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War Mongering at the New York Times: There's always a "Why"

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Today The New York Times published an inflammatory editorial called "The Fundamental Horror of ISIS." The evident but unstated purpose of the piece was to strengthen support for the latest waste of our tax-payer dollars on the most recent phase of the so-called "war on terror." Like its predecessors, that phase has nothing to do with protecting our "homeland." Rather as Dennis Kucinich has observed, it's yet another phase of the (by-now) 25 year long war against the impoverished masses who have the misfortune of finding their homes floating on top of a vast sea of oil controlled by foreign outsiders.

To help the White House justify its consequent greed-based aggression, the NYT editorial trotted out the well-worn thesis that ISIS represents unmitigated, irrational evil entirely foreign to the sensitive minds of its gentle readers. So it rehearsed "the beheadings, crucifixions, tortures, rapes and slaughter of captives, children, women, Christians, Shiites."

This, of course, represents a highly familiar litany relative to our state's designated enemies. The "presstitutes" made similar allegations against "the Russians" during the Cold War as well as the Chinese Communists. It was also the case with the Sandinistas, the PLO, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Similarly, Manual Noriega, Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Kaddafi, and (until recently) Bashar al-Assad all represented unmitigated evil. Now it's the turn of ISIS and (as of last Tuesday) Khorasan.

In all of these cases the designated enemies in question have represented pure evil without reason other than sadism that strangely and inexplicably has (according to the Times in the case of ISIS) "attracted hundreds of willing followers -- yes, also from Europe and America."

Times editors put it succinctly in today's rant: "Comparisons are meaningless at this level of evil, as are attempts to explain the horror by delving into the psychology or rationale of the perpetrators. . . as Roger Cohen, the New York Times columnist, wrote in a recent piece about ISIS, there is no "why" in the heart of darkness."

To repeat, this level of evil is entirely foreign to the civilized westerners.

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Really?

Try explaining that to the victims of the 25 year war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They remember:

* The million and a half civilian deaths in Iraq caused by the U.S.'s naked "war of aggression" against that country -- the "supreme international crime" in the eyes of the United Nations.

* YouTube films of U.S. military personnel urinating on the bodies of dead Iraqi patriots defending their "homeland" from Marines, Special Forces, and Navy Seals.

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* Abu Ghraib and its broadly smiling heroes (from next door) sexually assaulting their victims and proudly posing with thumbs up over bodies of those they've just tortured to death.

* President Bush and Dick Cheney not only ordering the war crimes of water-boarding and other acts of torture, but joking about it.

* Fallujah and the use of illegal white phosphorous.

* Haditha and the heartlessness of U.S. soldiers systematically slaughtering entire families there.

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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Recently retired, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 36 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program.Mike blogs (more...)
 

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