America's March Madness
America's March Madness
Last month, I touched on a fraction of February's forgotten history vis-Ã -vis
In WWII's Pacific theaterâ€¹cheered on by the likes of Time magazine, which explained that "properly kindled, Japanese cities will burn like autumn leaves"â€¹U.S. General Curtis LeMay's Twenty-first Bomber Command, laid siege on the poorer areas of Japan's large cities. On the night of March 9-10, 1945, the target was
After learning of the horrors his bomb had wrought on
"In all my years in the Army I was never taught that communists were human beings," said U.S. Lieutenant William Calley. "We were there to kill ideology carried by-I don't know-pawns, blobs of flesh. I was there to destroy communism. We never conceived of people, men, women, children, babies."
The date was March 16, 1968. "Under the command of Lieutenant William L. Calley, Charlie Company of the Americal Division's Eleventh Infantry had 'nebulous orders' from its company commander, Captain Ernest Medina, to 'clean the village out'," explains historian Kenneth Davis. All they found at
When the truth about
While it was subsequently cited as one of the many spurious pretexts for the second Gulf War, the U.S. and Britain did not call for a military strike after Iraq's gassing of Kurds at Halabja in March 1988. "When Saddam bombed Kurdish rebels and civilians with a lethal cocktail of mustard gas, sarin, tabun, and VX in 1988, the Reagan administration first blamed Iran, before acknowledging that the culprits were Saddam's own forces," explained reporters Christopher Dickey and Evan Thomas. "There was only token official protest at the time. Saddam's men were unfazed. An Iraqi audiotape, later captured by the Kurds, records Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid talking to his fellow officers about gassing the Kurds." On that tape, al-Majid, a.k.a. Chemical Ali, asks: "Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them!" Right on cue,
March 17: President George W. Bush declares, "The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it."
March 18: On Good Morning America the president's mother asks: "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"
March 20: The day mistakenly considered the "beginning" of the Iraq War. This "war" began when the Security Council imposed comprehensive sanctions against Iraq on August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq invaded Kuwait...and has continued unabated (via bombings, sanctions, invasion, and occupation) since then.
Postscript: Some of the reactions to my February article demonstrated shameful ignorance of and/or tacit support for transparent crimes against humanity. Many chose to fall back on excuses along the lines of "every country has such episodes in its history" and/or "you have to break some eggs to make an omelet." For example: "What modern nation state isn't like this? If a nation has power, it abuses it. Why would we be any different?" It seems the decency bar has been lowered (to say the least). Also, since no other nation claims moral superiority with more frequency than the
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.