The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Mattea Kramer Archive
Killing Someone Else’s Beloved
Promoting the American Way of War in Campaign 2016
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

The crowd that gathered in an airplane hangar in the desert roared with excitement when the man on stage vowed to murder women and children.

It was just another Donald Trump campaign event, and the candidate had affirmed his previously made pledge not only to kill terrorists but to “take out” their family members, too. Outrageous as that might sound, it hardly distinguished Trump from most of his Republican rivals, fiercely competing over who will commit the worst war crimes if elected. All the chilling claims about who will preside over more killings of innocents in distant lands — and the thunderous applause that meets such boasts — could easily be taken as evidence that the megalomaniacal billionaire Republican front-runner, his various opponents, and their legions of supporters, are all crazytown.

Yet Trump’s pledge to murder the civilian relatives of terrorists could be considered quite modest — and, in its bluntness, refreshingly candid — when compared to President Obama’s ongoing policy of loosing drones and U.S. Special Operations forces in the Greater Middle East. Those policies, the assassinations that go with them, and the “collateral damage” they regularly cause are based on one premise when it comes to the American public: that we will permanently suspend our capacity for grief and empathy when it comes to the dead (and the living) in distant countries.

Classified documents recently leaked to the Intercept by a whistleblower describe the “killing campaign” carried out by the CIA and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command in Yemen and Somalia. (The U.S. also conducts drone strikes in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya; the leaked documents explain how President Obama has institutionalized the practice of striking outside regions of “active hostilities.”) Intelligence personnel build a case against a terror suspect and then develop what’s termed a “baseball card” — a condensed dossier with a portrait of the individual targeted and the nature of the alleged threat he poses to U.S. interests — that gets sent up the chain of command, eventually landing in the Oval Office. The president then meets with more than 100 representatives of his national security team, generally on a weekly basis, to determine just which of those cards will be selected picked for death. (The New York Times has vividly described this intimate process of choosing assassination targets.)

Orders then make their way down to drone operators somewhere in the United States, thousands of miles from the individuals slated to be killed, who remotely pilot the aircraft to the location and then pull the trigger. But when those drone operators launch missiles on the other side of the world, the terrifying truth is that the U.S. “is often unsure who will die,” as a New York Times headline put it.

That’s because intel on a target’s precise whereabouts at any given moment can be faulty. And so, as the Times reported, “most individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names.” In 2014, for instance, the human-rights group Reprieve, analyzing what limited data on U.S. drone strikes was available, discovered that in attempts to kill 41 terror figures (not all of whom died), 1,147 people were killed. The study found that the vast majority of strikes failed to take down the intended victim, and thus numerous strikes were often attempted on a single target. The Guardian reported that in attempts to take down 24 men in Pakistan — only six of whom were eventually eliminated in successful drone strikes — the U.S. killed an estimated 142 children.

Trump’s plan merely to murder the relatives of terrorists seems practically tame, by comparison.

Their Grief and Mine

Apparently you and I are meant to consider all those accidental killings as mere “collateral damage,” or else we’re not meant to consider them at all. We’re supposed to toggle to the “off” position any sentiment of remorse or compassion that we might feel for all the civilians who die thanks to our country’s homicidal approach to keeping us safe.

I admit to a failing here: when I notice such stories, sometimes buried deep in news reports — including the 30 people killed, three of them children, when U.S. airpower “accidentally” hit a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last October; or the two women and three children blasted to smithereens by U.S. airpower last spring at an Islamic State checkpoint in northern Iraq because the pilots of two A-10 Warthogs attacking the site didn’t realize that civilians were in the vehicles stopped there; or the innumerable similar incidents that have happened with remarkable regularity and which barely make it into American news reports — I find I can’t quite achieve the cold distance necessary to accept our government’s tactics. And for this I blame (or thank) my father.

To understand why it’s so difficult for me to gloss over the dead, you have to know that on December 1, 2003, a date I will never forget nor fully recover from, I called home from a phone booth on a cobblestone street in Switzerland — where I was backpacking at the time — and learned that my Dad was dead. A heart attack that struck as suddenly as a Hellfire missile.

Standing in that sun-warmed phone booth clutching the receiver with a slick hand, vomit gurgling up at the back of my throat, I pressed my eyes closed and saw my Dad. First, I saw his back as he sat at the broad desk in his home office, his spot of thinning hair revealed. Then, I saw him in his nylon pants and baseball cap, paused at the kitchen door on his way to play paddle tennis. And finally, I saw him as I had the last time we parted, at Boston’s Logan Airport, on a patch of dingy grey carpet, as I kissed his whiskered cheek.

A few days later, after mute weeping won me a seat on a fully booked trans-Atlantic flight, I stood in the wan light of early December and watched the employees of the funeral home as they unloosed the pulleys to lower Dad’s wooden box into the ground. I peered down into that earthen hole, crying and sweating and shivering in the stinging cold, and tried to make sense of the senseless: Why was he dead while the rest of us lived?

And that’s why, when I read about all the innocent civilians we’ve been killing over the years with the airpower that presidential candidate Ted Cruz calls “a blessing,” I tend to think about the people left behind. Those who loved the people we’ve killed. I wonder how they received the news. (“We’ve had a tragedy here,” my Mom told me.) I wonder about the shattering anguish they surely feel at the loss of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, friends. I wonder what memories come to them when they squeeze their eyes closed in grief. And I wonder if they’ll ever be able to pick up the pieces of their lives and return to some semblance of normalcy in societies that are often shattering around them. (What I don’t wonder about, though, is whether or not they’re more likely to become radicalized — to hate not just our drones but our country and us — because the answer to that is obvious.)

Playing God in the Oval Office

“It’s the worst thing to ever happen to anyone,” actor Liam Neeson recently wrote on Facebook. He wasn’t talking about drone strikes, but about the fundamental experience of loss — of losing a loved one by any means. He was marking five years since his wife’s sudden death. “They say the hardest thing in the world is losing someone you love,” he added. I won’t disagree. After losing her husband, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg posted about “the brutal moments when I am overtaken by the void, when the months and years stretch out in front of me, endless and empty.” After her husband’s sudden death, author Joan Didion described grief as a “relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.”

That squares with the description offered by a man in Yemen who had much of his extended family blown away by an American drone at his wedding. “I felt myself going deeper and deeper into darkness,” the man later told a reporter. The drone arrived just after the wedding party had climbed into vehicles strewn with ribbons to escort the bride to her groom’s hometown. Everyone’s belly was full of lamb and it was dusk. It was quiet. Then the sky opened, and four missiles rained down on the procession, killing 12.

