Britain, Christianity, Churchill, Death, Dresden, Heart, Human, Life, Men, Order of the Garter, Peace, Relationship, religion, Royal Air Force, Syria, United States Army Air Force, Victory, Wars, Winston Churchill, Women, Youth
More than 500,000 German civilians and refugees, mostly women and children, were slaughtered by Britain’s saturation bombing in 1945, one of the worst massacres of all time.
Over 700,000 phosphorus bombs were dropped on 1.2 million defenseless inhabitants of German city Dresden under Britain’s then Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s order, which not only reduced one of the greatest centers of northern Europe to flaming ruins, but also led to one of the worst war crimes of the Second World War.
Dresden’s bombing in February, 13, 1945 was so relentless that some historians believe it was the height of Winston Churchill’s madness.
“I do not want suggestions as to how we can disable the economy and the machinery of war, what I want are suggestions as to how we can roast the German refugees on their escape from Breslau,” Churchill said once.
Toward the end of the war, Churchill’s desired firestorm was finally created. More than 260,000 bodies and residues of bodies were counted after British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) assaulted Dresden. However, those who perished in the centre of the city could not be traced, as the temperature in the area reached 1600 degree Centigrade.
Dresden’s citizens barely had time to reach their shelters and those who sought refuge underground often suffocated as oxygen was pulled from the air to feed the flames. Others perish in a blast of white heat, heat strong enough to melt human flesh.
When the bombing started, no one could imagine that in less than 24 hours all those innocent people could die screaming in Churchill’s firestorms.
If there was a war crime, certainly the Dresden tragedy would rank as one of the most sinister of all time. Sadly, however, Churchill, who ordered the slaughter of up to a half million innocent people in this horrifying tragedy, was knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
The British queen made Churchill a knight of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s highest order of knighthood.
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- Another American Fighting with Al Qaeda Terrorists (justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com)
Allah, Anger, Boyle, Bush, Francis Boyle, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, God, Hate, Human, Iraq, Iraq War, Islam, Israel, Jews, Kuala Lumpur, Life, Lord, Men, Nazi Israel, Nazis, Nazism, Palestine, Peace, religion, Shia Islam, Syria, United States, USA, Victory, Videos, Wars, Women, World, Youth, Zionism, Zionists
Nazi Israel get the fuck out of Palestine ;
Just fuck off Susan, we had enough of you…..
You better check your own back yard, Mr. Zio-Nazi bastard Net….
we do not even have the body counts from Libya and you baby killers are onto Syria already …. who will help stop you and rid the world of YOUR terrorism …
Francis Boyle quotes M. Albright who said that 500,000 dead Iraqi’s was worth it
Approximately 3.3 million Iraqis, including 750,000 children, were “exterminated” by economic sanctions and/or illegal wars conducted by the U.S. and Great Britain between 1990 and 2012, an eminent international legal authority says.
The slaughter fits the classic definition of Genocide Convention Article II of, “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” says Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, and who in 1991 filed a class-action complaint with the UN against President George H.W. Bush.
The U.S. and U.K. “obstinately insisted” that their sanctions remain in place until after the “illegal” Gulf War II aggression perpetrated by President George W. Bush and UK’s Tony Blair in March, 2003, “not with a view to easing the over decade-long suffering of the Iraqi people and children” but “to better facilitate the U.S./U.K. unsupervised looting and plundering of the Iraqi economy and oil fields in violation of the international laws of war as well as to the grave detriment of the Iraqi people,” Boyle said.
In an address last Nov. 22 to The International Conference on War-affected Children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Boyle tallied the death toll on Iraq by U.S.-U.K. actions as follows:
# The slaughter of 200,000 Iraqis by President Bush in his illegal 1991 Gulf War I.
# The deaths of 1.4 million Iraqis as a result of the illegal 2003 war of aggression ordered by President Bush Jr. and Prime Minister Blair.
