Actually the death toll from American foreign policy is pretty staggering. We condemn others for aggression, when in fact there has been no country since World War II that can compare with the United States in the realm of aggression. And I say this fully conscious of the charges many would bring against the Soviet Union. A very evil government, but in terms of aggression... their actions do not surpass the United States. Not even close.
We condemn others for terrorism, but from the standpoint of a good percentage of the earth's population, the chief terrorist in the world is the United States. We condemn others for chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction...while we use them with abandon. We condemn nations for controlling the media, and intimidating reporters, while ours is controlled by corporate interests, profit motive, and we imprison and kill any reporter who dares to question our narrative.
Oh you haven't heard about that? You wouldn't unless you bother to look at international media. America has imprisoned reporters in Guantanamo, and the American military killed dozens in Iraq. They deny this of course, but only half-heartedly. They don't really care.
American media is completely biased, reflecting both corporate interests and in all honesty often reflects public sentiment.
But that's a far cry from even attempting objective truthful reporting and analysis. Nor can it be labeled 'liberal' in any sense.
Pardon the cliché, but in this case it is true. In war the first casualty is always the truth. War is about deception and about controlling the narrative. Napoleon attempted this when he invaded Egypt. Lincoln did it during the American Civil War. And as we entered the 20th century America the Grand Mistress of Marketing became the standard. Imperial presidents like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson sold their wars to a duped public, and Wilson perhaps pulled off the greatest social coup d'état, by unifying the country in World War I. The divide between North and South began to really close as the nation unified in the cause of war.
I suppose people open themselves up to this kind of deception. People would lose their minds and tear their hair out at the thought of their sons dying while committing murder. Think of the mother whose son is gunned down while robbing a bank. It's a tragedy. But if her son was 'liberating' another country, then he's a hero. The families of heroes won't take to the streets and call leaders to account.
Poor Lyndon Johnson. People were taking to the streets for all sorts of things under his administration. He lost control of the narrative. The tool of fear was no longer working and people began to see...for the first time in a long time...that their sons were dying for nothing and in some cases, dying while doing something bad.
All these forces combine to contribute to self-deception. It's like if we just keep saying it over and over again...it will be alright. 'They're serving, defending us, keeping us free.'
The Germans who had been abused and kicked after World War I, which was not entirely their fault by any stretch of the imagination, believed this too. Hitler was going to make sure they weren't abused like that again. Slobodan Milosevic said the same thing when he stood in Kosovo and rallied the Serbs in 1989, evoking the 600 year anniversary of their defeat at the hands of the Turks.
Fear, idolatry, a search for meaning...a nationalistic and commercial narrative...powerful stuff.
I remember listening to Focus on the Family several years ago to several wives whose husbands had been killed in Iraq while 'serving' us and 'liberating' the Iraqis. The show of course presented them as not just heroes, but Christian heroes and martyrs, and lauded these brave widows who continue to persevere. Any sympathy I had quickly dissipated as I listened to them spew lies about Iraq and what America was doing there. They talked about how awful Saddam Hussein was (and he certainly was) and how the people lacked basic services such as schools, water and electricity under the terrible dictator.
Secular Iraq and Iran had been perhaps the most advanced Middle Eastern countries prior to American meddling. The Iranian people threw out the American proxy and of course Iraq became our servant in the war between these two nations during the 1980's. I've always found it ironic that the Iranian military under Khomeini was using American hardware from the days of the Shah, and the Iraqis were using Warsaw Pact goods from the 1970's when Iraq had been our antagonist. We went from supporting the Iraqi Kurds in the 1970's, to ignoring them in the 1980's (as we still do across the border in Turkey)...to supporting them again in the 1990's.
Iraq was hardly the backward portrait these military widows painted. The reason their water and electrical infrastructure was ruined as of 2003, was because the United States had been systematically destroying the country for twelve years. And I'm sorry to say I played a part in the logistical support of the illegal No Fly Zones. My European base was a key transit point in the supplying of American bases in Eastern Turkey which were from the standpoint of many NGO workers....contributing to genocide in the 1990's.
Over 1.5 million Iraqis died during those years, not to mention over half a million children. Madeleine Albright famously said it (the half million dead children) was worth it. But these 'christian' widows blamed all the Iraqi sorrows on the Iraqis and seemed to view their husbands as martyrs for their Christo-American religion.
I guess they have to believe the death of their husbands had meaning. It did...but it's not something they want to deal with. Their husband's died while killing for the empire, nothing more.
And it is not missed by others in the region that America condemned their former ally Saddam Hussein, but across the border Turkey has ethnically cleansed and slaughtered thousands of Kurds for attempting to retain their language and culture. The media in the United States will not report this story, and if it's mentioned at all, they only speak of the PKK terrorists. Cross the border (which is largely fictitious) into Iraq and they become Peshmerga freedom fighters combating Saddam the tyrant. There are many casualties in the region...truth and honesty were slain long ago.
Returning to the helicopter shot down in Afghanistan, I also found it interesting that on the 'christian' radio station the 'reporter' noted that a 'lucky' shot from the Taliban brought down the helicopter which killed the American troops.
The word was used deliberately...why?
I could be wrong, but I'll make an attempt to explain.
Just as these people struggle with the whole notion of Sovereignty and Providence when it comes to events like September 11. For example, they cannot grasp the dynamic that an event like that and many others can be both in accord with and contrary to the will of God... they cannot grasp that the downing of that helicopter was also God's will.
So they ascribe it to...luck.
I thought the comment said far more about their understanding of God and how the universe is ruled.
The nations are as a drop in a bucket. I'm afraid this does not resonate well with American concepts of self-importance. That must apply to all the other nations, right? Not us. God's on our side.
Assyria was used as a tool. God used the Assyrian Empire to bring His judgment on other nations...including Israel. They were His tool, His Providential rod of anger. But then He also condemns them for their pride and the bloodthirstiness. They are cursed. They're doing it, they're guilty, but it was all according to His plan.
I am pleased to say there are a growing number of Christians who are beginning to see this, but there are millions more who do not grasp this...it would never occur to them, not in a thousand lifetimes that the country they venerate and in fact worship is no different than Assyria.
Woe to Assyria.