MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Washington’s Backfiring Bombing

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2019

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/01/08/washington-backfiring-bombing.html

BRIAN CLOUGHLEY

Wikipedia tells us that “The Times Square Ball is a… prominent part of a New Year’s Eve celebration commonly referred to as the ball drop, where the ball descends 43 metres in 60 seconds… to signal the start of the new year.” It’s one of these silly things that is quite appealing in the spirit of the Christmas-New Year season, and most of us have a chuckle and consider ourselves slightly foolish for enjoying it.

But there was another and less amusing ball-drop on New Year’s Day, involving a tweet from US Strategic Forces Command or Stratcom, which declares it “deters strategic attack and employs forces, as directed, to guarantee the security of our nation and our allies” In the gobbledegook language of the military it, amongst other things “deters catastrophic actions from adversaries and poses an immediate threat to any actor who questions US resolve by demonstrating our capabilities.”

According to Stars and Stripes, the Stratcom tweet read “Times Square tradition rings in the New Year by dropping the big ball… if ever needed, we are ready to drop something much, much bigger.” As greetings go, you couldn’t get much more crass, confrontational and puerile than that.

The Washington Post noted that an embedded video “showed footage of a B-2 stealth bomber. As the words STEALTH, READY and LETHAL flashed across the screen, the aircraft released bombs. They fall to the ground and crash with a fiery explosion.” Just another video game, really.

The tweet was withdrawn with the apology that it “was in poor taste & does not reflect our values” but it is obvious that the original message is the one that Stratcom, the US Air Force and Washington as a whole want to send : their “values” include being “ready to drop something much, much bigger” on targets all round the world, and they’ve been blitzing with depressing frequency for many years. A month before the big ball bomb tweet Reuters reported that “At least 30 Afghan civilians were killed in US air strikes in the Afghan province of Helmand, officials and residents of the area said on Wednesday [November 28], the latest casualties from a surge in air operations aimed at driving the Taliban into talks.”

Of course the Taliban will never be driven into talks by bombing. In 2018 they were blitzed at the highest rate in all the seventeen years that the US and its allies have been rocketing and bombing and generally blasting all over the country. It’s impossible for us to realise what death and destruction has been caused by the 5,213 bombs that slammed explosively onto Afghanistan in the period January to September last year, but one outcome is made fairly clear by a Forbes’ report that “the UN announced that the number of civilian casualties in the first nine months of 2018 is higher than in any year since it started documenting them in 2009.” And it is apparent that Washington’s war aim has not been assisted in any way by its bombing surge.

One of the most over-used clichés is “history repeats itself” — but it’s difficult to refrain from using it, when one compares the US defeat in Vietnam to the present situation in Afghanistan…

Be seeing you

graveyard

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