Or – The US, A Shameless Warrior
By Jan Oberg
August 23, 2019
Yesterday, the US Ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, tweeted the following:
As will be seen below, there were four photos from an event in Copenhagen. The first shows all the people present, including former Danish Prime minister Fogh Rasmussen (also on the 4th photo with the ambassador), the present Danish defence minister, Trine Bramsen (also on the 2nd photo to the right), and veterans.
The third photo is indeed very touching if you note the veteran sitting to the Ambassador’s right side – his right arm and hand as well as his two legs.
The Ambassador’s text is revealing for how a representative of the US Empire performs these days. The day is called Wounded Warrior – and of course it would be more difficult to make a barbeque for Dead Warriors – and the ambassador emphases (only) that it reminds us of the “deep bond” between the United States and Denmark.
I for one believe that the average, sane person with compassion and empathy would be reminded, rather, of the tremendous human costs of warfare. But no, here we have a nice time together, big smiles, for the war(s) Denmark and the US has been fighting together in lands far away.
Our deep war bond.
Victims beyond our own conveniently don’t exist. For the people out there in the killing fields – the victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya for instance – there is no need for a barbeque, celebration of bonds, smiles. No regrets. They are enemies, victims – dead or wounded – not fellow human beings.
No Wounded and Dead Victims Week.
Or to put it less diplomatically:
Yes, Ambassador Sands – these gatherings shall not remind you – or us – of the stupid, illegal, and failed wars the US and Denmark have fought together and the hundreds of thousands you have killed and wounded – handicapped for the rest of their lives – neither of the millions of people whose societies and cultures you have left behind. Destroyed.
No shame. No lessons learned.
And how very fitting Mr. Fogh Rasmussen is seen among the celebrating guests. As prime minister he took Denmark into Iraq as an occupying power 2003-2007, was rewarded by the US with being appointed NATO’s Secretary General. In that role he led the war on Libya to its utter destruction – it still is to this day – the killing of head of state, Moammar Ghadafi – all of it way beyond the limited UN Security Council mandate that intervention was based on.
It’s difficult to see him as anything but a non-convicted war criminal.
No shame there. Either.
The Western world’s deepening crisis – under the leadership of the US – is multi-dimensional. Here is a fine example of the extent to which it is also a deep moral crisis – a crisis consisting of the ever decreasing lack of empathy, compassion, decency – and of the unbearable lightness of imperial, militarist mass-killing.
Stephen M. Walt, professor at some of the finest American Universities and belonging to the realist school of international politics, recently wrote an article in Foreign Policy. The title and sub-title is interesting – “There Once Was A President Who Hated War. American elites used to see war a tragic necessity. Now they’re completely addicted to it.”
That president was Franklin D. Roosevelt who in 1933 gave a speech in which, among other things he said:
“I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line—the survivors of a regiment of 1,000 that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.”
Another president who also gave a speech about peace – and a new peaceful world order – and was killed shortly after was John F. Kennedy. You may see/read his speech here. Or think of former president Jimmy Carter’s fine work for peace around the world, a staunch anti-militarist.
This was the U.S. many of us looked up to – which had something positive (also) to give the rest of the world. Just think Rosa Parks, Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Dylan, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Kienholz who all (and many more with them) also said: “I hate war.” For which reason I myself have never been anti-American but staunchly anti-Empire and anti-militarism.
In such a perspective, the moral decay of the US is manifest – manifest destiny.
The main contributions this sad Never-Again-Great country makes today to the rest of the world is war (military, economic, political and cultural), threats of war, full spectrum dominance, sanctions, demonization, regime changes, infiltration, CIA, special forces operations, 600+ military bases in 130+ countries etc.
And happy smiling Wounded Warrior events.