TIME MAGAZINE is in many ways the most honest representation of the American conscience today. Reaching more than 3,000,000 families it presents official thinking and popularizes the attitudes of the “tastemakers.” The May 6th issue is an historic document. In three stories it summarizes and epitomizes the most important problem the peace movement faces—the brutalization of the American conscience.
The way the three stories are presented is more important than the content, for by its attitude toward the “news” presented, TIME, faithfully reflecting the “smart sets” and the governing elites’ views, reveals that we have already slid most of the way to a new barbarism that Graham Greene warned of two years ago when he said, “The strange new feature about the photographs of torture now appearing in the British and American Press, is that they have been taken with the approval of the torturers and published over captions that contain no hint of condemnation. They might have come out of a book on insect life. ‘The white ant takes certain measures against the red ant after a successful foray.’ But these, after all, are not ants but men. THE LONG SLOW SLIDE INTO BARBARISM OF THE WESTERN WORLD SEEMS TO HAVE QUICKENED. FOR THESE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE OF TORTURES BELONGING TO AN ARMY WHICH COULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT AMERICAN AID AND COUNSEL. Does this mean that the American authorities sanction torture as a means of interrogation?” (Graham Greene, London Daily Telegraph, November 6, 1964.)
But there is more than torture in TIME. Two pages before the story reproduced in this article, TIME tintillatingly described, in a style that would do all good porno-writers proud, the brutal sadism involved in the torture of an Indianapolis girl. This same style was followed up in the article on the whore houses the US Army is now setting up in Vietnam. One feels compelled to ask, “Do we remember Germany?” For those who don’t, or won’t, there is a short paperback, available at any local drugstore, called The Doll House.
It was written by a Jewish girl—she might have been a non-Jewish Pole, Slovak, or Russian as well—who survived one of the field whorehouses set up by the German Army in W.W. II. These were not Nazi horrors; they were rationally planned service stations whose directors might have said, just like the American Colonel in the TIME article, “We wanted to get the greatest good for our men with the least harm.” The Nazis were more honest; their women were prisoners, people seized in the course of the war. The TIME article argues that by isolating the whore houses in this fashion, they protected the rest of the population. The Germans were more honest. In order to keep up morale, they needed sex-machines. Once used up, or pregnant, the Feldhuren were killed.
TIME doesn’t say what the army will do with the girls who get diseases. Will they just be thrown off the “Disneyland” property, or perhaps, in our own inimical way, will we provide rest homes and hospitals for “Our girls.” After all, they deserve the best, even though they are Asian.
At any rate, “Baby Blue, it’s all over now.” We’ve got our concentration camps, our saturation bombing, our napalm, our Special Forces—who are referred to in the German Press as BANDENKAMP-VERBANDE, the name given during W.W. II to the Waffen S.S. outfits who specialized in hunting down resistance fighters in Eastern Europe—our water torture, our general shock machines, and now our FELDHUREN.
LONG LIVE THE THOUSAND YEAR GREAT SOCIETY.
See Fifth Estate’s Vietnam Resource Page.