The Silent Slaughter of the US Air War

Exclusive: The U.S. mainstream media voiced moral outrage when Russian warplanes killed civilians in Aleppo but has gone silent as U.S. warplanes slaughter innocents in Mosul and Raqqa, notes Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

April 2017 was another month of mass slaughter and unimaginable terror for the people of Mosul in Iraq and the areas around Raqqa and Tabqa in Syria, as the heaviest, most sustained U.S.-led bombing campaign since the American War in Vietnam entered its 33rd month.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with members of the coalition at a forward operating base near Qayyarah West, Iraq, April 4, 2017. (DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

The Airwars monitoring group has compiled reports of 1,280 to 1,744 civilians killed by at least 2,237 bombs and missiles that rained down from U.S. and allied warplanes in April (1,609 on Iraq and 628 on Syria). The heaviest casualties were in and around Old Mosul and West Mosul, where 784 to 1,074 civilians were reported killed, but the area around Tabqa in Syria also suffered heavy civilian casualties.

In other war zones, as I have explained in previous articles (here and here), the kind of “passive” reports of civilian deaths compiled by Airwars have only ever captured between 5 percent and 20 percent of the actual civilian war deaths revealed by comprehensive mortality studies. Iraqbodycount, which used a similar methodology to Airwars, had only counted 8 percent of the deaths discovered by a mortality study in occupied Iraq in 2006.

Airwars appears to be collecting reports of civilian deaths more thoroughly than Iraqbodycount 11 years ago, but it classifies large numbers of them as “contested” or “weakly reported,” and is deliberately conservative in its counting. For instance, in some cases, it has counted local media reports of “many deaths” as a minimum of one death, with no maximum figure. This is not to fault Airwars’ methods, but to recognize its limitations in contributing to an actual estimate of civilian deaths.

Allowing for various interpretations of Airwars’ data, and assuming that, like such efforts in the past, it is capturing between 5 percent and 20 percent of actual deaths, a serious estimate of the number of civilians killed by the U.S.-led bombing campaign since 2014 would by now have to be somewhere between 25,000 and 190,000.

The Pentagon recently revised its own facetious estimate of the number of civilians it has killed in Iraq and Syria since 2014 to 352. That is less than a quarter of the 1,446 victims whom Airwars has positively identified by name.

Airwars has also collected reports of civilians killed by Russian bombing in Syria, which outnumbered its reports of civilians killed by U.S.-led bombing for most of 2016. However, since the U.S.-led bombing escalated to over 10,918 bombs and missiles dropped in the first three months of 2017, the heaviest bombardment since the campaign began in 2014, Airwars’ reports of civilians killed by U.S.-led bombing have surpassed reports of deaths from Russian bombing.

Because of the fragmentary nature of all Airwars’ reports, this pattern may or may not accurately reflect whether the U.S. or Russia has really killed more civilians in each of these periods. There are many factors that could affect that.

For example, Western governments and NGOs have funded and supported the White Helmets and other groups who report civilian casualties caused by Russian bombing, but there is no equivalent Western support for the reporting of civilian casualties from the Islamic State-held areas that the U.S. and its allies are bombing. If Airwars’ reporting is capturing a greater proportion of actual deaths in one area than another due to factors like this, it could lead to differences in the numbers of reported deaths that do not reflect differences in actual deaths.

Shock, Awe … and Silence

To put the 79,000 bombs and missiles with which the U.S. and its allies have bombarded Iraq and Syria since 2014 in perspective, it is worth reflecting back to the “more innocent” days of “Shock and Awe” in March 2003. As NPR reporter Sandy Tolan reported in 2003, one of the architects of that campaign predicted that dropping 29,200 bombs and missiles on Iraq would have, “the non-nuclear equivalent of the impact that the atomic weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on Japan.”

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

When “Shock and Awe” was unleashed on Iraq in 2003, it dominated the news all over the world. But after eight years of “disguised, quiet, media-free” war under President Obama, the U.S. mass media don’t even treat the daily slaughter from this heavier, more sustained bombardment of Iraq and Syria as news. They cover single mass casualty events for a few days, but quickly resume normal “Trump Show” programming.

As in George Orwell’s 1984, the public knows that our military forces are at war with somebody somewhere, but the details are sketchy.  “Is that still a thing?” “Isn’t North Korea the big issue now?”

There is almost no political debate in the U.S. over the rights and wrongs of the U.S. bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. Never mind that bombing Syria without authorization from its internationally recognized government is a crime of aggression and a violation of the U.N. Charter.  The freedom of the United States to violate the U.N. Charter at will has already been politically (not legally!) normalized by 17 years of serial aggression, from the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, to drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.

So who will enforce the Charter now to protect civilians in Syria, who already face violence and death from all sides in a bloody civil and proxy war, in which the U.S. was already deeply complicit well before it began bombing Syria in 2014?

In terms of U.S. law, three successive U.S. regimes have claimed that their unconstrained violence is legally justified by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed by the U.S. Congress in 2001. But sweeping as it was, that bill said only,

“That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

How many of the thousands of civilians the U.S. has killed in Mosul in the past few months played any such role in the September 11th terrorist attacks? Every person reading this knows the answer to that question: probably not one of them. If one of them was involved, it would be by sheer coincidence.

Any impartial judge would reject a claim that this legislation authorized 16 years of war in at least eight countries, the overthrow of governments that had nothing to do with 9/11, the killing of about 2 million people and the destabilization of country after country – just as surely as the judges at Nuremberg rejected the German defendants’ claims that they invaded Poland, Norway and the U.S.S.R. to prevent or “preempt” imminent attacks on Germany.

U.S. officials may claim that the 2002 Iraq AUMF legitimizes the bombardment of Mosul. That law at least refers to the same country. But while it is also still on the books, the whole world knew within months of its passage that it used false premises and outright lies to justify overthrowing a government that the U.S. has since destroyed.

The U.S. war in Iraq officially ended with the withdrawal of the last U.S. occupation forces in 2011. The AUMF did not and could not possibly have approved allying with a new regime in Iraq 14 years later to attack one of its cities and kill thousands of its people.

Caught in a Web of War Propaganda

Do we really not know what war is? Has it been too long since Americans experienced war on our own soil? Perhaps. But as thankfully distant as war may be from most of our daily lives, we cannot pretend that we do not know what it is or what horrors it brings.

Photos of victims of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam galvanized public awareness about the barbarity of the war. (Photo taken by U. S. Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle)

This month, two friends and I visited our Congresswoman’s office representing our local Peace Action affiliate, Peace Justice Sustainability Florida, to ask her to cosponsor legislation to prohibit a U.S. nuclear first strike; to repeal the 2001 AUMF; to vote against the military budget; to cut off funding for the deployment of U.S. ground troops to Syria; and to support diplomacy, not war, with North Korea.

When one of my friends explained that he’d fought in Vietnam and started to talk about what he’d witnessed there, he had to stop to keep from crying. But the staffer didn’t need him to go on. She knew what he was talking about. We all do.

But if we all have to see dead and wounded children in the flesh before we can grasp the horror of war and take serious action to stop it and prevent it, then we face a bleak and bloody future. As my friend and too many like him have learned at incalculable cost, the best time to stop a war is before it starts, and the main lesson to learn from every war is: “Never again!”

Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump won the presidency partly by presenting themselves as “peace” candidates. This was a carefully calculated and calibrated element in both their campaigns, given the pro-war records of their main opponents, John McCain and Hillary Clinton. The American public’s aversion to war is a factor that every U.S. president and politician has to deal with, and promising peace before spinning us into war is an American political tradition that dates back to Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.

As Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering admitted to American military psychologist Gustave Gilbert in his cell at Nuremberg, “Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

“There is one difference,” Gilbert insisted, “In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”

Goering was unimpressed by Madison‘s and Hamilton’s cherished constitutional safeguards. “Oh, that is all well and good,” he replied, “but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

Our commitment to peace and our abhorrence of war are too easily undermined by the simple but timeless techniques Goering described. In the U.S. today, they are enhanced by several other factors, most of which also had parallels in World War Two Germany:

–Mass media that suppress public awareness of the human costs of war, especially when U.S. policy or U.S. forces are responsible.

–A media blackout on voices of reason who advocate alternative policies based on peace, diplomacy or the rule of international law.

–In the ensuing silence regarding rational alternatives, politicians and media present “doing something,” meaning war, as the only alternative to the perennial straw man of “doing nothing.”

–The normalization of war by stealth and deception, especially by public figures otherwise seen as trustworthy, like President Obama.

–The dependence of progressive politicians and organizations on funding from labor unions that have become junior partners in the military industrial complex.

–The political framing of U.S. disputes with other countries as entirely the result of actions by the other side, and the demonization of foreign leaders to dramatize and popularize these false narratives.

–The pretense that the U.S. role in overseas wars and global military occupation stems from a well-meaning desire to help people, not from U.S. strategic ambitions and business interests.

Taken altogether, this amounts to a system of war propaganda, in which the heads of TV networks bear a share of responsibility for the resulting atrocities along with political and military leaders. Trotting out retired generals to bombard the home front with euphemistic jargon, without disclosing the hefty directors’ and consultants’ fees they collect from weapons manufacturers, is only one side of this coin.

The equally important flip-side is the media’s failure to even cover wars or the U.S. role in them, and their systematic marginalization of anyone who suggests there is anything morally or legally wrong with America’s wars.

The Pope and Gorbachev

Pope Francis recently suggested that a third party could act as a mediator to help resolve our country’s nearly 70-year-old conflict with North Korea. The Pope suggested Norway. Even more importantly, the Pope framed the problem as a dispute between the United States and North Korea, not, as U.S. officials do, as North Korea posing a problem or a threat to the rest of the world.

Pope Francis

This is how diplomacy works best, by correctly and honestly identifying the roles that different parties are playing in a dispute or a conflict, and then working to resolve their disagreements and conflicting interests in a way that both sides can live with or even benefit from. The JCPOA that resolved the U.S. dispute with Iran over its civilian nuclear program is a good example of how this can work.

This kind of real diplomacy is a far cry from the brinksmanship, threats and aggressive alliances that have masqueraded as diplomacy under a succession of U.S. presidents and secretaries of state since Truman and Acheson, with few exceptions. The persistent desire of much of the U.S. political class to undermine the JCPOA with Iran is a measure of how U.S. officials cling to the use of threats and brinksmanship and are offended that the “exceptional” United States should have to come down from its high horse and negotiate in good faith with other countries.

At the root of these dangerous policies, as historian William Appleman Williams wrote in The Tragedy of American Diplomacy in 1959, lies the mirage of supreme military power that seduced U.S. leaders after the allied victory in the Second World War and the invention of nuclear weapons. After running headlong into the reality of an unconquerable post-colonial world in Vietnam, this American Dream of ultimate power faded briefly, only to be reborn with a vengeance after the end of the Cold War.

Much as its defeat in the First World War was not decisive enough to convince Germany that its military ambitions were doomed, a new generation of U.S. leaders saw the end of the Cold War as their chance to “kick the Vietnam syndrome” and revive America’s tragic bid for “full spectrum dominance.”

As Mikhail Gorbachev lamented in a speech in Berlin on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2014, “the West, and particularly the United States, declared victory in the Cold War. Euphoria and triumphalism went to the heads of Western leaders. Taking advantage of Russia’s weakening and the lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination of the world, refusing to heed words of caution from many of those present here.”

This post-Cold War triumphalism has predictably led us into an even more convoluted maze of delusions, disasters and dangers than the Cold War itself. The folly of our leaders’ insatiable ambitions and recurrent flirtations with mass extinction are best symbolized by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, whose hands once again stand at two and a half minutes to midnight.

The inability of the costliest war machine ever assembled to defeat lightly-armed resistance forces in country after country, or to restore stability to any of the countries it has destroyed, has barely dented the domestic power of the U.S. military-industrial complex over our political institutions and our national resources. Neither millions of deaths, trillions of dollars wasted, nor abject failure on its own terms has slowed the mindless spread and escalation of the “global war on terror.”

Futurists debate whether robotic technology and artificial intelligence will one day lead to a world in which autonomous robots could launch a war to enslave and destroy the human race, maybe even incorporating humans as components of the machines that will bring about our extinction. In the U.S. armed forces and military industrial complex, have we already created exactly such a semi-human, semi-technological organism that will not stop bombing, killing and destroying unless and until we stop it in its tracks and dismantle it?

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

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89 comments for “The Silent Slaughter of the US Air War

  1. Tom Welsh
    May 9, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    “Western governments and NGOs have funded and supported the White Helmets and other groups who report civilian casualties caused by Russian bombing…”

    Western governments and NGOs have funded and supported the White Helmets and other terrorist groups who invent civilian casualties that they allege were caused by Russian bombing…

    FTFY.

    • Peter Loeb
      May 10, 2017 at 7:46 am

      “..BLIND TO ITSELF….”

      As historian Gabriel Kolko wrote, “The United States from its inception
      has been a nation blind to itself—its past, its present and its future….
      In a critical sense, this myopia is the consequence of pervasive
      of self-satisfied chauvinism…” (from Preface to MAIN CURRENTS
      IN MODERN AMERICAN HISTORY (1976)

      Nicolas Davies paints for us some of the effects this has
      with respect to current US wars.

      Thanks once more for his work.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • May 10, 2017 at 10:37 am

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/crucial-americans-resist-hate-obama-says-rare-address-n756131

      In comparison, we can listen to the empty words of empty headed politicians on resisting “hate”. Resisting hate in the Libyan debacle, the Syrian debacle, the Ukrainian debacle, the Afghanistan debacle, the Iraq debacle: the hate that kills and maims; then sends millions of refugees to overwhelm social progress in neighboring countries. Yes Gobomb’em, the stupid little people should resist hate so people like you and your generals can have a monopoly on hate.

    • Erik G
      May 10, 2017 at 11:14 am

      The Nicholas Davies article section on Web of War Propaganda is particularly good, describing the propaganda schemes of oligarchy and its opportunist tyrants, an essential counterpoint to the mass media propaganda.

      Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
      https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
      While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

  2. May 9, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Nobody has yet suggested to totally boycott everything made in America, until its people has put back some order in that fucken country. That pope like his predecessors has never suggested to excommunicate all sellers and makers of armaments. That Francis is just a big joke. What did he do in Argentina when the governing collonnels had working prests and other decent humans dropped from helicopters and planes into the Atlantic Ocean ? This pope will finish in Hell where are many other popes and countries’ leaders…

    • mike k
      May 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      I think Pope Francis has had a change of heart, an awakening since his early days in Argentina. His teaching about war and capitalism and the environment reflect his metanoia, his new consciousness. We all need to develop a new view of our world and our role in it. Instead of living in the past, perhaps we should embrace Francis as he is now, trying to help our troubled world.

