Meet the new boss who, upon his inauguration, declared that the right to life is unalienable. Let me be clear, that does not mean he cannot take yours.
In fact, he runs through a list of men, women, and children on Tuesdays, hung over from inaugurations or not, and picks whom to murder and murders them.
We are not supposed to call it murder, of course, because it is properly assassination. Except that no public figures are being assassinated; 98% of those killed are not targeted at all; some are targeted for suspicious behavior without knowing their names; one type of suspicious behavior is the act of retrieving the dead and wounded from a previous strike; and those targeted are not targeted for politics but for resisting illegal occupations. Moreover, an assassination is a type of murder.
We’re not supposed to call it murder, nonetheless, because it sounds more objective to call it killing. But murder is a type of killing, specifically unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought. Killing by accident is not murder and not what the president is doing. Killing legally is not murder and not what the president is doing – at least not as far as anyone knows or according to any interpretation of law put forward. Killing indirectly by encouraging poverty or environmental destruction or denial of healthcare may be things the president is doing, but they are not murder and not drone wars.
Imagine if a non-president went through a list of everyone in your local elementary school, picked out whom to kill, and ordered them killed. You would call it murder. You would call it mass-murder. You would call it conspiracy to commit mass murder. Why would electing that mass murderer president change anything? Why would moving the victims abroad change anything?
KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES
Kill Anything That Moves is the title of an important new book from Nick Turse, covering the mass-murdering enterprise known in Vietnam as the American War, and in the United States as the Vietnam War. Turse documents that policy decisions handed down from the top led consistently, over a period of years, to the ongoing slaughter of millions of civilians in Vietnam.
Much of the killing was done by hand or with guns or artillery, but the lion’s share came in the form of 3.4 million combat sorties flown by US and South Vietnamese aircraft between 1965 and 1972. Air strikes are President Obama’s primary instrument of foreign relations as well; he ordered 20,000 air strikes in his first term.
The well-known My Lai massacre in Vietnam was not an aberration, but an almost typical incident and by no means the worst of them. Turse documents a pattern of ongoing atrocities so pervasive that one is compelled to begin viewing the war itself as one large atrocity. Something similar could be done for the endless war on everywhere that we are currently living through. Scattered atrocities and scandals in Afghanistan and Iraq are interpreted as freak occurrences having nothing to do with the general thrust of the war. And yet they are its essence.
Kill anything that moves, was an order given to US troops in Vietnam indoctrinated with racist hatred for the Vietnamese. “360 degree rotational fire” was a command on the streets of Iraq given to US troops similarly conditioned to hate, and similarly worn down with physical exhaustion.
Dead children in Vietnam resulted in comments like “Tough …, they grow up to be VC.” One of the US helicopter killers in Iraq heard in the Collateral Murder video says of dead children, “Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”
In Vietnam anyone dead was the enemy, and sometimes weapons would be planted on them. In drone wars, any dead males are militants, and in Iraq and Afghanistan weapons have often been planted on victims.
The US military during the Vietnam War shifted from keeping prisoners toward murdering prisoners, just as the Endless War on Everywhere has shifted from incarceration toward murder with the change in president from Bush to Obama.
In Vietnam, as in Iraq, rules of engagement were broadened until the rules allowed shooting at anything that moved. In Vietnam, as in Iraq, the US military sought to win people over by terrorizing them. In Vietnam, as in Afghanistan, whole villages were eliminated.
In Vietnam, refugees suffered in horrible camps, while in Afghanistan children are rapidly freezing to death in a refugee camp near Kabul.
Torture was common in Vietnam, including water-boarding. But it wasn’t at that time yet depicted in a Hollywood movie as a positive occurrence.
Napalm, white phosphorus, cluster bombs, and other widely despised and banned weapons were used in Vietnam as in the current war.
Vast environmental destruction was part of both wars.
Gang rape was a part of both wars.
The mutilation of corpses was common in both wars.
Bulldozers flattened people’s villages in Vietnam, not unlike what US-made bulldozers do now to Palestine.
Mass murders of civilians in Vietnam, as in Afghanistan, tended to be driven by a desire for revenge.
New weaponry allowed US troops in Vietnam to shoot long distances, resulting in a habit of shooting first and investigating later, a habit now developed for drone strikes.
Self-appointed teams on the ground and in helicopters went “hunting” for natives to kill in Vietnam as in Afghanistan.
And of course, Vietnamese leaders were targeted for assassination.
Then, as now, the atrocities and “war crimes” were committed with impunity as part of the crime that was the war itself. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say: because there was impunity then, it remains today.
