What Survives Genocide?

Jeffrey Ostler’s Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas, tells a complex, honest, and nuanced story of what overall and in many particular parts fits the UN definition of and the popular conception of genocide. So, of course, it is primarily a story of not surviving genocide, though I guess that would have been too much of a “Dog Bites Man” headline for any publisher.

But parts of the story are of surviving. Some of the surviving is temporary. People slowed and mitigated the catastrophe. There are lessons there for all of humanity as it proceeds to destroy its own climate. There are lessons in particular for Palestinians and others facing similar assaults today. And some of the surviving has lasted until the present. Reduced in numbers, many nations have survived.

In fact, through the process of driving the native nations west and assaulting them, there was a lot more survival going on than was generally acknowledged. In Ostler’s account, the U.S. government had a clear policy from the start, not just in 1830, of moving Native Americans west of the Mississippi, and enacted that policy. Yet, between the 1780s and 1830, the population of Native Americans east of the Mississippi increased. The formalized and accelerated policy of removal put in place in 1830 was driven by greed for land and racist hatred, not by any humanitarian impulse to help native peoples survive by moving them to better locations where they wouldn’t supposedly face inevitable demise. They would have survived better if left alone, rather than being forced on difficult journeys into already occupied lands and lands without the means to sustain them.

Greed for land really seems to have been the dominant motivation. Smaller groups of Native Americans in the East not occupying highly desirable territory were allowed to remain, and in some cases have remained to this day. Others that put up too great a fight were allowed to remain for a time. Others that adopted European ways of agriculture and all the trappings of what was called “civilization” (including slavery) were allowed to remain until their land became too desirable. The supposed failure of native nations to become “civilized” seems to have no more basis in reality as a motivation for expelling them than does their supposed dying out. Neither does the supposed need to make peace among them. Nations fought each other as they were driven into each other’s territory by the U.S. settler colonists.

The United States did sometimes make peace between warring nations, but only when it served some purpose, such as facilitating the displacement of more people into their land. The work of empire was not the work of brute force alone. Much “diplomacy” was needed. Treaties had to be secretly made with minority groups within native nations. Treaties had to be secretly worded to mean the opposite of what it appeared. Leaders had to be bribed or coaxed into meeting, and then captured or killed. Carrots and sticks had to be applied until people “voluntarily” chose to abandon their homes. Propaganda had to be developed to whitewash atrocities. The imperial wars now named for Native Americans and fought with weapons named for Native Americans are part of an imperial history that began before 1776. The U.S. government has been announcing that Iran attacked a ship, or the equivalent, for a very long time.

When I read in Surviving Genocide that the primary tool the federal government deployed to make the Creeks so miserable that they would move west was the state of Alabama, that seems sensible to me. I think of the state of Alabama as highly skilled at making people miserable. But, of course, it could have developed those skills as it used them against the Creeks, and anyone made miserable by Alabama since may be the beneficiaries of that history.

There was plenty of brute force. Ostler shows that U.S. officials developed the policy that “wars of extermination” were “not only necessary, but ethical and legal.” Causes of decline among Native peoples included direct killing, other traumatizing violence prominently including rape, the burning of towns and crops, forcible deportation, and the intentional and non-intentional spreading of diseases and of alcoholism to weakened populations. Ostler writes that the most recent scholarship finds the devastation caused by European diseases resulted less from Native Americans’ lack of immunity, and more from the weakness and starvation created by the violent destruction of their homes.

The American War for Independence (for one elite from another at the expense of native and enslaved people) involved more destructive assaults on Native Americans than had the preceding wars in which George Washington had acquired the name Town Destroyer. The outcome of the war was even worse news.

Assaults on native peoples would come from the U.S. government, state governments, and ordinary people. Settlers would push the conflicts forward, and in settled parts of the East where Native Americans remained, individuals would steal their land, kill, and harass them. There were groups like the Quakers who dealt much less cruelly with indigenous people. There were ebbs and flows, and every nation has a different story. But fundamentally, the United States intended to get rid of Native Americans and got rid of many of them and took most of the land they lived on.

Of course, something that survives genocide is the knowledge of it, the facts that allow accurate and appropriate memory and sincere efforts to do better in the present.

I’ve been inspired to create a petition to the President of the University of Virginia James Ryan called “Remove Monument to Genocide that Welcomes People to UVA.”

Petition Text

Remove the statue of George Rogers Clark engaged in genocide to a museum where it can be presented as a shameful memory.

