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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.
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Blogger Bob said...
I think this murderous spree marks the end of any effective involvement in Afghanistan. We will have no more "friends" there except the corrupt government, & perhaps its days are now numbered.

Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
You are trying to politicize a horrific incident that involved one guy who went off his nut. Typical.

It is high time to get out of this sad land. Osama is dead and gone and that finishes the mission. Nation building is not worth the time, treasure or lives lost.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think what's odd is how we--or the American military--equates True Christianity with killing people and blowing things up.

Maybe we should just stop calling them "warriors"and call them "Crusaders" instead--with all the ugly implications that has in the Muslim world--because apparently that's what way too many of them want to be.

Anonymous CC said...
That "one guy" is part of a system that has employed the most brute force of any military in history. A system that has spent the last 11 years (our longest war ever) making war criminals out of some of its troops by sending them to invade and pacify a place we don't belong in.

Yes, it's high time to cut and run and let the Afghans sort out their own problems. We got enough of our own.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
"You are trying to politicize a horrific incident that involved one guy who went off his nut. Typical." - Bartender cabbie

How can you not politicize this when this man and over 200,000 others over the last decade was sent over there by politicians like Obama?

"It is high time to get out of this sad land. Osama is dead and gone and that finishes the mission. Nation building is not worth the time, treasure or lives lost."

On that score, BC, you and I are in complete and absolute agreement.