Rogue Apple Defense
By Stan Goff
The Guardian Unlimited ran a story today about
the Haditha massacre. It called the Marines who slaughtered two
dozen civilians “rogues.” The bad apple defense is back.
We need a new legal precedent that disallows this defense; but
then again we need to put the whole war and the system that
spawned it in the dock.
We take a bunch of boys and raise them to believe that their
sexuality is associated with the ability to menace in order to
get respect. We sit them in front of television and films to see
how killing resolves problems and guns attract adoring
erotically objectified women. We send them to school to learn
American Origin Myths about the glory of genocide. We encourage
Boy Scouts where they can learn military discipline. We
segregate them into a youth culture where gender policing kills
their empathy. And when they haven’t been specially prepared by
Daddy’s net worth for law school or medicine or management where
they can sublimate all that aggression, we give them the option
to work at Mickey-D’s or join the fucking Marine Corps — where,
by the way, they will learn to fight dragons (you saw that ad,
didn’t you) and wear spiffy uniforms. Then we get them in Basic
Training or Boot Camp, where during bayonet training they learn
to holler “Kill, kill, kill!” Or “Blood, blood, blood makes the
grass grow!” Instead of merti badges like they got if there were
Scouts, they can earn new badges. Then we prepare them to fight
a war for lies; and prepare them with intelligence briefings and
cultural indoctrination that are racist drivel, delivered often
as not by a Staff Sergeant with a pickled brain who watches
“Cops” in his off time. When they get to the war, there really
are people who are trying to shoot them (they have just set foot
on these other people’s land with guns, fercrissake… what would
WE do?). So they arrive with aggression trained for a lifetime,
surrounded by masculnity police (their peers) to ensure when the
time comes they show no mercy, then add fear and shake well.
Their job is to beat down this population. They know it. The
population knows it. it is apparent they are enemies, and since
all of these people are hostile to the Marines, and the Marines
have alreay learned to typify them with the term hajji
(something one step down from a Homo sapien), and presto bingo
alakazam! Race war. Then one of the ungrateful Arabs detonates a
roadside bomb, killing one of these people who have been given
the mission to beat down the same Arabs. He, of course, is long
gone. That’s how a mechanical ambush works. Duh.
These Marines have already been — collectively — slaughtering
civilians at an alarming rate, often in ones and twos, but in
Fallujah they did so by the bushels, often as they lay abed or
cowered in corners trying to hide.
So someone will have to explain to me why, after this mechanical
ambush killed one Marine, there was something out of the
ordinary enough to be categorized as “rogue” when these
de-empathized, militaristic boys from an imperial society,
freshly trained to holler “Kill, kill, kill!” leapt out and shot
down 24 “hajjis,” male and female, all ages.
I’ll tell you what the rogue aspect of this was. Someone got the
pictures. Just like Abu Ghraib. Anyone who thinks this was a
single instance of the intentional killing of civilians, I have
beachfront property to sell you in Odessa, Texas.
The one Marine who was killed will now be among the congealed
and faceless mass of idealized war dead to be celebrated for
their willingness to kill and die for the empire this weekend.
There will be no day for the dead of Katrina. There is no day
for those lost on The Middle Passage. There is no day for
Wounded Knee or the Trail of Tears. There is no day for the 9-11
of women killed each year by men in the US, mostly those who
claim to love them. And there will be no day to celebrate or
remember the lives of those lost at My Lai or Haditha.
This day that in yet another way confers such immense and often
unearned public esteem on those who bear arms for the state is
part of the reason that those boys were raised the way they
were, and led inexorably to them behaving the way they did. And
they were not rogues. They were us.
Copyright Stan Goff - Visit his website -
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