US military interventions & accountability for civilian deaths
Posted on April 26th, 2011

Shenali Waduge

People outside a war terrain will never understand what a battle is like. Soldiers do not memorize the international protocols nor do they have time to remember any of the clauses in them while trying to take on the enemy. Yet, in the case of the US most of the troops it has committed in countries have been without any provocation. To eliminate a handful of perpetrators, the US has killed thousands of civilians. As aggressor, the US has a very poor record of accountability & with no actions taken against the US by world bodies that are tasked to do so. The issue of accountability invariably ends up at the doorsteps of smaller nations while the powerful one’s care little for the word & care less for the civilians that they kill.


The important question is how long will US citizens continue to buy the lies fed by its Governments? US media is practically owned & run by Israel & continues to tell US citizens that Americans are under threat, that America will be targeted by terrorists & this has been sufficient reason to commit US troops to any part of the world on the guise of protecting America. Is the ultimate game to make US citizens sufferers of fear psychosis & turn it into a country riddled in debt? Americans are told that buzzwords like “freedom” “human rights” prevail in US alone & so it becomes the duty of the US to instill these amazing
“democratic” concepts into those countries. Very few Americans know to what extent their citizens have freedom of expression & human rights, they are made to feel privileged by comparing themselves to other countries that have become what they are because of the West. Very few Americans seem to know the geography of the world or care little to find out to demand from US Governments why it is committing trillions of dollars & putting generations of Americans in debt.


US interventions did not begin with Iraq. Since 1898 America has taken the path of aggressive intervention & have marched forth with the concept of setting up “protectorates”. In 1898 it took over Philippines, then Cuba & Puerto Rico from Spain. Then came US’s role in World War 1. Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Haiti & the Dominican Republic were turned into protectorates. There was a pattern in these interventions & it was solely based on corporate interests. US cared little for the loss to civilians of these countries & there was no accountability by the US.


During World War 2, US forces ruthlessly bombed Dresden (Germany) & Tokyo killing hundreds & thousands of civilians. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki still find Americans believing that targeting Japanese civilians was worth the American lives that had been saved. What happened on August 6 & August 9, 1945 should go down clearly as a crime against humanity. This was terrorism by US & nothing can justify what the US did. Why did the US develop such a weapon? Each time the world is given the excuse that another nation is acquiring nuclear bombs that necessitated US to develop them first. It was the US that began a new era in warfare by using the atomic bomb, it was the US that first began targeting civilians as a strategy with the use of the atomic bomb, fearing US aggression other countries began themselves to build their own nuclear arsenal. If the world becomes a frightening place because of nuclear arsenal it is totally because of the US.


Civilian deaths meant little to the US when they purposely targeted civilians in dropping the atomic bombs in Nagasaki & Hiroshima & US continues this trend throughout its other interventions where it is evident that US cares pittance about casualties to civilians of the countries it has sent its troops to. 50 million civilians died in Hiroshima & the impact of the atomic bomb caused health suffering to many thousands in later years. The US even commemorated the attacks on Hiroshima & Nagasaki by issuing a Stamp depicting an image of a mushroom cloud.


The Philippine insurrection resulted in the deaths of 200,000 civilians with a policy given to US troops to shoot anyone above 10 years who dared to resist US occupation. In Vietnam, President Nixon gave orders to carpet-bomb Cambodia knowing that hundreds of thousand peasants would perish.


