Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Fri

23

Apr

2010

Drawing Back the Veil on the Death State - Monster's Ball
Friday, 23 April 2010 05:37
by Chris Floyd

Arthur Silber is back, with piercing insights that rip the veil which even self-proclaimed dissenters still draw across the blood-soaked reality of what Silber aptly calls the "Death State" that has long "wrapped the world in flames" (to quote the preferred method of resolving diplomatic conflicts famously voiced by Abe Lincoln's secretary of state) from its mephitic base on the Potomac.

As always with Silber, you must read the whole piece (and follow the links) to get the full force of the argument, which is nuanced, multifarious and deeply considered, but here is just the briefest excerpt to send you on your way:

I repeat a few words I first wrote at the beginning of 2009...:
    For more than a hundred years, the foreign policy of the United States government has been directed to the establishment and maintenance of global dominance. To this end, violence, overthrow, conquest and murder have been utilized as required ... More and more, oppression and brutalization have become the bywords of domestic policy as well. Today, the United States as a political entity is a corporatist-authoritarian-militarist monstrosity: its major products are suffering, torture, barbarism and death on a huge scale.
I repeat the fundamental point to make certain there is no misunderstanding as to where I stand on this question: as a political entity, the United States is an endlessly destructive monstrosity. The overwhelming majority of people -- including, I regret to say, even many of those who are severely critical of the United States government -- fail to understand this point in anything close to the thorough and consistent manner required. This failure is the result of an earlier one: an inability to grasp fully what it means to revere the sacred value of a single human life.
There is more, much more in the original post -- "An Evil Monstrosity: Thoughts on the Death State"; excerpting it actually does it an injustice. So go there now and read it.

When you've done that, scoot on over to Truthdig, where you will find William Pfaff writing in a similar vein about the bloody deceptions of the Death State: past, present -- and future. Some excerpts:
It is a dismaying reflection that the facilitators of major violence thus far in the 21st century have been lies told by democratic governments. The lies are continuing to be told, about the supposed “existential” menace posed by Iran to Israel, America and (if you believe some European leaders) Western Europe ... Injustice and lies in the Middle East were responsible for unnecessary new wars in the new century, in which the United States took the lead. This time the lies were ideologically motivated and expedient lies—first, that Saddam Hussein bore responsibility for the September 2001 attacks on United States. He did not.

Next was the fiction that Hussein’s government, during the period of U.N. sanctions before 2003, was able to secretly construct nuclear weapons, despite the efforts of Western intelligence to detect them or deter him, and the presence of U.N. inspectors. There were no such weapons. ...

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reportedly sent a secret letter to President Barack Obama in January reviewing the military options available if diplomacy and the new American attempt to intensify international sanctions on Iran fail to produce the desired halt in Iran’s effort, if that is what it is, to build a nuclear deterrent. If Iran does pursue a nuclear capability, once again it is to deter attack. Precisely the same objection exists to theories of Iranian aggression as to those lies put forward in 2002-03 about Iraq posing a nuclear menace to the world. Once more, the threat is a polemical invention, intended to frighten American and Israeli (and European) voters and to prompt a preemptive attack on Iran ...

The release of Gates' memo was part of the usual factional cat-fighting among the militarist courtiers: some want to attack Iran now, some want to wait until later -- or as that great liberal-progressive hero Admiral Fallon once said of the human beings in Iran: "These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them." For now, most of the factionalists lean toward the Fallon scenario: crush the insects later, when we don't have so much on our plate, and it will be more profitable.

And thus the Nobel Peace Laureate who is temporarily managing the Death State is now pushing hard for even more sanctions on the Iranians for the crime of ... developing a nuclear energy program as allowed by international treaty and inspected to a fare-thee-well by international observers. The defenders of the Nobelist -- I suppose we must call him the Death Laureate -- point to his push for sanctions as proof of his "different" approach to the "threat" of Iran. But what is the reality of such sanctions? Again, Arthur Silber nailed it well, in a piece from 2009:

A sanctions regime is not an alternative to war: it is the prelude to attack or invasion. Moreover, sanctions murder a hideous number of innocent people as surely as more overt acts of war.

Silber then pointed to an excellent article by Stanley Kutler, detailing the last sanctions regime enforced in the Middle East by a hip, progressive president, a topic we touched upon here the other day. From Kutler:

We estimate between 500,000 to 1 million Iraqis died in the 1990s, a very large proportion being children. To what end? Not, Lando maintains, to destroy Saddam Hussein's WMDs but to force him out. ... The CIA badly miscalculated that sanctions, coupled with Iraq's devastating defeat, would result in a military coup, toppling Saddam. Anything but. The sanctions and Saddam's heightened repression insured his survival--much to the frustration of Western leaders ... The sanctions worked only as partly intended: They imposed untold suffering on the population. Americans at the UN blocked a request to ship baby food because adults might use it. They vetoed sending a heart pill that contained a milligram of cyanide because tens of thousands of such pills could become a lethal weapon. The banned list included filters for water treatment plants, vaccines, cotton swabs and gauze, children's clothes, funeral shrouds. Somehow, even Vietnamese pingpong balls found their way to the proscribed list.

Sanctions devastated the country's medical system, once one of the best in the region. Sanctions insured that malnutrition would morph into virtual death sentences, as Lando notes. Babies died in incubators because of power failures; others were crippled with cerebral palsy because of insufficient oxygen supplies. ...

 In late 1994 the New York Times reported on children in filthy hospitals, dying with diarrhea and pneumonia, people desperately seeking food, and Iraq's inability to sell its oil--the country faced "famine and economic collapse." Without doubt, the sanctions consolidated Saddam's power. UN Administrator Denis Halliday wrote that the people blamed the United States and the UN for their travails, not Saddam Hussein. Halliday resigned, refusing to administer a program that he called "genocide."

This is what "tough" sanctions by a progressive, humanitarian interventionist can do. And this is the kind of thing the Iranians have to look forward to -- while they wait to be consumed in a mushroom cloud, that is.

For as we all know, Laureate Obama and his Pentagon warlord recently made the threatened nuclear destruction of the millions of human beings in Iran a centerpiece of their new, "more restrained" nuclear weapons doctrine. As John Caruso notes (see original for links):

Obama is also on the record as stating that "I think we should keep all options on the table" with regard to Iran.  That's the standard language in which US nuclear threats are couched, of course, and US politicians are careful to stick to that formulation in order to allow apologists to argue that they didn't mean what they clearly meant.  But Obama's Secretary of Defense gave the game away in his remarks about the Nuclear Policy Review:

    SEC. GATES: Well, I think that the -- I actually think that the NPR has a very strong message for both Iran and North Korea, because whether it's in declaratory policy or in other elements of the NPR, we essentially carve out states like Iran and North Korea that are not in compliance with NPT.

    And basically, all options are on the table when it comes to countries in that category, along with non-state actors who might acquire nuclear weapons.

    So if there is a message for Iran and North Korea here, it is that if you're going to play by the rules, if you're going to join the international community, then we will undertake certain obligations to you, and that's covered in the NPR. But if you're not going to play by the rules, if you're going to be a proliferator, then all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you.
So let's put this together:

   1. The Nuclear Posture Review (PDF) declares that "the United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the NPT and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations."
   2. Gates says this language is specifically intended to "carve out states like Iran and North Korea."  And for these states, as Gates stated repeatedly, ...
   3. ..."all options are on the table."  So Gates is explicitly threatening that the United States may use nuclear weapons to "deal with" Iran and North Korea.
   4. Finally, Obama reiterated both his and Gates' threat that "all options are on the table" when he said his administration's purpose is to "sustain our nuclear deterrent" for Iran and North Korea, furthermore stating that this threat is intended as an "incentive" to those nations.

To summarize: the Obama administration has just made an explicit nuclear threat against Iran and North Korea, for the political goal of coercing them into complying with the US interpretation of their NPT obligations.
This is the Department of Defense's official definition of terrorism:

    terrorism

    (DOD) The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.
So the "threat of unlawful violence...intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political" is terrorism.  Or in other words, by the DoD's own definition, Barack Obama is a terrorist—and given that his threats involve the use of nuclear weapons, it follows straightforwardly that Obama is more specifically a nuclear terrorist.  And not only is he a nuclear terrorist; as the one person who has access to a massive nuclear arsenal, the stated willingness to use it outside of the realm of direct self-defense, and the power to follow through on that threat, Barack Obama is currently the only nuclear terrorist on the entire planet.

Nuclear terrorism is of course the logical endpoint of a Death State. And as Caruso rightly notes, Barack Obama constantly, ceaselessly threatens Iran with nuclear destruction -- and has done so from the very start of his campaign for the presidency. The continual, open threat to murder millions of innocent, defenseless human beings is indeed "an evil monstrosity" -- one so gargantuan that very few people seem able to grasp its reality.

But Silber sees through, and sees true. We are once more in his debt for fixing our eyes on the sulfurous essence of Death State, behind all the sound and fury of the factional squabbles of our most monstrous elites.

More from this author:
Immaculate Conception: A Squirt in the White House (14248 Hits)
George W. Bush's innumerable sycopants like to potray him as a down-to-earth man of the people: a man's man, tough and fearless, a good-ole-boy...
Thunder on the Mountain: The Murderers of Democracy (12171 Hits)
“Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes. I tell you this right now, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.” -- Bob Dylan,...
War in Heaven: Woodward's Book and the Establishment Insurgency (13199 Hits)
Bob Woodward has long been the voice of the American Establishment – or of certain quadrants of it, at any rate. When Richard Nixon's...
Swing Blades: Don Rumsfeld Bats Both Ways (12053 Hits)
In February 2003, I wrote a column for the Moscow Times detailing Don Rumsfeld's personal – and profitable – connection with North Korea's...
Red October: Killing the Truth in Moscow (12067 Hits)
I. Early October can be dismal in Moscow. The short, harsh summer is over, the brief and beautiful refreshment of September has passed,...
Related Articles:
A Journey Through The Mind Of Contemporary Conservatism: Clutching Our Values Aboard The Death Train (10457 Hits)
Day-to-day life within an empire consists of the deceitful leading the disengaged. Although when the artifice shielding a nation’s populace from...
The Real Axis of Evil - A State without Mercy (12505 Hits)
by William A. Cook “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they...
The Battle in Seattle (Looking Back Seven Years) (6681 Hits)
by Mickey Z. When activists made global headlines by essentially shutting down the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle in...
Family Feud: Little Bush Hits Back at Daddy (10223 Hits)
by Chris Floyd Bush Initiates Iraq Policy Review Separate From Baker Group's (Washington Post) Excerpt: President Bush formally...
Pale Fire and London Fog: Illuminating Outliers in the Death of Alexander Litvinenko (8564 Hits)
by Chris Floyd This is an updated version of the piece that appeared yesterday at Truthout.org. I. The Baron and the Billionaire ...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top