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Imperial Conquest, Torture, and a Little Matter of Genocide

by populist Sunday, Mar. 05, 2006 at 3:15 PM

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here....

Click Here to Read Related Essays

Acting with impunity and wielding the moral authority of pedophiles, Bush and his fellow Neocons have decimated what was left of America's good name while severely crippling our nation's capacity for advancing and protecting human rights. Setting a sanguineous course in their reckless pursuit of wealth and power, they have afflicted humankind with their perverse agenda. With alarming consistency, these sociopaths have demonstrated their utter disregard for humanity and the well-being of our planet.

While the US has a history of imperialism, deep cruelty, and mass murder, including slaughtering one million civilians in the conquest of the Philippines, legalizing the institution of slavery, and committing the Native American genocide, by World War II America had arguably begun to demonstrate a reasonable level of commitment to humanitarian ideals. While it was a long, painful process, Abolitionists, Women Suffragists, Populists, Labor Activists, Civil Rights Protestors, and the like forced the United States to strive for truly noble causes. From the end of World War II up until the 1960's, one could reasonably conclude that the nation primarily responsible for the defeat of militaristic fascism in both Europe and Asia had earned a degree of moral authority, in spite of its remaining flaws.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Vietnam marked the beginning of America's descent into a fetid moral sewer, high-lighted (or more appropriately low-lighted) by the deaths of 3,000,000 Vietnamese civilians and the devastating after effects of Agent Orange (compliments of Monsanto). America's light as a beacon of hope for humanity was rapidly extinguished. Ignoring Eisenhower's prescient warning, his successors chose the sword over the plowshare repeatedly. Funneling outrageous percentages of our precious resources into the coffers of the bloated and malevolent military industrial complex, they carried out murderous agendas through direct military intervention, covert CIA operations, and proxies like the Shah of Iran. Sadly, under the last 7-8 presidencies, Democrat and Republican alike, the United States government has evolved into the most powerful terrorist organization on the planet.

Bush and his criminal cohorts have assured US victory in its race to the bottom. Dropping the cloak of altruism, they have come out of the closet and revealed their wicked proclivities. In openly murdering innocent civilians and torturing suspected terrorists under the pretenses of "pre-emptive" military action and the nebulous "War on Terror", Israel's Neocon operatives have secured America's place in the pantheon of egregious violators of human rights. Despite having stolen the last two elections, these depraved war criminals continue to act in the name of the American people as they repeatedly urinate and defecate on virtually everything that was truly virtuous in our nation.

Perhaps torture and murder are the values of this "Christian nation".

Human Rights First recently released a particularly damning and extremely well-researched report entitled Command's Responsibility. I spent several hours perusing this disturbing analysis of homicides committed by our own government (to further the cause of "spreading freedom and democracy"). A shocking number of alleged enemy combatants have been murdered by the US military and the CIA. Apparently justice vanishes without a trace if one is of Middle Eastern descent and suspected of terrorism.

According to the report, 100 such individuals have died since August of 2002. By the US military's own admission, 34 of those cases were "suspected or confirmed homicides". Human Rights First determined that the "facts suggest death as a result of physical abuse or harsh conditions of detention" in 11 additional cases. The report also reveals that 8 US detainees "were tortured to death".

How is the "bastion of human rights" policing itself? "Only 12 detainee deaths have resulted in punishment of any kind for a US official." Human Rights First also uncovered the facts that "while the CIA has been implicated in several deaths, not one CIA agent has faced a criminal charge". The harshest sentence issued for those responsible for torture-related deaths? An unbelievable slap on the wrist: five months in jail for homicide! Meanwhile, America's "justice system" eagerly metes out the death penalty for murder, mostly to our poor and/or black citizens. Just ask California's "Terminator".

Israeli peace of mind and oil are worth the annihilation of millions of human beings, aren't they?

Still high enough on hubris to believe the Bush Regime is righteous in passing judgment and proclaiming that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea form an "Axis of Evil"? While you are grabbing stones to cast at this trio for their deplorable records on human rights, consider the acts of barbarism, terrorism, and deceit the United States has committed against the first member of the so-called "Axis" over the last two decades. Since Reagan swaggered into office, America has been committing genocide against the Iraqi people in multiple ways. Bear in mind that these "evil" Iraqis never attacked the United States or its citizens. Their crime? Ostensibly it was that their tyrannical leader, Saddam Hussein, needed to be deposed, they possessed weapons of mass destruction, they were a threat to the United States, and eventually were complicit in 9/11. But for those who live in reality, the Iraqis' true "sins" were possessing vast quantities of oil, daring to sell their oil for Euros instead of the almighty Dollar, and posing a "threat" to poor little Israel, a nation bristling with military firepower and enjoying the unflinching support of the most powerful military in the history of humanity.