# The deaths of 1.7 million Iraqis “as a direct result” of the genocidal sanctions.
Boyle’s class-action complaint demanded an end to all economic sanctions against Iraq; criminal proceedings for genocide against President George H.W. Bush; monetary compensation to the children of Iraq and their families for deaths, physical and mental injury; and for shipping massive humanitarian relief supplies to that country.
The “grossly hypocritical” UN refused to terminate the sanctions, Boyle pointed out, even though its own Food and Agricultural Organization’s Report estimated that by 1995 the sanctions had killed 560,000 Iraqi children during the previous five years.
Boyle noted that then U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright was interviewed on CBS-TV on May 12, 1996, in response to a question by Leslie Stahl if the price of half a million dead children was worth it, and replied, “we (the U.S. government) think the price is worth it.”
Albright’s shocking response provides “proof positive of the genocidal intent by the U.S. government against Iraq” under the Genocide Convention, Boyle said, adding that the government of Iraq today could still bring legal action against the U.S. and the U.K. in the International Court of Justice. He said the U.S.-U.K. genocide also violated the municipal legal systems of all civilized nations in the world; the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and its Additional Protocol 1 of 1977.
Boyle, who was stirred to take action pro bono by Mothers in Iraq after the economic sanctions had been imposed upon them by the Security Council in August, 1990, in response to pressure from the Bush Senior Administration. He is the author of numerous books on international affairs, including “Destroying World Order” (Clarity Press.)
and the world still ask what this ???…. yes this happened in Palestine all the time !
What you can see in common? You decide??? WTF civilization ???
U.S. soldier, Spc. Jeremy N. Morlock, posing with the bloodied and partially naked corpse of Gul Mudin, an unarmed Afghan civilian.
Killing 1 person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy.
Killed by US Christians uniformed invaders gangs.
Like Father Like Son… You Decide ?
Anti-Shia terrorist raped her, cut all her hair and left her on the side of the street without any cloth.
We strongly condemn this inhumane action and urges the different groups in Syria to issue a statement and ask the entire members to respect the Shia Muslim and stop any violence toward them.
Arrest of four activists, including the BassimTamimi
Today 10/24/2012 … a group of Palestinian and international activists storming the mall (Rami lave ) calling for boycott of Israeli goods
مجموعة من النشطاء الفلسطينيين والدوليين يقومون باقتحام المركز التجاري رامي ليفي المقام على اراضي فلسطينيية مطالبين بمقاطعة المنتوجات الاسرائيلية
Modern design of War… You Decide???
Zionist Lobby of America and Nazi Israelis Zionists are debating about ways to kill All Muslims!
- US Sponsored Genocide Against Iraq 1990-2012. Killed 3.3 Million, Including 750,000 Children (justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Fact Sheet (justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com)
- Bush, Blair Wanted for Crimes Against Humanity: Boyle (amunaor.wordpress.com)
- US President George W. Bush UK Prime Minister Tony Blair Convicted Of Nuremberg Crimes !!!!! (toolwielder.wordpress.com)
- | Quest for Justice: “Bush, Blair wanted for war crimes!” – Prof. Boyle! (truthaholics.wordpress.com)
- Bush, Blair wanted for war crimes: Boyle (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- U.S. – U.K. Genocide Against Iraq 1990-2012 (veteranstoday.com)
- Op-Ed: US-UK Genocide Against Iraq 1990-2012 Killed 3.3 Million-Including 750K Children (weeklyintercept.blogspot.com)
- Op-Ed: US-UK Genocide Against Iraq 1990-2012 Killed 3.3 Million-Including 750K Children (ukprogressive.co.uk)
- Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized (washingtontimes.com)
The insurgents in uniform are reportedly based in the Jabal Turkmen mountains in northern Syria, along the Turkish border. They are shown carrying US M-16 rifles.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says the turmoil, which has killed many people, including large numbers of security forces, is being orchestrated from outside the country.
