January 13, 2012.
Many parents who wouldn't think of letting their children see the ... (marines urinating on dead Afghans) wouldn't think twice if their children joined the Marines.
Oh, but this is just a few bad apples in the military [as Sec. of State Hillary Clinton said]. This has been said so often and for so long that it's getting to the point where so many apples are bad it is hard to find a good one. You know, the good ones who just kill for the US government without killing civilians for sport, bombing wedding parties, carrying out battlefield executions, killing hundreds with cluster bombs, covering up botched raids, posing for pictures with their victims, murdering civilians, and keeping body parts of their victims.
Some day in the perhaps not so distant future, after Americans are humiliated by the defeat of their government's attempt to control and exploit every bit of the planet and its inhabitants, they will be finally free to rehabilitate themselves as the Germans did after suffering through their Nazi era.
US military history includes invading, occupying and usually bombing and often torturing (in chronological order), the nations of Native Americans, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Samoa, Japan (Commodore Perry) China, Nicaragua, China, Fiji, Uruguay, China, Panama, China, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Turkey, Paraguay, Angola, Columbia, Japan, Panama, Mexico, China, Colombia, Hawaiian Islands, Nicaragua, Formosa, Chile, Hawaii, Brazil, Nicaragua, China, Korea, Colombia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Nicaragua, Samoa, Philippines, China, Panama, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Honduras, China, Honduras, Nicaragua, China, Mexico, Haiti (for 19 years), China, Dominican Republic (for 8 years), Cuba (for 3 years), Mexico, Panama, Soviet Union (for 2 years), Panama, Nicaragua, China, Korea (3 years in the north 60 years troops garrisoned in the South), Thailand, Laos (23 years), Congo, Vietnam (30 years), Dominican Republic, Congo, Cambodia (5 years), Cambodia, Lebanon, Iran (8 year collaboration with Iraq invasion), Zaire, Iran, El Salvador, Libya, Lebanon, Honduras, Chad, Grenada, Libya, Bolivia, Libya, Panama, Colombia, Philippines, Panama, Iraq, Zaire, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Iraq, Macedonia (all listed DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND) and going on from 1993, Serbia, Kosovo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya. [This list does not include a number twice as great of US military incursions solely to protect Americans and their property, nor laudable protective occupations of nations threatened with Nazi invasion.]
But, more importantly, sadly and unfortunately for a clear picture of a consistently inhumane US foreign policy, this official list does not include CIA sponsored violence fomenting the overthrow of governments all around the world unfavorable to unjust and manipulative private US investments, and nefarious activity within almost every single nation on earth arranging the marginalization of uncooperative patriot leaders.
With the now overwhelming control of news and information right down into primary schools by a Western, largely white, consensus of investors, even when horrific facts of US crimes against humanity come to light, such desperately needed info is media managed into insignificance for a psyop bombarded TV watching America public as well as for the great population watching via satellite transmission in all industrialized commercialized and materialist programed societies abroad.
Deeply buried in the tangle of distracting spectacular entertainment is the fact that most of America's wealthy families backed, invested in and collaborated with Adolph Hitler, almost every major corporation functioning right up to, and some even during, the German war in Europe; that during the US participation in WW II, a million German and Japanese homes were targeted with fire-bombs, atom bombs dropped on women and children, and since the war threats to nuclear bomb again elsewhere made on fourteen occasions. Rationalized or just shrugged off are its genocidal slave trade and slavery, its Wounded Knee, No Gun Ri, Sinchon, My Lai, Fallujah style masscres over America's two-hundred and twelve years short history; its Guantanamo, its Abu Ghraib, its frantic terrorism by its military and now unmanned drones in the poor former colonial world, its super in size, unequaled in history, investment in production and distribution of weapons of mass distruction; its placement of US military bases to cover the globe into protect those, what Martin Luther King Jr. called, "unjust predatory investments" creating and sustaining wars for their maintenance; its preparations for a world war of incrementally greater profits than the previous ones; its threat through further 'development' and mindless material progress to the very physical survival of the planet and its species.
The advice of the flower children of the 60s, to "just drop out" of US imperialism, was similar to that of Jack Keroac of the Dharma bums of the earlier 'Beat Generation', so influenced by black jazz musician greats, seemed to echo Jack London and Walt Whitman's call to an reappreciation of nature and humanity 'on the road' in true individual freedom to avoid spiritual death in stifling conformity to an inculcated ideal of desperate greed.
Of course a similar case can me made for citizens of European empires having to choose to be on the side of humanity or on the side of an empire persecuting humanity for plunder, such as, especially, the British and French so recently challenged witnessing their empires bomb wealthy Libya into submission to their proxy armed insurgents, who were also those of the US, the EU and the international community of nations, (read international community of predatory investors), currently focused on destroying the intolerable independence of Syria.
Americans like Tom Pain, Eugene Debs, W.E.B. Debois, Helen Keller, Paul Robeson, and to a great extent Thomas Jefferson refused to choose and sought to fight with an intense aim to change their US into something more intelligent, more sane, more moral and acceptable. They fought surrounding corruption, amorality and misanthropic materialism in the tradition of the anarchist heroes of Europe: Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, E. F. Schumacher and Ivan Illich in the Americas, just as those rebels of the ancient world, Zeno, Lao Tzu, Mo Ti, Sidhartha Gautama (Buddha), and Jesus fought against stultifying and imprisoning imperial dictatorships of body and mind.
Shall Americans choose between sanity or empire, or choose not to choose but to change America?
Or remain bent out of shape, their backs twisted.
Jay Janson, 80, is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer.
*****Comment: What's left to say?
Nonetheless, I don't expect too many Americans are even listening.