The Army of Good Americans
By Manuel Valenzuela
01/05/06 "ICH" -- -- Festering in our midst like a toxic cloud of pollution the army of good Americans exists, living and working among us, inhabiting our neighborhoods and cities, co-existing peacefully with us, though perceiving an utterly different conception of reality than the rest of us. Their numbers, though dwindling more every day with the almost weekly revelations of corporatist lies built upon corporatist lies and government deceptions meshed with corporate criminality, remain high, thanks to those unable to escape the clouds of 9/11 and the manipulative propaganda of the corporatist media. The Kool-Aid drinking brigades remain strong, still ardent supporters of frivolous, fictitious and diminishing deceptions, still hypnotized to the dim-witted, slurred speech of their great Commander in Chief, still spewing the talking points they hear emanating from the corporatist media and still clinging to the ingrained and unenlightened selfishness that permeates their existence.
Today they are harder to recognize than in previous years, their once proud bumper stickers and car magnets on pickup trucks and SUVs praising their Dear Leader now nowhere to be seen, evaporating like a morning fog, thrown into trash bins or stored inside closets, lest they be fingered as part of the ignorant legions of automatons that helped steer America directly towards its present predicament. Gone are the large W’s emblazoned on their vehicles, that blue “Wastika” showcasing blind loyalty to criminality and fascism, while advertising mental fragility and propensities to be the followers of incompetence. Missing from the giant trucks and monstrous SUV’s masking quite apparent deficiencies below the belt are the plethora of patriotism-laced and nationalism-filled slogans that reeked of machismo yet betrayed delicate insecurity, now conveniently hidden from view as their precious war for fictitious democracy and freedom continues its decent into quagmire and debacle.
Yet this vast army of sheeple lingers throughout the American landscape, for they have not quite surrendered to truth or reality, two concepts as unfamiliar to them as reason and logic. They have simply retreated back to the canopied forests where barbarians live, crawling under rocks and boulders, returning home only to await the beckoning calls of further war through the trumpets of fear and hatred. Like fair-weathered fans, hiding at the first sign of defeat, rising with the arrival of victory, wanting only to be seen with winners and associated with success, this army of followers abandons ship when trouble can be seen and defeat smelled, forgetting that a war and quagmire exists in Iraq, evading their complicity in furtherance of criminality, finding it easy to whitewash from their minds war crimes and the murder of over 120,000 Iraqi and American lives.
For they are the Army of Good Americans, fearing what they do not know or understand, easily led into the dark expanses of human nature, ignorant to the ease with which they are manipulated and made blind to the power they willingly cede to the criminals and murderers in power. Birthed from the rubble of the World Trade Center, rising like a phoenix on 9/11 to claim dominion over America, this army has been the oxygen-rich blood maintaining alive the criminals in office. They are the defenders of war crimes and the apologizers of corruption. Filled with the emotions and passion of mammalian instinct, making them unthinking, uncritical, illogical and without reason, the army of good Americans has become the key used by corporatists to unlocking imperial aspirations abroad and destroying freedoms and rights at home. It is this army – a large part of American society – that has become an oasis to corporatists whose ambitions would have otherwise perished in the deserts of the Middle East.
Their legions, marching lock step behind their Dear Leader, filled to the rafters with the fear, hatred, xenophobia and patriotism needed by authoritarian regimes to thrive, have become the conduits of destruction, violence, rape and murder, the co-conspirators of illegality and death. Easily they answered the call to scapegoat and hate that which they did not know, their fear magnified and manipulated by their puppeteers, becoming the pawns of expendability and the tools of power, their emotions abused, their religious beliefs manipulated, their vote exploited, their majority numbers used to invade and occupy foreign lands and pilfer the treasury at home.
To them 9/11 was their call to arms, that transcendental moment where imploding towers falling birthed trance-like obedience and blind faith to criminals, though preferring the cowardice of chicken hawks, the timidity of yellow elephants and the comfort of armchair warriors rather than the bravery of enlistment and deployment. After all, in the demented mind of the army of good Americans, those less fortunate, those relegated to the lower castes of society due to the weaknesses espoused by the failed theories of social Darwinism are destined to become the cannon fodder of America, returning either dead or maimed for life serving their role where “survival of the fittest” governs.
Sitting comfortably on their couches, engorging themselves with microwave dinners, watching reality television and the latest exploits of sensationalist news reports while thousands of innocents die in order to appease their thirst for vengeance, the army of good Americans pretends to support the troops through car magnets and ribbons, hiding behind the red, white and blue, hiding insecurities through the bravado of tough talk, yet in reality sacrifices nothing both for a war they asked for or for the soldiers their loud voices sent to hell on Earth.