U.S. airpower has hit a bunch of other weddings, too. And funerals. And clinics. And an unknown and unknowable number of family homes. The CIA’s drone assassination campaign in the tribal regions of Pakistan even led a group of American and Pakistani artists to install an enormous portrait of a child on the ground in a frequently targeted region of that country. The artists wanted drone operators to see the face of one of the young people they might be targeting, instead of the tiny infrared figures on their computer consoles that they colloquially refer to as “bugsplats.” It’s an exhortation to them not to kill someone else’s beloved.

Once in a while a drone operator comes forward to reveal the emotional and psychic burden of passing 12-hour shifts in a windowless bunker on an Air Force base, killing by keystroke for a living. One serviceman’s six years on the job began when he was 21 years old and included a moment when he glimpsed a tiny figure dart around the side of a house in Afghanistan that was the target of a missile already on its way. In terror, he demanded of his co-pilot, “Did that look like a child to you?” Feverishly, he began tapping messages to ask the mission’s remote observer — an intelligence staffer at another location — if there was a child present. He’ll never know the answer. Moments later, the missile struck the house, leveling it. That particular drone operator has since left the military. After his resignation, he spent a bitterly cold winter in his home state of Montana getting blackout drunk and sleeping in a public playground in his government-issued sleeping bag.

Someone else has, of course, taken his seat at that console and continues to receive kill orders from above.

Meanwhile Donald Trump and most of the other Republican candidates have been competing over who can most successfully obliterate combatants as well as civilians. (Ted Cruz’s comment about carpet-bombing ISIS until we find out “if sand can glow in the dark” has practically become a catchphrase.) But it’s not just the Republicans. Every single major candidate from both parties has plans to maintain some version of Washington’s increasingly far-flung drone campaigns. In other words, a program that originated under President George W. Bush as a crucial part of his “global war on terror,” and that was further institutionalized and ramped up under President Obama, will soon be bequeathed to a new president-elect.

When you think about it that way, election 2016 isn’t so much a vote to select the leader of the planet’s last superpower as it is a tournament to decide who will next step into the Oval Office and have the chance to play god.

Who will get your support as the best candidate to continue killing the loved ones of others?

Go to the polls, America.

Mattea Kramer is a TomDispatch regular who writes on a wide range of topics, from military policy to love and loss. She blogs at This Life After Loss. Follow her on Twitter.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Drone War 
Hide 64 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    a program that originated under President George W. Bush as a crucial part of his “global war on terror,” and that was further institutionalized and ramped up under President Obama, will soon be bequeathed to a new president-elect.

    No, the program of killing civilians from the air did not originate with George W. Bush.

    It originated with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    Planning for the deliberate incineration of German civilians began in October 1938 (see Peter Moreira, Henry Morgenthau: The Jew who Defeated Hitler) when FDR and his Secretary of Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., made plans to acquire factories to build bombers.

    In 1939 Roosevelt issued an executive order authorizing the acquisition of property in the Utah desert where US Air Force, Standard Oil, Harvard architects including Erich Mendelsohn, “the Jewish architect,” and Hollywood set designers later built German Village and Japanese village.


    They practiced bombing these exact replica buildings with the goal of producing a firestorm that would multiply itself and destroy the greatest expanse of urban infrastructure and destroy the maximum number of human lives.

    The furnishings specified by the Hollywood set designers included cribs, with the expectation that a young, working class German family with an infant would inhabit the residence the US Air Force intended to obliterate through its bombing campaign.

    The United States Department of the Interior has documented the purpose and design of German Village; it’s here:

    Furniture included an upholstered sofa (7); an upholstered easy chair (14); a settee
    (14); a kitchen buffet (7); . . . (28) ; a crib, with mattress and springs (14); a wicker chair (7) ;. . .Quantities reflected an understanding that some furnishings would be lost in the fires set by the incendiary tests, and would then be replaced in kind.

    In the bedroom, the single beds were placed together in pairs, with a crib adjacent, reflective of a young family with an infant.
    During preliminary penetration tests with dummy bombs all furnishings except the rugs were removed, with windows and doors closed (Standard Oil Development Company Specifications for Special Teat Furnishings April 1943; Standard Oil Development Company Inspection Report on Furnishings April 1943; T.D.M.R. No. 713 July 1943)

    In The Fog of War, Robert McNamara repeats a conversation he had with Curtiss LeMay regarding US participation in the carpet bombing of Germany and Japan:

    LeMay said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” And I think he’s right. He, and I’d say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?

    Consequent to US “winning” the war against Germany, it participated with other Allies, the USSR and Britain, in conducting the Nuremberg Trials, under which German, and only German, war fighters, leaders and even writers were tried, convicted and hanged or imprisoned.

    Shortly before his death, Harry Reicher explained to an audience at the Eisenhower Library

    an episode which occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust. While liberating concentration camps and witnessing sights that “beggar description,” General Eisenhower ensured the horrific scenes were captured for posterity in graphic photographs and film. Professor Reicher asserted that he grasped the impact which visual evidence was to have in the Nuremberg Trials, and foresaw the era of Holocaust denial. Video clips of concentration camps were shown.

    Reicher noted that Eisenhower employed Hollywood film crews to enter Ohrdruf camp, before even the Red Cross, and film the dead and dying there. Reicher emphasizes that the deeply “disturbing” content of that film and the emotional reaction it aroused throughout the world formed the major and most damning evidence against the German defendants and was also responsible for the harsh treatment meted out to the German people, under the Morgenthau plan, for over two years after Germany’s surrender, until George Marshall said Enough.

    In other words, the Jewish film studio set designers who created German Village where methods were perfected to kill German infants were the same Jewish film makers who produced the graphic images used to condemn Germans at Nuremberg and beyond. Several of those Jewish film makers who took those images appear in in a docu-video Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust,

    I am not aware if those same Jewish film makers recorded the results of the US and British firebombing of the 131 German cities and the (estimated) 600,000 German people who were incinerated, or of the 60 Japanese cities and the more than 250,000 Japanese civilians who were wiped out by acts that McNamara and LeMay concede were “war crimes” but for which the United States has never been called to account.

    Because the American people and their leaders have never come to grips with the war crimes committed in their name in World War II, those criminal acts have been repeated. Indeed, they have become a celebrated frame of reference.

    Jeffrey Engel has examined the process by which George H. W. Bush made the decision to invade Iraq in 1990 – 1991. Engel sets the context for that decision: the Berlin wall had just toppled; Gorbachev and Bush were on close speaking terms; the United States was the sole superpower, and George H W Bush was president in a unipolar moment.

