Exemplified by the hundred and some odd people they’ve killed in the last 48 hours, the US is struggling mightily with the narrative that they are taking extraordinary care to limit the number of civilian casualties in the air war in Syria, and are rapidly losing any pretense of a moral high ground.
Indeed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is noting that the soaring death toll from US airstrikes has now surpassed the civilian toll of the Assad government’s own airstrikes, which the US and other Western nations have condemned as indiscriminate and irresponsible.
Oftentimes, US officials have been so outraged at Syria’s “indiscriminate” air strikes that they’ve demanded regime change, and has railed at Russia and Iran for tolerating their tactics in bombing civilian targets. Obviously, the US never sees the same problem with its own massive killings.
That’s probably because officially, they don’t even recognize the overwhelming majority of the civilian deaths they cause, as the Pentagon’s official death toll for the air war in Iraq and Syria omits virtually all major incidents, and tends to be at most 10% of the toll reported by NGOs.
39 thoughts on “US Is Killing More Civilians in Syria Air War Than Assad Is”
Add to that that the hysterical claims of the US fascist regime, illegally invading, bombing and terrorizing Syria, is ridiculously over exaggerated and, needless to say, not proven by facts.
The MI5 supported and financed one man band “the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights ” by an infamous Rami Abdulrahman in Coventry, England, that Ditz loves to quote, is a notorious mouthpiece for the “rebels” (mercenaries), ISIS and Al-Qaeda alike and certainly no friend of the Syrian Government, so that number can be much higher.
More like the war machine is struggling mightily less to justify itself over collateral slaughter, and more to not openly laugh out loud that it means anything.
Not unlike how State Department spokesman Mark Toner did back in August 5 2016, at State Department press conference commenting on transparency and democracy.
The oft-quoted and promoted SOHR offers this webpage to those concerned about its sources and foundation: http://www.syriahr.com/en/?page_id=1030
The page is laughable, revealing no sources or networks or cooperations, but rather its agenda. We should also not be oblivious to the masonic all-seeing eye logo of the SOTR
Thinking about religion – as opposed to faith – and contrasting the coverage and comments on the atrocities in the UK (Manchester) and Syria (Mayadeen) I was wondering if the nation-state is a creation of the Christian God or a tool of the devil.
Hard to tell from the statements from each side. Their actions are a better guide.
With all of the perfections in nature required to achieve perpetual life, surely, by intelligent design all of our Empire expansion is allowed to happen, to reach the ultimate conclusion of the glory and power of wealth.
Just because something can happen doesn’t mean that it should be allowed, let alone made to happen.
People have lost sight of what shouldn’t be allowed to happen according to sound moral principles and think only of happiness, power and wealth in the narrowest of terms for the benefit of the fewest people.
You’ll notice though, those few people never seem to have enough, to the point where the deficit is so great they are banking on the afterlife to achieve satiation.
Don’t blame deities for the manifestations of Man (and Women). We invented political systems including religions to justify our prejudices and validate our vices.
The old Gaelic, Roman and Norse pantheons were abandoned in favour of a despotic ‘One’ God system that more simply permitted vice to be practiced openly or shrouded in pretenses of virtue.
The nation state system was a system of ‘safe zones’ of the late European imperialist era replacing the slightly more fluid boundary systems of traditional empires and city states. Its not entirely by accident that many large nation-states are politically and culturally homogeneous entities or strive to be; its enforced sometimes by less-than-humanitarian means.
If your anti-religion morality were true, then why not maximize pleasure? As life then has no meaning other then to seek all pleasure and avoid all pain.
A more productive morality, says this pacifist, is to assume that planet earth has but one purpose, to reach the ultimate conclusion of all things bad, so that we understand why we must be given a will dedicated to doing only good.
For a freewill is impossible, just look at what is going on, with most people thinking their doing good, when the end result will be global warming, nuke destruction or both.
The system I have expressed before in the language of don’ts for young children, is for teens phrased in the language of respect. Respect for the truth, respect for propriety, respect for fairness, respect for sophont dignity, and respect for sophont life. Don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat, don’t bully, don’t murder are interrelated, interdependent principles and foundational to moral reasoning.
Its a system inherent to bear every complex social system including religious ones. People may develop any number of psychological tricks to override what appears to be the absolute basics of social instinct for materialistic and social gains. Religions fragment from that moral logic to de-universailize it, restricting its reasoning to the tribe, and inevitably, to elites within the tribe. People are tribal; even large homogenous societies form cliques.