Why is this important?

“George Rogers Clark, Conqueror of the Northwest” is a massive sculpture that was put up in the 1920s, just like the Charlottesville statues of Lee and Jackson (and the one of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark). It was paid for by the same racist gazillionaire who paid for the statues of Lee and Jackson (and the one of Lewis and Clark). It involved the same level of democratic decision making by the people of Charlottesville, namely none. It, too, depicts a white man on a horse, dressed for war. It, too, might remain a war monument, and therefore protected by state law, completely independent of whether we should decide we dislike it. However, Clark’s wars are not in the list of wars that the state of Virginia says must have their monuments protected. Often wars on Native Americans are not counted as real wars, and that may have a benefit here. UVA, it seems, has the power to remove this monstrosity and just hasn’t done it.

There are differences from the statues of Lee and Jackson. In this case, Clark has a couple of other men with guns behind him, and he’s reaching back for a gun. There are three Native Americans in front of him. The UVA student newspaper celebrated the statue when it was first created as “explaining the futility of resistance.” The base of the sculpture calls Clark the “Conqueror of the Northwest.” The Northwest means the general area of today’s Illinois. Conquering means basically genocide. One of the three Native Americans appears to be carrying an infant.

I don’t want to diminish the horror tied to the monuments to the Civil War or the War on Vietnam or World War I or any of Charlottesville’s and UVA’s monumental paeans to mass murder, but only this particular artistic perversion openly depicts deadly violence against civilians with unalloyed pride and sadism. Robert E. Lee could be riding in a parade for all anyone can tell from his monument. Not Clark. He is depicted engaged in what he explicitly advocated for and acted upon: the indiscriminate murder of Native Americans in pursuit of their elimination.

George Rogers Clark himself said that he would have liked to “see the whole race of Indians extirpated” and that he would “never spare Man woman or child of them on whom he could lay his hands.” Clark wrote a statement to the various Indian nations in which he threatened “Your Women & Children given to the Dogs to eat.” While some might object even to a less graphic monument to this murderer, one in which he stood or rode alone, Charlottesville doesn’t have one of those. It has a monument to genocide, shamelessly depicting genocide.

Charlottesville/UVA also has monuments to Thomas Jefferson, who, as Governor of Virginia, sent Clark west to attack Native Americans, writing that the goal “should be their extermination, or their removal beyond the lakes or Illinois river.” Clark killed the captured and destroyed the crops of those he was sent by Jefferson to exterminate or remove. Clark later unsuccessfully proposed further military expeditions to Virginia Governor Benjamin Harrison in order to demonstrate “that we are always able to crush them at pleasure.”

Clark was considered a hero because his beliefs and actions were widely accepted or supported. His bit part was played in a broad and long-lasting genocidal assault on the native peoples of this continent. Every assertion about and quote of Clark above is documented in a new book from Yale University Press called “Surviving Genocide” by Jeffrey Ostler. Ostler shows that U.S. officials developed the policy that “wars of extermination” were “not only necessary, but ethical and legal.” Causes of decline among Native peoples included direct killing, other traumatizing violence prominently including rape, the burning of towns and crops, forcible deportation, and the intentional and non-intentional spreading of diseases and of alcoholism to weakened populations. Ostler writes that the most recent scholarship finds the devastation caused by European diseases resulted less from Native Americans’ lack of immunity, and more from the weakness and starvation created by the violent destruction of their homes.

In George Rogers Clark’s day, John Heckewelder (a missionary and author of books on the customs of Native Americans) noted that frontiersmen had adopted “the doctrine . . . that the Indians were the Canaanites, who by God’s commandment were to be destroyed.” In our day, we make Clark’s monument central to our public life in Charlottesville, where it greets those arriving from downtown to the campus of the University of Virginia.

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The Case that Obama Was a Traitor Just Got Powerful New Evidence — From the DNC!

Eric Zuesse

The case that Obama’s team concocted Russiagate in order to weaken Trump if Trump were to win the Presidency has just received an important admission by the Government’s acknowledgement that the Government under Obama had lied to the FISA Court in order to get the FISA Court’s permission to investigate Trump for possible collusion with Russia’s Government. This information came from the DNC’s own lawyer, to the current U.S. Justice Department, in the case of United States of America v. Roger J. Stone Jr.

