Stan Goff Is the U.S. Military “Liberating” Iraq?
Stan Goff on U.S. Military Full Spectrum Disorder
Thank You for Your–Uh–“Service”
Thank You For Your–UH–”Service”: Ramon’s 9-11
Posted on September 6, 2010 by jimcraven10
From Stan Goff’s Insurgent American at http://insurgentamerican.net ; http://www.insurgentamerican.net/analysis/thank-you-for-your-uh-service-ramons-9-11/
Please see also The Feral Scholar at http://www.feralscholar.org/blog/index.php/2010/01/16/george-w-obama/
James Craven/Omahkohkiaaiipooyii, like every surviving offspring of a mostly successful policy and practice of genocide, can do nothing but continue to exist and be an accusation leveled at a smug society. When I worked at Claremore Indian Hospital in 1989, I saw plenty of people who did that… many of them so deracinated and broken that they had lost any shred of their joie de vive, like the society in which they were stranded was some distant planet with a slow poison in the air.
Jim has done something different, though. His life is one of those stubborn sparks that fans itself in the winds of political struggle. His accusations are not passive. Passive accusation gets invisibilized, like the homeless people we ignore as we pass them on the street. Jim accuses actively with his words and actions. Who better to tell us, as he did recently, that there is something mighty strange when the US press can natter on for days about a resolution on the Ottoman genocide of the Armenians in the grip of the press’ own intransigent amnesia about the very land upon which they stand and natter.
I don’t think Jim is motivated by vengeance or venom, even though his accusations are bitter. He is a committed socialist, which to me means someone who wants to relieve suffering… not impose it. The bitterness of his thoughts and words are the bitterness of a strong medicine that we need. Without trying to excuse or write an equal-sign between the suffering of the oppressed and the suffering of those who are privileged within a system of oppression, I will say — as Toni Morrison did — that the slave bears her scars on her back, and the master pays the cost of a fragmented personality.
This contribution to Insurgent American is Omahkohkiaaiipooyii doing what he does best; and if it’s bitter, then savor the bitterness. It is good for you.
– Stan Goff
October 25, 2007
Thank You for Your–UH-”Service”: Ramon’s 9-11
by James Craven/Omahkohkiaaiipooyii
We’ve all done it. Someone in uniform, military mostly, but also police, firefighters, we say it almost like “Good Morning”; it is “Thank you for your service.” And we mean it. Thank you for being among the few with the courage and sacrifice to put your own life and comforts on the line for a transcendent cause beyond yourself; particularly if that Cause is the safety and liberty of me and mine.
But that begs a thought experiment: Do Germans thank former SS for their “service” that many actually convinced thmselves was for the safety and liberty of their system, culture and “own kind”? Can we or should we separate the “service” to a transcendent Cause from the nature of that Cause itself?
This occurred to me further when I got and and immediately digested the new book by Valerie Plame Wilson “Fair Game”. On one level I could respect that she put her life on the line for a transcendent Cause beyond her own self and selfishness and self-preservation; a Cause that she still believes in. But when she is quoted on the jacket of the book that she is “proud to have served my country by working at the Central Intelligence Agency” a chill goes up my spine:
I think of all the books on the CIA written by insiders, never mind the outsider critics, I have read, along with all the released internal files of the CIA, that show what can only be described as organized terrorism and Imperial hubris against innocents. I think as well, about revelations, that, contrary to the hype and spin, almost every covert operation since CIA’s inception, has been/is coming back as “Blowback” with far worse evils coming back and/or ourselves being turned into, than the operation was intended to deal with or prevent. I think of Tim Weiner’s “Legacy of Ashes: The Secret History of the CIA” and Ralph McGehee’s “Deadly Deceits” and all that they and so many other histories like it reveal. I think of the rigged elections in Italy in 1948; the overthrow of Mossadeq in 1953 and installation of the brutal Shah; Guatemala 1954; Syria 1956; Tibet 1959; Laos 59-62; South Korea 1962; Cuba 1962; Vietnam 1963; Dominican Republic 1965; Indonesia 1965; and on and on and on–the “blood-and-treasure” count.
