Vancouver has staged an opera about Fallujah. Not about the massacre of its people as the US invaded Iraq, where civilian refugees were forbidden to flee from the incoming assault, where entire families were shot from helicopters as they tried to escape across the river, but the human tragedy of what the genocidal US soldiers had to endure. PTSD. That’s apparently what’s commemorable about the war crime of Fallujah. That “Fallujah”.
You won’t find these terms in the indexes of the countless books praising SEAL Team 6. But they feature prominently in an Intercept exposé about the war crimes of America’s most famous death squad. “Bleed out” videos are passed among operators, as Special Ops mercenaries are called, featuring their victims bleeding to death as they are taunted by their murderers. “Canoeing” is the act of aiming a final gunshot through the top of the victim’s forehead such that the head splits open to form a V like the bow of a canoe. Canoeing Photos of faces spilling over with brains, such as the proof-of-death pic of Osama bin Laden, are then taken for the official record, including the team’s formal scrapbook. “Devil’s Guard” is an obscure war novel that glamorizes Nazi attrocities including fictional methods of inflicting state terror. Title 50 authority is the so-called license which US Special Ops have to partner with allied commandos to form death squads. Winkler hatchets are tomahawks made by craftsman Daniel Winkler for the SEAL Team 6 Red Squadron, known as the redmen, who are expected to bloody their hatchets as they conduct their raids. Using the hatchets to collect DNA hair-follicle samples for the Redmen means flaying their victims and returning with scalps, fingers and other disfiguring momentos. Another insight revealed by the Intercept: The British aid captive Linda Norgrove, who was killed during a botched rescue attempt, wasn’t killed by her captors, but by a grenade thrown at her by a Seal Team operators, perhaps because the goal of reaching Norgrove was not rescue but exposure control. Linda Norgrove worked for DAI, Development Alternatives Inc, an American NGO, a cover for being an agent for MI-6. The glossary we already knew: Blue Squadron, known as the Pirates; Gold Squadron, known as the Crusaders or Knights; Silver Squadron; and Red Squadron, known as the Redmen.
We’re told President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima will the first by a sitting US president. Hiroshima being where America demonstrated its first atomic bomb. Ranked by scale of civilian casualties, Hiroshima has multiple sister cities who could share the honor of being sites of the greatest single day attrocity beneath US bombers. Travelogue wise, if there isn’t a sign saying “Washington slept here” obvously everywhere has a first for American presidents, so what makes Hiroshima newsworthy? Let’s agree as the objective of Oppenheimer’s Manhattan Project, Hiroshima was the most calculated. Nagazaki was the reproductive test serving as reprise for the international stage. Obviously President Obama’s next visit should be to Nagazaki as proof that paying tribute via presidential visitation doesn’t amount to an apology, expression of regret, or even recognition of a lesson learned. The gesture may be a nod to self-reflection but it’s not guilt. What Obama is doing is taking a bow. The imperial pageant of unending curtain calls, for an old show called gunboat diplomacy.
American drone pilots eat massacres like the Boston Marathon for breakfast. Let all bombers share Tsarnaev’s fate.
Should Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get the death penalty? Should Aurora’s James Holmes or Charleston’s Dylann Roof? How about American sniper Chris Kyle or the Apache gunship assholes exposed by Wikileaks in “Collateral Murder”? Videos abound of US airstrikes and drone strikes far more deadly and indiscriminate than the Boston Marathon Bombing. I don’t agree with capital punishment, as deterrent or justice, but if cultural arbiters want to cry for the blood of terrorists there are a lot of offenders in line before 21-year-old Tsarnaev. I say let he who has bombed fewer innocent people cast the first stone.
It used to be controversial to call for a ONE STATE SOLUTION to end the fighting over Palestine. Israelis and their American Zionist supporters rightly feared that without bantustans to isolate Palestinians, Israel’s Jews would become the minority and democracy would upend the legitimacy of a Jewish state. To be fair, that’s not only probable, it’s inevitable. But how cavalier to wait confidently as Palestinians continue to suffer reprisals and recently a teenager abducted and burned alive by marauding Jewish settlers incited by Israeli ministers calling for collective punishment and genocide. Nevermind the IDF air strikes burning Gazans alive. Yeah, maybe it’s time to stop pretending a Zionist theocracy can be democratic, and stop pretending that invaders and occupiers want “peace”. They want their conquest and human rights abuses left in peace. End this thinly veiled western colonial adventure. Palestine for Palestinians, not Europeans and Americans claiming a “birthright” that usurps a refugee’s right of return.
