Every day of my life, I think about my fallen buddies in North Korea. My body and mind have never fully recovered from my time in war, 63 years ago. I have participated in, and studied wars. I have a degree in propaganda--called Advertising Design. I do know something about promoting and surviving war. I do have some qualifications to point out why most "human shield" reports are cynical lies used to demonize an enemy, and to also excuse the killings of civilians. I have seen and studied how "human shield" works, or does not work. I will explain why "human shield" has extremely limited use. It's always criminal. All belligerent countries use a similar propaganda play book.
When I was 17, I joined the army to get a job. This was in 1948, a time of peace--this was also the year that President Truman first integrated the U.S. military. Coming from a family that could not afford a car or even a phone, the Army was a slight upgrade. I signed up for three years, was given a number of tests, and qualified for Officer's Candidate School. By the time I was 19, the required age to attend, I had decided, that for me, the army was not a good career choice.
I had a unique army career, serving in the first two UN military operations. The first one was in Trieste, in 1948. This was where the the Allied Eastern and Western fronts met at the end of WW II. The city was divided by the UN into two zones--the disputed Morgan Line, separated USA/Britain from Yugoslavian troops. Soldiers on both sides of the line would watch each other with apprehension. Tito had threatened to invade the whole area.
This morning (7/16/14), I receive the following message from Jewish Voice for Peace:
Israel announced this morning that it would accept a unilateral ceasefire, but the terms were actually a continuation of Israel’s ongoing war on civilians—a continued blockade of Gaza, continued extrajudicial assassinations, continued imprisonment of Palestinians without charge, and continued occupation. And with no guarantee Israel wouldn't violate the agreement as they have on numerous occasions in the past.
That expresses similar comments that I made on this site last night. Some of this diary is from a comment I made yesterday to "The Egyptian Initiative for a Cease Fire in Gaza" diary by InAnlya. AoT was perhaps the only one who wrote that the deal was "unlikely" since the "cease fire" only included Gaza and not the West Bank. A very good observation.
This unfair proposal, not accepted by Hamas, was put together by Sisi with input from Blair, Netanyahu, and perhaps Kerry, with zero consultation with the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. This creation was not from a group that had the welfare of Palestinians as a concern. The so-called "cease fire" would OK's Israeli attacks against the militants in all of Palestine. Israel only has to stop the targeting of civilians. But, since Israel never admits "hostilities" on civilians it changes nothing for them. This cease fire would have applied to all Palestinians, while it approved the continued violence from the Israelis who have from the beginning said that they never target civilians. --continue below.
A couple weeks ago, I responded to a hate-filled article by Cal Thomas in the Hartford Courant. Thomas is a one of the Zionists that is given free space to spread their Islamophobia throughout America. The Courant, is a small branch of the giant multi-media Tribune Company, headed by Sam Zell, the multi-billionaire who has said that
“All that matters is the bottom line….”
When money is all that matters in the media business, an honest and free press is a casualty. What follows is a slightly larger version of the letter that was not published.
As a long-time subscriber and fan of Mother Jones, I was puzzled by the cover and lead article in the March+April 2014 issue. This article demonizes Iran at a time when AIPAC and other war advocates are making demands in congress to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." As a Korean War survivor of an infantry squad that was wiped out by the Chinese in 1951. Every day of my life, I think about my dead buddies -- I hate wars. Now, it seems with this one article MJ has gone from a focus on smart-fearless, left-wing journalism to something that looks like hawkish spin.
Thankfully Senator Murphy has just spoken out against the Senate resolution that hopes to lead to war on the people of Iran. Our other Senator is one of the richest pigs in Congress. Blumanthal lied to get elected and lied about his service in Vietnam. He avoided serving in the Vietnam war--like Dick Cheney he had five deferments.
Watching TV news makes you dumb. That’s what a survey of the public taken prior to the first Gulf War by the communications department of UMass, seemed to show. The more people watched TV about Mideast news the less they know about facts in that area of the world.