Allah, Anger, Canada, God, Hate, Human, Iran, Islam, Jews, Life, Men, Middle East, Muslims, NATO, Nazis, Rally Against The 2012 Halifax NATO War Conference, religion, Syria, Syrian people, United States, Victory, Wars, Washington, Women, World, Youth, Zionists
Once again this year, the organization No Harbour for War, joined by many others, has come forward to say, “It is unacceptable that Halifax, or any Canadian city, be used as a venue to plan further crimes against the peace and the peoples of the world.”On Saturday, November 17, these organizations are calling on Haligonians to “Bring your banners and placards, bring your music and statements, and most of all bring your friends to oppose this war conference.”Participation in the rally is being fuelled by people’s justified anger and outrage against the brutal crimes of Israel against the Palestinians, “Operation Pillar of Defence,” and the Harper and Obama government’s support for the assault on Gaza as self-defence.
All across Canada and around the world people are staging rallies this weekend in defence of the people of Palestine.The rally is being held on the second day of the conference.Activists highlight that the “Halifax” International Security Forum is actually based in the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. In its own words, the HISF is “an invitation only weekend”: this means all participants are selected, vetted and invited from the United States.Even though the HISF features live streaming on its website, three quarters of the sessions are classified as “off-the-record” and thus held in absolute secrecy. Of 34 sessions, 26 are “off-the-record.”
The embedded media, consisting of invited senior correspondents and editors from leading mass media in the NATO bloc, any number of whom have been enlisted as moderators, have never been allowed – nor expressed any desire to – to report on the closed door discussions and conclusions which have great ramifications for Canadians and all citizens of the world. The public is excluded. The main feature is that it is organized so that the Canadian people have no say. Despite such significant discussions, no representatives of workers’ organizations, or those with knowledge and legitimate concerns or the First Nations of either country are invited to speak about the questions of democracy, sovereignty and peace.The opulent hotel is totally locked down, surrounded by HRM Police outside with a private security force inside, becoming an armed camp.
Last year the Israeli secret service Mossad accompanied Gen Ehud Barak, head of the Israeli Defence Force who commanded the murderous invasion of Gaza in 2009, killing over 3,000 Palestinians including some 600 children, to the podium where he conducted a 30-minute “public interview session.” Meanwhile, following the lively rally outside, over one hundred participants surrounded the plush hotel, shouting over the heads of armed HRM police, “this is what democracy looks like” and “the real criminals are inside!” That said it all.Towards this end, the 2011 forum highlighted the participation of leading liberal representatives of such agencies of the U.S. state as the National Endowment for Democracy and two of its core agencies, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, together with Freedom House and Human Rights Watch.
Its agenda was synchronized with the program of subversion of these agencies known to specialize in the “soft power” techniques of intervention, political destabilization and regime change under the pretext of “people power,” “democracy,” “open society,” “non-violence” and “human rights.”At the same time, more attention was given to the Middle East and Africa, especially Syria and Iran. For the first time, “dissidents” were introduced as ”human rights” “experts” — all from Syria and Iran and all resident in the U.S. and Canada. Although NATO claimed it had “liberated” Libya, not one single representative attended from Africa, including Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.Specialists in manipulation and subversion of “colour revolutions” in Eastern Europe and Lebanon and the “Arab Spring” were recruited from the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House and the Council on Foreign Relations to the newly-created board of directors formed in 2011 to operate the HISF.
