Don’t Act so Surprised

Arthur Kaplan Ph.D. is shocked–shocked[1] to discover that psychopaths from the United States experimented on human beings in guatemala in the 1940s.

It should be shocking, it should be a goddamn once-in-a-lifetime occurrence (if that) in a civilized society. But it is far less than shocking, far less than surprising, far less, even, that somewhat odd that the government of the US would treat . . . well anyone this way.

Just a couple years before, the US government was testing out nuclear weapons on population centers in Asia and experimenting with incendiaries to create city-wide crematoriums in central europe. For over a decade, it had been performing similar medical experiments on its own citizens. These experiments would continue until the 1970s.

The full list of unethical human experimentation inside the United States–on people that, the theory goes, the government is protecting–should prepare us for the fact that they’ve probably been doing some really horrible shit to the people around the world that have the great misfortune to have U.S. puppet governments assigned to control their geographical area.

That goes doubly for guatemala, a country in which the U.S. trained, armed, and lead death squads against troublesome peasants attempting to claim ownership of the place where they had lived for generations.

The degree of surprise about past crimes against humanity in a day where the same government has remote controlled flying robot assassins assassinating tribesman at will and raining death wedding parties and funeral processions in multiple foreign countries should be low (the degree of surprise, that is, sorry about the run-on sentence).

I can already foresee in my twilight years, should I be so lucky as to see them, the shock and astonishment when it’s revealed what horrific evil shit the medical, psychological and public health [sic] establishment conducted on the peasants of the several occupied countries of the “war on terror.” For chrissakes, how silly is it to believe that the people who are already setting fire to thousands of people for no reason whatsoever would hesitate to use them for experiments? It reminds me (stretching here for an great link), of IOZ’s line about the concern over pain and suffering during lethal injections: “You’re going to enact the ultimate cruelty, the most singularly irrevocable act of violence, and you’re concerned that it’s going to sting?”

If you were an inhabitant of the middle east who had been the victim of US aggression, you’d better hope that you had had some disease injected in you and been sent on your way. The alternatives would be indefinite detention and torture, expropriation, limb removal, eradication of immediate famly, death, and/or who knows what else.

My point is that this shit goes on every day and has for a few thousand years. Thugs and sociopaths, calling themselves the “government of X,” have used the people under their control, foreign and domestic, as a resource for whatever the hell they felt like doing. The united states is no exception and you should[2] accept that similar (and worse) activities are going on today. It’s been OK’d by the president, congress and supreme court, and is considered standard procedure no matter how horrific or how inhumane the activity.

  1. [1] OK, he said astounding, but astounding doesn’t get me the movie reference. I’d also like to apologize to Dr. Kaplan, his was just the first article that came up. I think it’s honorable that he took the time to write about the subject.
  2. [2] if you wish to be considered a member of the reality-based community.
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