Friday, November 16, 2007

The People Factor

I've been thinking of family, friends, neighbors from my youth who served in WWII and Korea. At gatherings these veterans never told the horrors of war, not around women and children, but as a teen I developed the art of eavesdropping on the group of males who would sometimes sit together on the sidelines to share their war experiences with one another.

The stories were sometimes funny, sometimes just general interest, but often horrendous. Stories still vivid to me, some so dreadful I seldom repeat them. These men were not clueless – I heard the same phrases then as today: Rich man's war is the poor man's fight; the rich get richer; white man's war ...

One of my uncles survived the Bataan Death march and a Japanese prison camp, another survived a German POW camp with a head wound and lived a good life to the age of 78 with a metal plate in his head courtesy of Nazi doctors. One returned from a Korean POW camp without legs but equipped a small hand controlled car from which he made and sold snowcones 7 days a week 365 days a year, and supported his family well. All were wounded physically and mentally. Some lost limbs, some came home in coffins that could not be opened. All had to overcome PTSD, or shell-shock.

They all went on to become successful, some affluent, productive family men and contributing members of the community. Comparing this era of veterans to the vets of Vietnam and Iraq, who seem to have a much harder time adjusting after war and military life – what factors are different?

One factor I can think of is the WWII era vet returned to a proud and grateful nation, genuine gratitude; not the politically correct "support the troops" lip service paid today. The society of the 1940s and 1950s did not look upon the returning vets as oafish, marauding, plundering, genocidal killers murdering for the rich man's racket in an illegal war. WWII/Korea era vets were not ashamed of service to ruling class hegemony (or empire, the reason all wars are fought).

A WWII/Korean vet was proud to say he/she served because he received instant respect; more likely today's Vietnam/Middle East vet is proud to say he served because he receives sympathy. Respect can boost self-esteem for sacrifices made; sympathy can be borderline contemptuous pity for having serviced the empire.

Nor were WWII/Korean era vets given the luxury of claiming mental disability due to war; they were not allowed to blame personality disorders, alcohol/drug addiction on "war." There were no life-long government checks for shell shock. There were no social expectations of being psychologically screwed-up, anti-social, suicidal, homicidal, dysfunctional. Personal and economic failure was personal and economic failure for a WWII vet – a man's success or failure was not connected to government funding. Half of society today fosters the idea that a returning veteran is guaranteed a happy, successful life for wearing a uniform and failure to achieve such a life is through no fault of the vet, but the fault of an "unpopular illegal war" and the corrupt administration he fought under – as if war and corruption are new phenomena in the American political theater.

WWII vets were not coddled by a culture eager to blame socio-political problems on war and the puppet PresCo who initiated the war – WWII era vets were buoyed by family, neighbors, and community. They were expected to suck it up and keep on keeping on – and most did. Many took advantage of that era's GI bill to become educated, to own homes, to birth a civil rights movement and political awareness and activism. (An advantage succeeding generations willingly and easily exchanged for dope, dumbness, and never-ending pointless entertainment.)

The ruling class today has a propaganda machine which makes WWII era propaganda very, very quaint. The ruling class today could, if they wanted, have the sheople as supportive of the Middle East grab as any previous war. Why hasn't this happened? Who benefits? Don't kid yourself that the Internet has made a difference – the net is just another propaganda tool to be used against you. Don't tell yourself the public is smarter – it's not, the majority is dumber than ever and will believe anything.

The question today is – why does America's ruling class enter wars they have no intention of "winning" and then use the conflict to further divide the country and heighten the hostility in a culture which already lacks social cohesion?

WWII was the last war where the ruling class shared part of their obscene profit with the sheople. So many lives around the world were/are sacrificed to further Anglo powers, to expand America's black and white middle class, and to prop up the "American way of life" (manipulated global market capital). Now, with the manufactured excuse of "unpopular" and "illegal" wars the ruling class has no obligation to share the bounty with those who secured the plunder for them. The sheople have been maneuvered to void the tacit social contract between ruler and ruled, warlords and vassal, middle class and ruling class.

The time to end today's Middle East wars was before they began. Now that the US is there, the public should demand an honest and honorable end. Not the coming "game over" troop draw down, leaving sufficient troops and mercs for security purposes, while the favorite faction heroes from both sides tell their teams the war has ended, yet you continue to pay for protection of the embassy and oil fields, billed as "reconstruction" or "compensation."

When did the ruling class decide it more profitable to lose wars? Personally, I think it happened sometime between the last two world wars, when the US ruling class was joined and/or replaced by a global ruling class that has little use for sovereign States and even less use for national unity. Intentionally dumbed and divided. Slowly and surely divided by race, class, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age, and personal mores and values.

A society so dumbed it believes losing is winning. A society so dumb it believes the rest of the world is honest and only the USA lies. A society so dumb it will praise foreign leaders for acts they would condemn if done by American leaders. A society so dumb it puts faith in the idea that foreign powers have no dream of empire. A society so dumb it believes elections are rigged yet still gets out to rock the vote. A culture so dumb it can repeat mangled media info about everything and have knowledge of nothing. Where are "they" herding dumb people?

They herd us around in circles, toward that one world villa, sound-proofed from the noise of howling peons; "they" watch the masses argue eternally over scraps and debate meaningless staged talking points. Their game is never over, and they know dumb people never win.


Kathy said...

Speaking of supporting returning vets, I framed together two messages my son the soldier was greeted with upon his return to Ft. Hood from Tikrit in 04: One was an announcement of the Welcome Home extravaganza ("This Party's For You!") and the other was an annoucement from the cops delivered in the water bill saying that there would be a $200 fine for every vehicle over the newly-established stereo noise limit ("Crank It Down"). The guys had invested small fortunes on sound systems and when they got back, they couldn't play them (and seeing Jessica Simpson on outdoor stage dressed in red, white and blue didn't make up for that).

"The sheople have been maneuvered to void the tacit social contract between ruler and ruled, warlords and vassal, middle class and ruling class."

Another KAB eye-opener and reason why I hope carrot cake (with nuts) will be sufficient subscription tender until God gets that hundred-fold to me.

Kate-A said...

Carrot cake is all that keeps this blog going. :)

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