Often repeated statement about the greatest crime on European territory after WWII being committed in Srebrenica seems like being designed to hide the fact that the greatest crimes after Hitler were committed precisely by European states and countries of European descent, such as United States of America. Such crimes, of much greater proportions than the one in Srebrenica, didn’t take place on European soil, but on other continents – which, according to Eurocentric perspective, are continents populated by insignificant, lowly people, whom Europeans, for the most part of their history, haven’t even treated as human beings.
For example, Belgian King Leopold the Second was responsible for death of 10 million Africans in late XIX and early XX century in Congo, former Belgian colony: however, unlike Hitler, he remained completely unknown to the general public. Even without gas chambers, as European patent par excellence, Europe has been steeped in blood during the largest part of its history, both before and after WWII. Europeans built USA as well as Australia on a mass extinction of native populations and on shameless kidnapping of Africans so they could use them as slaves.
In recently published book “On Western Terrorism – from Hiroshima to Drone Warfare” (conversations between Noam Chomsky And Andre Vltchek, Plutobooks, 2013) Noam Chomsky uses the term “selective blindness” in order to characterize a common phenomenon that some crimes are being constantly talked about with due moral outrage, while, at the same time, others are being constantly hushed up or denied. Chomsky regards American attack on Vietnam as “the greatest crime after WWII”: however, in leading American media no one even mentioned semi-centennial of the beginning of that war in 2011. It is the same with dictatorial regimes: for the West there are those regimes which are a permanent subject to moral condemnation – but also those which are not to be talked about, but to be cooperated with.
At the moment, one of the most important problems which social movements draw attention to are drones – pilotless air-crafts designed for “precise” killing of terrorists: so precise that civilians are usually kill by it first. According to the research of English Bureau of Investigative Journalism, out of 2.600 to 3.400 Pakistanis killed by pilotless air-crafts, just 2 percent were on American list of wanted terrorists. According to Gallup’s research, 97 percent of Pakistanis are against use of drones, while 74 percent consider US a hostile force – which, for many, clearly indicates that this kind of war on terrorism doesn’t make US more popular, nor safer from future attacks at all.
Sixteen years old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, famous for her struggle for Pakistani women’s right to education, because of which Talibans shot her in the head, used the opportunity of meeting with American president Obama to draw his attention to pilotless air-crafts provoking anger of Pakistanis, which can only encourage their involvement in terrorist activities. Media don’t tell us whether Obama was at least a little ashamed hearing a little girl explaining him that drones primarily kill innocent civilians.
Gavrilo Princip, whether characterized as a terrorist or not, would have never been capable to stir up a war, in which millions would perish. Such wars are being started only by Empires, which also have power to create public opinion, to redraw and reinterpret history. They are those in the position to throw all the blame on poor young men who don’t like the world they live in, and therefore resort to violence in the world built on that very violence – for which those Empires in fact are to blame.
To eradicate terrorism implies, first of all, to eradicate poverty. To many people around the world all doors are closed, they have no future ahead of them whatsoever, being stuck in a dead-end situation. American war on terrorism just provokes terrorism and conflicts to such an extent that a new world war is becoming more and more likely. Dreamed up weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, torture of prisoners in Guantanamo and other secret prisons around the world, espionage actions of the National Security Agency, support for bloodthirsty Syrian rebels, chaos and genocide in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan… The list of countries completely devastated by American military interventions is getting bigger and bigger; but what should concern us the most are human casualties. In the introduction to “On Western Terrorism – from Hiroshima to drone warfare” one can also read that “between 50 and 55 million people have died across the world as a consequence of western colonialism and neo-colonialism since the end of WWII”. If anything, these numbers speak for themselves.
Originally published in Serbian magazine Novi standard; translated to English by Vladimir Bogićević