American ViewpointThe point we keep missing [Archives:2004/774/Opinion]

September 20 2004

By John Kaminski
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There is a toxic quality to war that affects the inner life of individuals and, as a collective consequence, the society itself. In the degradation and dehumanization of the individual lies the destruction of all mankind.
) Butler Shaffer

Americans have a great and terrible secret they hide within themselves, ever pretending that it doesn't exist. But in the deepest, darkest part of their hearts, if they're honest, they know with certainty that it does.
But, oh, do they deny it! Americans couch this denial in all manner of panicky rationalizations ) religious, political, psychological, astrological, you name it … any pretense will do in order to deny what's really going on, in order to avoid the crushing guilt for what is nothing less than inexcusable, semiconscious savagery.
This secret is so big and so dark it can't be confronted all at once. Better to take it one little piece at a time, and then let the idea of its overwhelming magnitude sink in just a little bit at a time, so that by the time you confront all the aspects of this multi-faceted horror, some of you who read this can perhaps begin to publicly admit this terrible secret and perhaps even begin to take positive steps to correct the stupendous damage this secret has caused ) and is causing right this very minute.
One little piece at a time. Let's start with Iraq, since that seems to be the one place in the world at present where the needless bleeding is the worst.
Listen to this carefully, Americans. Do you understand that the death toll in Iraq over the past 13 years numbers in the high hundreds of thousands? And do you understand that America is responsible for virtually all of those deaths? Let's say 99 percent of them.
I can hear all those denial switches clicking on out there as I ask this question. Hey we're fighting terror! Those Muslims are savages! Saddam deserved what he got! We're trying to bring democracy to an uncivilized country!
I'll repeat it as a statement. Iraqis murdered since 1991? 800,000 to 1.5 million. American lives lost because of combat initiated by the United States? 1,000 or so in the past two years, 10,000 more in the intervening years since the first Gulf War introduced deadly depleted uranium ammunition onto the world's stage, and fatally poisoned so many of our own troops.
11,000 Americans dead! Around a million Iraqi lives suddenly snuffed out for reasons you can bet most of them really never understood. And worse, future generations of both Iraqis and Americans doomed to complicated lives of cancer and birth defects. And that's just in this one single country, in this one continuous military action.
Americans are responsible for every single one of these murders, every single one of these tragedies. And not a single one of these sad stories ) these shocking terminations of unsuspecting, productive and innocent lives ) ever represented any threat to the physical security of the United States.
Can you comprehend that? Is anything getting through?
Americans, in their selfish, willful blindness, are responsible for thousands of deaths all around the world ) EVERY YEAR! And they have been for more than a hundred years.
No, you can't get away with saying we're fighting a war, and war is hell. This is not a war in Iraq! Saddam had no airforce, and we made him destroy all his missiles. Then we embraced the lies told about him in order to begin a multi-year campaign of mass murder. Iraq never had a chance. It was never a fair fight.
Let me ask you this. We went to war in Iraq to get rid of Saddam. Saddam is long gone. Why are we still killing people? Why are we still sacrificing our own soldiers? And why are we planning more wars?
You know the answer. It's in the deepest, darkest part of your heart. We didn't go to war against Iraq to overthrow a tyrant. We invaded Iraq because we wanted to steal a country's precious resources, because we, in the blatant hubris of our soulless blindness, believe we can steal for any reason.
This is how Americans come to support mass murder of innocents for reasons that are lies. This has been going on full bore since at least the late 1890s, when American obliterated a million Filipinos to keep them safe from the Spanish. All this of course is not counting the 60 million Native Americans we exterminated throughout the 19th century, because they were savages, less than human.
And this is of course the paradigm that civilization has followed ever since, the British in India, the French in Indochina, the Belgians and the Portuguese in Africa, and all of the above and more throughout the bloody conquest of the Western Hemisphere.
Some literature asserts that even Hitler was impressed with the extermination policies of the white Europeans as they raped and pillaged their way across an undeveloped continent. Of course the more germane comparison these days is the way the Israelis have cut down the hapless Palestinians over the last half century, using their “holy” books to declare anyone in their voracious path to be less than human, and therefore eligible to be murdered without a second thought.
But Americans need to realize ) and admit ) that Israelis learned this heartless attitude from us. I even heard the esteemed Jewish theologian Michael Lerner ) darling of the Zionist gatekeeper liberals ) use this argument: how can Americans complain what the Israelis are doing to the indigenous inhabitants of their accursed chunk of Middle Eastern sand when the Americans set the example for the world to follow by exterminating the entire indigenous population of North America, and have behaved the same way throughout the rest of the world ever since? He has a point.
And this is the great and terrible secret all Americans hide within themselves, and palliate their guilt with such lame rationalizations as manifest destiny or “we need that oil.”
Fact is, none of those Palestinians, nor any of those Iraqis, would have died without the tacit approval of Americans. It wouldn't have happened.
Sure, you can sit back and pontificate that those Islamic “savages” would have killed each other anyway, but you can't prove that, and you can prove that it has been American manipulation, first and foremost, that has allowed that vicious bunch of Israelis to go into that region and become a raging terminal cancer. I supposed it's only poetic justice that now Israel, with its pervasive political control of the U.S. political system, can manipulate events to the point where it can get America to come into the same region and do its dirty work, as is happening now in Iraq.
Iraq is not now nor ever has been a threat to the physical security of the United States. But Americans lie to themselves ) we all know about THOSE lies ) and arbitrarily declare that Iraq can bomb us with imaginary drones in 45 minutes, so we better bomb them first.
Same with Palestine. Palestinians were never a threat to anyone. But like Iraqis, they had something we wanted. And it is the great and terrible secret of every American that we will permit ) and even cheer ) the mass murder of innocents simply because we want to rob them of what is rightfully theirs.
Ask your preacher about that. I'm sure he'll produce a suitable Biblical quote that approves of the murder of anybody who has something you want.
But we can't blame this on a worldwide Jewish conspiracy, nor on the Jesuits, the elusive Illuminati, nor even the London-based global banking aristocracy. This is about the American people, and their continuing willingness to look the other way while those who are all too willing to prey on the innocent kill people for profit and pass the price savings on to the blind cowards who sputter half-baked maxims about terror and security while they sit in their easy chairs in their stiflingly boring and braindead American suburbs.
And contemplate the horrid fact that both presidential candidates endorse this indefensible policy of war based on lies, guaranteeing exactly the kind of future so chillingly outlined in Schwarzenegger's “Terminator” movies.
We no longer need an excuse to kill anyone with impunity. Of course, in our materialistic American coma we have apparently become too dumbed down to realize that what happens “out there” will soon happen “in here,” but by the time that the neocon self-immolation of America finally dawns on us, it will be way too late to do anything about it. Perhaps it already is.
As the globalized American war machine spreads its flaming hell around the globe, the heart of the devil (enthusiastically cheered on by many who call themselves preachers) beats loudly in inane American hamlets among those silent morons who simply refuse to acknowledge what is being done in their names, who simply refuse to realize that what is happening to those faceless strangers so far away is one day soon also going to happen to us, right here.
John Kaminski is an Internet columnist based in Florida whose essays are seen on hundreds of websites around the world. They have been collected into two anthologies, “America's Autopsy Report” and the soon-to-be-published “The Perfect Enemy.” For more information go to