The Orlando Incident: An Appeal to Practical Reason

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…by Jonas E. Alexis

 

The Orlando shooting incident has been another tragic chapter in the history of ideological conflicts and tensions in America and indeed much of the world. If you were trained in logic and have little patience with implicit or explicit contradictions, impressively incoherent statements, and just plain dumb arguments, then you know that much of what’s passing for clear thinking these days are just plain claptrap.[1] And if you don’t have a good sense of humor, then nonsense is going to drive you completely crazy.

First of all, we all should sympathize for the people who have lost love ones in the tragic incident. For us, all lives matter; every single human being on this planet is precious. But for ideologues, some lives, not all, matter. Here we are going to assume that the media is being fair and objective in reporting the incident in Orlando. 50 people or more lost their lives. The entire world, within a few hours, had already received the message and sent their condolences.

But the incident inexorably shows that politicians and news media outlets have deliberately excluded practical reason from their lexicon. How? Well, for the past three years or so, civilian deaths in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria have been astounding. If you work with numbers or statistical data all the time, then you will feel an urge to ask a puzzling question, “How is it that people aren’t mourning for the lives of those people who are being liquidated and humiliated by the oligarchs all over the Middle East?”

Last year the New York Times reported that “when operators in Nevada fire missiles [drones] into remote tribal territories on the other side of the world, they often do not know who they are killing, but are making an imperfect best guess.”[2] In other words, drone strikes are not really based on solid evidence but on “imperfect best guess.” What has been the consequence of this? Civilian deaths by the hundreds.[3] In fact, drone strikes kill innocent civilians “90% of the time.”[4] In five years alone, drone strikes have killed at least 2,400 people. The situation was so bad in 2012 that the Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law called for a reevaluation of the entire covert operation.[5]

Let’s move our analysis to the Iraq war.

Virtually all serious historians and scholars have argued that the war was based on colossal hoaxes and fabrications.[6] Obviously the Bush administration abandoned morality and substituted what one ought to call an essentially diabolical ideology, which ended up giving us a six-trillion dollar war,[7] and which led to untold misery and abuse and sodomy in places like Abu Ghraib.[8]

Scholar Rebecca Gordon, who has agreed to do an interview with me this summer, has recounted in her meticulously documented study Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States:

“When I had occasion in Jordan in 2006 to meet an Iraqi sheik who had been tortured by U.S. forces, his first question to our little group was whether all American women were ‘promiscuous sluts,’ like the ones who had tormented him by forcing him to look at their naked breasts during his detention…The psychological trauma of sexual humiliation had damaged this man sufficiently so that polite conversation with American women, even those who were likely to be sympathetic, was beyond him.”[9]

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Gordon discusses one case after another and describes what happened when politicians deliberately abandoned practical reason and pursued perpetual wars in the Middle East. “Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped” was just a fair game.[10] “Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture” was also quite common.[11] Detainees were also sodomized with chemical lights and broom sticks.[12]

Gordon documents that “As many as fifty-four different countries are thought to have participated in the U.S. program of extraordinary rendition.”[13] Gordon writes on the very first page:

“For many years, the United States had secretly funded research on torture at U.S. and Canadian universities. One product of this research was the Central Intelligence Agency’s KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation manual with its sections covering ‘non-coercive’ and ‘coercive’ techniques, first printed in 1963….

“The United States had also provided covert training and support to torture regimes in other countries around the world—from Greece to Uruguay, Chile to El Salvador, Indonesia to Vietnam. The Phoenix Program, implemented during the Vietnam War by U.S. armed forces and the CIA, involved the torture and deaths of tens of thousands of Vietnamese, as part of the U.S. counterinsurgency project designed to break the will of the Viet Cong. In the testimony before Congress, military intelligence officer K. Milton Osborne provided some details of the methods used:

“‘The use of the insertion of the 6-inch dowel into the 6-inch canal of one of my detainees’ ears and the tapping through the brain until he dies. The starving to death of a Vietnamese woman who was suspected of being part of the local political education cadre in one of the local villages. They simply starved her to death in one of the hooches at that very counterintelligence headquarters.

“‘There were other methods of operation which they used for interrogation, such as the use of electronic gear such as sealed telephone attached to the genitals of both the men and women’s vagina and the man’s testicles, and wind the mechanism and create an electrical charge and shock them into submission.’”[14]

Between 1968 and 1971, the Phoenix Program was responsible for torturing and killing more than twenty thousand people,[15] many of whom had nothing to do with terrorism. These were not isolated cases. The CIA conducted these essentially diabolical operations “on several continents.”[16]

The torture and abuse and sodomy which took place at Abu Ghraib were basically déjà vu all over again. Neither the Bush administration nor the Neoconservatives who perpetuated the wars in the first place[17] have ever taken moral responsibility whatsoever for what happened in what scholars have now referred to as “black sites.”

