Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The richest and most war-mongering nation on Earth is still addicted to bombing poor, defenseless nations — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2021

Kill anything that moves

Maitreya Bhakal is an Indian commentator who writes about China, India, the US, and global issues. Follow him on Twitter @MaitreyaBhakal A nation-state version of a psychopath, the US refuses to give up its addiction to bombing innocent people. In just over a month, it’s bombed Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan – and shows no signs of developing a conscience. 

Kill anything that moves

March 15, 1968 was a normal day in America. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. Race riots in Mississippi were entering their fifth day or so. And at the other end of the globe, in Vietnam, soldiers of the Americal Division’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, were being briefed by their commanding officer, Captain Ernest Medina, about the exploits of the next day, which would later be dubbed the “My Lai massacre” – where 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were systematically butchered in over four hours, not counting a lunch break the soldiers took in the middle of the carnage. The orders were clear and explicit: the soldiers were to kill every single human being, burn all houses, kill all animals, destroy all food supplies and poison all wells. 

As the briefing progressed, one incident stuck in the mind of artillery forward observer James Flynn, which he would recall years later. A soldier, whose name has been lost to history, expressed some apprehension about the wide-ranging nature of the orders. “Are we supposed to kill women and children?” he asked naively. 

“Kill everything that moves,” came the reply.

Kill everything that moves. This same phrase would be repeated almost verbatim two years later by none other than Henry Kissinger himself while relaying US leader Richard Nixon’s orders: “A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.”

My Lais and my truths

That the popular US media is allowed to discuss this event is not exactly praiseworthy, nor some sign of speaking truth to power, as they claim. The reason why the My Lai massacre was allowed to enter the popular US imagination was to hide America’s much larger war crimes. As Nick Turse points out in his award-winning book Kill Anything that Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam: “Today, histories of the Vietnam War regularly discuss war crimes or civilian suffering only in the context of a single incident: the My Lai massacre… Even as that one event has become the subject of numerous books and articles, all the other atrocities perpetrated by US soldiers have essentially vanished from popular memory.”

The strategy worked. And it continues to work to this day. After all, what better way to distract attention from your larger crimes than focus attention on your smaller ones? As a bonus, this also allows you to portray yourself as an enabler and respecter of “free speech” and “open debate”. 

Bomber barbarians

Yes – America loves killing anything that moves. Like the nation-state version of the psychopathic serial murderer, it loves bombing weak, poor, defenseless nations that cannot fight back – nations that have done no harm to it and pose no threat to it.

The US regime wouldn’t dare touch North Korea, of course, because it possesses nuclear weapons and can fight back. America killed Muammar Gaddafi’s nuclear weapons program, and then killed the man himself as soon as they got the opportunity less than a decade later (he was sodomized and then murdered in the open by pro-US forces). Iraq was attacked not because it had WMDs – but because it didn’t. The US regime knew it couldn’t defend itself, and went in for the kill. Syria would have probably become another Iraq if not for Russia, who Syria explicitly invited in to counter the twin terrorist threats of Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS) and the US (via its proxies). 

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