The Weight of It All


WE are Responsible for Millions of Casualties

By S. Brian Willson (February 1, 2016)

On July 3, 1979, one “born again” Christian man, US President Jimmy Carter, decided to provide as much as US $5 billion to fund the Mujahideen fundamentalist fighters to overthrow a popular reformist Afghanistan government in alliance with the Soviet Union. This decision, alone, led directly to 1.5 million deaths in the decade long war against the Soviets. This in turn led directly to emergence in 1990 of the Taliban as a second generation Mujahideen . The turmoil fueled by the years of US intervention, that included recruiting thousands of Islamic fundamentalists from many countries to fight the Soviets, ultimately led to the September 11, 2001 criminal attacks on the US, causing 3,000 dead in New York and Washington, DC. 

Two other white Christian men – Tony Blair and “born again” George Bush – conspired to devastate Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2000s. From October 2001 when the US invaded Afghanistan, and into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, to today, as many as one million civilians alone, probably more, have been killed in those two countries, with egregious destabilization of neighboring countries in West Asia and the Middle East as well. It is unspeakable. And the US is primarily the cause, along with its junior partner, the UK.

And all of those young men and women who obeyed military orders from above to “serve” their supposed nation’s interests to invade and occupy these countries must face their own responsibility of having been complicit in carrying out lawless death and destruction now etched in their souls.

And this premeditated Western murdering plunder has been committed with impunity, meaning that for those in the West who caused this egregious crime, historic memory of the diabolical carnage is erased, and thus no reason then to take any responsibility for it. It never really happened. It is incumbent on participating soldiers who experienced an awakening to ensure that the historic memory of these diabolical crimes shall not be forgotten in hope they shall never be repeated.

British Playwright Harold Pinter has argued that the United States supported and in many cases encouraged every rightwing military dictatorship in the world after the end of WWII. Pinter concludes with straightforward irony, “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening, it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest “. Our US American eyes are made of WOOL. No wool blanket is needed to cover them.


S. Brian Willson is a writer and long time peace activist.  He is the author of the anti-war memoir, Blood in the Tracks (PM Press).

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