On the Seventh Column

by RICHARD OXMAN

Call me Slothrop.

By now everyone knows about the 122mm rocket that slammed into the near-Mosul mess tent, ripping through the ceiling…"in the deadliest single attack against Americans in Iraq since the start of the war." No near-miss, this. Spot on target.

But will the responses from the so-called progressive community be…on the mark? I doubt it.

Everyone’s on automatic these days. It’ll be time for torture…as the soldiers get payback. And it’ll be time for tears…as all "good citizens" will be called upon to shed up…like good Patriot pups.

Not me. I don’t like seeing anyone killed or maimed…or even shocked out of their shrapnelic insensitivity. Nevertheless, it’s quite a stretch for me to contemplate the devastation in any other light than what I would be seeing…if the Third Reich’s Headquarters had had their heads handed to them.

When Emilio Mola Vidal moved on Madrid with four army columns in 1936, he referred to his (Nationalist) militant supporters within the capital as his "fifth column." The phrase, coined during the Spanish Civil War, alludes to a group within a given country…at war…who are sympathetic to its enemies (or sometimes working for them).

Well, that’s not me. And that’s certainly not the vast majority of the left on these shores. Even with a stretch on the word "sympathy."

But an awful lot of what’s left of the left veers toward the increasingly unpopular view that the so-called Iraqi insurgents deserve more understanding, different treatment. That’s not quite cutting the mustard for classification as a Fifth Columnist –albeit many would argue otherwise– and, so, I pigeonhole those protesting souls as part of our Sixth Column.

The Seventh Column? That would include those who see our Occupying Troops –dead, alive or maimed– as Stormtroopers. Sturm Abteilung…with an edge.

Well, okay, they’re not wearin’ brown shirts.

But do you want to get rid of them? I’m afraid so.

And that’s the question that faces all would-be progressives this morning. Are they gonna treat the fallen figures as some kind of faithful followers of the founding fathers? Y’know, go through the obligatory moist fandango. Like so many did with the demise of Reagan.

I’m sorry. But, I’m sorry, no respects should be paid…unless you want to line up as a "little Eichmann" yourself.

All kinds of branches extending from the blast will be explored. But amidst the hushed tones, the wringing of hands, etc. not many words will be mouthed about our monstrous men in uniform. I’m not talkin’ ’bout criticism of our machinations; that you’ll hear.

There are no good soldiers. I don’t need them. I’d rather be vulnerable, die…than commit the Sin of Omission of not saying so.

Place me in the Seventh Column. I’m gonna re-read Gravity’s Rainbow.

RICHARD OXMAN is looking for Thomas Pynchon in Los Gatos, California. He can be reached at dueleft@yahoo.com, and he’s offering a reward for anyone who can set up a meeting with TP.


Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone
Laura Finley
Adjunct Professors and Worker’s Rights
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode Three, Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”
Weekend Edition
July 24-26, 2015
Mike Whitney
Picked Out a Coffin Yet? Take Ibuprofen and Die
Henry Giroux
America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland
Rob Urie
Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone
Michael Lanigan
Lynn’s Story: an Irish Woman in Search of an Abortion
Paul Street
Deleting Crimes at the New York Times: Airbrushing History at the Paper of Record
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications
Andrew Levine
After the Iran Deal: Israel is Down But Far From Out
Uri Avnery
Sheldon’s Stooges: Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
David Swanson
George Clooney Paid by War Profiteers
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
Horace G. Campbell
Obama in Kenya: Will He Cater to the Barons or the People?
Michael Welton
Surviving Together: Canadian Public Tradition Under Threat
Rev. William Alberts
American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains
Yorgos Mitralias
Black Days: August 4th,1914 Germany and July 13th, 2015 Greece