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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 4:27 am | Overcast 52º


Letter to the Editor: I Pledge Allegiance to ... ?

Breaking news:

“Yesterday, Yemeni drones appeared over Santa Barbara and fired missiles into the lower westside area killing most of a wedding party that was just leaving All Worship Church.

“Joseph McMurphiss, whose son was torn apart by the blast, said to an SB Info reporter today that he holds no grudge against Yemen; he understands that his son's death was due to a mistake and that Yemen is a country whose people are kind and generous and that Yemen is only trying to accomplish world peace.”

Did this happen? Of course not. But If in the above “report” “Santa Barbara” is exchanged with any Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani or Yemeni town and “Yemen” is exchanged with “The United States” it happens continually - except for the bereaved's forgiveness.

Who among you expects those whose loved ones have been murdered or dismembered by US armed forces or US air strikes will feel affection for and allegiance to the USA?. Who among you does not realize that large numbers of them readily swear allegiance to any country or entity that will take vengeance on Americans who have terrorized and slaughtered them?

Where in news reports do you see evidence that individuals from all over the world are flocking to their countries' recruiting stations asking to be taken to the Middle East, gun in hand, so they can join us in “defeating” ISIS? On the other hand, where in news reports do you see evidence that individuals from all over the world are volunteering to join, or assist, ISIS in its mission to kill as many Americans – or other nationals allied with us - as they can manage to do?

“16% of French Citizens Support ISIS, Poll Finds” (Newsweek, Aug. 26, 2014)

“ … notes from EVERY continent show support for Islamist Jihadis ...” (Daily Mail.com, Dec. 8, 2015)

Does this informal poll render a slight clue?

From a strictly military point of view, General Douglas McArthur, beloved of many right-wing enthusiasts, warned us against a “land war in Asia.” But succeeding US administrations have plunged us into one after another. And we have lost them all, tossing billions of dollars into a void never to be recovered; tossing thousands of lives – our own and others – onto a figurative trash heap; irreparably destroying governments and functioning societies.

Subsequent US administrations have thought themselves smarter. “We won't risk reelection problems by drafting and sending American youth into combat; using drones operated by 20-year-olds in Nevada, we'll kill them all by remote control. It's cheaper too.”

“ ...the Obama administration masks the true number of civilians killed in drone strikes by categorizing unidentified people killed in a strike as enemies, even if they were not the intended targets. The slides also [illustrate] a campaign in Afghanistan aimed not only at eliminating al Qaeda and Taliban operatives, but also at taking out members of other local armed groups.“ (theintercept.com, “The Drone Papers” [“documents … provided by a source within the intelligence community who worked on the types of operations and programs described”] Oct. 15, 2015)

Now, since it has been revealed that Tashfeen Malik, one of the two who killed or wounded dozens in San Bernardino, has pledged “allegiance” to ISIS - though it is not presently known whether ISIS members have any knowledge of her - there are renewed demands for US soldiers to join airstrikes in an effort to defeat the would-be Islamic State.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump, a source, wrote the NY Times, of “racist lies,” has called for the shutdown of all mosques in the United States, throwing the Republican Party into crisis mode as many of its prominent supporters realize this megalomaniac bigot, if securing the party's nomination, would hand the presidency to their opponents.

Muslims should not be permitted to enter the United States, proclaimed Trump, “until we can understand what's going on!” He cites polls documenting widespread hatred of the US by Muslims, not mentioning widespread hatred of the US by many others as well, and of course not seeking to make known why those whose innocent family members we've murdered – and those who sympathize with them - would like to return the favor. 

“War, war,” come the cries once again. The clamor, however, does not seem to include demand for a universal draft which would commit many US families to share the pain drum-beaters wish to inflict on others.

Now, many of us, including all who have kept silence about their country's wholesale murder of others, are wondering, "Will we be shot to death or blown up if we risk a plane trip to visit family at Christmas?"

To every one beating the drums for another land war in Asia, to everyone who, placing party loyalty above human rights has stayed silent about this country's decade of Middle-East murder, I send this reminder:

For every corpse or dismembered body your government creates in the Middle-East, one additional ISIS supporter arises here and in other countries who pledges to kill you.

William Smithers
​Santa Barbara

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