Actor Jesse Williams responds to CNN
Or go here.
Law ‘n’ Order Speaks: “I will fucking kill you!”
Or go here.
The US armed forces concluded the Iraq war in a manner that must be considered a victory: never defeated in battle, accomplished objectives that led to attaining the policy goal of delivering the security challenge to the Iraqis; and departing in accord with a nation-to-nation agreement in December 2011. This is something never done before in that region of the world—an Army leaving in accord with a treaty and not remaining indefinitely as an occupying power.
— Col. Kevin Benson, USA (ret)
“A War Examined: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003″
Parameters, v43(4), Winter 2013-2014
The Times of Israel does not vet the posts of their bloggers, though authors must pass an initial screening. Maybe this policy is not thought through very well. The following appeared on the Times’s website on 1 August 2014:
Judging by the numbers of casualties on both sides in this almost one-month old war one would be led to the conclusion that Israel has resorted to disproportionate means in fighting a far less-capable enemy. That is as far as what meets the eye. But, it’s now obvious that the US and the UN are completely out of touch with the nature of this foe and are therefore not qualified to dictate or enforce the rules of this war — because when it comes to terror there is much more than meets the eye.
I wasn’t aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems — and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate — that today’s wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live.
The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there’s going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings — because this is life or death.
Most of the reports coming from Gazan officials and leaders since the start of this operation have been either largely exaggerated or patently false. The truth is, it’s not their fault, falsehood and deceit is part of the very fabric of who they are and that will never change. Still however, despite their propensity to lie, when your enemy tells you that they are bent on your destruction you believe them. Similarly, when Khaled Meshal declares that no physical damage to Gaza will dampen their morale or weaken their resolve — they have to be believed. Our sage Gedalia the son of Achikam was given intelligence that Yishmael Ben Nesanyah was plotting to kill him. However, in his piety or rather naiveté Gedalia dismissed the report as a random act of gossip and paid no attention to it. To this day, the day following Rosh Hashana is commemorated as a fast day in the memory of Gedalia who was killed in cold blood on the second day of Rosh Hashana during the meal. They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over. History is there to teach us lessons and the lesson here is that when your enemy swears to destroy you — you take him seriously.
Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?
News anchors such as those from CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera have not missed an opportunity to point out the majority of innocent civilians who have lost their lives as a result of this war. But anyone who lives with rocket launchers installed or terror tunnels burrowed in or around the vicinity of their home cannot be considered an innocent civilian. If you’ll counter, that Hamas has been seen abusing civilians who have attempted to leave their homes in response to Israeli warnings to leave — well then, your beginning to come to terms with the nature of this enemy which should automatically cause the rules of standard warfare to be suspended.
Everyone agrees that Israel has the right to defend itself as well as the right to exercise that right. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has declared it, Obama and Kerry have clearly stated that no one could be expected to sit idle as thousands of rockets rain down on the heads of its citizens, placing them in clear and present danger. It seems then that the only point of contention is regarding the measure of punishment meted out in this situation.
I will conclude with a question for all the humanitarians out there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clearly stated at the outset of this incursion that his objective is to restore a sustainable quiet for the citizens of Israel. We have already established that it is the responsibility of every government to ensure the safety and security of its people. If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?
Students of the history of the Nazi Holocaust, among whom Yochanan apparently does not number, will recognize this rationale — or is it a rationalization? This reasoning is identical, in its content as well as its logical form, to that of Adolf Hitler’s for the industrialized slaughter he and his henchmen committed in the death camps, and at other sites, all across Eastern Europe.
Chancellor Hitler truly believed himself and his peers to be involved in a life-and-death struggle to the bitter end with an enemy bent on their complete annihilation. Indeed, he said that if the Jews were not destroyed, they would precipitate a third world war that would engulf all of humanity. This article of Nazi faith is a fact of history.
It also ranks as one of the greatest and most hideous delusions of all time. Yochanan has truly become what he has beheld: he reasons just like a Nazi. He is enabled in this logical, if-then-therefore hallucinating by large numbers of people, in Israel and in the United States. And probably a lot of East European goyim, as well.
