Monday, March 12, 2012

American Exceptionalism

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)

This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.” - Barack Obama to Hamid Karzai after a US sergeant murdered 16 Afghanis, including 9 children in their sleep.

Usually, when you hear the nauseating phrase "American exceptionalism," it's from right wingers who toss around that $10 phrase by way of justifying corporations rewarding themselves for criminal behavior and often with taxpayer dollars.

So when one hears Obama offer empty and hideously disingenuous platitudes to our puppet Hamid Karzai by way of sweeping under the rug our oft-reported bigotry that victimizes his people, the increasingly rare thinking person cannot help but come to the conclusion that Mr. Obama has more in common with the right wing definition of "American exceptionalism" than he'd ever publicly admit.

Indeed, this psycho sergeant who'd obviously come to resent, as do all US troops serving for years on end in foreign lands, the Afghanis for being separated from his family and, bereft of a non-elusive enemy to fight, suddenly snapped early last Sunday and murdered 16 innocent civilians in their beds, including nine children, four of them younger than six. And Obama's attempt to spin this is an isolated incident by one of a few bad apples not only insults President Kazai's intelligence, it insults that of the Afghan and American people.

What no government will ever attempt to do is draw up some magic number beyond which a string of isolated, non-representative incidents graduates into a pattern of sociopathic and bigoted behavior and Obama's gang on Pennsylvania Avenue and the Pentagon are absolutely no exceptions.

Indeed, the wholesale slaughter of those 16 Afghanis comes at an extremely bad time as Obama is trying to rip off misleading unemployment figures and hammer the planks into his campaign platform. The mass murder by one of our troops comes hot on the heels of released videos and photographs showing American marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters.

And at more or less the same exact moment as that, it was announced that American troops were burning more than just Bill O'Reilly's book. Namely, there were burning the holy book of Islam, the Quran. The furor that rose over the Quran's wholesale burning that was pathetically termed a mistake by the Pentagon led to the deaths of 41 more people.

And, as always, there are the drone strikes ordered by Obama that have killed hundreds of innocents in Afghanistan and many other countries such as Pakistan (True to form, both Obama and the CIA have had the audacity to downplay or completely deny all the civilian deaths, essentially calling the indigenous people whose lands we're occupying and/or invading liars.).

Adding an even more audacious and monstrously ironic counterpoint to this is that half our official apologies have come from a man who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize that he eventually won after being in office for just a week and a half.

It's long been known to those who care to know that, in violation of the US Constitution, our military is more or less officially committed of waging a Holy War on heathens whether they're Taliban, al Qaeda or innocent civilians just trying to dodge the crossfire. The American military command structure on down has been caught red-handed trying to proselytize the indigenous peoples whereever we're stationed. More instances of Christian Dominionism in the DoD are to be found here but is no means exhaustive.

It would be a premature stretch to say that this sergeant's motives were religiously motivated. If you're stationed in Afghanistan and you snap and open up full auto on three houses a mile from your base, chances are about 95 in 100 every person you kill will be Muslim. Perhaps it was revenge for Ft. Hood. Perhaps we'll never know.

But this is certainly not the isolated incident that Obama is painting this incident as. There is a strong streak of resentment among evangelical Christians toward "the unchurched" and those of other faiths or no faiths from their fellow American servicemembers to the native populations whose Islam we've long since discredited as a heathen religion.

For those whose religions not only guide but rationalize and even justify every barbaric act we visit on these people, it's impossible to get them to see the errors of their ways when their ultimate authority comes from a much higher power than the Oval Office. And the resentment toward "hadjis" (as we call the indigenous in Iraq) is, to a perverse mind, logical: men and women serving multiple tours of duty are separated from hearth and home over people whose religions don't even line up with their own. Once you cross that line, it's virtually impossible to come back into the light.

The MSM refuse to play up the bigger picture: That we're a nation of ignorant, religious bigots who pull the dog-eared faith card every time a crime is perpetrated on a native person of another faith. Like his fellow God-fearing right wingers, Barack Obama thinks that if he tells the same lies often enough, eventually they'll supplant if not become gospel.


At March 13, 2012 at 2:20 PM, Blogger Mithras61 said...

It may also be worth noting that this sport of thing is going on in both directions. We have Afghanis turning unexpectedly on NATO forces, we have them allowing known Taliban operatives into police stations to murder sleeping police, we have rioters and so on. The fact is that we don't know who to trust, and they certainly don't trust us (and as far as I can see, with good reason in both directions). After ten years of "winning their hearts & minds" this is how far we have come (or not). It's time to get out.

At March 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

We never should've invaded them, to begin with. So what if Afghanistan was temporarily hiding bin Laden in Tora Bora? He'd long since left the building (with Bush's and Musharraf's help) and now that he's dead, we have less than zero humanitarian reasons for remaining. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Obama's talking about 2014 and "Let's not exit recklessly..."

Anyone who advocates staying in Afghanistan is not heeding the lessons of history. Alexander the Great failed to pacify Afghanistan and, most recently, even the awesome Soviet juggernaut couldn't do it. Except for the billions of barrels of oil and the trillion dollars of undeveloped minerals, it's impossible to see why we're still squandering so much American and Afghani blood.

P. S. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11. At worst, they were accessories after the fact. Pass it on.


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