Flimsy Sanity: Fascism and America

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fascism and America

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross."---Sinclair Lewis, author of It Can’t Happen Here, 1935

Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America by Stan Goff . Goff is a retired veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces. This is rather a long article in Truthdig. Here is just one interesting snippet:

Another unique feature of the Bush administration’s militarization program has been the private contracting of military and paramilitary operations to an alphabet soup of corporations, some led by ruling-caste veterans like Bill Perry and many led by the sketchiest characters crawling out of the rank and file of the military itself. In Iraq, mercenaries are now the third-largest armed contingent on the ground, behind only the American armed forces and the Kurdish peshmerga. There are roughly 25,000 of these "contractors" working in Iraq ... and they are almost completely immune from any law.
Last year, after a homemade video "escaped" showing so-called security contractors in an SUV driving down an Iraqi highway with Elvis music blasting as they shot cars off the road for sport, the blogs began distributing it. In December, the Washington Post finally ran a story on it. Only then did the military even comment on the video, which they said they would investigate. Nothing has come of this alleged investigation. What did surface, however, once the media decided it was worth a closer look, is that this kind of colonial impunity is routinely exercised by contractors, who are little more than extremely well paid thugs, and is not covered by either Iraqi law or the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Because the salaries of these contractors are routinely above $100,000 a year, with all expenses paid on site, the military itself, especially Special Operations, has had to steeply increase reenlistment bonuses ( some as high as $150,000 in a single lump sum), to partially stem the exodus of Special Ops troops into the lucrative world of corporate mercenaries.
This is a world unto itself, a culture obsessed with death, firearms and racial-purity doctrines. One need only page through the periodicals of this subculture, the most widely circulated being Soldier of Fortune magazine, to find these preoccupations between the articles and ads like a toxic salad. The glue holding them together is gun culture. Gun culture is not an obscure fringe, but a very mainstream, widely popular subculture that taps directly into another key component of fascism: martial masculinity.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:41 AM, Anonymous RJ Adams said…

    "Martial masculinity" - oh, how that phrase covers a multitude of sins. The mercenaries of Iraq are a key component in the wargames being played by this administration and its dubious allies. It's rare to hear them mentioned in the media, though their counterparts - the Sunni and Shia militias - grab center stage. But then, they're the enemy, the bad guys, the evil ones. Goff's essay is thought-provoking, though he himself displays a modicum of the "martial masculinity syndrome" by his attitude to gun ownership - a sad reflection on American social history and one that may well, as he suggests, come back to haunt our grandchildren.

     
  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said…

    There was a time when the greatness of a man was measured by how many people were under his care. How many did he house, feed and provide employment and oversee their well-being. These men with their guns have not even a hint of greatness.

     

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