In some ways, our government’s shift to the use of drones for a lot of the “dirty work” of the “War on Terror” has been a publicity godsend. Sure, the U.S. is still committing war crimes, but look at the up side: because “our boys” (and girls, now, too) don’t have to go out on so many missions that put them in harm’s way, a lot few soldiers are coming back seriously traumatized, wounded or in body bags. Because these robot war crimes are being committed by soldiers sitting in front of video game consoles in Nevada, who kill from thousands of miles away and never have to actually experience the live reality of the deaths they cause, and because they are not subject to suicide revenge attacks by the relatives of those they have killed, fewer American troops are getting their brains twisted up by PTSD. Because the deaths from drone strikes happen far away from the protection of American troops, American photographers are not on hand to record the atrocities created by our drone strikes. The graphic images and horrific experiences that helped turn the American public against the Vietnam war and our full-on invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan are being neatly avoided, leaving the corporatocracy a freer hand to pursue their plan, which seems to involve killing enough Muslims to intimidate the rest into doing things our way.
I often wonder how long it will be until somebody who doesn’t like what our government is doing to “Islamic extremists” gets some drones of their own and uses them against us, or figures out how to hack our drones and turn our own weapons against us. I’m sure it’s only a question of time.
And, speaking of time, this week we are observing the 70th anniversaries of those ultimate terrorist attacks, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Unlike Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, they were part of a great military victory for the United States, but the public relations “fallout” was awful: the brutality of those attacks inspired a worldwide peace movement that has helped restrain the U.S. or any other country from using a nuclear weapon in warfare ever since. What a waste of money to spend billions of dollars on weapons that public opinion won’t let our military use!
This worldwide peace movement has, unfortunately, been at its weakest here in America, where we have not had a major conflict since the middle of the 19th century. Here in America, we have long been insulated from direct experience of the horrors of war. Is that photo of a corpse real, or CGI?
What if there were some way to bring the consequences of war back home, back into the lives, yards, and closets of every neighborhood in America? With that thought in mind, here’s a macabrely comic monologue, written by Joanne Forman and delivered by Ruth Fahrbach.