NOBLESSE OBLIGE final

31 01 2011

Well, Dear World,  according to Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, whose professionalism astounds me, Obama is daily looking more and more like Bush. The rationalization being that, chameleon-like, his world-vision has morphed from one of an inexperienced and idealistic candidate, to that of an informed realist who understands, that there is more ‘safety’ wearing the colours of the U.S. foreign policy status quo, than those of a humanitarian pacifist. And you, World are being asked to think that‘safety’ means not ‘political safety’ but ‘world safety against the Demons of Islam.’

Well, the realists among us knew from the beginning that no one attains the U.S.presidency without the support of the New York and Washington Jewish organizations, and  the military industrial complex, the financial sector, the C.I.A, and the newly over-empowered Homeland Security, and a hundred other such constraints all attached like the strings  to a puppet. We did not expect too much; but getting into bed with Dick Cheney with a bedside reading copy of George Bush’s anti-terrorism manual, is an act of promiscuity we were all dreaming couldn’t happen. Does it not evoke memories of the trials of Frodo trying to divest himself of the addictive and character-melting powers of the ring? Except that daily, Obama, more and more, resembles Gollum. Poor us!

We should all have been aware of what was developing when Hilary Clinton started off on a world apology mission, that she estimated would take years to complete. But when she apologised to all the wrong people—to the diplomatic community, to business, to military, to politicals  and in fact everyone except the relatives of the people invaded, injured, wounded, murdered, bullied, imprisoned, tortured or insulted  as a result of U.S. militarism, we should have realized her total lack of humanity and class. For this, if for nothing else, she should be indicted.

The relatives of every one in the developing world killed by the U.S troops or drones instantly become lifelong enemies of America, determined to avenge their loved-one’s murder by any and all means. In other words they become, in U.S. eyes , ‘terrorists’. It truly beggars the imagination that the people  of the U.S could remain so ignorant of this dragon’s-teeth reaction to their politics! Or not realize that with international air travel and multi-ethnic communities, America could become as threatened daily as Pakistan with suicide bombers proliferating.

Such naiveté and lack of imagination is astounding, but shouldn’t be if we remembered the amorality and addictive nature of money, and realized that behind Obama a global billion humans or more on a smaller scale of consequences, are all, daily, like us, engaged in Frodo’s struggle and, mostly, losing, as we consent to self enrichment via activities that are exploitative of others, and make life worse for other humans at a greater remove. Perhaps we only make cartridge cases or shape the front sights of a rifle, or fail to check to ensure that our pension funds are not invested in munitions. Unfortunately we are all  complicit now. Outside of nursing, medicine, NGO work and various charities and religions like the Quakers, a survival lifestyle, entirely innocent of the possibility of making life harder for some other traveller on this planet, is as rare as hen’s teeth. Most of the time in our intensely interrelated occupations, we are not presented with the possibility to ensure our activities are harmless.

When I consider the intensity and complexity of the job Obama has volunteered to do; when I strain towards the impossibility of  comprehending the thousand and more national emergencies that confront him daily,with their interlocking and conflicting compulsions, my mind spins out of control. It would be so easy to join the thoughtful, articulate,informed army of critics, and thus absolve myself of responsibility. But in all honesty I simply cannot. The world is in many ways a mess, agreed. But the chain of causality is so infinitely complex that all I can feel sure about is that almost the entire world is now governed by money, and it is in many ways out of control.I feel sympathy for him.

Nonetheless Obama’s 180% turnaround is truly astonishing. Cortez the conquistador conquering Central American tribal warriors, achieved instant  allegiance to the Holy Bible when they saw those who refused to kiss the holy book lose their heads to Cortez’s sword. Has some mafia syndicate that even |Wikileaks hasn’t got a leak on,  gained access to him, and shown him the rifle that killed JFG? This is frivolous perhaps. But searching for the prime, causal source of international ailments, even if futile, does not mean we cannot identify some of the links in the chain of madness and badness. Nor does it mean we have to accept them as inevitable and necessary. 

Horrendous events like Mai Lai, and the newly leaked Chopper Massacre, arising in American military actions, dovetail too tightly with U.S. domestic events to be accidental. A deranged gunman alleged to have been inspired by media hysteria shot an estimated eighteen people, one of them a congresswoman. The country went into paroxysms of shock and judgmentalism. Obama’s speech of condolence, his appeal to the better side of the American people, to tolerance and understanding, created a counter-wave of goodness, compassion and restraint. It was a trenchant demonstration of the mob changing positions; of America showing its better sides. Obama was swamped with  praise from all sides of the political spectrum, and  deserved it.

