Published on Countercurrents.org, by James A. Lucas, 15 June, 2008.
Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton recently threatened to destroy Iran. On April 22nd of this year it was reported that she was asked what she would do as president if Iran were to launch a nuclear attack on Israel. She responded to ABC News that “we will attack Iran” and that “we would be able to totally obliterate them.”(1) Thus she expressed her willingness to erase 75 million Iranians from the face of the earth …
… Our nation’s opposition to mass killings also often extends to people in other nations. Our abhorrence of the Holocaust has convinced many Americans to endorse the existence of the state of Israel. Americans actively support anti-genocide campaigns such as in Darfur, and numerous U.S. public and private humanitarian agencies organize drives to send assistance to peoples suffering from natural disasters around the world such as in China and Myanmar. We consider ourselves to be a benevolent and generous people.
Despite this positive self-image a partial examination of U.S. foreign policy starting in 1945 reveals a disturbing proclivity for the U.S. to engage in a reckless disregard for the lives of people in other nations, similar to the attitude expressed by Senator Clinton. There is widespread acceptance of the killing of about 200,000 civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, because it is believed by some that this action was necessary to save American lives. No one has tried to find out, as far as I know, if there was an upper limit to the number of Japanese that the U.S. would have been willing, if necessary, to sacrifice at that time. Japan’s population then was about 70 million. (2)
In 1965, a coup in Indonesia resulted in the deaths of between 500,000 to 3 million people (3,4,5)
Robert Martens, a former officer in the U.S. embassy there, described how U.S. diplomats and CIA officers provided up to 5,000 names to Indonesian Army death squads in 1965 and checked them off as they were killed or captured. Martens admitted “I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.” (6,7,8).
The Vietnam War ended in 1975. According to the Vietnamese government the number of their dead was about 5.1 million. Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense said the number was about 3.4 million. All that carnage because the U.S. feared that an election in Vietnam would not result in the outcome it wanted! (9,10,11)
In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor on the day after U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia where they had given President Suharto permission to use American arms, which under U.S. law, could not be used for aggression. The result was an estimated 200,000 dead out of a population of 700,000. Daniel Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the UN, said that the U.S. wanted “things to turn out as they did.” (12,13)
In 1979 The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to President Carter at that time, admitted in 1998, that he had been responsible for instigating aid to the Mujadeen, the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul in Afghanistan, which caused the Soviets to invade … (full long text).