Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Every 12 Minutes, the United States Drops a Bomb Somewhere

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The United States, which is not legally at war with a single foreign country, is dropping bombs on foreigners at the astounding rate of 121 bombs per day — one bomb every 12 minutes. Worse still, most of the victims of these bombs are not the intended targets. And even worse, the news media, which harps on alleged First World victims such as the transgendered, is silent about the death and destruction being wrought by U.S. munitions the world over.

According to Defense Department figures cited by TruthDig columnist Lee Camp, the U.S. military under President Donald Trump dropped 44,096 bombs last year. That works out to 121 bombs per day or one every 12 minutes.

If Trump maintains this rate for the remainder of his presidency, he will easily outpace Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who were no slouches in the bombing department. Bush dropped 70,000 bombs during his two terms, which comes to 24 bombs per day. Obama, who won a Nobel Peace Prize essentially for not being Bush, bested his predecessor by 30,000 bombs, dropping them at a rate of 34 per day.

One might console oneself with the knowledge that these nonstop bombings, many of which are carried out by unmanned drones, are at least killing bad guys out to harm America and take away our freedom — except that simply is not the case. Journalist Whitney Webb reported:

More troubling than the sheer number of strikes conducted is the fact that U.S. drone strikes kill far more civilians than supposed militants. Indeed, militant leaders on the controversial U.S. “kill list” account for a mere 2 percent of drone-related deaths, with strikes confirmed to kill civilians 90 percent of the time. Shockingly, more than 80 percent of those killed have never even been identified and the CIA’s own documents have shown that they are not even aware of who they are killing — avoiding the issue of reporting civilian deaths simply by naming all those in the strike zone as enemy combatants.

And where has the Fourth Estate been through all of this? During most of the Bush presidency, the media enthusiastically promoted U.S. military adventures, only turning against them when, as in Iraq, they went sour. Camp notes that of the 70,000 bombs Bush dropped, only 57 aroused much public ire, and that was because they were dropped in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, countries even Bush couldn’t reasonably claim were covered by a congressional authorization, let alone a constitutionally required declaration of war.

Obama then proceeded to order nearly 10 times as many drone strikes as Bush. However, writes Camp:

There was basically a media blackout while Obama was president. You could count on one hand the number of mainstream media reports on the Pentagon’s daily bombing campaigns under Obama. And even when the media did mention it, the underlying sentiment was, “Yeah, but look at how suave Obama is while he’s OK’ing endless destruction. He’s like the Steve McQueen of aerial death.” [Emphasis in original.]

Things haven’t improved in the Trump era. The media “talk about Trump’s flaws,” observes Camp, “but they don’t criticize the perpetual Amityville massacre our military perpetrates by dropping a bomb every 12 minutes, most of them killing 98 percent non-targets.”

Congressmen and senators, meanwhile, are either too busy kissing up to the arms makers who keep them in power or afraid to criticize the ongoing bombing for fear of being branded anti-American. Some even like the policy so well they are hoping to give the president virtually unlimited authority to bomb foreign countries at will.

What do average Americans get out of all this? They get soaked for $700 billion a year — and probably much more — a significant portion of which is deficit spending that will end up costing them later. They get unconstitutional, unending wars against people who have never done them any harm. And every 12 minutes, they get more enemies among the friends and family of the innocent people murdered in cold blood by U.S. bombs — people who, much like the 9/11 hijackers, may one day visit upon Americans the same types of deadly assaults America is visiting upon them.

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