May 01, 2013
Nearly forty years after the Vietnam War ended, we know it was a much dirtier war than was ever let on, notwithstanding My Lai and other massacres. My perspective is that the notion of “war crimes” is nonsense given that war itself is a crime. Once a war has commenced, restraint is only measured by the degree to which the purportedly deferential side is winning. Still, information has been declassified that shows rape, non-party torture, and civilian targeting were implicitly approved tactics.
Twenty-six years on, we know the Iran-Contra affair had little to do with exchanging “arms for hostages” and much to do with illegally waging war on the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. There was also the footnote that even has apologists grudgingly admitting this arms trade was partially funded by flooding American inner cities with narcotics.
Ten years after the fact we know the prisoner abuse of Iraqi detainees was by no means the work of “a few bad apples.” Instead, it was sanctioned to such a degree there might as well have been a manual on its practice. The amount of sadism not only condoned but officially ordered is so profoundly disturbing to genuine Americans one questions how “American” the United States military is anymore.
There are rationalizations for all of the above, some valid and some not, but all represent instances when the public believed government narratives which later seemed so irreconcilable with truth there can be little question these lies were the product of massive propaganda which often sought to meet its own ends rather than those of the people.