American Empire, War Non-Violence - Courtesy

On War – and Its Effects on Humans

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Quotes from the e-newsletter I get from Information Clearing House.

… the United States, for generations, has sustained two parallel but opposed states of mind about military atrocities and human rights:
one of U.S. benevolence, generally held by the public,
and the other of ends-justify-the-means brutality sponsored by counterinsurgency specialists.
Normally the specialists carry out their actions in remote locations with little notice in the national press. That allows the public to sustain its faith in a just America, while hard-nosed security and economic interests are still protected in secret.
-Robert Parry, investigative reporter and author

The only place you and I disagree . . . is with regard to the bombing. You’re so goddamned concerned about the civilians, and I don’t give a damn. I don’t care …
I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. . . Does that bother you?
I just want you to think big.
– Richard Nixon to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the Watergate tapes

This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.
– Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our men . . . have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of 10 up …
Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to “make them talk,” and have taken prisoners people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later. .. stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down, as examples to those who found their bullet-loaded corpses.
– Philadelphia Ledger newspaper in 1901, from its Manila [Philippines] correspondent during the US war with Spain for the control of the Philippines

And let me add a quote of my own. From Proverbs, chapter 24:

11 Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it
?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

 

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2 Comments

  • I wish to comment separately from the Habakkuk verses above, for I would not infer the prophet’s words lacked anything.

    In the specific case of the US, the verse echoes painfully:

    WOE TO HIM WHO INCREASES WHAT IS NOT HIS– FOR HOW LONG– AND MAKES HIMSELF RICH WITH LOANS?’

    “WILL NOT YOUR CREDITORS RISE UP SUDDENLY, AND THOSE WHO COLLECT FROM YOU AWAKEN? INDEED, YOU WILL BECOME PLUNDER FOR THEM.

    While every imperialistic empire has extinguished its economic vitality with debt, and while the US and Europe still labor under the weight of even centuries-old war debts, no one has ever succeeded in doing what the US has done now.

    Specifically, the nation has literally “made itself rich with loans.” This is what is fueling all the war efforts – foreign creditors buying treasury instruments have created the US national debt.

    Furthermore those creditors have not wanted to keep T-notes, but have exchanged them on Wall Street for “high yield” products – in particular, all the phony-value real estate securities which recently have fallen into such ill repute.

    (I assume readers here know yesterday was “Black Monday” and that all the nations’ investment banks are slated for collapse.)

    It gets worse. Because the US dollar has functioned as the world’s “international reserve currency” – which is to say it literally took the place of gold in foreign central banks – it is what foreign governments collected by billions and trillions to back up the value of their own currencies – because of this, if the US dares default on all its debts, it will take the rest of the world’s economies with it. China holds at least 1.2 trillion in hundred dollar bill notes.

    Does anyone believe the nuclear weapons voodoo can forestay the inevitable forever? The US has put itself in a position where foreign governments unanimously are extremely angry about putting the world economy in peril. North Korea has over a million armed men, trained to march like clockwork, who long to destroy the US. Now the US is encompassed by enemies who have lent money to it for all its wars, and it looks like the US will be forced to default on all its debts.

    Not only that. Look who the major creditors are. They are all former “enemies.” These are the very nations the US went into debt to fight in the first place: Japan, China, Russia, Korea and others.

    Japan hasn’t forgotten about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Little known by the public is that Viet Nam was a proxy war with China. And probably even people in their 20’s are aware of the “cold war” with Russia.

    Korea, the coldest, most violently martial dictatorship (a cult of something like emporer worship surrounds Kim Jong Il, their “president for eternity), was one of the war victims of the US, and not long ago. They have not forgotten. They are becoming ever angrier.

    So not only does the US literally sell the public debt of its people to the “enemies” they went broke to fight, but further incenses these putative enemies by going foul on all the debt!

    Footnote from history: Habakkuk and the other “minor prophets” (Nevi’im to the Hebrews) all concur on the bloody, sudden end of Babylon.

    But! the original Babylon of Iraq just petered away, gradually slipping under foreign domination. No such instant, national carnage occurred in history like Habakkuk envisions.

    Therefore either the Nevi’im were mistaken… or they meant the entity Babylon of the last days.

    Just saying.

  • Larry, you sure do bait me well!

    I’ll let Habakkuk have the floor…

    I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.

    Then the LORD answered me and said, ” Record the vision And inscribe {it} on tablets, THAT THE ONE WHO READS IT MAY RUN [emphasis mine].

    “FOR THE VISION IS YET FOR THE APPOINTED TIME; IT HASTENS TOWARD THE GOAL AND IT WILL NOT FAIL. THOUGH IT TARRIES, WAIT FOR IT; FOR IT WILL CERTAINLY COME, IT WILL NOT DELAY. [emphasis mine]

    “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

    “Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples.

    “WILL NOT ALL OF THESE TAKE UP A TAUNT-SONG AGAINST HIM, EVEN MOCKERY {AND} INSINUATIONS AGAINST HIM AND SAY, ‘ WOE TO HIM WHO INCREASES WHAT IS NOT HIS– FOR HOW LONG– AND MAKES HIMSELF RICH WITH LOANS?’

    “WILL NOT YOUR CREDITORS RISE UP SUDDENLY, AND THOSE WHO COLLECT FROM YOU AWAKEN? INDEED, YOU WILL BECOME PLUNDER FOR THEM.

    “BECAUSE YOU HAVE LOOTED MANY NATIONS, ALL THE REMAINDER OF THE PEOPLES WILL LOOT YOU– BECAUSE OF HUMAN BLOODSHED AND VIOLENCE DONE TO THE LAND, TO THE TOWN AND ALL ITS INHABITANTS [emphasis mine]

    “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house To put his nest on high, To be delivered from the hand of calamity!

    “You have devised a shameful thing for your house By cutting off many peoples; So you are sinning against yourself.

    “Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.

    “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence!

    “Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing?

    “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.

    “Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make {them} drunk So as to look on their nakedness!

    “You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your {own} nakedness. The cup in the LORD’S right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace {will come} upon your glory.

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