But most of all and always first, I think of Ramon. That is a pseudonym for a real person and I dare not use even his alias as I do not know if he is alive or if it might compromise him in some way.
Ramon’s own special 9-11 was 9-11-1973 outside Santiago Chile when the democratically-elected Government of Salvador Allende (far fairer election than any of Bush) was violently overthrown by a CIA planned, designed, nurtured, initiated, executed, consolidated and covered-up fascist coup d’etat that installed the brutal fascist dictatorship of Pinochet.
On his 9-11, Ramon was an engineering student working/studying outside Santiago at the copper pits. His wife was an artist who ran a center in Santiago. They were both idealists and progressives, but not members of any organization. Ramon, when attacked by fascist forces on 9-11, at the copper pits, picked up a gun for the first time in his life to defend himself. He was captured and because they thought he was some kind of a leader, he was slated for torture instead of immediate execution.
Ramon was taken initially to the soccer stadium in Santiago. He kept asking where was his wife. His wife was brought into a room with six guards and a “gringo” present, while he was forced to watch his wife repeatedly gang raped and then beheaded with piano wire. Later he had two fingers cut off but in the internment camp a doctor sewed up his hand with horse hairs improvised. While in the internment camp, the Red Cross came and a worker saw him, with TB, and took pity and got him out and to Canada where he became a legal refugee and immigrant.
I was teaching in a tenure-track position at a community college. Some friends approached me and basically asked for my help to do what amounted to the same thing as hiding Jews in nazi Germany. Although these Chilean immigrants were perfectly legal residents, as legal refugees and/or immigrants, they were subject to surveillance, harassment, kidnapping and even assassination (e.g. Orlando Letalier in Washington, DC) as Chilean DINA or national police, were allowed to operate, with the knowledge of the national intelligence services, in countries like the U.S., Canada, Britain, etc.
I was asked to help to set up safe areas for legal refugees fleeing locally-assisted DINA agents looking for them and to do some long-distance photography at the airport baggage pickup. Here, after all they had suffered, they were still not safe as they were hounded against, as legal refugees ,within the countries that had accepted them as refugees.
Last time I heard from Ramon was from a bakery somewhere on the east coast. Just like the Iraqis who got politicized, energized and became straight insurgents against a foreign occupying power, as we celebrate about ourselves doing every July 4th, and they have nothing to do with Al Qaeda, or that kind of ideology, they are not jihadists, so, people like Ramon, got politicized, energized and mobilized to devote their entire lives, and likely shorten those lives, in becoming very political, very radical and very determined. Another Blowback. Ramon got very political, and he became his own kind of counterterrorist against those who had terrorized him and so many like him.
I also found Ms Plame Wilson’s book a bit self-absorbed. Over and over it comes through that, although she believes in all the good stuff, Americanism, Mom, apple pie, the flag, military,etc, her main choices were about her, her need for some thrills and travel, and what interested her personally as ways to make her contribution to the transcendent Causes. When her cover was blown, and other vital jobs were still open, but not in Directorate of Operations, or at least in the field, she chose to pack it in because the jobs did not fit her own personal interests and needs. So much for sacrifice for the ol Transcendent Cause.
Finally, her work, which most certainly was covert, as was her CIA association until she was outed by right-wingers, and her job as Chief of Operations in the Counterproliferation Division, were far beyond the “glorified secretary” portrayed on Fox News (which, apparently, is the network of choice at the CIA and that itself is frightening and revealing about the culture of CIA at the same time). But here is another question: Since nuclear weapons, used by anyone in a conflict, threaten many other nations and even the whole planet–not a parties to any wars between nations–why should any nation be allowed to have nuclear weapons, given their massive letality and global spillover effects? Or, if any nation has nuclear weapons, why does that not give license and precedent of any other nation to have similar so as to have their own deterrence and protect their own national security? And in stopping proliferations of weapons unless authorized by the U.S. Government (like the U.S. arming Saddam Hussein) Ms Plame Wilson seems uncurious and ahistorical as to the implications of any nation, being a sole global superpower, armed with weapons no other nation has, and with no other nations able to hold it to any accountability in law.
