Friday, May 27, 2011

Total and Utter Annihilation®: Made in the USA

 . . . because I'm a sick fuck.
There’s a lot of inventions, the fruits of which we all enjoy, that were not hatched in America.  Contrary to Obama’s assertion a while ago, although Ford conjured up the first mass-produced automobile, the Ford Motor Company did not invent the automobile.  Even seemingly simple things like the steam engine or vaccination were not invented in America.

We might not have invented some of the things that have completely revolutionized human living, but we have invented one thing that changed the world forever: complete and utter destruction.

Near the end of World War II, Robert Oppenheimer and co. harnessed the power of the atom and turned it into a weapon of unimaginable and unprecedented destruction.  With the invention of “The Bomb,” we had finally granted ourselves the power to completely and irreversibly destroy ourselves.

The United States of America invented the capability to destroy the world.  Oppenheimer is often quoted, but I think we seldom take in the gravitas of his words: “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Somewhere along the line we collectively decided that coming up with The Bomb was probably not a good thing.  It may have been an inevitable thing (Hitler was developing it the same time we were, and the Soviets were all over it), but it was definitely not a good thing.  In that time, however, we recognized the huge advantage that it gave us.  Who would oppose a country that had that sort of capability?

Bobby O., the founding father of the
apocalypse.

Fortunately we’re fairly benevolent, and I don’t think we’ve ever taken the world hostage with our capabilities, but we learned a valuable lesson from all of that.  We learned that in a world of jackals and wolves, the one thing that sets a nation apart from others is its ability to extinguish life.  After a bunch of horrifyingly bloody wars, we then figured out that efficiency in killing would further set us apart from other nations.

Even though we decided that nuclear weapons are a bad thing, and we should probably never use them except in case of retaliation, and that we should only have them for the purpose of deterrence, we still understood that efficient killing is how you make yourself safe.  We scaled down our nuclear arsenal, but we improved every other method of bringing death upon our enemies while sustaining as few friendly casualties as possible.

Compare the numbers of fallen American military men and women now to 30 years ago.  In Vietnam, 50,000 Americans were killed, over 100,000 wounded, and around 1,500 were MIA.  Before that, the numbers were far more staggering.  Compare the monthly loss of American lives in WWII to the monthly loss of life in Iraq during the height of its violence.  We lament the fact that we’ve lost over 7,000 brave men and women in Iraq after nearly 10 years of war.  The perspective changes, I think, when you consider that after a campaign that lasted a little over a month in the Ardennes Forrest in WWII, American losses numbered nearly 90,000 (19,000 KIA, 47,000 wounded, 23,000 POW or MIA).

America might not be leading the way in green energy technology, and we might suck when it comes to electronic entertainment (sorry, but Japan has us whipped on that).  But what we can do is kill just about anyone, anywhere, at any time.  We don’t even need nuclear weapons anymore.

60 years ago, that dude on the left in this photo of the
Ardennes Forest would have been fragged.
Just look at the Navy SEALs for example.  Last year they sniped some Somali pirates from a damn boat.  At night.  Not long ago they waxed bin Laden.  If you have an American after your ass trying to kill you, and he has (SEAL) in his official title, you’re probably fucked.

America is on top because the world knows that they can’t possibly stand up to our military might.  We can kill people better than anyone on the planet.  It sounds cynical and horrifying, but it’s the truth.  No one ever said that being a world super-power would not be a messy business.  I don’t think, however, that we have lost our soul yet, so perhaps it’s not as dreary as it may appear.

1 comment:

Silverfiddle said...

Some would say we have lost our soul. After awhile you either jump in with the America-hating screamers or you tune them out.

Tuning them out also tunes out any legitimate criticism, and the soul ossifies.

We are not evil, but we have fallen prey to a blind belief in technology and our own ability to single-handedly remake whole societies.

Our efforts have sprung from American can-doism and a sincere desire to better the lives of others, but I think what we should learn is to just stay out of other people's business and keep our powder dry.