Then the Korea war (1950-53) where US troops fired on civilians heading towards South Korea fearing they were North Korean infiltrators. US had not learnt lessons from what they did to Nagasaki & Hiroshima for again the US threatened to use nuclear weapons on North Korea not once but twice! A few years later during the Middle East crisis US marines deployed in Lebanon threatened Iraq with nuclear attack if it invaded Kuwait. Intervention of the Dominican Republic resulted in 1965 though it failed in Cuba in 1961. CIA has supported & installed pro-US dictatorships in Iraq, Chile, Indonesia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicargua where CIA trained contra rebels were taught to launch terrorist attacks. US troops invaded island nation of Grenada in 1983, a hospital had also been bombed by US but there was no accountability for that at least! From South America again the US focus shifted towards Iran where a pro-US dictatorship was installed, then in 1982 Israel occupied Lebanon & US troops were deployed as “peacekeepers” but sided with Lebanon’s pro-Israel Christian government against Muslim rebels creating suicide attacks against the Marines. The US response was to assassinate Shi’ite Muslim leaders though Syria & the rebels won over US.


Many have forgotten the US bombing on Libya in 1986 which killed a lot of Libyan civilians & many believe that Gaddafi sought revenge by bombing the US jet over Scotland.

The US killing spree continued in 1989 when it accused its former ally Manuel Noriega of drug-running & US invaded Panama where the US killed over 2000 civilians just to capture one leader!


Following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq which resulted in US turning against its former friend Saddam Hussein since the US had supported the Kuwaiti monarchy as well as the Saudi Arabian monarchy. It was in 1991 that the US & allies together unleashed its brutality upon Iraq & it is estimated that over 200,000 Iraqi’s perished, thousands more died as a result of the economic sanctions. No panel or accountability has so far been sought from the US!


Both Bush & Clinton cared little when their orders meant thousands of Iraqi lives would get affected by UN sanctions that ended up starving Iraqi people & making thousands more ill. All these strategies were meant to make the Iraqi people submissive & to incite them to overthrow Saddam. When asked in 1996 this is what Madeline Albright said “We have heard that a half million children have died [from the sanctions]. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And “”…” you know, is the price worth it?, Albrights reply was “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price “”…” we think the price is worth it”. The US went on to drop cluster bombs on Serbia in 1999 again aware that civilians would suffer. The US game plan continues to be repeated elsewhere. Countries are advised not to become slaves to the loan sharks in the form of the World Bank or the IMF.

America cannot undo what they did in Hiroshima, Nagasaki or any of the other countries that it has appalling human rights records but America should be told to stop immediately the patterns of civilian targeting & unnecessary interventions they are currently spearheading. Who is to tell the US is another problem. The UN is practically a non-performing puppet ready to please superpowers.

Yes, lest we forget to mention a new term was coined known as “humanitarian interventions” “”…” interventions supposedly to safeguard civilians. This is presently happening in Libya where US & allies & NATO are bombing Libya killing hundreds of civilians but the world must keep mum because they are supposedly safeguarding civilians”¦.(but putting them to death!)

Whenever humanitarian intervention is mentioned Somalia comes to mind. The African nation torn by hunger & civil war between two warlords resulted in US following to perfection the divide & rule strategy which ended up a killing field & mass genocide. Then the US turned towards the Balkans & watched the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) kill Muslim civilians in Bosnia in 1995. Then US & allies bombed Serbia to force President Milosevic to withdraw forces from ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo. Kosovo was made “independent” again because of its economic benefit to the West.

If we are appalled at the manner the US has been continuing military interventions & wonder why other powerful nations sit mum it is because these nations need energy to sustain their powerful empires. The West have become what they are by draining developing nations of their natural wealth. In doing so they did colossal damage by ensuring all these nations were eternally saddled with conflict by promulgating the strategy of divide & rule.


How have these “humanitarian interventions” been strategized? Firstly, the US public end up being fooled. The US Government declares it is defending the lives & rights of civilians of other nations. The media propaganda perfectly backs these claims. However, military tactics employed end up leaving massive civilian “collateral damage” which meant troops cared little if people of these nations were rebels or civilians, whether they lived in rebel zones or in residential areas. The simple explanation given for civilian deaths is “accidental” or “unavoidable” or “sorry”. Again, no accountability & certainly no panel reports for the UNSG in not one but hundreds of interventions that have created millions of deaths that the US Governments are responsible for.