In response to Trump operative Roger Stone’s defense effort against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s charges against Stone, the “Government’s Response to Defendant’s Motion to Compel Unredacted Crowdstrike Reports”

(https://www.scribd.com/document/413428947/Stone-De-123-DOJ-Response-to-MTC-Crowdstrike-Reports — choose “txt” if you want to download it)

acknowledges that “On June 14, 2016, the DNC, via CrowdStrike, publicly announced that it had been hacked by Russian government actors. … [But,] According to counsel [from DNC — this comes from what the DNC has communicated to the U.S. Department of Justice and is now being made public in the “Government’s Response” to Stone’s filing], no redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors.” And, since all the rest, the unredacted information, likewise didn’t (as everyone now knows after reading the Mueller Report, because it admits this), the Obama Government actually had nothing that could be presented to the FISA Court without lying, in order for the Obama regime to be able to win that Court’s permission to investigate Trump as being a possible Russian agent.

In other words: Obama’s preparation, just in case Trump might defeat Hillary Clinton, included DNC-Clinton campaign fabrication of ‘evidence’ (via the DNC-hired CrowdStrike) to implicate Trump in treason with Russia, so as to get the FISA Court’s okay and then proceed to cripple Trump’s Presidency. This was an internal U.S. Government war against then-candidate Trump, in order to cripple his Presidency, in the event that Trump might win — as he did.

However, can the previous President be brought up on any criminal charges at all for initiating an action to cripple his successor’s Presidency? This is a legal question with no precedent other than, perhaps, the Watergate burglary case that — irony of ironies — drove Roger Stone’s own friend and hero Richard Nixon out of office. Perhaps Obama was even worse than that President. (Also ironically, Obama tried even more mightily than Nixon did to empower international corporations as the coming dictatorial government of the entire world.)

Here is the full key paragraph in the Government’s just-released reply to Stone:

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

By May 2016, the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (“DCCC”) became aware that their computer systems had been compromised by intrusions, and they hired the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike to identify the extent of the intrusions and mitigate the threat. On June 14, 2016, the DNC, via CrowdStrike, publicly announced that it had been hacked by Russian government actors. See, Washington Post, “D.N.C. Says Russian Hackers Penetrated Its Files, Including Dossier on Donald Trump”, June 14, 2016, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/us/politics/russian-hackers-dnc-trump.html. At the direction of the DNC and DCCC’s legal counsel, CrowdStrike prepared three draft reports. 1 Copies of these reports were subsequently produced voluntarily to the government by counsel for the DNC and DCCC. 2 At the time of the voluntary production, counsel for the DNC told the government that the redacted material concerned steps taken to remediate the attack and to harden the DNC and DCCC systems against future attack. According to counsel, no redacted information concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors.

It therefore seems that if House Democrats initiate impeachment against Trump, he will initiate very serious criminal charges — perhaps even an extraordinary case of treason — against Obama, for concocting Russiagate against him. Consequently, one may reasonably infer that Pelosi and Trump have agreed that there will not be impeachment proceedings, and that there will also not be prosecution against Obama. However, if Trump does get impeached, then there will be virtually a civil war between Republicans and Democrats, as both cases proceed. There is no impeachment by the House that would result in a Republican Senate’s replacement of Trump by Pence: defenestration of Trump. Trump would remain as President. Meanwhile, the case against Obama would be proceeding full force (because the House had impeached him), and the thorough corruption that rules the Democratic Party would then become exposed to the public. The formation of a new major U.S. political party could then become likelier than at any time since the Republicans replaced the Whigs in 1860. However, this time around, the cause wouldn’t be slavery, but instead the fact that, in today’s America, it’s only the billionaires who are in control over both Parties. In other words: the impetus for a third political Party to become financed by one or more billionaires would be the intolerable stranglehold that corruption — control of the Government by the billionaires — has over our country. We then would have two major political parties plus a third that would then serve as the kingmaker taking bids from each of the other two in order to determine which one to throw its support to. It would be the tie-breaker. So, the kingmaker-party would be little more than another party controlled by billionaires. They would make deals to determine which one of the other two will rule the country. American ‘democracy’ wouldn’t be fundamentally affected, because it doesn’t exist anyway, except in our schoolbooks, ‘history’ books, ‘news’ reports, and the public speeches by politicians. It’s all a fraud. And this is why the U.S. regime wants to get rid of people such as Julian Assange.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Misplaced Pride: Most of the “Middle Class” Is Actually Working Class

The conventional definition of working class is based on income and education:the working class household earns between $30,000 and $69,000 annually, and the highest education credential in the household is a two-year community college degree or trade certification.

