by Ed Ciaccio
February 26, 2012
As the 2012 election draws near, this is what we should keep in mind:
1. Bush AND Obama are war criminals who have knowingly waged illegal wars of aggression in violation of the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Accords, and the Nuremberg Principles, all of which are part of U.S. law and the U.S. Constitution (which they swore to uphold) due to the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2). U.S. troops and/or military operations, including drone bases, are now in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, Congo, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Ethiopia, and Bahrain (see U.S. building secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say – The Washington Post ). “Special operations” (sabotage, assassinations, espionage, etc.) by CIA, SEALS and other U.S. “special forces” have been expanded from 60 nations under Bush to close to 120 nations under Obama.
Remember that the Taliban then ruling Afghanistan offered twice to turn Usama bin Ladin over to a third country if George W. Bush provided evidence that Usama bin Ladin was responsible for the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Bush refused, and then attacked Afghanistan. Until Usama bin Ladin’s assassination, the FBI did NOT list the 9/11 terrorism as one of bin Ladin’s many crimes because the FBI lacked “hard evidence” that bin Ladin was involved with 9/11. So the U.S. attack on, and invasion and occupation of, Afghanistan was NOT justified, and was, therefore, an illegal war of aggression. Ten years later, we still occupy and terrorize Afghanistan.
2. The bloated U.S. militarism budget is larger than the military budgets of Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Pakistan, India, the U.K., France, Israel, and NATO COMBINED. It is the LEAST efficient way of creating jobs, and it siphons off hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars every year which are needed desperately to repair our crumbling infrastructure, transition to true energy independence via sustainable energy, hire more teachers, build more houses, and take care of our most vulnerable citizens.
3. The U.S. has more than 1,000 military bases in dozens of countries, many of those bases there since 1945, as well as 11 nuclear-armed aircraft carrier strike forces (no other nation has more than one) and 14 Trident missile submarines roaming all the world’s oceans. Every Trident missile has multiple, independently-targeted nuclear warheads, so EACH Trident submarine has more destructive power than ALL the explosives (weapons and bombs) used by ALL nations combined which fought in World War II.
4. The U.S. now has 45 military bases surrounding Iran and fleets of nuclear-armed warships off Iran’s coasts, including three aircraft carrier strike forces. Imagine if Iran had fleets of warships off of all three U.S. coasts as well as dozens of military bases in Canada and Mexico, near U.S. borders.
5. In 1953, the CIA & British MI6 overthrew Iran’s democratically-elected president, Mohammed Mossadegh (who was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1952 for bringing democracy to Iran), and re-installed the brutal U.S-supported dictator the Shah, who got even wealthier by allowing Iranian oil to be exploited by British and U.S. oil corporations while his own people suffered. The Shah’s secret police, the SAVAK, founded in 1957 by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad, murdered and tortured thousands of dissidents for the next 22 years. This is why enraged Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran in 1979 and held U.S. personnel there hostage.
In 1980, after the Iranian Revolution against the Shah, the U.S. supplied weapons and satellite guidance to Saddam Hussein for his invasion of Iran. On July 3, 1988, near the end of that brutal Iraq-Iran war in which more than one million were killed, mostly Iranians, a U.S. cruiser (the U.S.S. Vincennes) shot down an Iranian airliner, Iran Air Flight 655, over the Persian Gulf, in broad daylight, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard. Many people today suspect Iran (not Gaddafi of Libya) of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December, 1988 as retaliation for what the U.S.S. Vincennes did. Iranians will never forget any of these treacherous U.S. acts, which are among the many reasons why Iran does NOT trust the U.S.
6. Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons and refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities, while Iran has zero nuclear weapons, has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (which gives it the right to develop nuclear power generation) and has allowed limited inspections of its nuclear facilities. North Korea has some nuclear weapons, yet we are not threatening to attack it. Iran has not invaded nor attacked another country since it was the Persian Empire. So why is Iran now being targeted? If North Korea had oil, and/or was considered to be a threat by Israel, would the U.S. now be targeting North Korea as well?
