Chemical Weapons Victims — Theirs and Ours: The Power of Photos

takeoverworld.info

It is extremely interesting to compare the Trump administration’s response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and its apparent ignorance of similar weapons use by the U.S. and U.K. in Fallujah in March and November of 2004 under the leadership of Mad Dog Mattis, our current Secretary of Defense.

We all know about Mr. Trump’s reaction a few days ago to the deployment of chemical weapons in Syria.

In the face of denials by the Syrian government, and on evidence that remains undisclosed, the Trump crowd was determined to “punish” the al-Assad government for the heinous crime of using chemical weapons.

In his justification for “punitive measures” on April 6th, President Trump paid particular attention to the photographic evidence of chemical weapons use by the al-Assad government. Specifically, he reminded us of the child victims involved.

The pictures Mr. Trump was referring to included these:

Haley Gas Victims

And this one:

Gas Victims

And this one:

Baby Victims

But what about the U.S.-inflicted atrocities behind photos like this one?:

Fallujah 1

Or this one?:

Fallujah 2

Or this one?:

Fallujah 3

According to a study published in 2010,”Beyond Hiroshima – The Non-Reporting Of Fallujah’s Cancer Catastrophe,” those are pictures of the deaths and birth defects directly resulting from “American” use of depleted uranium and chemical weapons including white phosphorous in Fallujah in 2004.

And it’s not simply a question of birth defects.

According to the same study infant mortality, cancer, and leukemia rates in Fallujah have surpassed the rates recorded among survivors of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Following the Fallujah offensives, the rates in question rose by 60%. Dr Mushin Sabbak of the Basra Maternity Hospital explained the rises as resulting from weapons used by the U.S. and U.K. “We have no other explanation than this,” he said.

And the problem extends far beyond Fallujah. Increased cancer rates and astronomical rises in birth defects have been recorded in Mosul, Najaf, Basra, Hawijah, Nineveh, and Baghdad. As documented by Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan, there is “an epidemic of birth defects in Iraq.” She writes,

“Sterility, repeated miscarriages, stillbirths and severe birth defects – some never described in any medical books – are weighing heavily on Iraqi families.”

Australian anti-war activist, Donna Mulhearn, who has travelled repeatedly to Fallujah, talking with Iraqi doctors as well as affected families, added to the list:

“babies born with parts of their skulls missing, various tumors, missing genitalia, limbs and eyes, severe brain damage, unusual rates of paralyzing spina bifida (marked by the gruesome holes found in the tiny infants’ backs), Encephalocele (a neural tube defect marked by swollen sac-like protrusions from the head), and more.”

Several highly remarkable aspects of the situation just described immediately present themselves. For one there is the almost total silence of the media about the crimes of the U.S. and U.K. Then there is the lack of outrage (or even awareness?)  on the parts of President Trump and U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley.

And what about those members of Congress so concerned about damage and pain to unborn fetuses? (I mean, what we have here in effect is a massive abortion operation by the United States in an entirely illegal war which has already claimed more than a million mostly civilian casualties.)

However, what is most remarkable about the contrast between responses to Syria and Iraq is the continued surprise of “Americans” by reprisal attacks by Muslims, which continue to be identified by our media as irrational and evil “terrorist attacks.”

That is, on the one hand, the U.S. feels free to self-righteously rush to judgment and “punish” the suspected perpetrators of the Syrian attacks. But on the other, it downplays, classifies, or otherwise suppresses photographs and scientific reports testifying to its own much worse crimes. Once again, those outrages are carried out against unborn fetuses, living children, women, the elderly and male adults – the very same population cohorts that so concern our “leaders” when they are attacked by designated enemies.

The logic is inescapable. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If the U.S. is outraged by the killing of innocents and feels the need to “punish” the suspected perpetrators, someone else the right to treat the United States in the same way. (We might not know of the crimes of our government and military, but the whole Arab world knows!)

So we shouldn’t be surprised by any “terrorist” attacks that mimic on a comparatively small scale the U.S. response to the killing of the “beautiful little babies” that so concern Mr. Trump.

That’s the cost of hypocrisy, double standards, wars of aggression, and the use of outlawed weapons of mass destruction. In war ghastly offensives elicit ghastly counter-offensives.

Who Will “Punish” Us? Photographs and Testimony about United States’ Use of Chemical Weapons

White Phosphorus

It is extremely interesting to compare the U.S. response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and its suppression of evidence of similar weapons use by the U.S. and U.K. in Fallujah in March and November of 2004.

We all know about the U.S. reaction to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

In the face of denials by the Syrian government, and on evidence that remains secret and other indications provided by photographs, testimonies of eye-witnesses, accusations of the al-Qaeda-affiliated rebels, and deductions derived from consideration of the delivery mechanisms necessary to launch such weapons, the U.S. government was determined to “punish” the al-Assad government for the heinous crime of using chemical weapons.

Such circumstantial evidence was considered more than sufficient for president Obama and secretary of state Kerry.

