FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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.

 

RICHARD OXMAN can be found these days reading Joe Bageant’s material in Los Gatos, California; contact can be made at dueleft@yahoo.com. The Ox’s never-before-revealed “biography” is available at http://news.modernwriters.org/Some of his recent writing can be found in his Arts & Entertainment section and Features (under Social) there.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
Robert Koehler
Stop the Killing
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Of Dog Legs and “Debates”
Yves Engler
The Media’s Biased Perspective
Victor Grossman
Omens From Berlin
Christopher Brauchli
Wells Fargo as Metaphor for the Trump Campaign
Nyla Ali Khan
War of Words Between India and Pakistan at the United Nations
Tom Barnard
Block the Bunker! Historic Victory Against Police Boondoggle in Seattle
James Rothenberg
Bullshit Recognition as Survival Tactic
Ed Rampell
A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits
Kristine Mattis
Persnickety Publishing Pet-Peeves
Charles R. Larson
Review: Helen Dewitt’s “The Last Samurai”
David Yearsley
Torture Chamber Music
September 22, 2016
Dave Lindorff
Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Leads the Way
Stan Cox
If There’s a World War II-Style Climate Mobilization, It has to Go All the Way—and Then Some
Binoy Kampmark
Source Betrayed: the Washington Post and Edward Snowden
John W. Whitehead
Wards of the Nanny State
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail