söndag, juli 15, 2007


Det är knappast någon nyhet att amerikanska soldater ägnar sig åt massivt och urskillningslöst mördande av irakier. Det har, för att citera en av svensk borgerlighets stjärnor, blivit ”rörigt”. The Nation har bara samlat en rad vittnesmål från soldaterna själva. Det som framträder är inte bara vidriga historier om dödande militärer, utan om en avhumanisering som går mycket djupare. Det heter att vittnesmålen handlar om soldater som ”förlorat sin moraliska kompass”. Men det som händer är förstås en systematisk utveckling i alla kolonialkrig – också kolonisatören deformeras. Men inte bara den enskilde soldat som accepterad eller påhejad av kamrater och befäl skjuter ett barn, förnedrar en gamling, torterar en ”insurgent”. Det händer något där hemma, i det samhälle som föder kolonisatörens värderingar och dit hon återvänder, om hon överlever. Detta samhälle är sömniga småstöder i Iowa och Ohio, men det är också ”Västvärlden”.

När USA:s militära maskineri drar ut på kolonial straffexpeditioner i Världen, för att säkra tillgång till oljekällor och försvara den globala ekonomiska ordning som suger in profiter till överklassens överkonsumtion, står Västvärldens politiska ledare i givakt. Och rasismen kommer i starkare självsvängning. Som rubriken i SvD:s artikel idag lyder: USA visar vägen. Det finns enligt vår statsminister ”ingen anledning att värdera en invasion som skedde 2003”.

Jag citerar igen det Aimé Cesaire skrev 1955 i Discourse on Colonialism. Läs det noga! Det handlar om våra liv – här och nu.
First we must study how colonialization works to decivilize the colonizer, to brutalize him in the true sense of the word, to degrade him, to awaken him to buried instincts, to covetousness, violence, race hatred, and moral relativism; and we must show that each time a head is cut off or an eye out out in Vietnam and in France they accept the fact, each time a little girl is raped and in France they accept the fact, each time a Madagascan is tortured and in France they accept the fact, civilization acquires another dead weight, a universal recognition takes place, a gangrene sets in, a center of infection begins to spread; and that at the end of all these treaties that have been violated, all these lies that have been propagated, all these punitive expeditions that have been tolerated, all these patriots who have been tortured, at the end of all the racial pride that has been encouraged, all the boastfulness that has been displayed, a poison has been distilled into the veins of Europe and, slowly but surely, the continent proceeds towards savagery.

And then one fine day the bourgeoisie is awakened by a terrific bumerang effect: the gestapos are busy, the prison fills up, the torturers standing around the racks invent, refine, discuss.

People are surprised, they become indignant. They say: “How strange! But never mind – it’s Nazism, it will pass!” And they wait and they hope; and they hide the truth from themselves, that it is barbarism, the supreme barbarism, the crowning barbarism that sums up all the daily barbarisms; that it is Nazism, yes, but that before they were its victims, they were its accomplices; that they tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them, that they absolved it, shut their eyes to it, legitimized it, because, until then, it had been applied only to non-European peoples; that they have cultivated that Nazism, that they are responsible for it, and that before engulfing the whole edifice of Western, Christian civilization in its reddened waters, it oozes, seeps, and trickles from every crack.

6 kommentarer:

Anonym sa...

- The Nation: The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness

Elva sidor med många gånger vidriga citat och återgivanden.

"And we were approaching this one house. In this farming area, they're, like, built up into little courtyards. So they have, like, the main house, common area. They have, like, a kitchen and then they have a storage shed-type deal. And we're approaching, and they had a family dog. And it was barking ferociously, 'cause it's doing its job. And my squad leader, just out of nowhere, just shoots it. And he didn't--mother­fucker--he shot it and it went in the jaw and exited out. So I see this dog--I'm a huge animal lover; I love animals--and this dog has, like, these eyes on it and he's running around spraying blood all over the place. And like, you know, What the hell is going on? The family is sitting right there, with three little children and a mom and a dad, horrified. And I'm at a loss for words. And so, I yell at him. I'm, like, What the fuck are you doing? And so the dog's yelping. It's crying out without a jaw. And I'm looking at the family, and they're just, you know, dead scared. And so I told them, I was like, Fucking shoot it, you know? At least kill it, because that can't be fixed..."

