The US, along with France and Britain, recently struck at Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons. Of course, this appears to have been an example of fake news (a staged or faked incident) serving as a pretext for using military force. We could note the long history of the purposeful distortions of actual events serving as such pretexts for war and military actions. Today, however, we wish to point out that the US has used chemical weapons in the past, and ought to be rebuked for both the use of such weapons on civilians and for its flagrant hypocrisy. We must reject this Might Makes Right mindset here in the US.
In Vietnam, the US used Agent Orange extensively in its attempt to defoliate the jungle trails the Viet Cong were using to resupply their fighters in South Vietnam. As well, napalm, which we could classify as a chemical weapon, was also used in various bombing runs on villages and farm areas. In Iraq, the second time around, the US used these so-called “spent uranium” artillery shells. These are used for their armor-piercing ability. Whether these uranium shells are actually spent of their radioactivity is open to debate, but the undeniable fact remains that uranium, even in isotopes that are not radioactive, is a very toxic heavy metal, chemically toxic. When these incoming shells strike something on the ground, some of the uranium is vaporized and pulverized. It is this uranium that people in the vicinity and downwind breathe in and ingest through their mouth and saliva. As well, some of this very toxic and harmful heavy metal remains in the surrounding soil for long periods of time (unless a serious attempt at hazardous material clean up is made, which was not done in many areas of fighting in Iraq).
The terrible human cost of this criminal activity is seen in the many tragic cases of birth defects, increased rates of cancers, and other physical and mental health problems caused directly and indirectly by the use of such terrible weapons. (RT, last evening, had a short segment that poignantly showed one little, 7-year-old, Iraqi girl with birth defects from Fallujah, Iraq, where the lingering effects of these “spent” uranium shells (used in the 2003-4 fighting there) are still causing severe harm.)
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We, in the US, need a credible anti-war movement, one that is independent of corrupt political party affiliation. And, to be effective, such a movement will need to police itself to keep from being infiltrated by government agents (as was done in the late 1960s during the Vietnam War). Anarchist thugs and punks, who deal in violence, must also be kept out.
From a broader perspective, we are compelled to conclude that most US military interventions in the past century have caused significantly more harm than good. This conclusion is not merely true because of all the suffering and harm visited upon civilian non-combatants from US military actions during actual fighting, but also because of the continuing harm caused by the use of chemical weapons long after the fighting has ceased, and the larger, more lasting destabilization of countries where conflicts are left unresolved, or an unjust peace is imposed. Not to be overlooked, are the punitive and vindictive policies and conditions that the US imposes on defeated nations. The sanctions imposed on Iraq after the first Gulf War (1991) served to cause much malnutrition and sickness among the Iraqi children throughout the 1990s with many deaths. The criminal actions by the US in occupied Germany after May, 1945, caused many civilian deaths and many deaths of disarmed German military POWs. (See the works of James Bacque, John Wear, and others on this. Actually, the German death toll from Allied (including the USSR) actions and policies in occupied Germany is in the millions.) The result of the Second World War was to make large areas of the globe safe for hellish communism. The capitalist war profiteers of the Western democracies made big profits from the war.
We do truly need to rein in the monster of the war machine. A person, a concerned citizen, may not be faulted for thinking that right now, today, the US is the biggest, most serious threat to world peace. And, this would be true even if Madam Hillary had been elected to be President.
War is inhumane, and must never be engaged in from such a callous, and cavalier attitude as we see in the US military establishment today.
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