Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Tue

27

Feb

2007

America's March Madness
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 22:31
by Mickey Z.

Last month, I touched on a fraction of February's forgotten history vis-à-vis America's long history of global brutality. Here's a small taste of March's madness:

March 1945

In WWII's Pacific theater"cheered on by the likes of Time magazine, which explained that "properly kindled, Japanese cities will burn like autumn leaves" U.S. General Curtis LeMay's Twenty-first Bomber Command, laid siege on the poorer areas of Japan's large cities. On the night of March 9-10, 1945, the target was Tokyo, where tightly packed wooden buildings took the brunt of 1,665 tons of incendiaries. LeMay later recalled that a few explosives had been mixed in with the incendiaries to demoralize firefighters (96 fire engines burned to ashes and 88 firemen died). The attack area was 87.4 percent residential. By May 1945, 75 percent of the bombs being dropped on Japan were incendiaries and LeMay's campaign took an estimated 672,000 lives. In a confidential memo of June 1945, Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, an aide to General MacArthur, called the raids, "one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings on non-combatants in all history." Secretary of War Henry Stimson declared it was "appalling that there had been no protest over the air strikes we were conducting against Japan which led to such extraordinarily heavy loss of life." Stimson added that he "did not want to have the United States get the reputation for outdoing Hitler in atrocities." After the "good war," LeMay admitted: "I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side."

March 1946

After learning of the horrors his bomb had wrought on Japan, atomic scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer began to harbor second thoughts, and he resigned in October 1945. In March of the following year, Oppenheimer told President Truman: "Mr. President, I have blood on my hands." Good ol' Harry replied, "It'll come out in the wash." Later, the president told an aide, "Don't bring that fellow around again."

March 1968

"In all my years in the Army I was never taught that communists were human beings," said U.S. Lieutenant William Calley. "We were there to kill ideology carried by-I don't know-pawns, blobs of flesh. I was there to destroy communism. We never conceived of people, men, women, children, babies."

The date was March 16, 1968. "Under the command of Lieutenant William L. Calley, Charlie Company of the Americal Division's Eleventh Infantry had 'nebulous orders' from its company commander, Captain Ernest Medina, to 'clean the village out'," explains historian Kenneth Davis. All they found at My Lai were women, children, and old men...no weapons, no signs of enemy soldiers. Calley ordered villagers to be killed and their huts destroyed. Women and girls were raped before they were machine-gunned. By the end of the massacre, hundreds of villagers were dead.

When the truth about My Lai was eventually revealed by reporter Seymour Hersh, Henry Kissinger sent a note to White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman: "Now that the cat is out of the bag, I recommend keeping the President and the White House out of the matter entirely." Nixon, for his part, blamed the New York Times, what he called "dirty rotten Jews from New York," for covering the story. Perhaps what had the White House on edge was best articulated by Colonel Oran Henderson, charged with covering up the My Lai killings, who explained in 1971: "Every unit of brigade size has its My Lai hidden someplace."

March 1988

While it was subsequently cited as one of the many spurious pretexts for the second Gulf War, the U.S. and Britain did not call for a military strike after Iraq's gassing of Kurds at Halabja in March 1988. "When Saddam bombed Kurdish rebels and civilians with a lethal cocktail of mustard gas, sarin, tabun, and VX in 1988, the Reagan administration first blamed Iran, before acknowledging that the culprits were Saddam's own forces," explained reporters Christopher Dickey and Evan Thomas. "There was only token official protest at the time. Saddam's men were unfazed. An Iraqi audiotape, later captured by the Kurds, records Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid talking to his fellow officers about gassing the Kurds." On that tape, al-Majid, a.k.a. Chemical Ali, asks: "Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them!" Right on cue, Washington stepped up arms supplies to and diplomatic activity with Iraq.

March 2003

March 17: President George W. Bush declares, "The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it."

March 18: On Good Morning America the president's mother asks: "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

March 20: The day mistakenly considered the "beginning" of the Iraq War. This "war" began when the Security Council imposed comprehensive sanctions against Iraq on August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq invaded Kuwait...and has continued unabated (via bombings, sanctions, invasion, and occupation) since then.

Postscript:

Some of the reactions to my February article demonstrated shameful ignorance of and/or tacit support for transparent crimes against humanity. Many chose to fall back on excuses along the lines of "every country has such episodes in its history" and/or "you have to break some eggs to make an omelet." For example: "What modern nation state isn't like this? If a nation has power, it abuses it. Why would we be any different?" It seems the decency bar has been lowered (to say the least). Also, since no other nation claims moral superiority with more frequency than the U.S., to nonchalantly absolve America of its myriad transgressions is to conveniently disregard such reprehensible rhetoric and arrogance.

