We Are, We Are... a Peaceful NationAutor tekstu: Kaz Dziamka
to a popular belief promoted by the American media, the United States has often
been a brutal and violent country. And
despite his relative popularity, President Bush is a semi-literate Christian
fundamentalist whose disregard for the Constitution has become a national
A letter to Mortimer B. Zuckerman,
U.S. News & World Report
Re: Your editorial „Clear and
hardly ever read the U.S. News & World
Report. I don't, because like Newsweek
and Time magazines, it panders
obsequiously to the established political-corporate establishment of the United
States. What Bertrand Russell once said about Time-that
it is „scurrilous and utterly shameless in its willingness to distort"-applies
equally to U.S. News & World Report,
facing the boring prospect of an hour-long wait in my dentist's office, I decided that reading the current issue of U.S.
News & World Report (a copy of which my dentist has placed in the
waiting room for his unhappy patients) might still be better than reading
nothing at all.
your concluding paragraph you say that "We are, as the president said, a peaceful people."You are
obviously angry, even threatening, that our traditional allies Germany and
France beg to differ with our obsession to attack Iraq, even though UN
inspectors have not finished their job yet and even though there are other
compelling reasons not to attack Iraq. And shouldn't these countries have
every political and intellectual right to question the real motivation of the
current U.S. foreign policy and to be terrified by its consequences?
Particularly now that the U.S. has officially threatened to use nuclear
weapons in Iraq, already inhumanly crippled by U.S.-imposed economic sanctions
and constant bombing? How can such a dying, brutalized country like Iraq be a threat to the most powerful war machine in the history of the world?
consider it my civic duty to respond to your editorial by offering a few facts.
Willson, former Captain in the U.S. Air Force and co-chair of the John Steinbeck
IV Veterans for Peace," points out the following: „A careful examination of
U.S. foreign policy history reveals over 400 military interventions and over
6,000 covert interventions into at least 100 countries, killing millions of
innocents." (This horror still before Afghanistan and Kosovo, where the U.S.
is responsible for killing another seven or eight thousand innocent citizens.)
1945, we have bombed about 20 countries, one of which-Iraq-we
continue to bomb in violation of all international and moral laws known to
humankind, with facile admissions of „collateral damage" whenever our crimes
and murders of hapless Iraqi civilians happen to be exposed).
other country since the end of the Second World War can match this appalling
record of mayhem and carnage. As David McGowan points out in Derailing Democracy, „Since World War II, American military
actions, in one form or another, have caused more death and destruction around
the world than have the actions of any other country." And you still call the
U.S. „a peaceful people"?
you stupid, Mr. Zuckerman? Which word don't you understand?
though, you are just „utterly shameless in [your] willingness to distort."
In which case, whom are you trying to please?
Rush Limbaugh's ditto heads? The military-corporate cabal in the
Congress? The Christers in the White House? Given the ease with which one can
obtain information about the criminality of U.S. military interventions, why is
it that you cannot complete an easy syllogism?
perhaps one exception since World War II (and it is, by the way, not a very good
exception), none of the countries we have devastated in our military
interventions has posed a direct or even indirect military threat to the United
States. What is it that the
Vietnamese, the Cambodians, the Laotians, or, recently, the Iraqis or the Serbs
have done to us to justify the cold-blooded mass murder we have inflicted on
may be on exception, though: Japan. A good exception, indeed, but not a very
good one. This is because Japan did not attack Washington, D.C., but our naval
installation at Pearl Harbor on Hawai’i, a once-sovereign nation illegally
annexed by U.S. imperialists at the end of the 19th century.)
killing over 2,000,000 Vietnamese civilians „worth it," whatever "it"
was supposed to have been worth. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
has said it was „worth it" in reference to Iraq, where our government is
responsible for killing approximately 1,000,000 Iraqi troops and civilians-mostly
through direct military action or economic sanctions. People are killed in any
war, just or unjust, but the U.S. troops burned, buried alive and otherwise
obliterated Iraqi troops after the
Iraqis had tried to surrender and were retreating en
masse Basra and Baghdad from Kuwait. How many Americans know what happened
on the Basra highway, now called „the Highway of Death"? Do you? Here's
one account of the horror, which the Pentagon has tried to deep secret. In The
Opening Guns of World War III: Washington's Assault on Iraq, Jack Barnes
describes what our „peaceful" nation did":
concentrated single bloodletting was organized by the US command in the final
forty-eight hours of the invasion[;] as Iraqi soldiers fled Kuwait along the
roads to Basra, Washington ordered that tens of thousands of fleeing Iraqi
soldiers be targeted [in] wave after wave of bombing, strafing, and shelling.
These were people who were putting up no resistance, many with no weapons,
leaving in cars, trucks, carts, and on foot. Many civilians from Iraq, Kuwait,
and immigrant workers from other countries were killed at the same time as they
tried to flee.
armed forces bombed one end of the main highway from Kuwait city to Basra,
sealing it off. They bombed the other end of the highway and sealed it off. They
positioned mechanized artillery units on the hills overlooking it. And then,
from the air and from the land they simply massacred every living thing on the
road. Fighter-bombers, helicopter gunships, and armored battalions poured
merciless firepower on traffic jams backed up for as much as twenty miles. When
the traffic became grid locked, the B-52s were sent in for carpet bombing."