      • hillary
        May 9, 2017 at 8:49 pm

        Was “pope” Francis present “during any of the junta dirty war torture sessions ?

        “It will remain difficult to further expose church complicity in Argentina’s genocide, because the Catholic Church guards its secrets so well. This year on November 2 for example, the Vatican arrested two members of a now-defunct reform commission for leaking documents to the press about the Holy See’s scandal-wracked finances. And despite ongoing exposés of clerical sexual abuse of children and youth, the church’s legalistic and lying schemes to cover it all up continue.”

        http://www.socialism.com/drupal-6.8/articles/pope-francis-catholic-church-and-argentina%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cdirty-war%E2%80%9D

      • Skip Scott
        May 10, 2017 at 9:41 am

        I’m with you mike k. I think we all learn as we go, and that Pope Francis is a genuine holy man. He is no longer the man he was in Argentina. I hope and pray that he can be a positive influence on world leaders.

    • Purity Of Essence
      May 10, 2017 at 2:17 am

      Yes! BDUS!

  3. mike k
    May 9, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Our “leaders” want war, they demand war. Thus we have war now and into the foreseeable future – as long as these folks control our minds and behavior. Until enough of us refuse to listen to the phony praise and exaltation about war, and refuse to fight and teach our children not to fight, we will have war. A different world, a world based on peace and cooperation is possible – but only if we change our minds. We have war because most people believe in war. They may answer that question differently, but their behavior betrays them. It takes courage to be a pacifist n a warlike society, but it is always possible. No one can make you fight if you refuse to do so. Our conformity and obedience to authority are the cause of war. The next time you are exposed to a display of our glorious military, remind yourself that this is a gang of murderers. Why do you think the military subsidizes the violent war video games for our youth? They are training them to accept violence and murdering others.

    • John wilson
      May 10, 2017 at 4:11 am

      You sum it rather well there Mike. However, the state and its adjuncts don’t control all our minds and there are more people like us than you might suppose. Some people say its down to education but my education has been much the same as most of my friends and associates’. Indeed, some of my peers have had a better education than me but they still believe what MSM tells them. For example, some of my colleagues really do believe that the Russians caused Clinton to lose the election and no amount of protestation on my part is able to change their minds. When I try to draw their attention to internet sites like this, they simply scoff and tell me I’m into fake news an conspiracy theories. Logic just doesn’t come into it, there is a blind spot there which appears to be immovable.

  4. Tom Welsh
    May 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

    So isn’t it ironic that the USA has, for the past six years, been using extreme military violence (as well as sanctions, financial and political violence) against the legitimate government of Syria and its people – while brazenly supporting Al Qaeda, which the US government itself says committed the 9/11 attacks? As well as ISIS, Al Qaeda’s bastard son, and the vast zoo of terrorist groups with constantly-shifting names that go under the courtesy title of “the moderate opposition”.

    If such a “moderate opposition” were to appear in the USA, marching on Washington with the declared intention of overthrowing the US government and killing all its members, meanwhile burning civilians alive, crucifying Christians, destroying homes and infrastructure, using poison gas, and killing police and soldiers sent to resist them… how much force do you think the US government would employ?

  5. Tom Welsh
    May 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    “… legislation to prohibit a U.S. nuclear first strike…”

    Utterly futile. All that legislation can do is to forbid certain acts. If the acts are committed regardless, the law’s sanction is to arrest and try those responsible.

    But if someone starts a thermonuclear war, we can be 99% certain that one day later there will be no courts, no prisons, no police, and no legislature.

    Given a thermonuclear strike force which can be launched by a certain group of people, no one outside that group has any say whatsoever on whether (and when) an attack is launched. If anyone wants to prevent a first strike, the only way to do it would be to destroy all the missiles and dispose securely of all the fissile materials.

  6. Tom Welsh
    May 9, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    ‘… the main lesson to learn from every war is: “Never again!”’

    If there is a thermonuclear war, that resolution will be redundant.

    In my opinion, the lesson that both sides learn from every war is that “we ” are NOT better, cleverer, more resourceful, tougher, more enduring, or in any way worthier than “THEY”. Most wars are started in the confident expectation of a quick and easy victory; that expectation is almost always dead wrong.

    One might say that war is God’s way of teaching us that we really, really, REALLY are all equal.

    • mike k
      May 9, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Of course there is a way to prevent a nuclear first strike. It was spelled out a long time ago: Enter into an international agreement for elimination of these weapons to be monitored by a fully intrusive inspection process by an independent UN body set up for that purpose. The US has refused to enter into such negotiations. Russia has indicated it’s willingness to engage in such a process. Would the real lovers of peace please stand up?

      • Truth First
        May 11, 2017 at 11:06 am

        Even mild mannered Canada and other American ‘allies’ refused to sign on to the recent UN efforts to START negotiations to eliminate nukes.
        America negatively influences peaceful efforts in all sorts of ways, other than just dropping bombs, although that does seem to be the American favorite.

  7. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    May 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    The U.S. itself was built by the silent slaughter of the native people of this land. Slaughtering others has been the business of America since then…………..The majority of Americans are fine with that as long as they are living comfortably………….Oh, and Americans have the audacity to call others “Terrorists”………..Go figure…………..

    • Bill Bodden
      May 9, 2017 at 10:31 pm

      Go figure.

      I’m sure most of the regulars on this blog figure you got it right, Dr. Soudy.

    • BannanaBoat
      May 10, 2017 at 12:10 am

      Almost every indigenous group in the world has been slaughtered by colonizers.

    • jo6pac
      May 10, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Thanks, well said.

  8. mike k
    May 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    I am waiting for someone to say, “How can we be sure one of our enemies will not find a way to hide one or more weapons to use against us when we are disarmed and defenseless?”

    Nothing is perfect. But my counter question is, “How can you be sure that numerous nations having nukes on hair trigger alert will not lead to an accidental or purposeful disaster? Which scenario would seem safer to you?”

  9. mike k
    May 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Of course to me it would seem obvious that the attempt to eliminate the weapons would be the safer choice. But on reflection, considering the out of control paranoia being stoked by our leaders and media, I would be interested but uncertain how most people would respond…..?

  10. Pablo Diablo
    May 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Gotta keep the “War Machine” well fed so we have at least 1% growth in GDP.

  11. Paul Schofield
    May 9, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    How disgusting humanity is. This plus the ongoing genocide in Yemen, the cruelty and slaughter in Palestine, the insane western support for the NAZI beasts in the Ukraine etc etc proves how deeply flawed humanity is. Either nuclear war or runaway climate change will soon put an end to it all. Death and extinction by our own hand, proving Darwins theory of evolution. The great tragedy is the destruction of billions of years of evolved species and wonderful creatures which will go also. Humanity can conceive no greater crime.

    • Gregory Herr
      May 9, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Deeply flawed, yes. But the larger cruelties and slaughters of which you speak are perpetrations of powerful minorities. I’m not absolving humanity in general of responsibility or guilt, but there is much more to the saga of humanity than wretchedness. We too are “wonderful creatures” that often exhibit remarkable qualities and efforts. There is beauty, kindness, and grace.

