Middle East History 101:

Trump Condemns Iran, Russia for Being Associated with Mass Murder, Supporting Brutal Tyrants... Yeah, but Who’s No. 1?

April 16, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday night, in justifying the illegitimate U.S., British, and French attack on Syria, Trump warned Syria’s sponsors:

To Iran and to Russia I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by supporting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.

The murder of innocent men, women, and children?! Supporting brutal tyrants and murderous dictators?! If you came in late and didn’t know who was speaking, you might have assumed someone was presenting a history of America’s actions in the Middle East over the last 70 years!

Russia and Iran are, no question, reactionary, bloodstained oppressors who no one should support. But when it comes to mass murder and backing ruthless tyrants, it’s “USA, USA, USA,” number one!

70 Years of Mass Murder and Supporting Brutal Tyrants

Trump spoke as if the U.S. would never think of committing any of the horrendous crimes he accused Syria of carrying out and Iran and Russia of supporting.

Yet for the last 70 years, from one end of the greater Middle East to another, that’s precisely what America has done. In the last two decades alone, it has carried out or backed massacres of innocent men, women, and children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya.

The U.S. has funded, armed, and backed Israel’s ongoing, genocidal ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and its wars of aggression, from Israel’s founding in 1948 to today. America helped fuel the reactionary seven-year slaughter in Syria and has supplied the bombs for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing, genocidal war in Yemen. The U.S. has installed “murderous dictators” and CIA lackeys in Iran, Egypt, and Jordan, and backed them in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and beyond. It has threatened, intervened, blockaded, and bombed one country after another.

The U.S. rulers claim all these atrocities are carried out for the “greater good” of protecting or liberating suffering people. They’re lying. These ruthless crimes have been carried out to maintain and enforce American domination of the Middle East, a key cog in a ruthless global empire based on exploiting and oppressing literally hundreds of millions around the world.

American Carnage: Four Million and Counting, in Iraq Alone!

It would take volumes to chronicle every crime and atrocity the U.S. and its allies have carried out in the Middle East since the end of World War 2. But what the U.S. has done in Iraq alone makes Assad’s slaughters pale in comparison.

Add up the 3,000 to 5,000 members and supporters of the Iraqi Communist Party murdered in the 1963 CIA-backed Baath Party coup. The 105,000 Iraqis killed in the U.S.-fueled 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. The 100,000 and more during or immediately after the U.S.’s 1991 Desert Storm invasion. The estimated 1.2 million Iraqis, including 500,000 children, who died from starvation or disease during the 1990s due to U.S. sanctions and destruction of Iraq’s electrical and water systems. Then, add in the astronomical number of Iraqis who’ve been killed or died as a result of America’s 2003 invasion, occupation, and ongoing bombing: 2.4 million, according to the most accurate studies available! That comes to a conservative estimate of the blood of four million Iraqis on U.S. hands—and millions more whose lives have been shattered in countless ways.

When are these figures ever reported in the U.S. media? Very, very rarely, because they might call into question the relentlessly promoted myth that America is a force for good in the world. That it may make “mistakes,” but it doesn’t deliberately commit crimes and atrocities on a massive scale.

Mass Chemical Warfare, American Style

Trump self-righteously justified attacking Syria in the name of upholding the global ban on using chemical weapons—because, he declared, they’re “uniquely dangerous, not only because they inflict gruesome suffering, but because even small amounts can unleash widespread devastation.”

Chemical weapons are a gruesome horror, but even if Assad has carried out all the chemical assaults he’s accused of, his crimes would still be a shadow of the chemical horrors the U.S. facilitated, supplied, and directed during the Iran-Iraq war.

At the time, the vampire imperialists ruling the U.S. wanted to make sure Iraq didn’t lose. So the U.S. and its European allies supplied Hussein with the makings of chemical and biological weapons. One report detailed 70 shipments of biological agents from the U.S. to Iraq, including anthrax, botulism, and E. coli bacillus. The U.S. sent Iraq chemicals needed for nerve gas. These death merchants also supplied the tools, equipment, helicopters, and shells to make and deliver them. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officers secretly provided detailed intelligence to Iraq to guide and “calibrate” its mustard gas attacks on Iranian ground troops. The toll of those suffering agonizing deaths and injuries: between 50,000 and 100,000, including many civilians, according to Iranian estimates.

After the war, Saddam used those same chemical weapons with horrendous effect on Iraq’s Kurds, massacring as many as 60,000 people, including as many as 5,000 in one gas attack at Halabja, according to an Iraq scholar. A DIA officer told the New York Times that the Pentagon “wasn’t so horrified by Iraq’s use of gas. It was just another way of killing people—whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn’t make any difference.”

Again, America’s toll in Iraq is but one example of the death and suffering it has inflicted—and continues to inflict—across the Middle East and beyond.

That includes continuing to use banned or deadly chemical and antipersonnel weapons. The U.S. fired depleted uranium shells in the 1991 Persian Gulf War that sickened thousands of Iraqis for years after. In 2004 during its siege of Fallujah under General “Mad Dog” Mattis (now Trump’s secretary of defense), the U.S. rained down cluster bombs, which explode into hundreds of antipersonnel bomblets that children can unsuspectingly pick up, and dropped white phosphorous—a chemical firebomb that can melt skin and burn right down to the bone. And today the U.S. and Britain are supplying Saudi Arabia with cluster bombs that murder and maim “innocent men, women and children” in Yemen.

Trump/Pence—Threatening Mass Murder on a Global Scale

As barbaric and horrendous as America’s Middle East toll has been, the Trump/Pence regime is poised and driven to take its crimes to a whole new level, a level that could imperil millions in the region, and possibly lead to a catastrophic global confrontation, one that could go nuclear.

Trump has already uncritically praised and supported murdering tyrants like Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines and Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan in Turkey. He’s hailing and arming the medieval beheaders ruling Saudi Arabia. He’s removed restraints on U.S. bombing campaigns in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan—and civilian casualties are skyrocketing. He’s vilified Muslims and refugees, targeting and threatening hundreds of millions around the world. And now he and his war cabinet have Iran and North Korea in their gunsights.

Come to grips with this history. Face this potentially existential danger represented by the Trump/Pence regime. Break with the notion that America is a force for good in the world and start resisting its crimes!

Stop Thinking Like Americans, Start Thinking About Humanity!

 

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