Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Conquest and Censorship:
From Hastings to Iraq and Afghanistan
By Douglas Valentine
Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org, March 1, 2010
After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror’s
army buried its fallen comrades, but left the corpses of the English
defenders to rot in the fields where they lay.
Such is the brutal
nature of war: The victor inflicts all manner of suffering and humiliation
on the vanquished.
What the United States is doing in Iraq and
Afghanistan is only marginally different.
William the Conqueror made
no pretense about his brutal subjugation of the English. They hated
him and resisted his occupation for twenty years, during which time he took
all their property and gave it to the Norman upper class. Over 300,000
English people were murdered and starved (one fifth of the population) and
some 300,000 French and Normans were planted in England in positions of
An English nobleman was likely blinded, castrated,
and thrown in a dungeon in one of the hundreds of prison William built
across the countryside to terrorize the population into submission.
England ceased being England, and William repented his sins on his deathbed.
While the U.S. subjugation of Iraq and Afghanistan is following much
the same pattern, it is different in one respect. Unlike
William, whose oppression was done in the light of day, the U.S. conceals
its crimes to preserve the pretense of moral superiority that defines
Covert operations, cover-ups, and
deception are essential because, without the belief in its inherent moral
superiority, the American public might not support its government’s
plundering of foreign nations on behalf of America’s ruling class.
The U.S. policy of not identifying or accurately counting foreigner killed
in recent American conquests is a good example of why this Big Lie is
The U.S. has an official policy of not counting the number
of people it has killed and crippled, rendered homeless, starved, condemned
to sickness, disease and insanity. Thus it is impossible to
quantitatively measure the amount of misery America has visited upon Iraq,
which of course makes it easier for the U.S. Government to pretend that all
this death and suffering was for Iraqi benefit.
are reports of five million orphans in Iraq. That’s three times the
number of Englishmen William conquered.
In the face of such immense
numbers, it is easy to forget that each person matters, as much as you
matter. Someone knows who these people are.
More to the
point, in many if not most cases the U.S. Government – the hired killers in
the military and the CIA – know perfectly well the names and identities of
each and every person they murder, maim, or render an orphan.
don’t tell you, but they know.
In Afghanistan, for example, the CIA
and military have been conducting, through Provincial Reconstruction Teams,
other “civic action” programs, and a secret army of informants, a census of
every village, town and city in the country – much like William’s Doomsday
As commander of the U.S. occupation army, General
Stanley McChrystal wants to know every Afghan by name, so he can decide who
is Taliban and who is not. McChrystal wants to know where each man
lives, how many people are in his family, who his wife and children and
relatives are, where he works and where his house is.
In places like Marjah, McChrystal is at a bit of a loss, but he still wants
to know, and tries to know, largely through spies and all manner of
electronic surveillance, including satellites.
All this biographical
information on Afghans is entered into a computer in McChrystal’s office.
The CIA carefully monitors that computer, and with its military special
operations counterparts, keeps a separate folder for the Taliban alone.
Within that Taliban folder, every man is identified by the same biographical
criteria as very other Afghan. In addition, each Taliban is
categorized by his rank and position within the organization. Low
level fighters are left to the Marines. High Value Targets have their
own folder, and belong to the CIA and military special operations.
High Value Targets are given the same special attention that William the
Conqueror afforded to English noblemen. High Value Targets have the
property (intellectual as well as, say, opium fields) that McChrystal wants,
and thus more biographical information is gathered about them. Their
movements are tracked 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through spies
and sophisticated electronic surveillance, McChrystal even has a very good
idea when they are leaving one safe house and traveling to another.
The jets are fueled, and the drones are in the sky, waiting.
And this is how and why 27 Afghan civilians were summarily murdered on 21
February 2010 while traveling between remote provinces in a caravan of
minibuses. The CIA and military special operations forces were alerted
that such and such a High Value Target was traveling with his family, and
McChrystal seized the opportunity to kill them all.
In a dirty war
like the one in Afghanistan, killing High Value Targets almost always
involves killing them while they are home or traveling with their families;
otherwise they are underground and inaccessible.
psychological warfare tactic of killing important enemy leaders along with
their entire families is policy (albeit secret policy), it is called “black
It is psychological warfare because it has a
sobering effect on low level Taliban who wish to rise in the ranks. It
is propaganda because every Afghan citizen is aware of this policy.
And it is black because Americans can’t believe it is true.
can’t believe it is true for two reasons. First, because General McChrystal
looks like an American nobleman and, like William, he expresses remorse.
And they believe because the mainstream media goes along with the
And yet, despite the PR work of correspondents at Newsweek,
General McChrystal is no less savage than William the Conqueror. His
job is fighting battles, killing enemies, and dismembering their bodies.
Every man woman and child.
The only difference is that William did
his killing personally, up close, with a battle axe and a sword for everyone
to see, while McChrystal stands far away from the carnage, without
witnesses, and allows other to do his dirty work for him, with 2000 pound
bombs, missiles fired from drones, shotguns, and censorship.
all it works because no one ever knows the names and biographies of the
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