Monday, September 9, 2013

What Happened on September 11, 2001?

When we think back to the horrendous loss of over 3,000 lives on Sept. 11, 2001, there are a few stories we never contemplate.  One of those stories is of how the pro-capitalist media handled that story.  If we recall, this was the primary story in the news media for months after this event. 

Today, we can look back and say clearly that the 9-11-01 bombings were not even the top story of that day.  To illustrate this point we merely need to recite a few undisputable facts.

In its Human Development Report 2000, the United Nations informed us that every day 30,000 children die of preventable diseases.  This means that on September 11, as well as September 12 and 13, about 30,000 children needlessly perished each day.  We might also consider that the parents of all these children mourned the deaths of their loved ones on each of these days.

The reader of this information might argue that these children have died, and continue to die because it is inevitable.  This argument might continue with the claim that poverty has always existed, and no one has been able to do anything about it. 

Poverty and the war against Vietnam

This argument runs into some serious problems.  One big problem is that the United States government spent hundreds of billions of dollars advancing their war against the people of Vietnam.  Robert McNamara was one of the architects of the war against Vietnam.  Years after the war, McNamara argued that the war was a “mistake.”

Another problem is that to the best of my knowledge, no a single pro-capitalist media outlet argued that the money and resources used in the war against Vietnam might have been better used in caring for the children of the world.  In other words, the editors of the news media live in a constant state of denial, clinging to the thought that nothing significant can be done to eradicate poverty in the world.

The nation of Cuba has given us a different perspective to these issues.  Cuba had an anti-capitalist revolution and today Cuba has more teachers and doctors per-capita, than any other nation in the world.  Infant mortality in Cuba is significantly lower than in the inner cities of the United States.  We might consider that Cuba’s population is 100 percent Latino and 40 percent Black.  Before the revolution, Cuban infant mortality was on a par with the rest of the underdeveloped world.

Late Victorian Holocausts

The news media, as well as the so-called educational system has a long history of ignoring criminal acts by governments that have led to tremendous loss of life.  Mike Davis wrote a book titled: Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World.  In his book, Davis argued that between the years 1876-1902 about 60 million people starved to death.  The highest numbers of people starved to death in the nations of China, India, and Brazil.  Most people don’t know these facts because the so-called prominent historians argued that these were natural disasters that could not have been prevented.

This argument also has problems because many of these nations exported large amounts of food while famine affected millions.  The Chinese erected their Great Canal over one-thousand miles to transport food from one part of China to another.  The British had no use of this canal because they were interested in the export of food for profit, and not in feeding the Chinese people.  In other words, these famines were the result of British government policy and not natural disasters. 

Criminal bombing campaigns

The news media has also spent a considerable amount of time and effort demonizing Osama Bin Laden.  Clearly Bin Laden was responsible for a horrendous crime that no rational person would support.  However, there is another side to this story as well.

E. Bartlett Kerr wrote a chilling history of the United States government bombing campaign against Japan titled: Flames Over Tokyo: The U.S. Army Air Forces’ Incendiary Campaign Against Japan 1944-1945.  Kerr reported that the U.S. Air Force invented phosphorous firebombs to be used against the civilian Japanese population.  These bombs were used because the civilian homes of the Japanese were made of wood and they would burn easily.

Kerr also reported that thousands of these bombs rained down on Japan destroying large sections of 67 cities.  These cities had populations equivalent to the largest cities in the United States.  In Tokyo, a city equivalent in population to New York, 50.8 percent of the city was destroyed.  After six months of this bombing campaign, President Truman ordered the Air Force to drop atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Kerr argued that all of these bombings were necessary to end the war.  In fact, at the time of the bombings Japan was effectively defeated and surrounded by the U.S. Navy.  This bombing campaign took place because the U.S. government didn’t want the Soviet Union to enter the war.  The U.S. wanted as much control over Asia as it could have, and the Soviet Union might have interfered with these goals.

We might also consider that the U.S. bombing campaigns in both the Korean and Vietnamese wars surpassed the tonnage of bombs dropped on Japan.  While Osama Bin Laden was clearly a criminal, what do we say about the horrendous bombings carried out by the United States government?

We might consider all of this information when we consider the plans of the government to go to war against the people of Syria.  While the government continues to spend obscene amounts of money on murderous wars, 30,000 children continue to die every day.             

No comments:

Post a Comment