Collateral Damage?

As child of WW2 I am constantly amazed and horrified to learn of practices being imposed on victims of  our nation — torture, covert rendering, bombing and rocketing civilians, secretive violations of basic Constitutional rights, aggressive territorial wars or the threat of same that resemble nothing more clearly than the attacks on neighboring states by Nazi Germany in its pursuit of dominance and loot.

“Collateral damage” is this era’s euphemism for the killing and maiming of innocent peoples. Such we have been either doing or unleashing in massive numbers. How many thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis have been slaughtered since our intrusions into their countries were initiated post 9/11? How many more than our nearly 3,000 killed that day — mainly by Saudis who whip and imprison rape victims?

The real collateral damage may have been self-inflicted upon the United States, itself, by our criminal leadership — comparable to the damage done to Germany by its Nazis. There were many good Germans, stunned by the Nazi excesses, and there are many good Americans appalled by what our government has been doing. However, when it comes to collateral damage, we may find ourselves victims of the same pattern of collective punishment that we have been imposing on others. There is more than one way to bring down a brutal military regime. At its heart its economy is vulnerable to erosion both by its mad expenditure of its resources and the resentment that its brutalities against others engender. As the Euro and Yen and Pound replace the dollar, so we may be brought to an agonizing halt in our expeditions to ‘shock and awe’ others. Latin America looks now to be going its own way. The Asian nations may be next. And Europe is sitting comfortably on the sidelines watching the great United States progressively self-destruct.


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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