The Joe Blow Report 2

Everything Is About Something Different

Posts Tagged ‘Howard Zinn

War Criminal Dies a Peaceful Death

leave a comment »

 

mcnamara_oldVietnam War Architect Robert McNamara Dies at 93 

Some argue he was just a technocrat put in charge of  political architecture that was initially setup by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Either way, he was responsible for the wanton butchery of millions of innocent civilian people, mostly all Asian. He, later in life, admitted that some of what he was responsible for doing , even during World War Two, were war crimes for which he and other Americans could have been prosecuted. Yet, he was allowed to die a peaceful death.

The question remains today, how could these so-called American patriots right after prosecuting and executing German and Japanese for the very same war crimes, turn right around and do the same things? Specially in his case, where he was just as dirty and knew what he had done to the Japanese! Were they stupid? Actually, historians tell us these men, Robert MacNamara in particular, were very bright, intelligent and well educated. History also tells us that he was at the same time, as were the majority of his compatriots, morally bankrupt. To be specific, his whole generation, the so-called “Greatest Generation” was morally bankrupt. That’s the generation that grew up during the Great Depression that learned to survive by doing whatever it took no matter how degenerate and self-debasing — to them the end always justified the means.

The Guardian newspaper of England reports on his World War Two exploits:

A graduate of Harvard Business School, McNamara applied statistical methods to the US bombing campaign over Japan in the second world war, as an officer in the US air force. He greatly increased the efficiency of US air attacks, devastating the civilian populations of Japanese cities

 What they’re talking about here was his use of fire-bombing on civilian targets that murdered 100,000 people in a single night, the same as was used on German cities — the effect was the same as the atom bomb.

He then moves on after quiting his job as Secretary of Defense because he could see, but was too gutless to tell anyone at the time, that the US would lose that war, to run the World Bank. The World Bank along with the IMF has totally devestated the majority of Third World Nations ability to feed themselves. The World is on the brink of a food crisis of unimaginable consequences. MacNamara orchestrated the mass starvation of untold numbers of the Earth’s poplulation the likes of which, makes his mass murder of Asian people insignificant.

What lessons were learned? According to historian Howard Zinn – NONE! This is what he says about the current President Obama:

Unfortunately, you know, the present administration is still stuck in that kind of thinking. You know, I hear them talking in the White House and around the White House, Obama and the others, about winning in Afghanistan, and not asking, “Is it right that we are in Afghanistan?” To me, that’s one of the important things to think about when we try to learn something from the life of this figure McNamara.

What kind of thinking is Zinn talking about?

It seems to me one things which we should be thinking about, is that McNamara represented all of those superficial qualities of brightness and intelligence and education that are so revered in our culture. This whole idea that you judge young kids today on the basis of what their test scores are, how smart they are, how much information they can digest, how much they can give back to you and remember. That’s what MacNamara was good at. He was bright and he was smart, but he had no moral intelligence. What strikes me as one of the many things we can learn from this McNamara experience is that we’ve got to stop revering these superficial qualities of brightness and smartness, and bring up a generation which thinks in moral terms, which has moral intelligence, and which asks questions not, “Do we win or do we lose?” Asks questions, ” Is this right? Is it wrong?” And McNamara never asked that question. Even when he was leaving, even when he decided he had to leave the post of Secretary of Defense, even when he left, his leaving was not based on the fact that the war was wrong. His leaving was based on the fact, well, we weren’t going to win.

That’s the Robert MacNamara Legacy . . .

For more on lessons not learned you can read some revealing commentary by Howard Zinn, Marilyn Young and Jonathan Schell.

More from the Guardian here.

[Picture Source – STAN WAYMAN / Time Life Pictures / Getty]

–Joe

Redefining Patriotism

leave a comment »

Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn

The Joe Blow Report 2 disclosure says, “Joe Blows self-evident observations on Truth, God’s gift of equality, unalienable Rights and Justice before Peace.” These words are taken from the Declaration of Independence. Most Americans don’t have a clue as to what these words mean for them and their neighbor. Howard Zinn on “War and Social Justice” says:

“When the government does bad things, the most patriotic thing you can do is to criticize the government, because that’s the Declaration of Independence. That’s our basic democratic charter.”