    Engel reported that Gorbachev “pestered” Bush with phone calls urging him not to intervene militarily in the conflict, and also acknowledged that Arab leaders pleaded with Bush to restrain himself, that the Arabs understood Saddam and were capable of resolving the conflict on their own terms in their own way. Although Engel does not explore this scenario, it is a fact that the late Jack O’Connell, who had been CIA station chief in Jordan and then became friends with and counselor to Jordan’s King Hussein. In that role, O’Connell and the Jordanian monarch negotiated an arrangement to which Saddam agreed, that would have resolved the Iraq-Kuwait conflict nonviolently.

    George H. W. Bush rejected all of those overtures.

    To explain why Bush was insistent upon invading Iraq, Engel said:

    “I argue Bush took the dramatic step into the Gulf Crisis because he saw it as a bridge to a better world. His New World Order, a phrase unveiled in response to Hussein’s invasion, was not just a catchy phrase; ; it was rather the culmination of a long and difficult journey of intellectual discovery. . . .
    Bush recognized that the end of the Cold War eliminated the most stable aspects of the international system since 1945 . . . During the Spring and Summer of 1990 Bush told Global leaders that their alliances required an enemy to survive. In his words the new enemy was instability itself. . . .
    Bush saw in the Gulf War an opportunity as well as an invasion, a point that I will make by way of conclusion. .. He saw within it a chance to demonstrate that Washington would continue to lead, leading it in particular towards the kind of world promised to His generation as their reward for service in World War II. . . .He said, . . . quote “The prospect of a global peace continues to depend on an American forward presence. End quote.

    The supposed triumph of the United States in World War II is the inflection point and the reference point for all subsequent U S foreign policy decisions. As Engel’s argument, above, states, Bush’s beliefs about US vis a vis World War II were the critical factor in the Persian Gulf war.

    Bombing weddings is not new to the American people. They have been taught to celebrate killing other people’s children over the course of the last 70 years and more — for most of us, our entire lives.

    We did it to the German and Japanese people and called ourselves righteous.

    Jews, who were at the forefront of the destruction of Germany, have claimed for themselves the exclusive mantle of victimhood, thereby simultaneously erecting a barrier against any genuine American soul-searching, and sucking all of the oxygen out of air.

    It is a moral imperative that the people of the United States deny the holocaust; that is, confront the truth of who-did-what-to-whom and why, in the World Wars, that event that was the inflection point for American history. If you feel compelled to bomb something, target holocaust museums/liar’s factories, or turn them into something useful like skating rinks or shooting galleries.

    Tell the truth.
    Beg forgiveness.
    Make reparations.
    Mend your ways.

    Stop killing people and calling it virtue.

    PS Reg Caesar summed up this lengthy cri de cœur in about 30 words here:

    • Replies: @utu
    , @guest
    , @random observer
  2. You can’t fight wars without killing civilians. Fact.

    But there is no point in fighting unwinnable wars caused in many cases by your imperialistic involvement in foreign lands. You cannot bomb out of existence ideas, especially when you contribute to an environment that nurtures their growth.

  3. utu says:

    I looked at the link you gave about the German-Japanese village they built in Utah. Who wrote this document and when? For what purpose? Where in the document it is stated that the village was built before Nov. 7 1941?

    • Replies: @guest
    , @anonymous
  4. Realist says:

    “Go to the polls, America.”

    That will change nothing.

  5. Randal says:

    Who will get your support as the best candidate to continue killing the loved ones of others?

    Well the main candidates are all pretty reliable mass murderers and torturers, from Clinton’s “humanitarian interventionism” to Rubio’s neocon warmongering, and Kasich’s and Cruz’s “let’s provoke Russia as much as we can” stupidity.

    Ironically the only candidate who might actually reduce the number of wars the US is involved in is the one making the loudest bluster and noise, Donald Trump.

  6. guest says:

    I don’t see deliberately killing civilians from the air as fundamentally different than killing them on the ground, so we should trace it back to William Tecumseh Sherman. For armies had ignored other armies and fought unarmed people instead (which is easier, don’t ya know) before, despite rules against it. But I don’t think that before in U.S. history did the highest level of power respond to lawlessness with, “Ah, who cares?”

    Except with the Injuns, obviously, but did the rules apply to red men? Those wars were Total Wars from the get-go, whereas the war against the states (i.e. not red people) had to build up a head of steam first.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Reg Cæsar
  7. guest says:

    I think you mean Dec.

  8. biz says:

    People in Yemen and Afghanistan don’t care about their own women and children, so these are crocodile tears on their part. They cover their women in trash bags and marry off their children to cousins before puberty. If they don’t care about their own women and children, why is it our job to prioritize their women and children over ours?

  9. I love the way “patriots” explain away the terror bombing of civilians in WW2. “It was an existential struggle.” Bullshit. It was terror bombing, period. Non-military targets like Dresden were destroyed to satisfy the blood lust of Allied leadership.

    • Replies: @Fred Z
  10. Washington’s “allies” Israel, Saudi and Turkey want to divide up Syria. Washington wants to rule the world by force of arms. War profiteers (may they rot in hell) are raking in the money. These are the immediate causes of mass murder in Syria. The root cause is human nature. If you participate in these crimes or applaud them or are indifferent to them you are in the service of evil.

  11. Agent76 says:

    November 13th, 2015 NY Times Rally—Friday the 13th; Drone Papers Coverup

    In June of 1971, the New York Times had the courage to initiate the publishing of Daniel Ellsburg’s “Pentagon Papers.” This brave action against the will of a criminal executive branch, combined with the principled decision by then-Senator Mike Gravel (AK) to release 4,100 pages of the Pentagon Papers into the Senate Record, helped spark a fight that led to the end of the criminal presidency of Richard NIxon and was instrumental in bringing the Indochina War to an end. The Papers documented that the war was being lost, not won, and that McNamara’s “body count” metric was fraudulent and criminal.

  12. Agent76 says:

    Jan 31, 2012 The girl killed by Barack Obama – she never saw it coming

    July 23, 2012 Children of the Drone

    We’re told that predator drones armed to the teeth are keeping us safe by killing dangerous terroristson the other side of the globe, but is that really the case? Let me introduce you to….’The Children of the Drone’s’

  13. Rehmat says:

    Sadly, it’s not Donald Trump who believes in the mass killing of innocent people as “collateral damage” while hunting down people waging military campaign against occupiers of their lands – demonized as “terrorists” by the western imperialists.