A lesson the US forgot about Iraq? Prosecute war criminals like General McMaster, don’t spread their “lessons”
COLORADO SPRINGS– Whose fault is it that America is “forgetting the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan”? We never learned them… Instead of prosecuting war criminals like General “H.R.” McMaster, fans of neoliberal genocide like the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council celebrate the yahoo and let him infect public minds about how the atrocity of TEL AFAR was a victory and not the crime against humanity it resembles. What was this bastard’s kernel of wisdom about his fine-tuning of a counterinsurgency technique which dates to America’s Indian Wars? Don’t be afraid to call genocide a “win”. Uncritical Gazette reporter Tom Roeder quotes McMaster saying Americans should be “unabashed.” Unabashed! Goddamn moral degenerate and we stand him up in front of crowds without a noose and scaffold! We have only ourselves to blame that our blimpneck officers congratulate themselves for their lessons learned.
I read 30 Seconds Over Tokyo when I was still a war-playing kid, before I would understand the mischievous consequences of the Doolittle Raiders B-25 bombers deploying without their bombsights. This was to prevent US war-making advantages falling into enemy hands but it also precluded dropping bombs with accuracy. I’m pretty certain the account for young readers also didn’t explain why over a quarter of the squadron’s bombs were of the incidiary cluster variety. Readers today know what those are for. Doolittle claimed to be targeting military sites in Japan’s capitol, but “invariably” hit civilian areas including four schools and a hospital. Of the American fliers captured, three were tried and executed by the despicable “Japs”, who considered the straffing of civilians to be war crimes. After the war, the US judged the Japanese officers responsible, as if their verdict was a greater injustice against our aviators’ “honest errors”. Today we rationalize our systemic overshoot policy as “collateral damage”.
So there’s a little good news as the ambush of Syria gains momentum. It’s unlikely to be true, but let’s indulge ourselves for a mo. It’s being reported that Russia will jump to Syria’s defense by attacking the Saudis, and that Iran would retaliate against Israel. Both developments deserved and overdue, but who’s going to take the primary culprits, the Western colonial powers, to task? If anyone should bear the “consequences” of an illegal bombardment of Syria, the US surely has it coming. Would the US strike Syria if the Syrians could hit back? How our colors would run if, for once –it hasn’t happened since 1812– the warmaking reached our shores. Our patriot palor would blanche to ashen, I’m guessing into a full streak of yellow in no time. Must it take a Hannibal to march on the “Home Front” before Americans care enough to curb their dogs of war?
Imagine it, the cretinous feudal House of Saud decapitated. They oversee Mecca, impose a repressive Islamic code on their populace, while engorging their family wealth and flesh like medieval popes. And Israel, that last colony of white settlers bulldozing over Palestinian land and lives, dismissing them like Native Americans falling before their Euro Middleast Manifest Destiny. Could a Syrian debacle spell the end for the feral Arab warlordships and for Palestine’s Jewish exceptionalist Apartheid? It might be worth it. Especially as we won’t be paying for it with OUR lives.
“International consequences.” I like the sound of that precedent.
Funny how Americans think the Nazis are still the ne plus ultra of evildom. Isn’t it about time we stop pretending the cruelty of Hitler’s machine exceeded ours? The US military has of course blown well past the benchmark of “Godwin’s Rule” by any measure of war crime both in quality and quantity, the question is, for how long has this been true? The initiate might think Vietnam marked our trespass into the Ugly American of infamy, our ensuing exploits in Latin America cementing our ignoble national character, but US colonial possessions worldwide know we’ve applied American moxie to a Final Solution stratagem wherever we’ve roamed. Before our westward expansion domestically, we settled with genocidal intent under a crown’s mentorship. America’s plan for its indigenous populations was the model for the Nazi relocation and extermination system, so for the Germans we were the “Nazis”. Odd how that perspective got lost in our history of WWII, our “Good War”.
Was Margaret Thatcher religious? We might take solace that her final breaths were complicated by abject horror of the fate she knew awaited her. She might have been iron willed and resolute, are we going to pretend she was clueless? But justice delayed is justice denied. Thatcher’s karma is pie in the sky, while her destructive legacy was concrete as the sarcophagus that will protect her.
Air Force general John Lavelle fell from grace in 1971 after overseeing unauthorized bombing raids over North Vietnam. Now his family has allies trying to rehabilitate Lavelle’s reputation, obfuscating his “rogue” misdeeds. If today’s US air strikes can carpet bomb adversaries and collateral civilian bystanders with precision impunity, you can’t blame Lavelle’s champions for expecting US impunity to apply retroactively, it’s only fair, in American terms.
If Israel can threaten to attack Iran, without drawing the unanimous rebuke of the international community, then it follows Iran cannot be criticized for warning of its imperative to make a preemptive strike. Except that both would be illegal, the United States being the reigning serial aggressor at large. Or maybe you’re of the opinion that Israel can have 200 nuclear weapons and Iran can’t have one, or that if US and Israeli agents detonate bombs in Iran it’s not terrorism.
