My Arse-nal is Bigger than Yours

America: I think big, therefore I am

Somewhere out there in space there are little green men who have labelled our planet a no-go zone by virtue of the sheer weight of evidence indicating the existence here on Planet Earth of a pathological condition known to them as ‘Warfare’. Historians among the little green people from somewhere, must have pondered throughout millennia, why humans have been so inhumane to their own kind. To have evolved from hunter-gatherers to lunatics committed to licentious acts of animus for the purpose of advancing group identity — in coded narratives, of course, that seek dominance of the resources of Planet Earth, is beyond comprehension. Therefore, Planet Earth must be avoided at all costs lest visitors to this region become contaminated by exposure to the malady known as ‘toxic dissonance syndrome’.

Historians among the little green people might also have concluded that colour was a factor in determining why warfare was so ubiquitous an occurrence on Planet Earth. Aggression was observed to frequently happen between people of white, brown, yellow and black skin colours. That aggression was expressed in internecine ways too, involving same-colour combatants for instance, might have led the little green people from somewhere, to the conclusion that it was the absence of ‘greenness’ amongst the inhabitants of Planet Earth that was at the root of the problem. They had to assume that the ‘colours’ were at war because they lacked greenness.

But what may have been of greater incomprehension…the mother of all incomprehension…to the little green-people historians, was the move, via technological innovation, that took warfare away from the traditional battlefield and into civilian space, by transporting the means of warfare into the skies, thus making the zone of hostility potentially limitless and seamless.

Once upon a time — and before we became airborne — walls were used as fortifications to obstruct the advance of an invading army equipped with projectiles in the form of cannon balls etc. To protect the citizenry within its ramparts from assault, very thick walls were required. The greater the buttressing, the greater the feeling of being structurally safe. It took a lot of boulders to provide the citizens of the city state with even a modicum of security in times of conflict. But as time went by, the ability to chuck, hurtle, launch, cast, catapult and drive projectiles over walls as well as at walls and into your neighbours backyard acquired quixotic art-form proportions.

Over time, missiles became the preferred medium in advancing hostility as a means to an end, allowing invading forces the ability to terrorise whole civilian populations with impunity. Airborne warfare became the awesome ticket to winged supremacy, enabling technicians in the white-man enclave to outdo their brown, yellow and black skinned rivals by ratcheting up the killing game a hundredfold. In time, bigger countries like America moved to develop an air-force that could unleash untold destruction on the civilians of smaller countries for the purpose of subjecting them to their will — and to add insult to injury, call resistance to their  actions ‘terrorism’ — is another aspect of power hubristically strutting its stuff in defiance of the moral code.  It was at this point in time that the little green men from somewhere changed the nature of their assessment of Planet Earth to warn their people that the inhabitants of Planet Earth were primitive — and perilously so.

Over time, strategic calculations had relegated the function of walls to having a secondary role in matters pertaining to crowd control and, if you were in the business of restraining people’s movements, walls plus gun-turrets plus police were put in place to manage the movements of captive citizens that elided into new arrangements ancillary to warfare. But as technology advanced, the airborne machine became cock-of-the-walk in the twentieth century American playbook. Running on a get-out-there-and-nuke-them narrative before they come here to nuke us style propaganda, the brash might is right mantra came to personify patriotic aggression. In a short space of time, America had become a power that made defence against its arrogant presumptions nigh impossible to ignore. In the hands of a regime with manufacturing capabilities such as America had, it quickly ushered in the era of might is right and we do what we do because we can.

The American historian Gabriel Kolka writes — and the little green men from somewhere are bound to have a copy of the text:

During November 1944 American B-29s began their first incendiary bomb raids on Tokyo, and on 9 March 1945, wave upon wave dropped masses of small incendiaries containing an early version of napalm on the city’s population–for they directed this assault against civilians. Soon small fires spread, connected, grew into a vast firestorm sucking the oxygen out of the lower atmosphere. The bomb raid was a ‘success’ for the Americans; they killed 125,000 Japanese in one attack. The Allies bombed Hamburg and Dresden in the same manner, and Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo again on May 24. The basic moral decision that the Americans had to make during the war was whether or not they would violate international law by indiscriminately attacking and destroying civilians, and they resolved that dilemma within the context of conventional weapons. Neither fanfare nor hesitation accompanied their choice, and in fact the atomic bomb used against Hiroshima was less lethal than massive fire bombing. The war had so brutalized the American leaders that burning vast numbers of civilians no longer posed a real predicament by the spring of 1945.

So it came to pass with ‘neither fanfare nor hesitation’, that the geometry of America’s growth spurt after World War II caused the victorious nation to slide ominously into an Incredible Hulk gamma-shape under the intoxication of military hubris, thus causing the aspiring Democratic narrative to be sucked into Alpha Orbit as heady geopolitical ambitions reset the agenda. At war’s end, America had 3,970 Superfortress B29’s parked in their hangers waiting for the Korean War to happen.

Missiles that were once hurled across walls were now manned and capable of delivering incredible payloads anywhere in the world should the mighty so desire. The Silverplate series of B29’s, modified to drop atomic bombs, acquired cuddly names like Enola Gay, and was the instrument that dropped ‘Little Boy’ on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Bockscar dropped the 2nd. bomb called ‘Fat Man’ on Nagasaki three days later, becoming the event that tempted Nemesis in her bile to spit out the grapes of wrath at all who tarry over the value of human life.

But American patriotism is unyielding. It doesn’t much matter if America lords it over and loots the rest of the world just so long as it keeps manufacturing and providing consumer goods for its citizenry. America, after all, is about creating a culture of individualism that relishes possessions of all kinds in a manner that very much defines identity itself. The little green men from somewhere knew this, and by the time the Vietnam War occurred and 3 million people were slaughtered by massive munitions and chemicals dropped from the skies, it came as no surprise to them to find that the Alfa force didn’t give a flying f**k about yellow people anyway.

For seamless and permanent war to exist in the American Empire, it is necessary to be aware of what it actually precludes from coming into being. The Military Industrial machine does not allow any other narrative to even begin to compete with it. Resolutions to problems are meant to occur only after adversarial elements are bombed out of existence. The little green men from somewhere may have assumed by now that Iraq, Afghanistan, the whole Middle East fiasco is, in fact, the result of the drone-prone politicians, war profiteering moguls and ideologically corrupt bully boys in Congress and the Pentagon who insist on promoting a form of American culture that much of the world finds abhorrent.

The problem with the boys…and they are mainly boys…running the mine-is-bigger-than-yours military mantra, is that they don’t see that disproportionality itself has become the weakest link in the economic and geopolitical chain. In the ancient world, geometry itself was the key to understanding harmonies in the conceptual landscape. Checks and balances emanating from philosophical precepts shaped the cartographic structures relevant to mind’s sphere of activity.

But that was then and this is now, and we are now Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines who continue to defecate upon the Middle East and elsewhere with impunity. Our feet of colonial clay leave a trail of misery wherever we go — Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Palestine, Syria, you name it — making civilian-collateral-damage the new holocaust. Somewhere, little green heads must be shaking in disbelief ?

Denis Conroy is a retired businessman and journalist and a voracious follower of matters political outside of the mainstream arena. Read other articles by Denis A..