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There is no mechanism to hold the institution of the state accountable

13/08/2011

I’ve been an activist from and early age, and recommended that people attend the anti-war mass assembly in London on 8 October 2011. I’ve marched for peace and repeated the mantra “Never again!” Yet, let’s face it, it has not changed anything at all and clearly it never will:

It is not enough to appeal to those who start and live by wars to make them stop. We must identify the real source of all war: Not a particular nation or even a particular kind of weapon, but the institution of the state itself, with no real mechanism to hold it accountable, that enables some people to rain death and unimaginable misery upon others with impunity. – Remembering Mr Miyamoto by Bretigne Shaffer

Japan
The U.S. military killed fifty to ninety per cent of the people in 67 cities and then further annihilated  them with two nuclear bombs.

Korea
Millions of North Korean civilians were slaughtered by fire-bombings, chemical weapons and ordnance. Eighteen cities were destroyed by a massive bombing campaign. Napalm got its real start in Korea. The U.S. military targeted civilian dams, causing massive flooding.

Indochina
The U.S. military slaughtered millions by dropping millions of tons of explosives on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. These ghastly weapons continue to kill people – tens of thousands have died since the war ended. Among the horrible effects of the bombing was the rise of Pol Pot’s regime, probably the worst in history on a per capita basis.

Iraq
The U.S. military drops explosives and then pretends it didn’t mean to kill the many civilians who predictably die in such acts. The naked murderousness of U.S. foreign policy, however, is still apparent. The bombings of water treatment facilities and sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s deliberately targeted the vulnerable Iraqi people. The Iraqi death rate due to the U.S. military invasion stands at: 1,455,590.

4.7 million Iraqis are displaced because of the destruction of their homes and the waves of violence and persecution. Close to half live in poverty in neighbouring countries, and face an uncertain future.  Those Iraqis living inside the country, violence and hardship are a part of daily life.

Iraqis face severe pollution and environmental problems. Nearly half do not have reliable access to safe drinking water, and widespread water shortages have resulted from drought and inadequate management of resources. Except for Baghdad, electricity is limited to three to six hours daily. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of babies born with birth defects since the start of war. The unemployment rate is 15 to 30 per cent.

Iraqi cultural institutions and archaeological sites have suffered tremendously, with the ransacking of museums and the pilfering of thousands of items. This destruction and theft dealt a harsh blow to collections that chronicled some 7,000 years of civilization in Mesopotamia.

The hypocrisy and moral degeneracy in the mouths of U.S. leaders should frighten us more than anything coming out of Iran or North Korea, for that matter, given the U.S.’s capacity to kill and willingness to do it.

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