You can see why Lance Armstrong fans are upset. Even President Obama is satisfied not to look back, why should the sports-doping authority? Lance Armstrong beat their drug tests fair and square, what right have they to retest his blood and urine samples, based on the probable cause of mounting witness testimonies, and now that superior tests can detect his workarounds? IF Team America ever cheated, it was fair and square. All our ducks in a row. If US proof of Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction turned out to be fabricated, it was fabricated to the standards required by veracity tests of the time. No fair revisiting spilt lives. If Barack Obama took the USADA’s lead, he could rid American politics of all the Neocon cheats who still dominate the airwaves today. If Obama wanted to get lying, cheating, or taking unfair advantage out of the system. But breaking the rules, international law for example, the disproportionate use of force being a cherished national specialty, is the American Way.
Pentagon-loving corporate media says to pay no attention to real details about the Sgt. Bales led USA war crime
The news report yesterday, hidden away for the most part, was that Child witnesses to Afghan massacre say Robert Bales was not alone and read that the Afghan reporter who was reporting for the Australian press had also reported being impeded by the US military in her access to the war crime witnesses who were children. Here is what the child witnesses to the slaughter by Bales and his squad said to her…
Headlines about Sunday’s midnight massacre in Kandahar transformed quickly from NATO FORCES RAID to become LONE GUNMAN KILLS 16, as the attributed sources shifted from Afghan locals on the scene to US military spokesmen. One might argue it’s in the interest of national security to attribute the murders in Balandi and Alkozai to a solitary stalker, to tamp the swelling anger of the Afghan populace, but what’s the truth? Making a rare concession, the NYT has revised its headline a 3rd time to read LONE SOLDIER SAID TO BE KILLER OF 16 AFGHANS, and the BBC puts “ACTED ALONE” in quotes. (UPDATE: AP adds “allegedly” and LA Times “apparently”)
Pundits stroke our soldiers’ egos by asking could one special forces soldier alone kill so many (?!), but more difficult to imagine is how a rogue fighter can equip himself and pass through multiple security defenses unobserved. Also doubtful is how and why a stealth assassin would burn the victims’ bodies as he moved about. Easier to believe is that damage control decided it best that one man take the fall for his comrades, God and country, probably the one too drunk to object.
SUNDAY- Drunken US soldiers kill 16 Afghanistan civilians, nine of them children. The US military is claiming the massacre was the work of one soldier who “wandered” inside homes in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district, but witnesses report it was a squad who laughed as they shot the families and tried to burn the bodies. US Army defenders might argue mouths agape that it doesn’t make sense, what would US NATO forces accomplish by doing that? State terrorism is no accident. Whether by directive, unleashing berserkers, or enlisting young men with mental deficiencies, TROOPS KILL KIDS.
For our remedial readers I’ll note that Tony and I are under fire for raising that point at an Occupy GA. What’s the vigilante posse got to say about the US soldiers in the village of Zangabad? Just part of the ugly job of war? Happens everyday? Yes it does.
If preemptive war was not against international law, wouldn’t Iran have a good case to launch a preemptive strike on Israel, with all the threats Israel and the US are making against Iran? And while the USG deliberates about how difficult hitting Iranian sites would be, how Iran’s infrastructure is distributed over such a broad expanse, etc, the same cannot be said for not-yet-Greater-Israel. If Western leaders really feared a similarly-lawless Iran, they’d be scrambling to take Israel’s 200+ nuclear arsenal into safekeeping for fear it be set off like a radioactive powder keg. How absolutely shameless to demonize Iran and at the same time count on Iran’s superior morality not to smite its truly corrupt tormentors.
This poster says it all, doesn’t it? Between “Never” & “Forget” are the Twin Towers framed by a Pentagon. Then there’s Dumbass & Dumbo, the TSA grope, the GI thumbs up trophy snapshot, Abu Ghraib torture, Guantanamo illegal detention, and to silence those who would complain, the militarized riot police. All smiles. 9/11 Let’s Roll!
Hard to imagine we’d come to look at Guantanamo as a lesser evil. Gitmo held terror suspects without charges, indefinitely, secretly, and tortured them, to death sometimes. At least they and their families back home were safe from the pretext of a drone strike or special ops night raid. The targeted assassination of released 5-year Guantanamo alumn ISN 801 Sabar Lal Melma in Afghanistan raises the question: what constitutes enough cause to send a death squad after a suspected illegal combatant? The US didn’t have the evidence to bring charges against Melma, who was finally released in 2007 after an outpouring of Afghan voices vouched for his innocence, yet the US military retained suspicion enough to send NATO commandos into his home this weekend to execute the former detainee in front of his kids. It would seem if Obama has a problem with Guantanamo, it’s that illegal rendition and imprisonment is not extrajudicial enough.
