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Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake


Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake

Ramzy Baroud

I still remember that smug look on his face, followed by the matter-of-fact remarks that had western journalists laugh out loud.

“I’m now going to show you a picture of the luckiest man in Iraq,” General Norman Schwarzkopf, known as ‘Stormin’ Norman, said at a press conference sometime in 1991, as he showed a video of US bombs blasting an Iraqi bridge, seconds after the Iraqi driver managed to cross it.

But then, a far more unjust invasion and war followed in 2003, following a decade-long siege that cost Iraq a million of its children and its entire economy.


...and the bombs continue to fall, the drones continue their bloody hunt, arms from the U.S continue to flood into the region.

Not a single major candidate talks about peace, only more military options for combatting ISIS and creating coalitions to do so, as if inviting others to participate in the slaughter is somehow more responsible or moral.

Despite all the evidence that war in the Middle East was deliberate regime change and and greed for resources and empire building and that the ploy of making us safer is a total fabrication, it continues to be used as a pretense for ever more war.

Endless war, brought to you by both the Republicans and Demccrats.


This is one of the best, truthful article I have read about the West's bullying, occupying, warring in other nations around the world.

Nothing much to add other than to say: Thank you!


This is a painful, poignant article, with more Truth in it than is to be found in a thousand pieces in the New York Times. Ramzy Baroud captures the human side of the so-called "Arab world." As he notes, for so many in the West, the Arab world is populated by "terrorists," "fanatics," "Islamists" and "Hajis." Was it Ariel Sharon who described the Palestinians as "cockroaches"? But there are many Americans and Europeans who agree with Sharon. The racism towards Middle Easterners and North Africans is intense and appalling.

Mr.Baroud is right: how does the United States get to lecture anybody on "terrorism," "Democracy" and "human rights"? The United States has been the greatest perpetrator of terrorism since World War II. US victims, from Vietnam to Iraq, from Panama to Afghanistan, from Nicaragua to Somalia, number in the many millions and the toll is still rising, with no end in sight. As for "democracy" and "human rights," it's pure delusionism to speak of the US government as having any real interest in these matters. For over half a century, the CIA has labored to overthrow democratic governments that do not do the Empire's bidding. The US government even worked to overthrow democratically elected governments in Britain and Italy, supposedly close allies. The record is clear that elsewhere around the world, the United States has had no problem subverting and overthrowing governments that display the fatal shortcoming of showing independence from Washington dictates.

The US commitment to human rights is about as real as Santa Claus. Not only does the US government support the abuse of human rights in Israel and Saudi Arabia, the US government is itself a leading abuser of human rights. Americans got a glimpse of this essential fact in the Abu Ghraib debacle; but informed people know that torture and murder have always been parts of imperial policy, and always will be, for the simple reason that foreigners resent, and tend to resist, the invasion, occupation and oppression of their country.

The American media does a sterling job of keeping the citizenry in Disneyland. Many (most?) Americans are unable to conceive that foreigners do not see Americans as God's chosen people; nor do foreigners have any problem linking American agents with evil and criminal acts. I recall George W. Bush expressed astonishment that people in the Middle East could have hatred in their hearts for the United States. First, people don't hate "the United States" per se, they hate the VICIOUS POLICIES of the United States government. Second, Bush's way of putting matters is a classic instance of American narcissism: he asks "why do they hate us"? But a better question (given what "we" have done to them over the decades) is: "why do we hate them"?? Why exactly is the United States interfering in countries that are thousands of miles from American shores? The answer, of course, is that the American ruling class (as the guardians of world capitalism) seek world domination, a futile and brutal project that can only lead to war, suffering and murder. It's time for the American citizenry to wake up from their pleasant dreams...