These included president David Van Praagh (NDI, NED), vice-president Joseph Hall (NDI) and secretary David J Kramer (president, Freedom House). In fact, four of the five directors are resident in New York and Washington, where its office is based. The headquarters are located in Suite 610, 1717 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. Importantly, the HISF has no organic connection with Halifax, a small city with a strategic port on the Atlantic coast of Canada, except to appropriate its name and cynically use its locale as an out-of-the-way venue for the U.S. war conference.This year, the agenda for HISF continues to focus on the role of the U.S. and NATO in the promotion of so-called democracy on a global basis, while maintaining dominance of Western countries in global affairs, especially with respect to China.Focus on the “Arab Spring” has now shifted to a specific focus on interference in Syria and Iran in particular, with the sub-text justifying Israel’s related and indefensible assault on Gaza.In statements issued just before the Conference, Peter MacKay, John Baird and Stephen Harper joined the Zionists’ disinformation, trying to construe their aggression and war crimes as self-defence.
Israel has sent eight representatives to Halifax, including from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office of the Prime Minister and two newspaper correspondents, as part of its campaign for a more perfect marriage with NATO as a full member.The Syrian panel is a pertinent example of how the agenda and format of War Conference is designed and used for war to incite war in the form of further Western “humanitarian intervention” in that country and the region, which has hit a brick wall in Syria, Iran and Lebanon.
It is thus one of only six sessions that are classified as open and is being televised for elite and public consumption. One of the main speakers is Washington-based Radwan Ziadeh of the widely discredited U.S.-sponsored Syrian National Council, which has been folded into the “unified opposition” just formed in Qatar by the U.S. and the Gulf feudal regimes to, as Obama falsely claimed in his press conference of November 13, 2012, “represent the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.”Nevertheless, only Britain has recognized this latest entity as a government-in-exile.Both Ziadeh and another SNC representative, Mohammad al-Abdallah from New York, work with U.S.-financed agencies, i.e., they represent the U.S. state, not the Syrian people.
Ziadeh has publicly called for “Kosovo-stye military intervention” and is involved with the U.S. Institute for Peace on formulating a “transition plan,” i.e., regime change of the Iraqi type. Politically, the SNC calls for a new rapprochement with Israel and a reversal of Syria’s long-standing fraternal relations with th Islamic Republic of Iran. The “Syrian Free Army” has attacked with arms Palestinian refugee camps inside Syria. The HISF has suspiciously kept their SNC affiliation off its published list of invitees, as it did in 2011, presenting them as “dissidents,” academics and independent champions of “human rights.”They are joined on this panel by a representative of the Al Hayat newspaper, based in London and funded by Saudia Arabia, one of the regional organizers of the armed gangs smuggled into Syria, and a Kurdistan member of the Iraqi government.
The HISF aims to give the agents of Washington legitimacy and respectability within NATO, other participating countries and the media — together with an international platform to consolidate elite opinion and disinform public opinion as a necessary part of inciting new levels of interventionThe implications that the events in the Middle East will have on “energy security” and oil supplies to the U.S. empire are also being brought to the table of the Halifax Conference.Latin America and the Caribbean are noticeable by the near-complete absence of representation with the exception of the Jamaican military (where Canada is establishing one of its new overseas military bases), the Colombia minister of defence, and Mexico and Brazil.No Harbour for War!Not In Our Name!All Out to Oppose the Halifax NATO War Conference! [ED NOTES:PLEASE CLICK LINK FOR WHOEL EXPOSE,JUST CITING FEW PARAGRAPHS!!!
Allah, Amos Yadlin, Assad, Beauty, Current Issues, God, Hate, Human, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Libya, Life, Lord, Men, Middle East, OPERATION CAST LEAD NAZI WAR CRIMINAL, Palestine, Peace, religion, Syria, Victory, Wars, West, Women, World, Youth, Zio-Nazi, Zionists
|NAZI AMOS IN BLUESHIRT NEXT TO NAZI EHUD BARAK
THE SYRIA OPPOSITIONS CHAMPIONS
Retired General Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence: “A gradual military intervention along the lines of the Libyan model of a Western aerial campaign seems the most effective response to the Syrian crisis.”