Hur effektiva operationerna är:

""People would make jokes about it, even before we'd go into a raid, like, Oh fucking we're gonna get the wrong house," he said. "'Cause it would always happen. We always got the wrong house." Specialist Chrystal said that he and his platoon leader shared a joke of their own: Every time he raided a house, he would radio in and say, "This is, you know, Thirty-One Lima. Yeah, I found the weapons of mass destruction in here.""


"Josh Middleton [...] pointed out, 20-year-old soldiers went from the humiliation of training--"getting yelled at every day if you have a dirty weapon"--to the streets of Iraq, where "it's like life and death. And 40-year-old Iraqi men look at us with fear and we can--do you know what I mean?--we have this power that you can't have. That's really liberating. Life is just knocked down to this primal level." [...] In Iraq, Specialist Middleton said, "a lot of guys really supported that whole concept that, you know, if they don't speak English and they have darker skin, they're not as human as us, so we can do what we want." [...] "You can honestly see how the Iraqis in general or even Arabs in general are being, you know, kind of like dehumanized," said Specialist Englehart. "Like it was very common for United States soldiers to call them derogatory terms, like camel jockeys or Jihad Johnny or, you know, sand nigger.""

Hjälper irakier:

""So it's really late at night, and I walk out there to the gate and I don't even see the guy at first [...] He was missing two teeth. He has a huge laceration on his head, he looked like he had broken his eye orbit and had some kind of injury to his knee." The Iraqi, Specialist Resta said, pleaded with him in broken English for help. He told Specialist Resta that there were men near the base who were waiting to kill him. "I open a bag and I'm trying to get bandages out and the guys in the guard tower are yelling at me, 'Get that fucking haji out of here,'" Specialist Resta said. [...] "When I asked if he'd be allowed to stay there, at least until it was light out, the response was, 'Are you hearing this shit? I think Doc is part fucking haji,'" Specialist Resta said. [...] The interpreter, he recalled, was furious, telling him that he had effectively condemned the man to death. [...] "'Tell him that if he comes back tonight he's going to get fucking shot,'" Specialist Resta said. "And the interpreter just stared at them and looked at me and then looked back at them, and they nod their head, like, Yeah, we mean it. So he yells it to the Iraqi and the guy just flinches and turns back over his shoulder, and the interpreter says it again and he starts walking away again, you know, crying like a little kid. And that was that.""

Blir du förbannad på idioter i trafiken? Då skulle du falla död ner av ilska om du bodde i Irak:

"[...] [S]upply convoys consisted of twenty to thirty trucks stretching half a mile down the road, with a Humvee military escort in front and back and at least one more in the center. Soldiers and marines also sometimes accompanied the drivers in the cabs of the tractor-trailers. [...] [C]onvoys leapt meridians in traffic jams, ignored traffic signals, swerved without warning onto sidewalks, scattering pedestrians, and slammed into civilian vehicles, shoving them off the road. Iraqi civilians, including children, were frequently run over and killed. Veterans said they sometimes shot drivers of civilian cars that moved into convoy formations or attempted to pass convoys as a warning to other drivers to get out of the way. [...] Following an explosion or ambush, soldiers in the heavily armed escort vehicles often fired indiscriminately in a furious effort to suppress further attacks, according to three veterans. The rapid bursts from belt-fed .50-caliber machine guns and SAWs (Squad Automatic Weapons, which can fire as many as 1,000 rounds per minute) left many civilians wounded or dead. [...] "Basically, they took shots at the car. Warning shots, I don't know. But they shot the car. Well, one of the bullets happened to just pierce the windshield and went straight into the face of this woman in the car. And she was--well, as far as I know--instantly killed. I didn't pull her out of the car or anything. Her son was driving the car, and she had her--she had three little girls in the back seat. And they came up to us, because we were actually sitting in a defensive position right next to the hospital, the main hospital in Mosul, the civilian hospital. And they drove up and she was obviously dead. And the girls were crying.""

