipulate drones from the safety of climate-controlled offices in Nevada. The only combat-related risks those valiant cushion-crushers confront is the possibility of chronic diseases attendant to a sedentary lifestyle. 
"Predator Porn": Future "Bugsplat" victims....
 The same lexicon of long-distance mass murder that gave us the term “bugsplat” offers another newly minted term to describe the terrified civilians who can be seen frantically running for cover: “Squirters.” The vaguely pornographic overtones of that expression are appropriate, given the ubiqtuity of what Dr. P.W. Singer of the Brookings Institution calls “predator porn” – footage of drone attacks proudly circulated by the purported heroes responsible for the carnage. 
In a 2009 U.S. Naval Academy lecture, Singer described how “the ability to download a video clip of combat is turning war into a form of entertainment.” This repellent new genre includes a modern variety of snuff film: “A Hellfire missile drops, goes in, and hits the target, followed by an explosion and bodies tossed into the air.” Singer described one clip of that kind, sent to him by a joystick-wielding assassin, that “was set to music, the pop song `I Just Want to Fly’ by the band Sugar Ray.” 
Singer recalls asking a drone pilot “what it was like to fight insurgents in Iraq while based in Nevada. He said, `You are going to war for 12 hours, shooting weapons at targets, directing kills on enemy combatants, and then you get in the car and you drive home. And within 20 minutes, you’re sitting at the dinner table talking to your kids about their homework.” Meanwhile, somewhere in Iraq (or Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, or another country yet to be identified), families are picking through the rubble of their homes in the rapidly evaporating hope that their own children have somehow survived this most recent act of imperial generosity.

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