So what was wrong with that? Well, only that the entire nation was drawn into this homeland drama and utterly forgot to do anything about the Chopper massacre, and the brutal murderous mayhem of Fallujah in 2004 by U.S. marine hit forces, commissioned to bring ‘shock and awe’ to a rebellious Sunni population.

Six armoured columns drove into the heart of the city under the umbrellas of AC 130 Spectre giant flying artillery platforms and Bush’s ‘Surge’ began by taking out of commission three of the four of the city’s hospitals and severely damaging the fourth ’because they might provide places for people to congregate’ and killing twenty doctors and patients and children in an air strike.The water supply was severed as was the electricity.The effect of this murderous action on active ‘terrorists’ was negligible as they were appraised of the scheme and left days before. But the effect on the civilian population was devastating and horribly long lived. Thirty six thousand houses were destroyed, sewage lines were severed and sewage flooded the streets. An estimated one hundred thousand people were killed. Finally the city was labelled a free-fire zone which meant that any weaponry could be used in any amount. Depleted Uranium shells used in Fallujah in 2004 left a rising rate of birth deformities that was fifteen times the normal level. The International Journal of Environmental research and public health, a leading  medical journal, published a study which showed that the rates of cancer , infant mortality and leukemia exceed those reported in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The same weapons used in the 1991 campaign in Basra  in the gulf war caused a birth deformity rate to increase from 27 in 1990 to 254 in 2001. So no one could say they didn’t know about the mutagenic effects of DU weaponry. What was that you were saying about Weapons of Mass Destruction, George?

These actions and a whole litany of similar atrocities from Iraq and Afghanistan were common privileged knowledge. Any one of them makes Tucson look like a kindergarten. Yet the elite that had previously enjoyed the secrecy of ‘confidential’ correspondence about such matters railed against Wikileaks because, they alleged, exposing these facts and ‘diplomacies’ might endanger a few lives. 

 Why were  they forgotten by Hilary Clinton on her collective grovel to the international power elite?  Because they were plebian and because they were foreign. So why do these atrocities of mass brutality continue to disgrace America’s international reputation? Well, a significant part of the answer lies in the nature of militarism itself-the training of morally immature young men into the practices of killing. And it lies in the nature of the propaganda machine that indoctrinates  the nation to regard the target  nation of any  current conflict as less than human. In this instance the media must accept its share of the blame as must Hollywood with its interminable history of violent, bang bang movies, that venerate brutal killers. But the final blame must rest on the military industrial complex.

Why  this enquiry is so important for America’s and the world’s destiny is perhaps answered in part in Arnold Toynbee’s brilliant History of Western Civilization, which is an exhaustive overview of every known civilization. Each is examined to discover the causes of its rise, stagnation and fall from the viewpoint of geography, agriculture, politics, religion, economy, philosophy and global positioning etc.

With the exception of those that merely stagnated, In every single instance the only concomitant cause of a civilizations’ decline shared with all the others was warfare.

In any sustained combat the opposed forces come to resemble each other.

When the victorious allied troops returned from Europe at the end of WW2, they brought with them the excrement of Fascism on their boots in the form of militarism, obedience and governments, entitled as never before, to hide their doings from the ordinary people under the rubric of communal safety.

But Nagasaki and Hiroshima had changed the nature of combat forever, and justified any restraints whatever on civic freedom if hiding information prevented any other countries getting the bomb, or even pretended it did. At the same time the world and the German people in particular confronted in Belsen, Dachau and Auswich the shock and horror of the gas ovens. Thus the world was simultaneously motivated to demand transparency and not demand it. To look and not to look.

Germany took the high road of defeat and individual responsibility for the concentration camp executions , even though the majority had no idea what had been going on. They apologized as a country and took steps to ensure that never again would they permit a government secretly to lead them to such horrendous policies. The allies, having no comparable motivation towards transparency, slid further and further into totalitarianism, to such an extent that England, once the global paragon of civil liberties and home of Magna Charter,  goose-stepped so deeply into fascism, that Margaret Thatcher abolished Habeus Corpus during the Irish rebellions of the seventies and eighties, and got away with imprisoning people without trial. Now the city of London and many others in England are festooned with surveillance cameras. England has governments that want to watch every individual  and be seen by none.This is where Wikileaks finds its niche.

