Guest blogged by Winter Patriot
In a previous post, I highlighted John Kaminski's list of his 25 favorite writers, mentioned that some of my favorites hadn't made Kaminski's list, and threatened to divulge a few names.
OK then. Here's a name: Manuel Valenzuela. And here's a sample: Because There Is No Cause.
If you haven't read this piece already, please do so. Cheryl mentioned it in a comment on another thread, and even said "WOW", so some of you may have read it already. But it's way too good to be buried in a stack of comments. Even with a "WOW". Isn't it, Cheryl?
It's a long story composed of long sentences. No sound bites here. But enormous food for thought, and masterful use of the language. Perhaps I can entice you with a few paragraphs...
Into history's cauldron have American troops been sent to wage war and decimate cities, lands and lives. Provided with the most lethal instruments of war the military- industrial complex has devised, manufactured and designed using the creative genius of human wickedness, whose purpose is the greatest infliction of death, maiming and destruction possible, the soldiers in the army of the corporate Leviathan are enveloped in a torrential downpour of guerilla warfare, surrounded by a 25 million strong populace supportive of the Iraqi freedom fighters and resistance decimating the invading forces. The battlefield is the city, block to block, street to street and house to house, using the weaker opponent's strengths to the detriment of the stronger force's weaknesses.
Make no mistake, many American soldiers know they have been deceived, told lie after lie, manipulated into making enemies of innocents, fighting for corporate profit and not principle, defending not America but corrupt capitalism, freeing not Iraqis but the devil's excrement, exploited and abused, treated like expendable refuse, drafted and redrafted like slaves and serfs of old, unable to escape the War Department's tentacles of conscription, callously left exposed to death and injury due to greed, left to die in a hornet's nest of anger and vengeance, surviving day to day in spite of their leadership's incompetence and indifference, fighting for survival and not just cause. Because there is no cause they are being defeated by a weaker army that possesses both the will to fight and the patience to endure, willing to die for freedom from American occupation and forever confident that while they grow strong, the invader grows weak, unsure of why they fight, not wanting to die for a lie, not wanting to be sacrificed for the bottom line. The American army fights to survive and protect each other, to escape the hell the warmongers, chickenhawks and armchair generals have sent them into and to one day soon be able to return home to be hugged by family and embraced by the normalcy that once enveloped them.
The cauldron of history is unmerciful and savage in its resistance to occupation and exploitation, for the lands and people of Iraq have weathered the storm of human wickedness over and over again, fighting, struggling and resisting for millennia. Iraq's scars and past are testament to this truth. So, now, it seems, is America's present, festering with the scabs of a war that cannot be won, haunted by the death of thousands snuck in under cover of darkness and media blackouts, sickened by the maiming of body and mind of thousands more and still unwilling to accept the reality of thousands now buried that have yet to be officially counted in a macabre cooking of the books by the propagandists and liars in government intent on keeping from us the real sacrifices and tragedies of a war with no cause.
Across this Mesopotamian landscape can be seen the ruins of cities destroyed, armies slain and empires fallen. The battlefields of times long forgotten and those of times not ever recorded have been eroded and covered up by the sand dunes of time, yet their ghosts remain visible, not in the dust or the rock, but in the minds of modern man and behaviors ingrained in the human condition. For as long as man exists war and death and destruction will soon follow, demonizing our species as they have since time immemorial, refusing to release us from the bondage they have enveloped humankind with since we lived in trees and hung on branches.
Ten-thousand years of history and still Iraqi civilization remains, from the rubble of Ur to the flattened city of Fallujah, from Babylon to Baghdad, brought down only to rise again, occupied only to brutally resist and expel a long list of invaders. Into this has the American Establishment sent its lower castes to fight a war without just cause, without moral high ground and without purpose, transforming innocence into wickedness and souls at peace into minds at war. Based on lies, deceptions, manipulations and the all-powerful profit motive, where addiction to the Almighty Dollar and his sister greed control and blind, America's rural and urban children turned warriors are being sacrificed and slaughtered, gunned down and blown to pieces, all for a Corporatist Crusade intent on usurping and extracting Iraqi oil, conquering strategic lands and pilfering America's treasure.