Amos Yadlin: Only bombing Assad’s forces will stop the slaughter nowIt need not become ‘another Iraq’ and the Syrian military challenge can be met. Indeed, examination indicates that six arguments propounded by opponents of Western military intervention do not hold much water, and instead suggests that Western inaction is likely to hasten the very scenario that opponents of military intervention seek to avoid.First, Syria need not become “another Iraq”. Those who resist intervention warn that military intervention might end in the West becoming mired in another Muslim country, on the heels of the unsuccessful Afghan and Iraqi experiences.
This argument belittles the West’s successful experience in Kosovo 20 years ago and in Libya in 2011, where intensive airpower removed Gaddafi, stopped the bloodbath, and enabled democratic elections.Moreover, a military intervention need not involve a ground invasion or even peacekeeping forces – which, in any case, would have little influence on Assad. The recommended model, built on the lessons of Iraq, is a Western aerial campaign that paves the way for regime change, as it did in Kosovo and in Libya. There are no “boots on the ground”, at least initially (and should that become necessary, Turkish forces should be assigned to this mission).
The suggested strategy in Syria is to use gradual steps to convince Assad that an international campaign is a credible option: from moving aircraft carriers to the region and Turkish ground forces to the border, to reconnaissance sorties, no-fly zones, and humanitarian corridors.Second, the Syrian military challenge can be met. Another argument postulates that the Syrian military presents a bigger threat to Western militaries than those confronted in Iraq and Libya. The Syrian defensive capability is not dramatically greater than Iraq’s of 1991 or 2003, which already included advanced Russian systems. As the Syrian military has been preoccupied with internal uprisings over the past year and a half, it is likely that its capabilities have even eroded.
Therefore, those who doubt the West’s capacity to face the current Syrian defence ignore the fact that Western power was built to cope with much greater challenges.Third, the lack of international consensus cannot justify passivity. Those who call for passivity in Syria claim that since there is no consensus among members of the UN Security Council and no explicit Arab League request, there is no legitimacy for foreign military intervention. These arguments ignore the moral obligation − the “Responsibility to Protect” principle − endorsed by the West. Finally, action in Syria might support the international campaign against Iran.
Those who oppose intervening contend that it would increase Middle East tensions, move Iran out of the international focus, and sharpen the rift between Russia and China and the other members of the P5+1 who lead the negotiations with Tehran.Acting in Syria however, could weaken, if not break, the nexus between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Palestinian terror organisations, and therefore likely contain Iranian influence in the Levant. This would have a dramatic impact on the balance of power between radical and pragmatic forces in the region. And it would signal to Iran the West’s resolve to back up its interests and threats with force.
A gradual military intervention along the lines of the Libyan model of a Western aerial campaign seems the most effective response to the Syrian crisis. Only if Assad assesses that Western intervention is a real threat might he abdicate and make room for leadership with better prospects for halting the violence. The West must not let unfounded fears guide its policy while atrocities in Syria continue.Amos Yadlin is Executive Director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University and former Head of Military Intelligence of the Israeli Defence Forces
Posted by Nysoulcontrolla aka Ali
Allah, Anger, Baghdad, Beauty, Death, German, Happiness, Human, Iraq, Life, Lord, Men, Middle East, Peace, Recomendations, Relationship, Saddam Hussein, Syria, Taliban, United States, Victory, Wars, Women, World, Youth
Some images remain like scars on my memory. One of the last things I saw in Iraq, where I spent a year with the Department of State helping squander some of the $44bn American taxpayers put up to “reconstruct” that country, were horses living semi-wild among the muck and garbage of Baghdad.
Those horses had once raced for Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein and seven years after their “liberation” by the American invasion of 2003, they were still wandering that unraveling, unreconstructed urban landscape looking, like many other Iraqis, for food.
I flew home that same day, a too-rapid change of worlds, to a country in which the schools of my hometown in Ohio could not afford to pay teachers a decent wage. Once great cities were rotting away as certainly as if they were in Iraq, where those horses were scrabbling to get by.
