Just how many people have our missile, bomb, and drone strikes killed and maimed since we launched this new war on ISIS?
We proudly showed the world the takeoff of these weapons on the day after we decided to hit Syria and Iraq for real. You can’t call it the day after we declared this new war on Syria and Iraq because neither the Congress nor the President is willing to declare war. But we are not fooled. It is not only war. It is arguably the most aggressive war the United States ever launched.
With the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air, we saw that launch two weeks ago from sea and sky. It was presented as you would present mega firecrackers…loudly, colorfully, proudly from American warships and America warplanes. We saw them take off, we saw the sky light up when they hit their targets, we saw the heart-stopping might of the American war machine….no doubt about it.
Okay, we’re convinced. No one comes close to our power to destroy.
What we did not see, however, was who was killed and maimed after those weapons exploded. And we did not hear one report on the civilian casualties. There were a couple of anemic numbers like 24 women and children -- or some such number -- but that was quickly withdrawn because it was such an obvious underestimate it was instantly open to ridicule. And that’s the last thing the President and his military are ready for.
On that fateful night which launched what the President has called a possible 20-year war, Rachel Maddow reported that not only were the number of killed and wounded not reported, no media was permitted to witness the results. Independent reporters were banned from being on the ground because too many of them had lost their lives while seeing and reporting. And the media had banned staff reporters from such closeness because the danger was too great and the impending lawsuits too risky.
This is the excuse we were given for keeping the world in ignorance on what may easily be one of the most devastating attacks on populations since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These missiles were built to carry nuclear warheads. The military insisted they weren’t fitted with them, however.
So what have we got?
And we’ve got us, the United States, king of exceptionalism, determined to keep getting new bases, take over the world’s oil fields, be the top provider of the world’s arms, continue above all to fuel our war economy with endless war.
An ongoing war on a scattered group of killers who smell blood, ISIS, consisting mostly of mercenaries from many countries plus boys from the ages of 14 to 19, who have been brought up to believe that violence is state of the art. Having been raised in war zones, what else are they expected to believe? Who kills the most is the hero.
And we’ve got other countries, on the one hand anxious not to look irrelevant, on the other terrified of incurring America’s wrath. England, France, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, Turkey…even Qatar (who yesterday used to be considered our enemy) the list of other nations is long, and count on it, will keep getting longer.
And we’ve got us, the United States, king of exceptionalism, determined to keep getting new bases, take over the world’s oil fields, be the top provider of the world’s arms, continue above all to fuel our war economy with endless war. We already provide 79% of the arms in the Middle East. Always interested in “MORE,” the arms industry is ecstatic.
Nothing personal, folks. Ready, aim, fire!
To arms merchants there are neither allies nor enemies. There are only customers. The Los Angeles Times reported, last week, that since air strikes started on August 8, Lockheed Martin stock is up 7.5%, Northrop Grumman up 5.2%, General Dynamics up 6%, Raytheon up 8.3% -- and the feast goes on.
And where is our Congress in this dance of death. On vacation, if you please. They had planned to be off for 50-plus days, and a little thing like voting on whether or not to continue this massacre is not going to get them out of their districts and back to Washington. And just when we thought that nothing would…
A young man jumped the fence at the White House, entered the unlocked door, and made his way almost into the living quarters of the First Family before he was apprehended.
Now the media showed what they were made of. Back to Washington came Congress without taking a beat. Remember when an intruder in England broke into Buckingham Palace and entered the Queen’s bedroom? That was a one-day story. But a White house break-in with a guy with a small knife?! THIS was big news.
For days they interviewed Julia Pierson, Director of the Secret Service, a dull woman who looked like she wallowed in her title but didn't have a clue about her job and took a predictable retirement. And the press couldn’t get enough of it.
The War on Syria which now has caused between Assad and US (both with American weapons, by the way) 15 million deaths, wounds and displacement, half of them children. And Iraq a country with similar numbers…a country also reduced to rubble through our pounding since 1991, were not only off the front page, they were, as we say in comedy, out of the sketch. Nothing. Nada.
The wars on those crippled ragged countries continue. ISIS continues to hide in prearranged, unfindable places. Their ranks continue to swell with 14 to 19 year old boys. The people of Syria and Iraq by the hundreds of thousands continue to look desperately for food and shelter as more and more countries, overcrowded with refugees from elsewhere, close their doors to them. But there is one thing one piece of good news. The White House now has a lock on its front door.