|A good European, or American, imperialist, circa 1900, with his collection of bloody heads. Yes, that's right, beheading is not only a Western tradition, it's a Judeo-Christian tradition, so long as it is practiced against infidels and heathens and collateral casualties. Here, Saint Peter satirically points out that Heaven is not for heathens, and the mass-killer Christian will have to leave his war decorations (in this case Chinese heads removed during the recent Boxer Rebellion) outside. This cartoon is from a 1901 edition of the German satire magazine, Simplicissimus. It is by the artist Thomas Theodor Heine.|
Yet, the remains of the collaterals are the very last thing the Pentagon wants Americans, and the world, to see, or to even think about.
Instead, we get phantom-cam, the ghostly pictures of US bombs raining down—always we are told it is only on “bad guys”—which is claimed to be the civilized response to the brutality of the enemy (fill in the blank for its name this week). In this war, meaning the endless war Americans now fight and pay for in so many ways, the American response to the threat and moral deficiency perpetrated by Islamic State is to blow up lots of anonymous victims.
Ever since the computer-game-like images of war that the Pentagon now issues as America’s style of killing became popular in the MSM (which began back in 1991’s First Gulf War), the rhetoric attached to these images by America’s war propagandists (i.e., America's mainstream journalists) has been of a wholly different tone than that which accompanies images and descriptions of the ritual beheadings of prisoners by black-costumed jihadis.
Whereas the beheadings are always denounced as barbaric and the act of murderers and psychopaths (and other terms denoting the killers are beyond the Christian pale), the ritual bombings of alleged enemy positions, fed to the MSM by the Pentagon, are supposedly the rational and necessary response to the barbaric acts of militant Islam.
After all, in the Pentagon videos, war is clean. All you usually see is a black-and-white image of a building or sometimes an object (identified as an enemy tank or truck), followed in a couple of seconds by the target disappearing in a bright flash and cloud of dust. The assumption is that the enemy has been “neutralized” or eliminated. Even when you can see what appear to be human figures milling about before they are executed, they don’t seem real, but more like crudely-drawn cartoons.
What has actually happened of course is that the shock wave of the explosion has ruptured the internal organs of the victims. Fragmentation has torn their bodies, while the “blast wind” has ripped off arms and legs—and heads. As we saw in truly barbaric images, enthusiastically supplied by the Israelis this summer, in their Gaza slaughter of Palestinians, if a building was targeted, most likely any victims who survived the direct effects of the bomb (or missile or artillery) blast, will be buried in massive piles of rubble. Many came to believe that this was not a collateral effect of Israel’s war, but the key purpose—genocide against Palestinians.
So, again unlike the Islamic State’s very methodical executions, which reveal the name and scripted last statement of a particular person, there is a chance—more than a minimal one—that in that rubble, or in the blast zone of the explosion of American weapons—there will be victims who are allegedly unintended.
These “collateral” casualties are dismissed by the Pentagon, almost as if they are default-obvious plots by America’s enemies to make the mass destruction of whole buildings (or whole city blocks of them) look like something other than good, clean American-valued war.
For example, this a comment made last Friday, by Chairman of the JCS, General Martin Dempsey, commenting on the possibility that some of the Pentagon images of explosions were events that had caused the deaths of collateral casualties:
“Of course, you know you can't reduce [collateral casualties] to zero.* And I suspect that over time ISIL will probably publish a few propaganda videos alleging civilian casualties. But we've got a pretty good suite of ISR there now that should enable us to actually determine not only how to strike, but the results of it after the fact—what we call patty battle damage assessment.”
*—Note, another way to put this, yes America kills lots of innocent people in its wars, just like everyone does, but America tries really hard not to. So, even though America blows up lots of children—really, LOTS of them—it's all for a good, civilized cause.This is the same kind of rhetoric the Bush regime’s military used to dismiss claims by Afghans and Iraqis that innocent citizens, including many women and children, were being indiscriminately slaughtered by America’s bombs and missiles. The default position of the US military is that claims about US-caused collateral casualties are enemy propaganda.
In the same way, unless there was Abu-Ghraib-like documentation to show otherwise, any reports by Afghans and Iraqis of US ground forces engaging in illegal killings or other war crimes, were generally dismissed by US military investigators as exaggerations on worse. The implication was that the enemy was seeking a way, as General Dempsey said, to expose US military operations to unfair and unjustified criticism.
article made this claim:
"Air strikes by U.S.led coalition forces in Syria killed 30 fighters from al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and eight civilians including children, a group monitoring the war said on Tuesday."This report had credibility because:
"The strikes targeted a residential building in Aleppo province."Also, the monitoring group, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was referenced in this article from 2013 as "the most authoritative tracker of violence [in Syria]".
While it was known that al-Nusra used the building that was hit, it should be understood that "residential" implies there are also going to be civilians in the building.
And if the United States is going to conduct operations in this manner, basically using the same tactics as the Israelis in Gaza, the number of collateral casualties in the US operations against Islamic State and the other targeted groups are going to be considerable.
Yet, not surprisingly, the US military response to these reports was:
"We don’t have any credible operational reporting through operational channels that would sustain those allegations."In other words, nobody in the US military is confirming it happened, so it didn't happen. While the United States said it would take the reports seriously, it did not say how it intended to investigate the claims.
Let us be quite blunt about this: the number of innocent people that the United States has murdered in its endless wars on “terror” far exceeds those killed by al-Qaeda and Islamic State and all the other “terrorist” organizations.
This is not to say that Islamic State are fine fellows with sterling reputations and great ideas about how to conduct themselves.
When it comes to the horrors of war-making, Americans are not morally superior to the IS thugs. Indeed, Americans are much more practiced than any little jihadist club at committing heinous crimes against humanity.
Therefore, when you see the MSM peddling these Pentagon warmonger photos, showing how the enemy is being cleanly degraded and destroyed, consider the reality behind these obviously misleading images. And do the same regarding the similarly misleading war rhetoric of US leaders and their allies.