Plantering av bevis:

"Several interviewees said that, on occasion, these killings were justified by framing innocents as terrorists, typically following incidents when American troops fired on crowds of unarmed Iraqis. The troops would detain those who survived, accusing them of being insurgents, and plant AK-47s next to the bodies of those they had killed to make it seem as if the civilian dead were combatants. "It would always be an AK because they have so many of these weapons lying around," said Specialist Aoun. Cavalry scout Joe Hatcher, 26, of San Diego, said 9-millimeter handguns and even shovels--to make it look like the noncombatant was digging a hole to plant an IED--were used as well."


""This unit sets up this traffic control point, and this 18-year-old kid is on top of an armored Humvee with a .50-caliber machine gun," he said. "This car speeds at him pretty quick and he makes a split-second decision that that's a suicide bomber, and he presses the butterfly trigger and puts 200 rounds in less than a minute into this vehicle. It killed the mother, a father and two kids. The boy was aged 4 and the daughter was aged 3. And they briefed this to the general. And they briefed it gruesome. I mean, they had pictures. They briefed it to him. And this colonel turns around to this full division staff and says, 'If these fucking hajis learned to drive, this shit wouldn't happen.'" [...] ""That means stop to most Americans, and that's a military hand signal that soldiers are taught that means stop. Closed fist, please freeze, but an open hand means stop. That's a sign you make at a checkpoint. To an Iraqi person, that means, Hello, come here. So you can see the problem that develops real quick. So you get on a checkpoint, and the soldiers think they're saying stop, stop, and the Iraqis think they're saying come here, come here. And the soldiers start hollering, so they try to come there faster. So soldiers holler more, and pretty soon you're shooting pregnant women.""

Inga body counts:

"Last September, Senator Patrick Leahy, then ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, called a Pentagon report on its procedures for recording civilian casualties in Iraq "an embarrassment." "It totals just two pages," Leahy said, "and it makes clear that the Pentagon does very little to determine the cause of civilian casualties or to keep a record of civilian victims.""

Then französke-kocken och pasteybakaren sa...

"Den borgerliga regeringen kallar inte kriget mot Irak för folkrättsvidrigt. Enligt Fredrik Reinfeldt har regeringen idag ­ingen anledning att värdera en invasion som skedde 2003.
Och Carl Bildt försvarar i princip Irakkriget.
–I grunden tror jag att det hade ­varit sämre idag i Irak om vi hade ­låtit Saddam sitta kvar, svarade Bildt på SvD:s fråga i februari."

Jag läser aldrig SVD eftersom man blir så in i helvete deppig. Jag undrar om regeringen Reinfeldt hade sänt trupper till Irak 2003 om de suttit i regeringställning då? En skrämmande utveckling är det i alla fall.

Erik sa...

Mycket läsvärt tycker jag, för mig har USA med kriget i Irak och kringaktiviteter tappat mycket av det moraliska mandat det har haft för mig innan.

Men är inte avhumanieringen ett resultat av alla krig, vad har det med kapitalism och påstådd kolonialism att göra?

/M sa...

Erik, jag vet inte direkt vad avhumanisering har med kapitalism att göra, men det har alltid varit en förutsättning för kolonialism. Historien visar att man inte kan betrakta människor man tvångsutnyttjar eller rent av utrotar som jämlikar.

Anonym sa...

Krigstönten Gary Brecher kanske har en poäng här:

Massacres, Babies and Nukes
Gary Brecher

By Gary Brecher

Last time I promised to explain the battle of Celaya. And I will -- but first I have to talk about some of the wild stuff that's been going on in Iraq.

Every war has its dull innings and its barn-burners, and just lately Iraq's gone from boring to blockbuster, with the Haditha massacre story. Besides, my old friend Victor Davis Hanson just wrote the weirdest, craziest column on the Iraq War I've ever seen, and you know I can't resist messing with Vic ever since he accused me of burning down his grapevines. So Celaya has to wait for my next column. This one will be an Iraqi snack platter, tasty treats so fresh you can still smell the cordite.

1. Haditha: God Hates a Small Massacre

You've all heard the fuss about a Marine patrol shooting up a few houses full of civvies in a Sunni Triangle Hellhole called Haditha. On Nov. 19, 2005, a USMC patrol ran into an IED and had a man killed. By the way, all you Mex-haters might want to know his name: Lance cpl. Miguel Terrazas. His buddies were pissed off, naturally, so they started kicking down doors and shooting every civvie they could find.

There's nothing unusual about occupation troops shooting up an insurgent neighborhood after an ambush. It's totally standard CI warfare, no matter what the Pentagon's mouthpieces say about fighting clean in Iraq. You can't do clean CI warfare. That's just ridiculous. Like I've said before, CI is about intelligence, torture and terror. I guarantee you, this kind of mini-massacre has happened hundreds, literally hundreds of times since we occupied the Sunni Bermuda Triangle.

What is weird and worth discussing is the media firestorm that detonated when the massacre story got out. When this sort of stuff hits the press, every politician, every blogger, every ignorant pacifist dweeb or pig-ignorant redneck starts blogging, sending up chaff blind, the way Saddam's AA batteries just fired blind at the night sky over Baghdad in the first days of the war. The red-white-and-blog types want to hang anybody who mentions Haditha, whereas the Dems'mouthpiece, some old potato-face named John Murtha, is claiming this is going to hurt us more than Abu Ghraib.

It's one of those times when everybody's talking crap -- left and right, pro and con, roadrunner and coyote.

Let's start with Murtha. At first, his argument makes sense. After all, we weren't actually killing people at Abu Ghraib, just messing with them. To an American, especially an old guy like Murtha, death is the worst, scariest thing in the universe, so killing is worse than shaming people.

Except the Iraqis themselves don't see it that way. As soon as the massacre story broke the US press fanned out across the Green Zone trying to get reaction quotes from the Iraqis, and all they got was shrugs.

One Baghdadi was quoted as saying, "This is just the way of life now." Nobody was surprised, nobody thought it was a big deal. For them, Abu Ghraib was way, WAY worse than a little massacre (probably about 30 dead when they get finished counting).

So why do Iraqis care more about shame than death? It comes down to demographics, population profiles. I've said it before and I'll say it again: war is just demographics in a hurry. And Iraq is a young country, not afraid of death. 40% of the Iraqi population is 14 or younger; only 3% is over 65. That's why the Iraqis went crazy at those Abu Ghraib pictures but just shrugged when the news crews stuck microphones in their faces and tried to get them riled about this massacre story.

Massacres are much easier to take when you've got a huge birthrate to replace your losses, and shame trumps dying to young males. That's why it's always been ridiculously easy to get cannon fodder: young guys like the idea of killing and dying, but go ballistic if somebody humiliates them.

We don't get this, because we're old, rickety folks. Compared to Iraq, the US is an old folks' home: 75% of us are over 18, and 13% are over 65. One thing you'll notice if you've been around old people: they care more about their smelly old hides than any kid ever did. So naturally a soggy old dude like Murtha -- just look at a picture of him -- thinks the Iraqis are going to care more about GIs killing people than about the non-lethal hijinks at Abu Ghraib.

But he's wrong, and all you have to do to understand why is think the way you did when you were young. At age 16, the median age for the Iraqi population, getting your locker trashed by the cool girls is way, way worse than death. I should know.

So think of Iraq as a high-school kid. Naturally, to him, sexual humiliation like Abu Ghraib is way, way worse than a piddling little massacre. I kind of admire that about them, the way they care more about some infidel flushing a Koran than about whole families blasted.

But I'm not saying this massacre doesn't matter. It does -- as a symptom of how Iraq duty is ruining the superb US Army we sent to the war. Nam nearly ruined our armed forces; driving Humvees down stinking Iraqi alleys waiting for an IED to kill you is going to mess with our people the same way. Massacres like Haditha turn GIs into death squads -- because death squads are the only way (aside from nukes, and I'll get to that in a second) to fight against urban guerrillas.

The rightwingers won't admit that we're never going to turn Haditha into Anaheim, and they're so vain and pig-headed they'll keep our troops there till they turn into classic Colombian-style throat-slitters. Worse yet, since we have no decent intelligence about who we're fighting, they won't even slit the right throats.

