At least Some American historians and journalists admit now that the war in Viet Nam was “wrong”, notwithstanding how the mainstream media, as is usual with them, were cheering the war at the time. Same thing happened with the latest Iraq war. Those who had second thoughts about it later, were among those cheering it when it started.
But, what almost everyone speaks highly and proudly of is the role the US played in Second World War. Although it’s no secret that the US entry into the war helped turn the tide against the Nazis and their allies, there are some things that are almost never mentioned because they’re not so flattering of the US role. As the war seemed to be approaching its conclusion with the Soviets having gained the upper hand against the Nazis and marching into Germany, after suffering the most casualties of any single nation, it was only a matter of time before Japan would have to stop challenging the US in the Pacific and admit defeat. They had already suffered very heavy losses and with their European allies defeated, it would not be able to hold on to territories it had occupied before the war, most of which had been lost to the US, anyway.
Despite the US claim to the contrary, there was no need to bring Japan to its knees and so soon or so decidedly and devastatingly. There was no need or justification to drop nuclear bombs on two heavily populated large cities knowing that each would immediately kill over a hundred thousand innocent people who were already suffering the effects of war with many suffering the consequences of the radiation for a long time to come. Their decision to go ahead and use such an immoral weapon of mass destruction was not so much military or based on military calculations, as was political, and that’s what makes it such an atrocious and vile crime against humanity on such a massive and unprecedented scale. The cold blooded barbarism of that act is beyond comprehension.
The real reason they decided to drop the bomb was that they were afraid that the Soviets might develop the bomb and drop it on Japan before them and have the Japanese surrender to them, instead of to the US and its post-war allies.
The whole war was about dividing the world up among colonial powers with each vying for a piece of it for their own ruling class. England, France, the US and their European allies had long dominated and exploited the underdeveloped parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia where they had been looting many countries for a long time. Germany, Japan and their allies too where capitalism was fully developed wanted a piece of the action. Russia which had been competing with other colonial powers before the workers’ revolution of 1917, reversed course after the revolution and began supporting and aiding national liberation movements against colonial powers and viewed the war rightly as a war amongst the ruling classes of colonizers over the wealth of much of the world, just as was the case in the First World War, when the Bolsheviks pointed out that workers had nothing to gain from such wars among imperialists and everything to lose and that their workers and those of the other nations had to stand in solidarity with the oppressed peoples against the colonizers.
Nevertheless, they were dragged into the war when Nazi Germany invaded it. Ironically, they ended up paying the heaviest price: 23.3 million of their citizens perished. That figure is 26 times as many as the number of casualties of Britain and the US, combined. And at least part of the reason for that is that the US and Britain sat back and waited for the Nazis to do as much damage as they could before going to its aid. In fact, the Soviets played the main role in defeating the Nazis and made the most sacrifice. But, they wouldn’t have suffered as many casualties had the allies come to their aid sooner. Again, that was purely political.
And, when the war was finally over and the US offered the Europeans the Marshal Plan, or the European Recovery Program, as it was officially called, ostensibly to aid in Europe’s reconstruction and recovery, their main motivation was political in that they were keenly concerned about the appeal of socialism in the aftermath of the war and the prospect of socialist revolutions in Europe. In fact, one of the conditions for nations to get the aid was that they had to purge their parliaments of communists. Did I mention they believe in democracy?!
The US came out of that devastating war which took so many lives and destroyed so many others almost unscathed by comparison and became the largest military and economic power and was able to greatly expand its sphere of influence and hegemony. It left thousands of troops in Germany and Japan, mainly to control the politics and counter the threat of socialism. It went on to build numerous military bases, got control over many oil fields, installed puppet dictators and overthrew regimes it deemed unhelpful in its plans for world domination and resorted to many wars when other means didn’t produce the results they wanted. It saw an opportunity to expand its hegemony and sphere of control even more after the breakup of the Soviet Union. I doubt it would go to war against Iraq and Afghanistan or deploy drones to kill people everyday in several countries had the Soviet Union still been around.
