Friday, May 21, 2010

The Military Mindset

One response that comes up time and time again from people who are suffering from cognitive dissonance with regards to 9/11 is the disbelief that the US military would be so evil as to attack thousands of innocent civilians. Most people who give this response obviously don't put much thought into the military mindset.

A few days ago, me and my friends were talking about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which I personally believe was the worst single event in human history. 50,000 innocent Japanese civilians were killed instantly and hundreds of thousands more died of radiation poisoning.

We were wondering what it must have been like to be the crew of the Enola Gay - what they must have felt, how they dealt with it etc. Did they ever think to themselves "This is wrong" and consider disobeying their orders?

Today, a Guardian article answered some of those questions. They went and interviewed the last surviving crew member. Theodore Van Kirk, now 89, was the navigator aboard the Enola Gay.

The article rightly points out that he and the others should not be blamed for the bombing, as they were simply acting on Truman's orders...

It would be wrong to hold Van Kirk, now 89, in any sense responsible for the extreme human suffering that the bomb caused. As Harry Truman, the president who ordered the dropping of the bomb, told Tibbets when they met in 1948: "I'm the guy who sent you. If anybody gives you a hard time about it, refer them to me."

However that is kind of the main problem with our society. Police, security and military officials will often do things they know to be wrong but rationalize it by pointing out that they are "just following orders". We saw this at the G20 in Pittsburgh - all the militarized police who were imposing total martial law were "just following orders". In Nazi Germany, most of the men who served Hitler were "just following orders", that's how this typically works. What's especially frustrating is the fact that if these people ever grew a pair and disobeyed their orders, we wouldn't be in this mess.

But the military mind control essentially robs alot of people of their humanity and thus makes the morally right choice inconceivable to most of them. The dehumanization can be summed up by this quote from the article:

Van Kirk says he never lost a night's sleep over Hiroshima. Such lack of anguish is testament, as he says himself, to the training that he received in the US air force that shielded its pilots from introspection. It is testament too, perhaps, to the ability of man – and all 12 crew members of the Enola Gay were men – to compartmentalise extreme events and emotions and thereby neutralise them.

It's interesting how the article said it was an "ability of man". Really, there's nothing human about it. 'Robots' is the word I would have used. Now I'm not attacking these guys, far from it. It would be extremely disrespectful of me to slag off World War II veterans so I'm not going to. I'm just highlighting this as a pretty blatant example of mind control. I feel sorry for them.

This is the power of military indoctrination. A quarter of a million innocent deaths and no real emotional response. If people are capable of that, 3,000 people on 9/11 is insignificant in comparison. It is entirely possible that 9/11, just like any other military operation, was largely carried out by people "just following orders"; people with the same military mindset as the otherwise well-intentioned men who served Hitler and the otherwise well-intentioned men who flew the planes and dropped the bombs on Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.