      • Skip Scott
        May 10, 2017 at 9:47 am

        I agree Gregory. I spent much of my life as a merchant seaman, and met and worked with people of virtually all religions and ethnicities. Most people are good, period. They love their kids, and want to keep them safe, and leave a better world. It is the few who lust for power that wind up controlling governments and corporations. These few are the real enemies of peace, freedom and democracy.

        • Gregory Herr
          May 10, 2017 at 5:40 pm

          I’ve never been overseas, but a couple of cousins who have traveled widely speak of the same thing. I’ve known many, many kind people. And sure I’ve witnessed a lot that’s “not to like,” often within my own self. It’s a struggle for most of us, but people are, I think, mostly good-natured. I think the general “milieu” of modern life in America seems to work against our better grain…our society is neglectful in many ways, so we see effects of isolation, inopportunity, and other problems that work against good character.
          I guess the “problem of evil” (for lack of a better way of framing it), the appalling reality of the worst of thoughts, motivations, and actions, is something we’re just not equipped to fully wrap our comprehension around.
          Thank you for your insight and appreciation of human worth. My view is a mix…I see through rose-coloured glasses darkly.

      • May 10, 2017 at 10:59 am

        “There is beauty, kindness, and grace.”

        Non of which is exibited in a single member of the US Goverment, the US MSM, most of the american population, and the US Military. Zero, None. They love war. They idolize it. They get rich off it. It is the national culture. it is the national economy. It is the national religion. What is really eye opening about what america and americans think about war is that there was outrage across the USA when an american journalist had his head cut off by jihadies in the Middle East, but not one American lost a single hour´s sleep over the two million people slaughtered in the US wars of choice against Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

        What will change Americans love of war? When they see a couple of hundred of their cities razed to the ground and a couple of hundred million american citizens dead and or dying. There is no other cure for the desease that is right in the DNA of Americans.

        in 2003, while watching ” Shock and Awe” with some Peruvian friends, one guy spoke up and said ” Americans , they are all just killers”. I could not contest that statement, because it was such an obviously honest observation..

    • Truth First
      May 11, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Not all humanity. There was a time when equality applied to everyone and in those small tribes everyone was needed to make a contribution. Now when inequality is so vast and so many people are disposable most people are just part of a massive crime for those that want more when they have too much.

  12. mike k
    May 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    The movie scene that for me captures the essence of a Mexican standoff for me is when in The Matrix Neo’s friends confront the Frenchman to secure Neo’s release from the train station he is trapped in. At a point in this all point there guns at each other’s heads for a long uncertain moment, then Neo’s beloved announces, “No more time. Give me the key to Neo’s release or we all die right now!” The Frenchman gives in because his wife tells him “she will do it, because she is in love with Neo.

    We are at this moment in exactly this game of chicken with nuclear weapons. Do you feel safe in this situation? If you do, you are insane.

  13. Bill Bodden
    May 9, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    During my morning reading of selected websites I noted a reference by a respected journalist to Donald Trump accusing him of being insane. Given the history of aggressive wars engaged in by the United States, Donald Trump is not the only president who could be accused of insanity. Similarly, eager supporters of these mentally-diseased commanders-in-chief must also be considered as probable psychopaths and sociopaths.

    To make matters worse, the barbarism of the last 200-plus years is not a series of catastrophes unique to the United States but a continuum of aggression native to the nations from whence the non-native American people came.

    To oppose this constant madness is to associate oneself with a minority of civilized citizens subject to being reviled by the vocal mindless people in the majority. Our consolation is that we are on the right side of history alongside stalwart citizens such as Eugene Debs, Edmond Morel, Keir Hardie and others who eventually were proved right during the first world war and others since who opposed the wars in Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East, and western Asia.

    • BannanaBoat
      May 9, 2017 at 11:56 pm

      Mark Twain during the Phillipine slaughter.

      • May 10, 2017 at 11:08 am

        Stanley Ann Dunham and Lolo Soetoro, and their son, Barack during the Indonesian massacre.

        • BannanaBoat
          May 10, 2017 at 11:17 am

          Twain spoke against the slaughter, the Soetoros’ facilitated slaughter.

  14. Abe
    May 9, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Information on Syrian casualties sourced from Airwars should be approached with extreme caution.

    Airwars “understanding” of events in Syria is based on reports collated from “regionally-focused monitoring groups” that include three notorious UK-based propaganda launderers: Rami Abdul Rahman’s Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Fadel Abdul Ghani’s Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), and Eliot Higgins’ Bellingcat.

    The latest Airwars report on bombing is noteworthy for its “tale” about “alleged Coalition and Russian civilian casualty incidents”
    https://airwars.org/news/1000days-two-bombed-cities/

    Airwars seems determined to convince its readers that U.S.-led Coalition airpower is less lethal than its Russian counterpart. For example, nowhere does Airwars acknowledge that civilian casualty figures for Aleppo were grossly inflated by Al Qaeda media and their White Helmets propaganda allies.

    Airwars “Syria researcher” is Kinda Haddad, a media consultant and former BBC reporter.

    In addition to her work for Airwars, Haddad is the founder of Bubula, a website that purportedly aims to “expand the scope of the debate by introducing the most exciting, diverse and powerful female voices” on the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.

    Haddad’s site featuring “Eastern Women in Western Media” is named after a type of song bird known for its beautiful voice. The label “bulbul” is given to people who are “eloquent”. Haddad gave the name “a feminine spin by adding a letter A at the end of it”, claiming the site will “carry the voices of a group of women from that part of the world”.

    Haddad apparently does not believe that any “eloquent” women live in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Bubula “experts” on Syria are exclusively aligned with “opposition” groups, media and NGOs.

    For example, Bubula “expert” on Syria Alia Ibrahim is a Senior Correspondent with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya News Channel, based in Dubai Media City, United Arab Emirates. Another Bubula “expert” on Syria, Kholoud Mansour based in Sweden, is a former Senior Fellow at Chatham House, a British think tank devoted to “regime change” in Eurasia.

    In short, Airwars is a propaganda project designed to inspire “humanitarian” outrage.

    • Abe
      May 9, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Unsurprisingly, Airwars receives funding from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

      Airwars receives “geolocation” services from Bellingcat “journalist” Christiaan Triebert.

      Here’s a recent example of Triebert’s “journalism”
      https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/04/10/khan-sheikhoun-chemical-attack-bombed/

      Triebert receives “journalism” training at the War Studies Department of King’s College London where Eliot Higgins is a “Research Fellow”.

      Bellingcat “open-source investigation” scams get fronted by Triebert when, well, it’s a little too obvious even for Bellingcat.

      • Typingperson
        May 9, 2017 at 9:01 pm

        Huh, what? I thought Airways was legit and neutral. Understanding that they are primarily British folks. They’re connected to Soros and Bellingcat? I’m confused. : (

      • Typingperson
        May 9, 2017 at 9:02 pm

        *Airwars*

        …Don’t know how to edit my comment.

        • BannanaBoat
          May 10, 2017 at 12:12 am

          control r

    • Abe
      May 9, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      Airwars has provided primary “analysis” and “narrative” for visual representations produced by Forensic Architecture, a media agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London.