These policies of renewed and expanded imperialism and militarism stem from the economic system of capitalism which always searches for more and newer profits for corporations and results in wealth accumulation in the hands of a few and impoverishment of the majority. Thus, instead of ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity after the most devastating war in history, imperialism brought new wars of conquest, as well as exploitation and economic oppression, whether through the use of military force or deceptive neoliberal policies, that spread poverty and hunger and further looted the underdeveloped world, widening the gap between the rich and poor nations, just as the gap between the rich and poor increased in individual nations, including in the American society. As long as capitalism exists, we will not be rid of wars, including major ones like the world wars, and as long as capitalism exists there will be oppression, exploitation, poverty and hunger among billions of people. We’ve had a world dominated, mostly unchallenged, by the US imperialism, with its unconditional and unwavering defense of the largest corporations. We see how well that’s worked out.
Here we are once again, like so many times before. Israeli occupation forces detain, jail, torture and kill Palestinians, including their journalists and elected officials and even boys as young as 13 years old against the cries and pleading of their mothers, and Palestinian youth watch their mothers cry and their fathers dragged to jail and they start throwing rocks at the occupation soldiers and their armored vehicles, and Israeli soldiers shoot and kill and injure some more Palestinians until they have had enough and fire some rockets that scare some Israeli settlers who recently arrived there from Brookline, New York and Los Angeles, California and Europe and Russia to live in peace in houses built for them on land grabbed from Palestinians after their ancestral homes were demolished using US-made Caterpillars because those settlers are of the right ethnic background or religion and God has given them the right to go live there. So the occupation forces go on killing and injuring some more Palestinians and Obama condemns them and says Israel has the right to defend itself and New York Times and CNN repeat that and the American people go on with their shopping.
When, just when, I want to know, occupying a nation and jailing and killing them became okay and acceptable? what happened to you? Who did this to you? Why won’t you wake up?
Tanks and soldiers and armored vehicles on the streets, breaking down doors and taking young men away and shooting at rock throwing young boys and jailing and torturing and targeted killings and occasional bombings and cutting off food and water and check points and more check points because one’s religion or ethnicity can determine their rights and what they’re entitled to!! Is this okay with you people? I really want to know!!
There are many things about the current US Administration that should make one wake up and realize he or she has been fooled and has been supporting the wrong people: keeping a kill list, assassinations, non-stop drone attacks which kill and maim innocent people including children in multiple countries, devastating and criminal sanctions on the Iranian people which hit the poor, the elderly and children the hardest, secrecy and total disdain for transparency and accountability, passing draconian laws that take away civil liberties of the American people, keeping prisoners of war in Guantanamo Bay indefinitely, in inhuman conditions and in violation of Geneva Conventions, continued aid – financial and military – and unconditional support for the apartheid state of Israel, even while they were bombing the defenseless population of Gaza which qualified it as an act of Genocide and crime against humanity, arming terrorists in Libya and Syria who associate and work with Al Qaeda, bombing raids in Libya including on heavily populated urban areas to accomplish regime change, having the CIA kidnap individuals of different nationalities and fly them to secret prisons in Eastern Europe for interrogation and torture just as criminal thugs of Mafia would do, giving cabinet posts to criminal and parasitic Mafia bosses of Monsanto and Goldman Sachs, continuing and escalating the criminal war in Afghanistan, coordinating and directing the vicious attacks of police departments all over the country against the Occupy movement of 2011, warrantless wiretaps and eavesdropping, committing to a war without Congressional approval despite the explicit requirement spelled out in US Constitution and many others.
Aside from all these egregious violations of both US and international laws, disregard for human rights, violence, and acts of terror worthy of dragging their asses in front of the international Criminal Court in The Hague, one of the most vile, despicable and cowardly acts of this criminal Administration is also how they have been treating the whistle blowers. Bradley Manning, whose only crime was to make public the filthy and Mob-like actions of these common criminals, has been in jail for one thousand days, without trial. And they have been pressuring the British government which they own like you’d own your poodle to stand guard at Ecuador’s Embassy until they capture Julian Assange so they can eventually get their bloody hands – and I really mean bloody – on him because he dared expose the truth about and embarrass the Empire.
Mr. Obama, soon will come the day when the American people, too, will think of you as nothing but a Mafia thug, a psychopathic mass murderer and a common criminal, just as the vast majority of the people in Middle East and Asia think of you, now. Shame on you for your slave-like servitude towards your white supremacist bosses and their monstrous Empire which uses you to kill poor brown and black people overseas and pacify and fool your own people at home, while they remain poverty stricken and fill the prisons of this military-finance-prison complex. The billionaire bosses have found in you exactly what they needed and wanted: a man with no principles or integrity, an empty shell they could program, a man who would sell his own mother to the highest bidder, at the drop of a hat. You are the “house negro” who would fetch the whip for the master to whip your brother. Shame on you, Sir.
