…looking forward, from cambodia to iraq…Posted: 2014-10-10
…only death and destruction (and profits)…
A post that continues to attract attention. A cautionary tale for the still credulous in the age of the blog and alternative media.
John Pilger examines US foreign policy, a policy rooted in violence, that should bring to mind that saying, ‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’. Indeed, in From Pol Pot to ISIS he captures in his unique way, and communicates clearly the stark reality of US foreign policy, a reality that many have sensed but were unable to articulate as well.
Pilger points to one inescapable truth that most in the West, especially in the US, want to seem unaware of,
The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told … That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”
[bold added for emphasis]
Of course, the US had dropped, to put it mildly, not a few bombs on tiny Laos. (And when did Laos attack the US?). But though we look back to understand now and the future, we follow the exhortation of the US President to his citizens, but ‘look forward’ from the frame of reference of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
So on to how mindless destructiveness, malevolence can spawn the same or worse in the surviving victims and friends. Pilger observes,
ISIS has a similar past and present. By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people — in a country that had no history of jihadism. The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common. Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear. On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.
Bush and Blair blew all this to bits. Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda — like Pol Pot’s “jihadists” — seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of Shock and Awe and the civil war that followed. ..
[bold added for emphasis]
What makes matters worse, unpromising (for the West) is that this IS lot is more than mindful of the history (and humiliation) of the Middle East at the hands of the imperial powers. And that silly US exhortation to only ‘look forward’ has a way of being upended as each passing moment yields further disaster, with the call of the ruling class for ever more violence and death (and profits).
Pilger lays out carefully the evidence that the corporate MSM has always studiously ignored – indeed that MSM stands complicit or acquiescent. The evidence of genocide abounds, from the recent past and before, and memories are triggered with each misadventure. It then remains baffling that the US with its ‘coalition of the willing’ should continue to ignore the ultimate costs to its and their own societies. A peaceful, stable world seems to be anathema to the nostalgic designs of the West? A permanent war against non-Western, in particular Islamic, civilisation?
Yes, this Pilger offering should dispel any lingering romantic illusions.
…’…in blood stepped in so far…returning were as tedious as go o’er…’?…