By David Swanson*
Imagine some foreign nation sent 100 missiles into Washington D.C.
You can imagine this because Hollywood has trained you to imagine it.
April 20, 2018
Imagine that for weeks or months prior to this attack, the foreign nation’s government and public debated whether to do it.
You can imagine this because you live in the one nation on earth where such debates happen, or because you have heard about the sorts of things that go on in the United States.
Now imagine that the primary excuse for the attack settled on in the debate in the distant foreign capital was this: it would be punishment for the U.S. government’s use of and possession of banned weapons: depleted uranium, white phosphorous, napalm, cluster bombs, etc.
You may be able to imagine that, depending on what you know about events in the world and how good you are at playing role reversal.
Now imagine that the debate here in the United States and in Washington D.C. — including heated discussions on-the-spot by parents with little bloody bits of their children splattered on and staining their clothes, tears streaming, shrieks almost drowning out all talk — that this debate also focuses on whether or not the United States really did use some banned weapon or not.
You cannot imagine that, because you’re not a sociopath, and you realize quite well that nobody could possibly give a flying fuck about such a debate, that one crime cannot legalize another crime, that no country gets to appoint itself retributive global cop, and that murder is murder no matter how it’s packaged.
Now imagine that the world generally agrees with the claim that bombing DC was an appropriate way to “send a message” and to “deter” future “alleged crimes.”
But imagine that a new debate has broken out in the world over whether the nation that sent the missiles made its decision through its executive or its legislative branch. Imagine that even within that nation, elected officials from its Resistance Party are claiming that bombing D.C. can only have been legal if the legislature properly authorized it.
Can you imagine the U.S. public joining in giving the slightest whiff of a shit about such a debate?
Now, suppose that the foreign president who sent the 100 missiles claims to have a secret memo that explains the legality of it all quite convincingly, but that you cannot see it because that would endanger his “national security.”
Well, that would just about satisfy all of your remaining concerns, right?
OK let’s try something easier to imagine.
Let’s imagine that a bit too many people begin noticing and talking about the “Made in USA” labels on the missiles. Would the claim come forth from the weapons’ dealers’ “think tanks” that at least the missiles were a good patriotic “jobs program”? You may not think that’s likely, but it’s certainly imaginable.
But then, so is this. People might stop accepting horrible bullshit justifications for mass murder.
I can imagine that. Can you?
* David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. And he is a TFF Associate.
He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.