Downing Civilian Airliners and Destroying Ancient Artifacts

Investigative journalist Robert Parry continues to report the use by the US vanguard of the MH-17 tragedy as a propaganda tool against Russia.

The US claims to be outraged by the shoot-down, but its purported indignation was easily debunked at the time of the event, when commentators reminded Washington (leaving out many other acts) that it shot down an obviously civilian plane on a commercial route, Iranian Air flight 655, killing the almost 300 civilians on board.  “The commander of a nearby U.S. vessel, David Carlson, wrote in the U.S. Naval Proceedings that he ‘wondered aloud in disbelief’ as ‘The Vincennes [the US ship] announced her intentions’ to attack what was clearly a civilian aircraft.”

The commander of the ship that targeted the civilian vessel, rather than being punished, was given the Legion of Merit, and George Bush Sr. said of the event: “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are…”

In fact, (and mysteriously unlike the US reaction to MH-17), virtually no one in the US seemed to care about a civilian plane being shot down when Washington was the culprit.  There was “no outrage, no desperate search for victims, no passionate denunciations of those responsible, no eloquent laments by the US Ambassador to the UN about the ‘immense and heart-wrenching loss'”.

Similarly, the US vanguard has been “incensed” by the ISIS destruction of ancient artifacts.

Leaving aside that the US was destroying ancient artifacts in Iraq before an entity called Al Qaeda in Iraq (which became ISIS) ever came into existence thanks to the US invasion, the US has a long record, dating to its origins, of decimating ancient artifacts around the world.  For example:

The Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos. Scattered in the landscape of the Xieng Khouang plateau, Xieng Khouang, Lao PDR, are thousands of megalithic jars.

Initial research of the Plain of Jars in the early 1930s claimed that the stone jars are associated with prehistoric burial practices. Excavation by Lao and Japanese archaeologists in the intervening years has supported this interpretation with the discovery of human remains, burial goods and ceramics around the stone jars. The Plain of Jars is dated to the Iron Age (500 BC to AD 500) and is one of the most important sites for studying Southeast Asian prehistory. The Plain of Jars has the potential to shed light on the relationship between increasingly complex societies and megalithic structures and provide insight into social organisation of Iron Age Southeast Asia’s communities.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, Washington carried out a genocide campaign against Laos (and all of Indochina), planting and detonating more explosives there – mostly in the Plain of Jars – than the allies dropped in all of WW2 – millions of tons.  As an expert on the subject, Fred Branfman, reported (ch. 18), “the entire aboveground society [was] leveled.”

Bombs planted by the US explosive teams included 262 million cluster bombs, an estimated 80 million of which did not explode on impact, and continue to kill Laotians today.  Post-bombing deaths number in the tens of thousands.

The Laos example thus illustrates both points: Washington’s high regard for ancient artifacts as well as civilians.

It would cost $16 billion to clean up the remaining bombs in Laos, which continue to kill, maim, and/or blind three year olds, etc.  While the US spent 18 million per day in its 9+ year Laotian genocide campaign, it has to date only devoted 85 million, or .005%, of the $16 billion required to dispose of the remaining bombs, which mostly effect kids, since they look like toys.

Meanwhile, the US gives almost 4 billion a year in aid to an extremely rich country, Israel, spends trillions on further war-making, and recently allocated 1 to 1.5 trillion to illegally advancing its nuclear arsenal, of which MIT Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and National Security Policy, Theodore Postol, said, “It is hard to understand what the Obama White House thinks it is accomplishing by pushing such a counterproductive program”.

While journalist Brett S. Morris believes the US will not help rid Laos of the unexploded bombs because “it simply doesn’t care”, New York businessman Dori Shimoda, who started Give Children a Choice, says the continued US bombing of Laos through unexploded bombs is “by design.  The intent was to maim not only at the time [of the bombing], but after the fact.”

Indeed, at the time of the campaign, Branfman stated that “There’s a good deal of evidence to suggest that the US has been carrying out the most protracted bombing of civilian targets in history”.

Why did the US push its Laotian killing campaign to such a massive scale?  Once Washington had finished bombing Vietnam, it had planes sitting around with nothing to do.  “It was not that there was some increased strategic threat on the ground.  It was simply that the planes were available.”  This is confirmed in official government records.

Soldier Lee Thorn, who participated in and witnessed the US bombing, says it was “just murder … mostly what we were doing was killing civilians”, and that all but one of his fellow soldiers were “just cackling up there” in the planes as they “took out” entire towns.

Author is a US-based researcher focusing on force dynamics, national and global.  @_DirtyTruths

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  • diogenes

    You forgot the part about keeping the world safe from communism, protecting free trade, and fostering democracy and progress.

    • Diogenes Shrugged

      As the U.S. slips steadily deeper and deeper into commie-fascism. Too bad the millions we murdered “for freedom” died in vain. (Well, not entirely in vain because we do have Walmart.)

    • brok


    • Robert Barsocchini

      Good point. The US propaganda line is strikingly similar to Hitler’s reasons for exterminating the Jews and other undesirables, and is also on a par with Stalin-esque propaganda. “Progress” is the bottom line. A chilling term.

  • Agent76

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    Abby Martin talks to Peter Lance, award winning investigator and author of ‘Deal with the Devil’, about the relationship between the FBI and the Mafia’s Gregory Scarpa, who over the span of 30 years committed multiple crimes including murder, all while being paid upwards of 1 million dollars by the FBI.

    Jul. 22, 2014 Human Rights Watch: ‘All of the high-profile domestic terrorism plots of the last decade, with four exceptions, were actually FBI sting operations’

  • Silverado

    That’s why the Bush’s and Obama once he leaves office will never travel outside of the US – they’re afraid of being arrested as war criminals, especially in Europe. I see where Bush Sr is being named as one of the men who killed JFK as they can now pinpoint him through a photo in Dallas on that November day in 1963. So if you can kill the American president and actually get away with it, what’s a few hundred thousand more Asians dead via cluster bombs anyway??

  • colinjames71

    Nothing beyond the tragic loss of life thanks to US foreign policy gets to me more than the destruction of ancient sites and artifacts. In a way it bothers me more since I take the view that our souls are eternal. I mean, I truly am affected deeply by the horrors we inflict on living beings around the world, but with our shared ancient history it’s different. Once those sites are destroyed, they’re gone for good, lost forever, never to be wondered upon by any future generations, never to reveal their secrets that remain a mystery, clues to our true history we missed up to this point… Vanished in an orgy of ignorant, short-sighted violence for the most ignoble of reasons. I actually believe this to be by design but I won’t get into the whole conspiratorial aspects of it here. I get completely enraged when I hear about ruins that lasted millennia; thru numerous wars, alternating empires and their accompanying religions, natural disasters and so on, only to be bombed to smithereens by US forces, bulldozed by the world’s biggest and dumbest a$$holes- our allies in the war of terror, ISIS and friends, who lot their liftable treasures to be sold to unscrupulous, selfish, status-obsessed way-too-wealthy people. Priceless artifacts that belong to everyone traded for more bullets, more bombs, more death. It’s a terrible thing.

  • John Pallyswine

    US gives a looooooooooooooooooot to muSSlim countries and spends money to protect them!!! The invasion of Iraq and Kuwait never helped Israel but it did a lot for waSSp businesses! NOW THE US IS GIVING 150,000,000,000$$$$$$$$$$$$ to muSSlo Iran