Any number of ‘pleasurable’ vices could be seen as a violation of those guidelines or a hybrid violation of them. Much that is regarded as pleasurable is simply escapism cheating oneself of deeper or more complex pleasures because one can’t or won’t solve the problem of getting there without cheating or deny there is anything to be had.
Nonetheless, the ultimate realization of all things bad leaves no living human will to exercise good or even be capable of it, because the concept is dead and homo sapiens extinct. Psychopaths and sociopaths are parasites; they can’t exist without a host. A healthy host can live quite well, even pleasurably well, illness-free.
One does not need to realize evil to know good any more than one needs death to appreciate life. A fundamental flaw of Western culture is giving evil a break, to the point of believing it should be fostered as a necessary thing when its not. There would be no turning back from realizing ‘total evil’ any more than one can bring oneself back to life upon suicide.
Realizing all things bad, to realize good, makes no sense; if it seems like a con, its because it is a deception, of self and of others. Perhaps those who are psychopaths are blind to moral emotional nuances but those who are not, must surely see a reasoning gap.
I’m not “blaming deities”. We invent deities just as readily as we invent political systems, religions, nation states, corporations and so on.
Tribes (a.k.a. “herds”) are the natural grouping for us social animals, everything else is contrived and conceptual.
As mobility grows the nation-states became less and less homogeneous “safe zones” and more and more holding-pens for subjugated labor and consumers, keeping the globalist elites safe from interference as they march towards their goals of a “restricted membership” version of the new world order.
My query is much narrower; how can we justify labeling identical activity as “good” or “bad” based on the perpetrators and still regard ourselves as rational beings?
Most people act on moral context, not ‘identical activity’. Some may label based on perpetrators, most default to some basic sense of morality before they act on ideology.
Killing someone in self defense, for example, is not generally regarded as murder ‘in the moment’ the act occurs. It does become murder as an act a revenge against a previous assault. Even here, there are unwritten accommodations for ‘payback’.
People contextualize. You seem to misunderstand the situation, its more like labelers versus contextualizers versus rational thinkers openly preferring labels match context. Enough people are sophisticated enough to recognize when conventions of labels and context are gamed against the original intent of prosocial effect.
When you say things are ripe for revolution, most are wondering what faction of psychopathic sociopathic elites is poised to benefit and not particularly pleased with the arrogant bullies imposing grand designs upon them. Much of the chaos is palpably staged.
If things break down for real, people will do what they have to. Until then, the majority seems inclined to avoid a worst case scenario because that’s the right thing to do, morally and materially in sync.
I may be mistaken, but you seem to imply that morality exists apart from one’s personal version of reality and can be used to judge people’s behavior, including our own.
My take is that morality is just another of our inventions and has almost as many meanings as their are living humans.
Human beings as a species have a comfort zone of behaviors we identify as morality. There is a degree of universality, and there are exceptions.
A psychopath will never understand the full spectrum of human emotions and be motivated by them any more than someone who has always been colour blind can understand colour or a deaf or partially deaf person experience music. The versions they detect, if at all, are just different than most people.
Its no different than any of the instincts developed by complex animals to negotiate natural reality, and each other. People don’t invent from nothing; stuff’s just there waiting to be realized, out of curiosity, need; simple pattern recognition. Once recognized, human can manipulate that recognition to a higher degree than known species have been able to.
The notion that morality is a ‘human invention’ is offset by more careful studies of animal behavior, particularly of domestic and wild social animals, such as canines, that indicate they have their own ‘moral sense’. Human just take it to the next level up, or down as is sometimes the case, advantaged by perspective.
Indeed “there are exceptions” and therein lives the “devil” to some and “god” to others, and the basis for my original question.
Sorry for the delayed response; stuff keeps coming up including computer problems.
To answer your question on exceptions, you place too much weight on my allowance for exceptions while skirting my assertion that there are basic social principles innate to the human species. There are always outliers that are in most circumstances controlled by the majority population and/or the environment.
For example, squirrels hoard food for the winter. They don’t appear to do this as conscious preparation for winter as much as inherited instinct.
However, suppose there were squirrels with a mutation wherein in the hoarding characteristic is not as strong or absent. They could get by in winter by raiding other squirrel’s stashes, but non-hoarding would not be a common squirrel mutation as its a penalty against surviving lean times.
