Saturday, October 26, 2013


Rant on misplaced outrage

Over the last dozen years, the U.S. military has attacked Afghanistan to oust the Taliban who were blamed for giving safe haven to al-Qaeda terrorists; invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein for purportedly hiding WMDs (though he wasn’t); and providing air assets to support the overthrow and murder of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

However, these “regime changes” have given rise to insurgencies and civil wars that the U.S. has been unable to counter successfully. The result: more bloodshed, anguish and uncertainty across a strategically important region and the loss of American ideals, prestige, credibility, lives and money.—Beverly Deepe Keever

by Larry Geller

Well, those lives are American lives, and that money is taxpayer money, so you’d think that American citizens would have risen to object to the wonton killing in their name and at their expense.

And then there were the US-lead South American coups, for example, in Argentina against Chile’s elected president Salvador Allende, or against Guatemala’s elected president Jacobo Arbenz. There was the whole Iran-Contra thing. The list is long.

These and other actions in our name are cited in an article by Hawaii’s Bev Keever: Dangerous History of Regime Change, (Consortium News, 10/25/2013). Keever was a foreign correspondent in Vietnam, so she has experienced US-engineered regime change first-hand.

My takeaway after reading her article was that our leaders, whether Harry Truman firebombing Japanese cities or ordering the atomic bombing of countless civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or Bill Clinton, who must bear responsibility for the deaths of an estimated 500,000 children in Iraq, or Barack Obama, busy assassinating civilians with drones in Afghanistan, is that our government seems to place no value on civilian life.  Ok, mustn’t omit Bush/Cheney’s devastation of Iraq, and especially the obliteration of Fallujah, including the reported use of chemical and cluster weapons on a civilian population. And yes, Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam… there’s no end of it.

And our government seems never to have valued human life—go back to the genocide against Native Americans.

What happens to someone when they become a powerful leader?

Look at your neighbor. Check out the faces on TV. Would any of those folks carry out mass murder? No. So what is it about those we elect to lead our country that they are so willing to kill?

And why do we become complicit by allowing them to carry out atrocities in our name?

Most recently, I noted that there was negligible outrage in this country as Edward Snowden’s revelations trickled out, demonstrating that our government was illegally wiretapping and collecting the communications of each of us. We are not the terrorists. But outrage was also limited in other countries, even as it became known that the NSA was recording zillions of overseas phone calls.

Until, that is, the leaders of Germany and France came to understand, from a recent Snowden revelation, that their private, personal phones have been monitored for as long as 10 years (The Guardian (UK), NSA surveillance: Germany to send intelligence officials to US: Move comes as Der Spiegel reports that Angela Merkel's phone might have been monitored for more than 10 years, 1026/2013).

Now they’re upset. Dear Ms. Merkel: there are a lot more important things for you to get upset about. I’m disappointed.

So Angela Merkel’s phone is tapped and she wants a word or two with Obama. About him spying on her, not about him killing women and children in Pakistan.

Who exactly is going to have a word with him about that? Or is it the case that Merkel would also use drones if she had them? After all, she too is a powerful leader… and that seems to come with a license to kill.

When I was a little kid I assumed that all was well with the world, what few problems I saw would shortly be resolved, and yes, we lived in a great country. The Good Humor truck came every day at about the same time, a cup of vanilla was only ten cents, and all was well with the world.

All is not well with the world, and now, as an adult, I don’t understand why people accept all this.


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