Living through five or six major wars has hardened me to what I thought were the extremes of inhuman cruelty and brutality.
Two things made those extremes almost bearable: the brutality always revealed - at least according to the media coverage - the viciousness of the enemy. It was therefore quite understandable when our "brave men and women" pulverized the enemy.
Films of Japanese torturing captive Americans somehow justified holding over 7000 Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II; and only a small percentage of Americans found the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki unreasonably vengeful at best, at worst, depraved .
The North Koreans were portrayed in the media as barbaric beasts with their captives, quite unlike their southern counterpoints - our allies during the Korean War. No one ever felt the need to explain how the South Koreans were a civilized breed while the North Koreans were absolute savages, at least according to the official line.
In Vietnam, our warriors justifiably (or so the media made us believe) dropped napalm on the North Vietnamese who had the gall to hide in villages and tunnels to ravage our invaders. At least it was accepted practice until some rogue photojournalist filmed a young girl screaming down a Vietnamese road in flames.
One of our lieutenants also got caught commanding his troops to open fire on an entire village of civilians - women and children. We had obviously - to some - gone too far. If those few torturous incidents hadn't been filmed, we might have carried on and won the war in Vietnam (or so the thinking goes) with our napalm and wanton village massacres.
Then, when the Iraqi troops ran (literally) fleeing Kuwait in 1991, our airmen annihilated them on the road north, bombing their retreat to melted glass (as one Lockheed acquaintance put it). That feast for hungry slaughterers received little attention. The bombers and strafers felt no guilt after Saddam's troops had blown up Kuwait's oil wells.
Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.
The nagging memory of unrevenged defeat somehow allowed members of the clergy to ignore the devastating inhuman cost to children in Iraq during 10 years of sanctions. Only a few humanitarians among academics spoke out. Congress completely ignored it. The public didn't care. Why should they? Our leaders spoke of everything but the brutality of our enforcers.
We have now reached a stage where our extreme horrors of brutality and cruelty have exceeded our past records. We no longer have the rationale of moral righteousness of the earlier wars.
There were no excuses for Abu-Ghraib, but our interest in that inhuman travesty dried up and blew away. We have little concern about our violations of human rights in Guantanamo. We care less about ill-treatment of Arabs and Arab Americans in the USA.
But the most extremes - the real horrors - of this war come with the most primitive killer mentality developed in our youth. I've now seen a half dozen documentary films and read eyewitness accounts that reveal troops or pilots gloating over the massacres of civilians who just happened to be available targets.
Dr June Scorza Terpstra, a "Social Justice" teacher, writes of our "killers" she's had in her classrooms: "These students proudly proclaimed that they terrorized and killed defenceless Iraqis. They intimated that their Arab victims are nothing more to them than collateral damage."
US Marines who had done tours in Iraq told Dr Terpstra that they had "sacrificed" by "serving" in Iraq so that she could enjoy the freedom to teach in the USA.
Dr Terpstra rebuffed the rationalization, saying that the "sacrifice" had nothing to do with any self-justifying line about making the world a safer place to live in. "They sacrificed their lives, limbs and sanity for money, some education and the thrills of the violence for which they are socially bred."
No conscience or empathy for others - these are the qualities of the brutal bully. They also happen to be the defining qualities of the sociopath.
The sickness goes back further than the current war, according to Dr Terpstra: "Sacrificing for the 'bling and booty' in Iraq or Afghanistan, The Philippines, Grenada, Central America, Mexico, Somalia, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan or any of the other numerous wars and invasions spanning US history as an entity and beginning with their foundational practice of killing the Indians and stealing their land."
Dr Terpstra concluded her reference to students who enjoyed the thrills of pillaging, rape and murder by adding, appropriately: "These military and mercenary terrorist-students are trained in terrorist training camps all under the USA, funded by American taxpayers."
Without doubt, the US has not only become the world's major power, it has become the world's sickest, most inhumane terrorist state. Brutal bullies.
It's the brutal bullying behaviour that brings the USA so close to Israel. Answering the question "what makes a bully?" led Dr Sam Samenow to explain: "Children who systematically bully others usually have a group of children they bully regularly while other bullies randomly target a variety of students."
A perfect fit for Israel's systematic bullying of the Palestinians and for the USA randomly targeting a variety of victims. The variety of America's victims doesn't include Israel. Why not? Israel destroyed an American naval vessel, killing US servicemen. The attack by North Vietnamese on a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin was enough provocation for war. Why didn't the US bully pick on the Israel bully?
Israel had the chutzpah to develop at least 200 nuclear weapons. The American bully hasn't castigated the Middle Eastern bully for that or for Israel's failure to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Yet the brutal American takes pride in bullying Iran for wanting to develop nuclear power as a source of energy, despite Iran's membership as a nuclear non-proliferation state.
We've seen what the victims of bullying can and will do. They resist in whatever way they can. They learn to make bombs and they become suicide bombers when they can't stand the bullies any longer.
Like the advice given to schools for the treatment of bullies, the rest of the world needs to adopt a zero tolerance policy for bullying. The countries of Asia and Africa and Europe and South America need to say STOP and mean it.
Italy, it seems, has the right idea. They've arrested and charged 26 Americans for kidnapping an Italian Muslim cleric and taking him to Egypt on a rendition programme during which he was tortured. Let's hope that the Italians stick by their anti-bullying guns, and that others follow suit.
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