FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Stop Bush’s Killing

The clowns in Washington seem determined to have a war, cheered on by corporate media who have abandoned even the pretense of objectivity. (The “news” on television considers with ponderous seriousness whether failing to support Bush’s proposed bombing campaign is treason.) There is now one paramount practical question: How can they be stopped?

As James Connolly pointed out at the beginning of the 20th century, the bloodiest in history, one great source of the strength of the ruling elite, here and elsewhere, is their willingness to order killing. In just the decade 1991-2001, the leaders of the US have sponsored massacres — from Colombia to Turkey — that killed many more people than died in the September 11 atrocities _at the rate of at least one per year_. We manage to ignore these murders, as we could not ignore the murders in New York, but the rest of the world has noticed them. And they also notice that the US is intending to do it again, in reprisal for the September 11 attacks.

American killing has in fact already begun, even while the “Bush team,” Congressionally plenipotent, temporized on exactly whom to bomb. The _New York Times_ reported on September 16 that the US demanded that Pakistan end the convoys that provide much of the food from the UN and NGOs to Afghanistan’s civilian population. With Afghans starving after a three-year drought, the US is by this action simply killing many of them. The casual murder of Iraqi children (“worth the price,” according to Clinton’s Secretary of State) is being repeated here, without comment in the US — but it’s noticed in the rest of the world.

There’s a sense in which the war that Washington wants is an extension to the world at large of those domestic wars, the War on Crime and the War on Drugs. They were primarily ways to criminalize and incarcerate dangerous classes. The policy has worked at home — we imprison far more of our fellow citizens proportionately than any other country in the world — and now we’re extending it to dissident populations abroad. “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

It seems clear that we can’t count on political liberals to stop this war. I’ve rarely seen a more sickening sight than that of brave liberal spirits fawning over Bush after his speech to the Congress. They leapt to their feet, clapped, and sat in unison. It looked like archive film of a legislature in a communist state circa 1950. And then they surged forward to be chucked under the chin by George. Disgusting.

We might take a lesson from how, after horrendous killing, the US was forced to stop the war in Vietnam. There were three principal reasons: [1] the courageous resistance of the Vietnamese people; [2] the revolt of the American military in Vietnam; and [3] the slow but effective growth of awareness of the nature of the war and opposition to it in the US. By the end of the war, 80% of the US public agreed in polls that the war was not simply mistaken but immoral, not a blunder but a crime.

In this case, tragically, we can count on reason [1]. A major assault on the Middle East by the US is nothing short of the answer to Bin Laden’s prayers. It will produce resistance from those whom the US has oppressed and exploited throughout the region.

But [2] will not be much of a factor. The US learnt in Southeast Asia (as the French had learnt there before) that a colonial war can’t be run for long with conscript troops. For every Phoenix-program terrorist like ex-senator Bob Kerrey, slitting the throats of non-combatants, there were a dozen American draftees that refused to go into the jungle. This was the army that invented “fragging” (rolling a fragmentation grenade under the bunk of a gung-ho officer) and finally had to be withdrawn. So the US went to a “volunteer” military (an economic draft, to be sure). And then we have the “Powell Doctrine” — a war crime as stated — “Only attack weak enemies and do it from the air, targeting civilians and infrastructure, so you don’t lose troops.” Under these conditions, the US military is “reliable,” as it wasn’t in Vietnam thirty years ago.

So it comes down to [3] — telling the truth and shaming the devil, as Hotspur says. The Pentagon and the putative president have announced that this will be the most secret war ever. It won’t be secret from those whom the US attacks, but, yes, it has to be secret from those our government fears most — the US public. Our opposition to Bush’s killing can be constructed around the fact that people are not fools. As in Vietnam, when the American people come to know what is being done in their name, they are horrified. CP

 

More articles by:
July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
George Ochenski
He Speaks From Experience: Max Baucus on “Squandered Leadership”
Ted Rall
Right Now, It Looks Like Trump Will Win in 2020
David Swanson
The Intelligence Community Is Neither
Andrew Moss
Chaos or Community in Immigration Policy
Kim Scipes
Where Do We Go From Here? How Do We Get There?
July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail