The Human Race is Deformed by Militarism

The Human Race is Deformed by Militarism

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   Please note that all over the USofA Inc, there will be vigils on the day following the Death of Soldier #2000. We are at Soldier #1951 tonight.

    I wrote Grave of the Known Soldier .. Save Juan Smith #1999 when there were 146 kids left before #1999 for us to wake up, for us to stand up. Stand up. Now we’re down to 48. We still could save Juan Smith #1999.

   Every time I read this #1999 piece, it seems distilledly stupider for grown-up conscious beings with consciences to be pretending to solve problems by mutilating other people’s children at the cost of $200,000 per minute in Iraq, $820,000 more dollars per minute for militarism in general. (The idea that we need more next-generation destroyers or more trident submarines or more D-5 missiles or any Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrators or any of that fantasy Missile Nonsense aka Star Wars program while we in our small city and you in your town are increasing class size or closing schools entirely is pornographic past any bared bosoms or rumps. This pork & paranoia of bloated papally infallible military grand theft must be arrested if we are ever to thrive in the next age.)

     I have Grave of the Known Soldier .. Save Juan Smith #1999 for you below, but if your heart can stand it, also please read Hector & the Abolition of War which is as compelling a pro-peace piece as I ever get to write. If you have any wavering doubts about whether it is ever ok to deliberately kill anyone, those doubts end with this story.

    The anniversary of my beginning to go out alone with my  teach peace sign just around and about downtown is 10.09.2005. It will be three years exactly. Today is 1095 days in a row with my now beat-up sign. I went out this Friday evening to stand on a main corner at commute time, waving at the cars streaming by. People wave back or ignore me or honk or flash the peace sign. Only one ‘F**k Peace,’ whatever that could mean?

   Anniversaries make us gather and condense our considerations around some hub. A birthday. A marriage. How many years we worked some place. How many days in a row you've carried a peace sign. 2000 kids killed in Iraq. (Who counts the Iraqi dead? About 30 World Trade Centers worth. They aren't American, so so what?) William Blake of ‘Tyger Tyger burning bright in the forest of the night’ and of ‘the Universe in a Grain of Sand’ flays us to the anniversary attention in every hour. It is so solemn and splendid and giddy to be alive as long as we can stay awake and not sleep walk through our days – or nights, sooth be said.

    Blake exhorts us to know that ‘A skylark wounded in the wing, A Cherubim does cease to sing.’ And we hurl shock and awe by the explosive tons at the collateral children of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Iraq? In Auguries of Innocence, Blake also says ‘Nought can deform the human race Like to the armor's iron brace. When gold and gems adorn the plow To peaceful arts shall Envy bow.’

    We are deformed by this war. It is too late in history to be mutilating children to haruumph that we are strong. If it weren’t so dangerous and stupid, we could howl derisively at the absurdity. No, George, no, we are making more terrorists and proving to them how very effective their suicide cheap-car driver is compared to our suicide expensive-tank driver. Ours noble, theirs craven? No, both insane. But conned and brainwashed by adults who never send their own children or, gods forfend, find the cause noble enough to go themselves.

    We got past one kind of human sacrifice in history. However, we still sing a war anthem and drink the putative blood of our deity. But we did get past separate water fountains for Colored and White (in my benighted town when I was a child). My mother was born in the year when women were considered human enough to vote. Big changes do happen. War is a dinosaur. We do dump militarism on the slag heap of history – how soon depends on you. When do you stand up? Kick Inertia in the shin. Apathy is only amusing and then vaguely in petulant 13 year-olds.

    ‘What difference can *I* make’ you waveringly wonder? Well, if the sonsa bitches woke up one morning and every single one of us who is adamantly pro-peace was standing out in front of her or his house or apartment house or trailer with a peace sign, do you doubt their gonads would jellify? There is a tipping point. The sooner you add to the body count for the helicopter photo, the sooner it ends. It is up to you.  

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The Grave of the Known Soldier .. Save Juan Smith #1999

 

What do we know about Sgt. Juan Smith who is doomed to die on Tuesday November 22, 2005? 

 

Why does it bother me particularly that he is a huge fan of the fey  movie Spinal Tap, a celebration if there ever was one of harmlessness? Perhaps because it is unexpected that a 26 year-old has such quirky taste. I like that in him.

 

Well, he'll be 26 when he is shot in the head. The left side of his head. His brains will splatter onto soldier Raymond Callahan, his second best friend, a 22-year-old from Alabama whose mother, Joyce Callahan, voted for George Bush in 2000, but will never vote Republican again. Mrs. Smith, Juan's mother, dwells in a twilight of sadness.

 

Juan Smith's birthday is on November 8, so he is 25 now as we watch in August, waiting for him to die. Just turned 26 when he dies. He is a Scorpio with Pisces rising. Brave, dreamy, very very smart about the conscious world of day and of tanks, RPGs and rubble, and of the unconscious world, which runs the whole shebang in Iraqi, but which is never spoken of. 

