Kill Us All and Let Allah Sort It Out?
by Kary Love
It does appear America has gone insane. Kids shoot up their schools and kill their classmates. Other kids steal Kias and Hyundais and drive ’em like crazy people, damaging more property and injuring bystanders. Others shoot up people at celebrations of grown men playing kids’ games for obscene amounts of money while public school teachers have to spend their own money to educate kids in their classes.
It seems decades of using the “Bully Pulpit” to preach the gospel of criminal invasion and the distribution of war worldwide has finally taken hold. Congratulations America! No other nation in the world comes close! We are the world leader in violence, not only purveying it abroad, but championing it at home. Teach your children well, indeed.
Now I must admit up front—I am apparently a slow learner. As a young idealist lawyer my rose-colored glasses showed me an America at the forefront of human rights, the rule of law, and a force for liberty and justice worldwide. My pro bono clients, who peaceably opposed war, tried to tell me I needed to remove those rose-colored glasses and look at reality.
Whistleblower clients, who worked inside the military-industrial-congressional complex, told me the same thing though from an entirely alien perspective to the “peaceniks.” From inside the belly of the beast, years of lies and corruption persuaded them they, like the great Daniel Ellsberg, had exhausted efforts to bring change from within, and they had no alternative but to go public with their horror stories, despite the destruction of their careers, families, and reputations.
I had listened to Martin Luther King tell how America was the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world” during the time of the criminal invasion of Vietnam—but I believed the average American was fundamentally decent and wanted a better world for their children.
A US Army major told journalist Peter Arnett about the battle of Ben Tre, in which civilians were slaughtered by the US military, “it became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.”
US youth rebelled, and replaced that evil philosophy with peace and love.
For five decades I have watched with increasing horror as the US Army major’s horrific justification was reborn, resurrected, renewed, and magnified following 9-11-2001.
US wars of invasion, following 9-11, helped enabled Putin’s Ukraine invasion. “Generation Kill” became the new, proud motto of the post 9-11 kids. All war, everywhere, all the time seemed the new national pastime. For every problem, a bomb was the solution. Few dissented. Even some of the followers of Jesus refurbished the old version and replaced it with “Rambo Jesus.”
My rose-colored glasses lost their tint, as revelation of criminality followed revelation of criminality — but there was no accountability, no rule of law, everything was allowed: torture, indiscriminate killing of civilians, night raids of homes, disappearance into black sites, indefinite detention without trial or even charges—and the principles of America dissolved, leaving only a black, dead residue, overlaid with a lying mythology that it was all for peace and justice.
When the glasses cleared of their last rose tint, I finally saw that my clients who demonstrated for peace and went to jail for having the audacity to oppose the degeneration of their country into depravity, were right.
Long had they tried to teach me: values matter, culture matters, what we teach our kids matters.
I finally confronted an ugly, almost unimaginable truth: from Harry Truman straight through to today, America’s Bully Pulpit had been abused to sell a despicable national motto: “we must destroy the world in order to save it.” As a child of the 60s I thought everyone agreed with the contrary self-evident truth: fighting for peace is like screwing for chastity. Slow learner indeed.
Even more confusing was the fact that I observed ordinary decent American parents continue to try to teach their children other values—kindness, community, mutual aid, humility, along with others contrary to those manifested by the actions of the nation’s leaders. Despite such efforts, decency seemed to be on the ropes.
The kids especially seemed confused by the mixed messages: it’s okay to go “over there” to kill and destroy, but it is wrong to do so over here; don’t be a bully at school even though America is a bully in Iraq. Good luck drawing the line after a lifetime being raised “thanking them for their service” and saluting the Commander in Chief’s “Mission Accomplished.” Some kids seemed confused. But as time passed more and more kids seemed to embrace the uni-party line: violence is the answer.
Finally, one lesson slapped me in my dumb face. The kids were not confused! Rather they knew all too well what their parents, preachers, principals, and presidents were telling them by their actions: your entire existence is constantly under threat.
No, not by sheep herders in Afghanistan, but by your own government, who’s nuclear “umbrella” could not defend you but could incinerate you at any second. Despite all the palavering about being dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the kids saw through the BS: instant death was the sword of Damocles under which they were born, and lived, and if lucky to have kids to live under it and then die a natural death, and they got to pay taxes for it, and could not do anything about it.
Such a realization is shocking. One wonders, “What’s the use?” Why should I play by the rules? If my own President is willing to destroy the world in order to save it, isn’t the President nuts? And the President is not alone, the nuts include the Senators and Congresspeople who bipartisanly voted for it, as did the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and all other government folks (except the Whistleblowers) who support it. Apparently, many kids, living under the constant threat of being incinerated, and watching the “grown ups” build “more and more useable nuclear bombs,” experienced a mental health crisis.
Many seek refuge in denial. Many seek escape into entertainment. Many deny they have free will, and thus no capacity to seek or contribute to change. Many just pick up guns, and following the example of their “leaders” who proclaim nearly unlimited gun rights, open fire at the first “target of opportunity.” Some innocents are caught in the crossfire, but they are just “collateral damage.” Just ask whomever is President today, he will shrug and confirm “collateral damage” happens.
Well, slow learning is better than not learning. To my clients who tried to educate me, I admit you were right, I was wrong. The USA has gone insane: The U.S. spent $43.7 billion on nuclear weapons last year (2022) —more than every other nuclear-armed nation combined, according to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Preparing to destroy the world in order to save it? It strikes me as odd for a nation doing such satanic work to wonder why its kids shoot up their schools and classmates. Why its NBA champion “fans” engage in mass shootings as “celebrations.” Why its people seem to be degenerating daily into more unmannerly, uncivilized behavior to each other on planes, trains and in automobiles.
In 1230 a papal legate infamously ordered the Catholic military to put down the Cathar faithful by slaughtering everyone in their region. “Kill them all for God will know his own.” Since our “leadership” into the nuclear age in 1945, that now seems to be our de facto motto, and presumably that of every one of the nine nuclear nations. Kill them all and let Allah sort them out? Shiva?
Father’s Day should now be a day to begin correcting this sickness, a turn toward kindness, a new day to tell our elected officials to mend their ways and stop with the death threats.
Kary Love, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Michigan attorney who has defended nuclear resisters, including some desperado nuns, in court for decades and will on occasion use blunt force satire or actual legal arguments to make a point.