The whirling sinkhole of DC’s realpolitik peddlers took umbrage to President Putin’s Op-Ed in the New York Times. Not to be outdone, our resident poker-playing warmonger John McCain (who apparently sees himself and not President Obama as America’s leader) vowed to respond by penning an Op-Ed in Russia’s “Pravda”. McCain’s rhetoric is unlikely to have anywhere near the same impact as President Putin’s impassioned, well-reasoned diplomatic appeal to the American people.
What really gets the goat of our indignant politicos is Putin’s jab at the stance of American exceptionalism. How dare anyone suggest that we’re not special? Let’s examine the way Exceptional America conducted itself during the last few decades.
1944-1945 – The U.S. burns hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians to death with napalm. During the March 9, 1945 Tokyo raid, 339 American bombers flew in at low altitude, dropping 690,000 pounds of napalm within an hour, killing over 100,000 civilians. The U.S. continued to pummel 64 of Japan’s largest cities until its stocks of napalm ran out, incinerating more Japanese than the atom bombs.
1945 – The U.S. is the first and only country ever to use nuclear weapons, when it bombs Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Hiroshima, the U.S. unleashed the gravity bomb known as "Little Boy", a gun-type fission weapon with about 140 pounds of Uranium-235. In Nagasaki, the U.S. used the “Fat Man” bomb, containing a core of about 14 pounds of plutonium. Americans reportedly regarded the Japanese as “a nameless mass of vermin” and according to the polls, 13% of the U.S. public were in favor of exterminating all Japanese. Hundreds of thousands were killed in the bombings, although the official collection of records and disclosure of information was vehemently suppressed by the U.S.
1950’s – The U.S. contaminates mostly black neighborhoods of St. Louis, Missouri with hundreds of pounds of finely powdered zinc cadmium sulfide and another classified ingredient, said to be radioactive. The population is falsely assured that the government is merely testing a smokescreen to protect the city from potential Russian attacks. Since that time, an alarming number of the area's residents have developed cancer.
1950-1953 – During the Korean War, the U.S. drops a quarter of a million pounds of napalm. The war ends without either side having achieved a decisive military victory. Since there was no declaration of war by Congress, President Truman called it a “police action.”
1960’s – Egypt used phosgene and mustard gas during its intervention in the civil war in Yemen. Exceptional America didn’t seem to mind. With the U.S. backing, Mubarak regime continued to research and develop chemical weapons.
1964 – In the Gulf of Tonkin incident, nonexistent torpedo boat attacks were used as the pretext for the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In reality, the U.S. was concerned with the expected “domino effect” that would cause the spread of communism across the world. As the U.S. Senate admits in 1970: “The US has dumped on Vietnam a quantity of toxic chemical (dioxin) amounting to six pounds per head of population,” approximately 20 million gallons of chemicals. Up to 3 million Vietnamese were exposed to Agent Orange. Until present time, over 1 million continue to suffer grave health repercussions today, including about 500,000 children born with birth defects. Vietnam also took the heaviest hit of napalm, with the U.S. dropping over 388,000 tons of the “diabolically cruel child seeking killer” between 1963 and 1973.
1973 – U.S. masterminds and provides military support for a bloody coup by despotic General Augusto Pinochet against democratically elected Salvador Allende. Pinochet’s despotic regime lasts 17 years, killing thousands and causing over 40,000 people to be tortured.
1980’s – Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein inflicts close to 100,000 casualties amongst Iranian soldiers, using banned chemical agents. The U.S. removes Iraq from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, in order to supply them with a key component in the manufacture of mustard gas. Senior DIA officials point out that Iraq’s use of chemical warfare is “inevitable” and “not a matter of deep strategic concern.”
1988 – Saddam Hussein’s forces murder nearly 5,000 Kurdish civilians with chemical weapons. The U.S. actively downplays the massacre and even attempts to falsely blame Iran. Exceptional America continues to send aid to Iraq after its use of poison gas against civilians is confirmed.
