Has the table turned? Already?

15 Jul, '03

The American public seem to have turned against Mr. Bush and his administration which at the moment is quagmired in a defensive position with various conflicting reports about those “sixteen words” in his State of the Union address.

They deserve what they get. In this area of the world just about everyone was against Saddam, but are also completely against the way the US went about removing him — without international legitimacy and now it appears with lies!

At least when Clinton lied, no one died! The next few weeks should be interesting…

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  1. msandersen says:

    As The Worm Turns

    Yes, it’s odd how he seems to relive his daddy’s career. Let’s hope so, anyway. Americans are easily distracted by a patriotic war, but once the pretty pictures on CNN are over, people are more interested in the day-to-day bread and butter issues that affect them personally. That’s how Bush Sr’s popularity evaporated all of a sudden, and why even with the huge multi-billion dollar monthly cost of the “War On Terror” (WOT?), and a massive 700 billion dollar deficit, he’ll push those ridiculous tax cuts through to stimulate the economy and the voter’s wallet.

    Those “death cards” show just how media-savvy the US army is. The Chinese or Russians traditionally hasn’t worried about public perception, but in the US a nice little war can be an election winner. It’s a rather ugly gimmick, especially as many Americans will know of the death cards of the Special Forces operating duringthe Vietnam War in particular, where small assasination units would go in behind enemy lines and assasinate VietCong leaders, leaving a Death card with the insignia of the unit to let them know who did it, without leaving proof they were American.

    Incidentally, the blank refusal of the US to sign up to allow international courts to try any Americans for War Crimes is telling. I don’t know if any of the 17 accusations from the current war have any basis, but historically they have a bad reputation. In Afghanistan since the”end” of that war, over 200 civilians have died from “friendly fire” (trigger-happy cowboys, as the British termed them). An ugly term right up there with “ethnic cleansing” and “final solution”.
    A lot has been said about the Vietnam War, but also in many of the smaller conflicts or incursions. The Panama war, for instance. No cameras, no witnesses to the hundreds of disappeared. 20,000 poor people were made homeless when they torched a shantytown because they didn’t care for urban guerilla warfare. Who knows if anybody died in the fire or ensuing panic. They’re poor people, nobody cares.

    In the Korean war, America has only admitted to one of the 71 incidents of war crimes, then only very recently after reporters meticulously gathered the evidence and witness statements. Most stem from the same order, which the top brass deny, but soldiers swear was issued, to eliminate all refugees drifting into a warzone, as they couldn’t tell civilians from combatants (unarmed children and old people ought to be an indicator). It involved concentrated fire from mortars, machine guns, strafing aircraft, and in one incident, a battleship opening up on a refugee camp of several hundred people seeking safety near the Americans on a beach.

    It’s not hard to argue that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes, as they were civilian targets spared from the beginning of the bombardment of Japan, as the US military knew they needed test targets, and wanted to see the effect on an untouched city and population. When Roosevelt (I think that was the president at the time) signed for the bomb, he signed for both to be dropped, as they had developed two types. There really never was any doubt both would be dropped. Also, the cold war had begun already, and they wanted to send a graphic message to Stalin. As has been revealed in declassified documents, the projected casualties of a conventional invasion was grossly exaggerated for the purpose of justifying the use of the bomb. What doesn’t get mentiond much either is that Japan had attempted to surrender for the months leading up to it, but they had made the condition that they leave their revered Emperor alone. America didn’t want to accept any conditions. Japans also made the mistake of going through an intermediary – Stalin! – because Russia wasn’t at war with them at the time, and they wanted to save face. But Stalin had plans to invade Japan himself. He’d gathered a huge army to invade Manchuria in China, and once the first bomb was dropped, he started one of the greatest invasions of history, sweeping the Japanese forces aside. But it was too late. They managed to get hold of the north island, which they hold still and is a political hot topic between them. For this reasons, America needed Japan to surrender to [b]them[/b] before Russia could grab any more land. Interrogations after the war with the Japanese government and military leaders on the war council revealed it was the entry of Russia in the war which tipped the balance. The military had only revealed to the government that a city was devastated with few military losses (true; it was a civilian target). Then came Nagasaki, and there was a deadlock between the civilian government who wanted to surrender, and the military who wanted to fight honourably to the last man. In the end, they asked the Emperor to decide. He’d been involved in the secret peace negotiations, so not surptisingly he went for unconditional surrender. In any event, McArthur decided to spare him and keep him on as a focus for the Japaneses people, trying to prosecute him would have meant more trouble than it was worth. So the condition for surrender they had made before the bombs were dropped was upheld anyway. So what did the millions of people die for then? Is that not a war crime?

    Martin 🙁

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