The Dictionary definition of “charter” is: “A document, issued by a sovereign or state, outlining the conditions under which a corporation, colony, city, or other corporate body is organized, and defining its rights and privileges.”

The Declaration of Independence is the document upon which the American people established their legitimate right to exist as a commonwealth nation. Our continued  right to exist depends wholly on the American people’s absolute compliance and enforcement of that Charter. History however reveals that the American people have forfeited their legitimacy and Howard Zinn outlines some of the “mindset” that is responsible when he continues to discuss the rights and obligations of each citizen of these United States as compared to their government:

Here are some of the elements of the mindset that stand in the way, in the way for Obama, in the way for the Democratic Party, in the way for many Americans, in the way for us. One of the elements in our mindset is the idea, somehow, that the United States is exceptional. In the world of social science, in, you know, that discipline called social science, there’s actually a phrase for it. It’s called American exceptionalism. And what it means is the idea that the United States is unique in the world, you know, that we are different, that we—not just different, we’re better. Right? We are better than other people. You know, our society is better than other societies. This is a very dangerous thing to think. When you become so arrogant that you think you are better and different than other countries in the world, then that gives you a carte blanche to do nasty things. You can do nasty things, because you’re better. You’re justified in doing those things, because, yeah, you’re—we’re different. So we have to divest ourselves of the idea that, you know, we are somehow better and, you know, we are the “City on the Hill,” which is what the first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, said.

*****

Exceptionalism is one part of the mindset we have to get rid of. We have to see ourselves honestly for what we are. We’re an empire like other empires. We’re as aggressive and brutal and violent as the Belgians were in the Congo, as the British were in India, and all these other empires. Yeah, we’re just like them. We have to face it. And when you face that, you sober up a little, and then you don’t think you can just go all over the world and say, “Ah, we’re doing this for liberty and democracy,” because then, if you know your history, you know how many times that was said. “Oh, we’re going into the Philippines to bring civilization and Christianity to the Filipinos.” “We’re going to bring civilization to the Mexicans,” etc., etc. No. You’ll understand that. Yeah, that’s one element in this mindset.

The second element of the American mindset is:

But when you start criticizing, when you start making an honest assessment of what we have done in the world, they say you’re being unpatriotic. Well, you have to—that’s another part of the mindset you have to get rid of, because if you don’t, then you think you have to wear a flag in your lapel or you think you have to always have American flags around you, and you have to show, by your love for all this meaningless paraphernalia, that you are patriotic. Well, that’s, you know—oh, there, too, an honest presidential candidate would not be afraid to say, “You know, patriotism is not a matter of wearing a flag in your lapel, not a matter of this or not—patriotism is not supporting the government. Patriotism is supporting the principles that the government is supposed to stand for.” You know, so we need to redefine these things which we have come—which have been thrown at us and which we’ve imbibed without thinking, not thinking, “Oh, what really is patriotism?” If we start really thinking about what it is, then we will reject these cries that you’re not patriotic, and we’ll say, “Patriotism is not supporting the government.” When the government does bad things, the most patriotic thing you can do is to criticize the government, because that’s the Declaration of Independence. That’s our basic democratic charter. The Declaration of Independence says governments are set up by the people to—they’re artificial creations. They’re set up to ensure certain rights, the equal right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. So when governments become destructive of those ends, the Declaration said, “it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish” the government. That’s our basic democratic charter. People have forgotten what it is. It’s OK to alter or abolish the government when the government violates its trust. And then you are being patriotic. I mean, the government violates its trust, the government is being unpatriotic.

You can read his complete speech by following this link.

It is worthy to note, on the subject of police misconduct, that the police, in all  its forms and incarnations works for the “artificial creation,” the “Government.” They do not work for the people or the general public, the home owner, the business owner or the voting public. As a “peace officer” the only “peace” they bring is the peace of the grave to anyone that dare threaten the status quo of their employers. Therefore, when the police, by their very nature become a threat, or in the extreme brutalize the general public (as a matter of policy) the government violates its trust to the people granted by the Declaration of Independence and reaffirmed by the Constitution of the United States.  The citizenry, to maintain their legitimate right to exist as a Nation, State, County or City are not only obligated to abolish said government, they are enforced by law to equally defend and protect themselves and their families.

–Joe

%d bloggers like this: