The last United States and its ‘partners” troops have now left Afghanistan after almost 20 years of futile war with the Taliban.
The chaotic tragedy over the last week of desperate Afghans wanting to leave Afghanistan via Kabul Airport for a better and safer life, is now also over.
In the final few days of the exodus, the Taliban apparently informed United States forces of a likely threat from ISIS Khorasan forces at Kabul Airport. A suicide bomber duly arrived at one of the U.S. entry points to the airport and blew himself up, killing himself, an indeterminate number of Afghans (in the 100s), and 12 U.S. force personnel.
It would appear from Afghan accounts on the ground that the U.S. soldiers in the surrounding watchtowers then panicked and opened fire with automatic fire on the Afghans below- killing at least another 100 people.
Subsequent to the ISIS attack, the U.S. president stated in the usual petulant child-like way of American presidents that, ‘vengeance shall be ours’; rather than a thoughtful and lawful approach to such acts of premeditated murder which act to limit the risks of further attacks.
“To those who carried out this attack … we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.”-Joe Biden
Miraculously U.S. forces already knew the location of the planners of the ISIS attack and duly dispatched a drone to kill the planners and further attackers. (why the attackers weren’t arrested or killed before the attack is not explained)
The U.S. subsequently reported (as per usual) that it was ‘highly likely’ that the ISIS K planners and bombers had been killed in the drone attack. Given the history of U.S. drone attacks it is also ‘highly likely’ that those killed were guilty of owning several goats that were coveted by a neighbour who had then reported them as ISIS K combatants to the authorities.
One notes that the images of the vehicle supposedly hit by the subsequent U.S. drone attack show a somewhat burnt out vehicle-not a vehicle with a bomb on board, as claimed by the Americans , which would have disintegrated with the explosion of the ISIS bomb, after the drone missile impact.
Unsurprisingly the ruling Taliban have objected to the U.S. launching drone attacks on sovereign Afghan territory, but any objections by the Taliban will be ignored as the U.S. continues to bomb and drone Afghans that it believes are ‘highly likely’ to be terrorists. Only once the Taliban acquire anti-air missiles ( as the Mujahedeen before them did ) will the scourge of drone warfare be over.
With the elimination of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan, the Taliban are now free to follow up in every corner of the country, the threat that their mortal enemy ISIS, poses to Afghan security.
We know for certain that the United States did indeed facilitate the rise of extremist Wahhabist movements including Al Qaeda across the Middle East-in collaboration with U.K. ‘special’ forces, the Saudis, Turkey and some of the Gulf ministates; initially to confront the Russian forces in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and later to attack any secular government that the American and their ‘partners’ saw as a threat to their control of local resources.
We also know that the Iranians, Syrians and Russians have long complained about the U.S. facilitating the rise and ongoing support of ISIS groups in the Middle East, including the transport by helicopter of ISIS remnants from Syria into Afghanistan, and training and support by the Israelis of ISIS Syrian teams. How true are those statements from the Russians Syrians and Iranians? However we do know that the American’s definition of what they have traditionally called ‘moderate’ jihadists in the Middle East, is not one shared by many.
Despite the calls for an end to the drone murders, it is ‘highly likely’ that the Americans will continue to provide any excuse to continue to “precision’ bomb, drone and assassinate anyone they believe is not in their best economic interests and will support a new Mujahideen to confront the now more moderate ruling Afghan Taliban.
After several years of extreme violence and turmoil across Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power in the late 1990s,
As Consortium News notes: The triumphant Taliban imposed harsh Islamic law on Afghanistan. Their rule was especially cruel to women who had made gains toward equal rights under the communists, but were forced by the Taliban to live under highly restrictive rules, to cover themselves when in public, and to forgo schooling.
The Taliban also granted refuge to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, who had fought with the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s. Bin Laden then used Afghanistan as the base of operations for his terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, setting the stage for the next Afghan War in 2001.
After the 9/11 attacks in New York by Al Qaeda, the Taliban agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. However their offer was refused, and instead President Bush launched a war to remove the Taliban from power beginning with a brutal bombing campaign in October 2001
If the purpose of Bush’s Afghan war was not to trap Osama bin Laden – what was the purpose?
The United States had been negotiating with the Taliban for an oil pipeline to traverse Afghanistan from Central Asian oil fields, and appeared to be on relatively good terms with them.
It was only much later that the hype about a humanitarian intervention for women’s rights etc came to the fore in Western media. However this supposed human rights agenda by the United States and the United Kingdom is contradicted by their wholehearted support for the brutal Mujahideen the Saudi regime, and their unconditional support for the Israeli genocidal actions against Palestinians (amongst many other brutal regimes supported and armed by Western governments)
As a Western person I oppose discrimination against any person of any gender or race- however I also oppose the barbaric use of violence to impose one’s will on others we do not agree with- something my country New Zealand has been complicit in along with other Western white countries.
Setting up an indigenous Afghan army funded and trained and managed by foreigners to oppose local people who they may in fact know by tribe or family, and who are trying to defend their country from invasion, was always a recipe for failure. Such troops’ only motivation could be their paycheck, not patriotism for their country: so when the occupation force goes in the dead of night, the money goes with them and the local funded military disintegrate- they have nothing to fight for.
Similarly a ‘democracy’ funded and approved and beholden to an occupying power is not a democracy -it is a mockery of ‘democracy’.- and an extraordinarily corrupt one at that– why else would you pretend to lead your country whilst under an occupying power?
As Marshall Auerback and Patrick Lawrence note in ‘The Scrum’: Ashraf Ghani, (the last of the U.S. appointed Afghan ‘Presidents’) was among the more preposterous creations of the Obama administration, a man who personified our American presumption that we can go around the world making all others in our image without reference to histories, cultures, or political traditions.
We know the colonial occupation forces killed many thousands of civilians (through bombing campaigns, drone murders, the brutal occupation and destruction of villages and people’s homes and the use of torture at Bagram airbase and other locations in Afghanistan- civilian losses that the occupying forces continue to largely deny.
The New Zealand presence in Afghanistan is one more shameful example of our complicity in the United States’ war crimes..
While there will be many in Kabul and other major Afghan cities who have come to enjoy Western values, comforts and the easy money that came with the occupiers, there will be many many more Afghans who are thankful that the brutality and systematic racism of the Western occupying powers is finally at an end.
The lessons other vulnerable countries have learnt from Western occupying powers’ brutal occupation of Afghanistan will not be soon forgotten..
Nor will the boys coming home from that 20 year war be immune to its effects on the psyche..
“One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.” – Booker T. Washington
That is not to say Afghanistan is going to become some liberal, rights respecting country any time soon: traditional rigid views about women’s rights and other ethnicities and belief systems -particularly in rural areas, are gong to prevail for some time to come. And Sharia law is not exactly a very forgiving dogma; but there are signs that the new Taliban leadership recognise that they will have to adapt to the modern world if they are to be accepted by the wider international community, especially investment from Chinese and other neighbouring countries. Certainly, as of 17th August 2021, the Taliban command have so far largely behaved with honour and discipline for the defeated.
It should also be noted that the Taliban are not ‘terrorists’ and in no way resemble ISIS or the earlier Mujahideen . While they may have sheltered Al Qaeda in the past, they have no record and no stated intent of terrorist actions outside (or within) Afghanistan.
It is time now for the new Afghan government to demand reparations from all those Western occupation governments for the deaths, torture, trauma and misery; and land and property losses of the last 20 years.
Perhaps Westerners could also remember, for the future, that the way for outsiders to encourage change in any other society, is to demonstrate your positive values: your generosity, your honesty, your capacity to forgive and your willingness to listen…
Apparently we are expected to now believe that the Russians have now not only been paying the Taliban to kill U.S. occupying troops (likely ‘admitted’ after a little bit of healthy torture of a Talban suspect) but have also been blowing up Czech munitions dumps.
Apparently we are expected to now believe that the Russians have now not only been paying the Taliban to kill U.S. occupying troops (likely ‘admitted’ after a little bit of healthy torture of a Talban suspect) but have also been blowing up Czech munitions dumps. And that those pesky Russian GRU ‘intelligence’ operatives Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, identified by the ‘brilliant’ Western intelligence funded masterminds at Bellingcat (using Google Photos and other hi tech equipment) not only botched the poisoning of Sergie Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March 2018 , but had, 4 years earlier, botched the blowing up a Czech munitions dump, whose armaments were supposedly destined for the Ukraine after the Maidan anti-Russian coup in Ukraine.