One Neoconservative by the name of Dinesh D’Souza risibly posited back in 2007 that “Abu Ghraib did not reflect the shared values of America, it reflected the sexual immodesty of liberal America.”[18] Neocon pundit Ann Coulter would have agreed. In response to the Abu Ghraib debacle which has been an embarrassment to the Neoconservative establishment, Coulter declared back in 2004:

“We have liberated the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator who gassed his own people, had weapons of mass destruction, invaded his neighbors, harbored terrorists, funded terrorists and had reached out to Osama bin Laden.”[19]

By 2015, when things really got messy virtually all over the Middle East, most specifically in Iraq, D’Souza seemed to have had a change of heart. He wrote:

“The Iraq war, undertaken by George W. Bush, was a mistake. I supported the war at the time, because I believed the Bush administration’s claim that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMDs). In retrospect, that proved to be false. I don’t understand how a country can invade another country based on the suspicion that they have WMDs. We should not have gone unless we knew they had WMDs.”[20]

But should we all let D’Souza off the hook for admitting that the Iraq war was just a mistake? Is it right for Jewish Neocon Jonah Goldberg to posit impressively incoherent statements like the Iraq debacle “was a worthy mistake”?[21] Shouldn’t a responsible government or nation prosecute those who perpetuated the debacle in the first place?[22]

Iraq is a complete mess.[23] From 2003 to 2012, over two thousand doctors and nurses, and over four hundred academics, have been assassinated in the country. Others have emigrated due to violence in the region.

In 1990, there were about thirty thousand registered doctors in Iraq. By 2008, more than fifteen thousand had already left the country. Then there is the high unemployment that has been ravaging sections of the region.[24]

And the ideological agenda of the neoconservative movement progressively attacks Christian families and neighborhoods in the Middle East as well. Doug Bandow of the National Interest had the guts in 2010 to declare that “the historic Christian community has been largely destroyed” in Iraq after the war, where hundreds of Christians have been killed and exiled to other countries such as Syria and Lebanon.[25] Here is the number of civilians who lost their precious lives in Iraq from 2008 until 2013:

2008:  6,787

2009:  3,056

2010:  2,953

2011:  2,771

2012:  3,238

2013: 7,157[26]

Virtually no one gives a damn about those lives; no one mourns for them; virtually no one in the Zionist media is asking for their perpetrators to be trialed and punished accordingly. Why the double standard? Does the Zionist media mean to tell us that 25,962 precious lives are less important than 50 people?

If one person robs a house, we put him behind bars. Then why aren’t we prosecuting the people who have helped destroy an entire country? USA Today reported back in 2009 that “360,000 veterans may have brain injuries.”[27] Did the American people sign up for all this? Is this all compatible with the moral law?

Furthermore, why isn’t much of the world still outraged when the United States, in concert with Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, was trying to remove a democratically elected government in Syria? Don’t people know that Assad won every single election with at least 88.7 percent of the vote?[28] Aren’t we being told ad nauseam that the United States is spreading democracy across the world? Can the masters of this world logically explain to us why they are destabilizing countries they do not like? Can they tell us why NATO is moving its military wings all across Europe, while promiscuously postulating that Russia is being aggressive?[29]

You see, no one can give you a logical explanation because the Neoconservative establishment—or shall we say the Neo-Bolshevik ideology—is arguably Satanism in political clothes. Like John Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost, the Neo-Bolsheviks have adopted an essentially Satanic system which basically says, “Evil, be thou my good.”[30]


[1] I personally have to stop listening to some people from time to time because you simply cannot argue with someone who doesn’t understand how logic works, has little interest in submitting his appetite to practical reason or rigorous evidence, and is not willing to follow the truth wherever it may leads. Now I understand why Christ told some of his disciples: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

[2] Scott Shane, “Drone Strikes Reveal Uncomfortable Truth: U.S. Is Often Unsure About Who Will Die,” NY Times, April 23, 2015.

[3] See for example “Almost 2,500 now killed by covert US drone strikes since Obama inauguration six years ago: The Bureau’s report for January 2015,” Bureau of Investigative Journalism, February 2, 2015;

[4] Andrew Blake, “Obama-led drone strikes kill innocents 90% of the time: report,” Washington Times, October 15, 2015.