      Forensic Architecture purportedly specializes in “modelling dynamic events” and “creating navigable 3D models of environments”, aiming to “present information in a convincing, precise, and accessible manner”.

      The media agency produces high-tech graphic presentations of alleged “evidence” on behalf of human rights NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, political groups like the Atlantic Council, and other organizations.

      Forensic Architecture has collaborated with Airwars “journalists”, the Atlantic Council’s Bellingcat, and Human Rights Watch in previous dramatic presentations of later debunked claims about bombing in Aleppo.

      Forensic Architecture provided “modelling” services for the recent Human Rights Watch report on the 4 April 2017 chemical incident at Khan Sheikhoun
      https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/syria0517_web_2.pdf

      The report states that Human Rights Watch “obtained photos and videos of remnants of the munitions used in the attacks. Specialists in weapons identification and chemical weapons inside and outside the organization analyzed the remnants. Forensic Architecture, a group specializing in spatial analysis, created a model of a crater related to the Khan Sheikhoun attack from videos and photos, allowing for exact measurement of its size.” (HRW report page 10)

      The Human Rights Watch report debuted at a 1 May 2017 press conference at the United Nations. Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, repeatedly referred to the new HRW report as “our own investigation”. Responding to questions, Roth stated, “Yeah, I mean, um, we’ve used open source material, we’ve checked this with experts, we’re… we’re quite confident”

      However, it is clear from the report that HRW activities were limited to laundering a list of names supplied by “opposition” forces in Al-Qaeda controlled Idlib, and conducting telephone interviews with the “opposition” vetted alleged “witnesses”.

      Following its well-established pattern of “investigation”, HRW performed no independent verification of any of the “opposition” claims presented in its report.

      The HRW report relied most heavily on information supplied by “opposition” forces and laundered by the Atlantic Council’s Bellingcat group. HRW makes no mention of Bellingcat’s close cooperation with the Atlantic Council “regime change” agenda in Syria.

      Bellingcat is repeatedly cited in the HRW report’s footnotes. A photograph in the HRW report refers to “Bellingcat, a group specializing in analyzing information posted online, including videos and photographs” (page 24). HRW makes no mention of the fact that claims by Dan Kaszeta and Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat about previous alleged “chemical attacks” have been repeatedly debunked.
      Human Rights Watch relied on Bellingcat to “geolocate” Al Qaeda and White Helmets video and photos of the Khan Shaykhun incident. The report specifically states that “Based on landmarks visible in the photos and videos, Bellingcat geolocated the crater” (HRW report page 28) in the middle of the road in Khan Shaykhun.

      Human Rights Watch’s “specialist” on “chemical weapons”: Eliot Higgins’ collaborator Dan Kaszeta of Bellingcat (HRW report pages 29-30)

      Human Rights Watch’s “specialist” on “weapons identification”: Hadi Al Khatib of Bellingcat (HRW report page 41).

      In addition to posing as a “journalist” at Bellingcat. Al Khatib runs an organization called the “Syrian Archive”, a large database of Al Qaeda and White Helmets videos, allegedly “verified” as “documenting” human rights violations in Syria.

      Immediately after citing Kaszeta’s description of a sarin bomb explosion, the Human Rights watch report mentions “modelling” of the crater provided by Forensic Architecture: “Based on photos and videos, Forensic Architecture, an organization specializing in spatial analysis, created a three-dimensional model of the crater.” (HRW report page 30)

      Forensic Architecture “modelling” of Airwars and Bellingcat “investigations” provide conspicuous cases of garbage in, garbage out (GIGO).

      Apparently it’s highly profitable garbage. Capitalizing on its network of propaganda relationships, Forensic Architecture even got the gig of designing a cool new look for the Airwars website.

    • Virginia A
      May 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      No one is any more elegant or eloquent – sincere or kind — than Asma Assad!

  15. Donald E. Ghidoni
    May 9, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    For every Al Qaeda or ISIS killed 9 civilian are saved from slaughter or slavery.

    As an example, for the month of April there were 324 civilians killed by accident (collateral damage) by Allied Forces. Why doesn’t our Media report the thousands slaughtered intentionally by Al Qaeda and ISIS? Why doesn’t the Media show the videos on the net that show poor soles being crucified, crushed by tanks, burned alive, beheaded, shot by 3 year olds or sold on the slave markets and bragged about by these animals.

    Isis is the true face of Islam.

    This article is felonious and one sided as it can be. If you would like to see some real news just let me know.

    • Gregory Herr
      May 9, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      “Why doesn’t our Media report the thousands slaughtered intentionally by Al Qaeda and ISIS?”

      Probably for the same reason atrocities carried out directly by U.S. forces “don’t matter”.
      They work for Sam.

      “Isis is the true face of Islam.”

      Oh yes, the great mass of practicing Muslims are secretly vile terrorist mercenaries at heart. They all wish they could be Isis. Nice touch cowboy. Care to extrapolate your logic when determining the “true face” of Christianity?

      • May 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

        Moreover, ISIS was the result of divide and conquer during “Shock and Awe”, when the Shi ‘ites were recruited to brutally torture Sunnis. Remember the GOONS to counter AIM? Guardians of the Oglala Nation: Ha! Thunder Heart: “Sometimes they have to kill us; they have to kill us! “Cause they can’t take our spirit.” JT RIP

        Bottom line: ISIS was created by the US military

    • BannanaBoat
      May 9, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      Most Muslims denounce ISIS but USA allies fund it.

    • mike k
      May 10, 2017 at 6:43 am

      The real news is that isis is NOT the true face of Islam.

      • May 10, 2017 at 11:36 am

        And that Saudi Arabia is trying desperately to hijack and monopolize the Muslim religion from the Shiites for business ventures, of which war is the most lucrative.

    • Truth First
      May 11, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Hey Donald,

      Since WW2 America has killed more innocents than any other country, by far. “Thousands slaughtered intentionally Al Qaeda and ISIS?” Millions slaughtered intentionally by America, all based on BS.

      You mentioned “burned alive”. How many children were burned alive when America deliberately dropped 388,000 tons of napalm on Vietnam? Napalm that was specifically designed to be inextinguishable, burned under water and reached a temperature of over 2,000 degrees F making it often fatal.

      As an American you are not one of the good guys!!

  16. May 9, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    “I did not know then how much had ended. As I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children, lying heaped and scattered all along the bloody gulch, as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream. The nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the Sacred Tree is dead. ”
    – – Black Elk, Lakota Medicine Man, recollecting the Wounded Knee Massacre, December 28,1890.

    What can one say about the moral center of the USA?

    • Typingperson
      May 9, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Beautifully expressed by Black Elk. Thanks for sharing, Jessica K.

      • Bill Bodden
        May 9, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        Beautifully expressed by Black Elk. Thanks for sharing, Jessica K.

        And the empire builders called them savages. Now the real terrorists are calling the resistance terrorists. The names change but the story is just a variation on a theme that has lasted for millennia.

        • Joe Tedesky
          May 10, 2017 at 1:01 am

          I consider the European crime against humanity started in 1492, and forever since colonization and world hegemony has been moving onward destroying indigenous societies as they come. Whether it be Rhodes or Rothschild it all comes out the same. A line I heard on the AMC tv show ‘the Son’ the Native American chief tells a captivev14 year old white boy, ‘I could not get over the surprised look on the white mans face for not knowing why I was about to kill him’…he thought this land was his’.

