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Mad Cow Nation: America's Willing Surrender
Thursday, 08 November 2007 17:02
by Chris Floyd

Michael Massing has written a very important story about at very important truth: the main reason that the American people are so deeply uninformed about the reality of the war of aggression being waged in their names in Iraq is that they do not want to know.

Massing shows that the rigorous self-censorship practiced by the American people and the media is actually worse than the machinations of Big Brother in Orwell's 1984; at least in that fictional world, the draconian repression of reality was imposed by force at the hands of an all-powerful state – but today we are doing it to ourselves. Not that the Bush Regime isn't giving Big Brotherism the old college try, but as Massing points out, there are too many venues and formats of information dissemination for the state to control it all, especially in the United States, where many vestiges of freedom remain. Yet one of the most disheartening aspects of American society today is how very little use the people make of those freedoms they still have.

Indeed, Massing's observations on Americans' self-censorship – the surrender of the awareness of reality in exchange for self-regarding fantasy – have implications far beyond war reportage. In our time, we are witnessing a society voluntarily surrendering its liberties, its rights – its gumption – to a harsh and malevolent authority. We are witnessing a society surrendering its pride and its moral core to torturers and thieves, liars and killers. And it is a willing surrender, as if vast swathes of the American people are relieved that they can finally lay down the burdens and responsibilities of freedom.

What can you say about a society whose leaders – including the leaders of the so-called opposition – are about to approve the appointment of an enabler of tyranny and an apologist for torture as the chief law enforcement officer of the nation? (And this is only the latest of a series of such outrages, going back years.) You can only say: This is a country that has lost its soul, lost its nerve and – literally – lost its mind. It's like watching a loved one being destroyed by a brain-eating disease.

But the Iraq War is where this surrender of moral consciousness reverberates most sharply, and most murderously. Massing's story draws heavily on the published accounts of soldiers in the field – those who know the reality in all its depths, and who have been maddened by their fellow Americans' refusal to grasp it.  Massing writes:
How can such a critical feature of the U.S. occupation remain so hidden from view? Because most Americans don't want to know about it. The books by Iraqi vets are filled with expressions of disbelief and rage at the lack of interest ordinary Americans show for what they've had to endure on the battlefield. In "Operation Homecoming," one returning Marine, who takes to drinking heavily in an effort to cope with the crushing guilt and revulsion he feels over how many people he's seen killed, fumes about how "you can't talk to them [ordinary Americans] about the horror of a dead child's lifeless mutilated body staring back at you from the void, knowing you took part in that end." Writing of her return home, Kayla Williams notes that the things most people seemed interested in were "beyond my comprehension. Who cared about Jennifer Lopez? How was it that I was watching CNN one morning and there was a story about freaking ducklings being fished out of a damn sewer drain — while the story of soldiers getting killed in Iraq got relegated to this little banner across the bottom of the screen?" In "Generation Kill," by the journalist Evan Wright, a Marine corporal confides his anguish and anger over all the killings he has seen: "I think it's bullshit how these fucking civilians are dying! They're worse off than the guys that are shooting at us. They don't even have a chance. Do you think people at home are going to see this — all these women and children we're killing? Fuck no. Back home they're glorifying this motherfucker, I guarantee you."
Yes. Back home they're glorifying the war, or else, at most, tut-tutting over how "incompetently" it has been managed — or, as Hillary Clinton likes to do, berating the Iraqis for not taking advantage of the wonderful opportunity we've given them by invading their country, killing their families, destroying their society, robbing them blind and empowering violent sectarians to rule over them. This is the full range of acceptable, "serious" discourse on Iraq: it's either a noble crusade marching steadily toward victory or a noble if mismanaged crusade on behalf of a bunch of ingrates who don't deserve our benevolence.

Only a nation that has willed itself and dulled itself into a state of extreme torpor could stomach the hideously depraved and infantile level of America's political debate today – a mindless howl that will reach an unbearable crescendo in the coming months as the sinister carnival of the presidential race kicks into high gear. And then the reality of the abomination in Iraq will recede even further out of sight, out of mind.

