Thursday, March 10, 2016

Liberals for Empire

It should come as no surprise a self-proclaimed "Goldwater Girl" thinks the Contras were keen. To paraphrase Ted Rall, Hillary Clinton never met a war she didn't like.

What should come as a surprise is all the card-carrying liberals trumpeting her neocon bullshit as the latest victory over Sanders and his movement for common human decency. Should come as a surprise - probably does for some of you dear-hearts - but really doesn't. As I mentioned last time I commented on this bummer of an election, American liberals love blood and violence when it's their own team pulling the trigger. Hell, I'm guilty of it myself!

And Democrats really do have a history as good imperial managers. Much like the British, who raped everyone and everything they could find below the equator for a century. Just because they're good at it doesn't mean it's not objectively terrible.

But that raw ugliness and evil of global empire is still a foreign concept to Americans of every political persuasion. This is to be expected with the Tea Party and the Trumpers, as their entire raison d'etre is spite and hatred for life. But it's still a bit shocking to see the folks who still kvetch over Bush's wars turn around and advocate for basically more of the same.

Rather, it would be shocking if this hadn't been going on for the past decade. At least.

[T]he real responsibility for the Iraq war lay not with Bush but with the Lettermans, the Wolf Blitzers, the CNNs, the New York Timeses of the world -- the malleable middle of the American political establishment who three years ago made a conscious moral choice to support a military action that even a three year-old could have seen made no fucking sense at all.

A so-funny-it's-sad way of paraphrasing the position of the US media and political class on the Iraq war is "We shoulda invaded on Thursday instead of Tuesday." And that simplistic We're The Good Guys notion is shared by many of the rank-and-file liberals who marched and protested and all turned very silent once a black Democrat was commanding the exact same drone executions as a Texas dipshit.

This goes back decades, well before Reagan but let's start in the '80s anyway because it was the worst era ever. Also because Sanders is getting flak for not disavowing the Sandinistas, who are now the Bad Guys for the liberal press because reasons. Reagan's financing of the Contra death squads who targeted the FSLN gets most of the attention but it was really just SOP for the US at the time in every sovereign nation south of the border. Like El Salvador:

When she heard the screams, Rufina, who together with her children had been sitting on a bench with her back to the front wall of the house -- the wall facing the church -- climbed up on the bench so that she could look out a small window high up in that wall. Through the window she saw soldiers leading groups of men from the little whitewashed church -- blindfolded men whose hands were bound behind them. Each pair of soldiers led five or six men past the house of Alfredo Márquez and took them out of the hamlet in various directions. After a time, she saw her husband in one group, and as she watched, along with young Cristino, who had climbed up next to her, eager to see what was happening, they both saw him -- Domingo Claros, twenty-nine-year-old woodcutter, husband of Rufina and father of Cristino, María Dolores, Marta Lilián, and María Isabel -- bolt forward, together with another man, in a desperate effort to escape the soldiers. But there was nowhere to run. The men of the Atlacatl levelled their M16s and brought both men down with short bursts of fire. Then the soldiers strode forward to where the men lay gasping on the ground, and, unsheathing their machetes, they bent over them, grasped their hair, jerked their heads back sharply, and beheaded them with strong blows to the backs of their necks.

The El Mozote massacre was conducted against suspected Marxists, just like hundreds of others. All with the tacit approval if not active support of US intelligence and special operations. Stan Goff provides some excellent snapshots - including the bumbling alcoholics from the State Department overseeing all this horror - in Full Spectrum Disorder. But to see how things really don't change, you have to read his first and arguably better book, Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti. It recounts his time with 3rd Special Forces ODA 354 in the first Clinton era, trying to do an invasion and occupation humanely so as to relieve his old and battered conscience - and just how doomed his efforts proved to be:

Are you anti-FRAPH?
They're a death squad network.
According to the task force command, they're to be treated as the legitimate political opposition.
They're still death squads. Were we ordered to work with them, too?
No, you weren't ordered to work with them, but it sounds like you harassed them.

There's more in the book of that bureaucratic double-think. So much more, but it's not what got Goff brought up on charges that "were either silly or pure bullshit, but a couple of them were true..." It was his own team, his comrades-in-arms who were just as indoctrinated to the American fantasy of Good vs. Evil as Salon knobs like Amanda Marcotte. Not one of them would ever self-identify as liberal - a few were anticipating race war in the bucolic Clinton years and are likely strident Trump supporters today - just like no Hillary Men or bourgeois feminists consider themselves on the side of death squads. Except maybe this guy.

The liberal interventionists have just as much blood on their hands as the neocons. They used to try and hide it but with Sanders showing he can win, they've all lost their marbles and wouldn't even blink at a Clinton-Kissinger ticket come November. 'Cause there are bad guys to kill, dontcha know.

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