The US military INTENTIONALLY KILLS innocent people??? Where?? When???

by Stan Conroy 84 Replies latest social current

  • Gamaliel


    The dropping of the bombs may very well have saved American lives. But it was still terrorism. The dropping of burning jelly in SE Asia was terrorism too. So was carpet bombing in Japan and Europe. But it wouldn't make our current U.S. government's accepted definition of terrorism because it was during wartime.

    But the US has admitted to many acts of terrorism over the years that truly meet our own government standard and accepted, defined criteria of what we call terrorism. The problem is that terrorism will rarely be called such openly unless it's done by a group or country we don't like. We have lots of other words for it when we do it ourselves or when a country we support is doing it. But we can no longer deny that, based on our own records that have now been made public, the US both engaged in and supported terrorist activities. Also, we have engaged in terrorism on a much larger scale than that of either Hamas or the Israeli terrorism that we support. I do not say this to diminish the guilt of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda, the Israeli government and other terrorists, I only say it because it's not fair to always use the term in such a one-sided manner.

    And, btw, (teenyuck) the definition of terrorism is not related to the tastes of McDonald's or Hollywood's customers. It is what it is.


  • Gamaliel


    OK, let me rephrase this, when in my generation has this happened?

    How far back? Anything post-WWII OK?


  • nilfun

    It would seem that the reframing of the original question has
    been made with the aim of "complet[ing] the job" of relegating
    the issue of the U.S. military's role in the intentional killings of
    aboriginal Americans (or indeed, killings of any innocent non-
    combatants occurring prior to Yeru's generation) to the dustbin of history.

    Well, those were real live human beings. Please don't tell me that you
    think their deaths are irrelevant simply because their murders didn't happen
    during your generation.

  • Seven

    "Overwhelmning power combined with a sense of boundless superiority, will produce atrocities-even among the well intentioned." -Misra

    Dr. Misra's article of last yr. from the Guardian. Her credentials:

    Heart of smugness

    Unlike Belgium, Britain is still complacently ignoring the gory cruelties of its empire

    Maria Misra
    Tuesday July 23, 2002
    The Guardian
    So the Belgians are to return to the Heart of Darkness in an attempt finally to exorcise their imperial demons. Stung by another book cataloguing the violence and misery inflicted by King Leopold's empire on the Congo in the late 19th and early 20th century, the state-funded Royal Museum for Central Africa in Brussels has commissioned a group of historians to pass authoritative judgment on accusations of genocide: forced labour, systematic rape, torture and murder of the Congolese, around 10 million of whom are thought to have died as a consequence.

    This is not the first time that the Belgian empire has been singled out for censure. Back in the Edwardian era, British humanitarians spilled much ink over its excesses and Conrad's novella was corralled into service to show Leopold's Congo as a sort of horrific "other" to Britain's more uplifting colonialism.

    Complacency about Britain's imperial record lingers on. In the post-September 11 orgy of self-congratulation about the west's superiority, Blair's former foreign policy guru, Robert Cooper, and a host of journalistic flag-wavers were urging us not to be ashamed of empire. Cooper insisted empire was "as necessary now as it had been in the 19th century". The British empire was, we were assured, a generally well-intentioned attempt to inculcate notions of good government, civilised behaviour and market rationality into less well-favoured societies.

    Is such a rosy view of British imperialism justified? Many argue that it is. After all, surely the British have less blood on their hands than the French and the Belgians? Wasn't the British addiction to the free market a prophylactic against the horrors of forced labour? And didn't those peculiar class obsessions make them less racist than the rest - silly snobs, but not vicious yobs? And isn't India not only a democracy, but, thanks to the British, one with great railways? Perhaps there is a kernel of truth in some of this, but there's also much wilful smugness. While the complex consequences of colonial economic policy require extended analysis, it is possible to dispel more swiftly the myth that the British Empire, unlike King Leopold's, was innocent of atrocities.