This diary is written by a combat-infantry scout who survived a Winter of frozen hell in the mountains of North Korea. As the lone survivor in my rifle squad, I have hated and protested all wars since. I have studied the propaganda that makes wars possible.I believe that most Americans hate wars, but constant pro-war propaganda in the corporate media alters normal common sense and opinions regarding the costs and terrorism of wars. Selling wars is like selling soaps.
Many readers may now believe all the spin demonizing Assad in Syria. Pro-war politicians and talking heads dominate TV. Anti-war voices and facts are mostly censored. This diary shows how the first Iraq war baby killing lies are being recycled for Syria. War advocate always promise easy, clean wars. Our use of DU in bombs, shells and grenades will insures that everyone, including all children in targeted countries, will be victimized by some radiation for 4.5 billion years. Nothing is clean in wars.
Even the Western media now ridicules America's foreign policy. The BBC News (8/16/13) says "US credibility 'in tatters' over Egypt crisis." It goes on with "On the streets of Cairo it's not just a fledgling democracy that lies in ruin. US policy too is in tatters - in the eyes of many - or at least America's reputation and credibility."
No intelligent person in this world can deny that American military aid is used to help the Egyptian military kill and seriously wound tens of thousands of its own people. With thousands of massacre images flooding the media and the internet, we are asked to believe yet more spin from those who are hoping to restore a repressive Mubarak style regime. In Washington and in the corporate media the parallel Islamophobic spin demonizing Morsi, the democratically elected president, continues with fabrications that have reached new lows.
Sixty-two years ago, as an infantry scout, I was witnessing the terrorism of war in North Korea. Each day of my life I think of all my infantry buddies who died in the frozen mountains away from home and their loved ones--fighting for a war that none understood, a war that could have been replaced by a democratic election of all the Korean people.
It is estimated that 2 millions children, women, and the elderly were killed in that war. A war that has never ended for North Korea. The bombing of the population was followed with U.S. economic sanctions that has led to the starvation and death of many more victims.
As was done ten years ago, the pro-war U.S. media is again leading the cheerleading for war. Remember Iraq? Propaganda always ignores facts on the ground. The North Koreans military is not the one who has gone thousands of miles away from their home to run threatening war-games with nuclear capable weaponry on another country's border. No spin can change that reality. Sadly, MSM talking heads mostly march to the same primitive war drums.
My tour of duty as an infantry-combat veteran in North Korea ended in 1951. I then laid down my M-1 rifle and have never fired another round. I left the terrorism of war that does not differentiate between combatants, women, or children. But, living in a country that has a gun-related murder rate that is 20 times greater than the average of all other countries in the developed world, the murder of innocent children has followed me home to Connecticut. The above data is courtesy of The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
I joined Kos in February 2006. I had been an anti-war activist since returning from Korea in 1952 and I liked the concept behind Daily Kos. I saw many good writers and this was clearly a peace and justice site. Often I would read facts and popular opinions that defined the racism and evils of wars. That seems to be no longer the case. With age, Kos has lost its anti-war vigor.
Diary 1. The First Gulf War Baby Killing Lies
Diary 2. The Second Gulf War WMD Lies (to come)
Diary 3. The Iran War Wipe-Israel-Off-the-Map Lies (to come)
Propaganda and lies marks the beginning of every war. In countries with aggressive militaries and extensive arms manufacturing the propaganda is unending. Such countries present themselves as benign actors only interested in democracy, freedom, peace and justice. Conversely, the enemy is pictured as an evil monster and rapist who aims to rule the world. Baby killings stories are a preferred way to influence public opinion in the support for wars. During WW I such stories were used against German soldiers, who were illustrated with bayonets piercing babies. To launch the First Gulf War very similar propaganda and lies were created to demonize Saddam Hussein.
When the bombs begin to rain on Iran many of us may cheer. However, our cheers will be dampened at our next stop for gas when the price will be $8.00 or more per gallon -- or at our next heating oil fill up that will be similarly price.