The US Keeps Bombing People While Saying It Doesn’t Want To Fight

by | Feb 12, 2024

The US Keeps Bombing People While Saying It Doesn’t Want To Fight

by | Feb 12, 2024

us airstrike in syria 2016

One of the weirdest things happening in the world today is the way US officials keep insisting that they are not at war with the groups they’re dropping bombs on in the Middle East, and that they do not seek conflict with the people they are attacking.

Shortly after another massive round of attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder told reporters on Monday that the US is not at war with the group.

“We don’t seek an escalation with the Houthis. We’re not at war with the Houthis. We’re not seeking to go to war with the Houthis,” Ryder said.

The day before, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told CNN’s State of the Union that “the United States also is not looking for a wider war in the Middle East,” even as he refused to rule out direct attacks within Iran, and even as the US-backed war on Gaza has expanded to US bombing campaigns in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.

This is just days after President Biden released a statement saying “The United States does not seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world” while the United States was in the process of dropping bombs on multiple Middle Eastern countries.

It’s just so surreal. It’s like someone running up to you and slinging punches at your face while screaming “I DO NOT WISH TO FIGHT! THIS IS NOT AN ASSAULT!” They wear a plastic smiling mask and pay lip service to peace while operating the single most aggressive and murderous power structure on this planet.

The empire has been doing this same freakish Nice Guy Axe Murderer schtick with Gaza. The Biden administration could force an end to Israel’s genocidal atrocities in the Gaza Strip at any time but are instead choosing to provide those atrocities with full unconditional support, and as they do this they’re simultaneously putting on a performance to suggest that they disapprove of Israel’s actions. The White House has expressed “concern” over the death and suffering of civilians in Gaza no fewer than twenty times as of this writing, yet has continued to back the Israeli onslaught without taking any concrete actions to make the death and suffering stop.

That’s what we’re seeing when Biden administration officials tell the press that Biden referred to Netanyahu as a “bad fucking guy”, or when Secretary of State Antony Blinken solemnly finger-wags at Israel saying the dehumanization of the October 7 attack “cannot be a license to dehumanize others.” They’re putting on a big show about opposing Israel’s crimes against humanity as though they are not enthusiastically facilitating those crimes. They’re acting like they’re a passive witness to the atrocities in Gaza when in reality they’re an active participant. They’re posing as the peacemaker while acting as the warmaker.

And now we learn that US military advisors have been deployed to Kinmen, a group of Taiwan-controlled islands so close to the Chinese mainland that in the late sixties giant loudspeakers were built there to blast anti-communist propaganda over the water into the PRC.

Contrast this move with a recent headline from The Times saying “China opens Antarctic base on America’s doorstep,” which will show up as self-evidently nonsensical to anyone who has ever looked at a globe. It’s taken as a given that the US is entitled to amass a military presence right on China’s coastline, but the idea of China establishing a presence literally anywhere on planet Earth is interpreted as extreme aggressions on “America’s doorstep”.

It’s almost a cliché at this point to say imagine if China did this to the US, but seriously. Imagine if China did this to the US. As one Twitter follower put it, at just three kilometers away the Kinmen islands are closer to mainland China than Martha’s Vineyard is to the coast of Massachusetts. If China came anywhere near amassing any kind of military presence that close to the United States, it would be considered an act of war and the US would attack immediately.

So the US is clearly the aggressor here. It has been rapidly surrounding China with war machinery in ways it would never permit itself to be surrounded by any rival nation, and doing so more and more aggressively by the day. But if at any point China decides that too many of its red lines have been crossed and it needs to act before it’s too late, the US will with absolute certainty have a melodramatic fit about China’s unprovoked attack on the poor innocent US military presence on its border.

That’s exactly what happened with Ukraine. The US was fully aware that it was acting in an extremely aggressive and provocative way on Russia’s western border and that it was playing very dangerous games sending weapons to Kyiv while expanding NATO and ramping up cold war aggressions, and so were many experts and analysts who spent years warning that the west’s actions would lead to war. Yet when Russia finally attacked, the entire western political-media class began bleating the word “unprovoked” in unison.

This is the kind of bizarre two-step you have to do if you want to be the global hegemon with all the violence and tyranny that necessarily comes with the job while also needing to present yourself as the nice guy. The US empire exists at an oddly contradictory point in history when our society no longer considers it acceptable to be a might-makes-right strongman dominator, and yet that’s precisely the sort of disposition you need to have when you’re an empire held together by endless military violence and the threat thereof.

So you get weird nonsense like US officials bombing the shit out of the Middle East while proclaiming they have no interest in war, and engaging in extremely reckless aggressions against nuclear-armed rivals while pretending they’re just innocent witnesses to unprovoked aggressions if those nations respond.

Their information interests require them to be the good guy, but their strategic interests require them to be the bad guy. You can already tell without looking that straddling these contradictory positions will result in absurdity, and looking at today’s headlines confirms it.

This article was reprinted with the permission of Caitlin Johnstone.

Caitlin Johnstone

Caitlin Johnstone

Caitlin Johnstone is an independent, antiwar blogger and author who covers foreign policy issues on her reader supported site. Her work can be found at CaitlinJonhstone.com

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