    Take for example, the United states and Israel, whom Noam Chomsky has labeled as “world’s top terrorist states”. For these two “terrorist states”, Hamas and Hizbullah are “terrorist organizations” because they’re fight the US-Israel terrorism on daily basis.

    After John Kerry’s visit to Israel (Ha’aretz, November 27, 2015) senior officials from Israel Occupation Force (IOF) and internal security Shin Bet warned the Zionist regime’s national security team that their Palestinian Gandhi, Mahmoud Abbas, ruled Palestinian Authority (PA) is about to collapse soon.

    In the wake of the above mentioned warning, Congressman, Jim McGovern, a long-time and steadfast supporter of ‘Israel has the right to exist myth’, called on Netanyahu to start talking to Gaza ruling Islamic resistance Hamas in order to revive the so-called two-state solution.

    Jim McGovern, a Democrat who co-chairs the influential ‘Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’ – named after Jewish Rep. Tom Lantos (d. 2008). He was in London to receive an accolade at the ‘Sergei Magnitsky Human Rights Awards’ – said he is a staunch supporter of Israel and supports the US-Iran nuclear agreement because it would be good for Israel in long-term…..

    • Replies: @annamaria
  14. Fred Z says:

    My German family and their friends had personal experience of this in April 1945 when the allies “terror bombed” Paderborn.

    They were unanimous in their comments to me that this bombing, even very late in the war, was not an evil and was necessary. They felt no ill will, no rancor, just regret at their own stupidity in having supported Hitler.

  15. guest says:
    @Fred Z

    Were their children too stupid to avoid possible incineration, too?

  16. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    utu —

    the link opens on the cover page which states that the doc was prepared by U S Department of the Interior as part of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) project — the title suggests the purpose of the doc.

    don’t know when it was written — last 20 years is my guess.

    I assume that your question about the date, which guest corrected, was trying to get at whether the German – Japanese village project was undertaken before or after USA had been attacked and declared war/declared war upon, and that’s an interesting question with a multi-part answer (devils & details being what they are).

    a. I didn’t find a date in 1941 in the HAER doc.

    b. As noted in my comment, Roosevelt and Henry Morgenthau, Jr. met in Oct 1938 — after Hitler and Chamberlain had negotiated the Munich agreement but before it was ratified, and before Herschel Grynszpan assassinated Ernst vom Rath which set off the night of broken glass — they laid plans to acquire plants to manufacture bombers. Before 1941 USA was producing 15 000 bombers annually. That information is from Peter Moreira’s “The Jew who Defeated Hitler: Henry Morgenthau, Jr. …”

    c. Roosevelt signed an executive order in Jan. 1939 instructing the Army to acquire land and create a facility at Dugway to research and develop chemical and biological weapons against the possibility that Germany would use chemical weapons in a future war.

    d. from other study, I have learned that Erich Mendelsohn began work on German Village in mid-to- late 1942.

    So it appears that German and Japanese Villages were not built until after USA was involved in war with Germany and Japan.

    It is also true that military and political opinion among the Allies was clear: By Dec. 1941 Germany was a spent force; the Wehrmacht had been exhausted. Persons who participate in Pat Lang’s blog — many of them former national security, or CIA, or US military members, have stated that their fathers/uncles etc. who were in the military in WWII had been sent to deep immersion German language and culture courses in mid-1941 in preparation for US occupation of Germany when the Allies won the war, which was deemed inevitable. In a conversation at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC in 2014, Martin Amis and Ron Rosenbaum agreed: Germany had been defeated by Dec. 1941

    If that is the case, then the campaign to firebomb Germany, with the stated intent of terrorizing civilians and even of killing “infants in their cribs,” was a wanton and deliberate act of genocide. It did not serve a military purpose — the enemy was already defeated.

    As I am typing this comment I am listening to John Kasich and Ted Cruz demand that the US military be unleashed and that they “carpet bomb the s%#t out of ISIS.” Sean Hannity discussed this with both Kasich and Cruz; Hannity intoned, with hand to heart, “we are a compassionate nation, we are pro-life”, but “collateral damage is inevitable; we have to defeat the enemy.” Perhaps what was most amusing in a sick sort of way is that Hannity, Kasich, and Cruz were skittish about saying “shit,” substituting a rhetorical blank space, but they had no qualms about demanding that an unknown number of other people’s children be incinerated. The audience at the Convention Center in Oxen Hill, MD cheered wildly.

    I argue that this bloodlust is epigenetically twined in American DNA, having been expressed in the US Civil war, as guestt noted at #7; was wildly expressed, encouraged, applauded and unpunished in the firebombing campaigns of WWII; was even more egregiously expressed in Viet Nam, where USA dropped even more tonnage of bombs than were dropped on Japan.

    There is something sick in USA DNA; all of the major candidates for POTUS express more-or-less virulent strains of this sickness.

    Working Class’s comment at #11. is worth emphasizing: If you participate in these crimes or applaud them or are indifferent to them you are in the service of evil.

    If I remain silent I have sinned. -Mohammad Mosaddegh, Prime Minister of Iran 1951-53,

  17. @guest

    we should trace it back to William Tecumseh Sherman

    …whose men cried, “Remember Chambersburg!” Sherman was not an innovator.

    • Replies: @guest
  18. @Fred Z

    Did they feel any guilt for bombing Coventry?

    • Replies: @guest
  19. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Fred Z

    The nations with the technological capacity to conquer nature are also best equipped to conquer other peoples who exist at the mercy of nature. And once the primitive enemy was defeated, the British carried out their moral obligation to instruct him in the ways of modern civilization, especially the acquisition of technological benefits. Churchill was hugely proud of the civilizing mission essential to British empire-building.


    I keep reading about ‘civilization’, especially ‘western civilization’ here and in the comments.
    Is there any evidence whatever that evolution gives a flying fuck about ‘civilization’? I rather think the evidence is to the contrary. Civilization protects evolutionary losers. That can only go on so long.

  20. @guest

    so we should trace it back to William Tecumseh Sherman

    …whose men would cry, “Remember Chambersburg!” Sherman was not an innovator.

  21. Sharrukin says:

    Civilians have always been killed in wars since the dawn of time. Technology has given us drones but it hasn’t really altered that basic fact. Western populations are one of the few who feel any great deal of guilt over this truth. Most other cultures don’t really care that much. African cultures certainly don’t care, nor do Muslims.

    Nations are people. Nations go to war with one another and the populace of those nations are targeted, sometimes deliberately, and sometimes as collateral damage.

    I don’t think there has ever been a war in which innocents didn’t die. Western militaries go out of their way to avoid civilian casualties, but when all is said and done, they cannot be completely avoided. So don’t go to war unless it really matters.