As an aside, if the "infinitely benevolent" United States bore the responsibility of removing Hussein to "liberate the Iraqis", a question naturally arises. Which nation will liberate the world from Bush and his team of despicable Neocons?

A Little Duplicity, a little hypocrisy.whatever it takes, right?

In 1982, the Reagan Regime removed Iraq from the State Department's list of nations sponsoring terrorism. This enabled US corporations, including members of the military industrial complex, to capitalize on the abundant profits to be had in the Iraqi marketplace. In 1983, Ronald Reagan sent special envoy Donald Rumsfeld to meet with US ally Saddam Hussein to "normalize relations" which had been terminated during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. Despite full knowledge that Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran and on the Kurds of his own nation, the United States continued its cozy relationship with Saddam. The United States and its allies in Western Europe provided Hussein with military helicopters and the precursor agents necessary to manufacture the very weapons of mass destruction which later became one of the pretexts for the Neocon invasion of Iraq.

Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Noel Koch said this about American support of Hussein:

"No one had any doubts about the Iraqis' continued involvement in terrorism....The real reason was to help them succeed in the war against Iran."

Confirming the initial US acts of genocide against the Iraqi people through its support of Hussein are some quick facts provided by the US State Department. Bear in mind that Hussein was an American ally when these atrocities occurred:

-- Documented chemical attacks by the regime, from 1983 to 1988, resulted in some 30,000 Iraqi and Iranian deaths.

-- Human Rights Watch estimates that Saddam's 1987-1988 campaign of terror against the Kurds killed at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds.

-- The Iraqi regime used chemical agents to include mustard gas and nerve agents in attacks against at least 40 Kurdish villages between 1987-1988. The largest was the attack on Halabja which resulted in approximately 5,000 deaths.

-- 2,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed during the campaign of terror.

Leave it to American ingenuity to find a better way.

Ongoing US support of Hussein became virtually impossible when he invaded Kuwait, a US ally which had slant-drilled billion worth of oil from Iraq (using equipment supplied by a United States corporation). Despite United States Ambassador April Glaspie's assurances to Hussein that the US "takes no position" in the conflict (just days before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait), Bush the elder unleashed the US military beast on Hussein. The US war machine defeated Iraq by burying thousands of Iraqi troops alive, employing depleted uranium, and murdering thousands of retreating Iraqis during the Basra Road Massacre.

Research by Beth Osborne Daponte, who ran afoul of "straight shooter" and then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney for "inflating" body counts related to the Gulf War, and who has since been exonerated, published by two scholarly journals, and awarded a teaching position at Carnegie Mellon University, demonstrates that 205,500 Iraqis died as a result of the Gulf War. Perhaps the rulers of the American Empire tired of committing genocide through their proxy, Hussein. Recasting him as an enemy certainly increased their capacity to eliminate the Iraqi people.

Keeping our hands clean while "killing them softly"

Shortly after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (on August 6, 1990), the United Nations, under intense pressure from the US, imposed severe economic sanctions on Iraq. A year later, with Iraq defeated, the sanctions continued. From the initial implementation of these draconian measures, the United States utilized its powerful influence within the UN to ensure that the sanctions remained in place. The alleged targets of the sanctions were Saddam Hussein and his government. However, the people of Iraq were the ones brutally victimized by this twelve year campaign of economic terror.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, by late 1995, over a million Iraqis (including 567,000 children) had died as a direct result of the economic sanctions. Based on UNICEF's research, 4,500 children were dying each month and 825,000 Iraqi children were at risk of suffering acute malnutrition.

Demonstrating the Clinton Regime's complicity in the Iraqi genocide, Secretary of State Madeline Albright appeared on 60 Minutes in May of 1996. When asked about reports of the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to the sanctions, she stated:

"We think the price is worth it."

Even the Oil for Food Program implemented in 1996 (to enable Iraq to exchange its oil on the world market for food and humanitarian supplies) failed to stem the tide of suffering and death. Supporters of the American Empire claim that corruption, inefficiency and abuse caused the failure of this "noble rescue effort". However, despite the fact that the program did not end the misery for Iraqi civilians (regardless of the reasons), the US saw to it that the sanctions remained in place until Bush II launched his illegal invasion. To protest the ongoing sanctions, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Dennis Halliday ended his 34 year career with the UN in 1998.

