Monday, March 08, 2004
Press Action Hero of the Week: MIKE WHITNEY
Many of us see what’s happening in Iraq and interpret U.S. actions there as morally wrong. But most of us are miserable failures at articulating the plain truth about the U.S. government’s culpability.
Mike Whitney does not have this problem. Here’s how he analyzes the bombings in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq in a March 3, 2004 article in CounterPunch:
"No one really cares to hear the new litany of excuses from the bunglers in the White House. The unavoidable fact is that there was no terrorism in Iraq prior to the invasion, which means that the US presence is the principle source of this new phenomenon and they must deal with it; period."
"The United States has reneged on its most basic responsibility under the Geneva Conventions; to provide security for the occupied people. The carnage in the streets is a fair indication of the magnitude of their failure."
"And we shouldn’t place the blame entirely on George Bush either. Those were John Kerry’s bombs going off in Baghdad, and John Edwards’s bombs detonating in Karbala. Anyone who signed on to this illegal war and this murderous occupation needs to accept responsibility for the mayhem they’ve created. They’ve turned Iraqi society on its ear and left a swath of dead bodies from Mosul to Basra."
The overwhelming majority of Americans have no interest in learning about the level of violence that the U.S. government perpetrates overseas. Of the Americans who do follow what’s going on, most are supportive of the U.S. government’s aggression in other countries. Their compassion radar goes up only when the welfare of the American soldiers doing the killing and maiming is in the spotlight.
Most Americans will never care about the violence their government perpetrates against others. But more Americans would probably begin to have reservations about what their government does overseas if the news media and commentators began to speak the plain truth about U.S. foreign policy.
In the March 8, 2004 issue of CounterPunch, Whitney says the United States should be kicked off the United Nations’ Security Council. Given the U.S. government’s reckless disregard for international law and its long history of interference in the affairs of other nation-states, this is a proposal that should have been made long ago. Whitney writes:
"The United Nations can regain both the prestige and moral authority it needs to deal effectively with world issues by living up to its Charter and removing the United States from the Security Council. This would not only eliminate the greatest immediate threat to world peace but, additionally, confer legitimacy on future activities of the world body. The primary goals of the institution, to preserve the peace and to discourage aggression, have been seriously maligned by the belligerence of the Bush Administration."
If we had more people like Mike Whitney writing about U.S. foreign policy, we would at least have a more accurate rendering of U.S. actions in other nations. Whether a greater degree of accuracy in reporting on U.S. foreign policy would arouse a greater number of Americans to oppose these acts of violence is open to debate. Sadly, there are no plain talkers like Mike Whitney in the mainstream press. But thankfully, we have other modes of communication that allow some of us to grasp the plain truth. -Mark HandShare