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Are there no consequences for massacres officially sanctioned by the
U.S.
government? Does the U.S. government obey no rule of law, honor no code
of justice, and reject the very idea of the sanctity of life? A
confluence of
events at home and abroad suggests the worst possible answer.

Marine Captain Richard J. Ashby was the hot-dogging pilot of a
warplane
that cut a ski cable and plunged 20 innocent people to their deaths in
the
Italian Alps. Residents have long observed these pilots using the area
for
low-altitude cat-and-mouse games and other reckless flying. Deafening
jet
engine noise drove the people crazy, but nobody could have imagined the
ghastly tragedy that would be the final result.

Now a U.S. military court says Ashby did nothing wrong. He’s innocent
of
involuntary manslaughter. He’s innocent of negligent homicide. He’s even

innocent of destruction of property. The jury of eight other Marines
found
that he did nothing wrong at all. And, Semper Fi, the military audience
cheered.

Granted that the U.S. government recruits, trains, and employs
tax-paid
triggermen in a hundred countries around the world. But there was no war

where these innocents were flung to their deaths. What the heck are US
troops doing in the Italian Alps in the first place?

Imagine if the “high-hatting” of an Italian military pilot led to the
death
of 20 people in the mountains of Colorado. If Italy did what the U.S.
has
done — refused to allow the perpetrator to be tried in an American
court
while ferreting him out to an Italian government compound at which
Italian
government employees declared him innocent — I dare say we’d be looking
at a state of war.

Now, Captain Ashby’s lawyer says that his client was made a
scapegoat, and
that there ought to be an investigation of the Marine Corps itself. No
doubt there should be. Goodness knows what kind of horrible machinations
could be traced to the very top of any government bureaucracy. But we
all know that nothing will come of such an investigation. As recent
history suggests, when the government investigates the government,
acquittal is the usual result.

It is not only Italians who are outraged at this verdict; the entire
world
views this miscarriage of justice as a symbol for the unaccountable
killer
that the U.S. world empire has become.

Look no further than the Iraq debacle, or, more precisely, massacre.
In the
last two months, while Americans slept, more bombs have rained down on
Iraq than during the entire Desert Fox. The U.N. has confirmed more than
80
civilian casualties and as many as 20 deaths due to the recent bombings.

As Simon Jenkins pointed out in the Times of London, “blast and
fragmentation weapons are designed to attack the body with shrapnel
pellets, like hundreds of stab wounds. They turn buildings either into
infernos or into concrete missiles or into live-burial tombs. The deaths
may not look
ghastly from a pilot’s cockpit, or from a targeting computer, or on the
follow-up video, or even from Downing Street. But these weapons are the
cruelest harbingers of death.”

Note that all this has occurred without a Congressional declaration
of war.
In fact, there hasn’t even been a press-conference declaration of war.
For
the Clinton administration, lobbing bombs and imposing death and
destruction on hapless innocents has become just another day at the
office.

Then there’s the massive property damage and the thousands driven
from
their homes. Add to the toll the millions of victims of the ongoing
sanctions and we move from the realm of massacre to that of holocaust.
Here’s Charley
Reese in the Orlando Sentinel:

“The embargo on Iraq, which even denies the Iraqis chlorine to use
for
purifying their water supply, has become a weapon of mass destruction.
Half
a million dead children — and that’s a United Nations number — is mass

destruction, I would say.”

He points out that in 1989 “there was not a single case of cholera in
the
country. Today, there are thousands of cases — a direct result of
contaminated water. There has been a fourfold increase in childhood
leukemia, possibly linked to the depleted uranium the United States used
in its shells.”

For years, the U.S. said it would remove sanctions just as soon as
the UN
inspections team verified that there were no weapons of mass destruction
in
Iraq. Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, said that the UN team was
nothing
but a front for the CIA, which was gathering intelligence for future
bombings. Guess who was telling the truth? According to the Washington
Post, the team was a nest of spies. According to the Clinton
administration, the bombings have utilized the intelligence they
gathered.

So what does the establishment now plan to do with the country that
has
been reduced from a civilized nation to an impoverished cesspool of
starvation and disease? According to Zalmay Khalilzad of the
Pentagon-financed RAND Corporation, writing in the Wall Street Journal,
“it would be a mistake to limit our objectives to the enforcement of the
no-fly zones. Instead our attacks should help facilitate Saddam’s
overthrow.”

Can someone please e-mail this guy and tell him this would be a
violation of
international law? The U.S. cannot decide on its own what regime should
or
should not be in charge of some country on the other side of the world.
To
suggest it can is to adopt the ideology of a rogue state, one that
claims
it is above the law and above any civilized norms for the conduct of
international affairs.

More recently, this reckless military behavior has begun to come
home, as
the military conducts terrifying nighttime “training exercises” in small

towns in Texas and other states, as exposed by WorldNetDaily. This is
happening in a country that declared its independence on grounds that
foreign troops were being quartered in its towns and private spaces.

The framers envisioned an armed citizenry, not world empire. Why?
Because
empire and liberty are incompatible. That is why every American who
cares
about the future of freedom ought to work to put an end to the US
killing
machine, before U.S. citizens are treated as having no more rights than
an
Iraqi peasant, or a skier in the Italian Alps.

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