The definition of the middle class is also based on on income and education, but adds financial security as a metric: the middle class household earns $80,000 or more, holds 4-year college diplomas or graduate degrees, owns a home, has a 401K retirement account and so on.

(My own definition is much more rigorous, as I reckon “middle class” today should have the same basic assets as the “middle class” held 40 years ago: What Does It Take To Be Middle Class? (December 5, 2013.)

But in some key ways, income and education are misleading metrics: the key attributes that actually define the working class are:

1. Stagnant incomes: incomes that over time barely keep up with real-world inflation or even lose purchasing power.

2. Income insecurity: wages, benefits and pensions are not as guaranteed as advertised.

3. Not enough ownership of financial capital to be meaningful. Financial capital excludes household items, vehicles, etc. Financial capital includes stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, ownership of a profitable business, equity in real estate, precious metals, bitcoin, etc.

By meaningful I mean enough to:

— augment Social Security benefits in a way that greatly improves the household’s lifestyle and retirement options

— equity that is significant enough to fund college educations so one’s children do not have to become debt-serfs to attend college

— enough capital to fund (or help with) a down payment for a house, i.e. inheritable wealth that transforms the children’s lives while the parents are still alive

— income from capital, i.e. income isn’t dependent on a government agency or government transfer.

How many U.S. households qualify to be middle class if that means:

— the household income has outpaced real-world inflation over the past 20 years

— the household’s financial capital/assets have grown to become meaningful (as defined above) in the past 20 years

— the household doesn’t depend on government transfers for much of its income / spending

— the household income and wealth are not dependent on financial bubbles, corporate guarantees, local government pensions on the verge of insolvency, etc.

While tens of millions of households qualify as “middle class” based on college diplomas and income, far fewer qualify when wealth and financial security are the key metrics. Plenty of households earn well in excess of $100,000 annually, but their financial status is as precarious and threadbare as any working class household.

They don’t own enough assets or capital to move the needle, and what they do own is generally dependent on financial bubbles or speculative gambles.

Feeling like we belong to the “middle class” because we have a college diploma and make a good income offers up a false sense of pride and progress.If we’re realistic about the financial wealth and security of “middle class” households, most qualify as working class: stagnant incomes, precarious financial circumstances, very little meaningful wealth and even less meaningful wealth that isn’t dependent on the bubble du jour or promises that might not be kept.

If we look at these charts, it looks like only the top 10%, or perhaps the top 20% at best, might qualify as “middle class” by the metrics described above.

What sort of society do we have if the bottom 20% of households are poor, the next 60% are working class/precariat and only the top 20% (at best) have any of the core attributes of “middle class” financial security and wealth?

If we take off our rose-colored glasses, we have a much more stratified economy and society than we might like to believe: there’s the top 1%, the next 4% “upper middle class,” the next 10% “middle class,” the next 65% working class, and the bottom 20% poor, those largely dependent on government transfers.

The “middle” has eroded away, leaving the top 15% who are doing very well in the status quo and the bottom 85% who are struggling to maintain a meaningful sense of prosperity and progress.

Personally, I’m proud to be working class in terms of my skillsets and values. Labels mean nothing. What counts is having skills, drive, agency, curiosity, frugality, integrity, self-discipline and kindness. Those forms of wealth cannot be taken from you when the bubble du jour pops and all the phantom “wealth” vanishes like mist in Death Valley. 

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format.

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. 

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. New benefit for subscribers/patrons: a monthly Q&A where I respond to your questions/topics.

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Officials Worldwide Are Skeptical of Claim that Iran Attacked Tankers In Gulf of Oman

The Trump administration says that Iran attacked two ships in the Gulf of Oman.

But Japanese government officials have expressed skepticism. Japan Today reports:

“The U.S. explanation has not helped us go beyond speculation,” said one senior government official.

***

A source close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “These [alleged pieces of evidence provided by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo] are not definite proof that it’s Iran.”

“Even if it’s the United States that makes the assertion, we cannot simply say we believe it,” he said.

If having expertise sophisticated enough to conduct the attack could be a reason to conclude that the attacker was Iran, “That would apply to the United States and Israel as well,” said a source at the Foreign Ministry.

Newsweek notes that American intelligence officials are also skeptical:

Independent intelligence experts say the video provides no proof whatsoever of Iran’s alleged responsibility for the attacks ….