          • BannanaBoat
            May 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

            Europeans were slaughtering idigenous people hundreds of years earlier. Not that their wars of total annihilation (slaughtering all citizens in a resisting city-state) within and without Europe were insignificant. Asia had its monstrous wars also, for example Genghis Khan, possibly Chinese slaughtering wars. Among indigenous peoples it was comparitively rare, especially before contact, for tribal peoples to totally slaughter their enemy.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm

            Thanks BannanaBoat for degrading my comment with details of your genius grasp of historical facts…. I’m the stupid one for sure. Next time tell me what to write Joe

    • May 10, 2017 at 11:41 am

      The Sacred Tree and the meaning of life snatched away by the business model of destruction and despair: genocide of spirit for profit.

  17. May 9, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you, TypingPerson, Black Elk’s words are so poignant. The United States has become a shameful country, and I am not proud to be an American. Statistics cannot even begin to touch the immensity of the horrors, the deformed babies born, mangled bodies. What is the point of a previous comment about Islam and saving people from slavery being worse than some deaths caused by our military “saviors”? If the evil of the Bush administration’s illegal war in Iraq had not begun this nightmare, would we have so many enraged Islamics? Compassion seems to be lost in today’s abstract reality. Many soldiers have gone to war to “make a living” because jobs are so few. “War is a racket”, as Major General Smedley Butler said. The world will never be whole again if the US aggression is not brought to an end. That goes for NATO, also.

    • May 11, 2017 at 7:48 am

      We dont have a US military anymore…its a pack of mercenaries and their profiteer bosses…I doubt very much that sadaam Hussein would have killed 2 million people across the middle east and africa…wounded many more and scattered even more millions of refugees…the USmilitary has bcome a bloody abomination across the globe, arrogant and without remorse….

      Hoo Ah….what a bunch of heroes…

  18. Joe Tedesky
    May 9, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    When I bring up the wars in the Middle East most people, intelligent people, always come back with how ‘those Arab people have been killing each other for centuries’. If I mention how the U.S. shouldn’t be fighting there in the Middle East, these same smart people agree, but not for the sake of human life, but for the waste of our taxpayer dollars. Rarely does anyone know of someone who is in our military. Okay there always at least one who knows a lady who has a nephew who’s an Army Ranger serving in Afghanistan, but that’s it no one has any skin in the game so be it, except that one aunt and her nephew. If you tell people about Ukraine Nazi’s they look back at you like your crazy, and then they ask, ‘how do you know that’. Just see how many neighbors and relatives know who Victoria Nuland is, good luck with that one. Another question you may ask your friends at the barber shop is, do they know what the AUMF is? Goering was right, leaders lead followers follow, Finally if you even attempt to defend Putin your really asking for it, because every American knows how he is Vlad the Thug.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 9, 2017 at 10:54 pm

      Here is an article describing the role of the private contractors who are hired to do among the many nefarious thing they do, as to fight for the U.S.. Goering would be envious of this manpower asset, that’s for sure.

      http://journal-neo.org/2017/05/09/washingtons-criminal-activities-are-only-getting-messier/

      • Gregory Herr
        May 10, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Joe, thanks for an interesting link. I think it was Blackwater that, besides killing civilians, was at one time contracted to provide services (that the Army used to do for itself) including shower stations that were in cases so poorly rigged that some American soldiers were electrocuted. Am I remembering correctly? I also seem to recall hearing of some morale issues caused by the fact that the contractors in Iraq were so much better paid than soldiers (and they knew this).

        People “always come back with how ‘those Arab people have been killing each other for centuries.”

        Yeah, that is a standard line I’ve heard on far too many occasions. One wit once added that we should sell them all a bunch of guns so they can kill each other while we make money. And no, I seriously doubt he knows who Victoria Nuland is. Best regards Joe.

        • Joe Tedesky
          May 11, 2017 at 9:30 am

          Thanks for your comprehension Gregory.

  19. tina
    May 9, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Trump just sacked Comey. Let the hunger games begin

  20. tina
    May 9, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Oh, my I love our dear leader, and his merry band of cheer leaders, especially the good looking ones. We have no use of all you losers, how many coal miners will get to dig coal again for 5 dollars an hour, so that they are proud? Memo, we like you, but your jobs are gone, Trump will bring my family riches because the tax code, we will get lots more, but those losers in coal country get nothing. And right, they were smart enough to make money, so they deserve to lose. Hey, man it is not my fault that others are stupid, Just because, Trump
    is President, I gotta love that guy. I am going to bed with my special Ivanka Trump pillow, because that is the most terrific pillow, ever,
    it has the TRUMP NAME. I AM A WINNER. I LOVE DONALD AND IVANKA, YES I AM SHOUTING, BECAUSE I NEVER LEARNED TO USE AN INDOOR VOICE. Sorry

    • john wilson
      May 10, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Your’e right Tina. Trump not only has the presidency but he has all the gorgeous women to go with it ! Life just isn’t fair.

  21. tina
    May 10, 2017 at 12:30 am

    You all got what you wanted. Down with the deep state. Comey is fired. I feel so secure that Donald J Trump blew it up. Gotta love the man our Daddy, Hey man I want a coal job right now. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Tomorrow I am heading back to the coal mine job, and making $10.00 per hour no benefits, but hey, DJ Trump got me a job. And we get to get rid of them mooosllums,.Woohoo. That mine is supposed to open next week, but no one knows. I got me a job , maybe. and

  22. Realist
    May 10, 2017 at 1:22 am

    The United States government has a beef with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un, just as it had differences with Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, and Bashar al- Assad of Syria, not with the people of those countries who are powerless to even speak out against America. Yet, the American military was used to mercilessly lay waste to all of the aforementioned countries save North Korea, so far. Although Madeleine Albright would say the carnage was worth it and we were entitled to carry it out because we are an exceptional country, has any honest person out there actually seen an improvement in the human condition in this world because we have slaughtered millions to effect a handful of regime changes?

    Some would even say that the objections posed against those deceased world leaders by Washington were simply contrived and not of any basic import. Does anyone with a functioning cerebrum actually think that human suffering would today be greater in any of those countries if allowed to continue unmolested rather than become the focus of all out war by the US military? Is Afghanistan a more pleasant place since the “War on Terror” began? Are Iraq, Libya and Syria now Platonic Republics or Jeffersonian democracies or are they the closest things to Hell on Earth? Was it worth all the dead and displaced refugees just so Dubya, Obomber, or Hillary could wear the scalps of their dead leaders on their war belts? Will it be worth it or morally justifiable to nuke North Korea, vaporizing millions of hapless folks who have it bad enough already, just so the Donald can join the presidential club of War Criminals and Mass Murderers for the greater glory of Imperial America? Maybe just backing off the threats and allowing the status quo to continue would be the greater accomplishment, to say nothing of hammering out an actual peace treaty 65 years after hostilities ended because Washington ran out of targets in North Korea.

    Mr. Pope in your white satin vestments, you made a logical first baby step in your analysis of the American confrontation of North Korea, now take the argument a LOT further as your religion’s founder would have done. Honest to Pete, besides enriching the MIC, pauperizing the taxpayer and neglecting the country’s infrastructure, what do our leaders think they are accomplishing with these crimes against humanity? If they are trying to break Hitler’s records, they are well on their way.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 10, 2017 at 1:37 am

      Realist as I read your comment I gave thought to what comes next. I picture my grandchildren’s generation will be the frontiersmen and women who will get free land in Iraq, that is if their prepared to fight the savage indigenous of that local frontier. Not to worry Fort Bush will be a days ride, so reinforcements will be within reach.