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Comments (4)add comment

Ramon Puga said:

False patriotism in an age of hypocrisy
As a Vietnam vet coming home almost 40 years ago, this was what infuriated, and alienated me the most. Americans going about their daily business are oblivious to the death machine that grinds up our young soldiers and obliterates another nation that did us no harm.They express their patriotism with little magnets and American flags everywhere, but dare not listen to what the troops on the ground are saying. Our gutless politicians spew the usual bullsh*t of defending America's honor, as if there is any honor
November 08, 2007
Votes: +0

Trace said:

the truth of this is absolutely stunning and heart-breaking....whether intentional or not, the propaganda machine (TV, media, psuedo-journalism, cinema, video games, etc) has turned us into a mindless, power-drunken, psychopathic, Rambo-istic behemoth careening wildly about the world with our penis extensions that shoot lead instead sperm blazing indiscriminately at whoever blunders into our paths while we are in pursuit of the treasures they may have hidden under their beds....we (as a nation) don't give a shit about anybody else, don't want to hear anything contrary to the "Go U.S.A!!!!" mantra, can't imagine any other reality of what is right other than what our "Leaders" (politicians, preachers, pundits and other elitist self-preservationists) have defined is "right" for us poor, huddled American masses.
I have been to Afghanistan and Iraq as a civilian and worked side by side with the locals there, human, just like me....imagine that. People who only want to eat, feed their children, provide a home and a future for their families....oddly, just like I do. Yet we grind them into the dust, along with our own children, "collateral damage" in the GWOT.....
Common wisdom always says to follow the money, see who benefits, who is getting paid, and you will find the perpetrator. Granted, we all know our political representatives are bought and paid for before we ever get the oppportunity to cast our meaningless vote....yet the question I can't fathom is "what IS the pay-off?!?" For any of the elitist kleptocratic over-seers?!? Do you really want a nation of brain-dead killing machines???? Someone has to clean your mansion, wash your limo, cook your gourmet food....wouldn't you fear the hired help eventually turning on you, deciding it was their turn to be the "Decider", to usurp the throne? What is the logic, benefit, pay-off in so totally degrading the fabric of society that the concept of "civilized" society is essentially a myth, a fabrication? My personal belief is the Propaganda Box blazing away in every good American's living room is the Kool-Aid dispenser and we have turned it off in our household. I have told my son (11 years old) to question everything that comes out of a politician's mouth, to read his way to wisdom, study history, be aware and beware, because no one will look out for his best interests but his parents as long as we are alive and after that, only him....sad commentary on what it means to be an American.
It is telling that of all our nationally elected representatives, less than 10 have children serving in the military. Bush's daughter said in a recent interview that the question of why she wasn't serving wasn't even relevant. Mitt Romney has 5 (FIVE!!) sons of age and capable to serve (they can serve better helping ol' Mitt get elected...). Chelsea Clinton isn't serving....the list could probably go on, but so what? For whatever reason, this regime has purposefully, calculatingly chosen to not burden the American society with the true cost of this war; there is no war tax; there are no shortages, no rationing; no draft (which means only the poor and disadvantaged and un-missed and unknown serve...except Pat Tillman...)
Vietnam taught them a good lesson about how to sell a war for the long term....too bad they couldn't win this one either. And we the people will reap the harvest of our way of life being sold off, piece by piece.
November 10, 2007
Votes: +0

Inge Hanson said:

Shame on our free (ha) media
If I did not have the internet I would go stark raving mad. The media will spend a few minutes on Iraq (hardly ever on Afghanistan any more)and than it is on to more important things like OJ, Paris Hilton, Britaney Spears, Angelina something and more bullshit. Even when they covered the California fires, they concentrated on hugs and Teddy bears instead of why the fires happened in the first place.

No wonder our troops are furious when they get home. And it will get worse before Christmas. The only thing that matters, how much we spend on gifts so the merchants can make a good profit.

The media could really change all that if they wanted to. Arn't they still free? Free only to their corporate bosses and the 'white house'. The white house should be changed to the black house where death and tortue rules.

If the adminstration, the media and the American People do not want to see the truth, it will be up to the troops to change that stupid picture.
November 10, 2007
Votes: +0


American are MAD nation
AMERICAN are MAD nation, because that they WANT concered all the WORLD. AMERICAN are NOT a nation, due to they have no Land, AS JEWS ARE ALSO NO LAND. THE RED-INDIAN are the menland.American has no ROOTS.THEY play on the bed roots of Jews & SMALL BERTAIN.They have no MIND. They have COW MIND. The 5 million JEWS are playing with AMERICAN. THEIRE are more then 5000 agencies in PAKISTAN, LIKE BATA, COCA,PHILPS, etc, 60 years they are playing with BARVE PAKISTANI. ITS enaf for them. (USA,JEWS, SMAL LONDON,) they are very derty nation. AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN is abig GERAVEYARD for them. GOD blees P.I.A. ( PAKISTAN, IRAN & AFGHANISTA), and also SAVE P.I.A. THANX.
June 06, 2009
Votes: +0

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