Why Gun Control Should Start at the Pentagon

On October 3rd, the United States bombed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Despite the fact that the hospital provided GPS coordinates to the U.S., despite the nine-foot flag on the roof marking the building as a hospital, and despite repeated pleas by hospital staff to U.S. officials to stop the bombings, the U.S. continued to bomb the site for over an hour. Among the 22 dead following the attack were children, patients, and medical personnel from Doctors Without Borders. Thirty-seven others were also injured.

The Pentagon has issued numerous statements. The international community was assured: “No, we don’t target hospitals,” and “Insurgents were firing on U.S. service members! On Afghan forces!” But of course, this is par for the course.

A better read is that the bombing was celebratory. The U.S. just had its 14th anniversary in Afghanistan! Among the fond memories: 25,000 dead civilians; destabilization of nuclear-armed Pakistan; repressive insurgency; CIA paramilitary units, paired with a massive opium/heroin exporting infrastructure. Of course, civilian deaths in Pakistan read similarly, and in Iraq, estimates are as high as 165,000.

With that in mind, where is the international cry for disarmament of the United States and international intervention into U.S. affairs? Estimates put civilian deaths in Syria in the tens of thousands – certainly a crisis deserving pause as for-itself. However, the U.S. has systematically committed mass atrocities around the globe for decades. Why no demands from the United Nations that U.S. comply with international law? Why no sanctions on the U.S.?

Let’s invest in a little introspection and take stock of the strobing ticker of U.S. democracy and justice:

* The U.S. still practices ritual sacrifice – I mean capital punishment – graduating one of the largest classes in the world to the electric chair (or some more “humane” cocktail of (experimental) lethal chemicals) every year. This is despite the 2007 UN moratorium on the practice, and of course, the system is rife with significant class and race biases.

Torture! The U.S. has an estimated 20,000-25,000 individuals in solitary confinement at a time. Many are children under the age of 18. They spend 22 hours or more per day alone in an isolated cell—just like grown-ups. But even non-U.S. citizens get to join in on the fun – the U.S. is indefinitely holding over 100 people without charge at Guantanamo Bay prison, where they have been subjected to some of the most depraved torture techniques imaginable, including waterboarding, beatings, forced nudity, starvation, mock executions, rape, anal rehydration and anal feedings, and threats to rape detainee’s wives and children. But I guess since the U.S. just calls this “enhanced interrogation” it doesn’t count, right?

* Hundreds of people are killed each year by U.S. police forces – over 700 already in 2015. And by people, we really mean Black People, mostly men.

* To the Pentagon’s relief, we aren’t only deep into the ‘Stan’s.’ The U.S. is militarily ‘involved’ in about 150 countries throughout the world. Sometimes it’s overt: military occupation. Other times it’s more complicated: covert operations, drone attacks, coups (see Honduras), shadow warfare, proxy wars, and U.S. training of foreign police and military forces (apparently we just aren’t finished in Afghanistan).

* As if Justice hasn’t done enough, the U.S. is extra-judiciously killing its own citizens. Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, and Jude Kenan Mohammad – all American-born and American-blown. Oh, and 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, son of Anwar al-Awlaki, killed 2011 in Yemen. Just like the grown-ups.

* We’re Number One – at selling weapons to crooks! The U.S. is the number one arms dealer in the world – accounting for one-third of arms exports globally and selling to over 60 countries, many with atrocious human rights records (here’s lookin’ at you, Saudi Arabia). Whose weapons does ISIS use again?

Pretty long for a short list, and it could go on for pages. Dragnet surveillance, black site prisons, extraordinary renditions, the 800+ military bases located outside of U.S. territory, propped up dictators, supporting Saudi Arabia’s massacre in Yemen, and of course, financing Israel’s occupation and genocide of the Palestinian people.

A 2013 survey of 68 different countries voted the U.S. as number one threat to peace in the world. The international community need look no further to find peace. Disarm the Great American Mafia and global peace and security will flourish. Focusing the human rights gaze on “developing” nations with unscrupulous human rights records is a Band-Aid. Better to stop the bleeding at the source.

Why, then, is the UN not pushing for sanctions against the U.S. government? Hmmmm. The UN Office for Disarmament Affairs? Turns out they don’t have a regional branch for North America – only branches for those swarthy folks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. I guess a branch for the only country to ever use nuclear munitions would be out of the question. Well then, could it be the fault of the Security Council? Nah, that’s just there to keep things secure, right?

More articles by:

Alyssa Röhricht maintains The Black Cat Revolution and can be reached at aprohricht@msn.com.

March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am a Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography