Mickey Z : United States of Aggression


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Forgotten February
(A Brief Peek at America's Unrestrained Brutality)
by Mickey Z.
February 5, 2007

Just in case anyone needs reminding that "USA" has always stood for "United 
States of Aggression," here are a forgotten few from February's Files:

February 1898

In 1897, Teddy Roosevelt stated bluntly, "I should welcome almost any war, for I
think this country needs one." His wait lasted less than a year.

February 15, 1898 was a muggy Tuesday night in Havana Harbor. Some 350 crew and 
officers settled in on board the Maine. "At 9:40 p.m., the ship's forward end 
abruptly lifted itself from the water," writes author Tom Miller. "Along the 
pier, passersby could hear a rumbling explosion. Within seconds, another 
eruption-this one deafening and massive-splintered the bow, sending anything 
that wasn't battened down, and most that was, flying more than 200 feet into the

The Maine was in Havana Harbor in 1898 on a purportedly friendly mission. "At a 
certain point in that spring, (President) McKinley and the business community 
began to see that their object, to get Spain out of Cuba, could not be 
accomplished without war," writes Howard Zinn, "and that their accompanying 
object, the securing of American military and economic influence in Cuba, could 
not be left to the Cuban rebels, but could be ensured only by U.S. 

American newspapers, especially those run by Hearst (New York Journal) and 
Pulitzer (New York World), jumped on the Maine explosion as the ideal 
justification to drum up public support for a war of imperialism. "Tabloid 
headlines depicting Spanish atrocities against Cubans became commonplace, and 
the influential papers of both men were outdoing each other in the 
sensationalized screaming for war," says historian Kenneth C. Davis. When Hearst
sent artist Frederick Remington to Cuba to supply pictures, he reported that he 
could not find a war. "You furnish the pictures," Hearst famously replied, "and 
I'll furnish the war."

(In 1976, Admiral Hyman Rickover of the U.S. Navy mounted an investigation of 
the Maine disaster. Rickover and his team of experts concluded that the 
explosion was probably caused by "spontaneous combustion inside the ship's coal 
bins," a problem common to ships of that era.)

February 1901

In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, the U.S. fought a brutal war of 
conquest in the Pacific. By 1900, more than 75,000 American troops -- 
three-quarters of the entire U.S. Army -- were sent to the Philippines. In the 
face of this overwhelming show of force, the Filipinos turned to guerrilla 
warfare. The February 5, 1901 edition of the New York World shed some light on 
the U.S. response to guerilla tactics: "Our soldiers here and there resort to 
terrible measures with the natives. Captains and lieutenants are sometimes 
judges, sheriffs and executioners. 'I don't want any more prisoners sent into 
Manila' was the verbal order from the Governor-General three months ago. It is 
now the custom to avenge the death of an American soldier by burning to the 
ground all the houses, and killing right and left the natives who are only 

February 1939

Imagine a rally that involved plenty of marching and arms raised in a Nazi 
salute to their leader. Somewhere near Nuremberg, perhaps? Guess again. The 
venue was Madison Square Garden where frenzied members of the German-American 
Bund cheered Fritz Kuhn as he stood before a 30-foot high portrait of George 
Washington flanked by black swastikas, leading them in a chant of "Free 
Amerika!" (a rallying cry which had just recently replaced "Sieg Heil!"), while 
thirteen hundred New York City policemen stood guard outside the building.

A U.S. citizen who served in the German Army during the First World War, Kuhn's 
loyalty to Adolf Hitler was surpassed only by his hatred of Jews (like Henry 
Ford, he went as far as blaming the Jews for Benedict Arnold's treason). When 
asked if there were any good Jews, Kuhn replied, "If a mosquito is on your arm, 
you don't ask is it a good or a bad mosquito. You just brush it off." Before you
dismiss Kuhn as a fringe character, consider this: The February 20, 1939 rally 
described above drew 22,000 avid followers.

February 1942

Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 giving the army the 
unrestricted power to arrest -- without warrants or indictments or hearings -- 
every Japanese-American on a 150-mile strip along the West Coast (roughly 
110,000 men, women, and children) and transport them to internment camps in 
Colorado, Utah, Arkansas, and other interior states to be kept under prison 
conditions. The Supreme Court upheld this order and the Japanese-Americans 
remained in custody for over three years. A Los Angeles Times writer defended 
the forced relocations by explaining to his readers that "a viper is nonetheless
a viper wherever the egg is hatched -- so a Japanese-American, born of Japanese 
parents, grows up to be a Japanese, not an American."

Life in the internment camps entailed cramped living spaces with communal meals 
and bathrooms. The one-room apartments measured twenty by twenty feet and none 
had running water. The internees were allowed to take along "essential personal 
effects" from home but were prohibited from bringing razors, scissors, or 
radios. Outside the shared wards were barbed wire, guard towers with machine 
guns, and searchlights.

The dislocated Japanese-Americans incurred an estimated loss of $400 million in 
forced property sales during the internment years, and therein may lie a more 
Machiavellian motivation than sheer race hatred. "A large engine for the 
Japanese-American incarcerations was agri-business," says Michio Kaku, a noted 
nuclear physicist and political activist whose parents were interned from 1942 
to 1946. "Agri-businesses in California coveted much of the land owned by 

A formal apology came to the 60,000 survivors of internment camps in 1990. The 
U.S. government paid them each $20,000. While Yale Law Professor Eugene V. 
Rostow later called the internment camps "our worst wartime mistake," Zinn 
pointedly asks: "Was it a 'mistake' -- or was it an action to be expected from a
nation with a long history of racism and which was fighting a war, not to end 
racism, but to retain the fundamentals of the American system?"

February 1945

With the Russians advancing rapidly towards Berlin, tens of thousands of German 
civilians fled into Dresden, believing it to be safe from attack. As a result, 
the city's population swelled from its usual 600,000 to at least one million. 
Beside the stream of refugees, Dresden was also known for its china and its 
Baroque and Rococo architecture. Its galleries housed works by Vermeer, 
Rembrandt, Rubens, and Botticelli. On the evening of February 13, none of this 
would matter.

Using the Dresden soccer stadium as a reference point, over 2000 British 
Lancasters and American Flying Fortresses dropped loads of gasoline bombs every 
50 square yards out from this marker. The enormous flame that resulted was eight
square miles wide, shooting smoke three miles high. For the next eighteen hours,
regular bombs were dropped on top of this strange brew. Twenty-five minutes 
after the bombing, winds reaching 150 miles-per-hour sucked everything into the 
heart of the storm. Because the air became superheated and rushed upward, the 
fire lost most of its oxygen, creating tornadoes of flame that can suck the air 
right out of human lungs.

Seventy percent of the Dresden dead either suffocated or died from poison gases 
that turned their bodies green and red. The intense heat melted some bodies into
the pavement like bubblegum, or shrunk them into three-foot long charred 
carcasses. Clean-up crews wore rubber boots to wade through the "human soup" 
found in nearby caves. In other cases, the superheated air propelled victims 
skyward only to come down in tiny pieces as far as fifteen miles outside 
Dresden. "The flames ate everything organic, everything that would burn," wrote 
journalist Phillip Knightley. "People died by the thousands, cooked, 
incinerated, or suffocated. Then American planes came the next day to 
machine-gun survivors as they struggled to the banks of the Elbe."

The Allied firebombing did more than shock and awe. The bombing campaign 
murdered more than 100,000 people-mostly civilians... but the exact number may 
never be known due to the high number of refugees in the area.

February 1946

Edgar L. Jones, a former war correspondent in the Pacific, wrote in the Atlantic
Monthly: "What kind of war do civilians suppose we fought anyway? We shot 
prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or 
mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying 
into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled flesh off enemy skulls to 
make table ornaments for sweethearts, or carved their bones into letter 

February 1966

David Lawrence, editor of US News & World Report, wrote: "What the United States
is doing in Vietnam is the most significant example of philanthropy extended by 
one people to another that we have witnessed in our times." When challenged with
stories of American atrocities in Vietnam, Lawrence explained, "Primitive 
peoples with savagery in their hearts have to be helped to understand the true 
basis of a civilized existence."

February 1968

An unnamed U.S. major, quoted by Associated Press on February 8, 1968, was asked
about the American assault on the Vietnamese town of Bentre. The major 
explained: "It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it."

February 1991

High above a swamp, over 60 miles of coastal Highway 8 from Kuwait to Iraq, a 
division of the Iraq's Republican Guard withdrew on February 26-27,1991. Baghdad
radio had just announced Iraq's acceptance of a cease-fire proposal and, in 
compliance with UN Resolution 660, Iraqi troops were ordered to withdraw to 
positions held before August 2, 1990. President George H.W. Bush derisively 
called the announcement "an outrage" and "a cruel hoax."

"U.S. planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in the front, and at
the rear, and then pounded the resulting traffic jams for hours," says Joyce 
Chediac, a Lebanese-American journalist. "It was like shooting fish in a 
barrel," one U.S. pilot said. "Many of those massacred fleeing Kuwait were not 
Iraqi soldiers at all," says Ramsey Clark, "but Palestinians, Sudanese, 
Egyptians, and other foreign workers."

Randall Richard of the Providence Journal filed this dispatch from he deck of 
the U.S.S. Ranger: "Air strikes against Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait were
being launched so feverishly from this carrier today that pilots said they took 
whatever bombs happened to be closest to the flight deck. The crews, working to 
the strains of the Lone Ranger theme, often passed up the projectile of 
choice... because it took too long to load."

"Every vehicle was strafed or bombed, every windshield is shattered, every tank 
is burned, every truck is riddled with shell fragments," Chediac reported after 
visiting the scene. "No survivors are known or likely. The cabs of trucks were 
bombed so much that they were pushed into the ground, and it's impossible to see
if they contain drivers or not. Windshields were melted away, and huge tanks 
were reduced to shrapnel."

"At one spot," Bob Drogin reported in the Los Angeles Times, "snarling wild dogs
(had) reduced two corpses to bare ribs. Giant carrion birds pick(ed) at another;
only a bootclad foot and eyeless skull are recognizable."

Major Bob Nugent, an Army intelligence officer, said: "Even in Vietnam I didn't 
see anything like this. It's pathetic."

Correction: When you're talking about America, it's not pathetic...it's policy.

Mickey Z. is the author of several books, most recently 50 American Revolutions 
You're Not Supposed to Know (Disinformation Books). He can be found on the Web 
at: www.mickeyz.net.

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