Yochanan is what the G.I.s of World War II called a garatrooper. That’s a soldier who is so close to the front line that he doesn’t have to wear a tie, but so far to the rear that he never actually risks being shot himself. Garatroopers like to talk real tough. I remember Pat Buchanan once responding to some journalist’s query about politics by crying: “Lock and load!” Genuine fake machismo, see? And Yochanan fits the bill, with his contemptuous reference to the pussy “humanitarians” who don’t “get it.”
Yochanan gets it, just like Pat Buchanan did. At one point, Buchanan was one of two speechwriters working for Richard Nixon when he was president. The staff nicknamed these two scribes “Mister Inside” and “Mister Outside.” Guess which one Pat was!
One humanitarian of history was Hillel the Elder, who could sum up the meaning of Torah while standing on one foot: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
Hillel is the one who gets it, and make no mistake about that.
Either we believe what Hillel says — which means we actually practice it — or we’d rather play garatrooper. And when these garatroopers play, people die in the thousands. This is the real front line, and it has very little in the way of a middle ground where logicians and rhetoricians like those blogging in the Times can stand. We know which side of the line Yochanan stands on. The same side as the Germans who destroyed the Warsaw ghetto — a place that bore a more than passing resemblance to Gaza today.
Palestinians, by the way, are Semites. Does this render Yochanan into an antisemite? Of course not. He is simply a poseur and a fool, a fatuous pseudo-intellectual talking claptrap and trash in order to enable the real murderers in (and of) his culture, who are not quite so naive as he. Or, for that matter, as the editors of the Times.
Yochanan’s teachers are well-advised to note that the first inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau were politically undesirable left-wingers. The Nazis charged them with terrorism.
Yes, Virginia, there is an endnote: some editor must have yelled at Yochanan, because his post was removed — sadly for the Times, only after it had circled the globe via the Internet — and Yochanan cried “Uncle!” for all of us humanitarians here in the outer dark:
“I wish to express deep regret and beg forgiveness for an article I authored which was posted on 5TJT.com, Times of Israel and was tweeted and shared the world over.
“I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message.
“With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.”
Sure he does. Me, too. And for those who would call my words here “antisemitism,” so be it. Such a smear tactic slowly but surely changes radically the meaning of the term antisemitism, and this dubious emendation, which cheapens and prostitutes the sufferings and deaths of far more than the six million, will only come to haunt the hypocrites who engage in it.
For the record, the Vietnamese call the Vietnam War the American War, and the victor usually names the battle. There never were any north or south Vietnamese either — there were only Vietnamese, and they were all over.
And though many people regard the “Vietnam War” as some sort of American mistake, or even an American failure, Kakkanians can rejoice that, after 46 years of persistent effort, we have finally perfected the Vietnam War.
This miracle of modern militarism and imperial outreach was accomplished gradually, carefully, painstakingly, in three phases.
First, we abolished The Draft. We had to, because The Draft tried to do two contradictory things simultaneously: (1) put everybody into the same mix of jeopardy, of liability to join and train and fight and, yes, die in combat; and then (2) let the white bourgeoisie, and any other moneyed people, off the hook of actually waging war, i.e., getting shot at, dying, all that war stuff. (And it looks so good when Steven Spielberg directs the shooting!)
Such lethal discrimination was too obvious, even for the Uhmerican Public, so we did away with the Draft and replaced it with The Volunteer Army. In other words, the wars of Kakkania would be waged in the future by fully-fledged members of The Working Class, the same way all the European empires did it.
(Yes, Virginia, there is a Working Class. Some of its members continue to believe in Santa Claus. Do you?)
Second, we destroyed public education in this country. Again, this step was sadly necessary. Public education was a Very Real Need back in the Fifties and Sixties, because, as you may recall, we were in an actual competition with The Red Menace Of Sino-Soviet Whirled Communism. Sure, you can laugh now, but some of us remember what it felt like when Sputnik went up while all our missiles kept blowing up on the launchpads. And when you’re in a tight like that one, you need to really, honestly, no-shit, actually educate people — even young people.
