Sunday, February 22, 2015

Feb. 21: Racism and me - and you.....

This isn't about new news. It's about old news - that might still be quite new to many readers.

Why did the the US fight a war in Iraq when George Bush Jr. came to power?

One reason was obvious at the time. The Iraq military was terribly weakened after its years of war with Iran and with George Bush Sr. It would - so it was thought - be a pushover. But there are lots of pushovers in this world. Why pick that one?

The first reason given was that Iraq was behind the 9/11 attack. But that didn't hold up long, especially as the evidence showed heavy Saudi involvement in 9/11,

Then the story was that Saddam Hussein was bad. So he was. In fact, that was why US leaders put him into power in the first place, and supplied him with poison gas and other goodies for his war on Iran. To this day, we have never been told why that war was fought, either, just as we have never been told why, in Iraq, well over a million were murdered (the majority of them civilians - men, women and children) , why Iraq was made a nation of refugees, impoverished, orphaned, schools destroyed, a nation shattered beyond repair. Why?

Saddam was bad? Okay, so why kill over a million innocent men, women and children? We were never told, and most of our news media never asked. Instead, they shifted into propaganda gear. An American woman who was a truck-driver in the army was severely wounded when her truck was stopped by gunfire. She was taken prisoner by the Iraqis.

It was a huge story for our news media, how she had fought back hard, killing at least a dozen of her attackers. Then the news media got an alert that the US army would raid the hospital where she was being held prisoner. It would be a daring, super-secret, night time raid. And the press was invited to watch it.

So the press gathered -   with none asking why, on this daring, surprise raid, the hospital was all lit up for their cameras. Then the US army charged in kicking open doors, and generally smashing its way to the wounded American woman as cameras rolled and clicked

There were no guards at the hospital, no locked doors. But that didn't make our news.

The woman was brought back to the US, a heroine. There were reports of  her defiance of her captors, her valiant killing of a dozen, her courage.... A statue went up in a park in her hometown. An official biography of her was prepared, sparing no adjectives in its tale of her courage while in the hands of those murderous Iraqis..

The message was clear. It was the message of every war ever fought. Our side was morally and intellectually superior to the other side. The message was racist. It was the racism that justified the brutality of the empires of the British and the French and the Spanish and the Dutch. But then the woman made some recovery from her injuries

And she showed she was morally superior - but to George Bush and the whole of the American news media.

She said publicly that she never killed anybody, that her Iraqi captors treated her kindly - immediately taking her to a hospital, that she was treated well at the hospital - and that the Iraq government notified American leadership of where she was, and invited them to send an ambulance for her, and told the US there were no guards at the hospital.

That made some of the news media -but only some, and only very briefly.

Meanwhile, thousands of Iraqi women were raped and uncountable numbers murdered by American troops. The American and British soldiers also cut off body parts as souvenirs. But little of that made our news.

When the war ended, the Iraqi nation had ceased to exist. It has never recovered. It probably never will. The only monument to it is the American embassy. Built during the war, it is the biggest and most expensive embassy in history. It's also empty. There really is no Iraq nation or Iraq government for it to deal with.

The US also generously announced it would rebuild the destroyed schools and hospitals, restore the energy system.... And so it issued the contracts - with just one requirement. All contracts would be given only to American companies. And, of course, they all went to Republican insiders, many of them Bush friends. (The Bush family has  long connections with oil. (I've also received information that George Bush Jr.'s grandfather had a good deal to do with financing the rise of Hitler. That's not surprising. Western capitalists, in general, were enthusiastic supporters of Hitler, even after the war started.)   In the case of Iraq, the biggest recipient of government contracts was Vice-President Cheney's old employer, Haliburton.

As well, though huge sums were paid out, almost nothing got rebuilt. Small, shattered schools got paint jobs billed at millions of dollars.  The stories of fraud by the contracts are legion - but few have made our news media.

It was all very much like the "aid" given to Haiti, other parts of Latin America, and Africa. Indeed, after more than a  hundred years of control by American capitalism, Haiti remains the most undernourished nation

Oh, there was another item in the peace terms - though I'm not sure whether it went through. All Iraqi oil fields would be under the control of American capitalists. -and the capitalists' share of the profits would be  75% rather than the usual 10%.  Over a million people were murdered and uncounted millions had their lives destroyed, impoverished for no reason but to make billionaires even richer.

All of this is easily available in, among other sources, the book "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by very respected American historian James W. Loewen, pp. 273-279.

This sort of stunningly cruel behaviour goes on every day all over the world as uncontrolled capitalism bleeds us dry, too greedy to realize that in bleeding us dry it also bleeds itself dry.

And, if we all knew this, what would be do? Probably nothing.

The reality is that we all have a tendency to racism And the racism card is played against us. Hitler did not invent racism. US and Canadian capitalism were way ahead of him. And British and French capitalism ahead of them

The reality is we don't give a damn who is killed as long as the  'who' looks or acts or dresses differently from from us. The US, Britain, France have murdered people wholesale ever since World War Two. We don't know about most of it. And we don't care because those people are 'different'. But when people who look 'different' kill a dozen in Paris, the whole, western world goes into turmoil.

The CIA leads in the murder of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in Venezuela.  Who cares?

Local native peoples object to toxic chemicals being injected into the land they live on? They must be savages. Send in the police with combat rifles.

We are racists. We have to accept that.

And our political leaders and our news media know how to play us like violins. Hate Muslims. Make women of the wrong religion take their veils off. Make immigrants have our "values" - whatever that might mean.

And hum along with God....."Land of hope and Glory, Mother of the free, How can we extol them, Who are born of thee?  Wider still and wider, shall they bonds be set; God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.."

And "God bless America...yeah..."

That's why we have nuclear weapons and poison gas...It's all part of God's great plan to make the rich even richer - and to make the rest of us just sit there in a stupor.....

I don't believe in hell. But as I look at our governments and our economic leaders, I wish I did.

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