August 12, 2021 by Dave Lindorff
photo above: AC-130 Spectre gunship rains random death from the sky in the name of America (US Air Force photo)
WN: So much for “Mr. Nice Guy Biden”–who is just one more of a long line of Presidential mass murderers. The West fawns over his repeated–indeed admirable–rising above personal tragedy; but completely ignores his meting out massive personal tragedy indiscriminately through mass mayhem and slaughter “over there.” Like, right now! Praised be Good Ol’ Temper Tantrum Joe!
American Empire Hubris writ large: The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ […] ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality–judiciously, as you will–we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’–recorded by journalist Ron Suskind in 2004, during George W. Bush administration (Emphasis added)1
For after all, It’s All Fun and War Games at the [Travelling] Air Show! Indeed, one worldwide since World War II. Wow!–longest non-stop Mass Murder Gig in world history! And with this latest shock and awe display, no sign whatsoever of slowing down . . .
The complete, utter failure of the Afghan National Army, absent our hand-holding, to defend their country is a blistering indictment of a failed 20-year strategy predicated on the belief that billions of U.S taxpayer dollars could create an effective, democratic central government in a nation that has never had one, Senator Chris Murphy said this week on the Senate floor.
And the Taliban in comparison to the U.S./West?: almost Sunday School types over against the sheer gargantuan volume of murder, slaughter and mayhem routinely carried out around the world–to “impose the customs of civilization3);” to advance “civilization.4”
So on second thought, thanks Mr. President for again proving to the world who’s Rightful Greatest Mass Murderer: the U.S. and its sycophantic lockstep Allies.
This statement is very telling:
. . . the Taliban . . . to this day has never attacked the US, but only US forces inside the country. It’s a response which should properly be called “national defense” against an invading power.
See too this post: Empire or Humanity?
In what can only be called a criminal and murderous tantrum by a loser, the United States, on the order of President Joe Biden, has begun dispatching B-52 Stratofortress bombers and AC-130 fixed-wing gunships equipped with large Gatling machine guns and a cannon to carpet-bomb and perpetrate mass killing on Taliban forces surging to victory across Afghanistan.The bloody attack by unchallengeable air power in a country that Biden has already withdrawn troops from will not stop the collapse of the US puppet regime in Kabul, and the complete takeover of battered Afghanistan by the Islamic group that the US ousted from power in 2001 and that it has been battling now for two decades. Victory by the tenacious Taliban fighters who have driven the US military out is a foregone conclusion.
To our enemies it says that the United States can be beaten. In fact if it can be beaten by the Taliban, who cannot beat the United States, really. As an enemy we are toothless, as an ally we are treacherous.–Cliff May, founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; US risks faltering on world stage amid chaotic Afghanistan exit
All this outrageous and pathetic US tantrum does is slaughter fighters who are struggling to recover their country from a US military that had no business occupying the war-torn country in the first place, while inevitably killing large numbers of innocent civilian men, women and children who are in harm’s way of this broad, untargeted assault.
B-52s, 1950s relics of the Cold War, fly at above 40,000 feet and drop their up to 35-ton payload of bombs and probably fragmentation weapons on broad “target zones” that they cannot possibly see or analyze.
As for the AC-130 Spectre gunships — large four-engine jets equipped with an array of weaponry that allows them to spray a large area with devastating numbers of large-caliber projectiles — these are weaponized platforms of mass murder. It was an AC-130 that destroyed a large and well-marked and identified Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kandahar in 2015 during a time the Taliban had taken over most of that city. That one war crime killed 42 patients and medical workers at the hospital. Under international pressure and facing domestic protests too, the Pentagon eventually “disciplined” 16 military officials, but none were criminally prosecuted in what the US passed off as a series of “mistakes.”
There are sure to be a lot of such “mistakes” being made now in the current futile and petulant US aerial assault on Afghanistan.
Biden, in announcing the pullout of US troops from Afghanistan, pointedly said that the US would continue to use airpower against advancing Taliban forces, even as he said the US was ending the Afghanistan War it began back in October 2001 following the 9-11 attacks. He tried to claim that the US wasn’t losing but was leaving because the “objective” of destroying Al Qaeda, had been “achieved.”
That claim is laughable! Not only did Al Qaeda quickly regroup in Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, What perhaps began as an effort to destroy alleged Al Qaeda training camps in that Afghanistan, quickly morphed into an attack not on Al Qaeda, most of which organization’s forces, including founder Osama bin Laden, quickly fled to the safety of neighboring Pakistan, but rather on the Taliban government, which to this day has never attacked the US, but only US forces inside the country. It’s a response which should properly be called “national defense” against an invading power.
