Neo-Con Love Affair

NeoCon 1

I have been bothered the last year, ever since the Sandy Hook incident, and it finally came out in this work. As one person has described it already, it is “chocked full of goodness”. I call it “Neo-Con Love Affair”. The Neo-Conservatives are defined by many things symbolized in this painting. They love them some good ol’ God, (and they are pretty sure he is just blessing ‘merca). They love them some flag. They love ‘em some huntin’. They really love them some Sarah Palin. But they really, really love them some guns. And all the things that go with them, like the stand-your-ground and concealed carry laws. And they idolize the defenders of their guns, the NRA, and the misinformation, paranoia, and fear they purvey. Now, I am not anti-gun. I have some myself. I do not think they should be outlawed. George Kollitides (who I named this gun store after), the CEO of Freedom Group, which owns the company that makes the Bushmaster rifle said, “It’s very easy to blame an inanimate object.” It is the old “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” theme, that I agree with. But, the question is, should we allow them to do it so efficiently? Is there really any reason anyone outside of the military or law enforcement needs an assault rifle or a thirty round clip? Really?
So, after twenty children and seven adults were whacked by the fine young gentleman in the center (blue shirt) of the painting, Adam Lanza, I thought, “Finally, we will put an end to this!” But, in the end, not only were the expired bans on semi-automatic weapons not re-enacted (expired during the Bush years, of course), lawmakers could not even restrict high capacity clips. Not only that, but the gun nuts doubled down! In the aftermath of Newtown, sales of Bushmasters soared (I flew with two copilots who lamented their difficulty in obtaining theirs) and gun store owners across the country struggled to restock shelves fast enough. Wal-Mart ran out of ammunition stocks. I felt, and still feel, that I am living in some sort of “bizzaro-land”, sick to my stomach.
More goodness: See how many of the other characters in this painting you can name. I expect not too many. It is a good story for a couple of weeks and then we forget and go about our business. And why shouldn’t we? We can write our congressmen until our hands are cramping, but thanks to 2010’s Citizens United case the only people that matter to our legislators are corporations, like the one the aforementioned Mr. Kollitides headed. Anyway, I will help you out: From left to right… Major Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, 13 dead, 30 wounded. George Zimmerman 1 dead, free man, (I thought the hoody would be a nice irony for this not only racial profiler but attire profiler as well). Next, James Holmes, Aurora, Joker (of Batman fame) fan and killer of 12, wounder of 70. Gabby Gifford’s would-be assassin is next to him, Jarod Lee Loughner, who’s thirty round clips killed 6 and wounded 14. Next to him is Seung-Hui Cho, who on the Virginia Tech campus whacked 33 and wounded 23. Next is the Gorilla in the room, which is to say, the irony of this piece. Then we have the trench coat mafia of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (I used the faces they made into the security cameras in the school), Columbine, 15 dead, 21 wounded. Finally, the little creep Adam Lanza, whose mother apparently thought it was a good idea to get her very own Bushmaster because, well, …I really have no idea. 27.
So, this our legacy to our love of guns. And all this carnage is just in the last 15 years!! So, some of you may be pretty disturbed by this piece. It may seem obscene, even sick. But I just made the painting up. It is a piece of fiction. I would submit to you that the very real sickness is living in a country where in the last 15 years 107 people have died, and 158 wounded by these wackos, and instead of enacting laws that would have saved at least a few of these people, what do we do? Double down. Buy more guns. Talk about arming teachers. And, although the Neo-Con creedo is largely responsible for this, our current Prez has even expanded gun rights! No, that is the real obscenity.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and it seems I have attempted a thousand more. I am at a loss, though. This saddens me, and the paranoid promoters of gun rights protection sicken me. If anyone knows what can be done about this, let me know, I would be glad to help. Right now all I can do is make a point with the art and hope some positive vibes can go out to counter the sickness. It should be said that all this gun love is just a symptom, the sickness goes much deeper. And that is where the clown comes in, the accessory that ties the Neo-Con Love Affair all together.
We not only love our guns in our hands, but we also love our big guns, U.S. Military might. As Madeleine Albright put it, “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” We have a violent history as a nation, only 4-5 presidents out of 44 having not involved our military in some sort of conflict. Violence is in our American blood as a nation, the knee-jerk reaction of the American psyche. Our five percent of the world population accounting for over fifty percent of all military/arms spending. From 1987 to 1997 alone our arms exports grew from 29% to 58% of all arms sales on the planet.
The following list is a summary by place and date of American use of force in conflicts from 1900 to the present, (expanded explanations available). A few incidents of the use of our overwhelming force can be seen in the context of history as justified. But the overwhelming majority is justified only as “protecting American interests”. How this decodes, of course, is American corporate interests. Other countries have what we want, (oil, minerals and other natural resources)and our military is there to assure that we get it. And they are there to make sure we get it at minimum cost and maximum profit, often times through the use of puppet governments run by dictators that we installed and kept in power through the constant threat of overwhelming force.
The list:

