Christmas in Connecticut


The slaughter of 20 elementary school children in Connecticut has shaken me to the core. As an American who has been horrified by Washington’s foreign policy over the past 11 years, I must admit to having imbibed a steady diet of death and destruction, but there is nevertheless something special about a tragedy that strikes close to home. I was born and raised in a mostly Catholic factory town in New Jersey, probably a place not unlike Newtown. I remember vividly my first day of kindergarten. My daughter is a teacher in an elementary school, and my grandson, a little boy full of curiosity and life, is now five and is in kindergarten in a small town in Virginia. He went off on his school bus wearing a Santa Claus hat on the day of the Newtown massacre. It shocks me to think that but for the accident of being in the wrong place at the wrong time he might have returned home dead, shot by some maniac who coolly reloaded while executing a classroom full of cowering children.

Inevitably, many of my friends in the antiwar movement have taken Newtown as a metaphor for what the United States is doing all around the world. I understand that, but when the unspeakable happens in a village in Connecticut it has an immediacy for me that Gaza does not. The pictures of the children, teachers, and parents filing out of that school in shock and fear inadvertently conjure up so many memories of small-town life in America that I cannot replicate it by thinking of other horrors. The thought that those little boys and girls had their lives snuffed out for absolutely nothing, that they will not grow and learn about the world, that they will not have children of their own and grow old surrounded by family and loved ones leaves me completely empty.

And even if I know that I cannot fully transfer what I am feeling to the thousands of victims of the cult of American Exceptionalism overseas, I think I do understand how their suffering is not unrelated to what took place in Connecticut. I always opposed George W. Bush’s wars on realist grounds, i.e., that they were based on faulty intelligence, they were disproportionate, and they could not possibly succeed. But I turned passionately antiwar over the death of a child when I saw the front-page newspaper photo of the body of poor little Ali Hussein being dragged out of the rubble of his home in Baghdad back in April 2008, the victim of an errant American bomb. People wrote to the paper complaining that the picture would hurt the war effort, some suggesting that the photo had been staged. I asked myself, “What kind of monsters have we become?” More recently, I was shattered when I looked at thephoto of BBC reporter Jihad Masharawi holding his dead 11-month-old son Omar, the grief evident on his face, another innocent victim of Israel’s latest White House–enabled outrage against Gaza.

Who is to blame for the horror? Well, maybe we all are in that we are not marching in the streets in protest, but those in power are surely more culpable than the rest of us. America’s precipitate ethical decline might have started when Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, declared the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children were “worth it” and no one in the mainstream media demanded her resignation. Or it might have been the growing jingoism in the wake of 9/11. Our country’s worship of the military has advanced in lockstep with our evolution into a national-security state in which the dead are trivialized by the euphemism “collateral damage.” The American way of death produces triumphalist war managers such as Gen. David Petraeus who themselves have never experienced combat up close and personal, and it ignores the suffering of the poor bastards who have to try to survive underneath our drones or who face miscarriages and birth defects from our left-behind depleted uranium. Our soldiers in Afghanistan, brought up on a diet of shoot-first, nowconsider “children with potential hostile intent” acceptable targets. All sensible people worldwide should demand that America’s insistence on the intrinsic righteousness of its rather tattered cause, however that is defined, has got to stop. It’s time to fold up the huge flags at football games and return to the Founders’ view of the military, that it was a necessary evil and nothing to be proud of. Soldiers and Marines do not exist for hurricane relief and to collect Toys for Tots at Christmas. They are trained to kill people, and they are very good at it.

And then there is popular music that exalts violence and the revoltingly graphic videogames in which teens can kill hundreds of enemies using a joystick. Battle by way of a video screen has created a mindset in which eliminating whole categories of adversaries for entertainment has inevitably reduced any moral restraint over the act of killing. The unemployed teenagers put aside their games and naturally morph into assassins in uniform sitting in air-conditioned rooms in Nevada who can spot and kill a suspected bad guy half a world away. The Air Force armchair warriors are now even demanding medals for their service when they should instead be ashamed of what they do, if not fearful of eventually going to prison for war crimes.

In today’s America, the government manages much of the violence. CIA torturers walk free even when an exhaustive report finally reveals that what they did destroyed the lives of many of those on the receiving end while accomplishing nothing but tarnishing the name of the United States. And then there were the renditions, turning suspects over to the torturers in other countries to carry out the heinous act by proxy. Rule of law? Just ask Khaled al-Masri, who was detained by the CIA then tortured and sodomized. When he sought redress through the U.S. courts, he was blockedthrough the invocation of the state-secrets privilege, an instrument that has been used many more times under President Obama than during the terms in office of George W. Bush, who was generally accused of being unsympathetic to constitutional rights.

And so, Mr. Obama, this has all got to stop. You can do it and the people will support you, as most are tired of the continuous warfare and all the killing. Declare the war on terror over. You can even say that we won if that would help you politically. You do not have to provide lethal aid to Syrian rebels and you do not have to attack Iran. No one in America will be safer if you do so. Bring everybody home. A growing number of your fellow citizens are beginning to understand that America’s increasingly institutionalized viciousness overseas is spilling over and taking root here in the U.S. The devil walks among us. If you can’t see it, you are blind to the reality and maybe it is time to change your advisers, replacing the yes-men and women dedicated to getting you and other Democrats reelected with ordinary people who still possess a moral compass and common sense. It’s not just a question of gun control, which will undoubtedly be the tune that you will play, but rather of what kind of nation we have become in the past 11 years. Twenty children have died in Connecticut, but you have used drones to kill 176 children in Pakistan and Yemen. The U.N. reports that an average of 4.8 Afghan children are killed or injured every day in a war that you should have ended four years ago. Twenty-eight children died in Gaza alone last month in the latest paroxysm of hatred engineered by Israel with the acquiescence of your administration. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, far from expressing regrets, said they “deserved it.” Do you think the Afghan, Pakistani, and Yemeni kids also deserve it? Most of those dead children are invisible, since there is nothing in the U.S. media commemorating their names and their aspirations, still less about their grieving families, but, perhaps unlike the poor innocents killed in Connecticut, their blood is undeniably on our hands. A nation that is constantly at war will inevitably produce a people that is at war with itself, hardly a consoling message as we approach Christmas.