We can judge and rank-order systems on the basis of: with what given resources and constraints they deal with questions like: Who are the players? What do they do? How, Where, When, For Whom and Why do they do what they do relative to other systems? When we just look at the line-up of “candidates” for the presidency, historically and in the present, when we think that out of such a vast nation, is this really the “best” we could come up with? That thought experiment alone leads to some radical conclusions. And since all systems must be judged not only by what they really produce, BUT, also, relative to what they had to work with to produce it, and for whom they really produce it, then America is in some deep crap as is the whole world.
I now say “Thank you for your ’service’ when I really mean it and when I do not have to de-link the service from the nature of “The Cause” that was/is really being served.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Imperialism, Boot Camp and Cognitive Dissonance
by James Craven
Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 06:12:16 PM PDT
It is time to strip away some of the mythology and outright sycophancy vis-a-vis military service in the U.S. imperial war machine. Yes, some heroic actions are undertaken and sacrifices made by U.S. forces despite the often ugly intentions of those who sent them into battle. But the U.S. military is also full of psychopaths, sociopaths, glory boys, morons, racists, proto-fascists, macho posturers and poseurs, and other forms/types of pathological personalities who often thrive in a military environment. What kind real veteran, with an IQ over 60, could stand or cheer, for one minute, the likes of Chickenhawks Bush and Cheney in faux military gear or talking tough to the VFW? Bush in military gear is like a pedophile priest in elegant flowing robes or a center for battered women named after Ted Bundy.
They are not “serving” what is euphemistically called “American Democracy” because: a) America was never founded as a “Democracy”; it was founded, by white propertied elites as a plutocratic pseudo-republic and remains so; b) America is rightly regarded as an oppressor and outright suppressor of Democracy not as a liberator and promoter of it all over the world;
Why do “THEY” hate us? Often for some good reasons.
Imperialism, Boot Camp and Cognitive Dissonance
copyright 2007 by Jim Craven/Omahkohkiaayo i’poyi
I am convinced that cognitive dissonance explains a whole lot of human behavior. I might even buy it as a central component of a meta-theory of human history. Examples: What is a conservative? Answer: A Liberal that has been mugged. What is a Liberal? Answer: A Conservative that has been outsourced or downsized.
Cognition comes from the Latin root “cognoscere” or becoming acquainted with something or “knowing”. And dissonance refers to disharmony. Put the two together you get cognitive dissonance. Those, who seek to create human robots, build empires on the blood and obedience of innocents, cover-up crimes, create advertising, in military psyops and those who design curricula and cultures of military boot camps understand it well.
We have different ways of thinking about things and we have different things we think about. There are “facts” we discover or are presented with which we may or may not bother to discover, think about or accept as facts. We have beliefs about ourselves, those closest to us, about where we live and what we do that come from and are modified by a variety of sources. We have emotions or passions about things that often correspond to our interests or what we think are our interests.
Cognitive dissonance arises when certain purported FACTS come into conflict with certain BELIEFS; when certain BELIEFS come into conflict with certain EMOTIONS; when certain EMOTIONS come into conflict with certain FACTS. Something has to give lest a potentially physiologically and psychologically disturbing, sometimes even life threatening, dissonance or contradiction develops.
I still remember my first day of Boot Camp (Basic) at Fort Ord, California as if it were yesterday. I was seventeen years old, a few days after my seventeenth birthday, kicked out of high school and declared an “incorrigible delinquent” (for going off on a high school vice-principal that truly deserved it and for telling a school district administrator who had taunted my poor mother to go fuck himself and his whole school system), alone and totally unsure of what awaited me. But I knew that without a high school diploma, whatever “credentials” for future jobs, along with my present job I would get, would come from the U.S. Army–my new “home” and “family”.
