27 May 2016

Memorial Day for the military's victims

The Blog

Writing ahead of Memorial Day in the US, Garrison Center director Thomas Knapp asked Americans to think about the victims of the US government's violence too.

Noting that modern states "murdered more than 260 million human beings in the 20th century alone", the author reminds us to remember not only people who died for governments but the far vaster number killed by them for dumb reasons.

Noting the terror inspired by the US military around the world now, Knapp concluded in his post:
We occasionally see a flag-draped coffin, or encounter an amputee on the street, but our concerns with, for example, terrorism, simply aren’t in the same league as the reasonable fears of those around the world living with American planes and drones constantly overhead or American troops on their streetcorners
This Memorial Day, let’s set aside a moment to think about them.
The 260 million figure offered by Knapp excludes soldiers killed in action in the wars of the 20th Century, and is six times greater than the number of dead troops in those wars. It includes victims of genocides committed around the world by untenable regimes.

In the current century, the greatest civilian losses in wars are caused directly by the US government and its allies in the Middle East and other poor regions. The greatest example now is the war in Syria, waged by the US government as part of its strategy to overthrow foreign governments and replace them with "friendly" regimes.

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