America meanwhile had developed such dependency upon the military industrial complex, and become so paranoid about the perceived dangers of Communism, that the Korean war was followed by Vietnam, with the result that demilitarization never occurred. At the end of the cold war, the U.S. found itself with an empire of some seven hundred resident American troop outposts, scattered at great expense across the globe, a five and a half trillion dollar armaments industry, an internal invasion from Mexico it can’t afford to countenance and massive debt.

It would be hard to imagine a closer parallel to contemporary America than to Byzantium, the seat of imperial Rome in the East,  at its nadir, which was beggared by the cost of the foreign mercenaries that maintained its colonies, riven by religious factions, and choked by a bureaucracy that frustrated the commands of even the highest officials. A hungry world, outside its walls, awaited its sacking by the Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem  to discover the true cross of Christ.The superpower that was Rome was over forever. De mortuis nihil nisi bonum.(speak nothing bad of the dead) It had had its bright pages.

Meanwhile, in our modern world  in a laboratory in Switzerland an accident occurred that was to strike the heart of America like a cosmic 9/11, and will  come to be seen as a second Renaissance. In 1962/3 a scientist investigated  the strange case of an entire village in France that experienced hallucinogens after eating a rye bread contaminated with ergot. The  research resulted in the discovery of a chemical named lysergic di-ethylamide24. It made the researcher, a man named Hoffman, as high as a kite when minute amounts of  it got on his hands and into his mouth. He got on his bicycle and rode home. The following day he returned to the lab and ate some more. Once more he was very high, and very excited. He wrote up his experiments and released them—a document that was to change the world—a chemical Wikileaks  that divided the western world by generations, and was the most subversive message ever passed hand to hand through what was to become a subculture. L.S.D had arrived. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.

Two Phd., lecturers in the Psychology  dept. of Harvard, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert wrote away for some of this strange chemical, received it, tried it ,and began giving it to students. Leary and Alpert were subsequently fired and then became the siphon bringing Hoffman’s Acid to the U.S. The macro culture went into panic shock. The ghost of St Augustine’s Manichaeism,  that lives on in the Anglo Saxon culture, produced the predictable result that any pleasure evokes in  U.S Puritanism. Panic! Sheer total panic! It made no difference that L.S.D. was non addicting and harmless except when taken by schizophrenics, it was pleasurable! It had to be stopped! In the latter months of 1966 L.S.D. was illegalized. There are now many many thousands of people languishing in American prisons costing billions of dollars annually having done nothing more harmful to their fellow Americans than eat or smoke a pleasurable substance.

They are prisoners in an undeclared war against Americans of a certain age who have made themselves egregious by belonging to a subculture, which is outside bipartisan politics and far to the radical left; a subculture which declares that absent irrefutable evidence that society is being injured by the ingestion of a substance, an individual’s skin is a boundary beyond which no state may have jurisdiction. The state cannot tell us what we may or may not eat. But it is determined to do so.

But by this time it was too late to stop.The subculture was in exponential mode. Furthermore every youngster who went to his local dealer for a baggie of pot or some acid got an education in left-oriented  anti-war politics. “Never  trust anyone over thirty” defined the cultural divide which still exists today except that it is now rewritten “Never trust anyone who hasn’t taken hallucinogens.”

The progress of the Vietnam war was changed by the anti-war movement, and after the Kent State killings by government troops and the trials of the Chicago seven, the subculture never again trusted the State.

The internet was also in exponential growth, and the power struggle for its control centered on the military industrial complex and its supply empires, and on the other side, the growing demand for more transparency in government. In this scuffle, document leaks began to appear.

Into this tumultuous world of crashing economies, global warming, pauperized populations seeping like osmosis through porous borders while multinationals jump all fences , destroy natural resources, and manipulate national  governments with economies that dwarf them. America continues to pillage and destroy, under the pretense of searching for the man responsible for 9/11,when in fact it is oil money that rationalizes their mayhem. Never in the history of the world have so many been killed in the search for so few; never, since Ghengis Khan’s murderous hordes swept through Asia and into western Europe, have so many innocent men women and children been blasted like dog-meat into the garbage bins of Iraq and Afghanistan by the Ac 130 Spectres, the aerial slaughter houses of the American army, whilst back in Iowa the Good Folk are convinced that Their Boys are bringin Deemocracy to them Raquis.

