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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/6/20

Jingoism promotes mindless support for war: It's Our Own Leader, Donald Trump, Who Is 'Blood-Thirsty' and 'Blood-Soaked'

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Qassem Soleimani: Iranians mourn as world reacts to death of Iran's top military official Flags, memes, fears and fury - the killing of the military chief is going to have reverberations for some time. . READ MORE ...
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By Dave Lindorff

This is not an article intended to praise Qassim Suleimani, the Commander of Iran's military who was whacked by President Trump with several Hellfire Missiles fired from a US drone at his vehicle outside the Baghdad Airport.

What I do decry, however, is the almost universal characterization of Suleimani as "the baddest of the bad," or as the NY Times labeled him in Sunday editorial condemning as stupid the president's assassination order, "one of the [Middle East] region's most blood-soaked military commanders."

Really? Baddest of the bad? Most blood-soaked? How about General Stanley McChrystal, the guy who organized and paid off death squads in Iraq, and who, as head of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) oversaw notoriously criminal and brutal interrogations in that country and later Afghanistan, and then moved his death squad proclivities to that latter country when he took over command of the Afghanistan War? How about Marine General "Mad Dog" Mattis, who earned his monicker for saying, "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling." Is it any wonder that we had so many Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan taking pot shots at young boys and "double tapping" injured Taliban fighters?

More broadly, anywhere from 182,000 to over a million civilians died in the war that the US launched against Iraq in 2003. Most of them, simply because of its far vaster fire-power, reliance on aerial bombardment, and demonstrated lack of concern about "collateral damage" in its combat rules, were killed by American forces under a string of American four-star generals. Whatever deaths were caused by the "bloodthirsty" Commander Suleimani pale in comparison to the American carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as, more recently, in Syria and Yemen (where much of the killing by Saudi troops and planes is done with American-supplied arms and with the targeting guidance of American radars and satellites).

When it comes to being "blood-thirsty' it's hard to top the US, which of course was also responsible for the slaughter of millions of Indochinese in the American war on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the '60s and '70s .

How the editorialists at the NY Times can write such jingoistic crap with straight faces is beyond me, but they are not alone. The US media are awash in it.

And remember, the main indictment being leveled at Suleimani is that he was "responsible" for the deaths of "over 600 American soldiers" in Iraq and Syria. But hold on a minute, those weren't civilians. They, and the contractor most recently killed by an allegedly pro-Iranian militant group in Iraq, were fighters or advisors in Iraq and Syria in a war in which, at least for part of the time, they were simply supporting (illegally) different "terrorists" than Suleimani and his pro-Iranian militants were fighting, the latter at the invitation of the Syrian government.

That isn't really, strictly speaking, terrorism. It's war. It's bloody I agree, but if we call generals whose armies are killing soldiers of other armies "bloodthirsty," it's simply because all generals are "bloodthirsty."

Does that justify Trump's assassination of Suleimani?

No. The only question in the case of the assassination of Suleimani is whether it was an act of war, and the answer to that, according to most experts on the law of war, is a resounding yes because of his rank and position. So forget the "bloodthirsty" monicker. What needs to be asked is, "Who the hell is President Trump to, on his own, launch a war against Iran, a country which does not pose any threat, imminent or otherwise, to the United States?"

Beyond that journalists and politicians should drop the nonsense of referring to America's enemies "bad guys," or as President George W. Bush was fond of calling them, "evildoers." Most of America's adversaries, whether Vladimir Putin, Nikolas Maduro, or Raul Castro, are not any more or less evil than our own leaders, whom we know are people who rip children from their desperate parents and lock them in dog cages, order extra-judicial drone liquidations, approve the use of torture, bomb weddings and slaughter innocent children and, or course, seriously contemplate the use of nuclear weapons.

It's not that we should consider our adversaries to be "saints." They're not! But that we doesn't mean that our own morally crippled leaders, both civilian and military, are not as morally crippled as the rest of 'em. They are!

In evaluating the merits of US foreign policy and military actions, we cannot make valid decisions if we start by assuming the other side's leaders and soldiers are "bad" and ours are "good."

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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6 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments  Post Comment


Chuck Nafziger

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As Americans take their morning mainstream media bath in the blood of Middle Easterners, they pick up the chant calling a well respected, well liked, slightly brown general, a monster worthy of being murdered in a war crime. Hypocrisy is US!

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 4:07:01 PM

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lila york

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From Max Blumenthal at the Grayzone The whole story of how Soleimani came to be in Iraq, and how he was identified and targeted, was a lie, as he was set up by a phony Saudi 'peace initiative' he was fooled into trying to broker. In fact. lies to the Iraqi PM were intended to give the PM and Soleimani the comfort that it would be safe for Soleimani to travel to Iraq, as Trump was supporting the initiative. "Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump's lie of 'imminent attacks'" (Blumenthal): "Two days later, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country's parliament, Trump's justification for killing Soleimani was exposed as a cynical lie. According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad." Thus the whole story that he was in Iraq on a mission which imminently threatened American lives was a lie. grayzone.com/2020/01/06/soleiman...minent-attacks/

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 5:01:17 PM

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George King

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Dave thank you for the article but you only raised a minor issue of a much larger danger to the citizens of the US for one but the whole world in the bigger picture. We have a law about it being a criminal act to yell fire in a theater for obvious reasons; the reason is obviously to save life from a grave danger. What I suggest here is full freedom of speech and equal disclosure of all important matters regarding the true state of our nation and by inclusion of its citizens. The following article brings some light on the subject of my comment, I ask that all take the time to read the comment, read the article and re-read my comment. Our survival depends on it. Will you is the question or do you seek "grotesque self-deception" for a better sleep at night to the detriment of all including your family and theirs?

