So Then Who The Hell Are We?

Dan DeWalt writes at This Can’t Be Happening:

The latest PR catch phrase from business, administration, military, state and local officials after some atrocity or other is that whatever happened, it is certainly “not who we are,” a phrase appropriately initially uttered by the Vietnam War commander, Gen. William Westmoreland, with reference to the My Lai slaughter of 400 women, children and old men, all civilians, by a group of US soldiers.

Yet if all these abominations are not “who we are,” then why do our business, police and military and government institutions generate so many examples of obscene, horrific or criminal behavior?

If we examine the culture that guides our young men and women in battle, our public safety employees in their duties, or our business class in its pursuit of profit, it’s easy to see how shameful and reprehensible episodes such as these have become as routine as they have.

Take the military. The Pentagon achieves its ends by through war. Troops must be obedient and willing to kill. This doesn’t come naturally, so the military branches have to reprogram civilian recruits raised to believe killing is wrong so that they can be part of a murderous enterprise. After breaking down an enlistee’s individuality, trainers then teach them to despise “the other,” whomever it may be—kraut, gook, rag-head depending on the generation and the particular war. Only after sufficiently dehumanizing both the recruit and the future enemy can they mold a soldier who will do the dirty work demanded by an imperial nation…

Read more here.

8 Comments on "So Then Who The Hell Are We?"

  1. Calypso_1 | May 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm |

    This is not who we are – we are something far, far worse:
    A nation founded on debt slavery, prison labor and human chattel; upon cavalier fantasies of honorific glory through blood sport and ‘enlightenment’ of savages; through claims of ownership by bestowal, title and survey.  The creation of titular rights of citizenry proclaimed as a beacon for all the world.  A land of abundant opportunity for those able to play by the rules, play the system or savage enough to take what they will.  And more than anything, we are a nation of hypocrites, liars and willful ignorants full of vainglory, blind to the notion that anything could possibly be better than this.   

    •  “If Hitler were on the $20 Bill, how would the Jews feel ?” Corporate Avenger

      • I saw a $20 bill someone had altered.

        Jackson had a Hitler mustache and “666” written across his forehead; there was a word balloon to the side that had him saying: “I murder Indians.”

        It seemed to be a different, new and improved kind of “money laundering.”

    • Jin The Ninja | May 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

       well said.

  2. This is a well written essay.

    Unfortunately I’m afraid that things will have to “run their course” before something akin to “reason” is restored. 

    That’s not say we each shouldn’t do all we can, but this juggernaut has to crash and burn before the alternatives can prevail.

  3. Mr Willow | May 16, 2012 at 8:41 am |

    We are whatever the nation’s authorities tell us we are to justify their actions. 

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