    • Replies: @guest
    , @Anonymous
  22. Isn’t it sad (but good to hear that even a Trump has more sense than the two party establishment) that Donald Trump is the only one of all candidates to say that the administration lied us into a mistaken war, and that the other wars in the Middle East are equally as bad, that he wants to be even-handed rather than one-sided in the Israel/Palestinian conflict, that he wants to cooperate with Russia rather than make war with them? And that instead of four or five trillion (the only honest assessment) being squandered on wars and regime change, it ought to have been spent on infrastructure and rebuilding peacetime industry for folks here at home?

    And sadder still that Bernie’s now got zero chance against Hillary, whom the neocons have made plain they are defecting to (although it means they are rejecting anyone in any party who they can’t control.)

  23. utu says:

    “I argue that this bloodlust is epigenetically twined in American DNA” – More I learn of American history and more I hear or read past and present utterances by common and not common (politicians) Americans I begin to believe that you are right. City on the Hill, New Jerusalem, Manifest Destiny are memes through which this bloodlust was epigenetically spread. I think it all goes to the Old Testament, the oldest manual for genocide, that American Protestants adopted as their own book seeing themselves as being the new Jews.

  24. More anti-Trump FUD, and it’s STILL not working.

    Grow up. Trump won’t kill innocent women and children.

  25. annamaria says:

    “…why is it our job to prioritize their women and children over ours?”
    You mean, why the US State Dept. has been so eager to do “humanitarian” missions in the faraway lands?
    People in the US do not care about their children by allowing the silver-spooners (like Bush the lesser) and war profiteering psychopaths (see Cheney and his State dept., the weaponry producers, and the PNAC geniuses and such) to send our boys and girls to fight the wars of choice. During these wars, the locals have been killed in hundreds of thousands, whereas the survivors became inflamed with anti-US sentiments. – An understandable reaction from those whose parents and children were reduced to shredded meat. As for Yemen, it is the US’ bosom ally, the Saudis that have been bombing there. “Human Rights Watch released a report Sunday providing new indications that Saudi Arabia has fired American-made cluster munitions, banned by international treaty, in civilian areas of Yemen…”

    • Replies: @Jeff Davis
  26. guest says:

    Death From Above is magical to imperialists. They can’t get enough of it. Solves all life’s problems. There is literally no foreign policy problem that can’t be solved by bombing the hell out of them, whoever they may be.

  27. guest says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    If you’ll notice, I wrote that there was nothing new about killing civilians. What’s different about Sherman is that it was sanctioned at the highest level, and disregarding the rules of engagement became official or quasi-official policy. It was our first non-Indian Total War, directly imitated partly by the Boer War and by the totally insane world wars.

  28. guest says:

    There’s a difference between innocents dying and having a deliberate policy of killing them on purpose. Treating entire populations of nation states as if they were armed citadel under siege is madness. Civilization found ways to fight wars without involving every last Tom, Dick, Harry, and their wives and children.

    We slipped at some point back into barbarism–wherein killing all the males and raping all the women was the end goal of warfare–because people were tricked into thinking any war is All War. Like that idiotic Sherman quote, “War is hell,” which makes people forget that even hell had gradations. It was all the same level of suffering all the way through, at least in Dante. Sons who murdered their own father’s weren’t in the same circle as those who didn’t keep the Sabbath.

  29. guest says:

    What do our women and children have to do with it?

  30. Art says:

    We cannot kill our way to peace! We need to STOP the killing.

    We are the big boys – we are supposed to be the responsible party in this mess. Responsible people do not covertly kill.

    Obtaining information is good and necessary – not respecting the sovereignty of other nations is bad.

    Covert action is war – the CIA is making war on all these nations without the express consent of congress to make war.

    This must end — period.

  31. Sharrukin says:

    Treating entire populations of nation states as if they were armed citadel under siege is madness.

    It can be. It can also be what works.

    There is also a penalty to be paid for losing wars. Ask the Native Americans about what that penalty can encompass. It is foolish to assume that such things are impossible in the modern age given that Prussia was once German, Israel was once Arab, and California was once Anglo.

    Not every war is like this. Indeed most are not. However, if you preclude yourself from acting in such a way under any circumstances you have essentially signed your own death warrant if push comes to shove.

    Civilization found ways to fight wars without involving every last Tom, Dick, Harry, and their wives and children.

    Civilization is losing to the Muslim invaders who do fight wars the old ways.

    We slipped at some point back into barbarism–wherein killing all the males and raping all the women was the end goal of warfare–because people were tricked into thinking any war is All War.

    Perhaps, or perhaps we were tricked into thinking that wars without tears were a possibility, and that our power would forever allow us to act in a humane fashion despite the conduct of our enemies. That power is fading and perhaps with it goes the illusion that we are all that much morally different than those we fight.

    • Replies: @Ronnie Evil
  32. Maldivi says:

    “U.S. airpower has hit a bunch of other weddings, too. And funerals. And clinics. And an unknown and unknowable number of family homes. ”
    Unknown to us, but not unknown to God. And punishment is inescapable, too.

  33. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The Russians defeated the German military in the field without targeting German civilians. The Americans and British were the ones who liked doing that. Americans make exaggerated claims about their contribution to the ultimate victory. A read of Albert Speer’s book shows how they were able to keep working even despite the western bombing campaign. From Indian removal to Sherman to the present the American way of war has been to attack the weak and vulnerable. Fighting underarmed third-worlders has been the American specialty as well as going after civilians. America has always embarked on the most cowardly and predatory of wars yet somehow they have the idea they’re a nation of Rambos. Can’t even defeat sandal wearing tribesmen with small arms so might as well take it out on the children and elderly family members of the resistance fighters; it’s so much easier.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  34. it is too late to stop now anyway. and we have to keep our military as the #1 in the world or we will suffer the same fate as our current victims.

    not sure if this was intended, but there is no way out now. becoming a good guy is no longer an option when you have murdered and assassinated people at will all over the world.

    can you guys imagine a militarily superior country flying drones above our cities and killing people at will? jeez. the only option now is to never become weak militarily. damn, now that I think about it, it is all intentional and planned.

  35. @anonymous

    You’re ascribing things that are common to humans in general and pretending that they are unique to Americans. This anti-American crap is such a silly cliche at this point. To hear some people tell it, nothing bad ever happened until America came along. Meanwhile, we never get thanked for all the great we’ve done. Go to hell, and your country with you.

  36. Sharrukin says:

    anonymous says:

    March 6, 2016 at 3:28 am GMT

    The Russians defeated the German military in the field without targeting German civilians.