Instead, they bask in the glow of American comfort, kneeling down and praying nightly to the monitor in the center of their households, becoming the obedient drones of propaganda, absorbing and taking as their own the cocktail of talking points spewed by corporate media and its clusters of lackeys and hacks. On weekends they can be spotted playing with the many adult toys purchased through maxed out credit cards, thinking themselves beneficiaries of the mirage called the American Dream, not realizing their role in exponentially increasing the debt they will forever be enslaved to pay. After work they can be seen visiting the famed cathedrals of consumerism, those monstrous malls of materialism surveying suburbia, teeming with the products of overindulgence and the goods of escapism, sadly having become the center of American society and culture.
It is this army of good Americans that will, upon the next happenstance bogeyman atrocity, once again rise up in a fear-induced, hate-engendered frenzy, waving Old Glory, hiding behind its colors, its xenophobia metastasized to a rabid-filled, vengeance-seeking wickedness of blindness of reason and deafness of wisdom, asking, begging government and its corporatist masters to further usurp its civil liberties, freedoms and rights, gladly sacrificing the future of their children for the chance to be protected and be made secure from evildoers, both real and concocted, demanding, in its infinite ignorance, the full spectrum of the American police state.
Bubbles of Comfort and Fantasies of Deception
The army of good Americans would rather live in the slavery of ignorance rather than the freedom of knowledge, preferring shackles of fiction to the liberty of reality. Loyal followers to lies and deceit, easily manipulated and corralled, addicted to being misled and loving the exploitation of their emotions, they would rather not know truth than stop believing in fantasy, choosing to remain inside the bubble of comfortable deceptions rather than sit atop the mountain of concerns. Merrily they drink the Kool-Aid that enables them to remain unknowing, unconcerned and unrepentant sheeple, wishing to remain embedded into the same system that abuses, exploits and subjugates them. They would rather subsist in ignorance than thrive in truth, preferring to maintain the illusions and fictions manufactured by propagandists that allow them to escape the reality that is the human condition.
In the fantasy conjured up by their masters they see only the reality they want to believe in, the altered existence that they would much rather be part of. Weak minded in character, needing to be dominated and led, searching for a master to guide and exploit them, more likely to believe in the fables of archaic stories and fictions of metaphysical gods, and searching the periphery of the world for answers they do not know or understand, they will forever be made to believe any lie or manipulation or deception thrown at them, for they crave leadership, whether malignant or benign, and are in desperate need to place blind faith in fictional leadership, whether that of invisible gods or incompetent presidents. For this army follows, it does not lead, it relies on commands, not its own internal minds, and it appropriates the thoughts of others, incorporating them as their own, regurgitating them as if they have even a basic comprehension of the much broader issues.
The army of good Americans, like their counterpart in 1930’s Germany, blindly follows and seldom asks questions, always with a wink and a nod turning a blind eye to criminality, rapidly forgetting morality and humanity, pretending not to know the actions of their government and later, when the consequences to those actions finally arise, saying they did not understand, denying complicity and accepting ignorance. Yet purposefully they cover their eyes when it is convenient, but not when it is suitable to their wants and needs, when their fears and hatreds have fed on the vicarious crimes against humanity committed by their leaders. Through quiet acquiescence to the crimes of their masters they become complicit actors to the actions of madmen, their psyches becoming a vacuum devoid of virtue and morality, their failure to speak out or act against the crimes they allow to continue making them as guilty as those committing them.
Since 9/11 the crimes of the Bush administration have been known to all, yet to the army of good Americans, rabid with a hunger for Arab blood and entangled with the enraptured desire to inflict pain on that which is unknown and most feared, the crimes against humanity and the war crimes committed in their name are free to continue, allowed to permeate the conscious of America and enter the imagination of our once innocent children. The use of malevolent torture, false imprisonment, cruel and unusual punishment and dehumanization are seen as virtues that must be inflicted on Arabs and Muslims, lest the debauchery of American culture be laid to waste. The infliction of collective punishment, mass bombings, destruction of homes and lives, assassinations, shootings and suffering is seen as a necessary means to achieve victory, regardless of the amounts of innocent blood spilled and the level of misery spawned, for the full might of America’s military must be shown off and utilized.
