God, Deliver Us From
The Banality Of Evil
By Jason Miller
18 April, 2007
I do not hesitate one
second to state clearly and unmistakably: I belong to the American resistance
movement which fights against American imperialism, just as the resistance
movement fought against Hitler.
Virtually every day our mendacious
corporate media publicizes the farcical “debate” between
officials of the Bush Regime and Congress. While numerous polls have
indicated that over 2/3 of US Americans want an end to the war in Iraq,
and voters positioned the Democrats to exercise the will of the people,
the war rages on.
Between the Gulf War, the subsequent US-driven draconian UN economic
sanctions, and the seemingly endless US invasion and occupation of Iraq,
well over a million Iraqis are dead. Infrastructure essential to vital
human needs, including transportation, health, utilities, water, and
sanitation has been decimated. Depleted uranium will continue to visit
misery and death upon the Iraqi population long after the imperial invaders
have been sent packing, as we were in Vietnam.
Machiavellian plutocrats, whose moral development has not progressed
beyond that of an earthworm, scheme incessantly to convince the American
public that we can “win” or “succeed” in Iraq.
How much murder and mayhem must we inflict before we achieve the “victory”
the cynical bourgeoisie covets?
Yet despite the overwhelming concentration of wealth and power in the
hands of a relative few individuals and corporate entities, each of
us in the United States is complicit in the crimes of our nation to
some degree. Obviously, some bear much more responsibility than others,
but we have each had a hand in the obliteration of the Iraqi nation.
While a majority of US Americans now vehemently oppose the Bush administration
and its abominable war, too many of us still believe that both are anomalies
which will be “corrected” once we “elect” a
new cast of characters to take the political reins in 2008. Sadly, little
could be further from the truth. As with most putrescence, ours runs
deep beneath the surface.
Fed a steady diet of carefully crafted agitprop from cradle to grave,
many of us zealously pursue the American Dream of suburban utopias bordered
by white picket fences. Utterly oblivious and indifferent to the staggering
cost we impose upon the rest of the world, we ignore the stack of bloodied
corpses on which we climb as we reach for the sacred brass ring. Ready-made
delusions eagerly provided by our corporate masters assure us that we
are entitled to all that we desire, convince us that we are morally
superior to those we bleed dry to gratify ourselves, and shield us from
the grim reality that we are the “monsters on Maple Street.”
Beneath the gilded façade of truth, justice, and the American
Way lurks a corrosive and rapacious socioeconomic system which is inimical
to democracy, a relative handful of opulent overlords ruling a “constitutional
republic”, and hundreds of millions of poor and working class
individuals who are all too willing to participate in crimes against
humanity in exchange for “the good life”, which as Hurricane
Katrina so clearly demonstrated, is not nearly as “good”
as we have been programmed to believe.
Since it is unlikely that conscience will impel us to muster the collective
will necessary to dismantle this abhorrence, let’s pray that resistance
movements in Iraq and other nations that we oppress and occupy serve
us a healthy portion of humility by sending us home with our tails between
In the event readers need a summary of the case for divine intervention
on behalf of humanity against the detestable monstrosity we have become,
here it is:
1. We are a gluttonous herd of swine devouring resources at a rate well
beyond the Earth’s capacity to renew them. Metaphorically speaking,
we are one of twenty people populating the globe. Yet we greedily gobble
a quarter of the pie, leaving our nineteen neighbors to divvy up the
2. Our socioeconomic system,
in which our de facto aristocracy, myriad “think tanks”,
textbook authors, and mainstream media whores have inculcated us to
place an unwavering faith of cult-like proportions, is only several
generations removed from feudalism, mercantilism, chattel slavery, and
the early industrial capitalism which fostered the abject human misery
about which Dickens wrote. Concentration of wealth into the hands of
a few, exploitation of the working class and the poor, various forms
of servitude, profits and property over people, unbridled consumption
of resources, and an insatiable need for growth and expansion are inherent
malignant aspects of our much vaunted “American Capitalism”.
Encouraging and rewarding greed, narcissism, hyper-competitiveness,
selfishness, and ruthlessness, the “best system there is”
has propelled shamelessly decadent pigs to obscene opulence while leaving
over half of the world’s population to wallow in extreme poverty.
3. Rather than dismantling
the military leviathan we created to facilitate our involvement in World
War II, we chose to embrace a perpetual Military Keynesianism under
which a mere 5% of the world’s population spends more on war than
the rest of the world combined. We have no problem “tainting”
our capitalism with a little socialism as long as it enables the continued
existence of the parasitic “defense” industry, allows us
to maintain over 700 military bases in at least 130 different countries,
and empowers us to wage the covert and overt imperialist wars necessary
to advance the interests of capital.
