• During the 1990s, the U.S. imposed an embargo on Iraq to prevent that nation from receiving all of the food and medicines it needed. As a result of that embargo, 500,000 Iraqi children are believed to have died.
During much of that embargo, Medeline Albright was the 64th U.S. Secretary of State. On May 12th, A.D. 1996, Secretary of State Albright appeared on 60 Minutes and was asked if the “price” of the embargo-related deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it”. Albright replied, “I think that this is a very hard choice, but the price . . . we think the price is worth it.” (See, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4)
Can anyone in their right mind justify the needless deaths of one-half million children? Can anyone who causes or even justifies the deaths of one-half million children expect to be forgiven and welcomed to salvation? Shouldn’t Americans and the world have been shocked and appalled by Secretary of State Albright’s admissions? Could America cause the deaths of 500,000 children and still claim to be the “good guys”?
• On February 5, A.D. 2003, Colin Powell–the 65th U.S. Secretary of State–addressed a plenary session of the United Nations Security Council to argue in favor of invading Iraq. Citing numerous anonymous Iraqi defectors, Powell asserted that “there can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.” Powell also stated that there was “no doubt in my mind” that Saddam was working to obtain key components to produce nuclear weapons.
(You can view the first of a five-part presentation of Colin Powell’s UN speech at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt5RZ6ukbNc )
Powell laid the foundation for fearing that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (“WMDs”) that threatened the peace and stability of the Middle East and even the world. Powell argued that the United States and the United Nations were therefore obligated to invade Iraq in order to find and destroy those WMDs.
The world believed Powell’s warning. The United States subsequently led a coalition of forces that invaded Iraq and searched mightily for the WMDs that were “certainly” there. Unfortunately, no such WMDs were ever found. Thus, there was no legitimate reason to invade Iraq.
• On June 10th, A.D. 2007, Colin Powell appeared on Meet The Press and claimed that he’d been “misled” by “unknown forces” in the intelligence community into believing that Iraq held WMDs. Thus, Powell implicitly admitted that there wasn’t even a legitimate pretext for the U.S. to invade Iraq. (See, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZTLmOoPzjs)
We invaded Iraq based on a lie–but the “liars” were “unknown”. Those “liars” would presumably never be found or even sought, and would certainly never be held accountable for their lies. Thus, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was no more justified than the Nazi invasion of Poland during WWII. Nevertheless, based on the lie of WMDs, American forces remained in Iraq for over eight years and directly or indirectly caused the deaths of several hundred thousand more Iraqis.
Shouldn’t Americans and the world have been shocked and appalled by “moral outrage” of several hundred thousand Iraqi deaths based on nothing more than a lie? Can the U.S. continue to claim to be the “good guys” if we’re willing to kill hundreds of thousands of people based on a lie?
• Yesterday, August 26th, A.D. 2013, John Kerry–the 68th US Secretary of State–addressed the world in a public forum to announce that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had chemical weapons and had used those chemical weapons against his own people causing the deaths of hundreds of Assyrians–including women and children.
Secretary of State Kerry called the “indiscriminate slaughter of [hundreds] of civilians” a “moral outrage” that “should shock the conscience of the world”. (See, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH8di0bcPno)
I agree. But how can the deaths of several hundred innocent Syrians can be a “moral outrage” while the deaths of one-half million innocent Iraqi children (caused the the U.S. embargo of the 1990s) can be “worth the price”? Aren’t both a “moral outrage”? Aren’t deaths of one-half million even more outrageous than the deaths of several hundred?
If Secretary Kerry were truly moved by morality, wouldn’t he see that the needless deaths of both the Syrians and the Iraqis were immoral and grounds for “moral outrage”? If Kerry were truly a “moral” man, shouldn’t he have spoken out about the “moral outrage” of the U.S. killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis during the U.S. 8-year invasion? If Kerry speaks of “moral outrage” of the deaths of hundreds, but remains silent concerning the deaths of hundreds of thousands, is Kerry truly a “moral man”–or is he just using “morality” as a sales device, much like Colin Powell once used “yellow cake”?
