Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Toxic Imperial Mushroom Blowback

Professor Johnathan Turley has a column at his blog (4/11/2012) about Police Pepper Spraying Junior High School Students for not moving along to class fast enough to suit them.

This increasingly oppressive behavior by "authority" at all levels of American society has an immediate cause and a sordid history. The late Chalmers Johnson wrote about both of these, extensively, in his Blowback Trilogy: namely, Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. More recently, Professor David Bromwich has contributed a similar analysis in a posted Internet article entitled, "Strip Search Nation":

"[The Florence v. County of Burlington] decision makes a large example, and the most significant thus far, of the way an expansionist foreign policy based on coercion and violence has come back home to haunt Americans. We have a right-wing practice of foreign policy that is reliably backed by the party of wars and prisons, and a left-wing theory of universal treatment that is backed by the party of speech codes and cultural sensitivity. Conquer them in order to improve them, says the first party. Be sure to treat everyone the same, replies the second -- for surely we are no better than the countries we occupy. The safety we assure abroad by arms we must likewise enforce on ourselves at home."

In my own youth, America's War on Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos) blew back upon America with a vengeance, alienating the people from their government and leading government at all levels to respond with a petty and vindictive viciousness that bordered on barbarity. We certainly see ominous signs of that blowback from illicit and botched imperialism occurring again, at all levels of bureaucratic officialdom. How we have treated others abroad now sets the low-bar standard for how our own government treats us at home. As I put it several years ago in the concluding stanza of "Boobie Counter Insurgency," an episode of Fernando Po, U.S.A., America's post-literate retreat to Plato's Cave:

The blowback, though, comes round in time;
No one has yet escaped.
Vietnamized; Iraqified;
Corrupted by the raped,
The “victors” thus are vanquished by
The monkeys that they aped.

America's illicit and aggressive "wars" (on Whatever or Whomever) have to end. The bloated, ruinously expensive, and self-defeating Standing Military needs a radical demobilization. We must abolish Government secrecy, because it only facilitates crime and corruption that thrive, like toxic mushrooms, under the cover of darkness. After all, if our government has done nothing wrong, it need not fear us knowing all about its activities. And if it has done something wrong, then we need to know all about it so that we can summarily dismiss from office those responsible for the malfeasance.

Way past time to make Peace and Transparency the lynchpins of policy.


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