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The Obscenity of Our War


The Obscenity of Our War

Kathy Kelly

Before the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, a group of activists living in Baghdad would regularly go to city sites that were crucial for maintaining health and well-being in Baghdad, such as hospitals, electrical facilities, water purification plants, and schools, and string large vinyl banners between the trees outside these buildings which read: “To Bomb This Site Would Be A War Crime.” We encouraged people in U.S. cities to do the same, trying to build empathy for people trapped in Iraq, anticipating a terrible aerial bombing.


“Finally, and for the sake of future generations, we should take hold of our runaway empire and make it a nation we can restrain from committing the fathomlessly obscene atrocity that is war.”

A place to start is to abandon the notion of war crimes; i.e., that there is a moral way to conduct war and an immoral way to conduct war, that there is an acceptable way to conduct war and an unacceptable way to conduct war. Only when our culture, as a whole, views all war as a crime and those who participate in it as criminals will there be any chance of of taking hold of our runaway empire. Given that the male-dominated warrior class is so firmly entrenched in Washington, I doubt I will see it in my lifetime, but I will rise my voice in protest to the monstrosity that is war and those who promote it and glorify it with my last breath.


War as a crime. Well said.


I’m really excited that Bernie Sanders is calling for all US troops, military ‘advisors,’ and contractors to be pulled out of Afghanistan and Iraq, as a well as complete stop on all bombing missions and drone strikes. Finally some sanity in this absurd election.

OK, I wrote that. Now, if I close my eyes and try real hard, let’s see if I can make myself believe it.


" The US military has said the matter is under investigation."



Our arrogance rivals the Nazi’s.Sadly this happened on Obama’s watch.He & the Dem’s have capitulated to the war criminal neocons.Sanders currently is our only hope.We best get out of the mid east before we get our asses kicked!!


Would that it were possible to wrap a banner around entire countries–Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc, etc–with the words emblazoned for all to see: “To attack this place would be a war crime.” The first step in overthrowing the (evil) American Empire is to draw attention to the fact that it is completely morally bankrupt and that no defense can be made of American violence. Once the world sees the true nature of the Empire as a mindless predatory beast that wreaks havoc, it will be possible to have an informed conversation in the United States about how to defund the Pentagon and other engines of imperial violence. The US military destroys entire countries and people are blind to that. Perhaps the bombing of the hospital will raise some consciousness. Only can only hope.


And if we do not get out of the mid east soon, it could be worse than anything you could imagine now that Russia has made the move to protect Assad.


And which front runner candidate would make THAT a reality?


Your not kidding! The stupidity & arrogance is like that of the Nazi’s in WW2.fascism is alive & well in the good old USA!


A very,very volatile situation in Syria. Putin has decided to back Assad and has said enough! And all it could take is for either a Russian jet or an American jet to be shot down to start WWIII.


And where do you see any evidence that Bernie would be any different than Obama on foreign affairs? If not mistaken, Bernie fully endorsed Israel’s genocidal attack on Gaza in 2008.


OK I am in agreement that the attack on Iraq was obscene, because of the callous disregard of the consequences and the low low prospects of any good outcome. But Afghanistan? The Taliban was sheltering people who not only killed 3000 Americans but turned women into chattel and committed daily atrocities as a religion. It’s all well and good for all you comfortable people to compare this tragic mistake to Nazis, (that is obscene) but what will become of Afghanistan if the Taliban is not resisted. Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban, Al Queda…are you all so brainwashed to believe they are CIA? Now I know the US can’t solve all the.worlds.problems and I’m sorry those doctors died, but calling this a war crime is just political opportunism to spread anti-americanism. I think that’s a little obscene. Tone it down and stick to facts.


Genocidal? There still there. They were firing rockets at civilians


So we should have sent some patrol cars to Tora Bora and served a summons then?


Our country has gone over the edge and into darkness.We go in and destabilize countries for the Us multi-national corporations and the MIC allies {Saudi Arabia and Israel, two of the most brutal}, for politcal geo-political manuevers.We have been committing war crimes ever since we invaded this country along and also Iraq.The bombing of Libya, and now Syria.The terror campaign of Drones.The Afghan people didnt even know 911 happened, or why when we first invaded thier country,It is terrible. I am ashamed of what our country does to so many innocent people.


…while leaving people in the U.S. to wonder to whom we can turn for representations of ourselves that are not murderous. The world-wide marauding of this out-of-control military machine is madness. So many of us feel that way, and we want it to stop! No warlord speaks for us. No general has anything to do with anything we want. Their actions are not higher human functioning; they are the work of the reptilian midbrain, as Dr. Helen Caldicott said so well, and we are so tired of it. So tired…

We do have heroic examples of how to be something better, though, and one of the brightest of them is Kathy Kelly. Sister Kathy: Thank you for your service. Thank you for reminding us - for teaching us - that there are higher levels of being a human being that are available to us.


Very well said.


Well, once upon a time in lands far away the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Labour Party) refused to allow the UK to join the USA in its attacks against Vietnam, NZ Prime Minister Norman Kirk ( NZ Labour Party) took NZ out of the war against Vietnam, Australian Prime Minister Goff Whitlam (Australian Labour Party) took Australia out of the war against Vietnam, and the more recent Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (Australian Labour Party) took Australia out of America’s war against Iraq.

There may be hope from your Senator Bernie yet, if he doesn’t get assassinated.


I am sure USAian ingenuity would have found a way of nabbing bin Laden and hauling him before the ICC in the Hague, given time, had the USA wanted to maintain world-wide sympathy. After all, he was dug out of Pakistan quite easily.