Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Warmongers Without Limits

If General John Campbell thought he'd be raked over the coals by a Senate panel  for the weekend American military attack on Doctors Without Borders, he was in for a very pleasant surprise. What he got instead was a warm bubble bath followed by a massage.

Members of the Armed Services Committee did their due groveling diligence, politely requesting that he keep them apprised of the military's investigation into its own war crime. No big rush, they'll be happy with a rough draft by Halloween. Not one of them, Republican or Democrat, uttered the phrase "war crime," of course. The euphemisms they employed to describe the prolonged air attack, resulting in critically sick patients being incinerated to death in their own hospital beds, ranged from "tragedy" to "accident" to "incident" to "mistake."

At best, the lawmakers politely asked the general if his feelings would be hurt in the event of an independent United Nations investigation of the atrocity. At worst, they apologized to the general for having to inconvenience him with their oh-so-delicate questions. Senator Tom Cotton  (R-Arkansas) even went so far as to reassure Campbell: "Do you think there's anybody here who regrets this incident more than the pilots of that airplane?"  

Campbell could barely contain his sigh of relief and the sanctimonious smirk on his face at that little doozy.  He confidently informed lawmakers that he was "not yet at liberty" to expose the truth of what really went down on Saturday. It would not be appropriate to comment while he and his troops are still getting their stories straight. He's already had to change his own story four times in four days. First, he said he didn't know much of anything about the attack. Then he wasn't sure who bombed the hospital and if the pilots knew about the hospital. Then the hospital was attacked because American soldiers were in harm's way. Then he said that Afghan troops had simply snapped their fingers, and the Americans complied by killing doctors and sick people, no questions asked. As others have noted, the official story changes and excuses have all been perfectly mirrored by the sycophantic media, including the New York Times and CNN.

The outlandish stories  seem not to matter, neither to Campbell nor the Senate committee. Now that he appears confident that his own job is not on the line, he is magnanimously able to take "full responsibility" for the atrocity.

How unfair would it be, sympathized Dave Sullivan (R-Alaska) if the United Nations presumed to investigate Exceptional America! After all, this international body doesn't investigate every Taliban atrocity, so why should they be allowed to investigate a beneficent American mistake? Did Campbell personally know of any such precedent?

"No Sir," Campbell obligingly replied.

To the extent that Campbell was grilled at all, it was over recent revelations of American military complicity with an epidemic of child sex abuse by Afghan security troops. When Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) pressed him about the scandal, he lamely responded that rampant pederasty hasn't been a problem on his own watch. He claimed he knows nothing about reports that American soldiers reporting the abuse up the chain of command have themselves been punished for being whistle-blowers. That was so 2010, or maybe 2011, he huffed.

But he vowed that if he ever does  find out that child sex abuse and cover-ups are still continuing, he'll take it all the way up to the President. Gillibrand foolishly assumed that he meant President Obama, until Campbell quickly disabused her of that notion. When Campbell says "the president" he means his colleague President Ghani, the current Afghan puppet. Ghani will also be "investigating" the hospital bombing while continuing to give the American military full immunity from prosecution for it and all other war crimes, now and in the future. That friendly "status of forces agreement" he signed with the Obama administration was a condition of his elevation to official puppethood, after all.

Republican senators did their utmost to pressure Campbell into openly criticizing President Obama's current plan to start removing half the current troops by next year.The general was too smart to take that obvious partisan bait, but the text of his opening statement was already perfectly clear. He wants it to be a true Forever War.

"Based on conditions on the ground, I do believe we have to provide our senior leadership with options different from the current plan. As I take a look at conditions on the ground, when the president made that decision it did not take into account the changes over the past two years," he declared.

He did not add, nor was he asked, about one current condition on the ground being a burnt-out hospital which might elicit just the blowback situation that the War Machine needs to justify its own perpetual presence in the Graveyard of Empires.

Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), who sometimes poses as a conscientious objector, rhetorically asked Campbell about this perpetual presence. A rough synopsis of the exchange, from my own notes:

Manchin: Should we stay? Why repeat the failure in Iraq?

Campbell: Afghanistan is not Iraq. The Afghans want us there!

Manchin: Do we continue pouring money in? Isn't our presence their entire economy? Is there even an Afghanistan economy?

Campbell: We had a recent meeting in Dubai. Investors are interested in coming in and purchasing all the airfields we're closing!

Manchin: What do you say about the C-130 that just crashed on take-off? (killing one of  Manchin's constituents.)

Campbell: Thoughts and Prayers.

Perhaps the most Kafkaesque moment of his Senate testimony came toward the end of the session, as Campbell congratulated himself for the alleged improved living conditions of Afghan citizens, thanks to the American military occupation. And then he bemoaned their mass exodus from the country because of horrific conditions on the ground engendered by the 14-year-old occupation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the American military to stay in order to prevent even more potential refugees from fleeing all the horror.

The Senate has no immediate plans to hold a hearing for the victims or witnesses to the American air attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz.