  1. #1 by Bob on December 21, 2012 - 2:56 pm

    If only Mr. Obama were in a position to make such decisions. I don’t know that he would, even if he could, but I have no doubt that if he attempted to do so that he would quickly be removed from office. It seems pretty clear at this point that the occupants of the White House are no longer independent actors with the ability to make such dramatic changes to policy. I’m not sure exactly when this change ocurred. I suspect that it has been an incremental process with the Reagan presidency being the tipping point where the power of the zionists overtook the power of the presidency to resist. By the time GW Bush came into office the zionist take over of our government was complete.

    GW Bush was recruited to serve as a gentile figure head for the zionist neocons. That he had no real power was made obvious repeatedly during his terms of office. The zionists repeatedly humiliated him in very public ways and in response he could say or do absolutely nothing. Anyone who stops to consider the dynamics of power relationships will readily understand that nobody publicly humiliates anyone in a position of power over them, at least not without suffereing the consequences. Therefore, when multiple Israeli PM’s publicly humiliated and ridiculed President Bush….overtly bragging in public speeches about their power to dictate to him as if he were just an office boy as Olmert did, or going on TV and openly defying public pronouncements made by the US president as Sharon did…or in openly challenging a sitting US president on US TV and IN FRONT OF A JOINT SESSION OF THE US CONGRESS (to standing ovations) as Netanyahu has done, the power relationship between zionists and the US presidency is clearly revealed. There is no longer any doubt whatsoever who is subservient to whom.

    I have no respect at all for Barack Obama. To me he is just one more ambitious and opportunistic man who was readily willing to sell out his countrymen in exchange for fame and fortune. I actually have no idea what his personal views on policy, foreign or domestic, really are and unfortunately it whatever they are, they are of no great consequence because he is implementing whatever policies his zionist handlers order him to adopt.

    We will not find our salvation within the confines of a political system based upon the currency of a monetary system controlled by Jews and within which Jewish banking cartels have the ability to litterally create as much currency out ot thin air as they may deem necessary. It is the amount of dollars and mass media one can b ring to bear which not only determines the outcome of US elections, but largely determines US public opinion. If we are ever to be a free people again, we must cast off the shackles of this usury based monetary system. It is what lays at the root of Jewish power and until we can focus our energies on destroying this system, we will never overcome Jewish power. You cannot defeat an opponent by flailing away aimlessly, you must strike at his vitals….and for Jewish power, it is the financial system they have built which provides the basis of their power and also their greatest weakness. It is in this real that the struggle will be won or lost, not by expending our energies “flailing aimlessly away” in struggles within a political system which is now completely controlled by Jewish interests, money and media. Attempting to defeat the Jews in that arena is like trying to defeat todays US military by forming up your troops in neat orderly lines and marching them across open fields toward US troops who would quite easily mow them down. It is a strategy which mazimizes their advantages and minimizes our own strengths (which are considerable once mobilized).

  2. #2 by PG Phippen on December 21, 2012 - 4:04 pm

    Phil, I have not yet heard back from you concerning the email I sent you last week re: CNI exposing the zionist’s involvement in the planning, execution and cover-up of the attacks on 9-11-01. I truly feel the truth will stop the zionist machine, if only we are courageous enough to expose the lies. What do we have to lose? Your funding will skyrocket as a result, no plummet as I suppose you may be afraid of…All of us have to be willing to say what needs to be said, and it is WAY past time for this truth to exposed and sent around the world to stop the zionist war machine!!

  3. #3 by B.A.Frémaux-Soormally on December 21, 2012 - 5:36 pm

    “The slaughter of 20 elementary school children in Connecticut has shaken me to the core.”

    It has not shaken me in the least, not even the recent killings in Palestine! There is nothing new under the Jewish sky!

    If Americans would rise up against their government, then the sacrifice of these innocent angels would not have been in vain, BUT THE COWARDS WILL NOT RISE UP! Their anger is always channelled only against Islam and Muslims!

    Basheer

  4. #4 by Mahmoud El-Yousseph on December 21, 2012 - 10:23 pm

    Why have we not seen one single pictures of the victims, the weapons or Vehicle/s used in this crime. Is the media been too hyper sensatitve to victims? The media never shown the same concern when, they show Qaddafi being lynched, Saddam being hang, or displaying semi naked pictures of Saddam’s two sons after they were murdered. BTW, lets not forget the image of the US marines urinating on corps of Afghani freedom fighters. I am sorry, but the whole thing start smelling fishy to me. Too many un answered question. The latest is the refusal of considering the alleged shooter’s mother among one of the victims.

  5. #5 by Dan Linnell on December 22, 2012 - 2:40 am

    God bless you sir. A moving, truthful article with a human heart and right reasoning. Merry Christmas!

  6. #6 by Blake on December 22, 2012 - 9:41 am

    PALESTINE HAS HAS HAD SANDY HOOK SCENARIOS FOR OVER 6 DECADES

  7. #7 by restinpieces on December 28, 2012 - 8:33 pm

    Prescription-Drug-Induced Violence Medicine’s Best Kept Secret?

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/11/prweb10120425.htm

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