Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
End Dirty Wars
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 13, 2013
All wars are dirty wars. One stands out for the number of lives lost in
the minds and memories of Americans--the Vietnam War.
public had enough of both the meaningless domino theory and the seemingly
useless deaths of 58,000 American servicemen.
Then as a gift to
those who wanted that war ended: a photo taken from a helicopter of a young
girl running along a road with her whole body aflame.
That one incident involving the carnage on a very young victim resulted
in America ending 15 years of a war that nobody won.
provide a lesson for us against the conduct of dirty wars? Unfortunately
not. We are worse off today than during the Vietnam War.
a war dirty? It has been referred to as the calculated use of violence (or
the threat of violence) against civilians. In a column in Salon, Gary Kamiya
defines a dirty war: "America has decided it has the right to kill whoever
it wants, whenever it wants."
The American public was fed up enough
with the Vietnam War that it was difficult to get public support for the
routing of Iraq from Kuwait.
That rout was so severe, when followed
by no-fly zones and years of sanctions, that more than a half million
Prior Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Iraq’s
"Grim Reaper", confirmed on Sixty Minutes (May 12, 1996) that the deaths of
half a million children as a result of the absolute, all-embracing
deprivations of the UN embargo were: “A hard choice, but the price, we think
the price is worth it.”
America's warmongers needed the excuse of
9/11 to first attack Afghanistan and then Iraq.
The Bush government
lied first about Osama bin Laden admitting responsibility for 9/11, and
denied the Taliban's request for evidence of bin Laden's responsibility.
Then, under the coaching of the neocon lobby of Israeli-Americans, they
lied about Saddam Husain’s possession of WMDs.
The only thing
America has to show for 11 years of war in Afghanistan and nearly nine years
of invasion in Iraq are fewer American lives lost, thanks to their use of
Judging by the continued attacks against would-be
terrorist enemies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, as well as the
involvement in Israel's wars in Libya, Syria and Lebanon, America is
dedicated to continuing its dirty wars.
That America's and Israel's
latest wars are dirty wars has been established by photographic evidence
released by whistle blowers that the U.S. government desperately wants to
The murder of civilians by Americans flying over Iraq, caught
on film should have been as moving as the girl in flame on a Vietnamese
It seems not. Was the burning girl a more moving murder for
American eyes? Has it received less media coverage? Has the Israeli
pre-emptive approach to everything been adopted by the American public?
Americans seem to have adopted Israel's absence of guilt for anything that
can be justified as defence against attack, whether present, future,
imagined or real.
America's behaviour seems to indicate this. So
much misbehaviour reveals a lack of guilt on anyone's part.
exception perhaps fits the returning servicemen who suffer Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) or who commit suicide.
drones, surveillance, secrecy, the death of civil liberties, no-fly zones,
sanctions and the absence of guilt have become the icons and symbols of
The best solution would be America’s divorce from
guiltless Israel and reconciliation with the defensive moral imperatives
that guided America’s foreign policy during the cold war.