The tragic killings in Aurora, Colorado on July 20th, should give the U.S. pause to take stock of its violence. It’s still not clear what prompted the attack on a packed theater showing a Batman film. But one thing has been clear for a long time. “Violence is as American as cherry pie,” Black activist H. Rap Brown said during the 1960s.
Recently, Doug Noble published an article that takes stock of official U.S. Violence carried out in every citizen’s name. Noble’s article is entitled Assassination Nation –Fifty Years of US Targeted ‘Kill Lists’: From the Phoenix Program to Predator Drones. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31925.htm
Then CIA Director William Colby, conceded that Phoenix operations killed over 20,000 people between 1967 and 1972 in Vietnam and by 1973, Phoenix generated 300,000 political prisoners in South Vietnam. The My Lai massacre, hardly an isolated incident, was itself a Phoenix operation.
Noble says “Phoenix-derived reigns of terror, kill lists, and death squads were applied by the U.S. throughout Latin America and beyond. The U.S. Army’s School of Americas (SOA), started in 1946, trained mass murderers and orchestrated coups in Peru, Panama, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico. The SOA trained more than 61,000 Latin American officers implicated in widespread slaughter of civilian populations across Latin America.”In 2001, SOA was renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), but peace activists know it as School of Assassins located at Fort Benning, in Columbus, Georgia. This program was exported to other countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and the Middle East.
Today, we have a Global Phoenix Program of targeted assassination teams numbering tens of thousands ( also called Special Ops or Black Ops) and Predator and Reaper remote controlled drone attacks, initiated under George W. Bush and greatly expanded under Obama.
Many innocent people have been, and are being, killed by U.S. assassination teams and drone fired missiles. The grief of their families is as real as the grief of the families of victims in the Aurora killings, though seldom acknowledged by western media.
U.S. policy today embraces assassinations and drone attacks. Our youth play computer killing games with such names as “Call of Duty.” The U.S. is a nation armed to the teeth. It is the world’s number one arms merchant. We should not be surprised when the chickens come home to roost. Indeed the U.S.A. has become a killing nation.
End the Violence!
1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties.4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622. Emailja@malu-aina.org http://www.malu-aina.org
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (July 27, 2012 – 566th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office