In his speech to the nation on Tuesday, September 10th president Obama paid particular attention to the photographic evidence of chemical weapons use by the al-Assad government. Specifically he reminded us of the child victims involved.

The pictures Mr. Obama was referring to included this one:

chemical weapons Syria

And this one:

syria chemical weapons 2

And this one:

Syria chemical weapons 3

But what about the U.S.-inflicted atrocities behind photos like this one?:

Fallujah 1<a

Or this one?:

Fallujah 2

Or this one?:

Fallujah 3

According to a study published in 2010,”Beyond Hiroshima – The Non-Reporting Of Fallujah’s Cancer Catastrophe,” those are pictures of the deaths and birth defects directly resulting from “American” use of depleted uranium and chemical weapons including white phosphorous in Fallujah in 2004.

And it’s not simply a question of birth defects.

According to the same study infant mortality, cancer, and leukemia rates in Fallujah have surpassed the rates recorded among survivors of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Following the Fallujah offensives, the rates in question rose by 60%. Dr Mushin Sabbak of the Basra Maternity Hospital explained the rises as resulting from weapons used by the U.S. and U.K. “We have no other explanation than this,” he said.

And the problem extends far beyond Fallujah. Increased cancer rates and astronomical rises in birth defects have been recorded in Mosul, Najaf, Basra, Hawijah, Nineveh, and Baghdad. As documented by Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan, there is “an epidemic of birth defects in Iraq.” She writes,

“Sterility, repeated miscarriages, stillbirths and severe birth defects – some never described in any medical books – are weighing heavily on Iraqi families.”

Australian anti-war activist, Donna Mulhearn, who has travelled repeatedly to Fallujah, talking with Iraqi doctors as well as affected families, added to the list:

“babies born with parts of their skulls missing, various tumors, missing genitalia, limbs and eyes, severe brain damage, unusual rates of paralyzing spina bifida (marked by the gruesome holes found in the tiny infants’ backs), Encephalocele (a neural tube defect marked by swollen sac-like protrusions from the head), and more.”

Several highly remarkable aspects of the situation just described immediately present themselves. For one there is the almost total silence of the media about the crimes of the U.S. and U.K. Then there is the lack of outrage by president Obama and secretary of state Kerry. And what about those members of Congress so concerned about damage and pain to unborn fetuses? (I mean, what we have here in effect is a massive abortion operation by the United States in an entirely illegal war which has already claimed more than a million mostly civilian casualties.)

However, what is most remarkable about the contrast between responses to Syria and Iraq is the continued surprise of “Americans” by reprisal attacks by Muslims, which continue to be identified by our media as irrational and evil “terrorist attacks.”

That is, on the one hand, the U.S. feels free to self-righteously rush to judgment and “punish” the suspected perpetrators of the Syrian attacks. But on the other, it hides, classifies, and otherwise suppresses photographs and scientific reports testifying to its own much worse crimes. Once again, those outrages are carried out against unborn fetuses, living children, women, the elderly and male adults – the very same population cohorts that so concern our “leaders” when they are attacked by designated enemies.

The logic is inescapable. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If the U.S. is outraged by the killing of innocents and feels the need to “punish” the suspected perpetrators, someone else the right to treat the United States in the same way. (We might not know of the crimes of our government and military, but the whole Arab world knows!)

So we shouldn’t be surprised by a Boston Marathon “massacre,” or by militants seizing hotels or malls and killing randomly.

That’s the cost of hypocrisy, double standards, wars of aggression, and the use of outlawed weapons of mass destruction. In war ghastly offensives elicit ghastly counter-offensives.

The Holocaust Museum And the Search for Truth

jesus_in_abu_ghraib

What keeps us from recognizing the truth when it’s staring us in the face? That’s the question that occurred to me as I visited the Holocaust Museum last week when I was in DC. The answer is complex. Dealing with its ramifications challenges us to remember what we learned in kindergarten and what many of us were taught in church.

Last week’s visit was my second time through the Holocaust Museum. Its four floors of display, film, recordings, and horrific material memorabilia are dedicated to keeping alive the nightmare of the systematic murder of millions of communists, socialists, Jews, trade union leaders, priests, ministers, nuns, homosexuals, gypsies, and disabled along with other “dysfunctionals” and enemies of the state.

This time Peggy and I along with our youngest son, Patrick (age 26) spent most of our time on the fourth floor. It details Hitler’s rise to power. How did the German people allow that to happen, I wondered? They were Europeans. They were “modern,” producers of great philosophers, theologians, poets, novelists, musicians, scientists, and industrialists. Even more puzzlingly, they were largely Christian living in a major birth-center of the Reformation.

And yet they allowed the prison-camp system to emerge. They allowed Hitler to declare war on the world. The majority claimed ignorance of the gassings and incinerations. But surely, no one was unaware of the vilification of the ovens’ victims. Hitler’s speeches were filled with denunciations of “Jewish madness.” The phrase not only reflected anti-Semitism, but was code for the political left inspired at its core by the Jewish Testament – those communists and socialists that Hitler (and the ruling classes across Europe and the United States) hated and feared more than anything else.

