Lately, the U.S. mainstream media have focused lots of attention on the horrific human rights violations in eastern Ghouta committed by Syrian forces supporting the government and assisted by Russia while mostly ignoring those committed by the Islamic terrorists controlling the area. I think everyone is appalled by the incredible suffering inflicted on civilians in the destroyed towns and cities in the wars after World War I. These similar atrocities in Syria must be condemned.
Warfare has changed tremendously during the 20th century, with civilians now usually being the large majority of the casualties. During World War II, Germany bombed British cities in an effort to cause the British to give up. That attempt was overwhelmingly counterproductive. The U.S. and British then adopted this same tactic and used firebombing to devastate cities in Germany and Japan, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process. Then, the U.S. raised the stakes by using nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, devastating them and killing close to 200,000 Japanese civilians within a short time.
Unfortunately for the world and the rule of law, the U.S. continued this onslaught against civilians, killing approximately 3 million Koreans during the Korean War while destroying most of the country. We repeated this process in Vietnam, killing perhaps another 3 million people. This was followed by U.S. attacks in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The U.S. has also supported the efforts of opposition forces, many of whom were Islamic terrorists, in Syria.
Predictably, the U.S. mainstream media has not focused much attention on U.S. violations in comparison to the widespread coverage of the shameful violations by nations viewed as being U.S. enemies. In addition, the U.S. media comparatively downplayed the recent horrendous U.S.-supported slaughter in Mosul against Islamic terrorists who had taken control of the city. There were also U.S.-supported attacks on Syrian cities such as Raqqa to oust the Islamic State, attacks that were similar to the ongoing fighting in eastern Ghouta. Adding to the U.S. crimes is the fact that its presence in Syria is in violation of international law.
It appears that the U.S. media treats war crimes by U.S. enemies as being much more heinous than similar or worse crimes by the U.S. or U.S.-supported forces. This hypocrisy further undercuts the credibility of the mainstream media, again demonstrating that it's a tool of the U.S. empire.
Note that I have not even addressed the U.S. genocide against American Indians — incredible war crimes, even if they were not defined as such at the time. Clearly, the U.S. has a shameful history of violations of human rights, even if the U.S. media downplays this history.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's "Peace Train" runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.