It was early 1963, just five months after the so-called “Cuban Missile Crisis,during which we came right on the edge of World War III and the likely total annihilation of the planet. Even without knowing what we know now about just how close we had come to World War III during October 1962, even in those days we knew it was close.
But even with all of that, and coming from a very left-leaning political family (who were in despair about my choice to go into the Army) I had no ideas about “killing Commies for Jesus “. I had no ideas about “defending American Democracy” (especially as the son of a Blackfoot mother who talked about genocide against Indigenous Peoples in the Americas often). I had no idea about the imperative of destroying the lives of others in distant places–“we’ve got to fight the Commies and terrorists OVER THERE instead of here on OUR soil…” I certainly had no idea about the U.S. military and the global missions of that military being consistent with WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).
And in the first days of boot camp, when we were getting to “know” each other, I never heard even one fellow soldier recruit express even one “patriotic” sentiment or rationale for going in. They all gave various reasons but those reasons were all very self-centered and even opportunistic–no transcendent causes for sure.
I heard stuff like the following [typical “voice” included]:
“I knocked-up some bitch and had to get out of town before her three very nasty brothers beat the living shit out of me”;
“I got busted doing a sort of prank and the judge gave me the choice of here in the Army or the joint.”;
“I am from this nowhere podunk town and wanted the fuck out before winding up in that same fucking mill my dad’s been working in and that has been killing him slowly for the last twenty years.”;
“I dropped out of a very boring high school and wanted some adventure.”;
“My dad was in Europe after the war and said it was the best time of his life so I’m headed where he was…”;
“I just came in to get a trade and get paid while I am getting it and then I am getting the fuck out.”
“My grandfather, father, uncles and brothers have all gone in, all Army, so I am expected to go too”;
“This bitch named Muffy dumped me for the high school quarterback Biff, but when I get home with medals and ribbons, a somebody, that bitch will regret who she dumped”;
Now I never heard anyone openly say something like: “Damn, this is great, I used to torture small animals and always wanted to kill people, up-close-and-personal would be the best, but the thought/threat of jail or the death penalty always kept me in line. But damn, now, here they will pay me, send me to exotic places and give me medals for doing the killing I’ve always dreamed of doing?–Sign me up motherfucker”.
But I’m sure some of my fellow recruits were thinking that as evidenced by the naked psychopathic and sociopathic proclivities they demonstrated in boot camp and after.
Now the first taste of what lay ahead for me besides the Drill Instructors (DIs) screaming all sorts of racist epithets and threats–and who were allowed to physically kick the shit out of us in those days– came when I got my dog tags. Your dog tags give your name, serial number, blood type and religion. When I was asked my religion I answered none. Right then and then the DI went off: “What the fuck do you mean no religion? No religion? Are you some kind of special person, some kind of royalty, asshole? OK, you are now what I am–a Lutheran; now move the fuck out NOW and I’m going to be watching you carefully boy…”
Later, when I learned about cognitive dissonance, I wondered why they would want us to be so “religious” and/or at least express a religious preference when what they had planned for us to be doing in the service of U.S. Imperialism would clearly and nakedly violate the most basic tenets of almost all known faiths: murder; cover-ups and lying; complicity in planning and launching and executing illegal wars [what they hanged criminals at Nuremberg for]; war crimes; actions involving planned or highly likely massive collateral damage; etc.
The answer was that they knew we brought with us certain ideas and values from our families and faiths, or just from mass culture, in conflict (dissonance) with the values and missions they wanted to accept and carry out. And often it is easier, from a cognitive-dissonance-point-of-view, and in terms of classic propaganda techniques, to try to show our given and highly entrenched values are “in reality” quite consistent with their values, missions and notions of what our faiths are really about and what they allow or don’t allow, than it is to try to immediately disabuse us of our own values, faiths or notions of what our faiths and values would or would not allow us to do or think or say.
They had it down to a science for sure. Like the Emperor Constantine, converting the Roman Empire to Christianity, they understood is is easier to start with and co-opt existing sacreds (symbols, ideas, values, rituals, sacred dates and festivals) than to try to wipe out all of the old and introduce a whole new set of ideas, taboos, sacreds and values.