“One has to keep asking the question, well, if it isn’t Iran, who the hell is it?” Anthony Cordesman, a strategic analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies [Cordesman is former national security assistant to Senator John McCain of the Senate Armed Services Committee, civilian assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and winner of the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award], told Newsweek. “You come up with the possibility that ISIS carried out the attack as trigger to turn two enemies — the United States and Iran — against each other. Or you’re watching Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates create an incident that they can then use to increase the pressure on Iran.”

Ayham Kamel, the head of Middle East analysis for the Eurasia Group, an international risk analysis consultancy, said recent attacks by Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels on Saudi oil installations are now threatening the kingdom’s core security concerns.

“The Saudis are alarmed,” Kamel told a conference call Friday. “Their response is going to be to try to pressure the U.S. into action.”

Others have pointed to the possibility that Thursday’s attacks, as well as the attacks on four tankers in the same waters a month ago, were so-called “false-flag” operations [background] carried out by Israel, another arch foe of Iran, to make Iran appear responsible. And some observers have even suggested the attacks may have been directed by hawkish members of the Trump administration as a pretext to launch military operations against Iran.

“The U.S. track record on ginning up evidence for war is not good,” William Church, a former military investigator for the United Nations Security Council. “It lied in the run-up to the Vietnam war [by inventing a North Vietnamese attack on a U.S. Navy ship in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964], and it lied about WMD [weapons of mass destruction] before the Iraq war. So when these tanker attacks happen, we have to ask why and what’s the motivation in addition to examining the evidence.”

***

With regard to the video, Church said much more needs to be known before any conclusions about Iranian responsibility can be drawn. “The video means nothing,” he told Newsweek. “We need to know how it was taken, when was it taken, what was the total sequence. Then you’d have to talk to the people in the video to get their view of what happened. I would check to see if the video was doctored. You would need to do everything that a trained investigator would do.”

Church, who also served for many years as a U.S. intelligence officer in the Middle East and East Africa, acknowledges that the Iranians have the Gashti-class patrol boats. But he notes that Iranian Navy, not the Revolutionary Guards, have the closest naval base to the site of the attacks, suggesting a possible discrepancy in the U.S. Central Command’s description of the Iranian craft’s affiliation. He also points out that the video does not make it clear which of the two stricken tankers is depicted.

In addition, Church said it’s not clear whether limpet mines caused the explosions in either tanker. Limpet mines are usually attached by divers to the hulls of ships at the water line. There have been some reports that crew members aboard one of the tankers saw a flying object, possibly a drone, heading toward the ship before the explosion occurred, raising the possibility that a drone delivered the explosives.

“Drones and limpet mines are a dime-a-dozen out there in the Middle East,” he said. “Everybody has them. So we need to know a lot more that what the video shows us.”

Church also says it’s not clear why, in the latest attacks, Iran would target tanks belonging to Norway and Japan, two of Iran’s best oil customers. “They’ve been shipping to these countries for decades,” he said. “Why would they do that?” Church says an independent investigation of the attacks is needed to determine responsibility.

Germany’s foreign minister said:

The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me.

Britain’s opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said more “credible evidence” was needed to support Trump’s allegation:

Without credible evidence about the tanker attacks, the government’s rhetoric will only increase the threat of war.

The UK’s shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, said that “independent evidence” should be established over who was responsible for the attacks.

Chris Williamson, a member of the British parliament with the UK’s Labour Party, said:

Whether it’s an attempt to remove Venezuela’s democratic government or regime change in Iran, the USA is causing global instability in furtherance of its imperial interests. We must reject the lies being used by the Trump admin to gain public support for their disastrous plans.

An EU spokeswoman also refused to blame Iran at this time, stating merely:

We are gathering more information and we are assessing the situation.

Even Elliot Higgins of Bellingcat – who is famously pro-war against regimes which the U.S. has targeted, like Syria – writes in the New York Times:

Nothing presented as evidence proves that the object was placed there by the Iranians. The video shows only that the Iranians chose to remove it for an as yet unknown reason.

This is especially important in light of a statement by Yukata Katada, the president of the operator of the Kokuka Courageous, that the crew had reported that the ship was attacked by a “flying object.” Mr. Katada added, “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”

While we cannot be sure whether this is a Gulf of Tonkin-style incident, we can say for certain this is not the slam-dunk evidence that some would like to claim it is. In the escalating conflict between the United States and Iran we have to work on all the information available, not just what one side presents.