A document released last week by Wikileaks tells of a 2006 raid by US troops on a farmhouse near Balad, Iraq, where the American soldiers handcuffed a household of ten, and executed them with gunshots to the head. Killed: one male adult, three female relatives, an elderly woman, four children aged 3-5, and a 5 month-old infant. Then the raiding party called in an airstrike to cover the crime. Perhaps cross referenced with the Iraq War Logs, reporters will identify which outfit committed the murders, because that’s the only way light is being shed on US war crimes, via Wikileaks. Incidentally, the Ishaqi Incident was reported on in 2006 with the Pentagon dismissing accusations that its actions were anything but appropriate. But this recent cable reveals that the USG knew what they’d done. You’d think the Department of Defense would have an interest in cooperating, because until the killers of zip-tied babies are fingered, all American soldiers are babykillers.
You’re shot up at random by a US kill team eager to engage Call Of Duty in the full-gore mode, who pose with you for a trophy pic, then when it sees the light of day, photo editors decide it best to shield your identity, they say to not dishonor your survivors, but likely to lessen the damning impact of the image. The US soldiers posing with their bloody victims were not holding the heads aloft intending to pixilate the identity of their kill. Why should Der Spiegel rob the unfortunate Afghan victim of his humanity, and the scarce opportunity he has for redress from the systemic brutality being visited upon his people by an invader culture, whose average interaction with his, might be this glimpse of a candid Kodak Moment?
Jeanne Assam, rogue private security shooter, friend of George W Bush, to be honored in Colo. Springs for being gay
That’s it, my romance with the local GLBT community is over. Yes I had some qualms when my fey friends leaned hard on Gay Marriage when it was made a wedge issue in the election of 2004. Yes I rebuffed the campaign against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell because it implicitly encouraged military service in a time of US war crime. But I remained in the fold because I was reminded that equal rights for gays and lesbians are fundamental to the embrace of universal equality. Now my humanitarian tolerance is being tested by having to extend equality to moral-idiocy. Today I received an invitation to a GLBTA gala honoring former Colorado Springs lesbian Jeanne Assam, the most famous lesbian they could tap apparently. Famous for what? The name rang a bell. Assam was the disgraced police officer, redeemed New Life Church security volunteer, who preempted a presumed massacre by a teen abused-churchgoer come home to roost. He was bent on an armed rampage, but does that excuse Assam shooting him from a concealed position, without even an attempt at apprehension? Local GLBTA leaders think it does apparently, and maybe it’s no surprise then that they chose this photo to promote the event. Now I admit, next to preemptive war criminal George W. Bush, Jeanne Assam is an angel, even in sexuality-irrelevant Officer Unfriendly Ray-bans. But I say it’s time local GLBTA leaders give thought to showing equal consideration for the people of conscience community.
A report just published by Physicians For Human Rights, entitled “Humanitarian Minimum,” is explained by a Wikileaks cable leaked by Norway’s Aftenposten from their cache of the heretofore Israel-cleansed Cablegate. This one from November 3, 2008 which reported that “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”
The $35,000 rifle fires exploding ordnance, enabling US infantrymen to kill people behind walls or at distances of 2,300 ft. No indication that our soldiers can now SEE behind walls, or differentiate between combatants and noncombatants at such great distance. Meaning the XM25 will “revolutionize” killing, as military spokesmen say, probably the same innocents we’re massacring now, but an order of higher magnitude. If the same braggarts had a hand in naming the XM25, it means times (X) a magnitude (M) of 25, which I’ll bet is an arbitrary underestimation, where Collateral Damage approaches 100%. And get this, the Army assure us that the XM25 can be fired from the safety of distance and from cover, both of which the XM25 deprives of our adversary. “Revolutionary” pretends to reference the spirit of America’s only defensible war for our independence, but it really means another leap in the arms race, use of disproportional power, further distorting our inhuman arm’s length from war conventions, eliminating “cover” for our victims, but not for our own fighters because our opponents could never afford such a weapon. The DoD’s own words.
Former Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz has been sentenced to death by the US Iraqi puppet regime. Pending an automatic appeal, the internationally popular diplomat will hang with other henchmen/assistants of Saddam Hussein for the crimes of “willful killing, torture and enforced disappearance of persons.” Do they have the wrong man? Men? Nation? Expeditionary Force? How many consecutive sentences of hangings must the Bush-Obama Team America Junta receive, justice being proportional?