"Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." ~ John Stuart Mill
Grab Hold of Reality and Take Her for a Spin
Exclusive to STR
'Here's your coffee, sir, have nice day. Oh, and by the way, how many Iraqis did you kill when you were over there?' 'Uh, only a few. I was on guard duty most of the time.' 'Good job! Now, does that include women and children, or don't they really count?'
Death Due to Religion
Why is the American genocide in the Middle East considered a good and noble endeavor simply because U.S. politicians don't wear turbans or call it a jihad?
Why is it OK to kill countless people with state sanction, but it is considered beyond rude for me to ask a soldier just exactly how many people he has killed? It's a simple question. If I'm paying someone via tax dollars to perform a task, isn't it appropriate to ask that person just exactly how well he did the job? Not here in the land of delusion!
It's not nice to talk about people dying, especially if we intentionally killed them. That soldier might feel uncomfortable if he had to actually say out loud, 'I killed dozens of people.' Or 'I killed hundreds of people.' That's the stuff of gruesome headlines, not everyday conversation in middle class America . Stunningly, it is business as usual in Washington . It will continue as long as there is a conspiracy of silence and delusion in our fear-based culture. It goes a long way in explaining the PTSD experienced by many ex-military personnel, but it's not nice to mention sick veterans in polite conversation, either.
Conversely, the strangers who have been killed by that soldier feel nothing. I imagine the families of the killed Iraqis and Afghans feel something, but again, it's not nice to talk about this. If we did, perhaps no one would show up for our next war, and that just wouldn't do!
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, 'My Grandson is serving in the military.' That sounds noble, no? Serving is a word that works well in a restaurant setting. A 'server' approaches you and asks you what you'd like. If, in place of a lobster bib, he placed a black bag over your head and attached electrodes to your genitals, or drew a weapon and blew your head off, that would be more like the 'serving' being done in Iraq and Afghanistan . This pretense that one is 'serving' the oppressed people of the Middle East would be like the 'The Twilight Zone' episode where some Earthlings are abducted by aliens and they find a book entitled, How to Serve Man. It was a cookbook.
So whom exactly, is this grandson serving? According to The Decider, he's bringing 'freedom and democracy' to the Middle East , but he's clearly not serving the Muslims. He's not serving me, or my family. Our freedom is not at stake, at least not from outside the Capital Beltway. Who does that leave save military contractors? They, along with the political whores in Washington , are the ones who benefit from grandson's 'serving,' so that is the only logical answer. If we peel away the deception and propaganda and go with honesty, what do we have? 'My Grandson is serving the military industrial complex by killing Muslims, including women and babies. Such empire building ensures my Social Security handout tomorrow.' I don't think we'll be seeing that bumper sticker anytime soon.
Blessed are the warmongers
I can't tell you how many times good Christians have chastised my children or my friends for swearing. Recently one threatened to alert the TSA in an airport because she overheard my son use the 'f' word when he went there to pick up a friend. As he had already been singled out by them as suspicious (he had not displayed the appropriate cowed posture in the face of airport security) and already been given the once over, he found her threat amusing. He had considered threatening to 'reveal' that he suspected her children had swallowed condoms full of cocaine and that's why they were miserable and screaming. Instead he offered to go and fetch TSA for her. Because mainstream Christianity today is a fear-based cult, they assume others are as fearful as they are. This woman was red-faced and angered by the fact that my son is not afraid of her false, vengeful gods or of burning in hell for his choice of words.
These good Christians who re-elected The Decider are, sadly, really into war, despite the Bible's claim that it is the peacemakers who are blessed and shall be called Sons of God. What will the warmongers be called? I can think of a few names. In bizarro, mainstream, neocon, Christian reality, swearing is a terrible, offensive sin, but mass killing for corporate profit is not only acceptable, it is truly the work of the Lord!
How does a Christian administration get away with claims that it's the Muslims who are violent, love war and kill in the name of religion? Who's aggressively, violently, torturously occupying whom? Is it a minor coincidence that the Decider is Christian and Iraq is a Muslim nation? If our positions were reversed and Iraqis were trying to inflict their brand of politics on America , would the rag-tag militiamen fighting back any way they could then be considered terrorists?
Do you have to be a minority to qualify for the big 'T'? Because by definition, the American war machine is more thoroughly terrorist than Iraqis because it targets civilians: many to die, all others to be subjugated. It also creates a useful climate of fear here at home. The Iraqis are simply fighting back--precisely what any red-blooded American would do given the same circumstances.
Muslims are portrayed as violent, even though it is the modern day Christian crusaders who assume people are guilty unless proven innocent despite no representation, no evidence and no oversight. It's the Christians who are torturing and killing people. They call suicides of captive Muslims 'strategies' of prisoners to get back at their captors. It is the real life 'Team America ' that kills women and children. When they are unable to cover it up, they call those perished humans 'collateral damage.'