To the army of good Americans, many of them undereducated and unenlightened, many filled with the hatred and fear becoming of all great pawns, unwise to long-term consequences and possessing the myopic lens of short-term satisfaction, war against brown-skinned peoples is a consequence of deep rooted racism and xenophobia, a chance to unleash the mightiest army in the world upon third world sub-humans who have conveniently been made scapegoats by those who decide reality. Lacking the fundamental precepts of humanity, empathy inside them as rare as underground fields of oil in New York City, unable to place Iraq and the Middle East on a world map, made unaware of alien cultures and of history itself, good Americans epitomize the ugly American, that creature molded by America’s degraded education system, reared by television and not parents, reprogrammed through fiction and not reality, unable to comprehend the world outside its bubble or the existence of cultures different than its own.
Sadly, it is the ugly American – millions of which comprise the army of good Americans – that would have no problem incinerating the Middle East with nuclear weapons, killing millions of Arabs in the process. Such was the thought process of the good Germans of yesteryear. Inside the minds of many ugly Americans, though they would deny it upon questioning, lives the growing desire to rid the nation of Arabs and Muslims and gays and all brown-skinned immigrants, for America is a “white, Christian nation,” their fear, hatred and xenophobia rising like a giant wave of testosterone, resurrecting a hypocrisy and bigotry lying dormant for decades.
Their buttons pushed expertly by hate radio, miscreant politicians and vitriol filled so-called men of god, the ugly American is a manifestation of frustrations and inner anger, of impotence of character, of deep seated insecurities and of malignant fundamentalist religions, born in ignorance and in a capitalist system espousing social engineering and social Darwinism, the worst of America, a creation that should not exist in a nation of such wealth and splendor.
An Army, Used and Abused
The army of good Americans is easily controlled through television, made to believe everything it hears, manipulated with the greatest of ease thanks to its inability to think on its own. No longer a free thinking individual, soldiers in this army depend on the stenographers of the state and the propagandists of the corporatists to feed him with information and opinion, lest he be left out in the wilderness, unable to think or understand, unable to spew talking points, susceptible to those wishing to pop his bubble of comfortable surroundings. He is a product of an education system now designed to make subservient to the state all students, indoctrinating the mechanisms of servitude and allegiance into young minds, no longer creating independent minds but rather robotic psyches both through standardized teaching and the purposeful bankruptcy of financial resources.
Taught to never question superiors or to analyze a situation using reason or logic, the good American is but a hollow figment of what used to be a human mind. He has become a producer and a consumer, trained from birth to desire the fruits of materialism and never question the evils of American capitalism. He has as responsibility allegiance to government and undying loyalty to corporations and their products. He is to blindly follow leadership, no matter how corrupt or criminal it might be, no matter how detrimental to his life it is. He is taught that the actions of government or of leaders are always right, never wrong. Blind faith and belief in the goodness of America’s government must always exist, for the Christian god has blessed America as a nation superior to all other lands, and its people have thus been made to be direct conduits of the Almighty itself.
The good American has been reared to never deviate away from the illusions concocted by his masters, for in these chimeras of control the population is better managed and manipulated. Purposefully made ignorant to the lands and cultures of the world, unable to understand the complexities of human civilization, the good American naturally is made to fear that which he does not understand, for fear of the unknown is a great harbinger of human warfare. Fear of the unknown is a tool of control, a reality of the human condition, and, therefore, it is of great importance that the good American be made to know as little about nothing as possible, lest fear be controlled and the unknown understood.
With blind faith enveloping his existence, with every lie and deception and manipulation told by governance taken as true, the good American can easily be molded to fear and hate any scapegoat or bogeyman created and enemy manufactured, for if his bubble of comfort is said to be threatened, if his way of life is in any way said to be compromised, he can be made to become mesmerized to threats real and created, transforming an ordinary citizen into an agitated piston serving to embolden the engines of war. In this way, one more soldier of hate is molded from the clay of those in control and one more slave of power is created, joining millions more as pawns in the games those at the top play.
Manipulating the ingrained hatred, fear and xenophobia of good Americans, the elite concoct a potent army of political power that allows them unfettered control over the direction of the nation. With the loyal allegiance of the most ignorant, unenlightened, gullible, naïve, weak-minded and easily led, by controlling the racists, bigots and the most faithful and religious, those that will never question and never challenge authority, an entire army of good Americans can be manufactured, combining an amalgam of personalities and characters, fusing them to the dictates of power, creating an easily manipulated army of citizens that will remain quiet, complacent and subservient, even when lies and deceptions become readily apparent, when the corruption and incompetence of leadership is made known and even when the worst war crimes upon innocents become manifest. For in the army of good Americans, like the good Germans of decades long past, the crimes of leaders are known and the wickedness is apparent, yet in the silence and failure to act complicity and acquiescence is inferred.
In spite of the tangled web of lies and deceptions by the corporatists having been exposed, despite the vast assortment of war crimes being uncovered, regardless of the enormous betrayal and exploitation of emotions of the citizenry by those in power, and notwithstanding the blatant corruption and incompetence by government that has been apparent for years, a vast percentage of the army of good Americans still refuses to deviate from its beliefs, maintaining its grand illusion of the fantasy concocted for its consumption, reluctant to escape the bubble of comfort it would rather not deviate away from.
Even with the obvious criminality and the apparent debauchery of its heroes and leaders, in spite of what truth and reality have uncovered, good Americans still cling to the belief in an illusion they have been living in since 9/11, that the president is an honorable man, not the immoral deviant he appears to be, that he has restored integrity to the White House, not brought the quite evident level of incompetence and criminality, and that he has their best interests at heart, not those of the corporate world that owns him. They fail to escape their insulated bubble of infallible circumstances, unable to see that their devout faith has been exploited, their fears abused and their ignorance fomented, all for their precious vote and political allegiance, failing to comprehend that their emotions have been molded to enable the corporatists in power to maintain hegemony over the nation. In furtherance of criminality and corruption they have been manipulated, falling for the propaganda of the keepers at the gate, still to this day unable to see that their blind faith and loyalty to the same government damaging their interests is inevitably eroding the fabric of the country and the freedoms and rights both of themselves and their progeny.
They are being used and abused, becoming the pawns of power, a citizenry robbed of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, without their knowledge or understanding, the clandestine pillage of their rights taking place with their silent acquiescence, dragging all of us down with them. They are a large segment of American culture whose metamorphosis is transforming them from placid citizens to legions of soldiers helping to cement their own downfall. Living in the denial that has caressed them for years, becoming the comfort their insecure lives depend on, they fail to see a reality afforded to billions of human beings the world over. This army of good Americans, like their German predecessors before them, believes itself the voice of sanity in a battle of fear and insecurity, of good versus evil, yet the exact opposite is true. They are the paranoid and psychotic fire whose flames sustain the insanity and wickedness emanating from America’s present government. Through their political power and influence the criminality in government can continue eviscerating the nation’s freedoms, rights and treasure; their denial sustains the growing division between supporters of the cabal of criminality and those opposed.
Their Own Worst Enemy
The seeds planted on 9/11 by the new Pearl Harbor have grown into a pestilence of weeds spreading like wildfire throughout the lands of the free and the home of the brave, causing a great rift among the peoples of America. Slowly this vast field of weed dries up the further away from reality it travels, the more denial it reaches for the more its branches turn crisp brown and attractive to the fire raging from Atlantic to Pacific that threatens the America both of good Americans and the rest of us.
The army of good Americans is its own worst enemy, yet it refuses to escape the denial enveloping its collective mind that like a parasite refuses to excrete itself from its host. Easily its members blame everything but themselves for their diluted thoughts; the fantasy they are made to believe in cannot be altered, its flawless truth is smeared by the “liberal media”; everyone is to blame for the Iraq debacle except George the Lesser; in every corner they find scapegoats to blame for the afflictions demonizing the nation; France is to be blamed for everything that goes wrong with America; blind faith and loyalty makes them unable to visualize and analyze the much broader issues haunting our current troubles, failing to see outside the parameters of the box that sits like a golden calf in their living rooms, speaking and preaching to them on a nightly basis while spellbound they sit, staring at its images, absorbing its sounds, believing its fables.
Sadly, this army, thinking itself righteous and loyal, and no doubt full of decent, law abiding people, yet unable to see beyond the limits of its own fear, hatred and paranoia, is dragging America down into the periphery of a most ominous black hole. Refusing to think outside the box of what they have been programmed to see, reluctant to question the authority they have been trained to always follow, hesitant to form opinion based on reason and logic, instead of regurgitating the programmed responses of talking heads and professional deceivers, the army of good Americans fails to understand the ramifications upon their lives and the future of their cherished nation.
In thinking themselves patriots loyal to the Bush administration, believing the corporatists in power have their interests at heart, refusing to see reality or hear truth, maintaining their illusion of embedded propaganda and deceit, being unable to escape their bubble of comfort and of consumerist escapism they are giving comfort and assistance to the enemy of all American people, a cabal of criminality lurking within our shores, hidden in the hallways of governance, having hijacked the levers of power, commandeering American society straight towards the iceberg called fascism, its benign-looking top hiding a most dangerous underside.