4. We have a long history
of spouting off about our devotion to “freedom and democracy,”
decrying (and sometimes lynching) authoritarian rulers who refuse to
surrender their nation’s sovereignty to our empire, and installing
and supporting brutal tyrants who serve the needs of our beloved plutocrats.
Iran, bad. Saudi Arabia, good. Venezuela, evil. Colombia, righteous.
You get the picture.
5. In the course of our "infinitely
benevolent" quest to democratize and free the world, we have left
a bloody wake of annihilated human beings euphemistically labeled as
“collateral damage.” Millions of Native Americans “sacrificed
their lives” so that we could found and expand the United States.
At least 600,000 Filipinos were felled as we toiled under the crushing
responsibility of our “white man’s burden.” A half
million Japanese died so we could display our power to Russia, a significant
threat to capitalism’s hegemony. Factor in the 135,000 at Dresden,
over two million Koreans, three million Vietnamese, the aforementioned
million plus in Iraq, and millions more (counting those murdered via
covert operations, smaller military interventions, and by proxies like
the Shah, Pinochet, and Israel…not to mention the blacks who died
as a result of the slave trade and Jim Crow lynchings), and the malevolence
of the Third Reich pales in comparison to the criminal enterprise known
as the United States of America.
6. Aside from having developed
and deployed nuclear weapons (in spite of the rest of the world being
years away from attaining them and Japan’s loss of will to continue
the war), we possess and continue to develop the largest nuclear arsenal
on the planet. Friendly regional hegemons, like India and Israel, receive
our blessing and assistance in nurturing their nuclear capabilities,
sans signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Meanwhile, we relentlessly
beat the drums of war against Iran for exercising their right (as a
signatory of the NNPT) to develop a program to produce nuclear energy.
How much longer can the chicken-hawks in DC refrain from unleashing
atomic hell, again? How much blatant hypocrisy can the world endure?
7. Given our love affair,
no scratch that, our obsession, with shopping, acquiring, owning, and
consuming, we keep the Once-ler’s fat, happy, and running at full
throttle. As the Truffula trees, Humming-fish, Bar-ba-loots, and Swomee-
Swans disappear at an alarming rate, we’re too busy “lovin’
it” at McDonald’s and cashing in on Wal-Mart’s “always
low prices” to notice or care. Global temperatures rise, ice shelves
plunge into the sea, glaciers recede at alarming rates, violent storms
rage, species become extinct, and bees disappear en masse as we intrepidly
continue filling our two lives per gallon Hummers with inane consumer
goods that we don’t need. “Keeping the economy strong”
is indeed a noble calling.
8. As crafty as we are, we
are not solely reliant upon military means to impose our cultural imperialism.
As Milton Friedman and “the Chicago Boys” demonstrated with
their experiment in Chile, neoliberalism is a powerful economic tool
with which we can integrate weaker nations into our empire. Astoundingly,
nation after developing nation accepted our Trojan horse of “generous”
loan packages which in turn forced them to crush organized labor, privatize,
deregulate, and cut or eliminate humanitarian expenditures. For many
years, Fidel Castro was one of the few hold-outs in the face of our
economic tyranny. With the recent emergence of leaders like Hugo Chavez
and Evo Morales, hope looms on the horizon. Yet predictably, we continue
to rain misery upon the people of Cuba and are desperately attempting
to sell the world on the idea of pouring our food supply into our gas
tanks so we can eliminate our dependence on Chavez’s oil and give
him the “Fidel treatment.”
To spare ourselves the guilt
of our undeniable abetment in crimes against the Earth and nearly all
its sentient inhabitants, we desperately cling to the Disneyesque illusion
that the United States is a benevolent “policeman to the world”
that preserves and advances noble ideals like human rights and freedom.
Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but the analyses of Hannah Arendt and Ward
Churchill define our reality much more accurately. No matter how closely
an individual US American might adhere to humane principles, we are
all “Little Eichmanns.” We can minimize our roles, but there
is no escaping participation in our nation’s virtuoso performance
of “The Banality of Evil.”
God bless America?
How about God bless humanity by cursing the American Empire?
We desperately need the heavy doses of reality, constraint, and humility
that the loss of our military and economic supremacy would bring….
Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire
who has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. His essays have
been widely published, he is Cyrano's Journal Online's associate editor,
and he volunteers at homeless shelters. He welcomes constructive correspondence
or via his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/
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