“Hey guys, they swallowed that ridiculous story we made up about Gadaffi and the boxes of viagra for his troops to rape civilians, I’ll bet they swallow this one about Petrov and Boshirov again!”
The Russian government it would appear, has now lost its patience with the Americans after Biden deliberately insulted the Russian president as a ‘soul-less killer’, after years of sanctions of the Russian state, and will now make life very difficult for the remaining American diplomats in Moscow .
Diplomacy is thus now at an end between the two countries. In addition, the forceful tit for tat Russian response to the Czech expulsion of Russian diplomatic staff will mean that diplomatic efforts are also unlikely to occur in Eastern Europe in the near future.
40,000 NATO troops are massed near Russian borders and 80,000 Russian troops and other units are stationed close to the Russian border with Ukraine.
Steadily increasing NATO military exercises along the border with Russia seem to presage an attempt by NATO forces to probe for weaknesses and then attack Russia, or at least provoke a response from Russia that Western media can proclaim is proof of Russian evil.
Not content with setting the scene for a war over Crimea (a territory occupied by the Russians since it ‘acquired’ it from the Turks in 1774), and the festering Donbass civil war in Russian speaking Eastern Ukraine; the Ukrainian Kiev government is now bizarrely accusing another Russian ally, Iran, of deliberately downing a Ukrainian airliner in the confused aftermath of the Soleimani execution by the United States.
Alongside these aggressive actions go the sanctions designed to weaken Russia, Iran and China (and Syria, Venezuela and North Korea) for their temerity in not kowtowing to the American ‘world order’.
As American society and their economy continues to implode, we see increasingly desperate measures by the U.S. and their remaining ‘allies’ to try and contain and destroy those governments which do not support the American way of brutal colonial aggression.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is apparently incensed about Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian’s posting of an image of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of a young Afghan boy.
Why such a report about murders and abuse should be a surprise to anyone, is a mystery. Western countries have prided themselves on their superiority to the ‘less than pink’ skinned races of the world in their centuries’ old thrust to control the world’s resources for their exclusive benefit. Such superiority extends to a war culture that dehumanises the ‘enemy’ as ‘gooks’, ‘rag-heads’ and the ‘yellow peril’, among many other perjorative names..
Australia and the Western media at large depict their country as an innocent victim of ‘Chinese bullying’, ‘coercion’ and ‘aggression’, through China’s use of tarriffs, border controls and monitoring of import goods’ quality, to press its argument that Australia needs to learn which side its bread is buttered on.
China is particularly annoyed with Australia foolishly following the Trump propaganda line that COVID19 is a Chinese communist government threat to the world. Startling, when it is China who has done most to show the world how to limit infection spread…
Australia’s former finance minister, Joe Hockey, labeled China’s President Xi’s actions “economic coercion.” As Hockey told Bloomberg in a Nov. 3 interview: “That’s not the China that I knew when I was treasurer” for two years until September 2015. This “immature action,” Hockey says, is “not the behavior of a great power.”.
One might be forgiven for laughing at Joe Hockey’s ‘belief’ that Western ‘great powers’ never use extortion, threat and violence to get their economic way. The creation of economic sanctions and wars of aggression on countries the West does not like, is a time honoured tradition- not the sole prerogative of Donald Trump!
One should therefore not be surprised by a Chinese (and North Korean, Vietnamese, Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan etc etc ) call in the future to demand reparations for all those countries Australia and the other Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes countries ( In addition to the Anglo-Saxon countries, the group includes Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Sweden and Norway), that have ‘bullied’ with war and sanctions over the past 60 years- the genocidal wars in Korea and Vietnam come to mind; let alone Iraq, Libya or Syria…..and recently American sponsored atrocities have come to light….
That Australia and New Zealand continue to defend their positions as ex-colonial powers allied to racist and war-mongering Western European states and the U.S., is no surprise; but it does give an indication of the intelligence and humanity of their political and ‘intelligence’ communities, and their capacity to grasp where the future lies.