    They executed Polish officers in the Katyn Forest and deported between 300,000 to 700,000 Polish civilians. Between 150,000 and 500,000 Polish civilians were executed. The Volga Germans were deported as well, and all this before the Soviet could even get their hands on any German civilians because the war was taking place inside Soviet territory and they lacked any heavy bomber force.

    When they did get to Germany the civilian death toll was well over 500,000 killed and that doesn’t include the mass rapes carried out.

    Everybody targeted civilians during World War Two. Some more than others.

  37. Anonymous [AKA "No way"] says:

    can you guys imagine a militarily superior country flying drones above our cities and killing people at will? jeez. the only option now is to never become weak militarily. damn, now that I think about it, it is all intentional and planned.

    Do you really think our leaders give a rats behind about “a militarily superior country flying drones above our cities and killing people at will”?

    I f you really beleieve we kill them in far away lands to be safer at home, you are blessed and innocent, and you must believe in Santa Claus and tooth fairy…

  38. US/NATO – Order of Battle

    1) ambush
    2) sneak attack
    3) backshooting
    4) bushwhacking
    5) terrorism

  39. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    re @ anonymous

    “In 1939 Roosevelt issued an executive order authorizing the acquisition of property in the Utah desert where US Air Force, Standard Oil, Harvard architects including Erich Mendelsohn, “the Jewish architect,” and Hollywood set designers later built German Village and Japanese village.

    that place in the Utah desert is Dugway.

    It’s where the Jewish man who invented the drone tested it:

    In 1980, Abraham Karem, an engineer who had emigrated from Israel, retreated into his three-car garage in Hacienda Heights outside Los Angeles and. . .began to build an aircraft.

    . . .when Karem finished more than a year later, he wheeled into his driveway an odd, cigar-shaped craft that was destined to change the way the United States wages war.

    The Albatross, as it was called, was transported to the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, where it demonstrated the ability to stay aloft safely for up to 56 hours — a very, very long time in what was then the crash-prone world of drones. . . .

    Just like that.

    Our kids used to build remote controlled airplanes in the basement. They were big, and beautiful, and you flew them with a joystick.
    Our kids tested those planes at a nearby baseball field.

    A guy from Israel tinkers in his garage and a year later he’s testing his overgrown remote controlled airplane at a massive US government facility where the US’s most lethal chemical and biological weapons have been developed and tested for decades.

    How to explain it? —>

    This booming sector has its roots in the often unsung persistence of engineering dreamers who worked on the technology of unmanned aviation when the military establishment and most major defense contractors had little or no interest in it. Innovators such as Karem were often sustained by grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a handful of early believers, including the CIA.

    wonder why DARPA linked with an Israeli instead of someone like our kids to develop this billion dollar industry.

  40. @Fred Z


    They were unanimous in their comments to me that this bombing, even very late in the war, was not an evil and was necessary. They felt no ill will, no rancor, just regret at their own stupidity in having supported Hitler.

    All those years of brainwashing worked.

    Now, you Germans have your job cut out for you:

    You can form Manchurian Candidate brigades to convince the people of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Gaza that

    this bombing, even very late in the war, was not an evil and was necessary. They felt no ill will, no rancor, just regret at their own stupidity in having supported Hitler Saddam, and Assad, and Qaddafi. and Nasrallah

    Excellent timing too; the hydrangeas will soon be in bloom

  41. @annamaria

    With respect, the wording you quoted from the NYT: “…cluster munitions, banned by international treaty…” leaves the impression that the use of these weapons is a violation of international law. That’s not quite right.

    The terms of the “treaty” only become legally compulsory when a country signs and ratifies the treaty, and then pursuant to the terms of ratification, “activates” compliance on whatever date is specified in the ratification.

    Sadly, most of the great powers and many of the lesser powers have not signed onto the treaty. Among these are the US, Russia, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

    So it’s more than a bit misleading to say that their use has been banned. Would that it were so.

    In the last few days, I’ve personally experienced the tragic death by suicide of a close family member. The waves of grief spreading among those who survive is devastating. Yet it is but a tiny droplet of grief compared to what is currently sweeping the world.

  42. @anonymous

    Most major countries who expected they might participate in the next war, or who anticipated their interests might draw them in, planned for many likely eventualities. That’s how you plan. If you do it well enough in advance it might help you win. It’s a lot smarter than just making it up as you go. The US also planned what armored warfare in Europe might be like, and what naval war in the Pacific might demand. Not doing these things before the war would have been stupid, even for countries that would have tried to stay out.

    Most of them expected to both bomb other countries and be bombed in turn. The US didn’t have much to worry on that latter count. Japan did, but didn’t plan well enough for it.

    Countries that planned to bomb [US, Japan], to be bombed [France, somewhat], or to both bomb and be bombed [Britain, Germany, Russia, Italy [though they didn’t do too much on defense] ] saw their plans tested 1939-45.

    The Germans did medium well on offense- they had planned for strategic bombing but their force structure was more configured for tactical support and for terror bombing of defenceless cities only ahead of the advancing army. They weren’t configured for offense on either a sustained basis or against really serious air defenses. The only really long-range bomber was not built for bomb load or self-defense. Their fighters were short range. But they most certainly had not only planned to bomb enemy cities, they had done it in Spain for Franco.

    The British and the US planned better and had better planes for it, at least by 1941-2.

    Considering that most of these countries openly discussed the idea of strategic bombing, with themselves as both offensive and defensive participants, in the 1930s, in both official and public contexts, and tried to prepare their people openly in many cases, it is not surprising that such planning was going on. Besides, all of those same countries pretty well took the view that nothing in international law forbade it. And nothing specific did. That’s why it had to be outlawed after the war.

    Whatever else might be said of all that, there was certainly nothing underhanded, conspiratorial, or unlawful about any of these prewar preparations.

    Indeed, and contrary to the modern drone war, the powers of the 1930s at least aimed to wait until an actual war was declared. That’s a high standard these days.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  43. @Sharrukin

    That power is fading and perhaps with it goes the illusion that we are all that much morally different than we fight.

    Wait a minute here: Please link or show where we the American Military in Iraq or Afghanistan

    1. Took prisoners of war put them in a cage and drowned them.
    2. Took prisoners of war put them in a cage and lit them on fire.
    3. Took prisoners of war and cut their hearts out and ate them.
    4. Systemically raided villages and towns and kidnapped, murdered, and raped all the women in town (I’m not talking isolated cases-while horrible-the one case that comes to mind at least two of them got life in prison for that).
    5. Taking prisoners of war and having mass executions in public chopping off a hundred people heads.
    6. Where we shot a boy for “disrespecting” the Bible.
    7. Where we shot a girl in the face for going to school.
    8. Where we stoned a woman for having an affair.
    9. Where we cut people’s heads off for drug selling.
    10. Where we gave someone ten thousand lashes for talking bad about the government.