But this teaching business backfired on us in the Original Vietnam War, because we made the mistake of teaching Kakkanian children How To Think. And it was hard to get truly thoughtful people to swallow The Domino Theory Of Perpetual Economic Growth Through Endless Universal War.
So that education crap had to be shut down ASAP. Education is about job training now. You may remember The Virtuous William J. Bennett’s comment on being name Secretary of Education, to the effect that he wanted to abolish the department. In the words of Little W, “Mission Accomplished!”
Then came the crucial third step: censoring The Press. We called this “embedding” the “journalists.” No more of those reporters wandering around loose in our theater of war, reporting whatever the hell they happened to find. No sir. If you’re going to come into our theater, you’re going to watch the movie that we want you to see. So, nowadays, when reporters get in bed with us, you know who gets fucked and who goes down.
But the most important part of perfecting the Vietnam War was the foundation move made by Richard Nixon and his friends beginning in 1969 and continuing through til 1975, and that was Prolonging The Vietnam War For Most Of Two Presidential Terms By Holding Peace At Arm’s Length For Seven Years! We achieved this astonishing magic by a variety of tactics. Calling dissenters from the war “bums” while terming their parents “good people,” for instance. But the real secret ingredient was The Missing In Action. We vowed to fight fight fight until these missing warriors were accounted for — by the “North” Vietnamese.
Of course, this requirement never had to be satisfied by any German or Italian or Japanese domino players, or much of anybody else in the history of dominoes, and, also of course, we all know that there is in Arlington Cemetery a tomb guarded day and night by members of the Old Guard called — remember from the field trip? The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.
But that’s exactly why we had to get this accounting from the Reds in Hanoi. No more Unknowns, see? (I know, I know, Donald Rumsfeld had some unknowns, and even some unknown unknowns, but that was before we actually, fully perfected the Vietnam War.) Now that we have perfected all our tactics, freed the media of fairness and all other collectivist nonsense, privatized the water and air, shamed everyone who has fallen short of murder, and armed the country to the point of advocating the use of automatic weapons in those great public schools that we’ve almost but not quite destroyed with things like No Child Left Unscored — now we can fight the Vietnam War anywhere we want, for as long as we want, over and over and over. And not only that! We get to lose the Vietnam War again and again and again.
At our own pace, and on our own terms, without interrupting anything in prime time.and with free speech zones allocated for all the yellow-bellied liberals who want one.
You remember how we did it in Vietnam, don’t you? We won, constantly. Same now.
We will win and we will win and we will win.
Then we will lose. Each and every time. Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia . . .
Do you remember, who was it used to talk about two, three, many Vietnams? A Democrat or a Republican?
I grew up in the U. S. Army. I learned early that we, the entire family, were “in the Army.” Only we didn’t call it the Army. We called it the Service. We were “in the Service,” and I grew up in the Service. There is a difference. David Petraeus was in the Army, but George Marshall was in the Service.
I never finished college because of alcoholism, which came close to killing me. I had my last drink on 2 November 1977. It was some time before I could write again, and even longer before I could write the kind of thing – fiction – that I wanted to write. Fiction is among the writings that universities label “creative.”
But this label is a misnomer.
All writing is creative. Most writing creates money, but not much of it on a per-writer basis. Enough to live on, if you live fairly simply. MFA programs create certified writers who have a steady income, usually from teaching, and whose writing is judged to be “literature” before it is even published. And some writing – very little, in comparison to the total produced by what the University of the South calls “the writing industry” – creates the kind of writing you will grab and take with you as you flee for your life from the burning building we term, with unconscious sarcasm, Western civilization.
