Why is One War Crime Worth More than Another?
By Michael Hoffman
March 10, 2022 • www.RevisionistHistory.org
In Memory of Herman Aihara and John Hvosda
We write these words in the midst of the type of microscopic examination of war crimes in Ukraine that we have often longed for in regard to the ongoing war crimes perpetrated in the Middle East—in Lebanon and Palestine —where the Israelis pulverized Beirut and Gaza into the dust with bombs, missiles, artillery shelling and even cluster bombs—and Yemen, where Israeli de facto ally Saudi Arabia has starved and bombed civilians in the hundreds of thousands.
None of these acts of mass murder have ever elicited from the newly minted humanitarians of the American media anything remotely comparable to the coverage of what the Russian military under Vladimir Putin has perpetrated in Ukraine.
For decades Soviet Russia's crimes against Ukraine, from the 1930s onward, were denied by the New York Times and minimized by Left-leaning media well into the 1980s. I first learned of this myopia from John Hvosda, my Ukrainian-American Professor of Political Science. Dr. Hvosda was himself relentlessly criticized while a graduate student at Syracuse University for his “Ukrainian nationalism.” What form did his sin take? His protest and remembrance of Soviet crimes against his homeland. In the 1960s Ukraine was not the darling of the western press that it is today.
“They gave him a terrible time.” That was the view of another of my professors, the Palestinian political scientist Faiz Abu-Jaber, who, I learned, had been Dr. Hvosda's roommate at Syracuse. Hvosda was no Russophobe. He loved Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Russian anti-Communists in general. But he was infuriated by the Stalinist hangover that afflicted American university faculties in the 1960s and '70s, where studies of the extent of Soviet atrocities and the lessons to be learned from the evils of coercive collectivism, were derogated and obstructed.
At Hobart College this writer crossed polemical swords in 1978 with Prof. Walter Ralls, who proudly displayed a large photograph of the Bolshevik homicidal maniac Vladimir Lenin on his office wall. The Jacobins were running amok in U.S. academia well before the dreary Age of Political Correctness we now inhabit.
The capitalists are not far behind. In class, Prof. Hvosda would on occasion refer to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev as “the butcher of the Ukraine.” Throughout the 1930s, as Joseph Stalin's executioner in that land, Khrushchev murdered tens of thousands of Ukrainians and shipped hundreds of thousands to concentration camps where they died of privation. In the March 9 Wall Street Journal, columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. displays grotesque amnesia in the course of informing us that this despicable mass murderer earned the well-deserved thanks of the world:
“Six decades ago, Khrushchev lived in the real world. He'd held many administrative jobs under Stalin and participated in the defense of Stalingrad. When he understood the depth of his Cuba miscalculation, he concentrated on avoiding nuclear war, earning the world's thanks…”
Administrative jobs? What happened to the years Khrushchev led Stalin's Murder Inc. operation in Ukraine? The slaughterhouse he erected appears now to be via col vento.
The horror over Putin, the 21st century's butcher of Ukraine, coupled with the warm praise showered on NATO butchers of Serbia like General Wesley Kanne Clark, leads one to believe the whole argument reeks of hypocrisy (to borrow a phrase from Murray Rothbard).
In 2022 the New World Order has been reborn as the defender of the Ukrainian people's human rights and aspirations, against the Russian behemoth. Does anyone believe this defense is sincere? That the U.S., British and German cryptocracies actually care about what happens to Ukraine and their expendable Ukrainian assets? How can their professed sympathy be honest and true when it is corrupted by a conspicuous selectivity?
On May 12, 1996 Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State, informed Leslie Stahl of CBS News that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children as the result of U.S. sanctions “was worth it.” These are the words of one of the honored ambassadors of 'Team Humanity” now showcasing their supposed humanitarian angst in the face of the carnage in Ukraine.
On Purim 2003, President George W. Bush, in an act of naked aggression, invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq. The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal declared aggressive war to be “the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
Key principals in that “supreme international crime,” former Vice-President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, have lately been recipients of praise and laurels. Mr. Cheney was rapturously applauded in Congress on January 6, and Miss Rice is a regular guest on television news shows seeking “expert insight into the crimes of Russia.” The crimes of Cheney and Rice are studiously ignored by the "humanitarians."
Washington D.C. bureaucrats and the New York media have contempt for the piles of innocent bodies which Saudi and Israeli bombs and shelling have produced. The roots of that contempt run deep, derived from the seldom-discussed doctrine of the alleged "collective guilt" of civilians for the war crimes of the government that rules them.
It was upon the foundation of that odious postulation that the United States government unleashed unparalleled savagery upon the civilian populations of Germany and Japan during a Second World War that has been branded “The Good War,” an inferno that cremated 500,000 “collectively guilty” German civilians — fried to ashes by the air forces of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt — those monsters of iniquity for whom post-war encomiums are circulated with monotonous regularity. When mass murderers are the subject of panegyrics, we know that their victims are less than zero on the scale of ersatz brotherhood ostentatiously exhibited by our virtue-signaling politicians.
Today, March 10, is the 77th anniversary of what may be the most unconscionable war crime perpetrated in modern history.
Anyone sincerely outraged by what is happening in Ukraine would also devote themselves to kindling the memory of the mass murder that took place in 1945.
Peruse the pages of your daily paper and the coverage of your television news and corporate media websites for March 10 and see how much (if any) time or space was accorded the mass slaughter of civilians, after the armed forces of the United States government turned the residential sections of Tokyo into a gargantuan human barbecue pit.
