Pass the potatoes
by H. Millard (c) 2003

Most fair minded people know that President Bush's war against Iraq is not justified and that there was no real danger to the U.S. from that sand pile of a nation. Most honest people also know that the grand "coalition" attacking Iraq is really just America and, to a far lesser degree, Great Britain. Fed up with the intellectually insulting, absurd, grade school level rah, rah, propaganda they're being fed by the sycophantic U.S. media and especially by a couple of the cable news networks, many citizens are turning to the internet to get more balanced reporting. What these citizens are learning, is that most of the world is watching this phony war in horror, and billions of people (yes, billions) are probably now internalizing the possible world changing opinion that Uncle Sam isn't their favorite uncle and is even more of an ugly American and a bully than some had previously thought.

anti-war demoanti-war demoThis possible change in world opinion does not bode well for the U.S. at a time when we are no longer isolated and safe behind two oceans. The world today has been made small by fast mass transportation. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as barriers between the U.S. and the rest of the world, now present about as much of a physical obstacle as some rivers once presented between towns. And, even though Great Britain is half-heartedly with us in what appears to be Bush's private war, most people around the world do not put that nation in the same category of evil as they put the U.S. This is so, because most of the world understands that Great Britain has essentially been bought by the U.S. and is now our colony that simply does what we want on major issues. Rightly or wrongly, many people also view British Prime Minister Tony Blair as President Bush's lap dog.

In contrast to world opinion, most good, decent Americans know that most of us are not evil. Still, more than a few American citizens must be wondering if some of our leaders and elites both in and out of government, and even our government itself (as a collective group-will entity), are suffering from assorted mental disorders including, but not limited to, sociopathy--which is often interpreted as "evil." Let's be more direct. Many people around the world want to know if the United States of America has gone nuts.

Dick CheneyHow do we answer? Are we a sociopathic nation? That term, sociopathic, by the way, has now largely merged with and co-opted the term psychopath. You may have heard that sociopaths are often cold-blooded killers. That's true as far as it goes, but not all sociopaths are killers. All sociopaths, however, are cold-blooded. Classic sociopaths share the inability to know right from wrong, and they all have little or no human compassion. They don't care about other people. Many sociopaths are also very clever and know how to fool others by showing a caring public face. You won't see them tearing wings off insects in public (actually, one of the early indicators of a sociopathic personality is when a child does do this sort of thing). This is one reason why sociopathic serial killers can often find so many victims. The victims usually never have a clue that they are going to be killed until the very last moment. There is no passion. There is no anger. If the sociopath is known to smile and talk in a soft voice when he works or plays, he'll probably continue smiling and talking in a soft voice as he kills his victims.

BushSome sociopaths claim to be what they're not--compassionate. Given the widespread dissemination of catch phrases in our society, the reader may be forgiven if he thinks "compassionate conservatism." at this point. Many sociopaths live normal lives and appear normal. Many rise to high positions. Studies indicate that approximately 4% of the population may be suffering from sociopathy. Studies also indicate that sociopaths are almost always male. On the outside, sociopaths look normal. Inside their minds, however, there is a lack of any real emotion about the deaths of others. Even when they are clever enough to feign concern or regret about the death of others--which they often do, since this is considered necessary in order to pass as normal in society--their crocodile tears can be seen for what they are if one is perceptive enough and has observed the person for an adequate period of time in various circumstances. There is a coldness or flatness to their emotions. This is so, because sociopaths are self-absorbed, lack conscience, and have no genuine feelings for others. Listen to some very well known so-called "conservatives" on radio or TV talking about Iraq these days and you'll hear examples of this flatness of affect and lack of empathy.

Support for Bush warMany on the right reflexively and unknowingly excuse sociopaths and the evil that they do, partly because they don't realize that these people are suffering from a mental disease, and partly because of a strong dislike for those neurotic, squishy, doe-eyed liberals at the other end of the emotional spectrum who always seem to be holding candle light vigils or who are just a bit too teary eyed about everything. Constitutionally revulsed by these emotional basket case liberals--who are often, and correctly, thought of as the political/social enemies of those on the right--many good, decent people on the right go through a sort of silent psychological calculus that can most simply be stated as: the enemies of my enemies are my friends. Since the sociopaths definitely aren't squishy, many on the right think these sickos are the same as them when, in fact, the sociopaths aren't anything of the sort and are simply using those on the right to further the insane goals of the sociopaths. These insane goals often include complete dominance of others. Of course, the sociopaths often cleverly mask their goal of dominance with justifications of anything and everything that is necessary to achieve total dominance.

MugabeWhen sociopaths rise to high positions in government, all sorts of troubles can ensue as their sociopathic needs dictate public policy. When people are likely to die as a result of the actions of the sociopaths, as when the sociopaths undertake wars and military actions, the targeted people are often dehumanized by the sociopaths. They are also sometimes, depending on circumstances, demonized and blamed for all sorts of things that these people didn't do. In addition, people who actually are killed as a result of the actions of the sociopaths, are often blamed for their own deaths. To the sociopath, other people always had it coming or deserved it and the sociopath wasn't responsible. What the sociopath wants, the sociopath takes, and damn others to hell if they stand in the way. Other people are as meaningless to the sociopath as a sack of dirt. The deaths of people, including babies and small children raise no more emotion in the sociopath than would arise from the "killing" of a sack of dirt.