The first pieces of writing that I was paid for were articles for a trade paper that covered the independent grocery business. I wrote a story about Bertolli olive oil, which was just entering the U. S. market at that time, and the Bertolli guy in New York actually sent me a letter of thanks. He did not know that the original ending of my piece about his olive oil had been suppressed. I had concluded on what I thought was an upbeat note by saying something to the effect that Bertolli was going to make olive oil “bigger than Popeye’s girlfriend.”
The owner of the paper thought this might offend the company. The owner of the paper, like the owners of most papers, was a candy-ass and a coward.
I am a coward, too, but I do the scary stuff anyway, because fear is not a valid motive for anything, and also because I’ve learned that if something scares me, it usually will interest the reader, who may or may not be interested in what merely interests me.
I spent a long time – or what seemed like a long time – in what they call “trade press,” writing about things like soft drinks, corporate real estate management and facilities planning, computers and programming, and the airline business. I then wrote my first novel, which effort I supported by writing corporate communications, user manuals, various technical pieces, and by learning data-base programming. No longer a part of the Service in the military sense, I was now in the Service as a writer.
In 1991 I went to work for a publisher of medical newsletters, and I wrote about HIV/AIDS, cancer, and MDR-TB. I also wrote my second novel, Safe Sex, which was published in England in 1997 by Fourth Estate Limited.
Writing explicitly about human beings being sexual is very good for your sex life. It is surprisingly liberating. It really frees you up, as they say. When Safe Sex was published, I discovered that most, if not all, of the sexually liberated (aka mature) reviewers were gay. The straight people uniformly pooh-poohed the book, like sex was something beneath them – no big deal to these experienced and world-weary heteros, see?
Don’t let these critics kid you. Sex is a big deal to every last one of them. That’s why explicit writing about sex baffled them to the degree that they could not see notice the influence of Oedipus Rex in the storyline of Safe Sex.
But nobody reads the classics anymore. That was my mistake.
Everybody did notice the word cunt, which I used in that novel because it is the actual English word for the female sexual organ. This upset some bourgeois Southern liberals.
Liberals don’t have cunts. They have “pussies” and other similarly childish code words for cunt. The childishness of such verbiage is precisely why I used the word cunt in Safe Sex. Kung Fu-tzu called this practice “the rectification of names” and called it, as well, the first step in the saving of society. That is, saying what you really mean is the beginning of sanity, salvation, and, yes, good government. What I really meant was – cunt. I did not mean “pussy,” or any other baby-talk. I meant cunt. (I still do. If you’re interested, check out The Analects or read Eros Denied: Sex in Western Society by Wayland Young, which may be purchased used here and here
My thinking is simple: if you can’t say it, you don’t really get to do it, and if you can’t call it by its real name, you haven’t really got one. Not really.
Safe Sex was what an agent in Atlanta termed “a hard sell to a small audience.” This, I think, is because “Americans” – defined as North American white people, with tacit honorary membership extended to a few European whites – don’t really like reading about sex because they (still) think it’s dirty and all that stuff, that is, unspeakable. And they think only kids – specifically, adolescent boys – would even care to read about sex. Mature people don’t read such stuff, mature being defined as having and keeping a job, owning and paying off a car, raising well-behaved children, voting, supporting the United Way, having a checking account and a portfolio, owning a home, paying the bills, taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, washing the car, doing the laundry, etc. This defines the maturity of a people who believe Ronald Reagan was a “great” president – they know this must be true, because they saw it on television.
These people are rationalizing their fear of their own genitals, which is terrifyingly real to them. When they fuck, they are liable to turn off the lights. One of these bourgeois liberal women said to me: “Women don’t masturbate.” This particular lady probably doesn’t have a cunt, either.
If you think cunt is dirty, look it up in the dictionary. Check out that old etymology. Read Chaucer, who uses the Middle-English form of the word in The Canterbury Tales. Cunt wasn’t dirty in English until that band, Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans, took over England. They declared it a dirty word, because they thought it was a dirty thing.
What’s your opinion?
