Websters defines atrocity as “a shockingly bad or atrocious act, object, or situation.”
Russian atrocities on Ukrainian civilians have been the top of the 24 second news cycle since the invasion began. Since the advent of industrial warfare at the end of 19th century, war has been waged increasingly on civilian populations than opposing military forces. Wars of attrition have had the goal of subjecting the populace to “shockingly bad” actions to force the downfall of its ruling regime or submission of a resisting insurgency. The 20th century is full of examples of this by the British, the Germans, the Japanese, the Russians, and of course, the Americans.
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As the stories emerge from the war between Ukraine and Russia, detailing atrocities committed on civilian populations, we thought it was a good moment to talk about some of this history. We start with the Civil War and World War One (early industrial wars), the advent of air power, brutal occupations in Nanking, Korea and Vietnam, bombings of Dresden, Tokyo and Hiroshima, U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam, Central American death squads and the forever wars in the Middle East.
Recently G&R co-host and award-winning historian Bob Buzzanco debated Oliver Stone’s writer on his documentary “JFK Revisited,” James DiEugenio, about Stone’s theory that the “deep state” had JFK killed because he was going to withdraw from Vietnam, thaw relations with Castro, and end the Cold War.
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They discussed Kennedy’s actual policies as president, his aggressive actions in Vietnam and Cuba, his continued imperial approach to Latin America, his tough approach to the Soviet Union. They also discussed the minutae of Oswald and the Warren Report, the “scenery” and “parlor games,” in Stone’s own words, of the JFK assassination.
In this debate, Buzzanco makes the important points that people need to look at the evidence, the documents and archives of what Kennedy actually did, rather than anecdotes and stories told long after the fact.
by Bob Buzzanco
I recently debated Oliver Stone’s writer James DiEugenio about the JFK Conspiracy theory and that will soon be up on Green & Red Podcast. Meantime, we just had my interview with Noam Chomsky about Stone’s movie and documentary alleging that the “Deep State” — the Military-Industrial Complex, the Intelligence Community, even perhaps Vice-President Lyndon Johnson — had JFK killed because he was going to end the Cold War and withdraw from Vietnam — transcribed, and here it is below.
In addition, see my interview with Noam Chomsky.
Scott and I also had a show going into more detail on JFK’s real policies, which were aggressive and hawkish.
In the past ten years, we’ve also seen state repression of movements coming out of Occupy Wall Street, the Ferguson uprising, Standing Rock, Line 3 and various anti-Trump movements. Green and Red has had numerous episodes on radical movements and state repression of political movements from antifascists in Portland and Austin to water protectors at Line 3 to DAPL saboteur Jessica Reznicek.
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But, before that, we had the era known as the “Green Scare,” where radical environmental and animal rights activists were targeted by the “state” (corporations, politicians, law enforcement) for its anti-capitalist politics and escalating tactics that included sabotage, animal liberation, property destruction and arson. The FBI called their operation to stop these radical movements “Operation Backfire.” After 911, they labeled people taking action “domestic terrorists.” Congress passed corporate lobbyist written legislation, such as the Animal Enterprise Terror Act and the Patriot Act, to stop them.
A new Reuters poll shows that 74% of Americans, with strong majorities from both parties, support a NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine as Russia continues to shell civilian areas and populations. The Biden Administration, Chair of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, the head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and politicians from across the political spectrum are opposed to any sort of intervention over the skies of Ukraine. The argument is that it’d lead to a wider war, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin has warned against it.
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No-fly zones are only a recent historical development. Green and Red gets into that recent history starting with the aftermath of the first Gulf War when George H.W. Bush called on the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Shiites in southern Iraq to rise up and depose Saddam Hussein. Their subsequent slaughter by Saddam’s helicopter gunships led to the no-fly zones. We also discuss no-fly zones in the Balkan wars and the 2016 debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump over a no-fly zone in Syria.
Recently, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes reported to his shareholders, “[W]e are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales. We just have to look to last week where we saw the drone attack in the UAE, which have attacked some of their other facilities. And of course, the tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there. So I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.” While lauded in the press for his comments, Hayes’ thinking embodies structures established by government and private industry for over a hundred years.
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