8.28.2013

dear war criminals: don't lecture us about morals as you prepare to bomb civilians

Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity.

- Secretary of State John Kerry
The slaughter of innocent civilians is a moral obscenity? I'm betting the people of Iraq and Afghanistan* agree.

Or is only the slaughter of civilians by chemical weapons obscene? Is slaughter by bombs - by house raids and checkpoints, by torture and endless imprisonment - merely ordinary and banal?

Does white phosphorous, the US's chemical weapon of choice, constitute moral obscenity?

How about imprisoning for 35 years someone who brought to light the killing of innocent civilians, then granting absolute immunity to the people who ordered those killing? That obscene enough for you?

Yet again we are told that to punish a dictator for killing his own people, we must kill more of those people.

And we will be told this again and again, onward through the years, until we shut down this system that profits from war, and create a new system in which all human life is valued and all resources are shared.



* And hundreds of other places.

17 comments:

M@ said...

The biggest outrage of all is that there is so much outrage that we need to feel:

"Our sense of basic humanity is offended not only by this cowardly crime but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up."

It seems more difficult by the day to think of how to approach this kind of thing with any kind of constructive, positive mindset. The problem is so big, and has been around for so long, it's hard not just to fall into despair.

allan said...

On the very same day that Secretary of State John Kerry announced the need to bomb Syria because the use of chemical weapons violates international law, it was revealed that CIA files prove that the US supported Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iran.

laura k said...

The problem is so big, and has been around for so long, it's hard not just to fall into despair.

For me the answer has always been the same. If I'm not actively part of the solution, I feel hopeless. If I work for change, I can cope. (I wish everyone had the same solution.)

Thanks for the links, guys.

laura k said...

CIA files prove that the US supported Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iran

One of my favourite signs at 2003-2004 demos:

Q: How do we know that Saddam has chemical weapons?

A: We kept the receipts.

M@ said...

If I'm not actively part of the solution, I feel hopeless. If I work for change, I can cope.

It does help, by the way, to know that others are working for the same things.

West End Bob said...

Excellent post, laura k!

You've put into words what a lot of us are thinking.

Thanx for the good work . . . .

The Mound of Sound said...

It's not the white phosphorus (Willie Pete) that's the problem so much as depleted uranium ammunition, the debris from which contaminates large parts of Iraq and Afghanistan and lingers for decades. Like Agent Orange, DU is persistent and afflicts the innocent for generations and, like Agent Orange, those responsible never stay to clean it up.

deang said...

I almost couldn't hear all of Kerry's speech on this because I kept interrupting it with bitter laughter, emphasis on the bitter.

laura k said...

WEB, thank you so much! Thanks for reading. :)

Mound, depleted uranium is indeed a crime against humanity and against the environment. Everything I've read tells me that white phosphorous is hideous for its victims, too.

Obviously this post is not an exhaustive list of the US's war crimes. Just a tiny tiny sample.

laura k said...

I almost couldn't hear all of Kerry's speech on this because I kept interrupting it with bitter laughter,

I can only imagine.

And I mean that literally, as I've had no stomach to listening to those people for a very long time.

West End Bob said...

I've had no stomach to listening to those people for a very long time.

On the rare occasions "drf" and I endure a Corporate Media newscast we hit the mute button on any Washington, DC or Ottawa politician.

Makes the rest of the "news"cast almost acceptable . . . .

laura k said...

Good strategy!

I gave up corporate electronic news media a long time ago. I still liked The National and a few other CBC or BBC broadcasts, but then when we dumped cable for streaming, I lost even that habit.

Allan doesn't believe me, but during the first Bush admin, I prided myself on never having heard a single speech he made, ever. :)

West End Bob said...

I prided myself on never having heard a single speech he made, ever.

Talk about a strategy ! ! ! !

;-)

The Mound of Sound said...

We actually have a high tolerance for the use of white phosphorus against civilians. That much was obvious when we, Canada included, sat moot about the carnage and cheered on the Israelis who freely used it against the Palestinian population in Gaza.

Then again, were you aware that, in 1920, Winston Churchill, then Colonial Secretary, ordered the British Army to shell Iraqi Kurdish villages with mustard gas when the elders were tardy in paying taxes?

Churchill, in fact, was the first to use WMDs in Iraq long before Saddam was even born. Winnie actually castigated MPs from his own party and the opposition who were squeamish over the use of poison gas.

laura k said...

Yes, I did know that, and thank you for posting it here.

Alison said...

Great post, Laura - exactly on point.

laura k said...

Thank you, Alison!