by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

A number of people are saying that what NATO has been doing shouldn’t be called “war”. The word “war” suggests nations fighting each other. In this case, a group of the richest and best-armed nations on earth, led by the greatest military power in history, have ganged up to beat the hell out of one small, surrounded country which never harmed any of them and couldn’t possibly defend itself. Day after day, the great powers destroy the little country’s factories, bridges, power stations, leaving men, women and children, old and young, infirm or healthy, without light or running water. Then the bombers start in on residential areas and hospitals. Bit by bit, destroying a whole country. If the victim offers to give in, the big powers bomb some more, reitering that “all they understand is force”.

Insult is added to injury. Cartoonists and pundits invent a fictional version of the target country to hold up to public scorn, ridicule and hatred. Political leaders, spotlighted spokesmen and highly paid opinion-makers escalate the verbal abuse, comparing the population of the victim country to Nazis and suggesting that they must be conquered, punished, occupied and taught how to behave by the superior civilized governments that are bombing them. The bombs even destroy the victim country’s means of communication with the outside world, so that neither their pain nor their wounds, neither their tears nor their courage are visible or audible to their torturers. Yes, that’s the word: torture. Make a country suffer, in darkness and silence, until it gives in. Meanwhile, strut around on the world stage congratulating yourselves on your success, while planning further ways to demonstrate what happens to little countries that don’t behave properly.

Is this war, or is this torture? Here’s a suggestion for a word to designate this abject use of military might: “warture”. It’s a barbarous word, for a barbarous practice. But even the perpetrators might like to pick it up. It could fit right in with current projects to dump the restraints of national and international law. Congress is supposed to declare war, but it was never required, and could never be expected, to declare warture. Warture is something the President does on his own, an obscene practice for those enjoying the deepest sort of corruption of power, the total insensibility toward those they destroy.

The word has one disadvantage. It wouldn’t be easy to translate into other languages. But in the brave new NATO world order of warture, no other language than English is really needed. CP

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Jennifer Loewenstein
Heading Toward a Collision: Syria, Saudi Arabia and Regional Proxy Wars
John Pilger
Wikileaks vs. the Empire: the Revolutionary Act of Telling the Truth
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria
Gary Leupp
A Useful Prep-Sheet on Syria for Media Propagandists
Jeffrey St. Clair
Pesticides, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Acceptable Death
Joshua Frank
The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria
Lawrence Ware – Paul Buhle
Insurrectional Black Power: CLR James on Race and Class
Oliver Tickell
Jeremy Corbyn’s Heroic Refusal to be a Nuclear Mass Murderer
Helen Yaffe
Che’s Economist: Remembering Jorge Risquet
Mark Hand
‘Rape Rooms’: How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts
Yves Engler
War Crimes in the Dark: Inside Canada’s Special Forces
Arno J. Mayer
Israel: the Wages of Hubris and Violence
W. T. Whitney
Cuban Government Describes Devastating Effects of U. S. Economic Blockade
Brian Cloughley
The US-NATO Alliance Destroyed Libya, Where Next?
Barry Lando
Syria: Obama’s Bay of Pigs?
Karl Grossman
The Politics of Lyme Disease
Andre Vltchek
Southeast Asia “Forgets” About Western Terror
Jose Martinez
American Violence: Umpqua is “Routine”?
Vijay Prashad
Russian Gambit, Syrian Dilemma
Sam Smith
Why the Democrats are in Such a Mess
Uri Avnery
Nasser and Me
Andrew Levine
The Saints March In: The Donald and the Pope
Arun Gupta
The Refugee Crisis in America
Michael Welton
Junior Partner of Empire: Why Canada’s Foreign Policy Isn’t What You Think
Lara Santoro
Terror as Method: a Journalist’s Search for Truth in Rwanda
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Elections and Verbal Vomit
Dan Glazebrook
Refugees Don’t Cause Fascism, Mr. Timmermann – You Do
Victor Grossman
Blood Moon Over Germany
Patrick Bond
Can World’s Worst Case of Inequality be Fixed by Pikettian Posturing?
Pete Dolack
Earning a Profit from Global Warming
B. R. Gowani
Was Gandhi Averse to Climax? A Psycho-Sexual Assessment of the Mahatma
Tom H. Hastings
Another Mass Murder
Anne Petermann
Activists Arrested at ArborGen GE Trees World Headquarters
Ben Debney
Zombies on a Runaway Train
Franklin Lamb
Confronting ‘Looting to Order’ and ‘Cultural Racketeering’ in Syria
Carl Finamore
Coming to San Francisco? Cra$h at My Pad
Ron Jacobs
Standing Naked: Bob Dylan and Jesus
Missy Comley Beattie
What Might Does To Right
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi Jayanti, Gandhi’s Dream
Raouf Halaby
A Week of Juxtapositions
Louis Proyect
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Iran
Christopher Washburn
Skeptik’s Lexicon
Charles R. Larson
Indonesia: Robbed, Raped, Abused
David Yearsley
Death Songs