Noam Chomsky has postulated that the ultimate goal of US foreign policy in Iraq is to reduce it to a sparsely populated nation, providing the American Empire with a readily attainable, strategically located piece of real estate sitting atop one of the largest oil reserves in the world.

Evidence does exist to support Chomsky's speculations. Slow Motion Holocaust by Stephanie Reich and The Secret Behind the Sanctions by Thomas Nagy both reference DIA documents which expose US intent with respect to the economic sanctions:

Reich: A series of recently revealed Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reports show that the US attack on Iraq's civilian population was deliberate and calculated. A DIA report of January 1991 stated that sanctions would prevent the import of chemicals and equipment required for the provision of safe drinking water, resulting in epidemics. A second DIA report listed as likely causes of epidemics in urban areas the fact that US bombing had destroyed water, electrical and waste disposal systems, and had largely ended distribution of preventive medicines. The report itemized the predicted disease outbreaks, highlighting those that strike children. A third DIA report dated March 1991 explicitly connected outbreaks of gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases to the war, stated that children in particular were affected, and noted that potable water had been reduced to 5% of prewar supplies.

Nagy: Over the last two years, I've discovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.

Patience is not a Neocon virtue

Once the Bush Regime seized power, the "slow motion holocaust" was no longer satisfactory. In enabling or causing 9/11, they had the Pearl Harbor they needed to launch "full speed genocide". Spinning incredibly absurd yarns linking Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden while "proving" that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (and the means to unleash them), the nefarious ones whipped the American public into a "patriotic" fervor. Driven by fear of the "terrorists" and the lies of the mainstream media, the American public zealously supported the "Shock and Awe" campaign.

Conveniently, the Neocons and their media handmaidens neglected to inform the American public that as a former ally, the US had a degree of complicity in Saddam's crimes against humanity. They also failed to mention that our government had committed similar offenses during the Gulf War and had engaged in the passive mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis by strong-arming the UN into maintaining the economic sanctions for 12 years. Or perhaps by Neocon moral reckoning, two wrongs do make a right and they decided it would be frivolous to rehash America's "heroic efforts" to end Hussein's tyranny.

In December 2005, George Bush himself publicly admitted that his Regime bears responsibility for at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths since the start of the illegal Occupation in 2003. The Lancet Journal released a study in October 2004 which concluded that the number was close to 100,000 at that time. A more recent study referenced in an article in The Canadian places the number at 250,000. The Neocons certainly have accelerated the pace of the Iraqi genocide.

"Collateral Damage" in the Homeland

Iraqis are not the only victims of the Empire's most recent efforts to exterminate them. Americans are reaping the wages of Bush's sins against the Iraqi people. Over 2300 Americans have died carrying out the twisted bidding of Rumsfeld and company. Hundreds of billions of wasted US taxpayer dollars, virtually certain federal bankruptcy, and the steady asphyxiation of domestic programs which benefit the poor, the sick, the elderly, the working people, and most importantly, our children, closely parallel the passive mass murder perpetrated through the US-driven UN economic sanctions against Iraq. Want evidence? Look to New Orleans.

In light of the Downing Street Memo, which clearly demonstrates that Bush constructed a false case to justify the invasion of a country that posed no real threat to the United States, based on the accompanying needless deaths of American soldiers, and considering the resulting economic sanctions placed upon the American people, Congress has a sacred obligation to truly represent the interests of its constituents and remove Bush and his fellow criminals from office. It is time to impeach Bush and Cheney. Once removed from office, these two and the rest of the cabal need to face trial at the International Criminal Court for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

We the People and the Iraqis deserve better

Click the link below to take action:

"Congressman John Conyers has introduced three new pieces of legislation aimed at censuring President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and at creating a fact-finding committee that could be a first step toward impeachment."

Americans are not an evil lot, but we are culpable for having allowed a string of truly despicable human beings to perpetrate the Iraqi genocide that has been taking place since the Reagan Regime. The monstrous psychopaths now infesting the White House have taken malevolence to a whole new level. Let us remind ourselves that The White House belongs to us and that Bush serves us.

Bush and his rotten associates are guests in our home and ultimately, mere public servants. One simple step that you can take toward evicting and firing them is to click on the linked paragraph above to email your Congress Member with a demand that they support Conyers' courageous initiatives. Remember, removal from the White House will put these scoundrels one step closer to the Big House and to suffering the consequences they so richly deserve.

Jason Miller [send him email] is a 39 year old activist writer with a degree in liberal arts. He writes a column on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/, and is a featured columnist at www.populistamerica.com

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