      What you described, and I humbly expanded on, is what must end. We Americans as a society would do well to come to grips with this country’s warring nature, but that will never happened as long as jets fly over NFL openers. I like jets as much as the next guy or gal, but the national mindset is not a healthy one to have. This mindset is MIC music to the Bankers Elite who have always profited from mankinds weaknesses of fear and security.

    • Truth First
      May 11, 2017 at 11:58 am

      “has any honest person out there actually seen an improvement in the human condition in this world because we have slaughtered millions to effect a handful of regime changes?”

      Many of those “regime changes” were democratically elected governments. The one that started the mess in the Middle East was the overthrow of democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

      • May 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm

        The US has been in Syria since the forties, as well.
        Ask that violent alcoholic CNN reporter Arwa Damon. Her grandfather was president of Syria before a CIA plot did away with him.

  23. Eli
    May 10, 2017 at 3:44 am

    It is war…. it is time you wake up and realize it. When they ran planes into world Trade Center do you think they cared about civilians. When we liberated France in ww2 how many French civilians died due to allied bombing campaigns to liberate them. If we had not how many more Jews would have been slaughtered had Hitler been left in power. How many more Russians would have died had that front jot been opened to liberate Europe. In the end until men stop trying to enforce their will on others whether it be economical, religious, or strategic people will die. I am very sorry to the people of Iraq, Syria, libiya, yeman. They understand war even better than we do. How can you tell because of reporting like this. When your enemy fortifies himself with civilians both will die. It’s a fact in war that can not be avoided. This kinda reporting is just the same as arming him with ammunition to shoot the very soldiers that protect your way of life, your family. It’s this kind of propaganda media that keeps these conflicts churning body counts higher and higher. You try to make villi an of the exact forces that defend your very right to say these things. It is your right to opinion but if you have one try to look at the bigger picture. Those people are not just living peaceably in their territory spreading Daisy’s and promoting the human race. They are executing on you tube innocent people to scare people into conforming to their way of life. A way of life we do not want or will stand around idle and watch be put into practice. If you do not want your civilians to die then stop fighting it’s not like Americans are gonna occupy your homes if you are not are do not intend on shooting them or their families. You want peace then have it. You want death then you will get it and many Americans will lay down their lives civilian or no to let you know this. We will not be scared of you killing us the way that you have we are just gonna kill many, many, more to kill you to stop you from these things. Killing begets killing viscous cycle never ending. Innocent will die with the guilty in perspective only God will be able to judge the difference. God by whatever you decide to call him or believe in him that is your right as a human being. Just remember though we fight for that freedom and many fight to take that away. Once you realize this yes you will be saddened by the death and merciless killing as I am and have been….. As long as there are those who are willing to die to take those rights…. There are many like me who are willing to die to protect them….. To all enemies of that way of life consider that and make the decision to stop killing…. instead of looking for reasons too or justification like this perspective gives people to kill.

    • Realist
      May 10, 2017 at 5:04 am

      You miss the entire point of this article and others like it on this blog. The fact is American troops are NOT fighting for freedom or to protect our way of life. ALL these wars that American troops have been engaged in in the Middle East were wars of choice, wars contrived by our leaders for the purpose of extending American empire and hegemony. The Afghans did not come to America and threaten us. We went there. The Iraqis did not come here to fight America. We went there, and we LIED about why we did so. Iraq had NOTHING to do with the airplanes that struck the World Trade Center. Those would be Saudis. Perhaps the Saudi government was complicit, perhaps not. Perhaps the whole thing was a false flag initiated by the American deep state. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that it was not caused by the narrative supplied by our government and our media, which is nothing but a propaganda tool of that government. Who caused the fighting in Libya that resulted in NATO and America overthrowing the legitimate government and facilitating the assassination of the country’s leader? Libya was no threat to Europe or the United States. Why did we have to essentially destroy their civilisation, destroy their entire infrastructure and leave the country in absolute shambles and chaos? No one seems able to put the pieces back together since WE destroyed the societal organisation within that country and allowed free entry to al Qaeda and other fanatical jihadists. Why the hell are we cooperating with Saudi Arabia in destroying Yemen? We don’t even get a half-assed phony narrative from our government or press to explain that away. The only transparent explanation is that we insist on supporting all the blood-thirsty designs of Saudi Arabia against its neighbors and whatever is to the detriment of Iran, even if that excuse is totally within the realm of fantasy, as is the case in Yemen. You should win a big prize if you can discover any plausible reason why Washington should be picking sides and bombing targets in Somalia or Sudan as neither of these third world countries has the slightest ability to reach and harm the United States. We even bomb Pakistan with our drones, as if that country–which is a nuclear power–doesn’t have the means to police within in own borders. The biggest mind fuck of all is, which you cannot possibly explain with your protection of our “freedom and democracy” bullshit, is what we are doing in Syria. Here we are helping to destroy an elected secular government with a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population, including numerous Christians and Jews, by supporting the most cut-throat fanatical Islamic jihadis, nominally including those that supposedly DID attack the World Trade Center. These terrorists are mercenaries from all over the Islamic world and not Syrian natives. They were recruited, equipped, trained and paid by Uncle Sam and the Saudi Wahabists who have poisoned the Islamic world with their theology of violence and hatred. These are the people who need to be extirpated by true practitioners of freedom, tolerance and peace, but they are the assassins supported by the United States. Eli, you’ve got your head totally screwed on backwards. You see up as down, and black as white. You come to a wrong conclusion on every issue. With your expressed beliefs on the matter, I’d say chances are excellent that you are an Israeli. They are the only people other than American Neocons and Saudi Wahabists who take the crazy world view you seem to have.

      • john wilson
        May 10, 2017 at 5:50 am

        Realist, I don’t know whether you saw my short post above in reply to Mikes post towards the top of the page, but it answers all the questions you pose here.

      • Skip Scott
        May 10, 2017 at 9:29 am

        Thank you, Realist, for your excellent reply. Eli is a perfect example of a mind controlled by the MSM. Unfortunately, there are many more of them than there are of us.

    • BannanaBoat
      May 10, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Syria,Libya.Somalia,Sudan, Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon are all on the Neocon attack list that General Wesley Clarke pubicly revealed on multiple occasions shortly after 9/11. All these wars are mainly to advance the globalists oligarchies agenda. A majority of these nations are or were socialist secular independent of the USA and Arab nationalist ( some are not secular, Arab and/or socialist).

    • Bill Bodden
      May 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Eli: You apparently accept war as a way of resolving conflicts and its victims as “collateral damage.” There are two types of war. One is a just war, the other is a crime against humanity. Most wars, including those in which the United States was a participant, fall into the latter category. There is a consensus that the only just war is one that is strictly defensive.

    • Truth First
      May 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Huhhhhh??