Almost from the beginning then, the US war on Afghanistan and the occupation of its main cities by US forces and a puppet Afghan military trained and funded by the US, was a criminal act of imperialist aggression and occupation, aimed at giving the US control of a country strategically located between Iran, China and Pakistan and blessed with vast stores of valuable minerals.
If Biden were correct in saying the US war objective in Afghanistan had been met, there would be no justification (nor is there) for bombing the Taliban as they retake power in the country. It’s their country, they fought to get the US out, and now they’ve won, or will win, bombings or no bombings.
One wonders, as we pass that sad 76th anniversary of another pointless and monstrously deadly bombing — the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the last days of Imperial Japan — whether like that horrific war crime, this criminal bombing of Afghanistan is actually aimed at another country far from Afghanistan.
Could it be that just as President Truman, in vaporising several hundred thousand Japanese civilians, was actually “sending a message” to the Soviet Union that the US had a super weapon and was ready to use it again, this new fit of imperial pique by Commander in Chief Biden was aimed, perhaps, at China — a message that the US was not to be pushed around in the South China Sea or the Taiwan Strait.
Truman’s message had little impact on Soviet behavior, simply encouraging the USSR to double down on getting its own atom bomb before the US could build enough of its new super weapon to launch a treacherous pre-emptive nuclear blitz on its wartime ally. Biden’s message, if that’s what it was, to China will be similarly ignored, particularly as, unlike the Taliban, China has the defensive weapons to easily take down any B-52 that might dare to venture into Chinese airspace.
Please click on: Good Ol’ Temper Tantrum Joe!
- The source of the quotation was guessed to be Bush’s senior advisor Karl Rove, although Rove has denied saying it.
- “St. Augustine, a major contributor to the just war tradition, argued that, despite the horror of war and the pain and suffering that soldiers inflict on one another, war can be fought without violating the law of charity: to fight without hatred and with compassion is a basic moral imperative.” –A . J. Coates, The Ethics of War, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997
- Tami Biddle wrote that when aerial warfare was still only imagined in the 19th century, it meant
English-speaking peoples raining incendiary bombs over the enemy to impose the customs of civilization (Biddle, Tami (2002). Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare: the Evolution of British and American Ideas about Strategic Bombing, 1914-1945, Princeton: Princeton University Press; italics added).
The white man’s (at least the West’s) noble burden indeed.
- And besides nonstop murder and mayhem, what has the West’s 40 years of neoliberalism economics delivered? See C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout, Average Global Temperature Has Risen Steadily Under 40 Years of Neoliberalism. (There is much on my website about neoliberalism.) We read:
In short, neoliberalism is fundamentally a program of champagne socialism for big corporations, Wall Street and the rich, and “let them eat cake” capitalism for almost everyone else.
Amid our current summer of unprecedented wildfires and flooding, the consequences of global warming are now everywhere before us. But we need to be clear on the extent to which global warming and the rise of neoliberal dominance have been intertwined. Indeed, as of 1980, the year Ronald Reagan took office, the average global temperature was still at a safe level, equal to that of the preindustrial period around 1800. Under 40 years of neoliberalism, the average global temperature has risen relentlessly, to where it is now 1.0 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial average. Climate scientists have insisted that we cannot allow the global average temperature to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial level. Moreover, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released its Sixth Assessment Report, which projects we will be breaching this 1.5-degree threshold by 2040 unless we enact fundamental changes in the way the global economy operates. Step one must be to stop burning oil, coal and natural gas to produce energy. Under neoliberalism, we have allowed fossil fuel companies to continue profiting off of destroying the planet.
Bailout operations of this sort have occurred with near-clockwork regularity throughout the neoliberal era, starting with Ronald Reagan. Thus, in 1983 under Reagan, the U.S. government reached a then peacetime high in the U.S. for federal deficit spending, at 5.7 percent of GDP. At the time, the U.S. and global economy were still mired in the second phase of the severe double-dip recession that lasted from 1980 to ‘82. Reagan was also facing a reelection campaign in 1984. Of course, both as a political candidate and all throughout his presidency, Reagan preached loudly that big government was always the problem, never the solution. Yet Reagan did not hesitate to flout his own rhetoric in overseeing a massive fiscal bailout when he needed it.
Neoliberalism is not “bad economics” for big corporations, Wall Street and the rich. To the contrary, neoliberalism has been working out extremely well for these groups. The regular massive bailout operations have been neoliberalism’s life-support system. It is due to these bailouts, first and foremost, that neoliberalism remains today as the dominant economic policy framework globally.