And when Hitler declared war on the world, good Christian Germans lined up to fight for God and country. As Elie Wiesel reminds us, Catholic prison guards gassed Jews during the week, and then went to confession on Saturday and received Holy Communion at Mass on Sunday.

Reviewing all of that in the Holocaust Museum made me uncomfortably aware that the specter of Adolf Hitler is stalking our world today. It actually pains me to say that this time the shadow is cast by the United States. As I write, the “Americans” have established the control of the world that Hitler sought. In effect, Hitler (or more accurately Hitlerism) won that Second Inter-capitalist War.

In fact, since 9/11 the U.S. has declared a Hitler-like war on the world. It recognizes no inhibiting law, and will brook no rival. Its law of the jungle prevails. The war’s enemy: the poor who demand a fair share of the resources located where they live. Acting as the Hessian armed force of multinational financial interests, the United States identifies, arrests, tortures, and eliminates those who insist that the oil, minerals, natural resources, and agricultural produce of their countries belongs to them and not to the foreign interests on whose behalf the United States polices the world.

Part of the police-world the “Americans” have established is unending war; another is the world-wide prison system like the one at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The prisons are entirely reminiscent of Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Belsen, and Dachau, though government secrecy keeps us in the dark about the true extent of the clandestine hell-holes. They are centers of torture and degradation that beggar description. They are filled with Muslims, not with Jews. (Ironically Palestinian Jews are spearheading the attack on Muslims. It’s not for nothing that the Palestinians are called “the Jews’ Jews.”)

As for the unending war, according to the highly decorated ex-CIA agent John Stockwell, over the last 60 years, “The Third World War against the Poor” has claimed far more lives than the horrendously iconic figure of six million. In Vietnam alone more than 2 million Vietnamese were slaughtered. In Iraq, the figure of pointlessly butchered reaches beyond 1 million in a war of aggression which the U.N. terms the highest of international crimes.

And yet, our contemporaries, like the good Christians of Berlin and Cologne, are mostly in denial about the extent of the police state that has taken form especially since 9/11. Most deny (at least by their silence) the very existence of secret prisons, torture of suspects, the plain fact of political prisoners, death squads, and systemic cruelty.

Where does that denial come from? Where did it come from as Hitler rose to power? Part of the answer is that the process of take-over was gradual. It took years as Hitler advanced from army corporal, to political prisoner, to best-selling author of “Mein Kampf,” to Member of Parliament, to Chancellor, to dictator.

Similarly, the mission creep of the U.S. National Security State has been gradual as we’ve seen our government claim (and be granted by the judiciary) the right to spy on its citizens, search them without probable cause, imprison them without charge, torture them without limit, and ultimately kill them without trial. In the face of all that, like our German counterparts, most of us have stood dumbly by and have even applauded our oppressors as they expropriate us of our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Another source of denial is the disruption that truth-telling causes in our own lives. As Paul Craig Roberts has recently pointed out, telling the truth disturbs career trajectories and can even disrupt family relationships. That makes fathers and mothers, ministers and priests, politicians and pundits close their eyes and moderate their speech. Roberts says,

“The power elite, especially the liberal elite, has always been willing to sacrifice integrity and truth for power, personal advancement, foundation grants, awards, tenured professorships, columns, book contracts, television appearances, generous lecture fees and social status. They know what they need to say. They know which ideology they have to serve. They know what lies must be told—the biggest being that they take moral stances on issues that aren’t safe and anodyne. They have been at this game a long time. And they will, should their careers require it, happily sell us out again.”

What to do about this state of affairs? For one we must learn to think critically. At the very least, that means applying daily to what we see and hear the “law of reciprocity.” It’s something even a child of seven can understand, though it seems beyond the capacities of our “leaders” to grasp.

One meaning of the law of reciprocity is that what is good for me is good for you; what is bad for you is bad for me. This means that if the U.S. would consider it unacceptable for Pakistanis to drone their enemies on “American” soil, it unacceptable to drone “American” enemies on Pakistani soil. If it’s wrong for Iranians to have nuclear weapons, it is also wrong for Israel or the United States to have them.

The law of reciprocity makes one wonder what the United States would do if a foreign drone so much as appeared unbidden in American airspace much less if it did its destructive work on the ground.

Besides observing the elements of what we were all taught in kindergarten, it would also help to heed what most of us have heard in church all our lives. That those German prison guards could do their crematorium work during the week and receive communion on Sundays seems somehow contradictory to the teachings of Jesus, don’t you think?

What about the guards at Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib, the soldiers in Fallujah or Haditha, or the drone pilots sitting at the consoles in their air-conditioned theaters? How are they different from the Germans we condemn?

Help me figure this one out. The question is disrupting my life.