I have made it clear to our forces that... inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission.”The absurdity of the current US government propaganda push for the "good war" in Afghanistan would be funny if it were in a movie. We'd laugh at the stupid, overly macho, "hero" General who believes that bombing a country into oblivion is a way to "win" hearts and minds (even as he knows deep down that the real goal of winning the hearts and minds is getting to the natural resources). If only we lived inside the movie "Avatar"- with McCrystal as the robo-jerk marine. But this isn't a movie. It's the real world and "accidentally" killing civilians may be unintentional, but it is also unavoidable. Soldiers are trained to kill without thinking much about it. That's what they do. War is about killing- not building wells or schools. The hearts and minds of the people will be more moved by the dead children in their arms than any propaganda campaign staged by McChrystal and the Obama administration. Of course the real hearts and minds are those of the American voters. At least for now. Until we can officially hand all our votes to the newly empowered corporation-citizens in the next elections. But still operating under the old rules that they need voters to get elected, the Obama propaganda machine has been in full swing on the war in Afghanistan (and judging from the corporate media's glowing descriptions of heroic soldiers in the Helmand province, the propaganda is quite successful). The Obama-ites have also been rebranding the war in Iraq- again, not for the hearts and minds of Iraqis, but for the American voters. Operation Iraqi Freedom has now been changed to Operation New Dawn, even though Iraq is as big a quagmire as Afghanistan and, of course, Vietnam. The supposed 2011 withdrawal date is based on how stable things are in Iraq and right now, things are far from stable with a series of bombings and civilian deaths in the lead up to the next elections. But none of this is the point- the point is what we American voters "think" and "feel." Hearts and Minds. The question is how long the American people will put up with a military budget of unprecedented proportions in the face of an economic crisis far deeper and far more lasting than anyone in the administration wants to admit. How long will we put up with an even greater concentration of wealth in the top 1% of Americans? Just in case you haven't noticed because you were too bombarded with heroic US soldiers in Afghanistan, there was an even greater transfer of wealth to the top 1% of Americans in 2009. According to a recent study:
From 1980 to 2006 the richest 1% of America tripled their after-tax percentage of our nation's total income, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop over 20%... Between 2002 and 2006, it was even worse: an astounding three-quarters of all the economy's growth was captured by the top 1%." Due to this, the United States already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the average worker much harder than CEOs, the gap between the top one percent and the remaining 99% of the US population has grown to a record high. The economic top one percent of the population now owns over 70% of all financial assets, an all time record.Sometimes- because of the corporate controlled media, because of the fact that Americans work more hours than any people in the world, because of the sophisticated propaganda campaigns for our hearts and minds- it's difficult to see the connection between the transfer of wealth to the top and the wars. But it's there. Who is getting rich off these wars? Who owns Haliburton and GE and General Dynamics? Who is fighting these wars because there are no jobs and there's no access to university education without high levels of debt? Sometimes it's difficult to keep our eye on the money with so much to distract us. But that's the point. They're trying to win our hearts and minds so they can extract wealth and labor and lives from ordinary Americans. Bombing civilians in Afghanistan is a glitch in the perfectly planned propaganda of greed that this administration now represents. And sometimes, when there's a glitch in the machine, we can actually see the absurdity-- and tragedy-- of what's going on.