"A human group transforms itself into a crowd when it suddenly responds to a suggestion rather than to reasoning, to an image rather than to an idea, to an affirmation rather than to proof, to the repetition of a phrase rather than to arguments, to prestige rather than to competence." ~ Jean-Francois Revel
Let Us Now Thank Lynndie England
Well, Lynndie England is the fall girl in the prison torture flap, the poster girl for the abuses that occurred in Iraq and--hardly ever mentioned--a former honor student from a small town in West Virginia, a town now hanging its head in collective shame over this picture. Hard to believe such a wisp of a girl might bring down the house of cards the mighty Neocons and their willing bedfellows built on bigger abuses.
Which begs the question: Shouldn't the American media whores who devoted so much time to the deification of Jessica Lynch, now be required to interview at length the female flip side of our little imperial war? If Jessica Lynch was the pure alabaster Joan of Arc, the perfect Barbie doll, homecoming queen from smalltown America, Lynndie England represents her exact opposite, a cigarette-dangling, wise-cracking dame in desert-camo dungarees, and the Pentagon's worst nightmare. Lynndie England--the name itself has a perfect Hollywood ring to it--is the villainess in this public relations nightmare, an otherworldly species that appeared beautiful at first glance but became, as time passed, like the alien progeny of Donald Rumsfeld--a creature so scary and dangerous she almost resembles his own daughter!
But for every Lynndie England about to be devoured, for every enlisted man about to be downtrodden by a lifetime of smalltown shame, how many more supervisors from "other government agencies" (OGA) will escape with their careers intact? Spooks and operatives and highly-paid shadow men from the plethora of intelligence agencies that operate without repercussion or blame. Hell, most of these "supervisors" will probably get promotions! But where, we may ask ourselves, have we seen this unfolding disaster before? Where have we seen such hubris, such disregard for common sense?
If every character in this ongoing sci-fi nightmare appears alien or otherworldly, that's because we've invented them all. The diabolical lies and fabrications by handyman Powell; the squinty, lab scientist reports from Donald Rumsfeld; the pontifications of good and evil from secretive, billionaire investors, Bush and Cheney; the optimistic reports from the dense thicket of danger by gun-toting, rubberstamp Myers and Bremer. Where have we seen such a chilling, disastrous scenario, or such a menagerie of characters before?
Lynndie England is simply the scapegoat for the felonies and lies, for the war crimes and sheer human waste that has finally overtaken and threatens to devour the Neocons and their supporters. Private England represents all the uniformed gunbearers seduced by the slogans of patriotism who were instead doing the grim, dirty work at the instigation of all the mad scientists of America. Go in there, private England, and slap and punch that Velociraptor, while someone takes your picture.
Heap your pity or scorn on Lynndie England if you must--and she deserves it--but reserve even more for the true whores of war. For every Lynndie England with blood on her hands, there were dozens of Ann Coulters and Kathleen Parkers who hastened her there, so deeply embedded in the idea of conquest, bloodlust or vengeance they appeared as willing cheerleaders or as a succubus of war. Ann Coulter (pictured) and the succubus (also pictured but with wings) may share the same diet plan, but how different are they from Lynndie England, who now shoulders ALL the blame for the catastrophic war that now enters its second year?
Parker and Coulter appeared more times in print selling this war than those velociraptors appeared from the weeds in Jurassic Park. A year before the war, here is what Parker wrote of Rumsfeld: "The man has personal power, humor, intellect and a command of the English language that must be envied ' or should be ' by others in the White House."
The syndicated Orlando columnist continued to heap rose petals at the feet of war-planner Rumsfeld while, somewhere in West Virginia, the earnest England listened to the glowing praise of her recruiter. Parker wrote: "At the reception the war, of course, was the topic of discussion. More precisely, the question was how the government informs the public through the press during wartime. Americans familiar with Rumsfeld's regular press conferences, wherein he explains to reporters the rules of war, already know him to be a straight shooter."
"Does Rumsfeld ever lie to the press? No." Parker continues, her adulation resembling that of fawning fra'leins tossing flowers on Hitler as he passed in his motorcade. And Rumsfeld does not disappoint her. "I've never had any need to lie to the press . . . . You lose so much more if people can't believe what you say . . . . When it comes to sensitive issues . . . we don't lie; we just don't discuss it.'"
Parker and Coulter, earning six or seven figure salaries, expressed no doubts about the war, nor their support for it. When this debacle arrives at the blood-devouring conclusion--like Spielberg's morality play--the Lynndie Englands of the world and her fellow soldiers in the streets of Iraq will be like those poor, nameless fellows wandering in the weeds of Jurassic Park. They'll be the first victims of stupidity, but, sadly, not the most deserving. Let us at least thank Lynndie England for putting the true, perverse and pornographic face to this war--before the fawning media relegates her to the dustbin of history.