The publication of Safe Sex was followed by a long period of writing feverishly that took real years to result in anything. When it finally resulted in something, a novel about biological warfare in the Second World War called The Wonders of the Invisible World, it couldn’t be published in the United States either. Wonders is a fairly realistic historical novel about the Pacific War and its aftermath – i.e., the early days of the Cold War – and that kind of narrative can’t be published for North American white people, with tacit honorary membership extended to a few Europeans.
Or maybe it could be published, but no one could figure out how to market it, which is what the publishing industry is really about. You can’t say, for instance, that it’s a book about World War II that fans of warfare like Tom Brokaw will rush out to buy. The U. S. publishing industry, like every other industry, is soulless. Clever, but soulless.
(That paragraph is an example of the rectification of names. Compare the etymologies of industry and profession, and see if it isn’t.)
What can be marketed about war and warfare in the United States is Saving Private Ryan, which is a twenty-minute extravaganza of special effects “realism,” followed by two hours of what Edmund Wilson termed patriotic gore – two hours of war movie that was, in its heart of hearts, no different in spirit from the Hollywood propaganda movies of the period, just more “graphic.” At the end of Saving, though, we’re treated to a full-screen shot of the U. S. flag, aka “Old Glory,” flying high with the sun shining through it – the U. S. as light-bringer, so to speak.
(But remember, the original light-bringer wound up chained to a rock having his liver eaten out of his body by an eagle every day, over and over, forever. That should have given Robert Rodat pause, but he probably didn’t read the classics either.)
To be fair, there is one scene in Saving that gets at the real effect of violence. That occurs at the Ryan home, in what looks like Kansas or Indiana or some other image that brings to mind, in the movies, “the heartland.” The sequence shows Mother Ryan at the kitchen sink, looking out the window and seeing a big black car pull up out front. She goes to the door and, by the time she gets it open, she sees two men in uniform emerging from the vehicle. Knowing what this visit means, she cannot remain standing and collapses in the doorway.
If you want to reveal the horror of violence, this is the kind of thing that can do it, because it shows that violence is pointless and meaningless human suffering. Human suffering happens to your mother. Everybody else as well, but having it happen to Mother will sell the concept of nonviolence a lot better than any other scenario. Killing, as George Orwell once observed, is screaming children and hysterical women and weeping men. Let’s show that to our adolescent boys and girls.
So, as I said at the beginning, I grew up in the U. S. Army, the Service, which is why I don’t romanticize war or take Tom Brokaw seriously. I’m a big fan of Graham Greene, though, who wrote the following passage in The Ministry of Fear:
Rowe thought, as he often did, that you couldn’t take such an odd world seriously, and yet all the time, in fact, he took it with a mortal seriousness. The grand names stood permanently like statues in his mind: names like Justice and Retribution, though what they both boiled down to was simply Mr Rennit, hundreds and hundreds of Mr Rennits. But of course if you believed in God – and the Devil – the thing wasn’t quite so comic. Because the Devil – and God too – had always used comic people, futile people, little suburban natures and the maimed and warped to serve his purposes. When God used them you talked emptily of Nobility and when the devil used them of Wickedness, but the material was only dull shabby human mediocrity in either case.
Let’s repeat that phrase: “dull shabby human mediocrity.” When it’s all said and done and they lower us into the ground, that’s me and you and, I’ll bet, Steven Spielberg too. And owning up to it is both the meaning of humility and the beginning of being able to laugh at yourself. No one who can laugh at himself (or herself) ever starts a war. No, wars, the most gloriously useless and wasteful of all human endeavors, are always started by serious people, adult people, people who wouldn’t be caught dead reading a sexually explicit book or watching raw news footage of actual combat, people who don’t know there is a difference between graphic realism and truth, between truth and propaganda, and who find the propaganda a whole lot easier to do – and, especially, to sell. Growing up, I got to see what all the greatest killing actually did to the men who were present and on the scene at the time of the carnage, before it became a movie, and I concluded early on that it wasn’t worth it.
I was right. I still am.