La Verne University Professor William A. Cook observes, "Our forces did not
wait for the fleeing people to surrender, they did not surround them and force
them to surrender, they just exterminated them. Americans never heard about the
'Highway of Death,' they just paid for it, a slaughter that, in Barnes'
words 'ranks among the great atrocities of modern warfare.'"
that we know that our nation is capable of the horror of the
Basra-Highway-of-Death caliber, when tens of thousands died horribly and often
slowly, should we even bother to recall, for example, the My Lai massacre, in
which our troops slaughtered „only" about 500 Vietnamese peasants and their
children? (A massacre that, by the way, our current Secretary of State, Colin
Powell, tried to prevent from being investigated.) Or the Wounded Knee massacre,
in which we exterminated „merely" 300 Sioux Indians?
two million human beings killed in Vietnam, over a million in Korea, about a million in Iraq, a half-million in Laos, a half million in Cambodia, 200,000 in
Guatemala ..The list goes on and
on-like a report from hell. As our Christian brethren say, with God all things are
we should never forget the atomic bombs we dropped on Japanese civilians in
Hiroshima and Nagasaki-the
U.S., a "peaceful nation," being the first, and so far the only country, to
have used weapons of such apocalyptic mass destruction in the history of warfare.
how about hundreds of tons of depleted uranium we fired in Kosovo and Iraq with
potentially disastrous ecological consequences, not to mention the ever-growing
numbers of both Iraqis and Americans
sickening and dying from uranium inhalation? And now what? Back to nuclear bombs,
much improved, more deadly, more cataclysmic?Will this U.S.-made Apocalypse ever end?
the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, was there a single Iraqi?There were 15
Saudis, though, a fact which you criminally ignore in your article. Another fact
you criminally ignore is the business connections between the Bush and the Bin
me now consider another problem with your editorial commentary: your reference
to President Bush in your assessment of our national character. Why do you quote
George W. Bush?What does Bush know
about U.S. foreign or domestic policy that is worth quoting? It is common
knowledge that our President is seriously uninformed not only about the world
but our own country. That he is inarticulate, unless he uses formulaic responses
prepared by his advisors, and even those pre-fabricated blocks of speech he
often repeats mindlessly. That he is an anti-intellectual and a close-minded
Christian fundamentalist for whom a personal superstition is a public mission.
former top British politician calls him „a child running around with a grenade
with the pin pulled out." A Canadian official recently called him a „moron" (as does Bill Harwood in this issue).
Eric Alterman of The Nation
quotes a European journalist, „sympathetic to the United States": „Bush is
always showing himself to be utterly stupid."
Bush is an adult American boy, a boy who will probably never grow up because he
has exchanged reason for blind faith. He has surrendered unconditionally, it
seems, to a particularly primitive and dangerous kind of religion. Bush thinks-like
many other born-again American Christians-that
their and America's destiny is to fulfill God's job on earth. As he says, „God has called upon us to protect our
country and to lead the world to peace."
is now prepared to act on such infantile, sick fantasies with potentially
horrible consequences for the whole world. In a sane, democratic and secular
republic (which the United States is supposed to be), he would be promptly
institutionalized for a serious mental disorder and given the best psychiatric
treatment available. In a Christianized and corrupted democracy (which is what
the United States has now become), the U.S. Supreme Court has offered him the
Presidency, while the Congress has violated the U.S. Constitution by empowering
him to wage war against Iraq.
In a short time, Bush as U.S. President has all but destroyed the world's
inspiring support for the United States in the wake of 9/11. And he still has no
idea, no viable economic plan-other
than through endless military interventions-to
stop a shaky economy and an international crisis spinning out of control. He has,
however, tried hard-and
destroying our cherished civil rights by pushing faith-based social programs and
by promoting the U.S. Patriot Acts, prepared by another fundamentalist Christian,
is, in short, incompetent and, as a result, dangerous. He is, in fact, a grave
threat to our democracy, our national security, and our international standing.
is why Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark claims that George W. Bush (and
Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft) should be impeached. It seems we have reached a stage in U.S. history when we have to protect our country from our own
government, (Read Clark's impeachment website: votetoimpeach.org)
conclude, Mr. Zuckerman: Doesn't your job require that you offer a reasoned
reflection, common sense and some understanding of facts-not a distortion or ignorance of facts, a non
me borrow a tune from P.O.D., and let me chant a ditty I have written especially
We are, we are .. a peaceful nation.
We are, we are .. a peaceful nation.
Like hell we are .. a peaceful nation.
Like hell we are .. a peaceful nation.
hope you like it.
published in the American Rationalist © 2003.
Dziamka is editor of the American Rationalist and of the English section of
« Społeczeństwo (Publikacja: 19-05-2003 Ostatnia zmiana: 06-10-2003)
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