  24. May 10, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Though, being half-Norwegian, I would love Pope Francis to be right in putting Norway forward to act as a mediator between the United States and North Korea, I cannot agree with his choice. The peacemaking Norway of yesteryear no longer exists. Jens Stoltenberg, who was leader of the Labour Party and appointed Prime Minister in 2000, was never nearly as socialist as the title of his party would suggest. Far from it, under his stewardship, the Norwegian government set in process the biggest privatisation of industries ever seen in the country. Even worse, he is now Secretary General of NATO and mainly known for his hawkish adhesion to the anti-Putin stance the organization has taken. With that in mind, the independence of Norway as a mediator can in no way be assured.

    Having been a reasonably regular visitor to my Norwegian family in Oslo from the 1950s onwards. and having just met them again while we were all in England last February, I have witnessed the subtle changes in their attitudes over the years.

    Fomerly staunch socialists, born of a working class, socialist father, they spent their childhoods in cramped social housing. As beneficiaries of Norway’s excellent social welfare system, they received good educations and excellent medical attention. As they gradually climbed the social ladder, which the system enabled them to do, they began to take on middle class values, becoming evermore right wing in direct proportion to their earnings and the number of properities they were able to buy or inherited. Yet they seem totally unaware of the transformation that has taken place, labouring under the delusion they are socialists, despite their patronising jokes against immigrants, and subtle, but noticeable, nationalisitic tendencies.

    Despite all that, my love for my Norwegian family, Norway and its people remains undimmed. However, it shames me to see the way this once proud nation is bowing down before its imperial masters on the other side of the Atlantic.

    • Realist
      May 10, 2017 at 5:58 am

      It’s almost like creation of the EU was a bait and switch operation. One thought it was meant to be an economic competitor, but also partner, to the United States and China, doing as much trade as possible with Russia to bind that country and its resources to the West. Turns out, it simply created a monolithic vassal to the United States which has recently received marching orders to shut out Russia from as much trade, and polite diplomacy, with the West as possible, probably because Russia was going to become a link to China via OBOR, leaving Washington fearful of being left behind in the economic dust. What it can’t win or preserve in free and open business, production and commerce, Washington plans to use pure military force to keep or seize. It’s too bad really, as America would have thrived even without being the sole monolithic power on the planet. Now everyone is insecure and nukes are on hair trigger. Not the way to plan for a future, unless you are an oligarch and consider most of the other 7.5 billion people on the planet nothing more than your toys.

      • Skip Scott
        May 10, 2017 at 9:36 am

        I think the US (and the Globalizing Corporate Warmongers) thought that they could continue the looting that they began under Yeltsin. Putin put a stop to it, so he must be destroyed. Therefore our EU vassals must ostracize Russia until they have a more compliant leader. Putin’s nationalism does not fit in with their plans for global fascism.

    • Bill Bodden
      May 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

      As they gradually climbed the social ladder, which the system enabled them to do, they began to take on middle class values, becoming evermore right wing in direct proportion to their earnings …

      I have witnessed this aspect of human nature at work in various forms on many occasions.

      There is a legend attached to Benjamin Franklin. Reportedly, after the constitutional convention in Philadelphia he was asked, “What have your wrought?” His response, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

  25. May 10, 2017 at 4:59 am

    For over 70 years America and its NATO puppets have made troubles all over the planet Earth with all impunities. As long as we will keep that “fucken” UN in New-York and do not set a total embargo of that sick country, Nothing will change. BRICS wake-up; so far you are just “chicken shit”, Nothing else…

  26. May 10, 2017 at 8:42 am

    This article by Mr. Davies is so important that I am going to the library to print it and make copies for friends and relatives; especially the statement of factors that are used to legitimize the continuation of the never-ending bloodbath. How long will it take for Americans to demand an end to these wars?

    A friend of mine, who is working to expose the Fukushima disaster, stated the irony of the only country to have the nuclear bomb used on it, now being the country which is “nuking” the earth’s ocean.

    • jo6pac
      May 10, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Sad isn’t it:(

      • May 10, 2017 at 11:46 am

        Yes, Joe Biden. Joe Bidon

  27. dudu
    May 12, 2017 at 7:55 am

    what about the earlier “Shock & Awe” of 2001 when three skyscrapers were demolished. These shocking scenes were unleashed on the domestic American population in order to bring the US on board for the long-awaited “War On Terror” resource wars, to destabilise, degrade and destroy all Washington-TelAviv challengers in the Middle East?

  28. Brian
    May 12, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Oct 8, 2016 Afghanistan: 15 Years of Invasion and Occupation

    15 years after NATO’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the 9/11 and Al Qaeda lies that were used to justify the war have disappeared. Now the truth about oil and gas, mineral wealth, opium and naked imperial ambition are all that remain.

    https://youtu.be/UBOdbkqVGAY

  29. May 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    “…but has gone silent as U.S. warplanes slaughter innocents in Mosul and Raqqa…”

    And Sana’a. The US media is completely absent from the war in Yemen and the reason is that the atrocities being committed by the coalition cannot be blamed on anyone else. There are no pictures coming out of Yemen, but many pictures from Syria emerged in order to smear Assad. The pictures from Yemen are worse. The coalition is using cluster bombs and white phosphorus munitions, illegally. The media is complicit in their silence.
    **GRAPHIC CONTENT – VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES**
    https://atokenmanblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/meanwhile-in-yemen/
    follow-up: https://atokenmanblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/yemen-follow-up/
    THIS IS NOT SPAM, THIS IS IMPORTANT and my blog is non-monetized.

  30. Gregor
    May 17, 2017 at 11:54 am

    To John wilson May 10, 2017 at 4:11 am
    ” For example, some of my colleagues really do believe that the Russians… and no amount of protestation on my part
    is able to change…When I try to draw their attention to…sites like this, they simply scoff and tell me I’m into fake news an(d)
    conspiracy …Logic just doesn’t come into it, there is a blind spot…which appears to be immovable.”
    Dear John Wilson, I have encountered the same brick wall with people, even with my own siblings who were brought up
    in a progressive; even CP, “tradition” in the fifties. My father was in the Abe Lincoln Brigade. My mother, also CP. Of my five siblings, I’m the only one that is even willing to read Consortium News or even understands the government of Syria’s
    point of view, or supports the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lughansk or feels that Putin was justified for accepting
    the urgings of the people of Crimea. Or sees the evil of NATO and the US ruling clique neocons and neo-liberals et al.
    I have come to understand that different people’s points of view or Weltanshauang is often part of a psychological and
    physiological defense against deep emotional, early, pain; Primal pain that is. Their points of view are tightly woven into
    an unconscious defense against feeling some early devastating pain in their lives and therefore is so extremely rigid and immovable. I probably don’t express it well but I recommend the works of Dr Arthur Janov who discovered or figured out
    Primal Therapy which is about much more than just a “scream.” There, I believe, one might find the answer as to why,
    as you say,”Logic just doesn’t come into it, there is a blind spot there which appears to be immovable.”
    Unfortunately or fortunately, as it were, nobody in the whole world has gotten this spot on correct and right as has
    Arthur Janov, his wife, France, and their colleagues, working hard in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California.
    Look it up! Their work is empirical, totally scientific, and as important as the work of Charles Darwin. However,
    unfortunately largely ignored by the greater psychiactric and scientific community. Or not understood or intentionally,
    or unintentionally misunderstood. I apologize to Dr. Janov for any inaccuracies in my attempted, brief explanation or
    portrayal.
    But therein, John, I find the answer of why people seem so unreasonable, and seem to believe the stupidest things like Russia’s imagined or invented involvement in the 2016 US election.

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