I have concluded that we, Americans, are as phony about war as we are about sex. And it’s not just us. If you read the letters and diaries written by the troops who fought the battle of Stalingrad, you find, again and again, soldiers on all sides claiming to be “fighting for freedom.”
Dig it: the Nazis and the Communists fought for freedom – according to themselves. Actually, the Nazis and the Communists fought for real estate and money, which is what we fought for too, because those are always the goals and the purpose and the cause of war. The army of Spartacus actually did fight for its freedom, but it lost to an army that fought for its property. This, and this alone, is what nations kill for.
I’ve written an awful lot for property, and the idea behind websites like this one is mainly about property as well: selling books is a part of property. But I don’t believe I can really sell you on my books, my writing, by “creating content” or expertly applying search-engine optimization techniques or any means other than by being the same guy here that I am when I write the books. That’s a guy who is writing because he has to if he is ever going to be free.
Right now I’m working on a crime story – what the college professors call noir – and next year I will be writing another war novel, one about the Great War, aka “World War I.” I have hopes for the commercial potential of the crime story, tentatively entitled Blackout, and, who knows about the Great War? Next August marks the centennial of its beginning, and I assume, along with all the other industrial-strength writers, that it will be and will remain “commercially viable” for the duration of the festivities, that is, till 11 November 2018 – the History-As-Spectacle Book Sale to end all History-As-Spectacle Book Sales, or: Back to the Future with the First Greatest Generation.
But that is only what I hope for, and Emily Dickinson called hope “the thing with feathers.” That’s me. Dull, shabby, human, mediocre, with feathers. And that’s what I write about (also me). I drink (soda water) to the dull, the shabby, the mediocre, and, above all, to a thing with feathers.
Writing about so-called “limited nuclear war” in The Challenge of Peace in 1983, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said this about hope:
Hope sustains one’s capacity to live with danger without being overwhelmed by it; hope is the will to struggle against obstacles even when they appear insuperable. Ultimately our hope rests in the God who gave us life, sustains the world by his power, and has called us to revere the lives of every person and all peoples.
Amen, brother. Now, where art thou?
Love the New York Times. Headline today on the homepage of their website, regarding the breakthrough in our lack of relations with Iran:
Catch that but! There’s still a chance for war! Hurrah for Captain Spalding and Benjamin Netanyahu! Hang on to your Halliburton stock!
And beneath this comes, as they say in the Army, the piece of resistance:
Not a step toward peace. Colored people who wear turbans and pray to Allah don’t take steps like that. We hold the trademark on peace, and have ever since Vietnam.
“We” employ drones because their use risks no American lives, and thus, keep our casualty figures low enough to avoid any public outcry that might have an adverse affect on The War. This is one of the lessons “we” learned in Vietnam. It is, like almost everything we “learned” in that war, the wrong lesson.
Lynn is a terrorist. The terrorist, like Lynn, is a person who sees himself as powerless to redress his grievances through legitimate means. He resorts to violence in order, he hopes, to achieve a political end that he cannot achieve through the political process. He attacks civilians because he cannot get at the real enemy, and because he holds civilians accountable as accessories to his oppression. He feels that his actions, no matter how violent, no matter who his victims, are justified by the pain he has unjustly suffered. “Clearys” attacks the terrorist’s rationale. Willis makes the point–one I’d call “liberal democratic” but that a revolutionary might call “conservative”–that such action holds people accountable for situations over which they have little if any control, that the terrorist assumes an absolute moral authority that nobody possesses, and that even when successful in its immediate goal terrorism can lead to evil far beyond its intention.
“A Letter from the Cleary’s” and the Science Fiction Audience
(from Short Form, vol. 2, issue 1, June 1989)
Or go here.
Numbers are of no relevance . . . because absurd media pundits are not swayed by facts. In the United States, there have been nearly 900,000 gun fatalities in the last 30 years or so (1980 to present) compared to around 3,400 terrorism-related fatalities in the last 40 years or so (1970 to present). These figures include victims of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
— Ramzy Baroud, Dissident Voice