[ExI] What is Grace?

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 18:39:08 UTC 2009

On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 1:03 AM, John Grigg <possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I realize you are a European, but still, you associate the U.S. involvement
> with Iraq and Afghanistan as being on par with the Nazi SS atrocities of
> WW2???  I would say that is REALLY pushing it.

Sadly John, the US has since ww2 come to worship at the altar of
militarism.  After Viet Nam I had hoped a lesson would be learned --
that the military can be an honorable institution when all citizens
are vigilant in preventing its criminal misuse -- and that the
individual human beings who comprise the military would not allow
themselves to be so misused again, or at least not as long as the
crimes of Viet Nam remained a living memory.   Unfortunately, but not
surprisingly, I was wrong.

The "training" that inductees receive regarding their responsibility
to refuse to obey illegal orders is little more than a formality, a
fantastical and treacherous tissue of nonsense, intended on one hand
to legitimize military barbarism by wrapping it in the lie of ethical
diligence, and on the other hand to set up the grunts to take the fall
for the crimes of the command heirarchy.

Reality is simpler.  Instant and unquestioned obedience to all orders
is the first  -- and last -- commandment of military culture.  Every
soldier knows this and internalizes this idea as the very essence of
"keeping faith" and doing one's "duty".  Questioning the legality of
an order is disloyalty and insubordination, treachery and treason.
"When the President does it, that makes it legal."  That perversion of
the rule of law -- which might be called the Rule of Tyranny (or
perhaps The Rule of Lie) -- permeates the military to the last nook
and cranny.  How many members of the officer corps, after no WMD had
been found, went to the JAG office and asked for a legal
opinion/finding regarding their own potential culpability for war
crimes?  Let me put it another way, How many officers, presumably
highly educated individuals aware of their obligation to act lawfully,
availed themselves of the professional legal resources/council
provided for them by the military for consultation in situations where
legality might be an issue, and/or civilian legal counsel (for a more
independent opinion), regarding their possible exposure to criminal
indictment arising from their participation in the "war" on Iraq?
(Only one that I know of: Lt. Ehren Watada.)

You get my point.  And if, as you suggest, US behavior hardly reaches
the degree of barbarism we associate with full-blown Nazism, how
reassuring, how persuasive is such a defense?  They only killed a
million Iraqis, not six million jews, and they only did it kind sorta
accidentally.   Whose chest can swell at the thought that the US
military is only "Waffen-SS-lite"?

Best, Jeff Davis

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed
by his own side, but he has a
remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

                            George Orwell

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