Slogans being used for these interventions are “freedom” “democracy” “human rights” while US defended dictatorships by pro-US leaderships. The agenda being either ideological to ensure capitalism prevailed or an economic agenda where US would be able to secure or protect oil company investments.


Other buzzwords to look out for is referring to opponents as “terrorists”, claiming that leaderships of those countries are carrying out “atrocities against civilians”, “ethnic cleansing”, “genocide” & these are meant to be perfect reasons for the intervention by US & its allies.

The important question is if the US & allies think they have the right to “terminate” a state that harbors or trains terrorists by descending on the nation without invitation, can any other state do the same to US or its allies? Many of the organizations that the US & allies have termed “terrorist” have official offices set up in their countries, their key members are often citizens of these countries, they even carry out open campaigns in these countries & openly collect funds. The LTTE has been a perfect example where its official office was in London, despite LTTE’s ruthless record of bloodshed its foreign leaderships continue to be brushing shoulders with foreign leaderships. Now after the real LTTE is no more, some utopian tiger Government created by refugee tigers holding multiple passports has been set up & even that has been recognized”¦.a virtual Government without land! These are double standards & so long as double standards prevail the US & allies will continue to have opposition. The UN unless it changes its biased nature will continue to be an institution laughed at by its members. It is time that nations that are being treated with bias get together & threat to walk of membership unless the UN & UNSG follows the true vision & mission of the UN.


The US & its allies are no neutral peacekeepers. The UN is well aware of this status & these allied troops descend upon nations using the “humanitarian” motive purely to protect its strategic interests or to acquire & secure economic interests & when they do descend what they end up doing is dividing a nation & putting the people against the other “”…” the classic divide & rule policy.


However, there are instances that in attempting to demonize enemy leaders a boomerang effect had occurred. Castro, Gaddafi, Kim & now Mahinda Rajapakse! Rather than weaken them amongst the masses these leaders have become popular where the people have begun to realize the gameplan of these powerful nations. Therefore the line of belief by US & allies that the people of the world “like” them is getting thinner. Pro-US media will continue to brainwash world public opinion but countries are now gathering their own set of propaganda to counter these by showcasing the atrocities committed by US & allies on countries they have militarily intervened using the excuse of “humanitarian intervention”.


All the allies have a history of civilian deaths they are accountable for “”…” Germany, Japanese, French, British, Israel.


In a world where being a human means people of different beliefs, fears, thoughts & ideas there is never ONE way. The build up of weapons & nuclear arsenal have been done so on the farce of protecting a nation by fooling its populace that it is under threat. These factors have only created a world where each time people wonder whether there will be a repetition of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, especially when dealing with a country that has no shame or feels accountable or embarrassed for wiping out millions of civilians but have instead steadfastly continued to bombard nations, forcefully occupy territories, drops bombs on civilians caring little for life or limb.


Can Americans finally accept that its Governments are & continue to be committing crimes against humanity? The pro-US thinkers will be quick to cite instances of dictatorships in other countries but the issue here is that the US is without any provocation attacking & completely destroying nations & their people.


2 Responses to “US military interventions & accountability for civilian deaths”

  1. Vis8 Says:

    US ambassador to the UN, Richardson: The Killing of 100,000 Iraqi kids was “The right thing to do”:

  2. Rohan Says:

    Thanks Shenali, this is first rate article that should be circulated far and wide, this is what you call proper journalism. Thank you. The world has had to put up with the twin evils of US and UK imperialism for a long time now. These two countries have been reponsible for the death of millions over 200 years and yet they have the cheek to accuse others of war crimes. The evil powers emanating out of London and Washington DC. Lest we forget the State of Isreal was created by London and supported by Washington DC. Used by the imperialist strategists in London and Washington to sow conflict and division in the Arab and Muslim world. So they can subjugate and control them and steal their oil resources. Hopefully the Arabs will be able to throw off the yolk of British and American imperialism in their lands. Libya being the latest example.

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