Shakespeare on Improbable Fiction and Incredible Reality

If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction, twelfth night“If this were played upon a stage now,
I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.”

(Twelfth Night, act 3, sc. 4)

afghan girl mutilated in drone attack

Afghan girl mutilated in drone attack

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the one to whom the Pope said in person, “Thank you for helping to keep the world safe” (!!! – see blog of Jan 20, 2013 or search for “Panetta” in the search field) has announced that  the Pentagon is creating a medal that can be awarded to troops “who have a direct impact on combat operations, but do it well away from any combat zone.” Translation: the drone killers.
“… Remotely piloted platforms (Orwell new-speak for drones) and cyber systems (Orwell new-speak for Internet & Communication US terror tools), have changed the way wars are fought,” Panetta said. “And they’ve given our men and women the ability to engage the enemy (Orwell new-speak for “kill anything that moves” with massive evidence to support the statement) and change the course of battle, even from afar.”
The work they do “does contribute to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle (Orwell new-speak for ‘kill them’ whoever they are), even if those actions are physically removed from the fight,” he said.
If anyone is not sickened by this kind of talk (let alone action) I don’t know what it would take. There is nothing “courageous” and everything sick (and pathologically so) to kill “enemies” from a shopping list by playing a video-game. It is societal, pathologically criminal science-fiction presented as “normal”.
The medal is a brass pendant, nearly two inches tall, with a laurel wreath that circles a globe. There is an eagle in the center.
No wonder that Nobel Prize Winner Bishop Desmond Tutu wrote as follows (to the New York Times).
“Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the 19th century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it. I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity.”

Bishop Tutu was  polite. “Moral standards and humanity” have been set aside a long time ago.
As countless records show, the recent administrations have equaled or exceeded the Nuremberg Crimes, just in the sheer number of millions of people killed. Secrecy and crass lying to the public are the norm not the exception.
In an incident (almost coincidental in time with the announced medal for freedom-to-kill with a drone) the LA police announced that the cabin where the fugitive ex-cop Dorner was hiding had caught fire by itself. Moments before the burn, the LA police had told the media to stop recording the event even from the helicopters. The media complied but a recorder did not immediately stop the making a record of the police radio. Where – on the radio – it is obvious that they have brought in the “burner” as they call it (read an armored tank equipped with flame-throwers) and are going to burn the house. “Burn the Mother-f….” is clearly heard on the radio, as well as “Burner in place, go!”
And this is the “Government of the People for the People…!” Improbable Fiction? No certain, conclusive and unmistakable reality.

Suggestion for use.  Apply to very odd behavior or idea or action

In the poem.  Fabian cannot contain his laughter at Malvolio’s behavior.

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