16 June 2008

2499) Is US A Genocidal Nation? By James A Lucas

Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton recently threatened to destroy Iran. On April 22nd of this year it was reported that she was asked what she would do as president if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel. She responded to ABC News that “we will attack Iran” and that “we would be able to totally obliterate them.”(1) Thus she expressed her willingness to erase 75 million Iranians from the face of the earth.

What was the response by the American people to this horrendous threat? As far as I can tell it was very muted. Maybe that was because the press glossed over what she said and maybe also because it was no big deal to some Americans who may harbor an acceptance of genocide as an option in coping with other countries.

On the other hand most Americans, if asked, would probably vehemently state their aversion to genocide, recalling with great regret the massive number of deaths on slave ships, the lynchings of African-Americans and the near extermination of Native-Americans.

Our nation’s opposition to mass killings also often extends to people in other nations. Our abhorrence of the Holocaust has convinced many Americans to endorse the existence of the state of Israel. Americans actively support anti-genocide campaigns such as in Darfur, and numerous U.S. public and private humanitarian agencies organize drives to send assistance to peoples suffering from natural disasters around the world such as in China and Myanmar. We consider ourselves to be a benevolent and generous people.

Despite this positive self-image a partial examination of U.S. foreign policy starting in 1945 reveals a disturbing proclivity for the U.S. to engage in a reckless disregard for the lives of people in other nations, similar to the attitude expressed by Senator Clinton. There is widespread acceptance of the killing of about 200,000 civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, because it is believed by some that this action was necessary to save American lives. No one has tried to find out, as far as I know, if there was an upper limit to the number of Japanese that the U.S. would have been willing, if necessary, to sacrifice at that time. Japan’s population then was about 70 million. (2)

In 1965, a coup in Indonesia resulted in the deaths of between 500,000 to 3 million people (3,4,5)

Robert Martens, a former officer in the U.S. embassy there, described how U.S. diplomats and CIA officers provided up to 5,000 names to Indonesian Army death squads in 1965 and checked them off as they were killed or captured. Martens admitted “I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.” (6,7,8)

The Vietnam War ended in 1975. According to the Vietnamese government the number of their dead was about 5.1 million. Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense said the number was about 3.4 million. All that carnage because the U.S. feared that an election in Vietnam would not result in the outcome it wanted! (9,10,11)

In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor on the day after U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia where they had given President Suharto permission to use American arms, which under U.S. law, could not be used for aggression. The result was an estimated 200,000 dead out of a population of 700,000. Daniel Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the UN, said that the U.S. wanted “things to turn out as they did.” (12,13)

In 1979 The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to President Carter at that time, admitted in 1998, that he had been responsible for instigating aid to the Mujadeen, the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul in Afghanistan, which caused the Soviets to invade. He said that he “wrote a note to the President which explained that this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.” (14,15) Brzezinski said that this secret operation was an excellent idea since it drew the Soviets into the Afghan trap. It also drew between 1 and 1.8 million people to their graves. (16,17,18,19)

Iraq attacked Iran in the fall of 1980 with U.S. encouragement. Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state, expressed U.S. policy when he said he hoped the Iraqis and Iranians would kill each other. (20) This war lasted from 1980 to 1988 and during that time there were about 105,000 Iraqi deaths according to the Washington Post and the Iranian death toll was about 262,000. (21,22)

The U.S. attacked Iraq in 1991 after it had invaded Kuwait and that war, and the sanctions that followed, caused probably over a million Iraqi deaths. (23,24, Leslie Stahl, on the TV Program 60 Minutes in 1996, referring to Iraq, said to Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima." And - and you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think is worth it.” (29) Perhaps she would bristle at the suggestion that she approved of genocide.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 so far has resulted in the deaths of between 601,000 and 1.1 million Iraqis, due not only to fighting against the U.S. but also as a result of the conflict between various factions within Iraq. (30)

Why does the American public seem to blithely accept what our government does to people in other nations and to the threats and comments made by people in our government?

Perhaps it is because Americans are not informed about what their government does due to apathy and media distortions. Most people may not be aware of the information I have mentioned above. For example, the average American thinks that about 9,900 Iraqis have died in the current war there – which is less than 2 percent accurate. (31) Or could it be because the racist attitude that caused the pogroms in the histories of African-Americans and Native-Americans has been diverted into a belief that we are a superior people?

Maybe the collective mind of our people is engaged in an internal struggle over whether it wants to approve of the killing by the U.S. of large numbers of people which in some cases approaches genocide. Many people now seem to be so fearful of terrorism that they will approve of almost anything our government does.

This topic merits intensive discussion.

1. April 22, 2008 by Agence France Presse Clinton Would ‘Obliterate’ Iran Common Dreams April 26, 2008 http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/22/8443/
2. Wikipedia, Demographics of Japan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Japan
3. Sison, Jose Maria, Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia, p. 5. http://qc.indymedia.org/mail.php?id=5602;
4. Annie Pohlman, Women and the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966: Gender Variables and Possible Direction for Research, p.4, http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/ASAA/biennial-conference/2004/Pohlman-A-ASAA.pdf
5. Peter Dale Scott, The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967, Pacific Affairs, 58, Summer 1985, pages 239-264. http://www.namebase.org/scott.
6. Virtual Truth Commission http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/.
7. Editorial, Indonesia’s Killers, The Nation, March 30, 1998.
8. Matthew Jardine, Indonesia Unraveling, Non Violent Activist Sept–Oct, 1997 (Amnesty) 2/7/07.
9.Casualties - U.S. vs. NVA/NC, History Channel http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html
10. Fred Branfman, U.S. War Crimes in Indochina and our Duty to Truth August 26, 2004
11. David K Shipler, Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of Vietnam
12.Brian Wilson, Virtual Truth Commission http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/
13. Matthew Jardine, Unraveling Indonesia, Non-Violent Activist, 1997
14. U.S Involvement in Afghanistan, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in Afghanistan)
15. The CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, Posted at globalresearch.ca 15 October 2001, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html
16. Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.135.
17. Chronology of American State Terrorism ww.intellnet.org/resources/american_terrorism/ChronologyofTerror.html
18. Soviet War in Afghanistan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan
19. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.76
20 - The Fire this Time by Ramsey Clark, p. 201 Thurder’s Mouth Press 1992 p.201
21. Michael Dobbs, U.S. Had Key role in Iraq Buildup, Washington Post December 30, 2002, p A01
22. Global Security.Org, Iran Iraq War (1980-1980) www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/iran-iraq.htm.
23 Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time (New York, Thunder’s Mouth), 1994, p.31-32
24 Ibid. p. 52-54
25. Ibid., p. 43
26. Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, (South End Press Cambridge MA 2000). p. 175.
27. Food and Agricultural Organization, The Children are Dying, 1995 World View Forum, International Action Center, International Relief Association, p. 78
28. Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, South End Press Cambridge MA 2000. p. 61.
29.David Cortright, A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions December 3, 2001, The Nation.
30. Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, (South End Press Cambridge MA 2000). p. 175.
31 NPR Underreports Iraq Deaths, 3/26/08 www.fair.org/index.php?page=3326

15 June, 2008, Countercurrents.org ,Jim Lucas can be reached at jlucas511@woh.rr.com