Was Trump complicit, duped, blackmailed, family threatened or just a stupid criminal? Why is this not vetted honestly by our sitting government publicly for the citizens or are they also complicit, duped, blackmailed, family threatened or just a stupid criminal/s?

The Trump administration claimed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was planning "imminent attacks" on US interests when it assassinated him. That lie was just destroyed, but not before countless corporate media outlets transmitted the lie to the public.

Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump's lie of 'imminent attacks'

By Max Blumenthal

So let us look into the real danger to the American citizens by powers unrestrained for multiple reasons but not forgivable and demands not only street protest but a forced closing of the lying propaganda vessels of MSM and any other organ of subjecting danger to the citizens via unsubstantiated broadcast of unprovable accusations that endangers our Treasure, Commons and Unalienable Rights of our citizens. No more unnamed sources should be allowed to wag the dog of injustice by criminal and deceitful device/s. No more printing of lies or unverified (named sources) whether they be government or private with front page headlined retractions upon a timely manner, not after the fact or extended period.

It demands suspension of operations and full prosecutions under complete citizens review of any person or news organization that commits these most grievous acts against our nation state and others. All wealth and property must be confiscated no matter where it has been relocated to for laundering, protection from prosecution and seizure. Organs that have and are being used voluntary or not cannot be allowed to make a profit out of acts that are denying citizens of their Treasure, Commons and Unalienable Rights.

Full closures and confiscation of all profits assets of not only the owners/stock shares but all profits during the period of operations and additional damages from any assets by any individuals by association/s. Faux reporters and those who hire and maintain their subsistence are to be imprisoned and publicly exposed to their actions to restore the freedom of speech in a free and truly open society.

No settlements out of court by any person or entity, no hiding the crimes from full public disclosure. Is this not necessitated by the times and history? Is it dangerous territory to balance the scales of justice in forming a more perfect union? It must be demanded and implemented, now!

The first step is to free and give an open public forum to all jailed or persecuted persons who are under arrest there by giving protection to the truth not the suppression of! We must demand it, even by forceful measures of disobedience now during this hour of danger!

Thoughts to consider, setting the stage of what and why:

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." Plato

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana (1863--1952), U.S. philosopher, poet.

"The worst forms of tyranny, or certainly the most successful ones, are not those we rail against but those that so insinuate themselves into the imagery of our consciousness, and the fabric of our lives, as not to be perceived as tyranny." -- Michael Parenti

"A tyrant's best ally has always been an apathetic populace. Citizens of Germany learned that awful truth in 1939." -- Doug Thompson

"What would you do if you knew all the things we knew, would you stand up for truth or would you turn away too?" Paris

"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is often the truth." -- Jean de la Bruyère

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." -- Thomas Jefferson

"We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." George Orwell

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels

"The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists in leading him from error to truth." St. Thomas Aquinas

"All just power is derived from the consent of the governed." -- John Locke

"The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead." -- William Lloyd Garrison

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." -- Howard Zinn

"To criticize one's country is to do it a service .... Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism - a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national adulation." -- U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright

"To question your government is not unpatriotic -- to not question your government is unpatriotic." Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.)

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 5:40:15 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Thanks for posting Max's article. You can always count on him, Aaron Mate and Kim Iversen click here to present a logical telling of events.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 7:40:38 PM

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Dave Lindorff

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Reply to George King:   New Content

This article by Max Blumenthal sounds credible. I would assume, and certainly hope, that the Iraqi PM kept a tape of the call from President Trump, which should be enough to scuttle his presidency. If Blumenthal's story holds up, this is a worse falsification of a Cassus Belli than WMDs and the Tonkin Gulf false flag combined.


Kudos to Max!


Dave Lindorff

founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 1:21:57 AM

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Irene Fowler

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In common with the legendary vampire Count Dracula, created by author Bram Stoker and based on the life of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (modern-day Hungary), Trump will cause life to be sucked out of innocent victims. "Once again"welcome to my house" is a quote from the fictional account of Count Dracula. The world is now hostage to Trump's White House, and witness to the dangerous farce of his role as the leader of the free world, which is causing life to ebb slowly, but surely, out of global democracy.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 6, 2020 at 9:40:13 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Don't get too smug. It would have happened similarly sooner or later. The absorption of Iran was planned even before PNAC. Clinton would have just changed the recipe with copious amounts of "humanitarian concern" lulling the rest of us eloi back to sleep like Obama and she did with their destruciton of ALBA in Latin America. No, Trump's choice of a casus belli was part of a contract of adhesion foisted on him, and to which he most likely gladly acquiesced.

My theory is that, with an election on the horizon and impeachment dragging its ass along, they chose to let Trump be the fall guy and seize an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: Launch PNAC's coup de grace and take out the nemesis of our fattened game specieis, ISIS. So while, yes, Trump is every bit as guilty as the morlocks in the state department, the path was chosen a long time ago.

Trump's real mistake was not fully understanding the true nature of the beast. Imagine walking into La Luna on Mott Street and telling a capo dei capi that the new oxy distribution plan for the five burroughs should be scrapped? We live in a rogue, criminal military state. It doesn't matter who's the model/spokesperson in the whitehouse. It is what is, so we need to stop pretending differently with the if only's and told you so's...

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 2:35:02 AM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

I agree.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2020 at 5:40:43 AM

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