To this day, I’m left pondering these questions: Why has the United States spent so much money and time so disastrously trying to rebuild occupied nations abroad, while allowing its own infrastructure to crumble untended? Why do we even think of that as “policy”?
The good war(s)
With the success of the post-World War II Marshall Plan in Europe and the economic miracle in Japan, rebuilding other countries gained a certain imperial patina. Both took relatively little money and time. The reconstruction of Germany and Japan cost only $32bn and $17bn, respectively (in 2010 dollars), in large part because both had been highly educated, industrialised powerhouses before their wartime destruction.
In 2003, still tumescent with post-9/11 rage and dreams of global glory, anything seemed possible to the men and women of the Bush administration, who would cite the German and Japanese examples of just what the US could do as they entered Iraq. Following what seemed like a swift military defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the plan had gotten big and gone long. It was nothing less than this: remake the entire Middle East in the American image.
The country’s mighty military was to sweep through Iraq, then Syria – Marines I knew told me personally that they were issued maps of Syria in March 2003 – then Iran, quickly set up military bases and garrisons (“enduring camps“), create Washington-friendly governments, pour in American technology and culture, bring in the crony corporations under the rubric of “reconstruction”, privatise everything, stand up new proxy militaries under the rubric of regime change and forever transform the region.
Once upon a time, the defeated Japanese and Germans had become allies and, better yet, consumers. Now, almost six decades later, no one in the Bush administration had a doubt the same would happen in Iraq – and the Middle East would follow suit at minimal cost, creating the greatest leap forward for a Pax Americana since the Spanish-American War. Added bonus: a “sea of oil“.
By 2010, when I wrote We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, the possibility that some level of success might be close by still occupied some official minds. American boots remained on the ground in Mesopotamia and looked likely to stay on for years in at least a few of the massive permanent bases we had built there.
A sort-of elected government was more or less in place, and in the press interviews I did in response to my book I was regularly required to defend its thesis that reconstruction in Iraq had failed almost totally, and that the same process was going down in Afghanistan as well. It was sometimes a tough sell. After all, how could we truly fail, being plucky Americans, historically equipped like no one else with plenty of bootstraps and know-how and gumption.
Failure every which way
Now, it’s definitive. Reconstruction in Iraq has failed. Dismally. The US couldn’t even restore the country’s electric system or give a majority of its people potable water. The accounts of that failure still pour out.
Choose your favourites; here are just two recent ones of mine: a report that a $200m year-long State Department police training programme had shown no results (none, nada), in part because the Iraqis had been completely uninterested in it; and a long official list of major reconstruction projects uncompleted, with billions of taxpayer dollars wasted, all carefully catalogued by the now-defunct Special Inspector for Iraq Reconstruction.
Failure, in fact, was the name of the game when it came to the American mission. Just tote up the score: the Iraqi government is moving ever closer to Iran; the US occupation, which built 505 bases in the country with the thought that US troops might remain garrisoned there for generations, ended without a single base in US hands (none, nada); no gushers of cheap oil leapt USA-wards nor did profits from the above leap into the coffers of American oil companies; and there was a net loss of US prestige and influence across the region. And that would just be the beginning of the list from hell.
Even former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, George W Bush’s accomplice in the invasion of Iraq and the woman after whom Chevron Oil once named a double-hulled oil tanker, now admits that “we didn’t understand how broken Iraq was as a society and we tried to rebuild Iraq from Baghdad out. And we really should have rebuilt Iraq outside Baghdad in. We should have worked with the tribes. We should have worked with the provinces. We should have had smaller projects than the large ones that we had”.
Strange that when I do media interviews now, only two years later, nobody even thinks to ask “Did we succeed in Iraq?” or “Will reconstruction pay off?” The question du jour has finally shifted to: “Why did we fail?”