We have often heard that it is in America’s “interests” to start this or that war, to “defend democracy and human rights” or some other envisioning of the United States as that Shining City on the Hill of freedom and light. However when we come to examine what particular Interests are at stake for the United States in these aggressions, we somehow fail to note that those interest are solely business interests- – and not just any businesses- but big business- large powerful corporations with tentacles in many countries whose financial interests may either be jeopardized or opportunities lost if this or that country is not subjugated once again by the U.S. military for the profit margins of United States’ businesses.
Pity the poor country that dares to not bend its knee to U.S. corporate interest…it will be sanctioned, ridiculed, its minority groups funded and trained to create instability, (or worse), and if that doesn’t succeed in bringing that recalcitrant country to the ‘negotiating’ table- then a little genocidal war might help.
As U.S Major-General Smedley Butler has often been quoted:
Supporting big business in any way the U.S. military can ( regardless of international conventions, human rights, human lives, human decency or any other ‘soft’ issue) is and always has been, therefore the complete and total sum of United States international relations- it has no other purpose.
“Foolish” and soft issues like the global emergency ( maybe more like global ‘catastrophe’?) are therefore a complete irrelevance. American exceptionalism is seen in its true form- red in tooth and claw as Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote about nature. No morality, no ethics, pure barbarism and pure profit.
It is small wonder that those poor American soldiers coming back from America’s pointless and endless wars of total barbarism, struggle to come to terms with their “moral injury” to the propaganda they have been force-fed from an early age, of the United States being a civilizing and enlightened country in a world of barbarism.
Peculiar to those pink-skinned Americans who front for big business in the military and in Washington, is a deeply entrenched racism of those who are “other” and darker skinned:- whether they be Plains Indians, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi’s, Libyans, Syrians- even the Slavic Russian and Serbian nations .. the list goes on and on and on….
It is time for the world to recognise the savagery and brutality of United States’ international relations. It is time to press for reparations for the environmental destruction, the war destruction, war crimes, loss of life, the torture and the murders that the United States has inflicted on the world in the fictitious name of “democracy and freedom” in the past 100 years. It is time to end this barbarism and stupidity.
The United States is indeed ‘exceptional’, but not quite in the way that their propagandists planned it. The American state is exceptional in it being a war machine; the government’s role is largely to fund and plan wars which will assist the American armament industry to sell more weapons at home abroad.
The blog heading is one of Mark Twain’s quotes. But here is a much better one from Mr Clemens.
Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for “the universal brotherhood of man”- with his mouth. – “The Lowest Animal”- Mark Twain
Today, in my little part of the world; it is once again Anzac Day, originally commemorated to mark the bloody failure of the British Empire’s coordinated attack on Turkish positions in the Dardanelles at Gallipoli in World War One, but now, ( supposedly) it ‘acknowledges the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare, and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.” Strangely however this commemoration of all who have died in wars is marked by artillery salutes, marching uniformed men and much fanfare about this country’s patriotism. We are encouraged to believe that Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country we live in. (New Zealand Government).
I for one, am appalled that the majority consensus in New Zealand appears to be that ‘plucky little New Zealand’ became a real country with its own identity, and not just a member of the British Empire, by maiming and killing its way through a series of foreign “adventures”. The one possible exception to this catastrophic jingoistic litany of murder and mayhem, is New Zealand’s very real contribution to the war against Nazi Germany and Japan during the Second World War, when a New Zealand invasion by the Japanese Imperial Army was a high probability at one point.
Every other war we have fought, we have fought at the behest of others- from the genocide inflicted on the Boers during the Boer Wars as part of the British Imperial Army’s need to maintain control of South African assets, the First World War’s bizarre clash of European monarchies , the staggering level of genocide inflicted on Koreans by the “Allies’ (including New Zealand naval bombardment of civilian areas) during the Korean War, our implicit involvement in American genocide in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, our explicit connection to rendering of Afghan suspects to U.S. torture centres in Afghanistan, and our ongoing complicity in the Five Eyes intelligence project, which currently serves American and U.K. interests in promoting terrorism around the world and destroying human rights.
All in all, it is not a record I for one am proud of. Our ongoing subservience to the paranoid and psychopathic American war machine and its business interests, serves no-one’s interests on this planet, other than a few crazed right wing American idealogues and the military/industrial complex.
Despite successive New Zealand governments’ posturings that we are now a sovereign nation because of Anzac Day, when are we truly going to be a proud and independent nation who stands in truth for peace and international justice?
The swirl of humanity across the globe has been a constant since ancient times.
In my little corner of the world, the traversings and re-travsersings of the Polynesians across the wide Pacific, travelling thousands of miles in their double hulled canoes , was a constant over hundreds of years , settling both inhabited and uninhabited islands .
In Eurasia and across Africa, the flow of humanity has ocurred for millennia. Our species has been wanderers from our first arrival on this planet as a specific primate species, as the International Organisation for Migration website attests.
Having said that, we know that wars and natural disasters create the necessity for families to flee to safer ground, and safer countries. In addition the gross discrepancies in living standards between various populations across the globe creates a drive for those who consider themselves disadvantaged to travel to more prosperous environments.
None of this would be unremarkable -indeed it is an obvious response for any human to move to a better place- we are indeed nomads on this planet. What makes it remarkable at this moment are the obvious drivers behind the disasters and impoverished societies of those immigrants; and the fact that most of those drivers are created by the very countries the immigrants want to migrate to!
The devastation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria – to name just a few of the countries bombarded by Western countries; predominantly the U.S., U.K., France , Italy, and to some degree Germany, with a few tag-alongs from other Western European and non-European western governments elsewhere, is the most significant cause for the huge influx of refugees and migrants from the Middle East into Europe. The decision by the West to support the anti-government groups in Syria prolonged what would likely have been a short but brutal war by the Syrian dictatorship against a few western oriented groups and many more salafist sunni extremist groups. The decision by the U.S., the U.K. France and its proxies in Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey (not to mention Israel) to actively fund arm and train these terrorist groups, has created a life of hell for much of the Syrian population. unfortunately for the population of Yemen, the sea and land blockades by Saudi forces and their “allies” means those desperate Yemen peoples have no chance of escape from the war hell imposed by the Gulf dictatorships.
It is likely that, just as in Iraq and Libya the creation of totally destabilized middle east territories with no central governing structure and ripe for total exploitation, was exactly the intent of these Western governments. Now the chickens have come home to roost. While we know Western “intelligence” agencies are in fact far from being “intelligent”, we can anticipate that, even they, after first seeing the catastrophe that Iraq has become as a result of Western sanctions and military intervention, would understand the implications of repeating that exact same process in Libya and Syria. It is a supremely beautiful but vicious irony that those impoverished and desperate people from those brutalized countries are now “invading” the West . Well, that is what mainstream media would have us believe. Recent reports query for instance why suddenly, previously safe refugees in Turkey are now fleeing that country to Europe.
What would seem a just response therefore, would be for those countries involved in the defilement of Middle Eastern countries through war and economic rapacity, to take a commensurate number of refugees into their countries based on their military input into the ravagement of those destroyed environments. The United States will of course have to take many millions of refugees, as will the U.K; followed next by France, the Gulf dictatorships and Israel and some of the other western counties like Canada , Australia and New Zealand.
The BBC link here, gives a more detailed graphical analysis of the source, the routes and European destinations of refugees.
In addition, those western corporations and their complicit governments that have despoiled the vulnerable economies and environments of Africa ad other developing countries around the globe , will make corresponding redress to those countries in the tangible form of infrastructure development, re-development of sustainable agriculture and the return of environments to their former natural states as directed by the populations of those developing countries.
(a shortened version of this post was rejected as a letter to the editor of my local newspaper….)
The ongoing media and political frenzy about the sudden emergence of ISIS as the new international terrorist threat would be laughable if it were not tragic for those who stand in the path of both ISIS and the Western military “response”.
The reality is that ISIS, like most of the previous terrorist threats before them, are Western and Arabian Gulf state creations.