How can the Christian right claim that Muslims want to convert everyone to worship Allah, yet it's the self-proclaimed Christians who wants to bring the salvation of Jesus to the Muslims who managed to survive the 'liberation' of Baghdad . Here at home, is it the Christians or the Muslims who go door to door telling people they are sinners and they are going to hell unless they get on board with their system. Even though I live in metro Detroit , where there is the largest Muslim population in North America , I've never had a Muslim knock on my door in hopes of converting me. Have you? I have however, over the years, had countless interactions with Christians using fear as a motivational tool in hopes of converting me to their belief system.
I'm not personally into systems. They are created for efficiency, conformity and profitability, which is useful, admirable and appropriate when used for things. Systems used on people create suffering rather than love, peace, prosperity or freedom.
The War on Terror is not an original war. It is merely the latest operational installment of the machine of government. It's like War 6.0. Even though Americans have no attention span, no knowledge of history and love war movies, if this Christian jihad were only a film, it would flop at the box office. It's been done too many times. If it weren't so horrifying, it would be mundane.
Death Is Freedom Too
Why is it considered criminal by many to desecrate the American flag? Yet at the same time it is perfectly acceptable, in the name of security, freedom, democracy, whatever hogwash they come up with, to desecrate that for which it stands? It's fine to demolish civil liberties or to destroy human life if you wear a badge or military insignia. It's fine to steal other people's private property in the form of taxation, inflation, eminent domain and civil service. It's fine to destroy the freedoms of speech and security in your own person via prosecution of victimless crimes, gun laws, smoking bans and the drug war, but whatever you do, don't hurt the flag which merely represents the idea of freedom!
Why is it OK for federal agents or police officers to kill free people who do not follow orders from them, but it is not OK for free people to be prepared to defend themselves with lethal force if necessary in the presence of criminal malice? At least, it's not OK anymore. The pilgrims lived or died by their own hand, but everything is topsy-turvy now. Good is bad and right is wrong, but as long as the masses can get plenty of political pork and lots of cheap gadgets from Asia with a home equity loan, few seem to care.
Why is it OK to assume that free people are basically bad and cannot be left alone to make choices for themselves? Who does that leave to do the choosing but other, similarly flawed humans, who just so happen to benefit immensely? The problem with that arrangement, other than moral repugnance, is that The Decider is not picking up the tab for his choices, nor is he the end user, the only true test for efficacy.
Why is it OK for white men and women in suits to get paid a lot of money to broker away the inalienable rights of free people to the highest bidder, but it is not OK for people to choose not to participate in the brokering deal (voting)? At election time, people kept asking me for whom I was planning to vote. When I told them I don't vote, I couldn't have gotten a more electrified response if I had said that I just drowned my children. People around here equate not voting with serial murder, when in actual practice, the opposite is true. It's voting that is inherently violent, and in fact, it kills people. It is not the solution. It is the problem.
In America today, it is somehow virtuous to vote, in other words, to voice an opinion about who, besides the brokers in Congress, gets to stick their snout up your privacy and profit from your sweat. In fact, it is every good donkey's duty to salute, to choose the brand which is to be burned into their asses. (It only hurts for a little while.)
Donkeys think politics is fair play ' once every year or two they get to be the decider! When pressed, they will admit that no, no one's vote actually counts, but it would if it could! In that way, it kind of counts. 'You should vote anyway.' 'Somehow it's important.' 'Politicians need to know that we care!' 'We're making sure they do the right thing.' (They haven't yet, and this hasn't worked yet, but it's bound to work one of these days.) Actually, political donkeys are only making sure they're in line for a piece of the pie, a share of the public booty.
Other people become very uncomfortable if you should actually state out loud, when pressed, that you refuse to vote on principle. Voting is like religion; technically, the Bill of Rights says you're free to worship any way you like or not at all. This is true with one exception ' we must all worship the god of politics. Freedom isn't free in the land of delusion.
Government is the enabler of delusion ' through massive theft (taxation and inflation), they offer goodies to the masses - 'free lunches' of schooling, Social Security, Medicare and 'free' prescriptions, to name a few. They offer the delusion of safety too, if we all just worship the religion of omnipotent state. Keep paying taxes, keep voting, sacrifice your sons and daughters to the machine and go back to sleep. 'Team America is here to save the mother-fucking day, yeah!'
Only government makes mass atrocities possible. Without a powerful, well funded, fear-based governing system in place, psychotic plans of mass destruction would never leave the garage, much less cost millions of people their lives, livelihoods and liberties.
Without government, we could freely exercise our ability to think and live with others in peace. This is why I am an anarchist. This is why I don't vote. My reasons don't fit into a sound bite like state propaganda. It is because liberty requires thought and responsibility secured squarely on my own shoulders, not following orders in zombie-like fashion to uphold a psychotic system of mass destruction in the futile hope of a little security, which has never existed at the hand of government.