I heard an interview with an American in Iraq who claimed that the Marines deplored all “needless killing.” Well, of course. But how to seperate the needless from the other kind— the killing most needful? If you buy the Big Lie that got the US to Iraq in the first place the distinction may seem reasonable if bizarre, otherwise it’s the rantings of a madman, a down-the-rabbit-hole picture of the world, his brain on drugs. It’s all needless, all the blood and destruction on the hands of Bush and Cheney to start.
The American went on to express sympathy for the troops, noting that he knew “the pressure they’re under.” Hmmmm? Pressure from Bush? From Big Oil? And by the way, any sympathy for the pressure experienced by the people living under the boot of occupation?
He answered that— cliche alert— “this is a new kind of war” because it’s a “counter-insurgency” (see, e.g., Viet Nam, Algeria, India, Afghanistan, Mozambique…). He elaborated by way of a Marine slogan he’d learned: “Be kind and courteous, and plan to kill anyone you meet.”