In many ways it feels like the 19th century again, when "the White Man" went abroad with his "burden," which meant "civilizing" and killing "savages," and "heathens," with more emphasis on killing. When you read of the exploits of the British Army in the "scramble for Africa," you are plunged into an absurd, genocidal world, where the British killed tens of thousands of, say, Sudanese and Egyptians, with barely a handful of lost British lives. The British Empire was essentially one long adventure in brutal slaughter. The similarity to the contemporary American Empire is obvious: the US military has killed millions at the slightest cost to its own soldiery, relatively speaking. Iraq lies devastated; Afghanistan is hopeless, Libya is chaos...Meanwhile, even the United States is not looking too good for the long-term future, as the Empire has shredded the social fabric of American society, leaving a Hobbesian state of Nature in its wake.

When will all this madness end???


Many good points made. Of course, to specify the U.S. and U.K. leaves out the entire colonial context of Europe--with the Spaniards carving out so much of South and Central America, and the French laying their military claws into Africa... Even Portugal got into the Conquistador Act.

As Goebbels pointed out, the average person has no interest in war. What has been known to shift the calculus--and this is largely true of human beings in general... not some unique flaw found primarily in the American psyche--is if a people believe themselves to be under attack.

That was what 911 satisfied. And the stable of writers who--as Mr. Baroud rightly defines--completely project their own nations' martial sins onto those being systematically victimized do so to ensure against the kind of naked reflection that would force a people to cease and desist from all the carnage.

It takes massive propaganda of the sort that titillates the lowest reptilian-brain responses to win support from The People. That's why the many posters who emphasize the degree to which some citizens have been "successfully propagandized" in lieu of the powers that are affecting all this propaganda win my ire.

IF we lived in a Democratic society where the citizens' genuine views counted into the calculus (and who could argue that now given the evidence of things like the essential extortion of citizens dressed up as a health "care" initiative, or the bailouts to the big banks without any real protections--to taxpayers--put into place, or Citizens United legalizing the purchase of the Presidency, added to TPP and TIPP which effectively anesthetize all standard laws of nations that are signatories of this insanity), then citizens' would have agency.

The same colonialism that marches into foreign lands and uses martial force to take over the people (that are left living) and resources uses the same tactics--if less intense--upon its own citizens. The Black Community certainly knows this, as do many Hispanics.

There are some very sick individuals who ARE part of a largely global system of governance. It controls policies of nations granting primacy to the corporations that make weapons, dig up oil, and run the money system.

It may be that if enough citizens understood and if enough citizens found ways to protest or just stop doing their jobs... that perhaps the War Machine with its corporate supporters would have to do something else. I am not so sure that such tactics would even work. The U.S. military is such a pervasive, intensively armed force... and it's done so much damage and spread so much CAUSE for retaliation that where prior to 911 it had no raison d'etre... through its own dark deeds it's shifted the calculus considerably. In other words, it's made inflamed conflict (and blowback) more inevitable.

I watch the mentality here in the Deep South; and I have shared this observation before. The families of the old klan continue to hate Blacks not because of any flaw in Black persons, but rather, that they can't take ownership of their own family members' brutality. Thus this "shadow," as Jung defined it, must be projected onto the group that's been targeted.

I see this same psy-ops at work across the Arab lands. First of all, 911 was an inside job. When that truth is fully regarded, then it becomes obvious that no Arab did any violence to our nation. The U.S. military imported Nazis and many of its policies--particularly the one that demonizes an entire race--comes from that source as do the emphases on massive surveillance, the border guards, and the general awe applied to soldiers and the make-war machinery of state.

Peace-loving persons have always been terrorized by militarism. The tools at OUR command are not those that necessarily stop armies; and THAT is the problem.


Toss some more cheap tv's to the peasants, they're getting restless.

They're starting to realize we don't plan on treating them any better than we do the peasants overseas.

We really need to do something about the internet.


LOL! If only.


"Humanity is at Stake" Absolutely, humanity is burning at the stake.


" Not a single candidate speaks about peace"

Very true because that is the last thing the Amerikan Empire wants!
If one notices, when these fawning and war mongering, political candidates speak about peace it is in Orwellian double speak.