7. In contrast to Iran’s not invading another country for thousands of years, in 1982, after a failed assassination attempt on an Israeli diplomat in London by Abu Nidal’s terrorists, Israel invaded Lebanon, resulting in more than 18,000 Lebanese killed. The massacres of Muslim refugees at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by allies of Israel, while Israel did nothing to stop them during that Israeli invasion, enraged Muslims. As a result of this invasion by Israel, Hezbollah was formed. In December, 2008, after dozens of rockets were fired into Israel by Palestinian terrorists, Israel invaded Gaza, killing more than 1,400 Gazans, most of them civilians, while newly-elected President Obama said nothing. When peaceful activists attempted to break the illegal Israeli sea blockade of Gaza in spring, 2010, Israeli soldiers attacked the largest boat, murdering nine of the activists in cold blood. Again, President Obama said nothing.
Recently, Obama officials have confirmed that Israel’s Mossad worked with the MEK, an Iranian terrorist group listed on the U.S. terrorist list, to assassinate Iranian scientists. No condemnation was uttered by President Obama for this Israeli terrorism. But following the assassination of the Iranian scientist, when bombs exploded in Tblisi, Georgia, in India, and in Thailand, nearly killing Israeli diplomats, the Obama administration condemned these terrorist acts possibly committed by Iranian agents. This decades-log double standard toward Israel is well-known throughout the Muslim world, even if most Americans are unaware of it, or accept it as “normal”, or don’t care. It is part of why many Muslims distrust, if not hate, the U.S.
8. President Barack Obama, going even further than George W. Bush in violating laws, now claims that he has the authority to assassinate anyone, anywhere, including U.S. citizens (he has already murdered at least two), purely on his say-so. Extra-judicial executions such as these have always been the notorious practice of ruthless tyrants and dictators. And in signing the National Defense Authorization Act near midnight on New Year’s Eve, 2011, Obama has now effectively ended habeas corpus and claimed the authority to hold U.S. citizens in indefinite detention.
9. Since 1945, the U.S. has militarily intervened, invaded, and conducted CIA special operations (overthrows, bombings, assassinations) in dozens of countries, killing close to 6 million people. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said on April 4, 1967, in his prescient speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence”, the U.S. is “…the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” It was true then, and it is even more true now, while the Republican presidential candidates attack Obama for being “too weak” on “defense” and “national security”.
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html (up through 1999)
10. While the Republican candidates try to “out-macho” Obama and each other, and while Obama and warmongering Senators such as Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham threaten Iran with military attack, including nuclear weapons (“all options are on the table” is code for nuclear warheads), all in clear and outrageous violation of the U.N. Charter they all swore to uphold, the greatest threat to all of us, catastrophic climate chaos, continues to accelerate with no action being taken by the nations most responsible for causing it, the developed nations, and no notice being given to it by the Fawning Corporate Media. Our children and their children will all suffer terribly because of this colossal failure of leadership, this cowardice, and this subservience to fossil fuel corporations.
In light of the above facts, many conscientious people ask what I suggest they do in terms of voting next November. I am reluctant to suggest anything to others, so I will simply state what I will do.
I will not vote anymore. The entire economic/political/militaristic U.S. Empire system itself is murderous and evil, and only allows candidates willing to continue such policies, regardless of their party or their lying rhetoric.
I believe that my willing participation in it by voting only perpetuates the false legitimacy of such a corrupt, evil system, so, according to my conscience, I will no longer do that. I have been a conscientious objector to war since 1967. Now, I will also be a conscientious objector to Empire as well.
My taxes are taken from me against my will to fuel this murderous, predatory, global corporate-capitalist imperial machine against my conscience, but I compensate for that by contributing to charities which do good to save lives. For example, last year, thousands of dollars of our federal taxes (Vicki’s & mine) were wasted on militarism and war (you can calculate your own unwilling “contribution” here:
But we contributed more thousands than we paid in taxes last year to life-saving charities such as CARE, Doctors Without Borders, Long Island Cares, Island Harvest, and the NY City Food Bank to offset the amount of our taxes used to kill people.
That is how I choose to deal with this situation. I can only tell what I have chosen to do. Each person must decide for her/himself what to do.
As this video shows, we need to do what we can to be a friction to stop the murderous U.S. Empire machine: “Let Your Life Be A Friction To Stop The Machine”:
Someday, this truly evil U.S. Empire will collapse and then, perhaps, much of the killing will end. Many experts believe that process has already started, though I don’t think I will see its conclusion in my lifetime. Meanwhile, each of us must do what she and he can to stop this murderous insanity.
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