Right from the beginning, the racism and use of racist epithets was common. “Hey Chief” as all us Natives were called; and the name “Chief” got to be confusing. Even the “N-word” for African-Americans was common; but in those days, African-Americans were not calling each other “Nigga Please”. Poor Whites were all “Crackers” etc. And since most of the DI’s were Korean War vets, with a few World War II vets, reference to Asians as “Slopes”, “Dinks” and “Gooks” was common. This was also part of the cognitive dissonance reduction: “When you go to Vietnam or somewhere else where the people are non-white, then you will not really be killing human beings like yourself or your family; they are “commies” [now “terrorists”] and not really “human” like us anyway…”. “And besides, the Bible says ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’ not ‘Thou Shall Not Kill’ and in defense of freedom, killing commies is not ‘Murder’ it is self-defense which the Bible allows”… No kidding, we got all of this including from the Chaplains.
Now here is some more potential cognitive dissonance: Someone, perhaps Native or African-American, in a racist military machine being taught to use racist terms that work and slander even against the group from which he came? They had an answer for that too. For Natives, they made continual reference to being part of the “Way of the Warrior” or reference to famous Native heroes like Ira Hamilton Hayes on Iwo Jima. Never mind being Native in the U.S. military, serving genocidal U.S. Imperialism, was like being one of Custer’s Scouts. And for African-Americans, the reference was either of getting out of the ghetto and getting a trade, for which they should be grateful, or sometimes references to “Buffalo Soldiers” or African American heroes of the past. And of course there was always divide-and-rule by shades of color or “darkness” among African-Americans and/or by “blood-quantum” or how much Indian one “looks” among Natives.
Right away I noticed something interesting. Although we had not yet taken our tests (I eventually took and passed cold the GED test for my high school and also took and passed cold the OCT test for Officer’s Candidate School) so we didn’t know what our eventual MOSs [military occupational specialties] would be, but I noticed that a lot of my fellow recruits who were short in physical stature (height) as was Audie Murphy (hence the term “Audie Murphy Syndrome”),as are a lot of macho action movie stars like Jimmy Cagne, expressed that they specifically signed up for infantry and combat arms. The military understood this very well and understood how to use some apparent insecurities about height (often exacerbated by those short in height often being taunted and bullied) to overcome any cognitive dissonance problems arising from any previously-held values conflicting with the kinds of missions and activities they would likely face and the values they would likely have to internalize to carry out those missions.
For those driven to enlist by the Audie Murphy Syndrome, the military had a way to hook them early and keep them going: medals and ribbons and patches. For marksmanship–everybody gets some kind from basic to sharpshooter to expert–and other unit competitions and awards start almost from day one. So even when you go home on leave after Basic, and you want to show that “bitch” Muffy who dumped you for Biff the quarterback at the high school you dropped out of, that NOW you are a “somebody”, you have at least some kind of medals, patches and ribbons to show off.
Now you are required to go to “Chapel”. And even if you are say Jewish, “Chapel” in those days was only some kind of amorphous “Christian” service. There is no concept of “Freedom of religion” means–and even demands–“freedom FROM religion”. There is no notion of any kind of fundamental contradiction between putting your life on the line on the one hand, to serve and protect the U.S. Constitution, while having your basic and most elementary Constitutional rights spit and shit on right off the bat on the other hand.
And paradoxically, it was at “Chapel”, with the Chaplain wearing his robes and not his rank, that we got our first taste of “Killing Commies for Jesus”. No, not only were we NOT violating the basic tenets of our faiths in training for and eventually carrying out our murderous missions for U.S. Imperialism, actually, we were, as the hymn says, “Onward Christian Soldiers”, doing the Lord’s work on earth in unique ways. And they went even further: “If you hesitate, get weak, start expressing qualms and reservations, while the forces of Satan, who wears many masks, and Communism is but one of them, that does not sleep or hesitate or equivocate, then YOU are not only betraying your faith and all those before you martyred for the faith, you are an agent of the enemy and therefore of Satan.” They actually said stuff like that in addition to the supposed distinction between “killing” and “murder”.
What about those psychopaths and sociopaths drawn into the military? And trust me there are many. By definition, the psychopath has no allegiance to any kinds of transcendent values’ and the sociopath has any allegiance only to a very narrow range of anything transcendent outside of himself. Everything is about them. They are narcissistic, predatory, self-absorbed, shallow in affect, able to wear and pass-off masks, calculating and ultra-individualistic. They are “Homo Oeconomicus” [Economic Man]–what capitalism tries to create and celebrate–incarnate.
This is indeed one of the central contradictions of capitalism as a system: the very types of “individuals” who make good and profitable consumers and markets, and thus are necessary for the expanded reproduction of capitalism and capital (self-absorbed, greedy, narcissistic, ultra-individualistic, fad driven, unable to delay gratification, competitive, egoistic, no conscience, no transcendent values), do not make good military unit or team members (there is no “team” in “I”), informed voters, neighbors during a crisis, sons-in-law, husbands etc etc.
Since military operations may be quite dangerous to the most precious thing a psychopath or sociopath has–himself and his life–and since psychopaths and sociopaths can be dangerous to a military mission, as well as quite effective instruments for it, the military has something to overcome any potential cognitive dissonance along these lines: unit and team bonding. Various exercises are carefully calculated to build unit cohesion, bonding and allegiances based not on “esprit de corps” (that again would require some kind of allegiance to or reward from a cause beyond ones self-absorbed self) but based on mutual reciprocity and survival.
You learn early, through team building and unit cohesion exercises in Basic, along with blanket parties for “deadbeats”, the “weak” and “whiners”, that everybody is in the same boat, including fellow psychopaths and sociopaths who give as much a shit about you as you give about them. Your only chance of survival is to join the team and pull together and that “I” and “Team” can be mutually complimentary and not contradictory; in fact, it is the only way out and for any chance of your own survival.
During basic training, in addition to blanket parties, you get a real taste, from the DI’s, how the “weak” and “ultra-indivualistic” will likely fare in combat with references to and “real stories” about, fragging, weakened static lines, poisonous snakes in the sleeping bag, poisoned K-rations, bullets in the head (from “snipers in the bush”) of “chickenshit” or “glory-boy” second lieutenants just out of OCS putting your ass on the line for their own glory and promotions.
What about those not religious or political, not psychopaths or sociopaths or not on an Audie Murphy trip? Well some of them came in for the “family” they never had on the outside. For those they have a whole new alternate kind of “family” in mind. One thing is that since all military bases look basically the same, and have the same basic services, then when one rotates to a new post, you will immediately be in familiar territory and with your new “family” who will not only take care of your basic needs, but they will tell you what you need to know and do to not only “survive” but to actually prosper and get promoted.
Your squad, platoon and company are your most immediate family. Your divisional and army unit patches you wear are sort of like the extended family. And your branch of service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, that is your broadest “family” or allegiance against other services that are clearly inferior to the one you are in. Just as cognitive dissonance dictates that your old Alma mater could only have been the most rigorous and best anyone could have attended (who wants to admit to having a degree from a useless paper mill and having got a degree while totally wasted on dope and booze for four years?), and just as cognitive dissonance leads to the syndrome of “the older I get the more heroic I used to be”, so it is that MY service (Army) was/is “the best”.
And you even have jokes disparaging other services and/or units within services to build bonding, allegiances and “family ties”–allegiances that will cause you to overcome any reservations about being part of a “family” doing some war crimes in the service of U.S. Imperialism. We had jokes like: “How do the Marines really separate the men from the boys? Answer: With a crowbar?” “What is the secret of the Silent (Submarine) Service? Answer: A Hundred guys go down, fifty couples come up” “What falls from the sky? Answer: Birdshit and fools”.
