High ground Thursday June 1, 2006, 0 comments

1991 – The American-supported leader of Iraq invades neighboring Kuwait, triggering the first Gulf war. Despite denials by President Bush of the United States of America, Iraq’s government claims that America was not only informed of the military action, they approved it. Until World War I, the borders of the middle east had Kuwait squarely within Mesopotamia – part of what is now known as Iraq. Claiming the moral high ground, a coalition of nations led by the United states invade Iraq, liberate Kuwait, and impose heavy military and economic sanctions on Iraq. CNN, an American news outlet, televises the war, and for the first time, the term “ethnic cleansing” is brought into the public consciousness when Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s president, is accused of attempting to eradicate insurgents in Northern Iraq during the 1970s and 80s. America isn’t liberating Kuwait, its protecting the world from “madmen” like Hussein.

1994 – Between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Rwandans are killed in the Rwandan Genocide. Despite repeated requests for military assistance from the Canadian-led peacekeeping force in Rwanda, no assistance is provided, and the killing goes on unabated until there’s nobody left to kill.

1999 – American-led NATO forces bomb military and civilian targets in Serbia, accusing Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević of the genocide of ethnic Albanians whom had crossed the border into the Serbian province of Kosovo. The genocide included repeated deportation of ethnic albanians that had illegally entered the country. One report cites 100,000 homeless albanians transported across the border.

2001 – An Islamic group carries out attacks on American soil, destroying the World Trade Center in New York City and damaging the Pentagon. Approximately 2,800 people – many firefighters and police officers attempting to rescue civilians – die in the attacks. In retailiation, America invades Afghanistan, which is accused of harboring the terrorists that organized the attacks. The Islamic government of Afghanistan – installed by Pakistan after the Soviet withdrawal – is overthrown. Accusations of intentional attacks on civilians and atrocities by Americans are dismissed by US President Bush, the son of former President Bush.

2003 – America leads a “Coalition of the Willing” into an invasion of Iraq, citing “Weapons of Mass Destruction” as a reason to invade and occupy the country. Saddam Hussein is captured, and put on trial in Iraq (not the International court) for war crimes and genocide. Reports, and eventually photographs of American atrocities at an Iraqi prison in Abu Ghraib result in the dishonorable discharge of several low-ranking officers.

2003 – Two groups in Darfur region, Sudan declare open war on each other. A peace deal fails when another group attempts a coup to overthrow the corrupt Sudanese government. Subsequent militia attacks and a scorched-earth government offensive has led to massive displacement, indiscriminate killings, looting and mass rapes.

2005 – Twenty-four civilians in Haditha, including a blind man and several children, are executed by angry American marines following the death of an American marine in a roadside bombing. United States soldiers are ordered to undergo “core warrior values training, highlighting the importance of adhering to legal, moral and ethical standards on the battlefield.” President Bush says “if it happened, its bad.”

2005 – United States pulls out of International nuclear non-proliferation agreement.

2006 – Killings, ethnic cleansings, rapes and torture continue unabated in Darfur, where the civilian death toll is now between 420,00 and 650,000. United States government threatens military action against Iran if the country doesn’t stop using nuclear power for domestic power generation, citing the possibility of Iran using the technology to create nuclear weapons.

* (These facts are believed to be more or less accurate, in sprit at least. I’ve not done in-depth research. Most information from Wikipedia.)


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