Turse discovered that the military investigated numerous accusations, documented incidents, and then buried the reports. So did others in the government. So did the media, including Newsweek which buried a major investigation. Those who engaged in that cover-up don’t have on their hands the blood that had already been spilled, but do have on their hands the blood that has been spilled since in similar wars that might have been prevented. … Full article
For hundreds of years Americans have been committing massacres of women and children, old men and sometimes even young men, mostly unarmed or armed only with primitive weapons. The early massacres were mostly of Indians who refused to leave their lands when Americans decided it was God’s will that they steal those lands for nothing or for a few trinkets. In the Civil War Sherman and Grant routinely massacred Southern civilian populations with bombardments of cities, burning homes and Atlanta [though I do not know death figures], and so on. The introduction of automatic weapons led quickly to far more massive U.S. massacres, obviously in the Philippines where freedom fighters were using primitive weapons to try to gain freedom from the U.S. Empire. The U.S. gunned down tens of thousands of the Philippine sons of liberty and piled them in mass graves. In WWII the U.S. massacred vast numbers of Japanese soldiers trapped and starving on remote islands, bombed and burned all the cities of Germany and Japan [except Kyoto] and killed and maimed millions in a vast American Holocaust, capping it all off with the ghastly murder and maiming of hundreds of thousands of women and children in seconds by two nuclear weapons dropped to catch them going to school and in ways to maximize the deadly blast effects. The nuclear bombings were done against the pleas of Adm. Nimitz and most U.S. scientists who made the bombs. Nimitz said the Japanese were starving, surrounded and strangled by U.S. ships and would have to surrender soon to avoid starvation mass deaths. But Truman and his War Dept. and Pentagon brass wanted massacres to terrify the world into submission, especially the Soviets who had no such weapons.
Most U.S. massacres are totally censored by the U.S. and its Big Media. Some come to light many decades later, as in the case of No Gun Rhi in which the U.S. gunned down unknown numbers of South Koreans. Lt, Calley and his company in South Vietnam massacred somewhere near 500 women and children in the My Lai Massacre. Much to his horror, it got into the Media around the world, so the U.S. carried out a Sweet Heart Show Trial. Only Calley was convicted and sentenced to many years up to life, but he only served about three years in comfy house arrest.
American troops know they can massacre innocent civilians and captured POW’s with impunity, as long as they don’t get into the headlines of the world and make the Empire look like a Great Satan. Almost all the Iraqi massacres that did get into the headlines led to Sweet Heart Show Trials. The DOD talks tough and shouts naughty! But, as soon as the headlines go away, the mass murderers go free with sweetheart taps on the wrist or the rump.
There have been masses of massacres in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Most of them are done by the Special Ops Cowards at night when they attack single homes and small villages and murder women and children. Many are done by using the Murder Joy Sticks of the drones in the air-conditioned GHQ’s where they fire these Hell Fire Missiles with the Joy button as they eat pop corn and slurp beer. It’s an All American Pasttime for the Special Ops and CIA and BO who obviously get a real kick out of these “fun murders” and “massacres.”
The Media got hold of the latest Special Ops Massacre in Kandahar sometime yesterday. This broke the total shut down of Afghanistan reporting in the U.S. I think foreign Media probably put out the news first and forced the U.S. Official Media Corps. to follow up or lose all credibility. So far this seems to be a small, SOP Special Ops Massacre. As usual, they killed almost entirely women and children and old men when the young men were away and unable to fight back. The Black Ops of the Special Ops are especially cowardly. The U.S. says only one U.S. murderer did it, systematically shooting all the women and children in their sleep. Afghans near by say more troops were involved in this systematic, intentional massacre. That would be SOP for the Seals, etc.
By the way, the U.S. air attacks in Yemen yesterday killed nearly two dozen civilians, probably mostly women and children, as usual. They almost certainly used the standard Hell Fire Missiles which are SOP for The Great Satan,
When these guys get back to Miramar or North Island they will be greeted as Heroes, as usual. I see it all the time in the local Media of San Diego, the biggest military base in the world. They never took the slightest risk or even got dusty in their air-conditioned F-18 cockpits pushing that Joy button to massacre the women and children below, then flying back to base for some pop-corn and beer. The Good Life American style these days.
Most Americans will hardly notice the few minute blips on tv-news about this poor “psycho” who has suffered such immense stress in killing Iraqis and now Afghans who are unarmed and mostly tiny children in their sleep. BO will shed a few Media tears for show. Many Americans will dance with glee inside their smiling faces. They really love massacres like this and greet the returning “Heroes” with real joy. This “psycho” might get a Show sentence, but he’ll fly free and live happily ever after as another American “Hero.”
Western cultures became the great centers of Creative Carnage in the ancient world and have taken the lead in developing ever more horrific, terrorizing weapons over all these eons. The U.S. emerged at the end of WWII on top of all these Cultures of Carnage as the Great Victor because it was the most creatively gory of them all. This did not happen by accident. Americans are in love with terrorism and mass murder. It fills them with joy and their Entertainment Media are vast oceans of gore, including these days heroic vampires who love the taste of blood from their victims.
Victor Davis Hanson, an American military historian, has celebrated the fundamental ways in which Western and especially American culture have been focused on Carnage and Culture in his book by that name. He routinely celebrates the vast carnage of American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever. You can read some of the gory details in works such as that, but, of course, they are not going to reveal the most ghastly details of America’s love affair with Carnage. You can see that in all the movies and pictures of all the burned out cities of Germany and Japan in WWII and in lesser ways in all of America’s vast celebrations of Carnage.
Obviously, not all of us American are in love with vast Carnage. If I were, I would write Lies about it all like the official text book historians, not essays like this. We are the minority who have not been massacred yet.
Jack D. Douglas [send him mail] is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California at San Diego.