THE EVERLASTING FOG OF WAR
Missing from much of the corporate-sponsored debate about the Bush administration’s nuclear ambitions is the issue of historical context. While Bushie officials and their sycophantic pundits wax on about the dangers of letting those crazy Iranians get nukes, none of them ever mentions who has– for the last 60+ years– been the world’s largest purveyor of technologically-assisted mass human extinguishment.
It was the U.S. who began the arms race by nuking two Japanese cities for the primary purpose of flexing muscle in front of Stalin’s USSR. Never mind the horridly cynical propaganda (embraced by the ignorant masses) about the nuclear attacks “saving lives”; Mickey Z. has compiled an impressive array of publicly available knowledge to the contrary. A comprehensive condensation of that information can be found here.
It was the U.S. who bombed, burned, and strafed to death millions of Asians in its war against those peoples’ struggles for self-determination. Napalm, cluster bombs, and saturation bombing were all part of the U.S. empire’s efforts to save the little brown savages from communism by killing them off.
It was the U.S. who played both sides against each other in the bloody, bitterly fought Iran/Iraq War. While selling Saddam Hussein components of some of the worst chemical and biological weapons known to mankind, and giving him a nudge and a wink while he used them on civilian populations, the Reagan administration was selling arms to Iran to help fund its proxy war of terrorism against the popular government of Nicaragua. Millions of people in both hemispheres suffered death, poverty, and misery, largely due to the U.S.’s satanic patriot games.
So now the U.S. wants to claim moral license to play the world’s nuclear policeman. While it wages war in Iraq to try and subjugate its people and gain permanent control of its strategic soil and oil, the U.S. beats the drums of war against Iran, which appears to be playing nuclear poker with the world (perhaps motivated by an understandable self-preservation reflex).
Meanwhile, the U.S. turns a blind eye to the illegal nuclear program of Israel, even as it blindly supports that rogue nation’s brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine. Worse yet, the U.S. maintains a nuclear arsenal capable of destroying dozens of Earths, and shows no desire to scale back and dismantle any of it. (This t-shirt humorously illustrates the scope of the U.S.’s nuclear weapons industry.) In fact, many lunatics orbiting and infesting the Bush administration are seriously considering using nuclear weapons against perceived enemies.
How much of the U.S. electorate is galled by their putatively representative government’s apocalyptic hypocrisy? How much of the electorate is even aware to the point of understanding the implications? A great many people breathed a sigh of relief when the Berlin Wall fell; to them, it signaled the practical end to the threat of global nuclear annihilation. However, the messianic gremlins of the Bush administration currently seem hell-bent on resurrecting the nuclear arms race.
Harry Truman demonstrated that he was willing to use nuclear weapons against civilians in order to make a political statement. He needed only to manufacture a flimsy excuse of military necessity, and the U.S. public (already inclined to view the Japanese as subhuman) enthusiastically blessed his atrocities. What would it take for today’s benighted U.S. throngs to accept ‘tactical’ nuclear strikes against their dark-skinned siblings half a world away? If the public’s response to the Bush administration’s post-9/11 imperial excesses is any indication, it might not take much.
UPDATE (8/2; 1643 hrs Central): I forgot to mention that this post is intended to answer the weekly topic of Nuclear Combat at the Progressive Blogger Union.