Sunday :: Apr 15, 2007

Iraq: “Looking from the side” or maybe not at all.

by soccerdad

John Pilger has another of his very thoughtful pieces out. “Iran may be the greatest crisis of modern times” is the cover piece for the New Statesman. He begins:

The Israeli journalist Amira Hass describes the moment her mother, Hannah, was marched from a cattle train to the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. “They were sick and some were dying,” she says. “Then my mother saw these German women looking at the prisoners, just looking. This image became very formative in my upbringing, this despicable ‘looking from the side’.”

This evokes a very vivid picture in my mind. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because metaphorically, at least, I m one of those women. I see the genocide of up to 1 million Iraqis from the comfort of my laptop and my only response is to write some meaningless drivel that is read by the same group of people but which evokes no real action or change. I do fear that I could lose my job if my strong anti-Bush, anti-imperialistic views were found out but I know deep down somewhere that it doesn’t excuse inaction.
John Pilger goes on to discuss how England as a country “looks from the side” at the crimes against humanity being committed by the “enlightened” peoples of great Britain and America in Iraq and how it is to soon spill over into Iran. I strongly suggest that you read the entire piece. There is a particularly quote that stood out. The treasure Gordon Brown was quoted in the Daily Mail: “The days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over. We should celebrate much of our past rather than apologise for it.” As John Pilger notes:
In Late Victorian Holocausts, the historian Mike Davis documents that as many as 21 million Indians died unnecessarily in famines criminally imposed by British colonial policies. Moreover, since the formal demise of that glorious imperium, declassified files make it clear that British governments have borne “significant responsibility” for the direct or indirect deaths of between 8.6 million and 13.5 million people throughout the world from military interventions and at the hands of regimes strongly supported by Britain. The historian Mark Curtis calls these victims “unpeople”.

The “American child” is no different than the mother who birthed her. It just demanded that it be given its freedom to carry on its Judeo-Christian mandate to dominate first its own land and later those lands of others whose resources were important to us, or at least to our government-corporate (they have always been the same) leaders. So we got off to a fine start by slaughtering the “savages” in order to open their lands to land owners and cattle ranchers who wanted no interference in their business operations. And America’s Gordon Browns like to forget or minimize this chapter in American history. But it is in fact no aberration. It represents the essence of being American and the black soul of the American Myth. The genocide of the American Indians was just the beginning. It has continued on varying scales ever since, in the Philippines, in South America, and today in Iraq, Africa and soon Iran.

People we have killed upwards of a million people in Iraq. A million people can you comprehend that. Do you realize how many mothers, children, aunts, and uncles that is? Or are you appeased by the government’s insistence that they are terrorists? Or do you adhere to the long American racist tradition of declaring its enemies as less that humans or at least inferior to us.

So are Americans also “looking from the side” as Mr. Pilger suggests. I would suggest that average Americans are not looking at all. Most are happy in their American Exceptionalism induced delusion that all is fine as long they have a new SUV to drive to the mall to buy more useless crap to prop up the economy. I posit that they almost never think about the war. That has been one of the few brilliant aspects of the Bush strategy. The Bush cabal understands perfectly well that Americans couldn’t care less about the rest of the world as long as they are not affected or inconvenienced. So as long as only a relative few of the lower class have to go and fight the latest American war of imperialistic resource acquisition, everything will be “fine” to those who benefit from the war. Of course a major enabler of this enterprise is the corporate media which just knows that we would rather hear about Anna Nicole Smith 24/7 instead of the killing of children in a far away land. And no the media is not a wing of the RNC as they were just as eager to cover up Bill Clinton’s lies that allowed sanctions on Iraq to kill over 500,000 children in Iraq. But as Albright said in an understatement of outright hypocrisy “it was a price we were willing to pay”.

So here we are at a historic moment. Poised to strike Iran, more than likely with nuclear weapons sanitized with the adjective of tactical as if only killing a few hundred thousand Iranians was somehow no big deal. We’ve killed close to a million Iraqis what’s a few more Iranians? Those SUV’s need oil. Of course the major problem with the plan is that it will lead to the “war of civilizations” so desired by the neocons and their Israeli and corporate backers. Such a war will finally catapult America into the elite of the genocidal leaders such as Hitler and Stalin; pretty heady company, no.

Another question is will the world survive such a war? As I look out on a gray gloomy day with a pending flood watch from the latest Nor’easter, its hard not to think that the people of the earth don’t deserve to survive.

soccerdad :: 5:33 AM :: Comments (26) :: Digg It!