If you happen to be in downtown Los Angeles and come across Skid Row, everywhere you look there is evidence of suffering from the humanitarian war crime of capitalism and homelessness. I’m reminded of the tens of thousands facing the same fate due to low wages, joblessness and rents driven up by perfectly legal exorbitant increases. If you’re not already homeless, you may be soon if this economic war against us continues to spread, like the unchecked virus enabled by capitalism.
The 7.9% inflation rate doesn’t help. The main culprits being food, rent and especially – thanks to the U.S.-NATO proxy war in Ukraine – gas. Not only that, the $16 billion COVID-relief fund was cut for this war.
But, no problem. Working-class folks, even those facing desperate circumstances, understand sacrifice for the sake of others, especially children’s lives.
The reality, however, is that our sacrifice for this war is not for children, but for the profits of those in the U.S. whose existence depends on the expansion of war and misery.
But, what about all the news reports of civilians being targeted by the Russians and that “crazy” Putin?
The first thing that occurs when plans for imperialist war are finally implemented (see Ukraine: It was all written in the Rand Corp plan 3 years ago) is the vilification of the latest targets of U.S. imperialism, and the individuals that represent those targets.
In 1915, when Britain wanted to escalate war with Germany during World War I, they launched the British cruise liner Lusitania, traveling from New York to Liverpool, England, through a declared maritime war zone. Germany had already made it very clear on numerous occasions that any British ship in that zone would be considered an enemy vessel and would be attacked. So, it was attacked and thousands died. The tragedy was used to justify the U.S. entrance into the war two years later. The New York Times prominently featured photos of those killed. The U.S. used this coverage as a primary tool for propaganda and military recruitment.
After World War I, it was exposed that the sunken Lusitania was also carrying 50 tons of ammunition. This kind of tactic is being used again to sell the current war, but first let’s get some context.
From 1990 to 1991 the Soviet Union was given assurances from the U.S. and Western European countries that an expansion of the U.S.-led anti-Soviet military alliance, NATO, would not happen — and especially not move eastward towards them (NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard). The Soviet Union in 1991 therefore unilaterally dissolved their military alliance – the Warsaw Pact. Eight years later, with no Warsaw Pact to protect them, the U.S. directed a NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia that destroyed tens of thousands of homes, roads, hospitals, crowded markets, passenger trains, and the Chinese Embassy, killing three Chinese journalists. This was followed by bombings of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and many more NATO operations on the continent of Africa in the years following.
For the last 20 years NATO has doubled its member armies, expanding eastward and surrounding Russia.
Yet, in spite of the Russian government’s repeated warnings against turning Ukraine, which borders them, into another NATO member state with possible nuclear weapons, the U.S. poured more gas on the fire. They not only orchestrated a coup in 2014 to put in an anti-Russian, pro-NATO regime, but also began sending billions of dollars in funds, weapons and training to openly Nazi battalions that are now official sections of the Ukrainian military. In February, the U.S. then pushed those Nazi forces to escalate bombings of the Donbass region against a Russian-speaking minority population.
This was the Lusitania-like provocation, by the U.S. Those in the Donbass region pleaded for help from the Russian government to save their children. Since 2014 they have endured eight years of torture and bombings, with 14,000 killed. Then in February came this increased genocidal assault by the main terrorist Nazi threat, the Azov Batallion. Russia then decided it had no choice but to answer the call of the people in the Donbass and stop an existential threat on its borders – the possibility of a U.S.-led NATO state with nuclear weapons controlled by a Nazi-led military.
This is what the U.S. government with bipartisan support has done – they’ve pushed the world into a conflict that could start World War III, gambling the futures of our children and those abroad solely for the sake of profits.
These wars are, again, eased through with stories to push our buttons of evil men and evil deeds you’re just now finding out about. We’ve been here before and a look at the history of just one “newspaper of record” shows how the media has been an essential part of the Pentagon arsenal. Take this headline in the New York Times in August 1964: “REDS DRIVEN OFF; Two Torpedo Vessels Believed Sunk in Gulf of Tonkin.” The article begins:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4—The Defense Department announced tonight that North Vietnamese PT boats made a “deliberate attack” today on two United States destroyers patrolling international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin off North Vietnam.
Although the story was a total lie, it served to begin the U.S.-escalated war on Vietnam. On the day it was published, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This authorized a war on Vietnam (without a formal declaration of war), giving the President broad authority in the use of military force, which escalated by 1968 to a half-million U.S. troops occupying Vietnam. More than 2 million civilians in both North and South Vietnam were killed during the war. In addition, the use of millions of gallons of the chemical weapon Agent Orange, sprayed throughout by the U.S. military from 1961 to 1971, killed or maimed another 400,000. Some 500,000 children were born with chemical warfare-caused birth defects.