Suppose the non-hoarding characteristic became more widespread, because of stretch of very mild winters and rich summers. Then there was a stretch of hard winters and lean springs. There would be a population shock hoarders end up supporting many non-hoarders. If the mutation was prevalent enough, it could extirpate that population because even the natural hoarders couldn’t support all the raiders.
The squirrels would never know what happened; their worldviews don’t accommodate complex realities. Being able to form a complex worldview and organize personal lives and a society around shared a common shared perspective, is generally a universal human capability.
You seem to be arguing premised on that all worldviews are valid inventions, when functionally they are not. Its like arguing the inventions of geocentrism and heliocentrism should be accepted as intellectually and morally on par. The contradictions of absolute material and moral principles needed to sustain geocentrism became unsustainable. Your argument seems a take on geoocentrism; person-centric or unuscentric moral relativity.
Geocentrism is dead wrong, however the Church once enforced it with deadly force and social intimidation. World culture moved on with the more accurate worldview, and, some cultures were never in doubt as to heliocentrism in their own way.
Exceptions to the norm are what nature relied on to get us, and life in general, to the stage we are at now as your squirrel analogy would demonstrates.
I think “principles” is too strong a word for our social behavior; I’d go for your other choice, “perspectives” – but note my choice of the plural..
Perspective perceives principle; people have some control over the perspective. Natural principles simply are.
Arguing that consistently workable interpretations of human social behavior – morality – have no basis in reality as they are ‘inventions’ is just another clever argument for moral relativism. Amoral opportunism is a parasitical abuse that only works where there is morality to abuse in the first place.
Nature mostly appears to rely upon small mutations that are not in and of themselves, particularly exceptional to the norm. Nature is also very messy; exceptions to the norm don’t survive where natural principles for survival are critically violated.
I make a distinction between ‘reality’ and ‘actuality’ to help me clarify my thinking and discussions.
Reality is what’s in our minds and actuality is what’s all around us.
Actuality won’t survive human extinction; actuality will.
Actuality includes no conceptual elements, reality is packed with them.
Reality is each individual’s take on their brushes with actuality.
All of actuality is beyond human understanding.
OK, so you must mean perceived human reality won’t survive human extinction but actuality will survive, needing no humans to perceive it to be. That is so.
My perspective is that humans are part of actuality until they are not. They will reflect actuality as they self-actualize, such as the energy-exchange known as the food web including consumer relationships such as host and parasite.
Your initial argument appeared to be trying to employ reductio ad absurdum; humans have diverse perspectives and morality is a human invention, therefore its absurd to assume there are discernible universal human moral principles in the diversity.
However, it relies primarily on a conflation fallacy – morals as ethics. It also comes off as a circular argument hung up on reducing everything to an empty label of ‘human invention’, ignoring the genesis of invention in the first place, the need to regulate identifiable social behaviors.
Morality is about defining right or wrong behavior in a qualitative collective sense, and the applied rulesets developed in abstract are ethics in a specific, personal and individual sense. Humans as individuals have diverse ethical perspectives and in aggregate may share common ethical practices, however these are grounded in commonly perceived concepts of morality.
For example, honesty is a moral concept workable as a universal core principle, and most people get honesty even if they disagree on the specifics of its application, including misapplication or even total non-observance. This applied morality is ethics.
An ethical rule might be “An’ it harm none, do what ye will”. Some ethical codes are more detailed than the Wiccan rede and may even demand elevation as moral principle when they are just rules that govern a core moral expression, even to obfuscation.
Human morality does exist apart from one’s personal reality and from interacting with that greater reality, our reality is informed. From there, we have the ability to judge others, ourselves, and public behavior. Its how we learn and grow as persons, and survive the actuality of each other and the rest of actuality.
Apologies. There was a typo in my most recent reply. I should have written “Reality won’t survive human extinction; actuality will.”
Also, if you equate your phrase,”greater reality”, with what I call “actuality” we’re moving towards being on the same page.
I would also re-write your statement, “My perspective is that humans are part of actuality until they are not” as “parts of actuality make up each human”. But what makes the temporary assembly of bits and pieces of actuality, which includes what we call “life”, human is what’s in our minds, i.e. our individual version of reality. When we go that version of reality is no more.
Your rewrite is fine, the idea is about the same. A human ceases to be upon death and constituent parts return to ‘actuality’, including the soul to wherever its supposed to go, if such exists.