    Are you seeing a pattern yet? War is hell is a cliche and droning everyone in sight is a technological privilege that very few have-and their use can and is allowed to be debated. But to suggest that we of the West are no different than the Muslims we are fighting is patently absurd. And I did not just use Isis examples either: these were cases from Saudi, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Syria. We rage and rage when a convicted murderer and rapist gets due process, is convicted, gets 20 years of appeals, and then is finally exectued by essentially being put to sleep. These guys executed a boy for “dissing” the koran and then they went to work on him by driving over his body, with the townspeople taking part. There is NO comparison between us and them.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  44. @Ronnie Evil

    Two big differences, Ronnie Evil:

    1. WE are operating on their territory. They are not operating on our territory.

    Furthermore, USA presence on their territory is based on a lie: it is illegitimate.

    No enemy has waged war on US soil in over a hundred years. Americans don’t know what war means. They have no experience of a glorious shock-and-awe campaign that destroys THEIR homes, churches, monuments, cultural heritage. It has not happened to the people of the USA in all of their lives.

    How many DPU-polluted Fallujahs have the Iraqis created in the outskirts of your American hometown, asshole? How many American children have been born with two heads where their arms should be, because that not-morally-equivalent USA wrecked their aquifers, their agricultural land, and destroyed their hospitals and sent their doctors into exile to boot?

    Americans haven’t seen their children starve to death as a result of some evil alien force coming to the USA and blockading our ports, crippling our economy, STUXNETing our technological infrastructure, killing our young scientists.

    2. Your righteous anger at the evil deeds of all those people whose lands the USA has wrongfully invaded and despoiled — what is that supposed to prove? That you have the capacity to be a cherry-picking asshole? Job done.
    Are you really that blinded with jingoistic fervor that you do not recognize that in the good ole USA we lynched people not that long ago; Emmet Till was beaten to a pulp for whistling at a white woman. Mothers have drowned their babies and men have serially raped boys, and yes, monsters have eaten human organs, all in the good old USA.

    I actually have more respect for warriors who chop off heads than for joy-stick genocidaires who do their bit for god and glory in air conditioned comfort then go home to the wife and kids, toss back a brew and top it off with a screw. Head choppers actually confront the moral dilemma of taking a life; joystick warriors have the courage of the knife but not of the blood.

    Moral equivalence indeed.

  45. Sharrukin says:

    Ronnie Evil says:

    March 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm GMT •

    But to suggest that we of the West are no different than the Muslims we are fighting is patently absurd.

    My apologies. It was not my intent to suggest that we in the west behave in the same way as the more savage cultures. We do not.

    Part, and only part, of the reason for that is that we are usually more powerful than our opponents and can afford to take the high road. The VC in Vietnam also behaved in a brutal fashion and the United States by and large did not do the same, though there were exceptions. They were of course the exception. Those exceptions do however suggest that we are fully capable of appalling brutality, we simply choose not to do so.

    We are wealthy and we are powerful and our backs are not against the wall. We can afford to act in a more gentle fashion. As western dominance fades that will become less and less true.

    I do not expect that we will ever become as vicious as the Muslim cultures because Islam essentially codifies that brutality and stamps it with theological approval, which Christianity does not do. That will likely never be the case in the West unless we become Muslims ourselves, or choose some form of cultural socialism…national, or international.

    Survival is the first order of business for any people or nation, and we will do whatever it takes to survive or we simply won’t survive. That can include some very ugly behavior and I do not believe we will shrink from doing these things in spite of how distasteful they may be.

  46. joe webb says:

    liberal handwringing. Girlie men. Got to stop the muzzies…it is that simple.

    Of course the jews started it but we are in it now. Arab IQ is average 85. Let them lie in the bed they more or less made by letting israel in in the first place.

    IN 1948, Palestine clans were fighting one-another rather than killing jews. They deserve the fruits of their stupidity.

    Joe Webb

  47. Sharrukin says:

    joe webb says:

    March 7, 2016 at 1:12 am GMT •

    liberal handwringing. Girlie men. Got to stop the muzzies…it is that simple.

    Of course the jews started it but we are in it now.

    Muslims invaded Christian Egypt, Christian North Africa, Zoroastrian Persia, Hindu India, Byzantium, the Balkans, Spain, Sicily, and the Frankish kingdom of Charles Martel. The Jews didn’t start any of these things, nor did Israel even exist when the United States first clashed with Islam in the Barbary Wars.

    Islam is theologically at war with everyone else. That aggression was in abeyance for the period of European colonial dominance, but is now returning to its historical norm.

    Islam needs no casus belli because violent expansion is at the core of the Koran.

  48. utu says:

    In this interview that Trump gave during the 2nd term of Bush he speaks strongly against the war in Iraq and shows compassion for the dead Iraqis. No politician or pundit ever made such a strong statement in mainstream media.

  49. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @random observer

    I concede your broader argument, Random Observer: all parties planned and prepared for war. It is also the case the the British planned for an air war against civilians as early as 1920, after terror bombing of Iraqi villages (Arthur Harris was a squadron leader) produced such felicitous results for the British

    The BBC article linked above argues that “civilian bombing of Germany was unsuccessful and the (valiant) British bombers had to destroy Hitler’s war machine.”

    I believe the BBC is engaging in backward chronology: as noted above, American military leaders believed that the Wehrmacht was a spent force by December 1941; over a half-year earlier U S military personnel were sent to intensive training in preparation for the Allied Occupation of Germany.

    And yet it was 1942 before the U S Air Force began planning for the carpet bombing of German civilians, and according to the HAER document, German Village was constructed in 1943.

    The Allies conducted their most lethal planning and preparation for an air war, specifically designed to and intended to kill working class German civilians, only after the German military had been, for all intents and purposes, laid low.

    Very early on Roosevelt had stated publicly that Germany was to be destroyed; no terms other than Unconditional Surrender would be acceptable.

    Roosevelt and Churchill employed that ugliest of all gangster tactics: they killed women and children in order to force the leadership to capitulate.

    (Allied firebombing did not destroy the Reichstag, nor the adjacent Opera House where the German government met during the war, the Reichstag having remained in its damaged state post-Reichstag fire in 1933. Nevertheless, Russians considered taking the Reichstag to be a symbolic coup d’grace and after fierce fighting took the building on May 2 1945, five days before Germany surrendered.)

