Sunday, January 1, 2012

Americans are the ultimate innocents.

It's a bit disappointing, isn't it, when you discover that they've been stringing you along, misrepresenting things so you'd be on their side.

We were warned by Marine Major General S. Butler.

During his career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. By the end of his career, he had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He was awarded the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and twice received the Medal of Honor, all for separate actions.

His comments:
"War is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers.
In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.[13]"
In the fifties, we were proud to be Americans.  Everything we were told about ourselves and our place in the scheme of things was noble.  Decades later, we discovered that we had supported repressive regimes, murderous dictators, and criminal actions.  And we'd turned on friends.  We were allies with Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh during WWII; did you know?  Then we turned on them when the French wanted their colony back.

A group of OSS agents (later to become the CIA) made contact with anti-Japanese guerrillas in Southeast Asia. The French who had controlled the area were the "Vichy" French who, with their Nazi leanings, supported the Japanese. Of the different Vietnamese nationalists, only the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh led the national network of underground organizations and guerrillas fighting.
Ho Chi Minh met with the U.S. operative, Major Patti, and they agreed on joint anti-Japanese actions. The U.S. dropped supplies behind the lines to Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh helped Americans downed behind Japanese lines. The first American advisors helped train, equip and arm the Viet Minh. In 1945, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was formed with Ho Chi Minh as the first President. American planes flew over Hanoi in celebration of the founding.

Ho Chi Minh asked the Americans to honor their commitment to independence, citing the Atlantic Charter and the U.N. Charter on self-determination. However, by the end of the war, the U.S. government had begun to redirect its foreign policy from the wartime goal of the liberation of all occupied countries and colonies to the postwar anti-communist crusade, which became the Cold War. 

In France, where communists had led the resistance to the Nazi occupation, American policy supported General Charles de Gaulle and his anti-communist "Free French." De Gaulle aimed to restore the glory of France, which meant the return of all former French colonies.

U.S. relations with the Vietnamese turned sour. President Truman refused to answer letters or cables from Ho. Instead, the U.S. began to ship military aid to the French forces in Indochina.

Those were difficult times with difficult choices.  The path chosen may have been the best of available options, but the lies were and remain deliberate misrepresentation for the purpose of pacifying the American people.
We had been warned by President (and former General of the Army) Eisenhower in his farewell address in '61: 

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

Kennedy, after his Vienna meeting with Khrushchev, "Now we have a problem making our power credible and Vietnam looks like the place."

It's now been five decades since the fabricated Gulf of Tonkin incident and the lies that precipitated the Vietnam war.  It was sold to us by the administration with President Johnson being the spokesman.  Johnson later admitted the hostile fire incident was untrue.

Then fifty-eight thousand died, each with a family and friends, each with hopes and plans, each one died.  The justifiable outrage over these deaths is too blindingly horrible to express in words.

Decades later during the Gulf War, columnist Sydney Schanberg warned journalists not to forget "our unquestioning chorus of agreeability when Lyndon Johnson bamboozled us with his fabrication of the Gulf of Tonkin incident."

Schanberg blamed not only the press but also "the apparent amnesia of the wider American public."

And he added:
"We Americans are the ultimate innocents. We are forever desperate to believe that this time the government is telling us the truth."
About that war ...

Before launching the Gulf War, Bush Sr. claimed that Iraq was threatening Saudi Arabia. Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated in mid–September that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key US oil supplier.  They weren't.  Independent analysis of satellite imagery shows just empty desert.

After the war, Gen. Colin Powell admitted that there had been no massive build up. A US senior commander told Newsday after the war, "There was a great disinformation campaign surrounding this war." (There was indeed.)
Then in Iraq again - Weapons of mass destruction!  WMD!!  45 minutes from launch!

No. None.  Just forged documents, exaggerated intelligence reports, faked satellite imagery, photos, and misrepresentations.  And a gullible media.  And gullible citizens.  Nuts!