It is amazing what you find in the newspapers. In Johannesburg was the story – if you can believe it – of a man who threatened three men with a pistol and forced them to rape and mutilate his wife. Then, he shot and killed his son.
He then fled into the bush…only to reappear when he ran out of food and water a few days later.
In Sydney, Australia, the “Elvis Express” left the station last week, without a single unsold seat. The train takes Elvis fans to the 5-day Parkes Elvis Festival, held once a year for the last 6 years.
And all over the world, the press is howling for the heads of the marines seen urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban soldiers on YouTube. Everyone is appalled. Defence industry chief Leon Panetta says he disapproves. And Al Qaida is said to be using the video already and getting a terrific response to its recruiting efforts.
Here at Markets and Money we rise to defend the downtrodden, the diehards…and those too dumb to speak for themselves. Of course, the marines did something disgusting. They should be court-martialed. And put before a firing squad…along with their commanders…right up the chain of command to the commander-in-chief. They all sabotaged America’s war effort.
But we have mixed feelings about the marines. They were sent to fight a savage war. Is it any surprise they act like savages?
A friend of a friend…a doctor in the Army Reserves, just returned from Afghanistan, offers this perspective:
“It was such a waste. It was so expensive, keeping us all there. Most of the time, we did nothing. Then, we would go on patrol. The Afghanis would try to kill us; we’d try to kill them. And they were just drug dealers and goatherds; what was the point?
“I’d get two kinds of patients…those who had just stepped on a landmine and lost a leg…and those who had injured themselves playing football in our camp. Both were a waste…”
Part of the reason the press is so disgusted by the marines is that they show America’s war in Afghanistan is a fraud. Far from cuddly nation-building, the marines act like soldiers always act when they are put to such nasty tasks. They are not fighting a heroes’ war. They are not defending the country. Instead, they are fighting a mean, dirty war – like the French in Algeria…or like the Russians in Afghanistan before them.
It is not an honourable war, in our opinion. It is not a decent war; not a war good men should be sent to fight. It is a zombie war. It is the sort of war America’s two most celebrated generals – Washington and Eisenhower – warned against. Its only purpose is to enhance the power, wealth, and status of the military industry. In his farewell address, General Washington warned against getting entangled in foreign military adventures. General Eisenhower made the same point: beware the “military industrial complex,” he said.
And yet, here we are. Entangled…for the benefit of the military industrial complex.
The marines were pissing on the wrong people.
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