 

Juan Smith does not have to die. He does not have to be #1999. We could stop it at once. Someone will be the last man's name on a stark white cross. The last man on The List. Maybe it could stop at # 1888? Mr. Bush could see that piling up more dead in flag-draped coffins we are not allowed to view will not make the war end better. It is going to end badly. We know that. Nothing will keep the insurgents from blowing up American soldiers for the next 300 years. Cheap explosives. Countless idealistic young men, sold, like ours, a bill of goods.

 

There will be some morning when The Lizard Leaders lie no more. Because nobody's buying their snake oil — well, lizard oil, I guess.

 

Damnit, Juan, I don't know what to do to save you. I do not know what to do. We talk now a little. I'm psychic. I've seen his death. He's seen me seeing it. He's imploring me to turn back time before it is reached so he can go home, marry the very pretty — not beautiful, but very pretty, Felicia, buy the blue pick-up truck his cousin could sell him in the first week of December if he could only live that long. Their first child would be named Joseph.

 

Is it Baquba? Taji? Al Asad? Abd Allah? I cannot read the address of the bullet yet. He has written the name of Felicia inside his helmet with a Sharpie. Felicia es mi ángel. He drew a heart above and one below.

 

Felicia keeps his tooled cowboy boots by her bed, waiting for his return. Which does not happen because we did not pour into the streets soon enough. We lamented, but did not act. As if our being embarrassed or discomfited was more unbearable than the death of #1999.

08.16.05/ 98 days/ 141,120 minutes until the Death of Juan Smith #1999

09.18.05/ 64 days/ 92,160 minutes until the Death of Juan Smith #1999

09.24.05/59 days/84,960 minutes until the Death of Juan Smith #1999

10.08.05/45 days/64,800 minutes until the Death of juan Smith #1999

 ∞∙∞∙∙∞∙∞∙∞∙∙∞∙∞∙∞∙∙∞∙∞∙∞∙∙∞∙

Today, 08.15.05,  we're at 1852 American soldiers dead. To me this isn't only about Ken or Casey or Roberto or Rachel  it's about Juan Smith #1999is there ANY way we can save that kid?¹ Today September 18, we’re at 1900 American soldiers dead. Today October 08, we’re at 1951 dead.  

 

Is there ANY way we can save Juan Smith #1999 using the energy and the smarts of people like you and Cindy and me and any darnbody at all?

 

“How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Iraq for a mistake?”²

 

I actually asked myself when I woke up this very morning, “Would I sleep with Karl Rove if it would stop the war today?” I have to tell you it was a sobering question which I could not answer at once. You cannot possibly imagine how much I despise slitherer Karl Rove and how much stealthy evil he has done malice aforethought. But now after a few hours of thought, clearly yes, to stop the senseless death of another kid, I'd even do that.)

 

As I write this mid-August, 1852 American soldiers (sons daughters fathers mothers individual unrepeatable lives) have died in the quagQuicksands of Iraq. [Now on September 18, we have 1900 dead. Only 99 dead to wake up. Now on October 08, we have 1951 dead. Only 48 dead to wake up.]

 

Can we possibly pull our ingenuities and resources together and save Juan Smith destined to be #1999?

 

That would give us 146 dead to wake up, write our Congress people, write Letters to the Editors. Save Juan Smith #1999. Or does the count drone on and we sit baffled, eloquently lamenting?

 

Save Juan Smith #1999.

 

pogblog

 

ps. Please send this Save #1999 link to your friends.

http://pogblog.myblogsite.com/blog/_archives/2005/8/15/1140249.html

 

All the contact info for House & Senate is at afterdowningstreet. Get on their emailing list for Actions. It is beautifully and heartfeltedly organized. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/

 

² adapted from John Kerry’s 1971 speech before Congress; 

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12 Water . Muluc . The River . East  tzol 130  10.08.05 sat   

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the pro-peace world begins today with you

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pro-peace, not anti-war

 

   It's the eve of the Big September 24 Peace March in Frisco. (I know they're supposed to hate being called Frisco, but that's just obdurate — Frisco is so cool, & after  32 years of living 40 miles south of that misty and mysterious city, I'm bloody gonna call it Frisco.)

   A few days ago I thought, Well, we should dub ourselves pro-peace rather than anti-war. This better obeys the powerful but slightly tweaky notion of what in hypnosis is called an embedded command. Stick with this because it is important in all your life. Once you see through the psycho-lingual trick, you'll grok it forever.

   If I say “Don't fall off the ladder!” — it's called an embedded command TO fall off the ladder. Because in order to comprehend the words themselves, you have to (unconsciously) imagine yourself falling off the ladder. The really helpful exhortation is “Hang onto the ladder!” or some such version which requires your brain to process actually hanging onto the ladder.

     The other subtlety of this is that you cannot do a negative. You cannot stop smoking. You do something else instead. You start breathing freely. You observe the sunset after dinner instead of smoking, or whatever. 

   (Larry King always goes to a break saying, “Don't go away.” I always shout at the screen, “Embedded command!” Charlie Rose & others say, “Stay with us.”)