  50. woodNfish says:

    … the candidate had affirmed his previously made pledge not only to kill terrorists but to “take out” their family members, too. Outrageous as that might sound …

    It is only outrageous to hand-wringing moralists who think you can play nice with terrorists and they will change for the better. It doesn’t work. The only way to stop terrorism is to make the personal cost of being a terrorist too high. And the only way to do that is to execute their families. The only other thing they hold dear is their absolute devotion to their muslim death cult. And it is also a fact that many terrorists are supported by their families. In Iran, terrorists are treated like martyrs and their families are rewarded with money and community standing.

    Killing their families is good policy as difficult as that my be for you to understand. But you don’t seem to want to understand the muslim death cult anyway.

  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve met Afghani and Yemeni families. They do indeed care about their loved ones, whether man, woman, or child. Basically what you are saying is that because you disapprove of their sartorial choices and whom they chose to marry and how they choose, that murdering them is a-ok. You clearly possess the sociopathic lack of empathy of which you accuse others. People are people, regardless of their ethnicity or culture.

  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Who in Hell are you to know what other cultures think or care about? You have never met or known anyone personally from another culture. I know this because of what you’ve written.

    I’m an American. I’ve lived in the Middle East and the Far East. I know people from many cultures and religions. They are actually people, too. Imagine that. They are humans, and they have lived in their homelands longer than America has been a country — much longer.

    They also have families they love as much as you love yours (I suppose you love your family)

    So, you obviously aren’t a Christian, nor do you associate with any other religion I’m guessing, since no person in touch with his spiritual self would think what you think.

    You’re a sad specimen of our species.

  53. Rufus says:

    Strange that you think people in Afghanistan or Pakistan don’t care about their own children. I have known numerous people from Pakistan and other places. They are not unlike most Americans. Except, that they do not have a sociopathic justification to murder innocents. Your argument is akin to the position of Hitler and the superiority of their master race.

    Perhaps there are people somewhere who feel the same way about Americans as you do about Yemenis. The difference is that they never wanted to attack America until we started poking our noses into their business. To be sure, we are the aggressors.

  54. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I always tell people they need to put themselves in the Arab’s shoes for a second and if they have a shred of conscience they would change their tune. If a foreign gov’t bombed YOUR house and killed your family, how would you feel about that foreign gov’t? Yeah, probably the same way the rag heads feel about us, people need to quit buying the line that they’re fighting us because they “hate our freedoms” that’s bs. They’re fighting us because we’re meddling in shit that’s not our business and hurting them, it’s so obvious, but if you’re one of these people that think you’re not conservative unless you support every single stupid ass thing our government does, you don’t have the brain power to think that hard.

  55. Sharrukin says:

    mondo_ cane says:

    March 7, 2016 at 6:19 pm GMT •@Sharrukin

    Who in Hell are you to know what other cultures think or care about?

    Someone who bothers to actually listen to what others say rather than the pablum that is put out by the media.

    You have never met or known anyone personally from another culture. I know this because of what you’ve written.

    What you know ain’t really so.

    Two of my friends were Persians who escaped from the Iranian revolution. One of them went back with an uncle to help Khomeini. He got back out through the Kurdish mountains. The uncle was killed inside Iran.

    I know people from many cultures and religions. They are actually people, too. Imagine that. They are humans…

    That is of course the problem.

    We have a military which exists, not because of the lions, tigers, and bears. I have also never had to worry about being attacked by a band of delinquent wolves. Militaries exist because of our fellow man. Human beings created the Gulags, the death camps, the killing fields, the Jihad, and genocide. Pol Pot was a human being, and so was Adolf Hitler. So your stating that they are human beings is not really the reassurance you think it is.

    So, you obviously aren’t a Christian, nor do you associate with any other religion I’m guessing, since no person in touch with his spiritual self would think what you think.

    No I am not a Christian, nor do I have any other religious affiliation. I peer into my heart and it’s black and it’s dark. Sad really.

    Doubtless if I had a spiritual connection like Al Qaeda does, I would be a kinder and gentler person.

  56. Sharrukin says:

    Pretty Jay says:

    March 8, 2016 at 1:24 am GMT •

    They’re fighting us because we’re meddling in shit that’s not our business and hurting them, it’s so obvious

    And what did Denmark do?

    If Denmark cannot escape being targeted because of some domestic cartoons then I don’t imagine anyone can walk softly enough to avoid upsetting the Muslim lunatics.

  57. annamaria says:
    “At the front Sassoon produced what may be his most memorable offering, Suicide in the Trenches, in which he too castigated the hearty band of war propagandists cheering from the sidelines:

    “You smug faced cowards with kindling eye

    Who cheer as soldier lads march by

    Sneak home and pray you’ll never know

    The Hell where youth and laughter go”

    Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE, MC was an English poet, writer, and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War.

  58. @Fred Z

    Then your german friends are brainwashed, self-hating pussies. I speak some German and our children attend German class on the weekend where we meet many German parents, and we encounter this sickening attitude among them too — though not uniformly, if one can speak with them privately.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  59. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I wonder if the particularly sadistic practice of firing an initial missile then waiting for
    people to respond and then firing on the help, is still going on?

  60. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    your german friends are brainwashed, self-hating pussies. . . .we encounter this sickening attitude among them too

    Americans are just as thoroughly brainwashed.

    tripped over this Facebook page from a bunch of millenials — people with advanced degrees from allegedly reputable universities — they’re fully supportive of Killery and intensely engaged in a DonaldDrumph movement.

    They were particularly outraged at the Trump pledge, which, of course, was branded “just like Hitler.”

    Six or seven years of very expensive education did not teach them enough critical thinking skills to enable them to tear apart the 13-year old cut-and-paste piece.

    Not only that, these graduate-degreed experts in Communications (!) failed to do a simple fact-check: Turns out Umberto Eco did the critical analysis for them: Trump is to Hitler as chalk is to cheese —

    The kicker-über alles is that one of the participants on this FB does communications work for Booz-Allen.

    Heil Zakheim.

  61. @biz

    What a bizarre thing to say. Because their cultural customs offend your delicate sense of propriety, they’re incapable of love. That’s your first non-sequitur.

    But the second really takes the cake. Those people don’t love each other, therefore we can kill as many as we want. That’s just morally grotesque.

    The third is almost as bad. How does killing innocents halfway around the world make us any safer? Part of the author’s point is that it just encourages those who loved them to take revenge.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Mattea Kramer Comments via RSS
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings