HERD INSTINCT AND RACISM IN THE US MILITARY

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
~ Bertrand Russell.

More good news from the US military. Along with Christian jihadis taking over the officer corps, the neo-Nazis seem to be growing in numbers in the US military, too. From Salon:

Today a complete ban on membership in racist organizations appears to have been lifted — though the proliferation of white supremacists in the military is difficult to gauge. The military does not track them as a discrete category, coupling them with gang members. But one indication of the scope comes from the FBI.

Following an investigation of white supremacist groups, a 2008 FBI report declared: “Military experience — ranging from failure at basic training to success in special operations forces — is found throughout the white supremacist extremist movement.” In white supremacist incidents from 2001 to 2008, the FBI identified 203 veterans. Most of them were associated with the National Alliance and the National Socialist Movement, which promote anti-Semitism and the overthrow of the U.S. government, and assorted skinhead groups.

Because the FBI focused only on reported cases, its numbers don’t include the many extremist soldiers who have managed to stay off the radar. But its report does pinpoint why the white supremacist movements seek to recruit veterans — they “may exploit their accesses to restricted areas and intelligence or apply specialized training in weapons, tactics, and organizational skills to benefit the extremist movement.”

In fact, since the movement’s inception, its leaders have encouraged members to enlist in the U.S. military as a way to receive state-of-the-art combat training, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer, in preparation for a domestic race war. The concept of a race war is central to extremist groups, whose adherents imagine an eruption of violence that pits races against each other and the government.

And it goes all the way up the chain of command:

“Racism was rampant,” recalls vet Michael Prysner, who served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. “All of command, everywhere, it was completely ingrained in the consciousness of every soldier. I’ve heard top generals refer to the Iraq people as ‘hajjis.’ The anti-Arab racism came from the brass. It came from the top. And everything was justified because they weren’t considered people.

[ . . . ]

Geoffrey Millard, an organizer for Iraq Veterans Against the War, served in Iraq for 13 months, beginning in 2004, as part of the 42nd Infantry Division. He recalls Gen. George Casey, who served as the commander in Iraq from 2004 to 2007, addressing a briefing he attended in the summer of 2005 at Forward Operating Base, outside Tikrit. “As he walked past, he was talking about some incident that had just happened, and he was talking about how ‘these stupid fucking hajjis couldn’t figure shit out.’ And I’m just like, Are you kidding me? This is Gen. Casey, the highest-ranking guy in Iraq, referring to the Iraqi people as ‘fucking hajjis.'” (A spokesperson for Casey, now the Army Chief of Staff, said the general “did not make this statement.”)

“The military is attractive to white supremacists,” Millard says, “because the war itself is racist.”

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Congress is going to sweep it all under the rug:

The U.S. Senate Committee on the Armed Forces has long been considered one of Congress’ most powerful groups. It governs legislation affecting the Pentagon, defense budget, military strategies and operations. Today it is led by the influential Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain. An investigation by the committee into how white supremacists permeate the military in plain violation of U.S. law could result in substantive changes. I contacted the committee but staffers would not agree to be interviewed. Instead, a spokesperson responded that white supremacy in the military has never arisen as a concern. In an e-mail, the spokesperson said, “The Committee doesn’t have any information that would indicate this is a particular problem.”

Now you know why the Pentagon is so anxious to repress the publication of torture photos and it should be nothing to wonder about that the Pentagon is now thinking about backtracking on its promise to release a report on an air attack in Afghanistan that killed 140 civilians.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: