Tag Archives: Wounded

War memorial to Global War On Terror, aka War on Islam For World Resources now logging “Horn of Africa” casualties

By now you’ve read elsewhere that many of the wounded soldiers being medivac’d to the US surgery hub in Germany are coming from parts unknown more specifically not-known to be US-declared war zones. Their flight origin is only revealed as “Horn of Africa”, but it’s telling isn’t it? US disrespect for foreign sovereignty means not even uttering the nation states involved. USG spokesmen know, for the geographically challenged, calling it the Horn can obfuscate the spheres of disputed influence stretching from Somalia, for you Blackhawk Downers, to Mali, where three US special ops were recently killed with their prostitute attaches, while the corporate media breathed a collective “huh?” Thankfully US adversaries in Mali had the better sense not to string the American bodies from bridges like pre-Falluja’d Fallujah, or did they? NATO’s media cameras weren’t there to exploit it in any case. Basically the Horn is where US AFRICOM has yet to beat back the continent’s last Islamic protectors as the Western serial rape of Africa drops its pretense that strangulation isn’t the final act.

Unexpurgated then and now.

Because of the massive amount of bigotry, jingoism and violent wishes expressed in reaction to one of our more popular Visitor Attractions showing just a minimal sample of war atrocity in the form of dead Soldiers. Like, what was expected, eh? The hate-speech brought forth from those who want to continue to generate such horrifying images but don’t want the Children they’re trying to recruit into the Army-Navy-Air Force-Marines to see the Glory of Warfare in its truest form, led me to think of other overt censorship from yet another war. Life Magazine had a picture of a wounded American or perhaps British soldier in the Pacific war, bandaged over the eyes and perhaps only temporarily blinded, definitely not seeing anything right then, being led by an island Native who was attached to the Medical Unit treating said soldier. Touching, eh, inter-racial inter-tribal inter-cultural compassion, yes? Not so, according to British censors. They were very indignant that a “wog” was shown in any position of power over a White Man. Even gently leading him by the arm. I looked for the picture just now, couldn’t come up with it just yet. Got pictures of German and other WW One soldiers with their faces burned beyond recognition, and still alive, from “our” weapons of mass destruction and those of “our” allies. In case anybody’s wondering, the British Empire and their related terrorist groups used Nerve Gas every bit as much as the “barbaric” Turks and Huns did.

There’s another picture of a Japanese soldier, what’s left of him, in a “pillbox” fortification with his hands still on his machine gun, after being hit with napalm from a flamethrower. Wonderful imagery, that. And, conspicuously absent, any negative commentary from Our Heroes when their handiwork is displayed in all its glory.

Just, you know, offers to beat us down in imaginary encounters with large numbers of Trained Killers for daring to expose what they, themselves, look like when dead.

I guess their gander just doesn’t taste quite as good with the goose sauce on it.

Pictures of Arlington National Cemetery with the former Army recruitment slogan “Be All That You Can Be”, guess that doesn’t sell the Recruiter Lies very well. Of course they’d object. Not from any sense of the dignity of the dead. Not from any concern that the comrades and family of the dead would be offended.

But the recruitment task becomes harder when people can see the reality. It interferes with the Recruiters and Chaplains and other Liars selling the souls of the next hundreds of thousands of Soldiers the same way they sold their own souls.

Ron Kovic, Private Nation and the mystique of the Token Cripple

Because I get the same kind of crap in lower doses than Kovic and Max Cleland did and still do. When you become disabled at work you’re supposed to be grateful for any crust of bread thrown your way, and condemned as a whiner if you point out the guilt of the parties who brought you to that state. With war veterans it’s worse.
Ron Kovic and Max Cleland were “just fine” in the eyes of the Pentagon, until they started opposing the war, then they were and still are demonized. The Pentagoons, while Cleland was fighting to survive, leaving 3 of his limbs on the cutting room floor, (mixed metaphor there, cutting room is about films) his commanders were filling out paperwork exonerating themselves from any blame for what they had done to him. Like Kovic, and Private Nation, and John Kerry, and Flight Lt Joseph “Country” MacDonald, he was treated with the military equivalent of Honor as long as he consented to be the Token. The Warrior returning and still supporting a lost war. Touching, Heartwarming, (heartburn) but once they chose to speak out, save for Private Nation, they were the darlings of every parade, supporting sending even MORE young people off to kill other people in other lands, other mother’s sons… except for Private Nation. Who was Private Nation, you ask?