In any case, morality does exist beyond one’s perception of reality; by definition morality is a community concept. It is how we justify labeling identical activity as “good” or “bad”, although not always rationally. Basing judgement on the perpetrators alone would be derived from an ethical system restricting moral judgement along such lines, for example tribal exceptionalism giving members a break on moral transgressions, and outsiders anything but.
Morals and ethics can be in such a close feedback loop they are considered synonymous in common usage but its not impossible to reason the difference.
Perceptions of what is moral or ethical are are one of the main drivers for forming tribes.
Humans tend to coalesce based on major overlaps in professed reality.
I say “professed” advisedly, as (a) we don’t know the depths of our individual realities. A lot of it is held in our subconscious. (b) Many individuals present partial and/or false versions of their reality to be accepted in tribes and rise in the ranks of perceived and given authority – i.e. participate in power politics.
America could use some f**king regime change.
You got your wish in a backhanded way. The U.S. has Trump and now its trying to get rid of him.
That’s establishment versus establishment bullsh*t. I’m talking about a whole new paradigm. I’m talking about revolution, you dig? All the King’s men and all the King’s horses kind of sh*t. All power to the people kind of sh*t. And the walls came tumbling down kind of sh*t. A new American Revolution, only this time for real.
… Well, ~60% of Americans bothered to vote, ~40% don’t, on average. Of the 60% that do, they are bitterly divided between Democrat and Republican. So just who exactly are ‘The People’ to be given power in a so-called paradigm shift given the shared and opposing ideological foundations of collective personal thoughts?
The first American Revolution was far more simply divided, but even then, the Loyalists fled to Canada. The numbers then were 45% in favour of Revolution, 20% outright loyal to Britain (Tyler Rogoway, Foxtrot Alpha). Only 35% sat on the fence, but nearly all were at least united in a desire to seize Aboriginal land, an amoral materialist position but a simple one. King George’s policy to uphold treaty obligations against settler expansion was a motivating factor in the Revolution, not just the right to print Colonial money.
In fact, Far more than 20% of Americans are loyal to Israel. Gallup polls reports 25.9% express aid to Israel is ‘just right’ and 13.4% believing its too little or much too little; that’s 39.3% whose only problem with the existing order is that its not pro-Israel enough. Furthermore, they have conducted a Revolution of sorts against the Constitution, over-emphasizing religious freedom and their stakes in some imagined afterlife above any other commitment. The Deep State is clearly very attached to Israel across any divide and Trump’s first major flip was to back off being an honest broker in the Israel-Palestinian/Arab dispute.
There’s also the firepower advantage of the state; back then everyone was light infantry. That’s not the same today; a hyper-armed militarized police department easily outguns any ad hoc civilian militia, which is pure light infantry.
Given the divisions in U.S. society, its unlikely that a violent revolution would favour anything but the consolidation of power of the existing power holders and the ideology, or rather idiotology of America as the new Zion and Eurasia the new Canaanite enemy to despoil.
You seem to reflect left of centre Marxist-type thought, which is such a minority current we would need a far more repressive post-revolutionary ‘viva the continuing revolution’ Deep State to enforce it.
Paradigm shift’s happen all on their own based on the enlightenment – or lack thereof- of a populace. Political recognition is something of a formality.
The sentiment towards full spectrum war against Eurasia and particularly Russia does not favour the kind of intelligent moral introspection of a secular free society, but tribal emotionalism and superstition doped with technological cunning, psychology being the foremost weapon of the new witch doctors (as it always had been) but any number of other more material future weapons of war.
“Well, ~60% of Americans bothered to vote, ~40% don’t, on average”
That number was reversed this year and, I am under the impression, most years. About 41% of Americans voted in 2016.
Of course, not all of those who didn’t vote “couldn’t be bothered” to vote — many of them were either forbidden to vote or actively chose not to.
I’m not sure where you got your numbers from.
A drop to 58% was reported by The Telegraph in November as counting was still going on. By December 2016 revised results were 59.7% (Daily Dot, via United States Election Project).
A rough number of ~60% is perfectly fine as a general statement. A reversal as you have stated might indicate sufficient discord for revolution, or just radical apathy. The lowest voter turnout in recent memory for most people was 1988 @ 50.15%, immediately post-Reagan.
Voter turnout for U.S. Presidential elections has never dropped below 50%
“I’m not sure where you got your numbers from.”
Per Wikipedia, 136,669,237 votes were cast in the 2016 presidential election.