Six months before the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, in 1979 the Carter Administration began funding the new “freedom fighters” – the Mujahideen, which became the Taliban – in a war against a revolutionary government that, among other progressive reforms, had established for the first time laws mandating the equality of women. The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, overwhelmed by U.S. military armed and funded Mujahideen, requested help from the Soviet Union. The Soviets were also worried about the threat of a possible U.S.-sponsored Mujahideen regime on their border. Sound familiar? This created the endless war in Afghanistan.
Nevermind that. Quick, look over there! An evil dictator in Iraq must be stopped now!
Here’s more headlines from the “newspaper of record”: Czechs Confirm Iraqi Agent Met With Terror Ringleader; December 20, 2001: Iraqi Tells of Renovations at Sites for Chemical and Nuclear Arms; April 21, 2003: Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert; and here’s a big one on April 24, 2003: U.S.-Led Forces Occupy Baghdad Complex Filled with Chemical Agents.
The problem with all these stories, and admitted by the New York Times in a published apology, is that none of them are true. They say it was the result of bad information with little verification. We’re just looking at the New York Times here but, you could look into the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, or any corporate newspaper and find the same misinformation passed off as truth and accepted as such by politicians, talk-show hosts, Hollywood scripts, celebrity campaigns and most of us during whatever latest war they point our heads toward.
The reporter on that last story and many of these stories was Judith Miller and this is what Miller had to say about the numerous unchecked lies in numerous unchecked articles selling a U.S. war that killed 500,000 children: “My job isn’t to assess the government’s information and be an independent intelligence analyst myself. My job is to tell readers of The New York Times what the government thought about Iraq’s arsenal.”
In that “apology” from the editors of the Times they correctly stated that the fault was not just of the journalists reporting the story but the verification process – a process that accepted without question information lining up with the narrative of the State Department. Unfortunately, like racism, that process is very much a component of the military industrial complex.
In 1996 Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes interviewed then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about the death of children in Iraq due to the U.S. war: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Albright replied calmly: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.” This, based on evidence her administration knew was a lie. One of the definitions of evil in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity.” Even evil seems too soft of a word to describe U.S. imperialism and its enablers.
Today, along with the corporate media, Congress is again playing its part in the war drive – Congress just approved $800 million more for the Ukrainian government and their Nazi battallions, which, again since it’s never mentioned, has been bombing the eastern region and committing war crimes against civilians in Lugansk and Donetsk FOR MORE THAN 8 YEARS, killing at least 14,000 civilians.
This faith in the U.S. State Department’s information comes in spite of the knowledge of contradictory news being suppressed in Ukraine. Three television stations were closed for not reporting coverage favorable to the Ukrainian government. Much information came out in Ukraine exposing the Azov Battalion when they took over hospitals, schools and apartment buildings in Mariupol that were then shown in the U.S. media as civilian buildings and not Azov Battalion outposts. Doctored and mislabeled videos and photos were prevalent during the beginning of the Russian intervention, even showing Israeli bombings and Palestinian resistance as “evidence” of Russian brutality and Ukrainian resistance.
The bombing by Nazi-led forces of the center of the city of Donetsk, killing over 20 civilians waiting at an ATM machine, was verified by various organizations in Donetsk, media outlets and independent journalists in the Donbass region. But, you never saw that report because the TV reporters and news publications in Ukraine that report those types of stories have been closed down. The journalists or activists who have reported this missile attack on civilian Donetsk, like Alexander Matyushenko from the Levitsa Association in Dnipropetrovsk (Dnipro), or the 37 other journalists detained in early March, have been jailed. In Kiev, arrests began even earlier. On Feb. 27, brothers Mikhail Kononovich and Aleksandr Kononovich, leaders of the Ukrainian Communist Youth, members of the World Federation of Democratic Youth as well as ethnic Belarusians, were seized and are being imprisoned along with members of other organizations we in the Socialist Unity Party and Struggle-La Lucha have been working with in Donbass. Last week I was communicating with someone from one of those organizations.
All of those detained are held on dubious charges with little explanation from authorities and are being denied legal representation.
The children who died in Iraq are just the tip of the iceberg of victims of U.S. and NATO wars, including the millions killed in Vietnam, Korea, Yugoslavia, Libya and Yemen. Now in Libya, because of the war by the Obama administration and destruction of civil society, slavery exists – a reality that undoubtedly is destroying the lives of children. In Yemen, the U.S. proxy war led by Saudi Arabia is now causing the starvation of millions of children, according to UN estimates.
If only those corporate editors of the media were as dedicated to exposing the war on children as they are in pushing for illegal and inhumane wars and proxy wars by the U.S., like the war in Ukraine now.
John Parker, of the Socialist Unity Party, is on the ballot as a candidate for the U.S. Senate from California in the June primary of Election 2022. He is part of the Left Unity Slate of the Peace and Freedom Party and has been endorsed by the Green Party.
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