We perfected Mass Murder by Chris Hedges

The killings in Brussels or Paris and the killings in U.S. military strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria or Libya perpetuate the same dark lusts. The savage tit-for-tat game will not end until we rouse ourselves from our hypnotized state.

Revenge is the psychological engine of war. Victims are the blood currency. Their corpses are used to sanctify acts of indiscriminate murder. Those defined as the enemy and targeted for slaughter are rendered inhuman. They are not worthy of empathy or justice. Pity and grief are felt exclusively for our own. We vow to eradicate a dehumanized mass that embodies absolute evil. The maimed and dead in Brussels or Paris and the maimed and dead in Raqqa or Sirte perpetuate the same dark lusts. We are Islamic State.

“From violence only violence is born,” Primo Levi wrote, “following a pendular action that, as time goes by, rather than dying down, becomes more frenzied.”

The tit-for-tat game of killing will not end until exhaustion, until the culture of death breaks us emotionally and physically. We use our drones, warplanes, missiles and artillery to rip apart walls and ceilings, blow out windows and kill or wound those inside. Our enemies pack peroxide-based explosives in suitcases or suicide vests and walk into airport terminals, concert halls, cafes or subways and blow us up, often along with themselves. If they had our technology of death they would do it more efficiently.

The Christian religion embraces the concept of “holy war” as fanatically as Islam does. Our Crusades are matched by the concept of jihad. Once religion is used to sanctify murder there are no rules. It is a battle between light and dark, good and evil, Satan and God. Rational discourse is banished. And “the sleep of reason,” as Goya said, “brings forth monsters.”

Flags, patriotic songs, a deification of the warrior and sentimental drivel drown out reality. We communicate in empty clichés and mindless, patriotic absurdities. Mass culture is used to reinforce the lie that we are the true victims. It re-creates the past to conform to the national heroic myth. We alone are said to possess virtue and courage. We alone have the right to revenge. We are hypnotized into a communal somnolence, a state-induced blindness.

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We abolish civil liberties. We drive millions of families from their homes. Those who oppose us do the same. They torture and behead, replicating the execution style of the Christian Crusaders, with their own brand of savagery. They rule as despots. Pain for pain. Blood for blood. Horror for horror. There is a fearsome symmetry to the madness. It is justified by the same religious perversion. It is the same abandonment of what it means to be humane and just.

“In 2010 Gaddafi offered to invest $97 billion in Africa to free it from Western influence, on condition that African states rid themselves of corruption and nepotism. Gaddafi always dreamed of a Developed, United Africa and was about to make that dream come true – and nothing is more terrifying to the West than a Developed, United Africa.” Read More

Who are we to condemn the indiscriminate murder of civilians? Have we forgotten our bombing of German and Japanese cities in World War II that left 800,000 civilian women, children and men dead? What about those families we obliterated in Dresden (135,000 dead), Tokyo (97,000 dead), Hiroshima (80,000 dead) and Nagasaki (66,000 dead)? What about the 3 million civilian dead we left behind in Vietnam?

Have we forgotten the millions who died in our wars and proxy wars in the Philippines, Congo, Laos, Cambodia, Guatemala, Indonesia, El Salvador and Nicaragua? Have we forgotten the 1 million dead in Iraq and the 92,000 dead in Afghanistan? Have we forgotten the nearly 8 million people we have driven from their homes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Syria?

How can we rise up in indignation over Islamic State’s destruction of cultural monuments such as Palmyra when we have left so many in ruins? As Frederick Taylor points out in his book “Dresden,” during the World War II bombing of Germany we destroyed countless “churches, palaces, historic buildings, libraries, museums,” including “Goethe’s house in Frankfurt” and “the bones of Charlemagne from Aechen cathedral” along with “the irreplaceable contents of the four-hundred-year-old State Library in Munich.”

Have we forgotten that our invasion of Iraq led to the burning of the National Library, the looting of the National Museum and the construction of a military base on the site of the ancient city of Babylon? Thousands of archaeological sites have been destroyed because of the wars we spawned in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya.

 

Read More from Source: Chris Hedges: We All Are Islamic State – Chris Hedges – Truthdig

A World War has Begun by John Pilger

In the last eighteen months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two – led by the United States – is taking place along Russia’s western frontier. Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia.

Ukraine – once part of the Soviet Union – has become a CIA theme park. Having orchestrated a coup in Kiev, Washington effectively controls a regime that is next door and hostile to Russia: a regime rotten with Nazis, literally. Prominent parliamentary figures in Ukraine are the political descendants of the notorious OUN and UPA fascists. They openly praise Hitler and call for the persecution and expulsion of the Russian speaking minority.

This is seldom news in the West, or it is inverted to suppress the truth.

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – next door to Russia – the US military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world’s second nuclear power is met with silence in the West.

What makes the prospect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a parallel campaign against China.

Seldom a day passes when China is not elevated to the status of a “threat.” According to Admiral Harry Harris, the US Pacific commander, China is “building a great wall of sand in the South China Sea.”

What he is referring to is China building airstrips in the Spratly Islands, which are the subject of a dispute with the Philippines – a dispute without priority until Washington pressured and bribed the government in Manila and the Pentagon launched a propaganda campaign called “freedom of navigation.”

What does this really mean? It means freedom for American warships to patrol and dominate the coastal waters of China. Try to imagine the American reaction if Chinese warships did the same off the coast of California.

The propaganda laying the ground for a war against Russia and/or China is no different in principle. To my knowledge, no journalist in the Western “mainstream” – a Dan Rather equivalent, say – asks why China is building airstrips in the South China Sea.

The answer ought to be glaringly obvious. The United States is encircling China with a network of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle groups, nuclear-armed bombers.

This lethal arc extends from Australia to the islands of the Pacific, the Marianas and the Marshalls and Guam, to the Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India. America has hung a noose around the neck of China. This is not news. Silence by media; war by media.

In 2015, in high secrecy, the US and Australia staged the biggest single air-sea military exercise in recent history, known as Talisman Sabre. Its aim was to rehearse an Air-Sea Battle Plan, blocking sea lanes – such as the Straits of Malacca and the Lombok Straits – that cut off China’s access to oil, gas and other vital raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

In the circus known as the American presidential campaign, Donald Trump is being presented as a lunatic, a fascist. He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our skepticism.

Read More Source: A world war has begun. Break the silence – John Pilger — RT Op-Edge

NATO’s Laurel & Hardy act in Libya not getting laughs

Washington and its NATO allies are stepping up more military involvement in this devastated North African country, now experiencing an uptick in terrorist activity, in some kind of macabre reprise of the classic comedy routine.

For the past several months, American, British and French special forces have reportedly been working clandestinely across Libya to try to establish which militias their governments might feasibly collaborate with.

But Libya has been plunged into such tribal anarchy over the past four years since the US-led NATO powers toppled the government of Muammar Gaddafi that it is nigh-impossible to disentangle the plethora of rival militia. Many of the militia and even some of the so-called political parties in the new unity government are integrated with the terror network.

What that snippet illustrates is the total shambles that Libya has descended into. US troops feel free to land in a country seemingly without any legal sanction and then proceed to a near-firefight with some unknown enemy holding the airport facility. This is precisely the state of ruins Gaddafi predicted would result from his demise, just before the NATO-assisted insurgents took his life in a barbaric street lynching in October 2011 and proceeded to take over the once-prosperous, stable country.

More: Source: Another fine mess: NATO’s ‘Laurel & Hardy act’ in Libya not getting laughs — RT Op-Edge