[5] “Drone strikes kill, maim and traumatize too many civilians, U.S. study says,” CNN, September 26, 2012; Glenn Greenwald, “New Stanford/NYU study documents the civilian terror from Obama’s drones,” Guardian, September 25, 2012; “U.S. Tries to Drown Out the Downsides of Drone Strikes,” NY Times, September 26, 2012; “Drones in Pakistan traumatise civilians,” BBC, September 25, 2012; https://law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/default/files/organization/149662/doc/slspublic/Stanford-NYU-LIVING-UNDER-DRONES.pdf.

[6] See for example John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007); John J. Mearsheimer, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011); Paul R. Pillar, Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account of the Decision to Invade Iraq (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004); Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (New York: Random House, 2006).

[7] Ernesto Londono, “Study: Iraq, Afghan war costs to top $4 trillion,” Washington Post, March 28, 2013; Bob Dreyfuss, The $6 Trillion Wars,” The Nation, March 29, 2013; “Iraq War Cost U.S. More Than $2 Trillion, Could Grow to $6 Trillion, Says Watson Institute Study,” Huffington Post, May 14, 2013; Mark Thompson, “The $5 Trillion War on Terror,” Time, June 29, 2011; “Iraq war cost: $6 trillion. What else could have been done?,” LA Times, March 18, 2013.

[8] Mark Kukis, Voices from Iraq: A People’s History, 2003-2009 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); Dana Priest and Joe Stephens, “Secret World of U.S. Interrogation,” Washington Post, May 11, 2004; for similar reports, see Jane Mayer, “The Black Sites: A Rare Look inside the C.IA.’s Secret Interrogation Program,” New Yorker, August 13, 2007; Craig Whitlock, “Jordan’s Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA,” Washington Post, December 1, 2007; Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (New York: Anchor Books, 2009); Mark Danner, Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror (New York: New York Review of Books, 2004); George W. Bush: War Criminal?: The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes (Westport: Praeger Pubishers, 2009); Lila Rajiva, The Language of Empire: Abu Ghraib and the American Media (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005).

[9] Rebecca Gordon, Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 53.

[10] Ibid., 46.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid., 47.

[13] Ibid., 51.

[14] Ibid., 1-2.

[15] Ibid., 2.

[16] Ibid.

[17] See for example Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Murray Friedman, The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

[18] Dinesh D’Souza, The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 (New York: Broadway Books, 2007), 151.

[19] Ann Coulter, “Tit for Tet,” Townhall.com, May 27, 2004.

[20] Dinesh D’Souza, America: Imagine a World Without Her (WA: Regnery Publishing, 2014), 212.

[21] Jonah Goldberg, “Iraq Was a Worthy Mistake,” LA Times, October 19, 2006.

[22] Vincent Bugliosi, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (New York: Perseus Books, 2008).

[23] See Andrew J. Bacevich, Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2013); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005); Nicolas J. S. Davies, Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq (Ann Arbor, MI: Nimble Books, 2010).

[24] Irena L. Sargsyan, “Iraq’s Endless Humanitarian Crisis,” National Interest, October 9, 2012.

[25] Doug Bandow, “The Plight of Christians in Iraq,” National Interest, November 2, 2010; for see also Angela Shanahan, “Christians a Target for Syrian Rebels We Back,” The Australian, October 13, 2012; Alexandra Sandels and Patrick J. McDonnell, “Syria Christian Refugees in Lebanon Fear Islamist Rebels,” LA Times, August 22, 2012; Mark Field, “How Rent-a-Mob Jihadis Are Tormenting a Benighted Christian Minority in Bashar al-Assad’s Syria,” Independent, October 14, 2012.

[26] Dan Murphy, “Iraq Violence More Than Doubles in 2013: Is Country Headed Off the Cliff?,” Christian Science Monitor, December 20, 2013.

[27] Gregg Zoroya, “360,000 veterans may have brain injuries,” USA Today, March 5, 2009.

[28] “Bashar al-Assad wins re-election in Syria as uprising against him rages on,” Guardian, June 4, 2014; “Bashar Assad wins Syria presidential election with 88.7% of vote,” Russia Today, June 4, 2014.

[29] Brendan Cole, “Nato bolsters Baltic defences with 4,000 troop deployment ‘in response to Russia,’” International Business Times, June 13, 2016.

[30] John Milton, Paradise Lost (New York: Dover Publications, 2005), 71.

Biography
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.
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