If “Never Again” are the watchwords in the noble campaign to prevent future holocausts, should not the incineration of Tokyo's civilian population be remembered on the date it occurred, and its lessons imparted to all the people, in our schools, Congress and the cathedrals of media?
Yes, that would be the case if the media pronouncements and communiqués pouring forth daily from Ukraine concerning Putin's victims, were indeed genuine and not a cynical show. But they are transparently just that—a tool of the information warfare the West wields as the hammer they are betting will help drive Putin from power, and install a regime in Moscow friendly to the agenda of the NATO assassins of Gaddafi in Libya and the thousands of Christian civilians NATO burned alive in Serbia; crimes committed with the enthusiastic approval of those now execrating Putin.
Six Hours in the Fires of Hell
In a candid assessment by the the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, U.S. officials stated, “probably more persons lost their lives by fire at Tokyo in a six-hour period than at any time in the history of man.”
Testimony of First Lieutenant Richard Gross, 874th Bomb Squadron, 498th Bomb Group, U.S. Army Air Force: “I was a navigator. At the time, you just didn”t think about those things. We had a job to do and we did it. We were burning houses, but we didn”t think about the people.”
Testimony of Second Lieutenant Jim Marich, 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, U.S. Army Air Force: “You could smell, I”m sorry to say, burning flesh in the airplane…We safely went on with the mission and went on with lesser-known missions. But by then, the Japanese fighter response was practically nil.”
Testimony of Technical Sergeant Ed Lawson, 882nd Bomb Squadron, 500th Bomb Group, U.S. Army Air Force: “My job was to stand by the open bomb-bay doors and throw chaff out — these long strips of aluminum foil to confuse Japanese radar. Can you imagine standing in front of an open bomb-bay door and smelling a city burn up? It was terrifying. At low altitude like that, I didn”t wear an oxygen mask. All I can say is that the smell was nauseating. I”ve never smelled anything like it since, and I don't want to…When we did the firebombings, we were killing civilians.”
Firebombs dropped by the United States in a total of sixty cities killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese people prior to the atomic bombs that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and spread carcinogenic radioactive sickness among the population.
Our Japanese-American teacher, Herman Aihara of Oroville, California, became a pioneering specialist in lessening the severity of radioactive cancers through the use of traditional Japanese medicinal foods such as miso and sea vegetables, and the avoidance of a diet high in protein, as well as sugars and sweeteners of all types, all of which he believed contribute to the growth of cancer tumors.
Herman was a lover, not a hater, and while he deeply mourned the loss of civilian life in his native land, he was a proponent of gratitude to America for its Constitution and the opportunities afforded to immigrants like him. He understood that there were more questions than answers in this life and that it behooved human beings to maintain humility in the face of that reality.
If they had known each other I surmise that Sensei Aihara and Dr. Hvosda would have been friends, and I like to think they would have asked the same questions which this writer is asking of the media, Congress, and the Biden White House:
Why do you employ accusations of mass murder as a weapon to distract from the mass murders you commit with impunity?
Are the people of Japan, Palestine, Serbia and Iraq lesser humans than Ukrainians, Israelis or Americans?
If perpetual reporting of Putin's bloody aggression were to inspire revulsion and remembrance for all of the war crimes against humanity of recent history, then the repetition of the themes and talking points we see on television and online would represent a commendable cultivation of human conscience.
At present however, the 24/7 atrocity reports constitute not much more than a tool of a retrograde Orwellian jingoism, the chant of the Neanderthal: “Our crimes good, your crimes bad!”
How tragic is the refusal of the American political class to learn the lessons of their previous quagmire forays in utopian, “nation-building” and war —in Vietnam, Iraq and during twenty futile years in Afghanistan. Defiance of this memory is a self-willed dementia which mocks America's righteous trumpeting of lofty claims to morality in comparison with the Russians.
We observe the pompous parade of passionate concern for Ukraine while in Palestine and Yemen the routine murders of civilians perpetrated by the Israeli and Saudi governments is a reality of daily life. Unlike this year's Ukrainians, these victims are expendable and the atrocities committed against them are diminished to the level of the infinitesimal, down to a business-as-usual that scarcely attracts our attention.
America's “staunch Israeli ally in the Middle East” is guilty of war crimes funded by U.S. taxpayers, while the Saudi onslaught in Yemen has been enriched by oil revenue and American banking. This double standard leads us to ask, in the midst of the wall-to-wall Ukrainian coverage, why the sufferings of one people are more deserving of our attention and remonstration in this vale of tears than that of the Palestinians or the Yemenis?
Who decides where our indignation will be focused?
Who determines what we will protest and detest, and what we will overlook and forget?
Why is one war crime worth more than another?
Historian Michael Hoffman is a former reporter for the New York bureau of the Associated Press and the editor of the periodical Revisionist History®. He is the the author of ten books, including Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare; Usury in Christendom, and his latest, Twilight Language.
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I agree with what you say. I would like to mention another recent war that was ignored by the West and its media. I am referring to Azerbaijan's invasion of tiny Armenia in September 2020. Azerbaijan's army was led by NATO-trained Turkish officers and included thousands of ISIS mercenaries. During the 44-day war, some 6,000 Armenian defenders were killed (often by Israeli- and Turkish-made drones.) An unknown number of Armenian civilians were killed and Armenia lost a large chunk of Armenian territory. As in Palestine and Yemen, the Azeri invasion was not reported in the West because Azerbaijan sells oil/gas to the West and Turkey is a NATO ally. While the West's media refers to the Ukraine War as a struggle between David and Goliath, nobody mentioned during the Azeri/Turkish invasion of Armenian territory that Azerbaijan and Turkey have a combined population of 95 million while Armenia's population is 3 million.
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