It is to this international tragic opera that Wikileaks has opened the back door by publishing thousands of hitherto private documents, agreements, and the schemes of the wealthy, the powerful and the terminally bad. Unsurprisingly these actors were not amused. And it was into the red carpeted Salons of this elite that Hilary Clinton entered to apologise to the cast for the unexpected audience of a horrified world.

In Basra where in 2001 ten years after the Gulf War the congenital malformations had jumped to 254 from its previous 27. And in Fallujah which showed fifteen times as many infant birth defects since 2004 there were no ceremonial receptions for America’s second in command.

It is time in this post for me to admit what you have already perceived—that I am deeply biased. My heart goes out to all those women, lovingly stroking their bellies during the nine months of eager expectation of a wondrous and beautiful child to brighten their advancing years—to nurture and love and protect; big bellies to talk to in private and sing to as they prepare special places for the child to come.

And my heart goes out to the papas who dream of vigorous and brilliant boy children to share with them the burden of familial support and eventually bring grand-children home. Only to discover at birth that Uncle Sam, in his endless scrounging for money has twisted their limbs, made too many or too few fingers or toes, created hideous cleft palates and faces of circus freaks with terminally injured brains. No happy beautiful laughing children. Just horribly injured little human freaks who will require a lifetimes patient, unrewarded care. 

And I say to Mz Clinton. It is to these women you should be apologizing; and  to these husbands. You should be crawling flat on your belly, your expensive clothes dragging in the mud, to beg of these people that they try with all their energies to forgive and forget what has been done to them and their children. And then you should go home to the Great United States of America and with all the attentions of the papparrazzi tell your people that their government, their military, their industrial tycoons have gone horribly, terribly wrong. And then you should apologize publicly to Julian Assange who has showed you the way towards a possible redemption, and then go home and pray to understand Nobless Oblige.

 

The term ‘Noblesse Oblige’is an ancient admonition to the Ruling Classes, that along with their wealth, status and fame comes the obligation to maintain  moral and ethical standards that are higher than those of the ordinary citizen. It is the essential concomitant of privelige that, as the I Ching maintains , manifests as‘The superior person is always on the side of the poor and lowly.’ By extrapolation the ethics and moral values of the state must always be higher than the citizens’-a precept that prohibits the death sentence.  It is furthermore an advice to those in political power, which if followed by the masses, will produce a benign and elevated society where good manners,  democracy and justice are enjoyed by the least powerful members, equally with the most powerful. It’s watchwords are compassion, empathy and kindness.

Noblesse Oblige is a code of conduct according to which, unfortunately, Ms Clinton, if she fails to recognize and apologize to the victims of U.S military adventurism, will have shown herself to be unqualified for the office she holds. There will then be only one thing she can do that is fully commensurate with global humanitarianism and decency. Resign.

For now, ‘nuff Wikileaks, dear World, until next post, Love and peace to you.Laurie.

copyright. Laurie Payne Jan 24th 2011

republication with permission.

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4 responses

4 02 2011
Cherry Payne

hi Laurie are you my lost cousin?

5 02 2011
lauriepayne

Hello Cherry, How very careless of you to lose a cousin. They are expensive and hard to come by these days. Just kidding! But I am certainly lost so if you wish to claim me please be at home.Actually you are the second Cherry I have met, the first is my dear friend Cherry Horton( she usually writes it Cherrie )in New Zealand.So allow me to welcome you as my lost cherry. I live in the mountains of British Columbia /Canada and now that I can tell people ( facebook?) that I have found my lost cherry my reputation will doubtless improve. Thank you for browsing my blog. There will be another (I hope) interesting post in a few days. So do keep in touch, Cuz (p.s. where do you live?

15 07 2014
Josefina

I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest
but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your
website to come back in the future. All the best

17 07 2014
lauriepayne

Hello Josephina thank you for your kind comment on my blog. I live in the mountains of British Columbia Columbia in the foothills of the Rockies. Life is very busy in summer so I dont do much blogging but hope to be back in the Fall.Hope to meet you again then, Peace, Laurie Payne.

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