If it was up to me, I'd charge Cheney, Rumsfeld and Feith with treason for sending troops into Indian Country with no intelligence, so our patrols end up cruising the shit-stinking alleys of Iraq like ducks in a shooting gallery, letting the locals pick their time to join those wires and detonate the old artillery shell they buried at the intersection last night. You can't expect heavily armed Marines to shrug and applaud when that shell goes off and kills their buddies. They itch to show the neighborhood who's got the firepower. Sooner or later, they're going to do it the way one fire-team did in Haditha: going house to house killing everything inside.

And you know what? Those Marines were right, at a strategic level. Tactically, no; small massacres like Haditha just piss the locals off, recruit more insurgents. But strategically, those jarheads were right: massacre on a really big scale is the only solution. The shooters at Haditha saw the situation more clearly than the Generals who sent them out on patrol to smile and pass out candy, hoping to win "Hearts and Minds."

The cold, scary fact is that there is no way for a conventional army to defeat an urban guerrilla force militarily. The only options are withdrawal or smart genocide -- the cold-blooded, efficient extermination of the whole population of any city or region that supports the guerrillas. When those Marines went house-to-house killing, they were acting logically and thinking more strategically than their commanders, never mind the Moron-in-Chief. Mao would have nodded approvingly, and so would the Brit officers who wiped out 1/4 of the Boers' civilian population and pioneered the Concentration Camp. Stalin said it best: "No people, no problem."

Trouble is, one little USMC fire team just doesn't have the weapons to really do the job. If we were serious about transforming Iraq or the Muslim World, we could do it in minutes, just by turning the whole Sunni Triangle into radioactive glass, one big skating rink that could double as a tanning parlor. Wouldn't even need artificial lights at night, you could skate just by the glow.

Unless we act fast to change the planet's demographics, the Iraqis -- in fact, the whole Turd, I mean Third World -- will win by deploying the poor man's nuke: higher birthrate. I saw a picture yesterday that summed up what's really happening. It showed a few GIs taking a break in an Iraqi woman's kitchen, eating while she stared at the street. The caption was some crap about how the Iraqis are learning to love us (as if anybody ever loved a foreign occupying army), but to me, the real point was that the woman was eight or nine months pregnant, and three of her kids were running around outside.

My caption for that photo would be, "Who's Winning?" It's not the GIs chowing down in her kitchen. They're far from home, and they'll have maybe one or two kids. She'll have nine or ten. That's victory, the slow and sure kind. And hey, in the meantime, just to pass the time, her husband has a hobby: planting IEDs along our patrol routes. Then he comes home to impregnate the wife again. So he's beating us day and night, if you see what I mean.

The European countries can't even maintain their current populations. The US is doing better, thanks to those immigrants, but the hot countries, the poor countries, are zooming past us, their populations growing like crabgrass on AFDC. And picking off a few civilians here and there, like we're doing now, is useless. If Bush & co. really were the scary Darth Vader guys the leftists say they are, they'd have thought hard about this.

Unfortunately, those idiots can't see the big picture. In fact, they've actually cut back on birth control funding to the poor countries, guaranteeing that you'll grow old in a hungry, pissed-off world that wants your house, your SUV and your head on a stick, not necessarily in that order.

So what would a real Darth Vader, a serious American nationalist, do with a problem like the one we've got in the Sunni Triangle? Simple: either wipe them out or buy them off. That's what the Romans and the Brits, the real pros, would have done by now. (God, imagine if the 19th c. British Empire had had nukes! The whole planet would be a game preserve, totally unpopulated, except for a few country houses along the English coast, with some slave-breeding farms tucked away inland to produce maids and butlers as submissive as labrador retrievers.)

A Roman emperor, facing the population bomb we're up against wouldn't hesitate to use our whole arsenal of neutron bombs, tactical nukes, and city-killing hydrogen bombs. Hell, you'd wake up one morning to a world where overpopulation was no longer an issue, where the greenhouse effect was gone thanks to the layer of soot that used to be the Third World.

I'm not saying I advocate that kind of maximum response. But damn it, at least it makes some kind of sense. What we're doing now, killing a few Iraqis a day and letting Shiite and Sunni death squads kill a lot more, is just mean... and stupid.

