Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Nov. 2, 2012
“History is not happenstance; it is conspiratorial, carefully planned, and executed by people in power.”
A society purposefully and relentlessly conditioned by corporate propaganda is a society quite receptive to the alluring appeal of the “good old days” (GOD). Like all myths, the mere existence of the GOD illusion makes other myths easier to swallow.
If the GOD invention is accepted as accurate, the wars fought, the businesses started and subsidized, the legislation passed, the culture created, and the leaders elected during the GOD get a free ride on their coattails. We become a nation of people gazing backward for innocence lost rather than looking ahead with lessons learned.
For example, by accepting that “the greatest generation” roamed the earth some 50 to 70 years ago, we embrace whitewashed nostalgia and potentially surrender new ideas. The answers, we acknowledge, are found in the past; all we have to do is slam on the brakes and throw our SUVs in reverse.
A valuable step in fostering a more forward-thinking approach would be to expose the GOD for what they were -- a mixed bag of good and not so good -- like all such “days.” If we don’t buy into the mythology, it’s harder to convince us that most or all the solutions lie in the past.
Howard Zinn reminds us “history involves the selection and arrangement of facts.” Challenging that selection and arrangement is more than can be done in any one article so, for now, I’ll focus solely on the mythical/fictional greatest generation.
No Good War
Tom Brokaw, in his best selling book, informs those who came of age during the era of Reagan and Rambo that those who came of age during the Depression and WWII were “the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”
This was a generation that would take its rightful place alongside those “who had converted the North American wilderness into the United States,” Brokaw declares without a hint of irony before pronouncing WWII to be "the greatest war the world has seen."
Please allow me to introduce some perspective…
America’s greatest generation fought the war against racism... with a segregated army.
It fought the war to end atrocities by participating in the shooting of surrendering soldiers, the starvation of POWs, the deliberate bombing of civilians, wiping out hospitals, strafing lifeboats, and boiling flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts.
FDR, the leader of this anti-racist, anti-atrocity force, signed Executive Order 9066, interning more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans in prison camps without due process.
Before, during, and after the Good War, the American business class (1%) traded with the enemy. Among the U.S. corporations that invested in the Nazi regime were Ford, GE, Standard Oil, Texaco, ITT, IBM, and GM (top man William Knudsen called Hitler’s Germany "the miracle of the 20th century").
And while the United States regularly turned away Jewish refugees to face almost certain death in Europe, another group of refugees was welcomed with open arms after the war: fleeing Nazi war criminals who were used to help create the CIA and advance America's nuclear program.
I could go on and on. In fact, I could probably write an entire book dismantling this powerful and durable illusion (oh wait, I did) but -- for now -- here is but one example of what the GOD myth omits, re: WWII.
“The winning side”
On the night of March 9-10, 1945, General Curtis LeMay, head of the 21st U.S. Bomber Command, brought his brand of hell into the Pacific theater as his bombers laid siege on Tokyo.
Tightly packed wooden buildings were assaulted by 1,665 tons of incendiaries. LeMay later recalled that a few explosives had been mixed in with the incendiaries to demoralize firefighters (96 fire engines burned to ashes and 88 firemen died).
One Japanese doctor recalled “countless bodies” floating in the Sumida River. These bodies were “as black as charcoal” and indistinguishable as men or women. The total dead for one night was an estimated 85,000, with 40,000 injured and one million left homeless. This was only the first strike in a firebombing campaign that dropped 250 tons of bombs per square mile, destroying 40 percent of the surface area in 66 death-list cities (including Hiroshima and Nagasaki).
Mic Check: The Tokyo attack area was 87.4 percent residential.
It is believed that more people died from fire in a six-hour time period than ever before in the history of mankind. At ground zero, the temperature reached 1,800° Fahrenheit. Flames from the ensuing inferno were visible for 200 miles. Due to the intense heat, canals boiled over, metals melted, and human beings burst spontaneously into flames.
By May 1945, 75 percent of the bombs being dropped on Japan were incendiaries. Cheered on by the likes of Time magazine -- who explained that “properly kindled, Japanese cities will burn like autumn leaves” -- LeMay’s campaign took an estimated 672,000 lives.
Read that again: LeMay’s campaign took an estimated 672,000 lives.
Radio Tokyo called such tactics “slaughter bombing” and the Japanese press declared that through the fire raids, “America has revealed her barbaric character ... It was an attempt at mass murder of women and children ... The action of the Americans is all the more despicable because of the noisy pretensions they constantly make about their humanity and idealism ... No one expects war to be anything but a brutal business, but it remains for the Americans to make it systematically and unnecessarily a wholesale horror for innocent victims.”
Rather than denying this, a spokesman for the Fifth Air Force categorized “the entire population of Japan [as] a proper military target.”
Colonel Harry F. Cunningham explained the U.S. policy in no uncertain terms: “We military men do not pull punches or put on Sunday School picnics. We are making War and making it in the all-out fashion, which saves American lives, shortens the agony which War is, and seeks to bring about an enduring Peace. We intend to seek out and destroy the enemy wherever he or she is, in the greatest possible numbers, in the shortest possible time. For us, THERE ARE NO CIVILIANS IN JAPAN.”
On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, before the Hiroshima story broke, a page-one headline in the Atlanta Constitution read: 580 B-29s RAIN FIRE ON 4 MORE DEATH-LIST CITIES. Ironically, the success of LeMay’s firebombing raids had effectively eliminated Tokyo from the list of possible A-bomb targets. There was nothing left to bomb.
LeMay was later U.S. Air Force chief of staff from 1961 to 1965 when he immortalized himself by declaring his desire to “bomb [the North Vietnamese] back into the Stone Age” and he also served as vice presidential candidate on avowed segregationist George Wallace’s 1968 ticket.
When asked about his role in the 1945 Tokyo firebombing, LeMay remarked: “I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side.”
The men that devised and carried out this heinous attack are widely considered to be part of this country’s “greatest generation” yet, by any sane definition, what I just described is terrorism... far worse than anything allegedly perpetrated by latest batch of official U.S. enemies.
Rosa Luxemburg sez: “The first revolutionary act is to call things by their true names.”
Well then, here goes: Whether we choose to admit it or not, the vaunted “American way of life” was built on a nearly exterminated indigenous population, the African slave trade, and all those killed in places like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East, and too many more to name.
It was built on episodes like the firebombing of Tokyo.
Our way of life was built on stolen land using stolen oil. It was built on terror and it is maintained by terror, e.g. the terror of cops, prisons, the military, and the psychological oppression of propaganda.
Occupy the Latest Generation
If the good old days weren’t as good as we’ve been told and most of us can agree that things basically suck now, maybe the choice is not between yesterday and today. Perhaps the best option is to make sure tomorrow is better.
Mic Check: This generation occupies not because we’re the greatest but simply because we’re the latest and, more importantly, we recognize that we must stop acting like we're the last generation (of humans).
We occupy to help shatter the dangerous myths that keep us living in the past.
We occupy because we've reached the point of no return and minor changes are not nearly enough.
We occupy because we don't want our legacy to be one of inaction and shame.
We occupy because all our grievances are connected.
We occupy because this just may be our last, best chance.
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