    It has become a modern orthodoxy that Europe's 20th century was the bloodiest in history and that atrocities must be recorded and remembered by society as a whole. But while a Black Book of Communism has been compiled and everybody is aware of the horrors of nazism, popular historians have been surprisingly uninterested in the dark side of the British Empire. There are exceptions, such as Mike Davis's powerful Late Victorian Holocausts, but much else still lies buried in the academic literature. Davis and others have estimated that there were between 12 and 33 million avoidable deaths by famine in India between 1876 and 1908, produced by a deadly combination of official callousness and free-market ideology. But these were far from being a purely Victorian phenomenon. As late as 1943 around 4 million died in the Bengal famine, largely because of official policy.

    No one has even attempted to quantify the casualties caused by state-backed forced labour on British-owned mines and plantations in India, Africa and Malaya. But we do know that tens of thousands of often conscripted Africans, Indians and Malays - men, women and children - were either killed or maimed constructing Britain's imperial railways. Also unquantified are the numbers of civilian deaths caused by British aerial bombing and gassing of villages in Sudan, Iraq and Palestine in the 1920 and 1930s.

    Nor was the supposedly peaceful decolonisation of the British Empire without its gory cruelties. The hurried partition of the Indian subcontinent brought about a million deaths in the ensuing uncontrolled panic and violence. The brutal suppression of the Mau Mau and the detention of thousands of Kenyan peasants in concentration camps are still dimly remembered, as are the Aden killings of the 1960s. But the massacre of communist insurgents by the Scots Guard in Malaya in the 1950s, the decapitation of so-called bandits by the Royal Marine Commandos in Perak and the secret bombing of Malayan villages during the Emergency remain uninvestigated.

    One might argue that these were simply the unfortunate consequences of the arrival of economic and political modernity. But does change have to come so brutally? There are plenty of examples of wanton British cruelty to chill the blood even of a hardened Belgian. Who, after all, invented the concentration camp but the British? The scandalous conditions in British camps during the Boer war, where thousands of women and children died of disease and malnutrition, are relatively well known. Who now remembers the Indian famine-relief-cum-work camps, where gentlemanly British officials conducted experiments to determine how few calories an Indian coolie could be fed and still perform hard labour? The rations in these camps amounted to less than those at Buchenwald.

    There is Churchill's assiduous promotion of schemes to cut the costs of imperial defence in India and the Middle East by using aerial bombing, machine gunning and gassing for the control of rebellion, political protest, labour disputes and non-payment of taxes. There is the denial of free food to starving south Asians on the grounds that it would simply hasten a population explosion among India's "feckless poor". There is the extraordinary British justification for bombing Sudanese villages after the first world war: Nuer women were, officials claimed, of less value to their community than cattle or rifles.

    These facts and figures are not easily culled from textbooks on empire. We don't have a dedicated museum of empire, but our nearest equivalent, the new Imperial War Museum North, would leave the impression that Britain's colonial subjects had been enthusiastic participants in its wartime crusades to rid the world of want and evil.

    Does it matter that the British are smug about their imperial past, that British atrocities have been airbrushed from history? One can't help thinking that Jack Straw's pious missions to India to broker solutions to the Kashmir crisis might have more credibility if the British had the good grace to apologise for such imperial crimes as the Amritsar massacre. But a more worrying symptom of this rosy glossing of the imperial past is the re-emergence of a sort of sanitised advocacy of imperialism as a viable option in contemporary international relations.

    The point of cataloguing Britain's imperial crimes is not to trash our forebears, but to remind our rulers that even the best-run empires are cruel and violent, not just the Belgian Congo. Overwhelming power, combined with a sense of boundless superiority, will produce atrocities - even among the well intentioned.

    Let's not forget that Leopold's central African empire was originally called the International Association for Philanthropy in the Congo.

    ยท Maria Misra is lecturer in modern history at Keble College, Oxford. Her history of modern India will be published by Penguin next year.

    [email protected]

  • Stan Conroy
    Stan Conroy

    The point of this thread was not to justify whether or not what happened in WW2 was right or wrong. The point was to show that the US has intentionally killed innocent people in the past. Yeru asked the question.