Without the army of good Americans the corporatists in power cannot survive, for the legions obedient and loyal to them act as the buffer of protest, dissent and debate. They are a great wall holding waves of truth and reality at bay, creating a nation living under two distinct and separate realities, cementing division and animosity, fracturing friends and family, causing rumbles in the underbelly of American culture, maintaining in elected office the lackeys and prostitutes protecting those at the highest echelons of corruption, and governance. Without the army of good Americans the criminals drunk with power would have no mandate, no power or ability to steer the nation and its people to ruination.
It is this army that grants Bush, Cheney and the corporatists the energy to declare absolute power, regressing the nation backwards towards a veritable state of fascist affairs, enabling the continued, planned and systematic erosion of civil liberties and eviscerated freedoms along with the gutting of a democracy that has mutated into a charade full of smoking mirrors, broken glass and compromised electronic voting machines, becoming the illusion normally reserved for the peoples of the third world, those ruled by dictators and despots. Like no army to ever march in the United States, the army of good Americans has granted life to criminals, corruptors, corporatists, autocrats and murderers, allowing human wickedness to flourish, becoming, in the span of four years, the bodyguards of tyranny abroad and criminality at home, the brainwashed automatons granting validity to torture, kidnappings, illegal renditions, bombings, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, collective punishment, gulags, misery, false imprisonment, rapes, murder and utter destruction in the Middle East while enabling the onslaught upon civil liberties, the decimation of due process, the erosion of the Bill of Rights, the disregard of the Constitution, the senseless death and maiming, both physically and mentally, of tens of thousands of American soldiers for a war based on lies and criminality, and the rise of the police state inside America. The army of good Americans has become the tool used to implode the foundations of the republic.
The America before 9/11 and the America afterwards have, thanks in large part to the army of good Americans, with their lust for Arab blood, their omnipresent fear, their enraptured hatred of chosen scapegoats and their addiction to being led by corrupt, immoral and incompetent corporatists, become two different distinct nations, separated by paradigm shifts and societal tremors, by abdications of citizenry and usurpations of what used to be the People’s government. The army of good Americans is willingly sacrificing its rights and liberties as well as those of the rest of us to appease its fears and insecurities, exchanging freedom for authoritarianism, democracy for corporatism.
Thinking that in allowing for warrantless wiretaps and NSA eavesdropping because they have nothing to hide will not affect them, they have helped seal their own fates, for in the evisceration of rights of minorities those of the majority are next to follow. In granting dictatorial powers to their Dear Leader, in the misguided belief that only he can protect them from bogeymen, the army of good Americans is opening the doors to the coming police state, for in such a place those apologizers of criminality soon find themselves on the receiving end of what they helped engender. In pushing for the extension of the Patriot Act, in the naïve belief that its laws only affect bogeymen, the army of good Americans is conditioning its children to a future of less freedom and rights, for the future will never miss what they never had.
This group will in the next few years become the eyes and ears of the police state, informers, spies, snitches and narks spawning fear, mistrust and insecurity, helping to maintain tyranny inside a nation that once fought to eviscerate it. It is in their character, their selfishness and lack of empathy assisting in persecuting neighbors, customers, friends and relatives. They will have become traitors to the republic they claim to love and the freedoms they swore to protect, becoming betrayers to its principles and founding vision, to its citizens and to the ideals of the Founding Fathers. Yet the hand that feeds them will inevitably come back to haunt them, for they will invariably cannibalize each other, seeking the favor of authority yet receiving as payback that which they helped birth.
One day, in the not too distant future, in the middle of the night, a knock will come at their door, it being not a dream nor a fantasy, its noise an ominous reminder of the police state now upon America, coming to serve power on those who thought they had nothing to fear by sacrificing liberty and freedom for so-called security. When that day arrives, the army of good Americans will look back to the past, afraid to peer at the future, wishing for the days of old, contemplating memories of what used to be, the life that was taken for granted, unsure what they were thinking when in their fear and hatred-filled days they released the valves that opened the flood of corporatist rule upon their children, ashamed of themselves for allowing such a fate to devour what was once a great and shining beacon on a hill.
Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet columnist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, http://www.valenzuelasveritas.blogspot.com
and at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info
as well as at other alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela is also author of Echoes in the Wind, a fiction novel. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org