From recent events in the world, one wonders a little if sociopathy has become institutionalized in our government and parts of our society--especially among some phony conservatives and neo-cons--so that even when various government and private sector individuals are not personally and clinically sociopathic, the things they do are. In other words, as cogs in a sociopathic machine, they share in, contribute to, and are part of the sociopathy and are indistinguishable from the true sociopaths pulling levers.

Waco holocaustThink back to Waco. Remember how various government spokespeople and commentators blamed David Koresh and the people in the Waco compound for their own deaths? Did you hear much compassion from government spokespeople and commentators for the little kids who were burned to death in this incident that did not have to happen, but which did happen because the government couldn't get Koresh and his followers to bend to the will of the comply or die types? Remember Ruby Ridge? That didn't have to happen either. Similar comply or die types demanded complete submission. And, when it didn't come, they attacked this decent family doing little more than minding their own business and living as they saw fit. Now we're in Iraq and we're Wacoing and Ruby Ridging a whole nation that was pretty much minding its own business, but which refused to bend to the will of the comply or die elites in our government. As was the case both with Waco and Ruby Ridge, the sociopaths or sociopathic acting elites kicked their propaganda machines into high gear and started demonizing "them" in order to manipulate public opinion into accepting unjust attacks.

"First Blood"The sociopaths in and out of government are in their glory these days as the deaths mount in Iraq. However, it is not the deaths, per se, that causes them to be pleased. The sociopaths, remember, are emotionally empty and don't care whether others live or die. What is giving the sociopaths pleasure is their dominance and the forcing of others to be submissive. Does this mean that everyone in government is a sociopath? Of course not. Even many of the spokespeople who are mouthing sociopathic sounding rationales may just be repeating what they've been told to say and are recoiling inside at the needless loss of life.

Youn Iragi GirlWhen little children are killed by U.S. bombs or missiles, some government spokespeople blame Saddam Hussein, or even the dead children themselves for being in the wrong place. This can't help but sound sociopathic to many people. After all, it was the U.S. that expended much effort to travel thousands of miles away to a foreign nation to drop bombs on the people who live there and who, remember, aren't attacking the U.S. When our own servicemen are killed, we are often told that our military people are all volunteers (read, it's okay that they died, because they volunteered), and then Saddam Hussein is also blamed. This also sounds sociopathic to many people. There is no real sign of human compassion about these deaths. These people who are dying--on both sides-- are not the real life children and grown up children of feeling mothers and fathers. These are all just sacks of dirt to the psychopaths and to those who use psychopathic logic.

And, what about Saddam Hussein? Is he a sociopath? Maybe. Our government says he's nuts. The problem with this, however, is that our government claims that just about everyone that they are trying to demonize is nuts. Of course, Saddam didn't do the nutty thing of telling the U.N. to go fly a kite and then attack the U.S.

dead IraqiNo matter how bad Saddam Hussein is or isn't, the U.S. attack on Iraq, and the deaths of our fellow human beings, didn't have to happen. The Bush administration seemingly rushed into war with no real concern for the deaths of--not sacks of dirt--but real living people -- the children of loving mothers and fathers. The human element apparently wasn't important to the Bushies. What was important was that, at least as told by the Bushies, Saddam wasn't complying. He didn't submit to the will of the Bushies. In the minds of the Bushies, the Iraqis brought it upon themselves. "Hey, all those dead kids are Saddam's fault. He made us do it." And messages from the past can be heard, "Hey, all those dead kids at Waco are Koresh's fault. He made us do it," says a cold voice. "Hey, it's their own fault that those people died at Ruby Ridge. They made us do it," says another cold voice.

Perhaps Americans are now so dumbed down and easily manipulated by cheap and transparent propaganda that many can't understand the simple truth that there was no reason to attack Iraq and there was no reason for the loss of a single life.

Jimmy CarterMany good decent people are now trying to get our government's collective head straight about when it is appropriate to go to war and when it isn't, but this seems to be falling on deaf ears. It's almost as though we are talking to, dare we think it? Sociopaths. Former President Jimmy Carter, who is not much liked on the right, did get it right recently in his published statement about what constitutes a just war. Mr. Carter found, as do many people who read the statement, that this present mess in Iraq lacks the characteristics of a just war. PopeThen, the Pope even took the extraordinary step of opposing this war. The U.N. opposed it. Most nations on the planet, oppose it. Still, the Bushies think that the whole world is wrong and they are right. Whether or not there really are sociopaths among the Bushies, the fact remains that much of what we are reading and hearing about this war seems to have elements of sociopathy involved.

National Guard members prayingMost of the people in the U.S. military are not sociopaths. Most of them are good, decent people and many are probably secretly against this unjust war or will some day look back and realize they should have been against it. Many of them only went into the military because they had few other choices in life and were looking for a way to get a leg up. The overwhelming majority of them aren't the "special" children of the elites--such as George Bush--but are the children of working poor and middle class people. Unfortunately, the youthful hormones, the dreams, the need for adventure and for being someone, do not have outlets leading to Harvard and Yale for most of these young people. The doors open to them lead to the military. While they are fighting thousands of miles away from the U.S., the priveleged children of the elites are having fraternity parties and learning how to become adult elites of the next generation so they can take daddy's seat in government where, in their time, they will be able to send more children of the working poor and middle class to fight battles for the elites.

Iraqi boySome more children and grown up children died today thousands of miles away from America. Some were in our uniforms. Some were in their uniforms. Some were in no uniforms. They were killed as a result of U.S. action. It was their own fault. They made us do it. Pass the potatoes.

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