1898-Spanish-American War

1901-Columbia (State of Panama)

1903-1914-Panama

1906-1909-Cuba

1907-Honduras

1910-Nicaragua

1912-Honduras

1912-Cuba

1912-China

1914-1917-Mexico

1915-Haiti

1916-1918-WWI

1917-Cuba

1918-1919-Mexico

1918-Russia

1920-Guatemala

1922-Guatemala

1926-Nicaragua

1927-Nicaragua

1927-China

1933-Cuba

1937-Nicaragua

1941-1945-WWII

1946-Panama

1948-China

1951-1953-Korea

1953-1979-Iran

1954-Guatemala

1953-Vietnam

1957-Indonesia

1958-Lebanon

1959-Haiti

1960-Cuba

1960-Equador

1960-Brazil

1961-Cuba

1962-Cuba

1963-1975-Vietnam

1964-mid 80s-Zaire

1965-Dominican Republic

1966-Guatemala

1966-Bolivia

1966-El Salvadore

1967-Greece

1970-Cambodia

1971-Bolivia

1972-Uruguay

1973-Chile

1974-Greece

1975-1978-Angola

1979-Afghanistan

1980-El Salvadore

1980-Nicaragua

1981-Libya

1982-Lebanon

1983-Grenada

1983-Syria

1984-Nicaragua

1985-Lebanon

1986-Haiti

1988-Iran

1988-Panama

1989-Libya

1990-Bulgaria

1991-Iraq

1992-Somalia

1992-Iraq

1993-Iraq

1993-Bosnia

1993-Yugoslavia

1994-Haiti

1996-Zaire

1998-Sudan

1998-Afghanistan

1999-Yugoslavia

2002-Present-Afghanistan

2003-Present-Iraq

Notice that most of this list is comprised of small indefensible countries. Countries that we could (seemingly) crush easily. It would be like a small boy fighting a full grown powerfully built man, would it not? Most people are not even aware of these conflicts, this ample use of overpowering American might. A lot of the details of these adventures have only recently become declassified, most we have known about for years. Either way, through secrecy or apathy one could consider it buried beneath the floorboards. So, the great giant gets what he wants, uses overt violence or the threat of violence, then buries the leftover details under the floorboards. Wait a minute! That sounds like John Wayne Gacy! Who sometimes dressed up like Pogo the Clown and entertained children.
So, it could be argued that these other sickos are really a symptom of a much larger disease, our national love affair with violence. And, let us face it, the Neo-Cons are the more likely to be in the vanguard of this twisted shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later hawkish way of thinking.
Go ahead and dismiss these words as the rambling rants of a bleeding heart liberal. Ok, how a about a perspective of a Major General of the United States Marine Corps? General Smedley Butler was a much decorated marine (two times awarded of the Medal of Honor). Take another look at the list above. He was involved in most of the action of the entire first third of the list. This is what he wrote:

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger-men” to point out enemies, its “muscle-men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic Capitalism. It may seem odd for me, a military man, to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. I helped make Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903. I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested. During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
-speech by Major General Smedley Butler, 1933
So, this is not anything new, although many of us are just beginning to see clearly for the first time, (many others also, in foreign countries, who have fallen victim to our foreign policy stratagems. And they are angry about it). This is an age-old mode of operation for this great country.
Hope that ties it all together for you. Have a nice American day. PGG