Iraq right now reminds me of that great scene in Apocalypse Now where Martin Sheen, the only sane man in the movie, tells Chief not to search a sampan they meet on the river. Chief, a by-the-numbers Army regular, orders a board-n-search anyway, and the nervous GIs end up shooting everybody on the sampan. Then they get sobby, and try to save one girl who's not quite dead. Sheen takes out his .45 and kills her. That's sanity in guerrilla warfare: either leave 'em alone or finish 'em off.

If that sounds harsh to you, here's a totally non-violent method that would also work better than what we're doing now: just flat-out bribe countries like Iraq to cut their birthrate: "for every percentage point your birthrate goes down, we pass out ten billion bucks, divvied between the number of households in your country." It would be way, WAY cheaper than this war; it would work WAY better; and best of all, having some money for the first time would get the poor bastards interested in something better than Islam -- like, say, golf or pilates, some pissant rich-people hobby.

We'd be aborting the real threat, the demographic one -- and we'd look like philanthropists! See, now that's what they call thinking outside the box.

Instead of doing something decisive, we're hunkered down like cranky old fogies in an Old Folks' Home, bugging the cops to come down and shoot those durn skateboard rats who keep annoying us. It's not going to work. Sooner or later the punks are going to torch the convalescent home and fall over laughing as they watch the old cripples try to wheel their way out of the flames.

Maybe I should make a bumper sticker out of this, call it Brecher's Law of CI War: "Bribe'em, Nuke'em or Just Leave'em the Hell Alone!" Either way would have a chance of working, but let me say it plain: this half-assed occupation has no chance at all.

2. Hanson's Disease

Marines aren't the only ones cracking under the pressure of Iraq. My old pal, Victor "Smoke on the Vineyard" Hanson has lost his marbles completely, as demonstrated by his latest column, "Looking Back at Iraq: A War to Be Proud of."


It's like a new kind of self-help therapy, Dr. Phil for military fiascos: "Be proud you screwed up!" If only Hitler had had net access in his Berlin bunker as the Soviets closed in, the poor bastard would have died happy: "I'm proud I invaded Russia! My intentions were gut even if ze results were not zo gut!"

Vic's Pride Therapy can benefit everybody. I think I'll start by being proud of how fat I am. Then there's my kidney troubles -- maybe I should get a shirt, "I'm proud I'll soon be pissing incredibly painful kidney stones!" Whatever your worst move was, learn to be proud of it: "I bought Lucent at $80 just before the crash and I'm proud of it!" "I flipped off a CHP motorcycle and got pulled over before I noticed the open can of Coors wedged against my emergency brake -- and I'm Proud!"

What cracked me up is the way Hanson uses the spike in oil prices to prove we meant well: "What did these rare Americans not fight for? Oil, for one thing. The price skyrocketed after they went in."

Now that's real underclassman-level logic: if we didn't manage to grab Iraq's oil fields, then we must never have wanted to.

Applying that to the Hitler example, Vic's take on the Eastern Front would be, "What was Operation Barbarossa not designed to do? Conquer Russia, for one thing. By 1945, Germany had actually lost massive chunks of territory, so clearly a land-grab was the last thing on Hitler's mind."

Vic, buddy, ever hear of plans going wrong? Ever consider the possibility that Cheney wanted the oil and didn't get it because he was too reckless and stupid to pull it off? [NB: Cheney's people even hired Yegor Gaidar, author of Russia's notorious privatization scheme, to advise on the "privatization" of Iraq's oil shortly after the invasion ...but Gaidar got chased out of town -- Ed.]

What would really scare me if I was one of Vic's NeoCon traitor pals is, (a) he uses the past tense: "Our soldiers fought for the chance of a democracy; that fact is incontestable" and (b) he's basically saying, "we meant well."

If you think about when people use that phrase, it's always after some horrible disaster. When you add in the fact that Vic has started writing about the war in the past tense, you get the real message: it's all over except for the taxpaying part. And we'll be doing that for the rest of our lifetimes, while Vic and Cheney tell each other what a noble plan it was -- never mind what actually happened.

Francisco d'Anconia sa...

Jag älskar den där logiska vänsterkopplingen: om ekonomin "demokratiseras" så blir det inga mer krig. Solklart.