    If he was in the British military, and asked that of Britian, I would have referred to Dresdan, and the 135,000 civilians killed in that firestorm.

    As for my claim that American's feel they have the moral high-ground and are incapable of such things, just listen to some right-wing talk radio. Perhaps this doesn't reflect the viewpoint of Mr and Mrs American, but the picture painted is that America is God's tool on this earth, and that the US is the only country capable of doing what is right and just.

    It just isn't so.


  • Simon

    I think the key difference, and why the topic title related to the US is that we (from other countries) tend not to deny our countries past or even current wrongdoings to the same extent. For whatever reason though, some treat the USA almost as a religion that is infallible and will never do wrong. Maybe it is a cultural difference in how people identify with their countries, I don't know - not everyone does it, just a few.

    The thread was started in answer to a direct challenge by someone else and bringing up what other countries have done or changing the time frames doesn't alter the facts.

    At the end of the day, few countries have *not* killed innocent people intentionally. A common theme is that after doing so they will try and twist the historical facts and spin things to justify it and their citizens will grown up with a slightly warped view of their own countries history rather than being taught the truth.

  • Latin assassin from Manhattan
    Latin assassin from Manhattan

    Hasn't anyone heard of the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945? The Japanese were clearly warned about the destruction that awaited them if they didn't surrender. Yes, the A-bombing was an extreme act. But the Emperor brought it upon himself and the people he brainwashed into treating him like a God-King.

    The God-King waged a war in his name, and brought more than 3 million Japanese military and civilians to their deaths.

  • Uzzah


    Yes what happened to the native populations of North & South American is a terrible tragedy and atrocity. Few would disagree with that. But equal blame for this goes to France, England Spain Portugal and all other countries who citizens became 'Americans' who continued the atrocities. So Dutch, Irish, Scandenavians, Italians, Germans, Greeks, Turks, all contributed.

    But how many generations have to share the blame of their forefathers before it can become history without it being shoved in the face of people never actually involved in the atrocity?

    It is the thinking of the Neo-Nazi's who still bring up that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus and use it to justify their continued hatred of that race/religion. Or would it be fair to still condemn Germans for what they did in WW2? Would I be justified by your reasoning to continue to blame every Japanese person for what happened in WW2?

    Seven of Nine:

    We can always count on you to provide incredible research and perspective. Thank you.

  • teenyuck
    I think the key difference, and why the topic title related to the US is that we (from other countries) tend not to deny our countries past or even current wrongdoings to the same extent. For whatever reason though, some treat the USA almost as a religion that is infallible and will never do wrong. Maybe it is a cultural difference in how people identify with their countries, I don't know - not everyone does it, just a few.

    I have never denied the US has done terrible things. I don't know of anyone on this board, even Yeru, who treats the US as a religion that is infallible and can and will do no wrong.

    It has nothing to do with culture. It has everything to do with you refusing to accept that *most* of us have agreed that the US gov and mililtary has done *bad* things-and will no doubt in the future.

    A post is put up showing the *other* Indians and it is dismissed without a counter. I could not find a picture of Ghandi crying behind a British Empire flag, or I would have put it up for fun....

    Go on....have fun. Bash, call names. I know you don't *hate* us. You *hate* our government. And military. And yada, yada, yada.....

  • jelly

    Well, it appears my post was deleted, what a shock.

    My points were basically this:

    • The dropping of the atomic bombs saved many lives; if you are faced with 2 bad choices (1) drop the bomb that kills 200K people and (2) fight without the bomb which kills 2 million people how is it moral to make the choice that kills the greater amount of people
    • The Euros come to their conclusion that 2 million dead is moral (as opposed to 200k) because of the following reasons
    1. Euro's have always been anti semitic and they still are when they are not burning synagogs or stuffing jews into ovens they are bitching about the Americans because we stop them from doing what they love best - killing jews
    2. Because we stop Euros from killing jews they hate us and like it when we die. They figure if enough Americans die we wont be able to stop them from killing their jews.
    3. Therefore euros will always see as moral the option that kills more Americans choice number (2)
    4. Read it quick its probably going away.


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