It is a scandal in contemporary international law, don’t forget, that while “wanton destruction of towns, cities and villages” is a war crime of long standing, the bombing of cities from airplane goes not only unpunished but virtually unaccused. Air bombardment is state terrorism, the terrorism of the rich. It has burned up and blasted apart more innocents in the past six decades than have all the antistate terrorists who ever lived. Something has benumbed our consciousness against this reality. In the United States we would not consider for the presidency a man who had once thrown a bomb into a crowded restaurant, but we are happy to elect a man who once dropped bombs from airplanes that destroyed not only restaurants but the buildings that contained them and the neighborhoods that surrounded them. I went to Iraq after the Gulf war and saw for myself what the bombs did; “wanton destruction” is just the term for it.
C. Douglas Lummis, political scientist
As the high altitude pulverising of Libya by NATO continues into its fifth month, it seems a good time to pause for a reality check, if only to counterbalance the continued mainstream media talk of humanitarianism.
The bombing campaign targets, typically for this US/NATO strategy, include more non-military civilian infrastructure (schools, hospitals, residential areas, and utility (water/electric) plants) than military. As if the obliteration of every aspect of civilian infrastructure necessary for normal life weren’t enough, the bombardment, again typically for US/NATO attacks, includes the use of Depleted Uranium weapons. For those of you who missed that class, Depleted Uranium, a “highly mobile indiscriminate killer and permanent terrain contaminant,” is defined by The Geneva Convention as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
This article by Middle East Consultant Peter Eyre discusses the problem also points out the dangers to the rest of the world posed by the use of this type of munition, in the form of airborne radioactive particles in the depleted uranium gas and dust that is widely circulated and transported in many directions around the globe.
The narrative of Psyclone draws attention to the fact that DU affects not only civilians, noncombatants, in the country they’re used, but also, due to airborne dispersion, civilians in countries on the other side of the planet:
‘But most of all the public needs to be told how NATO’s weapons of mass destruction are poisoning other countries around the world including this one. The U.S. has permanently contaminated the global atmosphere with radiation that has a half-life of two and a half billion years. Under the right conditions one alpha particle of uranium causes cancer. A pinhead of DU releases 12,000 alpha particles a second. I’ve seen a buried report that shows that uranium aerosols have been blown up here on wind currents from the war zone resulting in concentrations of uranium over Reading high enough to alert the Environment Agency, who decided that nobody needed to know.
‘I have nightmares about the children I’ve seen with horrific birth defects caused by the tonnes of uranium that’s been used in the war. And I mean horrific Dyl’, mutations a special effects crew would find hard to replicate.’
He shook his head.
‘I’ve cried so hard, for those kids, for their poor families. And it’s going to happen here too, it’s happening already, look at the exponentially rising cancer statistics. Wait until we start getting babies born in Berkshire with their intestines on the outside.
(The hyperlinks above appear as entries in the appendix of Psyclone)
Which is relevant, very relevant, but not the point I set out to make in this post. The aim of this post is to point out how many countries the US has ‘humanitarianly’ bombed.
In his book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, William Blum lists the countries that the US has bombed since 1950:
The bombing list
Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
El Salvador 1980s
Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
Bosnia 1994, 1995
Iraq 1991-2003 (US/UK on regular basis)
Somalia 2007-8, 2011
Yemen 2009, 2011
Iran, April 2003 — hit by US missiles during bombing of Iraq, killing at least one person
Pakistan, 2002-03 — bombed by US planes several times as part of combat against the Taliban and other opponents of the US occupation of Afghanistan
China, 1999 — its heavily bombed embassy in Belgrade is legally Chinese territory, and it appears rather certain that the bombing was no accident (see chapter 25)
France, 1986 — After the French government refused the use of its air space to US warplanes headed for a bombing raid on Libya, the planes were forced to take another, longer route; when they reached Libya they bombed so close to the French embassy that the building was damaged and all communication links knocked out.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1985 — A bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor’s office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict a black organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.
As Blum points out, the United States is an equal-opportunity bomber. The only qualifications for a country to become a target are: (1) It poses a sufficient obstacle to the desires of the American Empire; (2) It is virtually defenseless against aerial attack.
(William Blum is the author of: “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” “West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir” (2002), and “Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire” (2004). His books have been translated into more 15 foreign languages.)
I highly recommend his Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire and his monthly Anti-Empire Reports at http://www.killinghope.org
In War Propaganda: Western Media Promotes NATO Terror Bombing of Libya Stephen Lendman details the other WMD (Weapon of Mass Deception) used in tandem with the Weapons of Mass Destruction that encourage a public apathy in the face of the continued US genocide and expansionism.
I leave you with another quote from Psyclone:
It’s them and their cronies that are behind this global expansionism. They’re a private, for profit, off-the-shelf, regime-change industry. They fight the wars, organise the occupation that follows, rebuild the ruined infrastructure, recruit new governments, and manage the post-war economy.
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