Not everyone can be an Audie Murphy and come home with a blue cord for infantry, a beret, a neck scarf, jump boots, paratrooper wings etc. Here the military produces some of the cognitive dissonance it has to later reduce. If you focus on the “glory” associated with certain specialties, say combat arms, then where is the “glory” in the others that also need to be staffed?
What about the cognitive dissonance associated with winding up in “non-glory” MOSs: Supply, a Cook, a Clerk etc “in the rear with the gear” (and thus often only eligible for American Legion instead of VFW when coming home)? The military has an answer for that. In Basic when pulling duties like KP (kitchen police), loading, police call (garbage pickup) they drill it into you that EVERY job is part of an indivisible whole and that no one job can be done without the others being done also; and you learn how shitty and nasty some of those jobs are and how grateful you are and should be, to those doing them and grateful that you are not doing them as an MOS. “The Green Beret or LRRP, deep in the bush in Vietnam, did not make his own clothes or bullets, and cannot even begin to do what he does without logistics support, intel, air transport and support, food, rest, entertainment, etc and, without force deployments in other places, yes, less hostile and more safe, but, nonetheless, where those forces are also critically needed (and no one really “chooses” where one serves and thus is not responsible for where one winds up serving and in what MOS).” Thus everyone is a vital part of “The Green Machine” thus freeing the Green Berets and LRRPS, who get the glory, to do what they do where they do it.
And for those who just came in for job training, planning to get out, they have something for them to overcome any cognitive dissonance angst. For example, if someone is a “best fit” as a sniper, and yet came in only for “job training”, unless one is planning a career as a Mafia hit man or Merc, there is a definite disconnect in terms of post-military career prospects. The answer, from the perspective of the military, is that in all MOSs, Military Occupational Specialties, whether a sniper or cook, one acquires secondary skills and capabilities (discipline, focus, cooperation/team work, patriotism, physical fitness, etc) that prepare one for a variety of jobs and management positions, the hiring for which by the way, will likely be done by fellow vets more in tune with hiring fellow vets.
And finally what about the cognitive-dissonance-producing disconnects between, on the one hand, the beliefs and emotions as associated with one supposedly being a part and an instrument of, “Fighting for Democracy”, “Protecting U.S. National Security”, “Stopping Godless Communism”, etc and even “all for Jesus” on the one hand, versus, on the other hand, the clear FACTS of being part of installing and/or working for and/or propping up ugly despotic, fascist, genocidal, corrupt, militaristic, brutal, Satanic regimes that no American would ever want to live under?
They have some cognitive-dissonance-reducing answers for this problem:
“Those are all lies”. “You simply do not see the big picture”.
“We do not live in a perfect world, and the perfect is often the enemy of the good”.
“If we are not as ruthless as our enemies, they will win and decency will be lost”.
“Who told you or where did you read/hear about these supposed “FACTS” about our friends; did you not know you are prohibited from messing in politics or having access to prohibited stuff?”
“For the sake of the mission and indeed for the sake of your own safety and that of your comrades, we need you to do what you are told to do and when you are told to do it and not to question why; that is way above your pay grade”.
“What makes you think you are so fucking special when none of your teammates asks these kinds of questions that can only give aid and comfort to our enemies– the same ones that will kill you and your friends without a moment’s hesitation and do not ask their superiors why they do what they do…?”
And all of these techniques are not only used in conscious and calculating ways on new recruits, they are also used on the mass public as well (manufacturing consent) with often the same effects. But once one understands what is going on, why, by whom it is calculated and orchestrated, with what instruments and in whose interests, those who rule lose some of their force and effects.
As I was thrown out of high school, I had this history teacher, a wonderful man and teacher who gave me a copy of “The Negro in America” by Arnold Rose, a condensation of “An American Dilemma” by Gunnar Myrdal. This teacher told me as I was going into the Army that he had five questions for me to think about; he said after I posed and answered the first three questions I would be lead inexorably to the next two. Those questions were:
Who are the rulers?
Who are the ruled?
In which class am I?———————–
How do the rulers rule?
How do WE take them out of power?
Posted by Omahkohkiaayo i’poyi at 4:40 PM