This week, America will be bombarded by a massive propaganda campaign by both government and the corporate media trying to validate the debacle unfolding in Iraq. The sham that is Iraqi elections will be unfolded for the public to see just how noble George W. Bush's war truly is. The lackeys in the media will fly to Iraq to extol the virtues of American imposed democracy, trying to impregnate into our minds distorted history and altered realities, trying to change a national mood that every day turns more against the war. The corporate media is being sent to do damage control, finally allowed to open its camera lenses to an Iraq that has for two years been hidden from us. Never mind that these lenses will be distorted and censored, controlled and manipulated, made into a kaleidoscope of propaganda created so the war and occupation may continue distorting American eyes and filling the coffers of the Establishment.
In reality, however, the sham of democracy in Iraq is being implemented at the barrel of a gun, under an omnipotent and omnipresent fear and insecurity. No true election could possibly take place under these circumstances. Iraq is a nation in chaos, riddled with death and destruction. Its citizenry live in fear and insecurity, unable to live free of death or violence or suffering. How can democracy be made to function when the entire nation is under foreign occupation? How can elections be successful when the locations of polling places remain secret and hidden from the electorate for fear of attacks and when most of those running remain unknown to the population, their names and faces blacked out for fear of assassination? How can elections be implemented when UN observers refuse to go into Iraq thanks to the incessant insecurity and when election boards have resigned in mass numbers thanks to threats? How can elections be called democracy when the American puppet Allawi and his party are given unlimited funds for advertisements, expanded television time and ceaseless propaganda while other candidates wallow in anonymity?
Because there is no cause we fight. Because there is no cause we will rise. Because there is no cause we are in the right, and slowly, but patiently, in the warm embrace of hundreds of thousands, the goodness of the many will triumph over the malice of the few, and hopefully, in time, humanity will forgive us for the evil we allowed warmongers to do in our name. This is our Vietnam, this is our chance to fight the system, this is our opportunity to do good and help lead humanity away from the road of self-destruction.
What is being done in our name is not America. The president and his cabal of corruption do not speak for us. Aggressive war is anti-American. Mass murder and collective punishment is anti-American. Invasion and occupation are anti-American. George W. Bush, the neocons and the elite are anti-American. A corporatist government, a police state and corporate control over our lives is not America. Death, suffering, xenophobia, homophobia, war, maiming, apathy are not American values.
In a world usurped by corruption, in a land rotting in immorality, in a populace led by a plague of malfeasant parasites stand principles of humanity, justice, honor and togetherness. Those are American values; those are America. As such, it is our duty, our right and perhaps even our salvation to uphold these principles and return this most troubled nation back to what we once thought it to be. Our future and that of our children depend on it.
That's a 'short excerpt' from Manuel Valenzuela's Because There Is No Cause. A long essay, but well worth the read. Especially on a night like tonight, when there's nothing on TV.
The link to Information Clearing House is well worth a bookmark, too. They have some very important articles at the top of their page more or less permanently, including: The President's Real Goal In Iraq and Bush Planned Iraq 'Regime Change' Before Becoming President, and much else, followed by some more current things, of which Because There Is No Cause is probably the best at the moment. Isn't it? No? Ok, then, strike the word "probably".
'Favorite Writers Overlooked By Kaminski'?? That's an easy list to start. Maybe too easy. But it's a list we need to start. It is right for us to start this list. And building the list might get tougher as we go along, but for now, let's just say we're making good progress on a righteous mission.
And later on, when the going gets tough, we will keep going, because the tough always keep going when the going gets tough, and we are nothing if not tough, so we will definitely keep going. And our progress might come a bit more slowly, but that's only to be expected, because tasks like ours are never easy. It's very hard work, even harder than clearing brush, which is hard enough, let me tell you. So we have to expect things to slow down, a little bit, now and then, and we have to realize that slowing down is only natural.
And because we started off so quickly and made progress so easily, we might need to start inventing nonsense phrases, like 'catastrophic success'. And critics will sieze upon every example of our catastrophic success and say that we're getting bogged down. They may even question our tactics. And the defeatists among us will start using words like 'quagmire', and they may even qestion our 'moral values'.
But we know how to ignore the critics, and we know how to ignore the defeatists, and we will ignore them, all at the same time if necessary, and we will continue on unwaveringly without them and we will not be deterred!! Because we have never made a mistake, or at least we've never admitted having made a mistake, and we're not about to admit having made a mistake now!! So we will persevere and we will never surrender, athough, to tell you the truth, there may come a time when things get so tough that we simply decide to declare victory and keep going... west ... into the sunset.
But we're a long way from that point, my friends. are we not? So be of good cheer! We are making good progress on a righteous mission. And we will never surrender!!!!!