“BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq – The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It’s outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.
The Reaper is loaded, but there’s no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.
The arrival of these outsize U.S. “hunter-killer” drones, in aviation history’s first robot attack squadron, will be a watershed moment even in an Iraq that has seen too many innovative ways to hunt and kill.” — Associated Press, July 16, 2007.
So BushCo solved the PR problem that might possibly have grown into a credible anti-war movement by alleging to guarantee less American casualties which, let’s face it, is all Americans really care about anyway. Otherwise, we would have protested the massacre of the first “Gulf War” in which Iraqi soldiers and civilians were slaughtered in their cars while trying to escape Baghdad.
Forget all that “military honor” nonsense. What kind of monsters fire on retreating troops AND fleeing civilians? Despite all the movies and TV shows referring to “American casualties” in 1991, including that movie with Meg Ryan, only about 200 Americans died in that war as opposed to 150,000+ Iraqis, mostly civilian. The movie, JARHEAD, unique among Gulf I movies, depicts burnt corpses on a highway crammed with cars and trucks bombed fleeing American air power and “smart bombs.”
Gulf War Syndrome…that’s a different story. Poisoning our own troops is not very heroic. But the Pentagon doubts GWS is a real disease, much less caused by our own poisonous artillery, DU and all the rest. And if the Pentagon thinks these alleged “GWS sufferers” are really a bunch of lay-abouts looking for a hand-out merely because they “risked their lives” for their country. But again, the Pentagon knows they didn’t really risk much of anything; it was an air war for chrissake. Well just because the Government has treated war veterans like doo-doo ever since Vietnam doesn’t mean…well, forget it. Who am I, who is anybody, war-veteran or not, to question the U.S. Government?
But let’s imagine for a moment that Iraqis are actually human beings. Or better yet, imagine a country 100 times more powerful than the U.S. bombing all our major cities, then slaughtering the survivors as they attempted to escape in their cars (stuck in traffic jams; literally sitting ducks). Imagine if after this 3 week nightmare resulting in the equivalent of millions of American casualties, the Attackers forced an embargo for twelve years, in which hospitals could not get medicine, vehicles could not receive spare parts, and food and water were scarce, not to mention the destruction of the infrastructure and occasional air raid. THEN imagine that after twelve years of this, the ATTACKERS struck again, this time with the intention of taking over the country, stealing its natural and cultural resources, and basically leaving the U.S. not a society, but a chunk of bombed-out land populated by sick, hungry, wounded, terrified walking zombies. Would we fight back, like the “insurgents?” Or would be throw flowers at our ATTACKER? Would we even call those Americans who, like many French in WWII, resisted, “insurgents” or “Patriots?”
In a high school history class I opined that if I could go back to 1938, strapped with explosives, enter an event populated by Hitler, his top officials, and even their WIVES AND CHILDREN, I would willingly “give my life” to blow up the building and prevent WWII. The teacher applauded my bravery and self-sacrifice. But that was 22 years ago. Today, I suppose I’d be labeled a “terrorist” for even contemplating such a thing. Especially against our friends the Nazis!
Honestly, did anyone, even in the planning stages of 2001-2002, expect that the Iraqis might not appreciate the wholesale destruction of their country? Because “we” didn’t like their government (which “our” CIA help put in place)? People all over the world condemned our invasion of Viet Nam and Cambodia. If they had the means to “change our government” and punish U.S. citizens for the mistakes of that government, would it not be more or less the same thing?
Did anyone really believe the BushCo’s arguments for war in the first place? I remember several large demonstrations against the war before it started in April, 2003. But even so, we don’t give a damn about the Iraqis, only “our troops,” an invading force, including torturers and psycho-killers. For all of Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war work, we didn’t hear much from her until her son was killed while attempting to kill Iraqis. Perhaps, before he was killed, he killed many Iraqis. Did Cindy fly to Iraq to bring him home before he did any more damage?
Well, I suppose we won’t have to worry as much about the safety of our invading, marauding army. We can “support our Robots” instead, as unmanned planes, named, appropriately, The Reaper, murders Iraqis, destroys more homes and “secret insurgent hideouts” ( among their families, friends and other non-combatants, in Iraq), and secures the area for Truth, Justice, and the American Way (massive oil consumption, militarism, predatory Corporatism, racism and all the rest).
This is not about “honor or bravery or sacrifice,” any more than Hiroshima or Nagasaki had been. It’s pure cowardice, killing without having to put “our” troops in harms way. “Support our troops” indeed. But we know what we are, so why fight our own selfish, cowardly, murderous intent? Must a dog learn to meow or a cat bark? Why pretend we’re something we’re not? “We” didn’t create the largest military on earth because we’re decent, peace-loving, democratic do-gooders.
We’re afraid. Very afraid. Fortunately, the wicked cunning of our scientists allows us to have our oil and choke on it too.
I feel safer already knowing our patriotic killer-robots are in Iraq, a button-push, dial-turn or lever-switch away from blasting those evil, freedom-hating prepubescent terrorists back to the … uh … ante-bellum stone-age.