Volume 12 Nr. 1, Issue 136
Philip S. Golub writes "...that patriotic mobilization is important in holding American society together..." (United States: inventing demons, Le Monde Diplomatiques, March 2003). Mobilization is best accomplished through fear of some enemy. It matters little who or what the enemy is as long as there exists an enemy. Enemies are necessary in order to force an agenda. If you want Iraqi oil and recolonization you create the "Iraqis are coming" scenario. If you want perpetual war you create perpetual enemies". Golub further states,
In other words, if no enemies were to exist, then the corporate State would have to invent them. How else would the war machine make its profit and continue to expand? How else would the miniscule 1% of the population owning 95% of all the wealth keep the bottom 95% in line? How else would the average wealth of the top 1% of UStatesians (ten-million dollars) continue to increase while the average wealth (one-thousand dollars ) of the bottom 40% declines?
It matters not how patriotic mobilization is achieved in moving the nation in a certain direction. It matters not whether weapons of mass destruction are ever found nor whether they ever existed in Iraq. It matters not whether the swift boat veterans tell the truth about John Kerry's Vietnam service. It matters not whether the Gulf of Tonkin incident ever took place. What matters is whether the outcome of the lie, deception, fabrication achieves the stated objective.
Most Profitable Weakness
The Capitalist's most profitable enterprises are the warmaking industries all of which use the people's money and their sons and daughters to make war. One does not make war profit without fighting war. Weapons of destruction, like propaganda, achieve little without being used. Using weapons leads to manufacturing more of them. The impetus is toward using them. The more the bullets fly and bombs are dropped the better it is for the manufacturers of bullets and bombs and the shareholders. The War Resisters League publication "Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes" for fiscal budget 2005 shows current military expenditures of $536-billion; Iraq and Afghan Wars, $50-billio; Past Military, $349-billion. The FY 2005 war budget is almost a trillion dollars.
Requiring and maintaining perpetual warmaking capacity through design and manufacture of the super power's armaments is however, not a sign of strength. It is a weakness. It is a paranoia based upon the knowledge that capitalism, i.e., neo-liberalism, like its war making military counterpart cannot survive in times of peace. What use is an economic system that fears its own collapse during peace time? This is a massive system failure of epic proportions. It is a failure which guarantees that the State must use the people's money and its youth to do battle with self-created enemies in order to keep itself afloat. The State provides less for the common defense as it incorporates presumptive offensive, a contrived reality necessary to maintain the status quo. The people pay heavily for the preservation of rich ruling elite. They die as their children go to battle. They die as human services funds are funneled into war. They die as profits rise and health care access falls. Presumptive offense is the neo-con's perpetual war for perpetual peace. The neo-cons are ever ready for war they always participate just not in the path of weapons and not in combat. Their children and family members seldom set the example of joining the military or volunteering for combat duty.
Benito Mussolini said, "...fascism...believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace... " Mussolini salutes the corporate state and the nobles therein for "War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it." Blessed are the war makers for their's is the kingdom of profit. Blessed is the foot soldier for it is their life that is the price paid to maintain the rich. And, the sheeple are all too eager to accept war and send their sons and daughters. It is easy to get them to go along and the fascist State knows this. Consider the present fear of terrorism foisted upon the public and the words of Herman Goering at the Nuremberg Trials (April 1946) who said,
Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.
In our programmed desire to be "patriotic" we have become flag waivers, acceptors of state propaganda and deceit. While collectively we profess an abhorrence of the excesses of the Stalinist state, we are all too eager to embrace it at home.
The Racket Continues
Smedley Darlington Butler, U.S. Marine, war hero and two-time congressional medal of honor recipient and author of "War Is A Racket" writes,
So, we send our sons and daughters while waving the flag, the logo of corporate UStatesia without taking note how many spawn of the ruling class volunteer to go. Yet, we remain ever mindful, ever wary that the pacifists are coming. The antiwar people are coming. The anti-globalization activists are coming. The anti greed people are coming. The another-world-is-possible people are coming. And as the protesters chant, "The whole world is watching" it is we in UStatesia who do not see. We in UStatesia fail to see that what we have become for we have accepted that "...Fascism, the growth of empire...is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence." (Internet Modern History Sourcebook, (c)Paul Halsall Aug 1997). In our blindness we fear that lunatics are coming. Mark Twain described such lunatics in his piece, "The War Prayer". Yes, the lunatics are coming to the Republican National Convention from August 30 through September 2, 2004. May we be more like the lunatics.
© 2004 Jozef Hand-Boniakowski
The War Prayer
It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest depths of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast doubt upon its righteousness straight way got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams – visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:
"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory – An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:
"I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.
"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."
[After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
© 2004 Jozef Hand-Boniakowski