Sunday, January 25, 2015

Arthur Silber is back at it.

Over at Once Upon A Time, Arthur Silber weighs in on the thunderous worship of American Sniper.  As usual, he lays it out well, and also as usual, he stays very close to his core subject matter.  Here's your teaser, with that latter idea in mind:
In the midst of this blood-drenched celebration of unnecessary, avoidable murder, I heard one especially stupid comment. A local Los Angeles radio host lamented that, during his time in office, Mr. Obama has never uttered Chris Kyle's name. Obama has failed to grant the recognition due this great hero. When I heard that, I had an odd, funny thought. Of course Obama isn't going to mention Kyle, I thought. Kyle is his competition.

Obama is the Murderer-in-Chief. He devoted years and enormous energy to becoming the Murderer-in-Chief. And you expect him to share this great achievement with some two-bit sniper? 160 confirmed kills? That's a morning's work for Obama. Surely we recall that Obama devotedly continues -- and expands -- the infernal work of American Empire in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and in countless countries around the globe. Surely we recognize that Obama considers the lives of tens of thousands of people, most of them entirely innocent by any standard, as completely expendable in the pursuit of American global hegemony.

On top of this, we surely recall that Obama has a Kill List, and that his Murder Program has been widely publicized in the nation's leading newspapers. The U.S. government has been at great pains to make sure that we all know about the Kill List and the Murder Program in excruciating detail -- and that we know that Obama himself is critical in directing all these operations. The U.S. government, led by Obama, claims that it may kill anyone it chooses, anywhere in the world, for any reason it offers, or for no reason at all. Why would Obama even notice a pipsqueak like Kyle?

Do please RTWT.  As usual, it's worth the effort.

Although I can hardly find cause to argue that Silber is wrong in any of this, I find myself more interested in pursuing the angle of having a functional understanding of the role of protecting  comrades, but simply being unwilling to elevate it, uncritically, to heroic status as the masses seem to expect us all to do.  And that, of course, is a simple matter of "you knew this about the job when you took it--or you should have".  By definition, a military sniper is a hired killer who takes his orders from a third party.  His morality and ethics are deliberately outsourced, and see, right there you've lost me.  Further, that morality is, knowingly, outsourced to a group of people that are known liars, known propagandists, known murderers, known sociopaths... To take killing orders on their word--and take money for it--uh, no, this fits no definition of "heroism" I have ever heard. 

It's good to see Silber back at it.  May his health hold out longer still!


Mamaliberty said...

The glorification of mindless aggression has always horrified me. I see no difference, in kind, between Obummer and Kyle... or anyone else who willfully commits aggression. The number and location of the victims is fairly immaterial.

Mamaliberty said...

The number and location is immaterial to the fact that they are a product of aggression. There is no better or worse aggression. There are better or worse responses to it, of course.

Needed to say that because the previous comment sounded as if I didn't care about either the number or location. I do.