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War on Iran Stupidest Idea Yet Recorded in a Human Brain

Scientists not employed by ExxonMobil or named Neil DeGrasse Tyson have reached a universal consensus. Wanting the United States to attack Iran is the single stupidest idea yet recorded in a human brain. In the words of one, “It isn’t even close.”

In a peer-reviewed report on a controlled laboratory experiment, sample humans were presented with the following 12 items of information.

  1. Iran is nowhere near the United States, has no ability to attack the United States, has not threatened to attack the United States, has not started a war in literally centuries, and spends less than 2 percent what the United States does on war preparations. Defending the United States and its “interests” from Iran just means defending the other disastrous wars that are already underway and near Iran.
  2. Iran has no nuclear weapons program, yet agreed to extreme inspections never agreed to by any other country, and complied with the agreement, but Donald Trump tore the agreement up in between his morning pop tarts and viewing Fox News encouragement of separating children from their parents and locking them in cages.
  3. The United States has taken countless steps to threaten and provoke Iran, including the extreme crime of threatening war.
  4. A war on Iran could involve attacks on nuclear energy facilities, the use of nuclear weapons, the creation of a nuclear winter, and global human starvation, and is certain to involve large numbers of people killed, injured, traumatized, and made homeless — for which they would be blamed by those eager to spin the vicious cycle of hatred, war, and hatred forward.
  5. Other benefits of a war on Iran would likely include: massive environmental and climate destruction, erosion of rights in the United States, major defunding of human needs, increased racism and xenophobia, and deadly blowback against people you’re supposed to care about in the United States, Israel, and Europe — well, that and making all the other recent wars look less catastrophic by comparison.
  6. Every moment the United States spends pursuing this barbaric madness is a moment spent allowing the earth’s climate to lock in greater catastrophe in the years to come.
  7. War, like threatening war, is a crime. It is the greatest crime.
  8. The fact that Iran has a deeply flawed government is a truly insane thing to imagine is relevant here. Almost every nation on earth has a deeply flawed government, and the United States arms and trains most of them. The United States *is* a deeply flawed government, and few people there believe they would benefit from being bombed. None of the nations the United States has previously bombed, supposedly for having bad governments, has benefitted.
  9. Speaking of Germany and Japan — which your mind has just leaped to in order to avoid thinking about Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Panama, Granada, and so forth — the millions killed cannot speak, but the current governments of Germany and Japan — voluntarily occupied nations devoid of self-respect, backing wars in violation of their Constitutions, and licking the shoes of Emperor Trump — Germany and Japan say attacking Iran would be too crazy for them.
  10. We can’t believe we’re having to inform you of this, but . . . excuses for wars are not actually justifications. If Iraq had really had weapons, or Vietnam had really returned fire off its coast, or Gadaffi had really threatened a massacre and handed out Viagra, or babies had really been taken out of incubators, and so forth, exactly zero instances of mass bombings of human beings would have been actually justified. The degree of incompetence in the forming of an excuse is not the interesting question that corporate communications companies pretend. Dubya was a hack, Obama was quite skilled, Trump doesn’t even bother trying, and you and I should not care. You can’t blow up a shopping mall because someone shoplifted. And if you do, nobody is going to think all the media attention should focus on evidence of the shoplifting.
  11. The following is irrelevant (see #10 above), but we accept that you have been brainwashed way past the point of being able to grasp that. The Iran-attacked-a-boat excuse is
    A) Not a justification for a war, but for a criminal investigation.
    B) Laughably incompetent, almost as bad as if they weren’t really concerned with fooling anyone. First they claimed to know Iran was guilty because of the type of mine used, and then it became clear that no mines were used — rather as in the U.S.S. Maine incident in 1898, which somebody may possibly have taken a bet he couldn’t reproduce.
  12. John Bolton’s primary qualification for his job is the lies he told about Iraq. Mike Pompeo openly brags about lying as central to his career experience. Donald Trump may never have knowingly and intentionally told the truth in his life. Every past war has been based on lies, and creative lies to start a war on Iran have been generated for decades.

In certain humans, presented with these items of information, scientists were able to record, not only their verbal support for a war on Iran, but — via highly sensitive attachments to their MAGA caps — incomprehensibly neuroscientific readings of stupidity levels completely off the charts. So, don’t take my word for it. Ask the scientists. You love them, remember?

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