Dick Cheney, now touting his very warped version of reality in his book, is nothing less than a war criminal and a torturer, of course, and, as Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin suggests, his book should rightly be placed in the crime section of bookstores. In a world which actually lived according to its professed principles of justice, Cheney would now be locked up and awaiting trial at the Hague as one of the many war criminals from both the Bush and Obama administrations, instead of making the rounds of talk shows and spending his blood-stained book advance money. But that would mean actually enforcing the principles, codes, and laws enshrined in our Constitution, the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and the Nuremberg Tribunals.
But Cheney’s is simply one face of modern U.S. terrorism which has been perpetrated against millions of unarmed civilians since FDR gave the OK to the bombing of German and Japanese civilians in 1943, and continuing since then in all U.S. wars and proxy wars, U.S. environmental crimes, and U.S. financial crimes (disaster capitalism).
Cheney is a sociopath, but the entire U.S. political/economic/militarist system of full-spectrum dominance of the planet is a sociopathic system as well, and the much-touted “American Dream” of ultra-materialism as success has been built on that system since at least 1945, if we are at all honest with ourselves.
Of course, the roots of this murderous system lie in the founding of the U.S. on the bloody corpses of the indigenous North American people whose land was stolen while they were put into unfenced concentration camps called reservations, and the kidnapped then brutalized Africans dragged here to be slaves until 1865. So U.S. terrorism has a history as old as this now-defunct republic and currently very dangerous empire.
On April 4, 1967, in his powerful, prescient speech “Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence”, delivered at the Riverside Church in Manhattan, N.Y., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the United States government, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today”.
Unfortunately, that is as true today as it was when Dr. King said it.
Professor Noam Chomsky wisely tells us that the best way to end terrorism is to stop committing it.
And the only way a terrorist system will end is if it is replaced by one which prizes compassion and empathy over power and greed, and treats the planet as our finite, precious and only home, instead of an infinite resource mine and waste pit.
In that same 1967 speech at Riverside Church, Dr. King warned us that, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
Forty-four years later, the U.S. is well beyond merely approaching that death.