Friday, November 16, 2007

Exercises in mendacity

The bombing of Hiroshima announced the arrival of the American empire. And on its fringes the moral confusions ripple away

By Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....The bloody conflict that is raging between the Bhutto-led opposition People's Party and the ruling regime is taking place within the American orbit. The US manages crises. It is also in a state of denial about the choices it has been presented with by Musharraf, which are either to get on with the fight against terrorism and go on the offensive against the tribal area, or plump for unregulated political plurality in Pakistan.

Here is another instance, like Turkey and the Iraqi province of Kurdistan, of an open conflict, not against the empire but at its fringes. To some extent each of the antagonists is fighting to win the imperial favour. America has such a hard time controlling its allies.....

No, the real issue is the decision of the American government to drop a bomb on a densely populated civilian target at the end of a war it had already won and at a time when the US was the only power in possession of nuclear arms. The government that has appointed itself the judge of which countries may or may not present a danger if they possessed nuclear weapons is the only government that has demonstrated how dangerous nuclear weapons are. The way it demonstrated this danger was simple: it made a nuclear bomb and it used it. This same government claims to be a rational, secular, liberal democracy. Surely there must be some relationship between its appalling use of the nuclear bomb and this image it has of itself. I would suggest that this relationship can be summed up as follows. Since America believes that it is the epitome of all that is good and rational, whatever it does is right. (The same applies to its ally Israel, of course)......

- The US used a nuclear bomb against civilians.

- It did not use it out of desperation or in self- defence, as it charges that certain other countries will do. It used it to shorten the duration of a war and minimise its own military casualties.

- It was also prompted by irrational motives -- revenge for Pearl Harbour. Compared to its own display of vindictiveness what it charges is notorious oriental vengefulness pales. It was further inspired by ruthless Machiavellian notions, such as sending a message to the Soviet Union, the other major victor in World War II, just to make clear what power America possessed.

- America used the nuclear bomb when it held a monopoly on this weapon......"

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