Empires Kill

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Grow Up, Canada!

Canadian bleeding hearts are moaning and groaning because an American fighter pilot decided to drop a big bomb on Canadian troops engaged in combat exercises on the ground in Afghanistan. Four Canadian soldiers were killed and several wounded, including at least one with life-threatening injuries.

Up in the Great White North, politicians, the press, and the man in the street are all aghast. One outraged Canuck went so far as to write to a newspaper: u201CPull our soldiers out now! Let those war-hungry Americans who are just trying to stimulate their own economy and satisfy the many special interests of the elite, fight their own damn war.u201D Can you imagine — daring to besmirch America’s holy, endless War Against Terrorism!

What such childish overreaction shows is the naivet, maybe touching, maybe not, of our usually sweet-natured and supine northern neighbors.

Don’t the Canadians remember the couple of dozen or so European tourists killed in the Italian Alps when Marine fighter pilots having a bit of fun cut the cables and sent their funicular crashing down? Or the 1999 U. S. bombing of the Chinese embassy — legally, Chinese territory — in Belgrade, that killed three workers and injured another 20? The bomber was sent, on information supplied by the CIA, from a base in Missouri specifically to bomb that site. To everyone in Belgrade, the building was known as what it was: the Chinese embassy. American diplomats had dined there. Despite the tens of billions of dollars gobbled up by the overpaid incompetents at our premier intelligence apparatus, this was, according to the U. S. government, just a dreadful little mistake. The Chinese, with their devious Oriental minds, didn’t believe it, and protested volubly and for weeks. Notorious for their ethnic arrogance, the Chinese refused to be treated like fools dancing on the strings of the American big shots.

And what about the 1998 bombing of the pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, which, owing to a U. S.-imposed boycott, manufactured most of the life-saving medicines available in that part of Africa? Washington proffered a cock-and-bull story of the factory’s involvement with Osama bin Laden, its production of u201Cweapons of mass destruction,u201D etc., etc. No shred of evidence was ever provided to substantiate its tissue of lies, and anyway the fairy tale was soon forgotten. But the German ambassador to Sudan stated: u201CIt is difficult to assess how many people in this poor African country died as a result of the destruction of the Al-Shiva factory, but several tens of thousands seems a reasonable guess.u201D

Doesn’t anyone in Canada remember the Iranian civilian airliner, on a scheduled flight over the Persian Gulf, shot down by the USS Vincennes in 1988? Around 290 persons were killed, nearly all of them wives and children traveling to visit their husbands and fathers working the oil fields of northern Arabia. Not only was no apology forthcoming from the U. S. government; not only were the officers not censured; but the men and commander of the Vincennes received commendations from the U. S. Navy for their u201Cheroism.u201D It was the equivalent of saying — openly, brazenly — that the wives and children of Iranians are nothing but human garbage. Odd that Iranians should object to this. Where do they come off? Why do these crazies keep calling us the Great Satan? So right that our brilliant president, tutored by your own David Frum, added Iran to the u201Caxis of evilu201D that is bedeviling the world.

In the Second World War, the civilians targeted and massacred by the U. S. Army Air Force by the hundreds of thousands — from Dresden and the other German cities, to Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki — demonstrate what a victorious empire can get away with. In recent years, in Iraq, U. S. bombing has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, tens of thousands of them children.

It is time our little Canadian buddies woke up to a simple fact: empires kill. In today’s world, with a single, earth-spanning empire, that means: the U. S. government bombs. It bombs at will, whenever the spirit moves it, whenever someone along the bureaucratic chain feels the pressing need. Occasionally it may bomb in error — and then a pro forma apology is probably in order.

But, dear Canadians, never think that you have any right to sit in judgment on the government of the United States.

The four soldiers were the first combat deaths suffered by Canada since the Korean War. In the half-century since then, tens of thousands of American soldiers have been killed advancing the empire. Their spilt blood sanctifies the imperial cause. In turn, of course, the American military has killed millions of the enemy, mainly civilians and mainly by bombing.

If it ever comes to the grim but necessary reprisal against a truly horrific Muslim attack — say, a nuclear device exploded in Manhattan or Washington — the United States will not recoil from bombing every Muslim center from Morocco to Indonesia, from incinerating Mecca itself, from killing tens of millions of the subhuman haters of the one universal, model American way of life.

The government’s line is that the world’s violated hate us, not for anything it has done to them, nor for anything our Israeli protg does to them every day of the week, but, as our eloquent president has said, simply for our freedom. For that, they must pay and pay dearly.

Canadian friends, do you understand? Do you even begin to understand? No one will ever have the right to judge the American empire. The United States is the world hegemon, the new and infinitely more powerful Rome.

So don’t bleat about your handful of soldiers killed. Just shut up, like a good u201Callyu201D should and watch what the men in Washington are going to do next.

Ralph Raico [send him mail] is a senior scholar of the Mises Institute and lives in Buffalo.

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