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.
More from this author:
Who killed Michael Moore? (Why and what's the reason for?) (11189 Hits)
(Inspired by the recent assassination of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya) There's no shortage of outrage on the Left. Plenty...
"Boiling Point" - Eroding Freedom: From John Adams to George W. Bush (13736 Hits)
Put a frog into a pot of boiling water, the well-known parable begins, and out that frog will jump to escape the obvious danger. Put that same...
Read This Before You Vote (12200 Hits)
If one were to believe the hype, nothing less than the fate the civilized world is riding on the results of the upcoming midterm elections....
Nukes: Iran and North Korea are not the problem (14058 Hits)
by Mickey Z. Thanks to the nuclear aspirations of North Korea and Iran, there's no shortage of rhetoric along these lines: "We can't let...
When "anti-war" doesn't mean anti-war (6507 Hits)
by Mickey Z. A casual stroll through most major U.S. cities would provide ample opportunity to encounter numerous stickers, buttons,...
Related Articles:
Let's March in January! An Impeachment Call to Action (11299 Hits)
by Dave Lindorff I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that, barring some incredible act of criminal cynicism such as the...
Selling Satan: Iraqi War Dead and the Collateral Damage to America's Soul (9013 Hits)
by Phil Rockstroh Headline (Reuters): "United States numb to Iraq troop deaths: experts" "O Nature, and O...
"Our War Against Canada": Alex Cox and the Long March of American Militarism (8771 Hits)
by Chris Floyd This piece was written for Truthout.org. I. Echoes From the Past and Future The images look familiar, even comforting...
America's Shame: Brought Low By a Gang of Cretins (8256 Hits)
by Chris Floyd Only Six Fluent in Arabic at U.S. Embassy in Iraq (Reuters) Among the 1,000 people who work in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, only...
Rope Trick: Burying America's Collusion With Saddam (9115 Hits)
by Chris Floyd Saddam Hussein, who is being held in American custody, has been tried by an American-appointed court which has ensured that all...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (3)add comment

a guest said:

0
pc
It's a dam shame why the security council or should i say WESTERN ALLIANCE COUNCIL held iraq under seige for 13 years (1990-2003).
Lets not FORGET about the untold suffering and murder of those innocent civilians who REBELLED against the saddam regiem just after the american forces sent the republican guard licking their wounds in a blitzgrieg style operation. The american government supported the REBELLION at the time but would rather ACT military when their economic intrests at heart were threatened, as we all know the iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
My question is:
Why did the UN security council still impose sanctions on an impoverished iraqi population which had been through a major war with iran and a phony war with the west, when they (the west) sat back watched a anti-sadam rebellion with no military substance collaspe because of no western involvment?

 
February 28, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
The War in Iraq
I am no scholar or expert when it comes to the war in Iraq-all I know is that
only kindness, forgivness and acceptance of all humanity will end this. This
must stop! Our men and women out there are true heroes but let's bring them home!
There has to be an end to all this. 9/11 was unthinkable but this War won't bring
back those who lost their lives-you can't fight violence with violence. Look at
the examples of Gandhi, Mother Theresea, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Christ-
the greatest example of all. Let's start joining hand to hand before this hatred
roams-we need less heroes in the ground and more heroes in the home. Pray
and let's keep praying for World Peace-it can be done! When WILL the meek inherit the earth? There will be a price to pay for all of this that none of
us will see coming. Let's end it now!!!! Michelle Fotheringham
 
February 28, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
The fookechee'a yoooa' ...lizards are here again.
The Title: There was a beautiful 2-3 foot lizard in the jungles of Vietnam that would seem to play, 'hide and seek,' The beautiful lizard was outrageously bright, colorful, shiny and entertained the infantry soldiers, literally, trapped in war. If American mothers and fathers really knew what son/daughter and beautiful unarmed peasants' were trying to endure, a massive movement in America would have demanded, immediate withdrawal of troops from harms way. At times we 'drafted' grunts would question if the lizard (there is a green trout-back 'latucca sativa' lettuce, by the way for nature's calm-taste, and the herb is sweet as breast milk) was making a sound, 'love you, love you, loooveia'yooua'.' Seriously. This beautiful lizard hidden via Nam's bushes made a 'fookechee'a yooa' sound. The noise is a sacred 'text.' The sentiment sound and universal lesson (no ingles) is open for private interpretation.
 
February 28, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top