1993 – the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is ratified as a binding international treaty that prohibits the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, and transfer or use of chemical weapons. U.S. ratifies that treaty, while countries such as Israel, Egypt and Syria do not. The U.S. doesn’t demand that Egypt or Israel disarm their chemical weapons arsenals, nor do we destroy our own. In Exceptional America, the world is sharply broken down into our allies and our enemies. The rules apply solely to our enemies (whether real or perceived), while ourselves and our allies are not held to the same standard.
1993 - The FBI conducts an infamous Waco siege of a peaceful community of Seventh Day Adventists, pumping tear gas into buildings filled with women, children and infants. Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the use of tear gas on a battlefield, designating it a “war crime.” Highly flammable tear ignites, burning alive 49 adults and 27 children/infants.
1997 – The U.S. agrees to decommission 31,000 ton of sarin, VX, mustard gas and other chemical weapons within 10 years. As of 2013, this task is yet to be accomplished and the earliest estimated dates for such a destruction of our enormous chemical weapons arsenal is circa 2023.
1999-2000 – The Pentagon builds a germ factory that could make enough lethal microbes to wipe out entire cities. They describe their motivation as the need “to assess how hard it would be for a terrorist or rogue nation” to do the same. Neither the White House, nor Congress is briefed about this project.
2001 – In response to the 9/11 attack that involved numerous Saudi Arabian hijackers, the U.S. invades Afghanistan. Saudi terror funding is never addressed. The conflict continues to date, having expanded into neighboring North-West Pakistan and leading to the start of an insurgency in Waziristan in 2007. The U.S. military regularly launches extrajudicial drone killings in Pakistan, leading to hundreds of civilian deaths. CIA’s “double tap” drone attacks target the rescuers of the initial drone attack victims. Double tap drone attacks constitute war crimes. As of 2013, tens of thousands of people were killed in the war. CIA’s Special Activities Division paramilitary teams were active in Afghanistan for decades. Osama Bin Laden's goal was reportedly “to lure the United States into Afghanistan, which had long been called 'The Graveyard of Empires.'”
2002 - The U.S. raises objections to allowing Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to inspect U.S. chemical weapons facilities. The U.S. also opposed OPCW’s efforts to having Iraq sign on to the chemical weapons prohibition.
2002 – Senator Kerry leads the charge for a war against Iraq, falsely exclaiming that “Iraq has chemical and biological weapons . . . larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War.” These claims were made in spite of the fact that by 1993, Iraq had completely destroyed its stockpile and dismantled its chemical weapons program. Nancy Pelosi joined the hysteria, stating categorically that Iraq “certainly” has WMD’s and there is “no question about that.”
2003 – The U.S. dumps thousands of tons of munitions made from depleted uranium (a toxic and radioactive nuclear waste product) on Iraq. Over a half of babies born in Fallujah from 2007 - 2010 were born with horrific birth defects, some of which have never been seen before. Studies show that the use of chemical weapons in Iraq destroyed the genetic integrity of the country’s population, producing the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied. The U.S. also uses napalm.
2004 – The U.S. attacks Iraqi civilians with White Phosphorus, an incendiary chemical weapon that melts human flesh all the way to the bone.
2007 – The U.S. successfully pressures Israel to reject Syria’s attempts to make peace, which would have included Israeli withdrawal from occupied Syrian territory of Golan Heights. In 2013, Israel granted an exclusive Golan Heights oil-drilling license to a local subsidiary of Genie Energy, tied to former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch. The timing is directly related to the fact that the Syrian government is currently preoccupied with the threat of American “intervention” and therefore has no time to deal with this problem.
2008 - 2009 – Israel attacks Palestinian civilians with White Phosphorus during its invasion of Gaza. Exceptional America is mum.