Depending on what source you look at, the population of the US at the time was between 310 million and 320 million. To maximize turnout, let’s go with the lower figure:
136,669,237 / 310000000 = 44.0X%
Most people prefer to use “eligible voters” as the number to base turnout claims on. But the US government claims its legitimacy is based on “the consent of the governed.” Those who are not allowed to vote count too and if they didn’t vote they didn’t consent. The politicians don’t say “oh, we didn’t let you vote? Fine, you don’t have to pay our taxes or abide by our laws, then.”
That’s an interesting argument.
‘Consent of the Governed’ was in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, and didn’t even make the preamble. The Constitution did open with ‘We the People of the United States…”
Going by the lack of unanimous support for the Declaration of Independence itself, precedent would suggest “consent of the governed’ is not as universally binding as you interpret it, and “we the People of the United States” has precedence. Even non-citizens have (technically) Constitutional protection.
Those who aren’t eligible voters are in the same boat as those eligible that won’t vote; they are governed anyway as it is their right not to vote. Compulsory voting has never been required in the U.S. and most people consider being forced to vote undemocratic.
The democratic system accommodates apathy, ignorance and other incapacity to participate. Thrives on it, really.
For a revolution to work, you’d probably need a critical mass of persons able to knowingly and forcefully reject being governed by the existing order, but willingly serve a new one. That quality of persons probably isn’t going to come from the ineligible voter demographic as its defined today.
If a critical mass of eligible voters were artificially foisted into ineligibility, effectively barred from voting, sure, you’d probably have a revolution. Notice that the government isn’t stupid enough to do that; voter registration is encouraged, and in some states even criminals can vote.
The fact that sane people were desperate enough for change to vote Donald Trump into office is proof positive that this country is ripe for revolution. We have the critical mass. All we need now is to educate these people on how the system really works and launch a massive general strike to bring the one percent to their f**king knees. We outnumber them. We have the man power. All we have to do is find a way to reveal the state for what it really is- a despotic mirage.
We probably need more than just a revolution. We need a million tiny revolutions that reduce the American juggernaut to a million tiny stateless republics. Marx was right but so was Proudhon and Rothbard and Bakunin. I may be a post-Marxist anarcho-syndicalist but that doesn’t mean everyone should be. Look up “Panarchy”, read this post from my blog- http://exileinhappyvalley.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-emerald-belt-project-dreaming-is.html ….and more than anything, try thinking outside the box.
I’m familiar with the Marxist box. Anarchism… not so much.
However, consider the fate of the world’s Aboriginal low-tech nations. Admired in a patronizing, nostalgic kind of way, the would-be fulfillments of the European noble savage ideal were swept aside because people had to make a living, had bank debts to pay, expand Christianity, and generally take out their frustrations on someone else.
There’s no way to dis-invent organized violence and taking from those who can’t defend themselves; if it ever was taboo, its long been bred out. All the communities you mention live at the the indulgence of larger powers. If the U.S. government were to disappear without leaving any organized heir, its magical thinking to assume the power void wouldn’t be violently filled very quickly from within and without.
Nation statehood is a safe zone but not a sandbox. Knowing better in an anarchist artist commune kind of way does no good when there’s a world of warlord wannabes knowing better about organized violence and willing to splatter grey matter on the slightest pretext for the fun of it.
So what’s your solution? Or are you just here trolling?
My solution is to try and think logically and objectively from a moral logic box encourage the same in others by challenging their boxes on occasion. Hopefully box mods that work better for everyone will take shape from discussion while informing my own box as to its limitations.
I have no fixed view of how the world should be to the level of detail that everyone must live in anarchic artist communes. Its not a bad idea for some, but its clearly not for everyone. A more morally aware and observant society operating from non-ideological, non-religious basics non can claim exclusively as their brand, does cover anarchic communes but a lot of other ways of living as well.
I’m sure the 60 year olds in Vietnam are absolutely shocked by this news.
Moral of the story
Unless Russia, China and USA stop allowing billionaires to rule their nations, unless they nationalize all their wealth so it can be used for the common good, Empire builders and terrorists will surely destroy all of society.
War on Terrorism — War between richest and poorest
A self evident fact, so why is it that we civilians are the high value targets, by both the Empire builders and terrorists?
Could it just be that both sides are trying to drive our moral majority away from the problem, so that they may be high value funded, the illusion being that they are the high value solution?
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