charon, cerberus, full employment guaranteed in a weak US economy…

A tragic event, indeed.

British parliamentarians, more representative of their constituents than their counterparts in the US, created unforgivable chaos by voting against another Western imperial adventure against a secular Moslem and Arab country. Chaos, that is, if we mean avoiding gratuitous but lucrative death and destruction. And worse, with that decision and the recent initiative of Russia to seek UN control and destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, the community of civilised nations now has the unintended opportunity to reflect on that very rare ‘Wait a minute’ moment regarding ‘the Knight in Shining Armour avec Son Plus Vieux Allie mais sans Caniche’ thing. We find the Beacon of Democracy, Freedom, Justice and Superman in a spot of bother.

The most charitable review comes through – though ‘charitable’ would be damning were this column, Obama’s rogue state tramples over every law it demands others uphold, from The Guardian ignored. Just one excerpt:

But now, as the veto powers of two permanent members (Russia and China) obstruct its attempt to pour petrol on another Middle Eastern fire, the US suddenly decides that the system is illegitimate. Obama says: “If we end up using the UN security council not as a means of enforcing international norms and international law, but rather as a barrier … then I think people rightly are going to be pretty skeptical about the system.” Well, yes.

Here, the pace picks up. A case of ‘rogue nation’ – a soliloquy when the messenger of death speaks? And, without the distraction of another ‘Shock and Awe’, the world can reflect on the definition of rogue nation and war monger. At FDL, a plea to Just Say No

This lack of trust in the government goes much further back than just the ten years ago run up to invading Iraq based on lies and half truths. It goes back beyond the Gulf of Tonkin “incident.” It goes back beyond the recent admission by the CIA that they helped over throw an elected Iranian government in 1952, installing the Shah; eventually leading to his overthrow, the attack on the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and the stand-off between the US and Iran that exists today. I am not a tin-foil wearing conspiracy theorist but these items I have mentioned are not conspiracies, they are facts, albeit often not admitted for decades.

The temperature continues to rise as we approach.  At FDL, An Exceptional Definition of American Exceptionalism. An honest question.

Let me get this straight. American Exceptionalism means “If we can stop children elsewhere from being gassed by not exerting ourselves too much, we do it”?

…and, yes, that ‘God bless America’ bit. ‘God bless America’? Which countries? Indeed, isn’t it rich? Some would more see the ruler of Hades being invoked. Send in the clowns?…

And, from here as we must text Charon, Juan Cole invites our outrage – here we think of the children and the other innocents. And his portrait is graphic in its gruesomeness, and the matter is no longer frivolous, as Prof Cole sets forth President Obama’s Doubtful Grounds for Military Action against Syria. The evidence starts to overwhelm, a sample.

The third idea, that the US is ‘exceptional’ and bears a special responsibility to intervene in Syria after the chemical weapons use seems to me not only incorrect but extremely dangerous. The US is a country like any other, and certainly no more virtuous than most others. It blithely polished off 200,000 Japanese women, children and noncombatant men at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Some were made into shadows on the wall as their bodies carbonized. Thousands suffered from lingering cancer afterwards. No US official was ever so much as reprimanded for this war crime, which was carried out at a time when Japanese had been dehumanized and demonized with the worst sort of racism. The atomic bombs did not hasten the end of the war; the Russian advance into Manchuria did that. One could go on with US infractions against international law and shameless killing of innocents, from the Philippines to Nicaragua to Vietnam.

[Bold added for emphasis.]

Yonder Hades, as John Pilger at The Guardian summarises the Vietnam charges for Charon, and searches for a US democracy, with his, The silent military coup that took over Washington. And the warning: it was the US military that came up with that humanitarian title, Operation Hades. The accompanying photo reminds of ‘the children’, now born and those yet to be born.

In 1970 the Senate reported: “The US has dumped on Vietnam a quantity of toxic chemical (dioxin) amounting to six pounds per head of population.” This was Operation Hades, later renamed the friendlier Operation Ranch Hand – the source of what Vietnamese doctors call a “cycle of foetal catastrophe”. I have seen generations of children with their familiar, monstrous deformities. John Kerry, with his own blood-soaked war record, will remember them. I have seen them in Iraq too, where the US used depleted uranium and white phosphorus, as did the Israelis in Gaza. No Obama “red line” for them. No showdown psychodrama for them.

Just in case a multilingual Charon prefers Spanish, over at TeleSUR is a small list that suggests no element of hypocrisy. We have a list of merely ten chemical attacks perpetrated by some rogue state, some pariah state.

Washington no sólo carece de autoridad legal para una intervención militar en Siria. Carece de autoridad moral. Estamos hablando de un gobierno con un historial en el uso de armas químicas contra personas inocentes más prolífico y mortal que las meras acusaciones a que se enfrenta Al-Asad formuladas por el complejo militar-industrial de gatillo fácil occidental, decidido a sofocar una profundización en las investigaciones antes de atacar.

Despite the obvious ‘overkill’, over at Naked Capitalism we have been invited to contemplate the benefits of ‘change we can believe in’, A Progressive WW III. This innovative WW III comes with a spectacular limited offer: for a contribution of a mere $10million, the contributor can own a US politician for a year. And since there is no stipulation of dollar denomination, Zimbabwe currency looks good? Wanton death and destruction guaranteed.  

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