• Finally, while it seems undeniable that someone used poisoned gas on a Syrian community, there’s no proof of which I’m aware that the poison gas was released by the Syrian government. The Syrian rebels (with a strong al-Qaida component) claim the government released the gas. The Syrian government claims the rebels released the gas. I don’t know who released that gas. I don’t know who the “bad guy” is.
In an age where “false flag” operations are fairly common and understood by even grade school students, how can we be sure who the real villains are? Is the real villain the man who released the poison gas? Or is he the man who claims to know the identify of the man who released the poison gas?
I could be wrong, but it strikes me as unlikely that the Syrian government would be dumb enough to use poison gas on its own people. The resulting political backlash would do far more harm to the Syrian government than any possible gain that be achieved by gassing a few hundred innocents. For me, the most probable explanation is that the Syrian rebels released the gas in a “false flag” operation that would implicate the Syrian government. It’s even possible that some third party other than the Syrian government or Syrian rebels released the gas just to fan the flames of the Syrian conflict.
But, until more evidence becomes available, I have no more faith in Secretary Kerry’s claims that the Syrian government used poison gas (and therefore we must invade Syria) than I had in Secretary Powell’s claims that the Iraqi government had WMDs (and therefore we must invade Iraq). I know Powell was spreading lies in 2003. I suspect Kerry is doing the same in 2013.
I believe that both the Syrian rebels and the Syrian government are “bad guys”. What I don’t know is Who are the “good guys”? The answer might be the Syrian people–who are going to be chewed up, impoverished, terrified, maimed and possibly killed by both the Syrian rebels and the Syrian government if this civil (?) war persists. However, aren’t even the Syrian people responsible for the chaos in their nation based on their own previous passivity and willingness to accept Assad’s abuse? At what point do those who refuse to fight evil become complicit in that evil?
In any case, between the Syrian government and Syrian rebels, can anyone identify a “good guy”–or are we simply left to choose the “lesser of two evils”?
And yet, in a world where our government can’t truly identify the “good guys” or truly know who released the gas (unless our government was complicit in that “moral outrage”), Secretary of State Kerry (like Albright, Powell, and Hilary Clinton) seems more than willing, able and eager to stampede Americans into supporting yet another invasion of another Middle East country. And why? At best, to support the “lesser of two evils”.
Is there reason why the average American should care whether Syria is dominated by the “bad guys” in the Syrian government or the “bad guys” in the Syrian rebels? Why not mind our own business and let the crazy bastards in Syria kill each other and collapse their own nation into chaos? Leave them alone and they’ll self-destruct, just like Egypt.
The whole, meddlesome process of American intervention in Middle East politics is presided over President Obama. You know–the guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize–and has also presided over wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, soon (probably) Syria and later, maybe even Iran; the guy who has his own private “death list” of people he chooses to be assassinated by drones. (The only person I can think of who’s less deserving of a Peace Prize is Charlie Manson. . . . Actually, when I think about it, Manson is more deserving of the Peace Prize since he only orchestrated the deaths of three people, while Obama is complicit in the deaths of thousands, perhaps tens of thousand.)
Somewhere in all of this is evidence that the upper echelons of the U.S. government are populated by Secretaries of State–and Presidents–who find murder far more useful than morality.
I can’t imagine or believe that our own national “morality” and resultant sense of self-worth isn’t being diminished or even lost in wake of the deaths caused by our own “duly elected” or “duly appointed” killers. Thanks to people like Albright, Bush, Powell, Clinton, Obama and Kerry, how many of us can still feign a belief that America is the “good guys”? We are becoming sick of our own criminal government. Worse, we’re becoming sick of ourselves for our seeming inability to clean house and throw the killers out of Washington.
If The United States of America is going to survive, it must have a moral foundation that is real rather than feigned. The American people must believe in their own “goodness”. The criminal enterprise we currently call government is destroying that belief.
We must stop electing the “lessor of two evils” and then claiming to be surprised when the result is more evil. We need to find a way to start electing the “greater of two goods.”
Having said all of that, it appears that the U.S. government will attack Syria with bombs or missiles within the next few days. If so, we will kill hundreds or thousands–many of whom will be clearly “innocent”–but our Secretary of State will see no cause for “moral outrage” and instead insist that the resultant gains will be “worth the price”.