The immoral words of James Mattis, intended replacement for General Petraeus, as head of US Central Command, are, the UK's INDEPENDENT reports, circulating throughout the world, that it's fun to kill Afghanis.
"Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know it's a helluva hoot. I'll be right up front with you. I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you get guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil ... guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."This is the same general who led the controversial assault on Faluja-- where phosphorous bombs were used.
General Mattis by wikipedia
General Mattis image from Wikipedia
Mattis has not yet been confirmed by the US senate.
The leader of the military sets the standard for the troops. Already, we have an American military that tortures, with the approval of the Commander in Chief.
Allowing Mattis' kind of thinking to stand, let alone set the standard is totally unacceptable. But it is simply the tip of the iceberg.
Besides Abu Ghraib, we have the murders recently exposed by wikileaks and heroic whistleblower soldier Bradley Manning. There's the School of the Americas, where fascist and totalitarian regimes have their torturers trained. Then there are all the boondoggles the corpo-congress members use to feed billions in contracts to military corporations.
Then, let's not forget the Pentagon Papers that whistleblower hero Daniel Ellsberg used to expose the lies the Pentagon and the Nixon White House were telling about the Viet Nam War. Now, the Obama Administration is cracking down on the truth-telling whistleblowers. Shame on him and the people who follow his commands.
The US military has power similar to AIPAC. They both have the US congress and president in thrall to their will, afraid to deny their requests or wishes in any substantive way. But AIPAC costs the US a few billion dollars a year, directly. The US military costs hundreds of billions on the table and hundreds of billions in addition, hidden in specail funding.
It's time to end the reigns of fear and control by both AIPAC and the US military.
America needs a strong defense. There's no question about that. But the US military Industrial establishment has grown to big, too out of control, too unaccountable. The immoral arrogance of Mattis, and the fact that he felt comfortable expressing such sentiments are simply symptoms of a system that has gone horribly wrong.
Recently, former congressman Tom Tancredo suggested that Barack Obama is a bigger threat to America than Al Qaeda. Tancredo is a chronic laughable buffoon. The real danger from within for the US is a bloated, out of control military that directs policy. To the extent that cowardly presidents state that they listen to their generals, as Bush and Obama have done, the Commanders in Chief, who fail to take command actually are a threat to the nation. But that's not why Tancredo said it.
It is time to dismantle the US military, to assess every nook and cranny of it, especially the most secretive, highest security parts, to identify what they do, how they've manipulated and intimidated and worked through lobbyists to corrupt congress and the whitehouse. Then, a smaller, a much, much smaller military, with tighter controls that prevent it from metastasizing again, can be re-invented as we shift from an abacus technological level system to a web 2.0 technology that re-assesses the way defense is done in the twenty first century.
Just because primitive third world nations use weapons to kill does not mean that the US should as well. Of course we need to be able to defend ourselves from such weapons but we also need to understand the new technologies at our disposal that can protect us without loss of life or violence. We already shifted from an era of manufacturing to an era of information and now we are in the process of shifting again to an age of connection. The generals in the high command are almost clueless. We need a new generation of defenders. As Dennis Kucinich has called for, we need a department of peace that fights for justice and opposes conflict.
Of course, I need to add a comment about our brave troops. Our troops enlist to bravely protect our nation, democracy, freedom... or they enlist because they can't find jobs in the economy the congress has allowed to be perpetrated by the banksters and trans-national corporations that really run the country. They are all victims of a system that betrays them and puts them in situations they should not be in. We should bring them home and put them to work rebuilding our infrastructure, dealing with the disaster in the Gulf created by BP and helping to shift the US to decreased dependency upon foreign oil. Of course that would not require billion dollar contracts with what used to be Blackwater. It will not require multi-billion dollar expenditures for weapons systems. But why not provide transition funds for our biggest war industries-- incentives to encourage them to invest in renewable and sustainable energy projects?