“We’re number one!” The United States famously fails to actually lead the world in anything desirable, but it does lead the world in many things, and one of them turns out to be the poisoning of the Pacific and its islands. And by the United States, I mean the United States military.
At the Tehran summit on Friday, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Russia’s Vladimir Putin expressed tactical differences with Turkey’s President Erdogan, on how to proceed with the military offensive for the Syrian army to retake the northwest province of Idlib from terrorist groups.
American politicians provoke a slew of emotions, from tears of rage to tears of laughter. But perhaps the uppermost emotion is one of pity.
With a few honorable exceptions, it is such a pity that the American people are misled by such buffoons. It is such a pity that the American and Russian people — who have so much in common as human beings — are nevertheless being driven towards a state of war by these buffoonish politicians.
Tear gas is among the least of the problems facing those who care about the murder and destruction of war. But it is a major element in the militarization of local policing. In fact, it is widely deemed illegal in war, but legal in non-war (although what written law actually creates that loophole is unclear).
In this episode, we are joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sy Hersh who exposed NATO nation war crimes of the military-industrial complex. From Abu Ghraib prison in the Anglo-American war on Iraq to the My Lai Massacre, Sy Hersh has exerted a damning scepticism of the official line. His new book “Reporter – A Memoir” is out now.
In the park today I saw a teenager watching two little kids, one of whom apparently stole a piece of candy from the other. The teenager rushed up to the two of them, reprimanded one of them, and stole both of their bicycles. I felt like it was my turn to step in at that point, and I confronted the bicycle thief. “Excuse me,” I said, “what makes you think you can commit a larger crime just because you witnessed a smaller one? Who do you think you are?” He stared at me for a while, and replied: “the U.S. military.”
According to the Washington Post, “Preemptive war could risk millions of casualties. But . . . .”
Is that a statement that should ever be followed by a “but”? I contend that it isn’t. There isn’t something that can outweigh risking millions of casualties. The Washington Post thinks otherwise. Here’s a fuller quote: Continue reading →
“One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions.” — Mike Hastie, Former U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71
“Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions.” — Frantz Fanon, 1961 (1925-1961)
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges is joined by Max Blumenthal, author and Senior Editor of AlterNet’s Grayzone Project, and Ben Norton, reporter for Alternet. Following the American missile attacks on a Syrian airbase in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack, they discuss the U.S. role in the Syrian conflict.
In some earlier articles (1, 2), I had described the dangers of escalations of wars and civil wars in Syria and Middle East by provocative military actions of Turkey, US, NATO, their so-called Coalition Forces, and foreign and domestic terrorists, financed, trained, and armed by them. In Syria, in opposition to them, and in support of the legitimate government of Syria, which they have been trying to overthrow since 2011, the superpower of Russia and the great regional power of Iran have also intervened very effectively, and have been crucial in turning the tide in favor of the Syrian government. All the major anti-state terrorist groups in Syria are in retreat and the Syrian government forces are getting closer to complete victory and establishment of control over all of its territory.
This is not the case. Death and dismemberment are horrific regardless of the weapon. No weapon is being used legally, morally, humanely, or practically in Syria or Iraq. U.S. bombs are no less indiscriminate, no less immoral, and no less illegal than chemical weapons — or for that matter than the depleted uranium weapons with which the United States has been poisoning the area. The fact that a weapon has not been banned does not create a legal right to go into a country and kill people with it.