By Paul Bucheit
Every clear-thinking American knows that education and jobs are needed more than armed guards in poor neighborhoods. But average Americans are led to believe in a terrorist threat that may or may not exist, and that in any case is greatly exaggerated, while the corporate/military/political complex creates new forms of terror to safeguard the assets of the rich.
1. War Terror
It started with our leaders comparing notes on Iraq:
Cheney 08/26/02: There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
Cheney 09/14/03: We never had evidence that he had acquired a nuclear weapon.
Powell 02/05/03: Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agents.
Powell 09/13/04: I think it’s unlikely that we will find any stockpiles.
Bush 05/29/03: We found the weapons of mass destruction.
Bush 10/08/04: I wasn’t happy when we found out there wasn’t weapons.
In the first Iraqi war, two air missions per minute were conducted over 43 days, with the equivalent of seven Hiroshima bombs dropped on a largely defenseless country. Much of the slaughter was caused by “dumb bombs” that fell on civilian areas. U.S. troops attacked retreating Iraqi soldiers with cluster bombs and napalm as American pilots, adopting metaphors such as ‘turkey shoot’ and ‘fish in a barrel,’ conducted target practice from above. Some Iraqis were buried alive by bulldozers that spread tons of sand over them.
In the end, at least 190,000 Iraqi lives were destroyed in a war that cost over $2.2 trillion. A Johns Hopkins study puts the tally much higher, with an estimate of 650,000 Iraqi deaths.
2. Drone Terror
In Pakistan, civilians can hear the droning in the sky all day long. Said one resident: “I can’t sleep…when the drones are there…I hear them making that sound, that noise. The drones are all over my brain.” A humanitarian worker added, “I was in New York on 9/11…This is what it is like.”
When bombings kill townspeople, their family and friends are often afraid to run to their aid, because standard procedure is to bomb the first responders. Afterwards the funerals are sometimes bombed.
A Pew survey reported that 75% of Pakistanis consider us their enemy. A former advisor to General Petraeus stated, “Every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement..” Indeed, militant groups have rapidly been forming, such as Lashkar, which has been attacking U.S. troops across the border in Afghanistan. The sentiment goes beyond Pakistan. A spokesperson for Yemen, also under attack, told a U.S. Senate committee, “What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: There is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America.”
The disease is spreading. There are now 737 U.S. Military Bases around the world, and over 2.5 million military personnel. Since 9/11 about 100 new generals and admirals have been added to the ranks of top brass, all with private jets and chefs and guards and secretaries and drivers.