April 19, 2011
“Waco and Libya are only the first and latest examples of U.S. humanitarian atrocities in the post-Cold War era. In both situations, we see the U.S. government leaving behind rubble and death, and the chattering classes agreeing that Washington has the innocents’ best interests at heart, even as it imposes sanctions on civilians or cuts them off from water, disregarding the very humanity of the victims of Uncle Sam’s explosions. When D.C. kills it is never seen as when others, whether private American citizens or foreign despots, do it.
When a private religious separatist allegedly molests children, it is an excuse for gassing children to death. But when the federal government molests children it is merely airport security. When a foreign dictator is allegedly about to kill tens of thousands of innocents, it is an excuse for another non-defensive U.S. presidential war. But when the U.S. government kills millions though sanctions, chemical warfare, conventional bombings and depleted uranium, it is simply the mainstream foreign policy consensus at work.
It is particularly hard to cut through these double standards when left-liberal presidents kill, as both sides of the spectrum benefit from pretending that these politicians are less trigger-happy than the conservatives. Yet Clinton and Obama have both revealed themselves to be as bloodthirsty as the Bushes before them.”
“The Davidian cult in Waco was dealt with by armored vehicles,” remarked Muammar Gaddafi in February, defending his own crackdowns in light of the U.S. government’s. April 19 marks eighteen years since the end of the Waco siege and exactly one month since Obama began bombing Libya. Now that the federal government is again shedding blood in the name of humanitarianism, we might reflect on how it obtains legitimacy for its most brazen acts of violence.
Long ago, when governments slaughtered the enemy merely for being different and thus subhuman or for occupying desired territory, such crude rationales satisfied the states’ agents and subjects. The modern democratic state, however, employs more sophisticated propaganda when it burns, gasses, shoots, and bombs people including civilians. There is always the excuse of security: the targeted people pose a threat. When this argument seems tenuous, it is well complemented by that most insidious of pretenses: The killing is done for the good of others. It is an act of kindness. The American empire, like the Roman and British before it, inflicts violence to civilize and rescue those in need…..(Go to link for the whole story)