He was one of my ancestors. He, too, fought for the losing side, a hundred years earlier. Late in the war, the Civil one… hence, he wasn’t fighting to kill and die in Foreign Lands… he took a Minie ball upside his temple, tore off a chunk of his skull. Surgeon told him, “Private, that’s going to kill you eventually” and sure enough, 80 years later, it did. But he was a Confederate. He was fighting for the “states’ rights” cause. You know the one, the States’ Right to deny Liberty or even the definition of Humanity to HUMAN BEINGS based solely on the shade of their skins, and to deny them that Liberty before they were even born. And to use State Funds and State Police Powers to ensure that they remained in Slavery. In short, he was fighting not for States’ Rights, but for States’ WRONGS.

In VietNam, and now Iraq and Afghanistan, the Slave Owners live off premises, but it’s still the same concept. Still sending in the Private Nation and the Ron Kovic of the modern age. And if you get pieces of you blown off, you’re supposed to accept it, be rolled around in the parades like a Good Little Cripple, patted on the head and sternly warned not to say anything at all against the regime.

If Gunnery Sgt Nick Popavitch, proudly supporting the military that cost his eye and, really, their honor and his… If he ever stands up and says it’s wrong he won’t be their Tame Token Cripple anymore, and can expect His Comrades will turn on him like a pack of starving wolves on a pork chop. That’s the “freedom” they’re fighting. For. Against.

Private Nation never repented of his service to the cause of Slavery. Many people in the South feel that his “sacrifice” should be honored, but, you’ll notice, only those American Southerners whose ancestors were the Slave Owners, not those who have the slaves for ancestors.

Does the magnitude of the loss of limb or capacity or eye make the Cause of Slavery RIGHT? Turn it around and look at it from the perspective of the arbitrarily chosen “enemy”.

Does a Taliban soldier with pieces blown off of him, make the cause of the Taliban right, or wrong? What about an Afghan or Iraqi Civilian with pieces blown off him/her?

Is the measure of the human suffering of the human being, from whichever side, the True Measure of righteousness? For the ones who exploit the Token Cripple mystique, even using the wounds and disabilities of the wounded as Recruitment.. (that’s the nature of Military Parades, by the way, not to honor the dead and wounded, but to get more kids sucked into “serving”) According to the assmunches with that philosophy, yeah.

But, gentle reader, you decide. Private Nation was paraded every Confederate Memorial Day. Yeah, they actually did that. There wasn’t an Official Confederate Army into which they were trying to recruit the younguns. But there was always the Klan.

I can’t be ashamed of that heritage. Because I didn’t do the crimes nor do I support them. God-Damn if I’ll be proud of it either.

One final thought. Hopefully to tie it together. You know how some Veterans who are still in Denial (Pvt Nation until he died) say that only those who went to the wars can criticize? Kind of like “Only Mafia Hitmen can sit on a jury in a murder trial” but… what of those who DID go to the wars and criticize? Why the sudden dumping of them into the trash bin of history? Especially when their former Masters told them and still tell us that they fought for “freedom” especially of speech. “Them Soldiers fought for YOUR freedom of speech, how DARE you use that freedom?”

What about George Bush, no, the OLDER one, GHW… who was simultaneously tearing down the names and reputations of Ellsberg, Kovic, Cleland, Kerry, Country Joe (and the Fish) MacDonald, every man-jack of the VVAW, while using his influence to keep his own Junior out of the war from which both were profiteering?

