THE BLOG

Support the Troops...

05/25/2011 12:10 pm ET

...is a kind of loyalty oath, based on a cardboard caricature of troops being virtuous post-adolescents who are being ever so brave. It evades the reality of how we raise boys to associate desire with domination, and of the locker-room arms race of cynicism and casual cruelty. It's the Boy-War Culture; and it does not primarily produce virtuous youth who are occasionally and tragically traumatized. It's primary output are across-the-horizon sociopaths, who revel in murder, torture, and rape as essential aspects of a probative masculinity... and who become the role models for yet another generation of men who associate male sexuality with conquest.

This video is not representative of a few bad apples. I'll wager that I am among the top 1% hereabouts in terms of how much experience I have with this culture... how much time I have spent in this lethal locker-room with the Boy-War Culture. This video of a former Abu Ghraib guard could have been shot of half the people I worked with in the Infantry and in Special Operations.

Send this to everyone you can, so we can overwhelm the inevitable "bad apple" apologetics from the Sycophant Press; and send it along to your Congressperson. Tell them that this is what we are re-importing from our little war. Ask them if these are the troops we are supposed to support.

And let's not be coy, suggesting that this is Bush's fault, or that this is just the war. This is the logical outcome of male socialization in our imperial core. This started far earlier than the war. Abu Ghraib was a microscope into our whole culture, and into the conquest-connection of late imperial patriarchy: conquest of nature, conquest of women, conquest of colonies.