Written by Brian Kalman exclusively for SouthFront; Brian Kalman is a management professional in the marine transportation industry. He was an officer in the US Navy for eleven years.
Ian David Long is just Following the Example of Uncle Sam: Why do Americans struggle to understand mass shootings, yet fail to question the violent role of their nation in the greater global community?
As the U.S. public, politicians and media once again struggle to identify the motives of yet another psychopath murdering his fellow citizens in a pointless act of violence, they all fail to identify the exact behavior perpetrated by the nation as a whole, on the citizens of so many other nations. Americans lose no sleep over the murderous, psychopathic behavior of their government, yet are frozen in apoplexy and incredulity when a handful of innocent American citizens fall victim to the immoral and deranged actions of one of their own. If the United States government sets the example for its citizenry by murdering 8,000 civilians in Raqqa, or by freely providing weapons to regimes that target school buses and play grounds in Yemen, is it really any surprise that this evil and deranged behavior has taken root within the U.S. society itself?
On November 8th, Ian David Long entered the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA and gunned down 12 people, including a police officer responding to the massacre, before killing himself. He was a veteran of the Marine Corps who had served in Afghanistan, yet a pattern of psychological issues and violent or combative behavior seem to have existed before his time in the service. While he may or may not have suffered from psychological trauma stemming from his military experience, he obviously was dealing with a host of mental health issues. His life had taken a turn for the worse, as he apparently was struggling to find direction after his honorable discharge from the military. He may have just been a psychopathic person hell-bent on making his evil mark on the world. We may never be able to find a clear motive for an action so heinous.
As the U.S. mainstream media bombards the public with every conceivable angle of the story, all of them emotional and politically charged, the news cycle will dictate that the story be dropped all together as the next political scandal, Hollywood gossip, or next mindless act of violence takes priority. You will see calls for more gun control, more screening for mental disorders, critiques of the social ills caused by violence in movies and video games, and a whole host of other reasons to explain what is going so horribly wrong with U.S. society. What you will not see is anyone pointing out the fact that the United States has perpetrated immoral, unmitigated violence against a good portion of the world’s poorest countries for decades.
If the nations of the world were compared to a community of people, the United States government can reasonably be described as the world’s greatest psychopath. Since the end of the Second World War, no other nation has directly or indirectly engaged in harming its neighbors more than the United States. Repressive regimes in various parts of the world have been responsible for horrible injustices, political pogroms, and mass murder over the same span of time for sure, but more than a few have had the aid of the United States in doing so. The Chinese Communist Party under Mao purged tens of millions of its own people. While China’s communist hierarchy has largely inflicted violence upon itself and could be viewed as possessing the disorder of “Self-Injury or Self-Harm”, the United States government has largely focused its violent tendencies on other parties. In some cases it has delighted in holding the tool of violence itself, and on other occasions it has coerced or supported a co-conspirator in the acts of mass murder.
Without delving too deep into the history of the past fifty years, let’s take a cursory look at the psychotic behavior of Uncle Sam in the opening two decades of the 21st century alone. The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and has been there ever since. Conservative estimates list total casualties in Afghanistan at approximately 147,000 people. Immediately afterward, the U.S. invaded Iraq (again). Fifteen years later, the world is still trying to accurately count the lives lost. At least 200,000 people have been killed as a result of the invasion, occupation and resulting civil strife, although this number is likely well below the actual number. This number can be added to the 100,000-200,000 civilian casualties resulting from the first Gulf War and the estimated 500,000 civilian casualties resulting from the sanctions regime imposed on the country by the United States after the war.
Now let us just focus on the last ten years. The U.S. bombing campaign to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and the resultant civil conflict has caused over 25,000 deaths since 2011. The CIA orchestrated, funded and armed invasion of Syria (it was never a civil war), has resulted in between 450,000 to 500,000 deaths. The Saudi led war on Yemen, fully supported by the U.S. both militarily and politically, has resulted in over 75,000 deaths, including at least 50,000 civilian deaths due to the humanitarian disaster that has resulted. The Saudi coalitions’ U.S. manufactured jets have been bombing schools, hospitals and civilian homes and apartment buildings with U.S. supplied munitions. The strikes are planned with U.S. gathered intelligence and the aircraft are refueled by U.S. aerial tankers. The port city of Hodeida is now being surrounded and increasingly targeted by the Saudi led coalition and hundreds of thousands of civilians are currently trapped in the city.
Will the Saudi coalition guarantee humanitarian corridors for the civilian population to flee, or just bomb them into dust as the U.S. led coalition did to the civilians of Raqqa during the offensive to “liberate” that city last year? The U.S. led anti-ISIS coalition has officially admitted to causing some 77 civilian deaths in the Syrian city. This number is a cruel and bald-faced lie. A host of independent humanitarian organizations have come out to condemn the United States for not accepting responsibility, and even attempting to cover up the fact that thousands of civilians were killed as a result of the U.S. conducted artillery barrage and airstrikes targeting the city. More realistic estimates put the total to date at between 6,000 and 8,000 civilian deaths, but new bodies are being uncovered in the rubble every day. Only 2% of the rubble has been cleared in a city that was 85% destroyed. In true medieval fashion, the U.S. allied Kurdish majority SDF surrounded the city, cutting off all avenues of escape, and the U.S. then razed it to the ground.
As the U.S. military has wreaked havoc on the world, invading and occupying nations, overthrowing dictatorships and democratically elected governments alike, and killing or maiming thousands in the process, is it really shocking that a small amount of this cruel insanity has taken root back home? To those unfortunate civilians who have lost everything due to U.S. peace keeping, nation building and the righteous punishment of terrorists, they must be wondering why these horrible acts of violence within the United States are such a surprise at all. The American taxpayer does work a third of the year just to give Uncle Sam the funds by which to wage war across the globe. They have been doing it year after year for decades, either ignorant or indifferent to the crimes enacted in their name.
As the calls for gun control once again come to the fore, I would propose that the first party to be called on to give up its guns should be the U.S. government itself. Surely the mass murder caused by an out of control U.S. government far exceeds any act of violence on the part of one mentally disturbed individual. All of the mass shooting perpetrated in U.S. history pale in comparison This is not meant to lessen the loss suffered by those that have lost loved ones at the hands of the perpetrators of these senseless shootings, but does put them in a different perspective. A society that willingly gives hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes and hands over its sons and daughters to a government that uses them all up in an attempt to violently dominate the world, should have no expectation of peace. The American public is now experiencing another aspect of blow-back in its wars. The insanity, the immorality and the evil are seeping deeper and deeper into the very fabric of American society. Even after the years of America’s military adventurism and regime change wars and coups come to an end, I fear that the nation will continue to suffer as punishment for its sins. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.