What of Junior, and the Other ChickenHawks? If we call the ChickenHawks by their proper title of ChickenHawk, highly paid Billionaire Professional Liars like Rush Limbaugh accuse us of Hate Speech. Just applying the same logic but with a better twist is all.
If only those who fought can criticize, then only those who fought can START wars, or support them for that matter.

Better yet, none of them should start or support the wars either.
Sherman said “War is Hell” but he was wrong. War is Murder. Pure and simple, and making war is a crime against everybody.
Protesting against it isn’t even Officially a crime, but they sure as Hell punish people for it. Even if the people they’re punishing actually fought in those wars. “Double Standard” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

GI quadruple amputee’s hobby: guns. Army needs a prosthetic for PTSD.

Wounded Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco was this weekend’s NYT front page testimonial to the resilience of US soldiers. The VA is finally acknowledging amputee-counts apparently, so we now learn that 988 veterans have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Specialist Marrocco lost all four, but is learning to get around. He can walk for stints of up to 15-minutes, and his favorite pastime? Shooting guns.

Who owns images of American dead?

vietnam-wounded-marineAP photographer Julie Jacobson was reticent to publish her picture of dying US Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard. Though his father was opposed, the Associated Press overruled. But this was no victory for the public’s right to see a true reflection of war. The D.o.D. is still indignant, but I suspect Jacobson’s report was ultimately vetted in their favor. Military propagandists need to represent America’s growing losses in Afghanistan. Jacobson’s image provides their limited hangout. Like the other photographs of casualties which have escaped through embeds, the image of Lance Corporal Bernard is desaturated of blood, and the surrounding events fit the military endorsed narrative.

Have you noticed that all combat images coming out of today’s wars are drab and lifeless. Obviously this motif is not being applied to the PR shots of jets and military hardware, but scenes of soldiering in Iraq and Afghanistan are dusty and grey, like scenes from a dark virtual world.

The colors in Jacobson’s controversial photo are similarly under saturated. Earlier casualty pics have even been rendered as black and white, and this is no exercise of artistic license. Colorless images telegraph little resemblance to our real world lived in color. An emotional distance is created, most obviously like the detachment we feel looking into the past. Everything before the late sixties happened in monocrome. Early color photographs always shock children with the prospect that lives in generations past might have been been lived in a world of contemporary vibrance.

The photographs from Vietnam were helped by that nation’s lush tropical greens. Images of the wounded were all the more gripping –and demoralizing from the military’s point of view– because unlike in Korea and WWII, the blood was red.

Most images taken in Vietnam came through the military staff photographers. The unapproved subjects, which subverted the official face of the war, emerged from the cameras of independent journalists.

dying US marineJulie Jacobson facilitated the release of this picture, by letting slip two details pertinent to the official US narrative in Afghanistan. Would you believe, just prior to this engagement, friendly Afghans came out of their houses to tell the US soldiers where they could find the Taliban? Probably to ensure Corporal Bernard’s squad pointed their guns away from their homes, but that’s not how the story was spun. Jacobson recounts that these Afghans were eager to inform on the Taliban.

The jocular Jacobson records another telltale crowd-pleaser in the aftermath of the Taliban “ambush,” when she found herself flanked by Afghan National Army troops. When the firing started, Jacobson sought immediately the ranks of US soldiers, because the freakin’ ANA Afghans “aren’t very good.”

Today’s media embeds are basically a privatized signal corps. Their photos should belong to the taxpayers. Insinuations that military families should dictate what images can be used, in the event of death, is a cruel irony. Are the families consulted about what Uncle Sam wants to do with their loved one when he’s still alive? Millions of federal tax dollars are spent on our soldiers, all the more when they die. I have little sympathy for the families who couldn’t stand up for their children and protect them from the capricious whims of our military. There is absolutely no reason to ask their permission about what happens when their little soldier meets his/her calculable fate.