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June 15, 2019

People lied, millions died

Opinion

June 15, 2019

Washington’s ‘liberating’ wars have wrought peace of the grave and security of the slave on its hapless victims. It was in 1948 that the US Department of War was renamed the Department of Defense.

Today, Washington ‘defence’ spending amounts to 45 percent of global military expenditure. The top 15 countries in the world account for 83 percent of the world’s total military spending; the US spends more than the other 14 combined; the US has 737 bases in over 70 countries around the globe.

Washington has, since inception, laid down global regulatory regulations that ensure its hegemony on lesser mortals of this world. Daniel Ellsberg, a former US Marines captain, was a strategic analyst at the Rand Corporation. His claim to fame was leaking to the press a 7000 page classified report on the Vietnam War – the Pentagon Papers. The report found that successive American presidents and administrations had lied about the Vietnam War.

Credited for being instrumental in helping end the Vietnam War, Ellsberg said: “They (Pentagon Papers) made people understand that (American) presidents lie all the time, not just occasionally but all the time. Not everything they say is a lie, but anything they say could be a lie”. The Vietnam lie cost the lives of 3.35 million Vietnamese civilians and soldiers; 58,220 US servicemen died, 153,303 were wounded, and Vietnam vets still bear the psychological scars.

Historians Christopher Kelly and Stuart Laycock are authors of ‘America Invades: How We’ve Invaded or Been Militarily Involved with Almost Every Country on Earth’. They assert that “the US has invaded or fought in 84 of the 193 countries recognized by the UN and has been militarily involved with 191 of 193”; this accounts for 98 percent of the globe.

In his book, ‘The ruses for war’, John Quigley dissects Washington’s 25 post World War II military actions and finds that each one of them was based on a lie. As retribution, these lies to wage destructive wars elicited more blatant ones to wreak more havoc with even deadlier wars. Presidents lied; millions died.

That these wars were based on lies are proven facts. To point out only a few: President Roosevelt claimed “I shall say it again and again and again: your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars...Your president says this country is not going to war”. This lie came on the heel of war-plans against Japan and Germany.

On August 4, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson interrupted TV broadcasts to announce that two US ships in the Gulf of Tonkin had come under fire (proven to be a false claim) in international waters. Johnson declared that in “response of this ‘unprovoked attack’, “air action is now in execution against facilities in North Vietnam which have been used in these ‘hostile’ operations”.

Three days later, a joint resolution authorized the president “to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the US and to prevent further aggression”. The Gulf of Tonkin lie became a template for future presidential wars till it was replaced by a deadlier and more fallacious one, the post-9/11 ‘war on terror’.

Kennedy promised that there would be “no intervention in Cuba”. Five days later, a CIA covert action in Cuba cost the lives of many and led to a face-off with the USSR in the following Cuban Missile Crisis. Nixon’s Watergate defence was “I am not a crook”, soon after he resigned as a disgraced president. Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. Bush Sr sent American troops into Saudi Arabia based on the lie of a planned invasion by Iraq and the most horrendously blatant lie of them all was the Bush proclamation: “there is no doubt that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction”.

One of the foremost reasons for Obama’s Nobel peace award and his win at the 2008 Democratic primary was his global ‘peace’ plan and 2003 opposition to the Iraq War. Starting new wars, he morphed into the inevitable war president. Syria was targeted because of Assad’s 2009 rejection of an American-backed gas pipeline running from Qatar through Saudi Arabia and Jordan to Syria. The lie to initiate mayhem in Syria was its chemical weapons being a (Iraq WMD) “red line”. The lie to initiate mayhem was Syria’s chemical weapons being a (Iraq WMD) “red line”. Out of a total population of 22 million, the resulting horror saw 570,000 perish along-with 13.5 million requiring urgent assistance and the UN reporting 11 million displaced Syrians; one of the worst humanitarian crisis ever.

Qaddafi’s sin was a Libyanized economy, his plans to de-link Libyan oil sales from the dollar and create an African Union based on a new African economic system. Libya had 150 tons of gold reserves with the same in silver; it vanished with Qaddafi’s murder. Today, Libya is torn apart by civil-war, with Washington backing Gen Khalifa Haftar and his ‘Libyan National Army’. It should come as no wonder that Haftar defected to the US during Qaddafi’s rule and lived for four years in MacLean Virginia, some allege working as a CIA analyst.

President Trump was elected on an ‘America first’ policy that would not waste money on intractable foreign wars. He described the Iraq invasion as “the single worst decision ever made”. Since assuming office, he has been pursuing war policies (military and trade) yet trying to cling on to and act the global leader’s role. His scrapping of Iran’s painstakingly crafted nuclear deal and dangerous jingoism about military action in Iran; a chilling and foreboding déjà-vu.

Since 2017, 62 members of President Trump’s team, including 33 at the highest level, have either resigned or been fired. Saner elements have been replaced by neo-cons like Mike Pompeo, Elliott Abrams (convicted over the Iran-Contra affair) and John Bolton who himself, like President Trump, dodged a military draft but since 1981 has war-mongered in every Republican administration. His envisioned war canvas extends from Caracas to Tehran.

A recent study by the Watson Institute at Brown University reports that the US-led Iraq/Afghan wars have killed 507,000 people (independent reports put the figure at far more than double) with more than 244,000 civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 6,334 American soldiers and contractors as well as more than 1,100 allied troops also perished. The report says war-related fallout killed 65,000 people in Pakistan The cost of these wars is reported at $5.9 trillion with 21 million displaced people, economic and environmental devastation and over 300,000 war-veterans suffering from severe war-related psychological disorders.

Bernie Madoff was an investment adviser and former Chairman NASDAQ. In 2007, addressing a Wall Street conference on illegal practices he said: “In today’s regulatory environment, it’s virtually impossible to violate rules”. As he lied, he had since 1991 been operating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. When the inevitable crash came, he had defrauded 4,800 clients of $18 billion. Aged 71 at the time of arrest, he is undergoing a 150-year prison sentence.

Augustine of Hippo, also known as St Augustine, was a leading figure of the ancient Western Church. In his ‘City of God’ he writes about a captured pirate’s answer to Alexander’s angry demand, “How dare you molest the seas?” Undeterred, the pirate retorted in the same vein, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a pirate. You, with a great navy; molest the whole world and are called an emperor;” but then who can bring ‘loved and liberating’ emperors to justice?

The writer is a freelance contributor.

Email: [email protected]

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