… the Destroyer of Worlds.”
It’s oft repeated, that recitation by J. Robert Oppenheimer of a misquotation from the Bhagavad Gita. At the end of the second World War, he may very well have been describing the United States Government, not just the development of one weapon. It certainly seems that way, here in the blastwave from a bloody last half of the 20th Century, of wars raged for nebulous reasons in Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Latin American and the Middle East.
One couldn’t help but wonder, watching a deeply corrupt and bloodthirsty President give yet another self serving speech about how Iraq is part of the “War on Terror”, a war that serves only to keep Death continuously fed; what will it take for us to stop ourselves, for us to stop our leaders? Will that only happen with blood in our streets, are we only able to make a change when we’ve fallen into an abyss?
crossposted from Liberal Street Fighter
Why do we do this, over and over again? It’s not new, of course, and not unique to the United States, but the sheer amount of damage we deliver can be truly stunning. Can such a willingness to feed so many, so thoughtlessly, into the maw of Death be anything other than some weird love for it, a strange Xtian embrace of helping others “cross over”?
Anwaar Hussain was reminded of the same verse when he wrote a report on Fallujah in November of last year:
Fallujah has been laid waste. It has been bombed, re-bombed, its citizens gunned down, its structures devastated by powerful weapons. It is a hell on earth of crushed bodies, shattered buildings and the reek of death. In addition to the artillery and the warplanes dropping 500, 1000, and 2000-pound bombs, 70-ton Abrams Tanks and the murderous AC-130 Spectre gunship that can demolish a whole city block in less than a minute, the Marines had snipers crisscrossing the entire town firing at will at whatever moved outside the buildings. For those inside, the US troops were equipped with thermal sights capable of detecting body heat. Any such detection was eagerly assumed to indicate the presence of “insurgents” inviting a deadly salvo.
No body has an accurate idea of how many Iraqis—combatants and noncombatants—have been killed by the thousands of tons of explosives and bullets let loose upon the city. Mortuary teams collecting the dead rotting in the city streets are fighting the wandering dogs that are busy devouring their former masters. The hundreds buried beneath the rubble and debris will be dug out later. A US marine spokesman, Colonel Mike Regner, estimated 1,000 and 2,000 Iraqis dead. The world is awaiting the toll from more reliable sources with a wincing anticipation.
One battle, over half a year ago. So many sacrificed. So many of our own soldiers, ordered to carry out this destruction, based on a pack of lies given by an administration wholly owned by dreamers of empire, war profiteers and end-times fanatics. Soldiers delivered themselves unto the death they deal out, on orders from above. Marching into that black light.
Bush stands up there, talking about freedom and democracy as he continues to order death and tyranny. Can you see the glint in his eye, that loving gaze when he loses his place and his mind fills only with thoughts of his power and mission and the glorious sacrifices he offers up to Death on the altar stolen from Mammon?
They say when one marries one’s beloved, you become a single heart. You become each other.
Can you see the love?
note: Image of Thanos w/ Death by Jim Starlin “borrowed” from Starlin’s Explorations of Mortality, part of an interesting series of pieces on the portrayal of death in comics.