The Expanding War on the World
April 2017 was another month of mass slaughter and unimaginable terror for the people of Mosul in Iraq and the areas around Raqqa and Tabqa in Syria, as the heaviest, most sustained U.S.-led bombing campaign since the American War in Vietnam entered its 33rd month.
"If you care at all about children starving to death and selling billions of dollars worth of deadly weapons to one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on earth," notes journalist Danielle Ryan, "the only message Trump's visit to Riyadh will send is that barbaric contempt for basic human rights is tolerable so long as you serve Washington's financial and military interests. . . Trump hates radical Islam, except when you can make money from it."
Today the US military, at Trump's order, dropped an 11-ton bomb on Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan. It is being called the "mother" of all bombs - the largest bomb dropped in any war since the United States nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki. No to wars for empire and no to the "mother" of all bombers, the Trump/Pence Regime. We are still learning the effect of this explosion, but it is an escalation only one step away from full-scale nuclear war on a nation onwhich our government has been waging war for 16 years.
For those who truly care about the children of Syria and the expanding battlegrounds within the Trump/Pence Regime’s crosshairs, the past week has made starkly clear that there are no saviors. It’s up to us to end U.S. aggression.
All it took was Trump firing off 59 cruise missiles against Syria for most leading Democrats, who had been posing as staunch Trump opponents, to start singing his praises.
Senator Chuck Schumer said it was "the right thing to do." The "militant" Senator Elizabeth Warren said the "Syrian regime must be held accountable." The "radical" Bernie Sanders condemned Assad as a "war criminal" while mildly criticizing the war criminal Trump for not consulting Congress first.
In the dusty highlands of Yemen sits the tiny village of al Ghayil. On January 29, with a fleet of drones and helicopters swarming above, about 30 U.S. Navy SEALs descended from the sky to attack two houses in al Ghayil. People were used to the sound of U.S. drones circling above, a constant menace in Yemen. But the approach of helicopters set off alarms. People grabbed their weapons and rushed to defend the village from unknown attackers.
"Rightist governments in Hungary and Poland are already cheering Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric" warns Washington Post editor Jackson Diehl; "the more moderate of the two leading candidates to become France's next president, François Fillon, authored a book titled Conquering Islamic Totalitarianism. Even Germany's Angela Merkel, the most prominent remaining defender of liberal democratic values, felt obliged to strike an anti-Islamic pose last week, proposing a crackdown on the minuscule number of German women who wear a burqa."'
From the tributes paid to Trump's nominee for Secretary of Defense you'd expect retired Marine Corps General "Mad Dog" Mattis to be some kind of 'warrior poet'. Dig a little deeper. His quips about warfare are neither amusing nor benign.
The "most revered Marine in a generation" advised his troops that fighting is "a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling."
While the presidential election campaign was going on, America was up to its eyeballs in the mass murder of thousands of people, and the starvation of millions more. These war crimes were never mentioned, and many may never have heard about the country being devastated: Yemen.
I asked 15 people educated in the U.S. to point to Yemen and Syria on a map. 3 could.
I don't blame people who don't know about the world, because they've been taught by a system which puts America first.
However, the region throughout and beyond the Middle East — from Afghanistan down to Somalia — is roiling right now. Millions are trying to leave, beset by bombs and starvation, caught between the imperialist countries seeking control and the reactionary fundamentalist Islamists seeking to push them out.
The question for us must be what is the U.S. doing there?
|Aftermath of the Saudi bombing of the funeral hall, Sana'a, October 8. (AP photo)|