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What a distraught and noxious world we live in, when Americans kill and kill other people and basically take no notice of the fact in their daily lives. More distressingly, Americans are never held accountable for any of the deaths or the suffering they inflict on others.
How healthy it is then to see an article like this one:
by Chas Freeman
Sometime between 460 and 450 B.C.E., Herodotus wrote The Persian Wars, his account of the Greeks’ two wars with the Persians, which spanned thirteen years. Even in a time when trends and events unfolded more slowly than they seem to now, that was a famously lengthy conflict. But the ancient Greeks and Persians have nothing on us Americans in that regard.
The United States has now been engaged in a cold war with Iran – Persia – for thirty-seven years. It has conducted various levels of hot war in Iraq for twenty-six years. It has been in combat in Afghanistan for fifteen years. Americans have bombed Somalia for fifteen, Libya for five, and Syria for one and a half years. One war has led to another. None has yielded any positive result and none shows any sign of doing so.
The same might be said for the wars of others we Americans subsidize and supply. Israel’s wars to subdue the Palestinians and deter other Arabs from challenging its ongoing dispossession of them are now sixty-eight-years-old – and counting. U.S. drones have been killing Yemenis for fourteen years, Pakistanis for twelve, and Somalis for nine. Saudi Arabia’s bloody effort to reinstall an ousted government in Yemen is almost a year old. In none of these wars is an end in sight.
It’s hard to put a price tag on these inconclusive misadventures. The unsuccessful Afghan and Iraq pacification campaigns alone have cost the United States an estimated $6 trillion in outlays and obligations. Over 7,000 Americans have died in combat since these wars kicked off in 2001. At least another 50,000 have been maimed. A million have filed claims for war-related disabilities. And well over two million Afghans, Arabs, Persians, and Somalis have perished. This is a great deal of sacrifice and suffering for no apparent gain in the region and continuously escalating risks to our homeland. Perhaps a bit of reflection is in order, followed by a change of course.
It is said in this regard that before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. (That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away, and you have their shoes.) In that spirit, let me offer a few thoughts as well as a question or two about America’s Persian and Arabian wars.
What it is that we Americans are trying to accomplish? Is there no better way than warfare to protect and advance our interests? How can we finally end the many wars we have begun? On what terms should they be ended and with whom? At what point is enough enough?
Unraveling the tangle of wars in which the United States is now engaged with or against Arabs, Berbers, Hazaras, Israelis, Kanuris, Kurds, Palestinians, Persians, Pashtuns, Somalis, Syrians, Tajiks, Tuaregs, Turkmen, Turks, and Uzbeks – as well as Alawites, Christians, Druze, Jews, secular Muslims, Salafis, Shiites, Sunnis, and Yazidis – will not be easy. In large measure through our involvement, their conflicts have become interwoven. Ending one or another of them might alter the dynamics of the region but would not by itself produce peace.
Just the tip of the iceberg of the Clintons’ bribe and war crimes machine: Hillary Clinton’s long relationship with Saudi Arabia.
On Christmas Eve in 2011, Hillary Clinton and her closest aides celebrated a $29.4 billion sale of over 80 F-15 fighter jets, manufactured by US-based Boeing Corporation, to Saudi Arabia. In a chain of enthusiastic emails, an aide exclaimed that it was “not a bad Christmas present.”
These are the very fighter jets the Saudis have been using to intervene in the internal affairs of Yemen since March 2015. A year later, at least 2,800 Yemeni civilians have been killed, mostly by airstrikes – and there is no end in sight. The indiscriminate Saudi strikes have killed journalists and ambulance drivers. They have hit the Chamber of Commerce, facilities supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders), a wedding hall, and a center for the blind. The attacks have also targeted ancient heritage sites in Yemen. International human rights organizations are saying that the Saudi-led strikes on Yemen may amount to war crimes.
During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton made weapons transfers to the Saudi government a “top priority,” according to a new report published in The Intercept. While Clinton’s State Department was deeply invested in getting weapons to Saudi Arabia, the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in donations from both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the weapons manufacturer Boeing. Christmas presents were being gifted all around.
Despite the brutal attacks on Yemen and egregious domestic human rights violations, Saudi Arabia remains the number one US ally in the Arab world.
So, the question about all these Hillary supporters is: Do they know this about her or don’t they read such news? And if they are unaware of how vile and corrupt she and Bill and their Foundation are, how many would still vote for her if they were well-informed?