Long live the spirit of Malcolm and Dr. King. Long live the solidarity and unity of all oppressed peoples in their struggle against oppressors, exploiters and Empire and its sworn servants. Together, we will build a better, more humane and peaceful world for all humanity, regardless of one’s color or nationality or if there is oil under their feet. I still “have a dream”!
Carla del Ponte, a United Nations human rights investigator, said in Geneva today, which New York Times quoted, that the United Nations Security Council should refer Syria to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to prosecute those responsible for “war crimes and other abuses committed in nearly two years of conflict”.
“Now, really, it’s time — it’s time,” Ms. del Ponte said. “We are pressuring the international community to act because it’s time to act.”
Now, it is true that the Assad regime began cracking down on the opposition to his government, as soon as the civil war began, but, it’s also true that the US, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and their allies started arming the opposition to overthrow the regime militarily, from the outset. Pro-US “rebels” have been vetted and given heavy weaponry, money and intelligence by the CIA to ensure the regime change takes place on their terms and that which replaces it is to their liking. If the Assad government is one side of the civil war, the US and its allies are the other side who pursue regime change. This is what they did in Libya. They used select anti-regime “rebels” to overthrow the regime, militarily. I’m for a popular pro-democracy movement to end the dictatorship, but, not a civil war aided and imposed from outside for the benefit of those foreign governments.
In Bahrain and Yemen which Ms. del Ponte and others like her in European Union don’t mention and don’t suggest referring their dictators to the International Criminal Court, US armed and supported monarchies have been killing and jailing protesters since even before the conflict in Syria began. So, why the double standard?
If the United Nations Security Council wants to refer Assad and members of his government to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, fine; I have no objection. But, there are three things that need to happen, first:
First, Ms. del Ponte should return the money she received from the CIA. Second, Obama should be referred to the Court for killing innocent civilians including children in several countries, especially in Pakistan, for aiding and abetting Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people, for war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq (along with Bush, Cheney and the rest of that Administration), and siding with dictators, as they kill their people in other countries. And, third, those monarchies in Bahrain and Yemen and others like them should be referred to the Court. Then, sure, Assad government can be next.
The American “Justice system” is a tiered one. The sentence you get for breaking the law depends not just on the nature of the crime or the manner or circumstances in which it is committed, but also on who the perpetrator is. If you happen to be African American, expect to be sentenced to the maximum length of prison term allowed or normally given for the crime in question. If you’re a Muslim, likewise, expect the book to be thrown at you, and if you happen to be both – black and Muslim – watch out. What do the believers say, God help you? And don’t expect showing remorse to make a dent in the severity of the punishment you get, either. You see, hatred is unmoved by such things as remorse or youth or environmental factors. Such things only work for the affluent white. They make bad mistakes, wrong decisions, error in judgement, etc., otherwise, are good, decent and respectable human beings who gave in to pressures of life and are victims of circumstances, unlike blacks and Muslims who are naturally violent and scary.
On 1 July, 2003, Abdul Shabazz, 54, and his son Musa Shabazz, 23, African American Muslim father and son – a bad combination – from Tallahassee, Florida, attempted to flee officer Perry who gave chase to their car. When they crashed their car, and were faced with the officer with his gun drawn, shooting ensued and Abdul shot Perry multiple times. And although Perry fully recovered and returned to work, both Shabazz’s were charged with first degree attempted murder which, if I understand the law correctly, means planning and attempting a premeditated murder. Not only was the charge clearly excessive since there was no plan or premeditation to commit murder, Abdul got the same sentence as one given for an actual successful premeditated first degree murder. But, wait, as TV infomercials would say: that’s not all. He got not one, not two, but three life sentences! His son who didn’t even do any shooting, got 20 years.
What made the sentence so harsh? One, they were black; two, they were Muslim; and three, the target of the shooting was a white police officer. If you tell me that the charge and the sentence handed down would have been the same had it been the other way around – that is, a white cop shooting a black Muslim who later recovers with the officer getting three life sentences and his junior partner who didn’t even do any shooting getting 20 years, I’ll say either you are completely ignorant about American “justice system” or you lie. Not only do cops routinely shoot and injure unarmed black and Latino teens, but they often kill them and they still get acquitted and serve no jail time, let alone three life sentences, especially when the subject isn’t even killed.
