The recent air strikes on Syria and increasing U.S. propaganda aimed at whipping the public into a war frenzy against Russia couldn’t be more transparently manipulative. More and more people are waking up to the fact that the U.S. and some of our allies keep instigating unjust, illegal wars around the world for the motives of power and profit. The U.S. always claims it conducts its endless wars for humanitarian reasons or to protect people at home, but those excuses have been proved false again and again. The main problem with this continual warring is that it always ultimately costs innocent human lives and much suffering.
The corporate press usually helps sell our wars. TV networks often show aerial footage of bombs dropping but fail to cover how those weapons can devastate individual lives. However, during the Iraq War, in an article for the Independent, “Military precision versus moral precision,” journalist Robert Higgs covered the fact that the much-used JDAM bombs dropped in Iraq killed most people within 120 meters of the blast. According to Higgs, such a bomb “releases a crushing shock wave and showers jagged, white-hot metal fragments at supersonic speed, shattering concrete, shredding flesh, crushing cells, rupturing lungs, bursting sinus cavities and ripping away limbs in a maelstrom of destruction.”
During the time of the Iraq War, I heard a TV reporter describe certain casualties with the sterile phrase, “This is what war does.” It’s not just “war” that bursts sinus cavities and rips away limbs—nothing as nebulous as that. The bombs’ shredding of flesh and crushing of human cells don’t just passively “happen.” Politicians and war profiteers concoct these illegal wars and directly order that these events happen.
In another article from the Iraq War era, a piece from The Mirror, “The saddest story of all,” reporter Anton Antonowicz described an Iraqi family’s loss of their daughter. “Nadia was lying on a stretcher beside the stone mortuary slab. Her heart lay on her chest, ripped from her body by a missile which smashed through the bedroom window of the family’s flat nearby in Palestine Street.”
Nadia’s father said, “My daughter had just completed her PhD in psychology and was waiting for her first job. She was born in 1970. She was 33. She was very clever. Everyone said I have a fabulous daughter. She spent all her time studying. Her head buried in books.”
Nadia’s sister Alia said, “I don’t know what humanity [George W.] Bush is calling for. Is this the humanity which lost my sister? It is war which has done this. And that war was started by Bush.” Of course, as all modern day presidents are, Bush was merely a figurehead or front man for the oligarchs, weapons manufacturers and other corporations that profit from ongoing war.
Contrary to what many people think, the U.S. political system today is not run by Democrats and Republicans, a president, a Congress and a Judiciary resembling anything we once believed in. All those entities are now so heavily influenced by the war-profiteering plutocrats who pay to keep them in office that the lines between government officials and their corporate owners are indistinguishable. If the military industry wants never-ending war, human pain and suffering aside, it’s never-ending war we’ll all get.
I would say we need a strong antiwar movement, but our government “leaders” are trying to strip away the people’s First Amendment right to protest by making some demonstrations illegal. It could help if any conscientious people in positions of public influence would speak out, and if all of us would have a dialogue on what we might do to change our present system.
Carla Binion is an Intrepid Report contributing writer.