Saturday, Mar 25th

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You are here Editorials Guest Commentary Semper Fi: "First, to Kill Someone, You Must Dehumanize Him..."

Semper Fi: "First, to Kill Someone, You Must Dehumanize Him..."

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A letter from Alex Robenson to Mike Malloy:

OK, first I thought, and I very hastily wrote: "Nice one, the Semper Fi bunch, pissing on the dead Taliban, doncha think? Idiots. Semper Fi my entire ass." And, I then continued:

And so on.

And I had already done that particular rant about war, and futility, and endless suffering and costs in blood and treasure and lost opportunities and wastes of all kinds, over and over and over.

Already been done, forever, and my mind was toast from hosting that rant, and replaying that program so often since 1965.

I started shutting down.

I hung the sign around my neck:  "Next show at 3:00."

I stepped out for lunch.


Now, I have had some little bit of time, a few hours, to let it all percolate around in my skull, making meat coffee up there.

It has not left me alone.

I keep coming back to it.

Here are my current ruminations on that whole Semper-Fi urination event:

I know, I know:  War is not civilized.

So, then:  

Why should we be surprised when those conducting such a fine enterprise as is war,
are themselves not civil, do not appear to have been tamed by civilization, to have not been civilized?

Great questions.

As always, I have no answers.

There will be more questions, in a moment, and about this same thing.  


I wondered if they joked, Ghostbusters-style, all macho and laughing, if they thought there was any hazard in "crossing streams."

Terrible, I know.

But, funny, somehow -- and, I was, just that fast, more like them.

I was sharing the guilt, as a veteran, but one who never had to mop up like these guys have been asked -- I mean, ordered -- to do.


Yes, these are frustrated guys, away from home and mom and shopping malls and McDonald's, and are all twisted up good, no doubt, by their insane jobs we continue to demand they perform, and there they are:  being macho in their camaraderie.

But, is this any different a type of behavior than any other warriors have taken upon any other dead enemies in the long span of time, the awful history of this fabulous species, us?

Perhaps the shared videos next time will feature solid waste.  Or worse.
What happens then?


How many warriors, so called, are there because of no work at home?

How many are there because they believe, incorrectly, that they are heroes, protecting the country -- when they are in fact there to grease the skids on corporate profits, on ensuring CEOs get their ninth vacation home on schedule, to make sure China knows we can still beat our chests with the best of them.... for who knows how many more reasons equally and totally worthless, and without any value whatever, without any morally redeeming reasons?

How many Marines -- or soldiers, or sailors, or airmen and airwomen -- are aware they are being used, and that they are -- PISS ON ALL OF IT! -- just giving back a little, this one time, and in public, exactly what they themselves get, and have gotten all along, and will continue to get from this country?

Any different, these reactions,  than the folks who deal in civilian death and destruction daily -- cops, firefighters, EMTs, ER personnel -- and joke around and laugh all throughout doing their jobs, just to get through it in one piece, without too much mental harm being done?

Is this little "row" just a cultural thing -- the symbolism being the main inflammatory agent here?

Is it the same sort of revulsion we feel for Asian cuisine featuring dog?

Is it more than that, or less, or substantially different?

Is it the show of utter disrespect heaped upon the dead, whom we rarely see, most of us, in society -- and, when we do, only in sanitized situations, with certain expectations on how the bodies will be treated, how they are always to be treated, without exceptions, no matter what their station in life?

Is it the ultimate hypocrisy of us all, expecting warriors to "play nice" in all situations?

Have we all seen too many John Wayne movies, or started to believe the "we're better than they are" exceptionalism we've been spouting and shoving down everyone's throats, all over the world?

Is it the ultimate hypocrisy in another way, to have any sentiments or thoughts whatsoever, about the dead meat, about the carcass that a person's spirit leaves behind at the time of death?

I ponder and ponder, and nothing much yields -- so I go back to pondering.

It's an interesting moment for consideration.

Were these urinary actions offensive?  

Hell, yes, I believe the actions of these United States Marine Corp members were offensive and dishonorable.

Damned straight.

But understandable?

Man -- that is a much, much tougher question.

And, beyond the initial, knee-jerk reflex of my own certainty, I am not entirely sure why it is, exactly, that I find it so offensive.

But I do know I find it is very educational, instructional, and insight-producing to keep after that "But, why?" question, any time, every time, and certainly this time,  when it comes up, and not duck or dodge it -- and to keep after it until something finally breaks loose and gives.

Beyond understanding, beyond knowledge, we got nothing, we humans.


Alex in Oregon

Member of the Insane, Dominant Species, here on Planet Selling, in the Enforced Monetary System Galaxy:
"Welcome!  How may we quickly and painlessly separate you from your valuables, please?"


I almost did not, but discovered I do actually have to -- that I must -- add:

Are the actions of these Marines any more or less offensive than our country's policies of war, from the so-called Defense Department, even though we've only attacked, on offense, and never defended?

Are the actions worse than the Bush-Cheney lies that led to the start of the horrors in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Are the actions worse than that of the Supreme Court, which declared on December 12, 2000, the end of democracy and voting as we knew it?

Are the actions worse than the profits sucked in by the war profiteers?

Are the actions any worse than shouting, "You lie!" to a President of the United States, from a member of Congress, while the President is addressing a joint session of Congress?

Are the actions any worse than any of the racism and bigotry directed to this President, and to his wife, all over the country, wherever they go, no matter who they are trying to help, no matter what event in which they have been invited by these same people to attend?

Are the actions any worse than the endless coverups and insults to intelligence regarding presidential assassinations, involvement in or around the horrors of Nine-Eleven, any worse than the ongoing rapes in this country of the oil giants and huge banks, the enforcers of the predatory monetary system?

Are the actions any worse than Wall Streeters swindling Americans out of their retirement savings, their homes, or rigging the game to collapse foreign nations in a blizzard of side bets heaped upon side bets?   

Are the actions worse than the corporations and the wealthy and the special interests and the glib, ass-hatted politicians and Rethuglican media stars and insane, clown-car presidential candidates that piss all over every single one of us, who are not in the Top One Percent, who piss all over the living, here and now, in this country, all over the globe, every single day of all our lives?  

We are all, man, woman and child, and the planet, soaked with their damn piss.

And now, finally, and at last, and unmistakably, we know the true meaning of "Trickle Down."

We have been pissed on, hard, and pissed on, long.  

Pissed off yet?
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