Corruption and vanity projects
Why exactly did we fail to reconstruct Iraq, and why are we failing in Afghanistan? (Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s new book, Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, is the Afghan version of We Meant Well in detailing the catastrophic outcomes of reconstruction in that never-ending war.)
No doubt more books, and not a few theses, will be written, noting the massive corruption, the overkill of pouring billions of dollars into poor, occupied countries, the disorganisation behind the effort, the pointlessly self-serving vanity projects – internet classes in towns without electricity – and the abysmal quality of the greedy contractors, on-the-make corporations and lame bureaucrats sent in to do the job.
Serious lessons will be extracted, inevitable comparisons will be made to post-World War II Germany and Japan and think tanks will sprout like mushrooms on rotted wood to try to map out how to do it better next time.
For the near term a reluctant acknowledgment of our failing economy may keep the US out of major reconstruction efforts abroad. Robert Gates, who succeeded Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, told a group of West Point cadets that “any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined‘, as General MacArthur so delicately put it”.
Still, the desire to remake other countries – could Syria be next? – hovers in the background of American foreign policy, just waiting for the chance to rise again.
The standard theme of counter-insurgency theory (COIN in the trade) is “terrorists take advantage of hunger and poverty”. Foreigners building stuff is, of course, the answer, if only we could get it right. Such is part of the justification for the onrushing militarisation of Africa, which carries with it a reconstruction component (even if on a desperately reduced scale, thanks to the tightening finances of the moment).
There are few historical examples of COIN ever really working and many in which failed, but the idea is too attractive and its support industry too well established for it to simply go away.
Why reconstruction at all?
Then there’s that other why question: Why, in our zeal to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, we never considered spending a fraction as much to rebuild Detroit, New Orleans, or Cleveland (projects that, unlike Afghanistan and Iraq in their heyday, have never enjoyed widespread support)?
I use the term “reconstruction” for convenience, but it is important to understand what the US means by it. Once corruption and pure greed are strained out (most projects in Iraq and Afghanistan were simply vehicles for contractors tosuck money out of the government) and the vanity projects crossed off (building things and naming them after the sitting ambassador was a popular suck-up technique), what’s left is our desire for them to be like us.
While, dollar-for-dollar, corruption and contractor greed account for almost all the money wasted, the idea that, deep down, we want the people we conquer to become mini-versions of us accounts for the rest of the drive and motivation. We want them to consume things as a lifestyle, shit in nice sewer systems and send everyone to schools where, thanks to the new textbooks we’ve sponsored, they’ll learn more about… us.
This explains why we funded pastry-making classes to try to turn Iraqi women into small business owners, why an obsession with holding mediagenic elections in Iraq smothered nascent grassroots democracy (remember all those images of purple fingers?), why displacing family farms by introducing large-scale agribusiness seemed so important, and so forth.
By becoming versions of us, the people we conquer would, in our eyes, redeem themselves from being our enemies. Like a perverse view of rape, reconstruction, if it ever worked, would almost make it appear that they wanted to be violated by the American military so as to benefit from being rebuilt in the American fashion.
From Washington’s point of view, there’s really no question here, no why at all. Who, after all, wouldn’t want to be us? And that, in turn, justifies everything. Think of it as an up-to-date take on that classic line from Vietnam, “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it”.
Americans have always worn their imperialism uncomfortably, even when pursuing it robustly. The British were happy to carve out little green enclaves of home, and to tame – brutally, if necessary – the people they conquered. The United States is different, maybe because of the lip service politicians need to pay to our founding ideals of democracy and free choice.
We’re not content merely to tame people; we want to change them, too, and make them want it as well. Fundamentalist Muslims will send their girls to school, a society dominated by religion will embrace consumerism, and age-old tribal leaders will give way to (US-friendly, media-savvy) politicians, even while we grow our archipelago of military bases and our corporations make out like bandits. It’s our way of reconciling Freedom and Empire, the American Way. Only problem: it doesn’t work. Not for a second. Not at all. Nothing. Nada.
