Op ED Commentary
” … Not in Our Stars…..”
Just watched Andrew Niccol’s new film Good Kill. In it we have an Air Force unit stationed in Las Vegas that monitors the Taliban through satellites 7000 miles away… then presses the button and shoots drone missiles at them… and kills them. O f course, as the film suggests, good kills many times include what war criminal Donald Rumsfeld referred to as collateral damage. This of course being anyone and everyone who happened to be with or near the target that their CIA handlers referred to as ‘ The Prosecution’. UNreal, but real as can be! As the film progresses, we see how two in the five person unit begin to question if the ‘kills’ are really justified, especially when the CIA takes over command from the Pentagon. To watch a group of United States Air Force personnel sitting in front of computer terminals and doing what a CIA man at Langley, Virginia orders them to do, with absolutely NO sensitivity either way, is downright frightening! The colonel who runs the unit tells them that ‘ orders are orders ‘ as he reluctantly keeps them on message. Two other members of the unit, real believers in this ‘War on Terror’, applaud the payback our missiles execute towards the A-Rab sins of 9/11.They show the same exhilaration that the 2007 Apache Helicopter crew exhibited when they massacred 19 unarmed Iraqis just strolling through the streets in full daylight. Phony wars and foolish occupations transform young soldiers into 10 year old boys playing an overkill video game. One of the most heinous scenes from Good Kill was when the CIA ordered them to ‘prosecute’ a supposed Taliban bomb making building. As the missiles are released by Major Egan at his console, they notice two young kids running and playing by the building. There is time to ‘abort’ and permission is asked for. The CIA handler tells them NO! This is part of the ‘War on Terror’ and some lives must be sacrificed for the end result.
The Nazi ‘ethnic cleansing’ machine was successful because everyone down the chain of command always ‘followed orders’. Things got so bad for the troops ordered to execute the Jews of Russia and Poland, that replacements had to be continually found to do the killing. Many of the young soldiers suffered from what is now labeled ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’. Such was the case of Major Tom Egan in Good Kill. Yet perhaps unrealized by many viewers was the fact that his ongoing desire was to ‘get back into combat flying’. So, he too was a ‘believer’ in this empire’s war against the bad guys. If not, then where was the ‘just war’ he wished to return into? Of course, to those of us who dissent against these ‘sins of empire’, our nation belongs nowhere abroad… period!! What is really more horrific than even those far off assassinations from the film is how many of my fellow Americans could not give a damn about anything like that. So long as the sun rises and sets on their secure little lives, why should they take the time to actually THINK AND REASON? It is their apathy and inaction that allows our empire to conduct these heinous acts abroad. As Sinclair Lewis satirized ( was it? ) in his novel It Can’t Happen Here, things can get pretty testy when the state is run by Fascists or Neo Fascists.
If one follows the mainstream political climate, one sees that all we get from either major party is more money spent for the Military Industrial Empire. All the Republican aspirants for president sing the ‘More money for defense’ song. Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and yes even Bernie Sanders sing along with Mr. Obama praises for our drone missile campaign, which increased tenfold under a Democratic president. Bernie Sanders at least does want there to be military spending cuts, BUT makes sure his message for those cuts ( and never even close to enough at all )is always at the bottom of his list of ‘To do when elected’ . And the public? The fools who believe the rhetoric of this ‘War on Terror’ can never be reached with rational arguments… until of course the economy collapses even further for them and their families. Even then, the propaganda will blame it on everything BUT the Military Industrial Empire that takes in over half of their tax dollars.
The truth, dear Brutus, is not in our stars… but in ourselves!
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on Information Clearing house, The Sleuth Journal, Doomstead Diner, Op Ed News, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.