2008 – The Republic of Georgia starts a war with Russia in South Ossetia. The Western media and political leaders falsely claim that Putin had invaded Georgia unprovoked. Based on those baseless allegations of “Russian aggression,” Dick Cheney was planning to bomb Russia. After the Georgia War ended, it was disclosed that Cheney wanted to launch "surgical strikes" and/or to bomb Russian land forces. The Exceptional America was nearly dragged into a World War III with Russia, based purely on a fabrication. Bloodthirsty politicians, such as John McCain, still have their eye on Georgia, calling for NATO expansion into Russia’s backyard, as a punishment for Russia’s refusal to extradite NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It should be noted that Exceptional America repeatedly refused to sign an extradition treaty with Russia and rejected or ignored all of Russia’s extradition requests.
2009 – Afghanistan claims that the U.S. military used White Phosphorus, killing more than 130 Afghans who exhibited “unusual burns.” In a separate instance the same year, an 8-year-old Afghani girl in Kapisa province is burned by White Phosphorus from the rounds fired by NATO forces.
2011 – U.S. police fire tear gas at the Occupy protesters. Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits the use of tear gas against enemy soldiers in battle, but Exceptional America sees nothing wrong with using it against civilian protesters.
2011 – U.S. leads a multi-state coalition in a military intervention in Libya, based on the allegations that Libyan military had conducted airstrikes against Libyan rebels in the country’s civil war. The purpose of the “intervention” was to establish a no-fly zone, although President Obama admitted, “We knew that a no-fly zone would not save the people of Benghazi… The no-fly zone was an expression of concern that didn't really do anything.” The conflict continued until the death of Muammar Gaddafi, whose repressive regime was substantially propped up by the U.S., with full diplomatic recognition since 2003. The intervention left Libya in shambles, with a myriad of armed groups roaming the war-torn country, perpetrating ongoing violence, arbitrary detention and torture against detainees, tribal clashes, deadly attacks on foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations, the destruction of Sufi religious sites, kidnappings for financial and political reasons, and targeted killings of former Gaddafi security officers. Non-Libyans from sub-Saharan Africa face arrests, beatings, and forced labor. Libyan extremists are now connected to Syrian “rebels”, an Al Qaeda branch in Algeria and the extremists fighting to establish an Islamic caliphate in Mali.
2013 – The prospect of Syrian “intervention” looms on the horizon, as the CIA continues to arm multi-national groups of radical “rebels,” with only a distant memory of the 1980’s, when they were arming such “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan (including Osama Bin Laden himself). Former French Foreign Minister said that U.S./UK/French operations against Assad were “prepared, preconceived and planned” years in advance. Not surprisingly, General Wesley Clark says so too. As long as these plans continue to be carried out, we will be inflicting more pain and suffering in the world. In the timeless words of Gandhi, “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”
While the “humanitarian grounds” are often cited as the pretext for our military involvement, Exceptional America often looks the other way when extending ourselves is inconsistent with our own interests. We didn’t intervene during Rwandan genocide that took the lives of over 800,000 people. We didn’t step up in the Congo, where more than 5.8 million have died from 1998 to present day. We didn’t care about Darfur, Liberia or Burundi. Our exceptionalism and “responsibility to protect” seem to be very selective.
To date, President Obama is the only American president to publicly tout the magical idea of American Exceptionalism. Believing that we are above international laws and our own Constitutional principles has placed us on shaky ground. Our aspirations for worldwide domination have caused other nations to see us as a mindless, power-hungry bully. Even as the administrations change, the engineers of bloody coups and military conflicts are lurking in the shadows behind the throne.
It’s time for the American people to finally deal with Congressional stagnation during the next round of elections. Fresh in the minds of the 91% of Americans who oppose the strikes on Syria should be not only the names of those Representatives who were planning to vote “Yes,” but also those who vowed to vote “No” only because they wanted a much bigger war. Our Congress is supposed to represent the will of the people and American people aren’t interested in another conflict, including longsuffering members of our military.
As Major General William T. Sherman said, “I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting - its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers ... it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated ... that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation.” Last year, 6,500 veterans took their own lives. We have to stop the madness.
Those demonizing President Putin’s admirable peacemaking efforts would do well to remember that during World War II, in an epic battle of good vs. evil, America fought on the same side as Russia. Perhaps, we’ve met the enemy and it is not a foreign foe, but the myth of American Exceptionalism.