Nation of the Flies

by Edgar J. Steele

May 12, 2004

"Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go. Why things are what they are."
  --- The Lord of the Flies speaking in Lord of the Flies, a novel by William Golding (1954)

Just when I think that America's current Administration can't sink any lower, some new depravity is unveiled to public view.  

Now it turns out that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pictures and videotapes detailing Iraqi prisoner rape, sodomy, torture and even something that passes for necrophilia, have been taken by troops armed with digital cameras, seemingly eager to memorialize the depths of the depravity to which they have sunk.  I am just heartsick over what some of America's sons and daughters seem to have become.  I can't bear, even, to provide you hyperlinks to the pictures now circulating.  Google them up for yourself.  

As evidence of the depraved nature of these photographs and videos, many porn sites now are carrying them.  Some even go so far as to blame American Jewish pornographers for the very occurrence of the depravities photographed (, though even I find that to be a bit of a stretch.

Wayne Madsen, Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, notes the "mounting evidence that a shadowy group of former Israeli Defense Force and General Security Service (Shin Bet) Arabic-speaking interrogators were hired by the Pentagon under a classified "carve out" sub-contract to brutally interrogate Iraqi prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison." (The Israeli Torture Template, Wayne Madsen, CounterPunch, May 10, 2004).  Madsen quotes an unnamed "political appointee within the Bush administration" as stating that, "Many of the torture methods were developed by the Israelis over many years of interrogating Arab prisoners on the occupied West Bank and in Israel itself."

Yes, it may be easy to blame this latest travesty on Israel, just as so many things properly are attributed to that tail that wags the American dog, but this is the sort of thing that simply cannot be laid off onto another by anybody in the chain of command.

Always, I have taken the position of supporting our troops, wherever they may be, so long as they do not cross over the line into criminal activity.  "Just following orders" should be no excuse for those with an internal moral compass.  Problem is, so many Americans seem to have lost theirs, especially those at the highest levels of government.

And make no mistake - our troops have been following orders.  American President George ("the buck never stops here") Bush and Defense Secretary Donald ("You want the truth?  You can't handle the truth!") Rumsfeld are directly responsible.  You see, for those who slept through 8th-grade social studies, Bush gives orders to Rumsfeld, who then gives orders to everybody at the Defense Department.

On orders from the Defense Department, General Geoffrey Miller, the fellow in charge of America's ex-officio prison terror gulag in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay ("Gitmo," to its intimates), went to Iraq last summer "to find ways to improve the flow of intelligence from detainees."  General Miller formed up the central interrogation unit at the Abu Ghraib prison, where the photographed atrocities took place under the direct orders of US Military Intelligence.  This is the same General Miller who last year was outed by the The Washington Post for utilizing "interrogation techniques" at Gitmo banned under the Hague Convention as constituting war crimes (can you say "torture," boys and girls?).

Questioned about this latest disclosure of torture and atrocities under his direction, and before he started his current round of backpedaling and finger pointing, General Miller was, in the words of yet another Washington Post reporter, "unapologetic":  "We're here to enable the armed forces to win this fight that's ongoing," stated the General.  Unapologetic?  Hell, this guy's proud of his work!  When the movie is made, Jack Nicholson will have to reprise his role as the crusty Marine Colonel from A Few Good Men, simply to do justice to this man's hubris.  

If General George Patton, the very picture of former American military greatness, were alive today, he would drag Miller into the nearest hospital tent and slap him silly.

How like the tribe of lost boys in the novel Lord of the Flies has become America.  William Golding's masterwork stands as the very symbol of herd mentality, of the savagery that can be evoked from people when acting as a group.  America, Nation of the Flies.  That's what we can call the movie starring General Miller.  That's what we have become, you know.  

Want to understand America today?  Get a copy of Golding's book and read it.  Pick up copies of George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984, too, while you're at the bookstore.  To round out your understanding of America, you might add Aldous Huxley's Brave New World to the stack at the checkout counter.  To prove there is nothing new under the sun, all of these books were written over fifty years ago.  In my day, these were required reading for college Freshman English.  Today, they are viewed as subversive and will be banned tomorrow, so you might as well also get a copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, the definitive work on book burning (the title derives from the temperature at which paper burns), which also was written fifty years ago.

Once you have digested America as she is today, the more daring might then track down a copy of The Turner Diaries, by Dr. William Pierce, writing under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald, for an alternate, some say more heartening, view of tomorrow in America.  Finally, for a light dessert, I recommend The Fable of the Ducks and the Hens.

The fundamental message of William Golding's book, Lord of the Flies:  without the unifying themes of society to hold us together, we lose our values, morals, ethics and everything else that separates us from the savagery found in the animal world.  American society has broken down, what with our underlying European ethos having been systematically dismantled.  Should we be so surprised now to find ourselves engaged in a discussion concerning our lost morality with a figurative severed head, impaled upon a stick (the Lord of the Flies namesake)?  Abu Ghraib prison is that severed head and we surely are as lost as those boys, because it now is, and forever will be, a part of us and our America.  Thanks, George.

I have been railing against the Bush Administration for so long that many actually think I am a liberal.  Some Democrats actually say nice things about me in their on-line forums, much to my chagrin.  My first calls for Bush's ouster, over a year ago, resulted in a great many nasty emails from Bush supporters.  A few months later, I wrote IMPEACH BUSH NOW, which produced measurably less hate mail.  Today, I can say anything I want with no backlash.  Why, some of those former hate emailers are starting to apologize and throw in with me.  

What I still don't understand is why the American public isn't rioting in the streets, en masse.  Oh, that's right, I forgot:  pizza deliveries, beer in the supermarkets, football on TV.  The important stuff still is in place.

Lessee now, where is that remote control?  I had it here a moment ago.

New America.  An idea whose time has come.


Thanks to everyone who has downloaded my speech from the recent Sacramento Zundel Revisionist Conference, sponsored by the IHR,  and sent me their compliments.  It now is available at this web site.   It runs a little over an hour and is nearly 9mb in total size, but will stream on the Real Audio link (Windows wave file also available).  Do the exercise near the end, right along with the audience, and let me know your resultant thoughts.


"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright 2004, Edgar J. Steele

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