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Massive slaughter of a civilian populace is not unknown, witness Tamerlane as his Golden Horde swept thru Central Asia, 70,000 killed in the sack of Baghdad. Imperial Japan may have killed as many as 200,000 as detailed by Iris Chang in The Rape of Nan-King. Each conquering army’s intent to slaughter civilians could be termed genocidal.
What I cannot get my mind around is the possibility that a civilization can turn on itself, attack itself, perpetrate genocide upon its own populace. Yet that is what evidently has occurred in Iraq. A study by The Lancet indicates over one million Iraqis died between 2003 and 2010, over and above the natural death rate. What is chilling is a good many of these deaths exhibit signs of death caused by weapons far superior to those possessed by the Iraqi army. Yet who could have killed them ? None of the hundreds of thousands of US troops ( in Iraq to distribute bottled water and candy to children and to build schools) have seen signs of an invading army, yet the graveyards overflow.
Chillingly, this phenomena has happened at least twice before – in Vietnam between 1965-1973 and in the continental United States during the 18th and 19th centuries. Vietnam lost as many as three million people, exhibiting the same signs of death by superior weaponry as the Iraqis. Coincidentally, hundreds of thousands of US troops were also present during this time period – yet as in Iraq, none reported the presence of an invading army.
Indian tribes from the Lenni-Lenape in Delaware to the Sioux in South Dakota to the Apache in the US Southwest somehow were blown apart by artillery, gatling guns and buffalo rifles – yet the only ones having that type of ordnance was, again, the US military – hundreds of thousands of whom were also present during the time in question, the 18th and 19th centuries. Although US troops did report the presence of British troops in the Northeastern United States historians doubt the British were responsible for the genocide.
Sadly, foreign demagogues such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez have seized on this sensational discovery to spread their hatred towards the United States. Rather than urge scientific investigation they accuse American troops of causing a substantial number of deaths. Like Holocaust denial, this is nonsense.
Several of my friends on this blog have pointed out to me that US troops only defend our country from its enemies, and that would never include killing of civilians. And the troops should never be blamed for anything they do.Click here for reuse options!