"Collateral Damage" (photo, Doctors Without Borders)


Pearl said...

Hope you can access this report. It is in Truthout.

Afghan Doctor Slaughter Pulls Back Curtain https://shar.es/1ua0kW via @sharethis

Jay–Ottawa said...

Think about it: The characters in that senate hearing are among the best and the brightest in the US government.

Pearl said...

Hope this is easier to find in Truthout. My computer does not include outlined markings for access to articles. It is a very important report.

Afghan Doctor Slaughter Pulls Back Curtain

By Nicolas Davies, Consortium News | News Analysis

Patricia M. said...

Pearl - thank you for the reference. It is an important report - thanks to Consortium. (And thank to Karen for bringing attention to Consortium in previous posts and as a link on this page.) Here's the link:


Consortium (and Mr. Parry) always has definitive articles in regard to Ukraine also.

Karen Garcia said...

To the person who sent me an inquiry on a guest post:

When I emailed back expressing interest, I got one of those dreaded email daemon failure notices with the explanation that my email address was "blacklisted." I assume this is a technical glitch, since you were the one who wrote to me first!

In case you are reading this, please send me your completed piece pasted directly onto an email. (Word documents are no longer compatible with Blogger format, for some reason.)


Pearl said...

Calling Protesters in Chile ‘Dumb,’ Pope Francis Sets Off Uproar http://nyti.ms/1L7tlO3

Interesting postscript about the Pope in the NYTimes. Not surprising.

annenigma said...

As Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Military, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama has in 2015 presided over the killing of recipients of the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize, Doctors Without Borders.

Speaking of warmongers, Obama is one for the books. He recently warned a small group of veterans that our country would be involved in military actions in seven different countries if the GOP had their way. Never mind that HE HAS ALREADY engaged in military actions in seven countries - Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria. Congress even voted against his bombing Libya but he did it anyway, illegally.


"President Barack Obama likes to paint Republicans as warmongers and portray himself as the diplomat-in-chief who ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though those conflicts continue and seem certain to outlast his time in office.

In a little-noticed White House video released last month, Obama insisted that he even knows exactly how many wars the United States would be in if he had listened to his hawkish GOP critics.

“Right now, if I was taking the advice of some of the members of Congress who holler all the time, we’d be in, like, seven wars right now,” he told a small group of veterans and Gold Star mothers of slain U.S. military personnel.

“I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been counting. We’d be in military actions in seven places around the world,” he emphasized.

Barack Obama is a shameless, lying, sociopathic warmonger.

Jay–Ottawa said...

If you've seen the papers this morning (8 Oct), you've read that Svetlana Alexievich, from Belarus, has been given this year's Nobel Prize for literature. It would be hard not to suppose the Academy this year was trying to correct its mistake of 2009 with the Peace Prize going to the new man in the White House. Or is it just lucky timing that the Academy's announcement comes on the heels of the US Air Force's slap to Doctors Without Borders (MSF)?

I say this after googling Alexievich to goodreads.com.

One of her books, "Zinky Boys," is the fruit of her research about Russia's ten-year (1979-89) escapade into Afghanistan. Why, indeed, should that be of interest to Americans today? Here's a quote from the book (several more available if you scroll down the link provided above):

// Page 23. An army nurse recalls, "Sometimes we massacred a whole village in revenge for one of our boys... I remember one girl lying in the dust like a broken doll with no arms and no legs... And yet we went on being surprised they didn't love us." //

Or, as we say in the land of exceptions: "Why do they hate us?"

Even the MSF hates us now. They want to drag our well-intentioned generals before an international criminal court––which we don't recognize––over some relatively minor mistake last week, if you look at it from the grand sweep of globalized militarism. For that reason, even though the US has nothing to hide, the US would prefer not to heed the MSF's demand that the heavy bombardment of the Kunduz Hospital by an American AC-130 be investigated by an international fact-finding commission.


Jay–Ottawa said...

Oh, and the Nobel could nail down the point I hope they're making by awarding their Peace Prize this year to Doctors Without Borders. Yes, MSF already has a Nobel on its shelf, but there is a precedent for the Nobel to be given to the same person twice.

Interesting comment from a reader in the NY Times today. I paraphrase from memory: // Take away a billion $ from the Pentagon budget and give it to MSF. // Not that money can resurrect the people wasted in Kunduz, but it would be so much more eloquent than another statement from the Pentagon, Foggy Bottom or the Rose Garden.

Stev-o said...

Jay-Ottawa, I did the same thing. And I read the same comment and that is what I remember reading as well. For the life-of-me, I do not understand how any of "these people" can physically look at themselves in the mirror in the morning, assuming that they do that. But maybe Mr. President Peace Prize has a valet that shaves him in the AM, but you still would want to look in a mirror? Right, I would. Why cannot the Nobel Committee rescind the Peace Prize? I rescinded a letter-of-resignation one time and all hell broke loose, but we all survived and the world moved on