Some examples: " PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH". Which of course translates to; peace on our violent terms once we bomb the hell out of your country! "PEACE WITH HONOR". Which is another oxymoron that only the most moronic and sophomoric believe. Honor means what benefits the hegemony, hubris, and vested interests of the economic elite and their fascist Amerikan Empire.

There is a biblical quote that goes like this: " THEY CRY PEACE, PEACE AND DO NOT WANT PEACE". That biblical quote fits the US foreign policy perfectly! And that quote also fits many of the American churches to whom, are really only sycophants that talk peace but are cowards that do not dare speak out or condemn the wars of the fascists.


Another way to say Thank You to any author for any essay is to tweet the essay/article to your followers. Twitter is free and tweeting articles not only vastly increases the number of readers, it introduces CD to more people as well. I am looking forward to the day when CD has more followers than Rush Limbaugh. Tweeting articles will help reach that goal. Facebook posting also works.


This article brings home the pain that modern conservatives cause worldwide.


It is YOU who is living in la la land as you are willfully ignorant of the ONGOING support, arming, and funding of ISIS by the US and its ME allies.

But none of that matters to you of course.

I would love to see this author crush you in a public debate. I certainly would buy a ticket.


Ramzy Baroud said this better and with such conciseness that practically any American should be able to grasp. I totally agree with Cloudchopper. Thanks to you both.


It was conservative pro-"free" market influences that funded Rush Limbaugh... not talent.

IF C.D. had billboards in all of the big U.S. cities and THAT kind of funding and exposure... then more people would understand the world and learn from this site.

Tastes ARE shaped, and advertising works due to repetition of message. Limbaugh is part of the calculus of riveting anger at anything but the corporate overlords and the quiet coups they've enacted in order to undermine our former govt., its check-balances, and the rule of law.


I mentioned the British and the Americans because they are the two countries, in the modern era, that have gone farthest down the road of global empire, with all the violence and mendacity that entails. But I agree with your basic point that much of Europe is on the crime of colonialism.

Yes, the average person has no inherent interest in war. And, yes, the state goes out of its way--with propaganda--to drum up citizen interest in warring where none exists. Alas, it's not always the case that people embrace war because they "believe themselves to be under attack"; sometimes they go to war because they take pride and joy in being the threat to others.


My sense after reading this essay was how masterfully and empathetically it captures the state of misery, degradation, and hopelessness suffered by the greater part of populations of the Middle East over the last thirty five years.

I found this summation completely accurate and fairly terse but also having not missed any salient events. It is a full view from the inside of one who has lived through horrible ordeals of war and chaos. I believed it required no further commentary. Then I read your observations SR, from your outsider's point of view, with allusions to other times and other places and other less related contexts and wondered whether any additional comments were even necessary. Why could you not have left it as it is?

I'm sorry I didn't address jrp1900 but he wouldn't understand, although he seems to appreciate Barouds writing quality and his clear understanding of 35 years of Middle Eastern geopolitics and history.

Also, are avatars Siouxrose, Siouxrose1, and Siouxrose11 all the same persona.? Just wondering.


People seem to assume that everyone facebooks and twitters. I dont normally set them straight, but on CD, I often feel empowered to speak from the heart on such issues, and so I shall. Soon it will be mandated in order to to be recipient of government benefits, I am sure. But being computer literate and spyware literate, I am fully aware of the outrageous big brother practices of both, and will not submit to them until the moment I absolutely have to.


I wuv you Matt, with pink glow hearts and stuff. As to your idiotic comment, please explain what is wrong with the essay.


Are you going to take the fight to the Pentagon, State Dept, CIA, DIA, and the US allies in the ME that have trained, supplied, armed, funded, and protected ISIS tough guy?

Or are you going to really live by your conviction and sign up to do some of the killing all by yourself.

Matt Heins, army of one.

Wuv you.


Sign up and get your gun tough guy.