By Dave Lindorff
It was just three weeks ago that our new “transformative” President Joe Biden joined that long almost unbroken list of war criminal presidents stretching back to George Washington.
Biden joined this disgraceful list by ordering a bloody aerial bombardment by US warplanes in eastern Syria.
The US bombs, which were reportedly dropped on a a location in the city of Erbil, according to the British daily The Independent, killed as many as 22 people in the targeted buildings (assuming all the bombs atually landed on their intended targets). Most if not all of the victims were Iraqis described by the US as being part of two “Iranian-backed militias,” which were accused of being behind a rocket attack 10 days earlier that killed a US mercenary and wounded a Louisiana National Guardsman . The Pentagon called the attack, which employed seven 500-1b bombs, a “proportional response” to that earlier attack, which raises questions about the meaning of “proportional” (or about what the hell dictionary they use in the White House).
The Oxford Dictionary defines “proportional” as meaning “corresponding in size or amount to something else,” but it seems unlikely that a rocket attack by a militia group or two could come close in explosive power to seven bombs totalling nearly two tons of explosive, and besides, 22 deaths is unarguably way out of proportion in relation to a casualty toll of one dead and one wounded.
Aside from the ludicrous misuse of that term by the Pentagon and the reporters who dutifully scribbled it own in their notes and quoted it in their reports of the briefing without comment, there is another point that was left out: That those who were killed, even if Iraqi, were there in Syria at the behest of the Syrian government. The US mercenary killed and the US soldier wounded in Syria were in that country as invaders, in violation of both Syrian national sovereignty and international law.
That is why Biden made himself yet another US war criminal president.
But Biden didn’t stop there. After killing those 22 people, who could well have included innocent civilians, maybe even kids, who might have been in some of those buildings, a few weeks later he went on to label Russia’s Vladimir Putin a “killer” in a classic pot-calling-the-kettle-black moment.
Ray McGovern, the former CIA analyst and Russia expert who co-founded the group Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, points out that ABC News talking head George Stephanopoulos provided Biden the opportunity for that name calling during an interview when he asked the stupid and pointless question: “Do you think Russian President Putin is a killer?”
Biden of course stupidly and hypocritically replied, “Yes.”
In McGovern’s view, that whole incident was likely a set up deliberately by someone in the State Department or the Pentagon who wanted to further bung up US-Russia relations, and I think Ray’s got a point. It’s not hard to imagine that being the case, given the way ABC, like the other major TV network news programs, employs retired Pentagon and State Department officials as paid news “commentators.” You can just imagine one of them saying, “Hey Steph, why don’t you ask Biden whether he think’s Putin’s a killer?”
Now Putin’s pissed off, Biden can’t back down, and we’re off to the races at the start of a new term with a childish deadlock that will make any kind of serious negotiating to ease tensions between the world’s two nuclear super-powers difficult if not hopeless. Nice job George, you thumb sucking imposter of a real journalist! You just gave an example of the workings of what Ray calls “MiciMatt “(that’s for Military Industrial Congressional Intelligence Media Academia Think Tank).
If the gambit of insulting Putin works, it’s worth at least another $100 billion for the Pentagon’s already record large coffers for the next fiscal year.
It’s just another sign of the madness of all involved — Biden, Stephanopoulos and, what the hell, Putin too.
The US at least is well and truly mad. Earlier this past week we had the madness of an angry white guy in Atlanta deciding, at least as he explained it to police, that seven Asian women in several licensed mall spas, including some old enough to be receiving Social Security benefits, had to be blown away by him because he felt they were taunting him with their beauty and making him have “bad thoughts.” He had no alternative, he said, but to kill them to stop them from tormenting him like that.
I really can’t decide who’s loopier, President Joe Biden or Robert Aaron Long. Biden is crazy to be trash-talking a foreign leader with whom he surely knows he must engage in serious negotiations, at least if there is to be any hope of lowering the risks of war and the certainty of spending this nation into bankruptcy, not to mention worsening a human rights disaster in civil war-torn Syria. And Long is crazy, like a lot of Americans, for thinking a bunch of Asian women trying just to make a living by easing people’s joint and muscle pains deserve to die (along with an unfortunate young bride who was, along with her husband, getting a his-and-hers, side-by-side massage wedding gift, and happened to be in his way.
The truth is that the whole US needs mental health counselling. Half the country is celebrating at having just installed in the White House a man who apparently is still living in the 1960s Cold War era with a foreign policy and appointees in national security posts that together seem hell-bent on creating two massive enemy nations, Russia and China, both armed to the teeth, instead of trying to achieve peaceful relations with both those countries. Meanwhile, the other half of the country are mostly white racists who want to prevent people of color from voting, and view anyone who is non-white regardless of birth or US citizenship as interlopers with no right to be here, and as deserving to be being beaten up, harassed or even killed. They are also, for the most part, people caught up in a delusional fantasy that the last election was “stolen” away from their hero, Donald Trump, a huckster so preposterous that it’s difficult to see how anyone — at least anyone sane — could take him seriously.
With the globe careening towards a disaster that could lead to the extinction of humanity, or at least the collapse of what we call civilization, and perhaps to the extinction of much of the earth’s entire biome, this is a crisis situation.
The US may represent only some 4.25% of the earth’s population but it is by far the world’s primary purveyor and inciter of violence. It’s also one of the the world’s greatest and most unapologetic producers of pollution (particularly if you include the share of pollution produced in China, Indonesia, India and other third world countries in the making and shipping of goods purchased by US residents). For this country to be focused on such misguided issues as a wholly unnecessary arms race, military confrontations and imaginary threats, and internal affairs that are not its own business, with such an existential crisis actually facing the US and all of humanity is not just depressing. it’s infuriating.