From this point of view, of course, not spending “reconstruction” money at home makes perfect sense. Detroit, et al., already areus. Free choice is in play, as citizens of those cities “choose” not to get an education and choose to allow their infrastructure to fade. From an imperial point of view it makes perfectly good sense.
|“Failed reconstruction elsewhere turns out to be more important to us than successful reconstruction here at home.”|
Erecting a coed school house in Kandahar or a new sewer system in Fallujah offers so many more possibilities to enhance empire. The home front is old news, with growth limited only to reviving a status quo at huge cost.
Once it becomes clear that reconstruction is for us, not them, its purpose to enrich our contractors, fuel our bureaucrats’ vanity, and most importantly, justify our imperial actions, why it fails becomes a no-brainer. It has to fail (not that we really care). They don’t want to be us. They have been them for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. They may welcome medicines that will save their children’s lives, but hate the culture that the US slipstreams in like an inoculation with them.
Failure in the strict sense of the word is not necessarily a problem for Washington. Our purpose is served by the appearance of reconstructing. We need to tell ourselves we tried, and those (dark, dirty, uneducated, Muslim, terrorist, heathen) people we just ran over with a tank actually screwed this up. And OK, sure, if a few well-connected contractors profit along the way, more power to them.
Here’s the bottom line: a nation spends its resources on what’s important to it. Failed reconstruction elsewhere turns out to be more important to us than successful reconstruction here at home. Such is the American way of empire.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year veteran Foreign Service Officer at the State Department, spent a year in Iraq leading two Provincial Reconstruction Teams. Now in Washington and a TomDispatch regular, he writes about Iraq, the Middle East and US diplomacy at his blog, We Meant Well.
Following the publication of his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (The American Empire Project, Metropolitan Books) in 2011, the Department of State began termination proceedings, reassigning him to a make-work position and stripping him of his security clearance and diplomatic credentials.
Through the efforts of the Government Accountability Project and the ACLU, Van Buren will instead retire from the State Department with his full benefits of service in September. We Meant Well is just now being published in paperback. Van Buren is currently working on a second book about the decline of the blue-collar middle class in the US.
Courtesy Futher reading link;
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Visual Ziyarat of Bibi Zaynab/ Zainab binte Ali, Damascus (6 minutes, HD Video)
For those not familiar with Zaynab binte (daughter of) Ali, I respect her for her commitment to truth and justice even after she was taken prisoner of war after the defeat of her brother Husayn in the battle of Kerbala on October 10th, 680 CE (10th day of the first month of Muharram in the Islamic Calendar 61 years after Hijra). Husayn, the grandson of the Holy Prophet of Islam, and the son of Imam Ali and Fatima, refused to swear allegiance to an unjust Khalif (King) Yezid who did not respect the individual, social and religious rights of his people. Armed with only 72 men, and accompanied by his family, he stood up against army of thousands. Even after three days of siege where water was cut off , he refused to surrender and walked peacefully to death knowing that what he did was right and necessary. Amongst the…
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‘Accept as your disciples, for we see that there is no remaining truth in our religions, and we are certain that what you are teaching is the one true path’.
The Sufi said:
‘Have you not heard of the Mongol Halaku Khan and his invasion of Syria? Let me tell you. The Vizier Ahmad of the Caliph Mustasim of Baghdad invited the Mongol to invade his master’s domains. When Halaku had won the battle for Baghdad, Ahmad went out to meet him, to be rewarded. Halaku said: “Do you seek your recompense?” and the Vizier answered, “Yes”.
‘Halaku told him:
‘ “You have betrayed your own master to me, and yet you expect me to believe that you will be faithful to me”. He ordered Ahmed to be hanged.
‘Before you ask anyone to accept you, ask yourself whether it is not simply because you have not followed the path of your own teacher. If you are satisfied about this, then come and ask to become disciples’.