   IF we say 'anti-war' instead of 'pro-peace' in this micro-embedded command, we are requiring people to imagine the war. IF we say pro-peace, they have to imagine something about peace to even comprehend the words.

..

   I have put Compulsory Cannibalism here because it's such a darn good piece of cherry pie idea. And I put the Grave of Known Soldier #1999 here too because this afternoon at the weekly major intersection mini-peace demo, one of our folks had taped 1913 on the street light pole. And I had written #1999 when we still had 145 dead kids to go. Now we only have 86 kids to collateralize. 86 families to shatter. Of course who cares about the Iraqi dead and their ruined mothers — they aren't Americans.   We could still save #1999 — who should haunt us all.   

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Compulsory Cannibalism

 

   “Compulsory cannibalism: if you had to eat everyone you killed, war would end damn fast,” said Abbie Hoffman.

 

Another sign at the 03.15.03 SF Rally: Mirth on Earth. Power to the Peaceful is a perennial favorite of mine. This sublime guy with an huge pink wig had a beautifully lettered sign saying, If you don’t choose peace over war, aliens will land in my wig. A sign like that makes humanssooftenunkind worth saving after all. Jonathan Schell talks about the ‘unredeemably stupid fatality’ that leads to war. On 11.29.02, I was talking to a guy about how ‘Mr. Bush & Mr. Hussein won’t get any dust on their shoes.’ He said that if like George Washington they were required to be out there themselves, then he would listen to them. I said, “Why aren’t we called pro-peace?”

 

I wrote then a little piece called Dead is Dead. On 9.13.02. Before I had made my teach peace sign on 10.09.02.

    Reading in the New Yorker about the World Trade Center, our rage & disbelief: The ‘How could this act of brutal madness,’ the ‘Who could do, could conceive such a thing? seem obvious and emotionally rational. ‘The enormity of the act.’ The dazed, bereft people holding cheerful snapshots of the lost. Yes it was an irredeemably evil act. Yet we never as Americans imagine or connect that the vaporized souls in Hiroshima or Nagasaki or the dozens of wooden Japanese cities we firebombed were also someone’s sweetheart or son or sister. We have already proved ourselves terrorists, or deliberate killers of civilians, with weapons of mass destruction. Ye gods we ought to be humble. Instead we escalate in arrogance and sanctimonious patriotism.

     Dead is dead. Whatever fancy justification we prettify it up with, we vaporized over 200,000 civilians, and it doesn’t disturb our sleep. We had our reasons.

     They have their reasons.

     Until there are no reasons we can bear, we will not be actually human yet.   

 

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    Our local Peace Group, Mountain View Voices for Peace, is already planning a solemn March for after Death #2000. (If you haven’t had a chance to read Grave of the Known Soldier #1999, I have it here below for you. It’ll break your heart. I keep thinking we could still save this kid #1999 – he wouldn’t have to die.

     MVVP has members meet at the intersection of El Camino & Castro every Friday from 6p-7p, the height of the commute, with pro-peace signs and waving. (This is a major local intersection.) You could start such a group in your town if you haven’t yet. You can get more info and ask questions here. Or you can be an individual loon like me and go out a little every day with something like a teach peace sign as you go about your business to the post office or the library. See details on that here. (It’s only the first two excruciating forays you have to get past and then you feel foolish without your sign! I’ve been out 1076 days in a row now. It isn’t about me, or you – it’s about that one little girl or boy who sees a person willing to appear absurd to some for the sake of peace and harmlessness and that kid will grow up to be the next Martin or Mohandas. If I don’t have my sign, that kid may not see it. The butterfly’s wings will not start a storm of peace.)

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To me this isn't only about Ken or Casey or Roberto or Rachel  — it's about Juan Smith #1999 — is there ANY way we can save that kid? </strong>

 

“How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Iraq for a mistake?”²

  

ps. Please send this Save #1999 link to your friends.

http://pogblog.myblogsite.com/blog/_archives/2005/8/15/1140249.html

 

All the contact info for House & Senate is at afterdowningstreet. Get on their emailing list for Actions. It is beautifully and heartfeltedly organized. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/

 

² adapted from John Kerry’s 1971 speech before Congress; 

 

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2 thoughts on “The Human Race is Deformed by Militarism

  1. Knowing that we do stop this crazed murderous nonsense in history, that it will be as ghastly as incest, human sacrifice, or slavery makes me glad and hopeful–and grateful I'm already on the right side of history.
    On the other hand I, like you, long for it to be flat earth/round earth clear so soon. To deliberately kill another person's child is chilling. Kill them one at a time and we put people away for life. I fail to comprehend how killing more than even the most grisly serial killer becomes noble?

  2. The Akashic Record is the name for the indelible imprint that remains in the universe of each heartbeat and will-o-the-wisp thought, grand or bland.
    Those who not just perpetrate, but perpetuate this war have some grotesque re-viewing ahead when they gain empathy later in this life or the next. Empathy happens.

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