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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/2/16

How are Shooting a 12-Year-Old on a Playground and Bombing Hospitals Related?

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Message Joseph Clifford

Three children wounded by a US bomb in Nangrahar province of Afghanistan.
Their parents were both killed.
Three children wounded by a US bomb in Nangrahar province of Afghanistan. Their parents were both killed.
(Image by (From Wikimedia) RAWA, Author: RAWA)
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How is it possible that a hospital is bombed, killing 42 people, including doctors and 2 children burned alive in their beds, and no one is held accountable, punished or has admitted to any wrongdoing? How is it possible that a policeman arrives at a playground, and in less than 2 seconds shoots and kills a 12-year-old, and no one is held accountable? The officer, who had been terminated from another police force for an inability to use firearms responsibly, is still on the job after killing a 12-year-old. No one will be charged, tried, or held accountable in any way. No one has admitted to any wrongdoing. How is it possible that a 12-year-old in a playground is shot dead in two seconds, and the authorities say no one did anything wrong? How is that possible? Let that be your 12-year-old, and have them say no one did anything wrong. How did we get here?

This country has dramatically changed its core beliefs since conception. Most Americans are unaware the founding fathers feared, and did not want, a standing military. They were steeped in history and knew full well that strong militaries historically use their power against their own citizens, and the founders fought bitterly over whether there should be any army at all. It was the most bitter argument in the constitutional convention, but finally a small military was created out of fear that Britain would try to reconquer the colony. The military however, was loathed by clear thinkers and viewed as a necessary evil that had to be closely watched, contained, and monitored, which is also the view of this writer. Of course the military has served a useful protective function, but since the end of WWII the public has been led to believe the military must always expand and be honored. We have 1000 bases around the world and the military is out of control. We have lost the ability to solve problems diplomatically and military power is the only tool in our bag. We resort to war as the one solution to all problems.

Today, citizens who have no concept of human history revere the military. Every sporting event has a salute to the military. We have "flyovers" and the like, which the founders would have loathed. You have been led to believe the military is a good thing, and you should honor the troops, which would be the last thing the founders would ever have imagined.

So that said, here we are. Last October, the US bombed a hospital in Kanduz Afghanistan, and lied about it, then, because of overwhelming evidence, grudgingly admitted it, but called it a mistake. The hospital had given their exact GPS coordinates to the military many times, and had a huge hospital insignia on the roof, but that didn't mean a thing to the US military. The hospital, after the initial bombing, contacted the US military and told them the hospital was being bombed, yet the attack continued for another 45 minutes. Fleeing innocents were strafed. The military made up another pretext, saying there were fighters in the hospital, which also was proven to be false. The hospital and the Afghan government wanted an independent investigation, which the US blocked. We said "we" will investigate ourselves. Guess what they found. It was simply a mistake; no one was charged, tried or severely punished. This, by the way, is not an isolated event. The US has bombed several hospitals in the past, including a pediatric hospital in Iraq. Once might be an accident, but when there is a history of "accidents", something is wrong. Schools have been bombed, entire wedding parties have been obliterated and incinerated. All said to be "accidents", while at the same time bragging about how "smart" our bombs are. No one is ever held accountable for any of these countless horrific murders. The military is now viewed with awe. Years of groundwork have paved the way for the glorification of the military, and they are held high above any kind of law. They can do no wrong. But what happens, for example, to a school teacher who puts his/her hands a child? They are fired immediately and charged in court, as they should be. But police and the military can kill innocents, and not be held accountable.

Meanwhile, back to the playground where the 12-year-old was gunned down by a renegade policeman. Our reverence for the military has carried over to anyone who wears a uniform. Most police recruits have a military background, have military weapons, and use military tactics against their own citizens. They can do no wrong; i.e. shooting down a 12-year-old. This is not an isolated example; just follow the Black Lives Matter movement for a few minutes, and you will conclude that blacks are just targets. A young man is simply walking down a stairwell, having done absolutely nothing wrong, and is gunned down by a policeman and no one is held accountable. An elderly man in CT accidentally triggered his Life Alert; the police show up, break down his door and shoot him to dead and no one is held accountable. A man is shot in cold blood while walking down a street having committed no crime. He is shot not just once, but 11 times. A man is shot 41 times by police in NYC. No officer was found to have did anything wrong. Space prevents me from continuing with the senseless slaughter by police. They are viewed as an extension of the military, and so, like the military, can do no wrong. How far we have strayed! It is too bad we have no appreciation for the history of mankind and the history of military forces.

The military is so worshipped it consumes most of the available tax money. While cutting every social program possible, the military budget is increased every year. We spend more on the military and security than the rest of the world put together, while slashing all programs for people and infrastructure. This writer will undoubtedly be disparaged for distrusting the military, which proves the point of this article.

Next time you watch a sporting event and see a "flyover" by machines that are designed to kill, stop and ask: What is the possible connection between a sporting event and a "flyover" by killing machines? The answer is simple. There isn't any, but it does reinforce the concept of reverence for the military.

Most argue that "our" military will never use its power on its own people. Do you see what the police are doing? We are close. Where does it say the US military is an exception to all of human history?


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Joe Clifford lives in Rhode Island and has written a regular column for an online newspaper and has contributed many articles to various RI newspapers. His articles deal almost exclusively with American Foreign policy but ventures into other (more...)

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