During his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Barack Obama proclaimed that “only a just peace based upon the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.” In 2017, six years after the US-led NATO intervention in Libya, a CNN video exposed exactly what the US empire means when they talk about a just peace, as Obama had. In Tripoli, the Libyan capital, the CNN video revealed a 21st-century open-air slave market, where human beings were being bought and sold for as little as 400 dollars.
On August 28, 1998, a submarine in the Red Sea launched thirteen cruise missiles into a building in Khartoum, Sudan. Describing the destruction, the security guard on duty, Amin Muhamod, told a reporter: “The walls just disappeared. One moment I was lying down, listening to the sound of planes. The next, everything was smoke and fire. I didn’t know there were such weapons.” The building that Amin Muhamod was guarding was the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant, one of only three pharmaceutical plants in Sudan at the time. Al-Shifa is the Arabic word for health. The missile strike was directly ordered by then US president Bill Clinton.
Join Behind Enemy Lines in Chicago on March 20 for a forum on the anniversary of the Iraq war. More details here.
On March 19, 2003, Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, was rocked with thunderous explosions as Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by the US army rained down death and destruction on the oil-rich country. This was the beginning of the illegal invasion of Iraq, launched by the Bush Administration to “free its people” from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and bestow them with the gift of democracy.
In May 2020, UNICEF reported: “Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with more than 24 million people – some 80 per cent of the population – in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children. Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, the country has become a living hell for the country’s children.” This hell on earth has been caused by a deadly and devastating bombing campaign and the resulting destruction of civilian infrastructure. The political and military leadership of this heinous war has come from Saudi Arabia, but the war on Yemen would not be possible without arms and political support from the United States.
In 2017 and 2018, US President Donald Trump and his allies on Fox news and other reactionary media whipped up a racist and jingoistic campaign of demonization and fear-mongering about groups of Central American migrants traveling together towards the US border. While Trump, whipping up his voter base before the congressional elections, spread outrageous conspiracies, the reality was much simpler: thousands of individuals and families fleeing political repression, deadly crime waves, and ecological crises in Central America decided it was safer to travel together in large groups, rather than take the risky and potentially deadly journey alone. This migrant exodus, colloquially referred to as the migrant caravan, had members from various countries in Central America, but the largest proportion came from Honduras. While the roots of Honduran poverty and US imperialism in Honduras go back more than a century, much of the current crisis driving migration has its origin in the 2009 coup, which would not have been possible without the United States.