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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/13/15

Mass Murderers Follow the Example set by their Government

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Author 93960
Message Joseph Clifford
Wars are mass muder
Wars are mass muder
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There are many complicated reasons for the almost daily mass murders committed in this country. As we are the only nation to have mass murders on a regular basis, it might be instructive to examine why we have so many.

Former Justice of the US Supreme Court, Louis Brandeis said:

"The government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy".

The actions of the national government set the example for its citizens, and it is difficult to fault citizens for following the actions of their own government. Many cannot admit, despite the overwhelming evidence, that the US is lawless and out of control. It shows a disregard for human life, and does anything it wishes without paying the slightest bit of attention to law.

For example, international law is very clear, the only legal pretext to attack another, is when a nation is facing imminent attack. The US has illegally invaded or bombed numerous nations without the slightest threat of "imminent attack". Panama, Grenada, Haiti, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq, Libya or Somalia, to name just a few, were hardly "imminent threats" to attack the US. We have been attacking nations, one after another, for the past 50 years, with no legal justification.

Ignoring international law and attacking smaller nations has become acceptable to both the US government and its citizens. Our government makes a mockery of international law by openly defying it, and our attitude is that laws do not apply to this powerful nation. "Might makes right", has become the policy, and the law be damned. Anything and everything goes, with no one held accountable for all the illegal actions.

There are many other examples of government actions which demonstrate a contempt for law. Torture, as in Abu Ghraib, waterboarding, illegal imprisonment without charges, trial, or legal representation, as in Guantanamo, random assassinations by our government, drone bombings, and the daily murders of innocents by police, are illegal acts. We bomb hospitals without blinking, killing doctors, nurses, and child patients. We bomb weddings and funerals killing all participants, very clear violations of international law.

One should not be aghast when a mass murderer defies law and kills innocents; one learns by example. If it is OK for the US government to ignore law, attack and kill anyone they wish for no apparent reason, why is it a surprise when one of its citizens imitates the action of their government, takes the law into his/her own hands, and kills?

We see nations illegally bombed into oblivion by the US with no remorse or sense of guilt. Human lives are totally inconsequential, unless of course they are US lives. Four successive presidents have bombed Iraq, and in our 25-year history killed a million people, including 600,000 children via US imposed sanctions, and our citizens don't even blink. The attitude seems to be, those kids don't count; they are not American.

Since Vietnam, this nation has been on a violent rampage. We left three million dead in Southeast Asia, another one million in Iraq, and have bombed 14 nations in the Middle East. Iraq and Libya were both bombed into oblivion, and will most likely never recover because the complete destruction of infrastructure has led to the demise of any semblance of law in both nations. We are currently hell bent on overthrowing Assad in Syria, disregarding international law. What law give the US the right to decide who should rule another country? We lead a "coalition" of countries who are participating in a 'free for all' bombing of Syria. The US organized a coalition in an attempt to feign legitimacy for its actions but has done 95% of the bombing. The "coalition" merely provides cover for yet another illegal bombing.

US defiance of law has set an example for others in the world community, and has led to the complete breakdown of international law as evidenced by Saudi Arabia's vicious illegal attack of Yemen, and by Israel's frequent illegal attacks on Gaza. When the Saudis recently exhausted their supply of bombs, the US rearmed them, and is assisting Saudi Arabia in their horrific illegal bombing by supplying targeting information. Following our example, Saudi Arabia has bombed hospitals. We also rearmed the Israelis in their last venture into Gaza when they used up their supply of bombs. Israel illegally attacked schools and UN relief organizations in defiance of law, and was shielded from prosecution by the US.

The US has shown a callous disregard for the rule of law, and our own citizens and other nations of the world have followed the example. The only thing that separates man from the animal world, is the rule of law, so one does not have to guess where we are headed. Such contempt for law and civility is now being manifested by the neo-Nazi like demagoguery of candidates running for the US presidency. We know from history where the incessant hate speech took the world in the 1940's. The frightening signs of a rebirth of that disastrous, horrible, racist ideology, are now prevalent in the presidential campaign.

The US government sets the example and the mass murderers follow the actions of their government. Why is that such a surprise? Justice Brandeis was correct.


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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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