The legal argument put forth by Administration lawyers that supposedly explains Obama’s continued drone attacks says: “The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future”.
In a traditional war, sad as it is to use the word “traditional” and “war” next to each other, you can eventually conclude the costs are too high to continue to maintain the troops and their supplies, weapons and logistics, far from home, in other people’s backyard and living rooms, or that through time, too many of the troops are dying with not much to show for, and decide it’s time to bring them home, despite the wish of many politicians who, not to be outdone by Dr. Martin Luther King, have their own “dream” to follow: the dream of an “endless war”, just as Dr. King whose tone and manner of speaking Obama tries to imitate when he wants to sound prophetic and dramatic, would have advocated. Of course.
But, not so with a war with drones. The grounds for continuing such a “risk-free” unmanned war – legal and moral – are that there continue to be individuals, in their own countries, who might be deemed by the CIA to have the desire or intention or thought of attacking the US, or its “interests” (whatever that means), without the nuisance and trouble of producing such evidence that they indeed might be trying (or wishing?), in their own homes, to commit hostile acts against the Empire. Not surprisingly, as long as the reason for such continued attacks has been reduced to that there be individuals who have “recently” shown proclivity to somehow strike back at the Empire – including those who “recently” have lost children or relatives in drone attacks – the “cheap” and “risk-free” war can continue to kill and incite more people to want to retaliate and then kill them too and on and on.
With the traditional reasons for eventually ending such wars gone, and with the justification reduced to an absurd and infantile “Legal” excuse which basically says “we do because we can”, the Empire has been relieved of the reasons for ending them. This is the true face of the “endless wars” promised by our politicians and implemented by our Dr. King imitating, Nobel Peace Prize wielding man in the White House. This is the face of imperial hubris at its worst and epitome of “might makes right” attitude on display for all to see.
It is quote plausible that LAPD fired Christopher Dorner for reporting that his instructing officer kicked a mentally ill man, as he had written in his report, violating the tradition of covering up and contradicting his superior. LAPD officers have a long history of brutality, racism, planting evidence, false arrests and reports, unjustified shootings and coverups. They, as with most others like them in the US, are a bunch of out of control, power hungry, racist and violent thugs and a menace to society, especially to the working class and minorities. While searching for Dorner, they shot at several vehicles, running some of them off the road and injuring at least two newspaper delivery women. They and Sheriff’s deputies held high power rifles and machine guns to the heads of drivers and their families as they drove on roads being searched by the deputies. And in the end, they burned down the cabin where they thought their suspect had taken refuge. Years ago when they confronted a bank robber in the streets of LA, they shot him multiple times wounding him, and as he was bleeding to death, they stopped an ambulance that had come to attend to him, and stood around for hours until he bled to death.
They immediately start shooting at vehicles that fail to stop at their commands even if the driver is confused, scared or didn’t understand their command. They shoot at teenage boys especially blacks and Latinos running away from them in the back. Once they catch a suspect, they start beating him up even after they have put cuffs on the wrists, especially if they know no one is taping them and especially if the subject is black or Latino. Once they shot and killed a 17 year old black girl who refused to get out of her car when they ordered her to. She was having an epilepsy attack at that time.
Police departments are a part of the government and a reflection of its nature. They are its representatives on the streets where ordinary people are. Their conduct and racism is not separate from the government that hires and trains them. During the Occupy protests, city governments were coordinating their attacks on protesters with the White House, the Justice Department and Homeland Security. Even the CIA got involved in monitoring protesters in New York.
During the search for Dorner, many people expressed support for him because he was targeting the police rather than random people he came across. That sentiment is not surprising given the history of LAPD. So much was the anger of the people of LA towards the racist and brutal thugs of the LAPD that during the riots of 1992, in the aftermath of Rodney King beating, they burned over 3000 buildings to ground. Not one police officer could be seen on the streets during the riots as they went hiding in their barracks.
But all the brutality unleashed against the US working class is nothing compared to all the brutality and violence the US government subjects poor people of other nations to, whether through dictatorships they support or directly with their drones or through devastating bombing raids and wars so as to maintain their vile, inhuman and brutal rule over them and their resources for the benefit of US corporations. The real “sleeping giant” are the people in the millions here and overseas who will stand up in unison and in solidarity with one another against this dangerous enemy of all humanity of all time.