As with Osama bin Laden before them (funded if not trained by the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan) , the members of ISIS have been trained, financed and equipped by the US, the UK, France and Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar to fulfill other agendas; namely the dismemberment of functioning middle eastern states who cannot be relied upon to agree to US demands; eg Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria . This trail of failed states, brought about first by Western funded terrorism and then by Western aerial bombing campaigns, has brought death, destruction, starvation and fear to their populations with no positive outcome in sight. While Western governments will deny their direct involvement with ISIS and pretend they are financing “moderate” islamacists, the reality is that those men in the training camps in Turkey and Jordan run by western governments and Gulf dictatorships, are indeed one and the same men who sign up to ISIS or who share resources, kidnapped people and equipment with ISIS.
See this delightful CNN interview of former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark, who clearly doesn’t have a clue about anything much at all..
For Turkey particularly, the opportunity to both eliminate the Kurdish threat within its own borders using ISIS, whilst enabling the ‘necessity’ for ‘humanitarian’ border corridors and no-fly zones along the Syrian/Turkey border which can then lead to further incursions by Turkish or even NATO troops into Syria , is a double win for the Turkish government.
For Israel, actively supporting ISIS with bombardment of Syrian government position on the Golan Heights and shooting down Syrian military aircraft attacking ISIS military positions, furthers their long-term agenda of destabilizing any Arab (or Iranian) state that could potentially threaten Israel’s territorial integrity at some time in the future.
For Western governments and their ‘intelligence’ agencies, hyping up the threat of ISIS terrorists re-invading the West and blowing up defenseless white people, is a wonderful method to maintain the level of fear and hysteria in the public’s mind. and hence the rationale for more and more “defence” purchases, and more surveillance and control of those who do not abide by the corporate agenda. A new “thirty-year war” by the U.S. is promised against a rag-tag bunch of psychopaths and mercenaries. The reality is that turning off the tap of funding from Western supported agencies, closing the supply routes and “rat-lines”, and shutting down the training camps would turn current ISIS victories into a rout within weeks.
For Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the dream is the predominance of the Sunni Wahhabi ideology in the middle east and beyond, the destruction of Shi-ite Iran, and ultimately the elimination of the Shi-ite sect . ‘Perhaps’ ironically, it is those Shi-ite ‘terrorists’ ; Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah who are actually making the difference in eliminating the threat from ISIS.
This cynical reality is well-known to most of the middle eastern public . The destruction of those states and their infrastructure who do not toe the Western party line, and who have resources than can be appropriated by Western companies, or who might possibly threaten Israel’s hegemony in the region at some future date, is the grim reality for the men women and children who inhabit those desolated countries and who therefore must be made to suffer.
Through its abrogation of key elements of the Geneva Convention by using torture, genocide and illegal incarceration of people it thinks could do things to US interests that the state might not like, the US has progressively negated key aspects of the constitutional protections for its own citizens. In addition, professional bodies such as the American Pyschological Association and the American Medical Association, in tacitly legitimizing torture and murder ( drones or otherwise) and random indefinite imprisonment of people the state thinks might be a risk to the US, have destroyed their legal and moral authority .
The Orwellian legal and state double-speak ( what is evil is good, what is war is peace) by US political and legal figures, is now accepted as truth by the vast majority of US citizens and many in the Western world. Many US citizens are consequently no longer able to differentiate between right and wrong/truth and lies.
The US has been fighting wars to protect its “interests” (read companies) for most of its existence, beginning with the genocide of the North American Indians who populated much of North America at the time of European settlement and leading to the wars with Spain in the Carribbean and the Philippines in order to develop an empire to exploit , as with other Western powers of the time.
But it is really only in the years after the end of Second World War in 1945, that the power of the corporations in the US has finally overturned all semblance of human rights, decency and fairness in the US . These wars, and particularly the genocides committed in North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Iraq, have lead to no negative national consequences for the US , and have thus resulted in those in power in the US believing that they are immune to the impact of the death and destruction they inflict on others.
Moreover, over those intervening 65 years of constant war, the US has steadily become a “war machine”- its raison d’etre being to fight and kill others for what they have. Each marine that returns home brutalised and scarred by the reality of war; each soldier who returns to his home town finally knowing the truth of what “the greatest nation in the world ” really stands for, is a time bomb of death and destruction to that community. A culture of violence as the solution to anything has now totally permeated every aspect of American society. To quote another of those biblical aphorisms -“what ye sow, so shall ye reap”
And with each war, the targets of American state violence become ever more aware of the complete and viciously laughable hypocrisy of the United States; it’s Presidents mouthing ghastly platitudes of the US being the ” shining city on the hill” , the exemplar to the world of peace and democracy, while raining terror and death on the helpless. For the families and communities of the millions killed by the US military since the second world war, there remains no justice – no resting place.
What is now desperately needed is an international legal body that is truly impartial-no longer controlled by those rich and powerful states who commit the the vast majority of the terror and death they so loudly condemn in others. An international body that seeks justice, not vengeance, that ascribes appropriate compensation to those whom the powerful have done injustice to.
When every war-mongering state, not just as is currently , its head of state, knows that, regardless of the colour of the skin of those in power, the warring state will be punished with heavy financial reparations for the evil it has done- only then will the incentive for war rapidly recede and justice prevail.
Everywhere you look in mainstream Western media you see the utter “reasonableness’ of our need to destroy this or that country because it is evil and isn’t democratic or reasonable enough.
History tells us a different story, but for some reason, we choose to ignore it. The recent non-revelation of the CIA and UK ‘intelligence” community’s overthrow of the democratically elected prime minister Mossaddegh of Iran, beginning on 19th August 1953 once again highlights what the Wikipedia entry aptly describes as the ongoing “grubby” adventures by these two states. Foolishly, Mossaddegh’s government had voted to nationalise the UK “owned’ oil fields production in Iran and so Mossaddegh and Iran had to pay the price- a lifetime of imprisonment and the re-installation of the brutal pretend-King of Persia -the Shah.
The UK and France’s ongoing adventure in Syria is another such example of history repeating itself, where the so-called socialist president of France, Hollande is salivating at the mouth with the opportunity to once again invade their old colony under the pretense of protecting its inhabitants ( identical story to last time), and the evil little UK Foreign Minister Hague will do absolutely anything to please his Israeli masters. Funding and supporting Al Qaeda is absolutely not a problem to Hollande and Hague and Obama -as it was no problem for the US in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Read a great account of the French aerial bombing of Damascus in 1925 and again in 1926. The US has a 60 year history of conflict with Syria, as noted by Adam Curtis in his wonderful blog, “The Baby and the Baath Water.”
In Afghanistan,the US repeats the old adventures played out by its now junior ally, “Great Britain”, in its nineteenth century wars of 1839-1842, and 1878-1880 and then 1919.
Were those wars about peace, justice and democracy and the rights of women? Then, as now, protecting opium production was one of the driving forces; protecting the Western interests who make huge monies from addicting and selling opium and now heroin to Chinese, Russians or any other brutalised public.
Protecting Western oil interests and profits is of course, the other game; a game that heavily relies on Israel forming a “western” buttress against the Arab hordes revolting against the ‘masters and betters’. Hence the less than subtle tacit support for the Egyptian Army generals and their counter-revolution, and the West’s unconditional support for the Wahhabi extremist fiefdoms in Saudi Arabia Qatar and the UAE.
“The celebrated anthropologist Clifford Geertz has half-jokingly suggested that all states can be parceled into four types: pluralist, in which the state is seen by its people as having moral legitimacy; populist, in which government is viewed as an expression of the people’s will’; “great beast” in which the ruler’s power depends on using force to keep the populace cowed, and “great fraud” in which the elite uses smoke and mirrors to convince the people of its inherent authority” – 1491- New Revelations of the Americas”: Charles C Mann. I leave you to judge which of those categories of statehood the UK and US fit into.
The problem with all of these Western adventures is that they benefit only a tiny minority of the UK and US populations; the very very rich (or the less then ‘one-per cent’) , with the trickle-down effects to the British and US wider public negligible. The process can only continue while those publics can continue to be propagandized into believing that these wars and adventures are about peace democracy and justice and stopping evil terrorists blowing us all up..
The desperation of those in power and their mercenary backers can be seen in the massive state investment in knowing what everyone is writing and saying online and on the phone and the need to silence any whistleblowers quickly.