One of the fascinating aspects of the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan is how so many Americans, prodded by their rulers, have convinced themselves that U.S. troops are killing and dying to “protect our freedoms.” All across America — in churches, sports events, airports, and the like — people steadfastly maintain their sweet, innocent mindsets as they “support the troops” in their effort to heroically spread freedom, democracy, and the American way of life and protect Americans from the terrorists.
The late psychiatrist M. Scott Peck pointed out that mental health involves a fierce commitment to reality at all costs. Those who live a life of self-deception will ultimately pay a severe price in terms of psychosis and mental instability.
It would be difficult to find a better example of self-deception than what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. People seem to operate under the assumption that if they just continue to believe a false reality about what’s going on, the false reality will become reality.
Here’s the reality on the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan: These are no-good, dirty, rotten, crooked, corrupt, murderous, and destructive operations that are making the American people less safe and less secure as each day passes.
Bribery of government officials, crooked elections, the killing and maiming of countless people who had nothing to do with 9/11, torture and sex abuse, forced exile of millions of people, widespread bombings, major destruction of towns and cities, intentional lies and deceptions, arbitrary arrests , indefinite incarcerations, denial of freedom of speech, due process of law, and other fundamental rights, assassinations, and major narcotics dealing, not to mention the production of new terrorists with each passing day as well as impending monetary catastrophe arising from out-of-control federal spending, debt, taxation, and inflation to pay for this madness.
That’s the reality. That’s what U.S. troops are dying for. Not for freedom. Not for democracy. Not for the American way of life. They’re dying for a façade that covers up no-good, rotten, crooked, corrupt, murderous, and destructive enterprises that are taking our country down.
And it’s also what they’re killing, maiming, kidnapping, renditioning, and torturing people for. It’s what they’re destroying Iraq and Afghanistan for.
No wonder so many U.S. troops are returning home all screwed up in the head. Scott Peck was right — those who deny reality will suffer psychosis and other mental problems. One can only wonder how this psychological phenomenon will play out among the people here at home who continue to delude themselves about what the troops are engaged in over there.