Her main demographics are (low-info) blacks, women (who only care about discrimination against women), and corrupt affluent liberals. I think these people would still vote for Hillary if they knew about the extent and the gravity of how criminal she is. This underscores one of the main flaws with the American political system: most candidates who can manage to rise a bit in the only two corrupt political parties available are already such garbage of people – the good ones are not allowed to get anywhere.
Furthermore, look at the kind of world we have: one big mafia (the United States) sells horrendously lethal arms to another mafia (Saudi Arabia) that the latter uses to kill mostly destitute, innocent people who can’t escape the organized murder.
As it’s plain to see, the murder is clearly instrumentalized by the United States. However, the politicians enabling the deal and pocketing the money, and the corporation furnishing the means to murder innocent people remain in the eyes of most in American society as “upstanding”.
The people working in these corporations care about the mass murder committed with their arms as much as the corporations furnishing materials to the Nazis cared about what the latter did with it. These corporations are like a “normalcy wrapper” that envelops this enormous industry of mass murder.
It’s hard to exaggerate the enormity and high-tech nature of Saudi weapons purchases; the sales in the decade of 2010 constitute the most enormous military sales in history. According to a White House press release in 2014, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest US Foreign Military Sales customer, with active and open cases valued at approximately $97 billion, as Saudi forces build capabilities across the full spectrum of regional challenges.”
What will the Saudis do with all the weapons they buy? Oppress, torture, and kill their own people, especially those who challenge their corrupt and despotic ruling, and murder their neighbors – most notably the poorest of the poor.
Does anyone working at Boeing Corporation care?
But, but, but… I just had to buy my wide-screen TV, my shiny car, my condo at the beach… How could I think about which murders were being done to pay my salary?
Hitler died but his way of organizing society remains dominant.
And… isn’t this Yemeni population being terrorized by the Saudis? Isn’t it being murdered by an organization that is terrorizing them for political gain? In other words, in today’s world, we have little terrorist groups like the Islamic State, and big ones, like the US and Saudi Arabia.
I’ve been reading and watching way too many things to post anything here. Ah, where to begin. I’ve been in shock in the last few days, ever since the Paris attacks because I realized the extent of my naiveté in thinking that I lived in anything that could be called a democracy. So this is what living in Germany at the time of the Reichstag fire was like. And it’s moving fast. Europe and the US are no longer democracies. (And it didn’t just happen yesterday, but my illusion was lingering, painful as it is to realize that we are to live in the same world of 75 years ago).
I’m very distressed to understand that the problem are the proxy wars. Instead of Russia, the US, France, the UK, and the Saudis bombing each other, they are bombing “the poorest of the poorest”, including masses of civilians, which includes, even worse, always a large number of children. No solidarity from the West to all the murdered and terrorized and maimed children in Africa and the Middle East, whether the killings come from these noxious “coalitions” of mass murder governments, or the so-called terrorists. When you think about it, any of the following governments: the US, Russia, France, UK, and the Saudis are just terrorists with much more means – both in arms and in resources. And what a propaganda machine! So oiled, so shameless.
I had always thought part of the reason Hitler et al had been able to come to power around 1930 was that ‘it was a different era then’, ‘people were more stupid’, they had ‘more stupidifying education’, they had less access to information, society’s culture was more dumbed down.
Alas, nothing has changed. We live in a world with masses of morons who gladly give their support to today’s Hitlers. What then must we do? That’s what I’ve been thinking.
And I’ve had the displeasure to spend this last week focusing on thoughts about war itself, and several of the concrete wars that are currently going on. One thought out of many – why are people in the West so shocked about beheadings? It’s one person killing another. Whereas a jet dropping dozens of bombs is one (or a couple of people) killing a huge pile of human beings and injuring so many others. I haven’t heard of the fighters beheading children. What are children being killed with in these wars? Modern arms. Really, who are the barbarians? While all groups use modern arms, the people who have killed the most civilians in Africa and the Middle East are the usual culprits: the US, the UK, France, Russia, and now more recently, they were joined by the Saudis, with their massacres in Yemen.
The Russians arming Assad, who used chemical weapons on people. The US and Saudis arming the Islamic State, which is now being attacked from various sides. And it’s millions of people forced to live in the hell these powers create that pay the most cruel price. It’s disgusting.
Below some good links to read – I won’t even bother to post the title first on some, because it will take too much time:
Putin hasn’t changed, but suddenly the West’s short-termist rhetoric has softened
50 lashes today (Jan 9), 50 more each week for 19 weeks, plus 10 years in jail.
Hundreds of thousands of people parading in France this week, not one of them will lift a finger to stop the flogging of this blogger and really defend freedom of speech. And of course, Saudi Arabia is counted among the great friends of the US and France…