Holmes and Obama: a tale of two mass murderers
President Obama has gone to Aurora to comfort the families and friends of those slain in the Aurora cinema killings.
James Holmes is accused of murdering 12 innocent people and wounding up to 50 others in a crime that has shocked Americans and the rest of the world.
Obama did not name Holmes. Instead he said the perpetrator of this evil act would feel the full force of America’s justice system. Colorado has the death penalty.
Death and justice are synonymous across much of America as the state avenges itself and society, mainly on poor black men denied any real role in a racist society, in a dehumanising and degrading and disgusting dance of death with the killers or accused killers.
The United States is a deeply alienated and alienating society, the epitome of the free market at work with nearly 50 million Americans on food stamps, one quarter of the world’s prisoners locked up, and a high per capita execution rate.
It is system of incredible violence in the name of profit.
That violence is not just on the streets. It flows to and from the highest echelons of US society.
Obama is a bigger mass murderer than Holmes. He has killed more women and children than Holmes could ever be capable of.
The ongoing occupation of Afghanistan has seen hundreds if not thousands of women and children killed on Obama’s watch.
He has unleashed more drone attacks in one year than Bush did in his eight years in Office. Bush himself is no slouch in the mass murder stakes, with at least one million civilians estimated to have died as a consequence of his invasion of Iraq.
Here’s a list complied by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism of the drone strikes and who they killed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
CIA Drone Strikes in Pakistan 2004 – 2012
Total US strikes: 335
Obama strikes: 283
Total reported killed: 2,513-3,226
Civilians reported killed: 482-835
Children reported killed: 175
Total reported injured: 1,198-1,324
US Covert Action in Yemen 2001- 2012
Total confirmed US operations (all): 46-56
Total confirmed US drone strikes: 35-45
Possible additional US operations: 110-125
Possible additional US drone strikes: 57-66
Total reported killed (all): 329-957
Total civilians killed (all): 58-149
Children killed (all): 24-31
US Covert Action in Somalia 2007 – 2012
Total US strikes: 10-21
Total US drone strikes: 3-9
Total reported killed: 58-169
Civilians reported killed: 11-57
Children reported killed: 1-3
On the most conservative analysis of these figures Obama has killed 400 civilians.
His troops and drones in Afghanistan have killed more.
In addition Obama has signed orders that allow US citizens to be killed extra-judicially.
At the same time that Obama was in Aurora grieving with the families of those killed one of his drones blew up a car in Afghanistan and randomly killed Maulvi Abdul Qayum, an employee of the education department in Paroon, and a young girl.
There will be no tears for them from the US President, no grieving from the barbarians who run the US government for their deaths at the hands of the commander in chief of terror.
If James Holmes is a barbaric mass murderer for allegedly killing 12 innocent people (which he is if he is not insane and assuming he pulled the trigger) who will feel the full force of American justice (which he will), why isn’t the barbaric mass murderer Barack Obama going to receive the same treatment?
Are Pakistani or Afghan kids less important than American ones? To US imperialism they are.
The decline in US economic power and the growing strength of China and its challenge to US dominance make the US more and more reliant on military power to retain its pre-eminent position in the world. As the economic and political competition between the two increases so too will the military competition.
Of course China is a long way behind the US economically at the moment, about half the US in terms of GDP. And the US spends as much on its military as do the next 16 biggest military spenders in the world.
The war on terror, the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq are part of the wider imperialist game by the US to encircle China and/or control the supplies of oil in the Middle East to it, something especially handy in times of crisis or conflict between the two superpowers.
The war on terror was a convenient smokescreen for these deeper motives of Chinese containment. But to drum up support for more war, the US ruling class ramped up the nationalistic and militaristic rhetoric.
In a society already awash with guns, the ideology of killing your enemies became further ingrained as part of the Chinese containment programme in the name of the war on terror.
Add to that a worsening of living standards and immiseration in the US and the increase in unemployment and a culture of killing mixed with a culture of aggressive wars creates the conditions for explosions of deadly rage on the streets of America.
A nation at war with the world is a nation at war with itself. The same systemic driver that forces US imperialism to use weapons against much of the rest of the world is the same logic that drives US capital to attack the living standards and jobs of its working class.
Both in turn interact to dehumanise American society.
It is not an accident that some of the alienated in a country ruled by a blood soaked American ruling class might turn to the violence that is preached to them every day and legitimised in almost every way, from drone bombings to popular culture the death penalty and the violence of an economic system that sends millions into poverty almost overnight.
Bring mass murderer Barack Obama to justice and this culture of death might begin to change.
Of course that isn’t going to happen.
The fight for a just society continues, and in that struggle the American working class long term have a key role to play in overthrowing the murderers who rule over them and instituting a new society of peace and democracy.