Publsihed August 11, 2017
Part 1 of 2
The United States of America has a history of extreme, indiscriminate, military violence resulting in the mass killing of civilians. This is most evident when our country feels threatened, provoked or attacked. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the US Military base in Hawaii. This attack killed a total of 2,403 people, of which 68 were civilians. Between January 1944 and August 1945, the United States firebombed the nation of Japan targeting some if its most populous cities. This included Operation Meetinghouse, a massive bombing raid of Tokyo that left 100,000 people dead. And of course, the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed another 120,000 people. The targets of these bombing raids were not specifically military nor were they precise and therefore most of the causalities were civilian. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) defines Indiscriminate attacks as those “of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.”
By precisely attacking Pearl Harbor, a military target, Japan limited the number of civilian deaths to 68. Three years later, the United States of America retaliated with a 20-month bombing campaign that can only be categorized as “Indiscriminate.” How can I say this with such certainty? Because had Japan dropped nuclear bombs on the cities of Honolulu and Los Angeles and firebombed Chicago or New York, there would be no debate, academic, intellectual or otherwise. Such bombings would most definitely be categorized as “Indiscriminate” and probably even decried as war crimes.
On Tuesday of this week, President Trump threatened the country of North Korea with an attack of “fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Given our history, this can only mean a nuclear attack, which, by definition, is indiscriminate. On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, reiterated the threat to the civilian population when he told North Korea to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people.” Also on Wednesday, President Trump tweeted, “My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before … Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!” On Thursday, President Trump stated, regarding his “fire and fury” threat that “Maybe it wasn’t tough enough.” He also refused to take the option of a preemptive strike off the table. And on Friday, he tweeted that “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely…”
This flaunting of indiscriminate military destruction and blatant disregard for civilian life and international norms by the Trump administration is appalling.
I do not deny that the rogue nation of North Korea is an international threat that needs to be addressed. But I am certain the solution to this problem will not come through bragging about our nuclear arsenal or through our willingness to destroy an entire nation. Such rhetoric is evil and removes any shred of moral authority that the United States may have. If we preemptively, or even in retaliation, destroy an entire nation, we had better be prepared to live the rest of our days in isolation and fear. Because I doubt the international community will live without protest under the dictatorial threat of nuclear destruction by our nation that not only flaunts, but also exercises (will be three times), its ability to indiscriminately destroy entire populations whenever we feel threatened.
I call on Donald Trump to resign as President of the United States of America. Throughout his campaign and during his tenure in office, his public comments, tweets and unscripted rhetoric have demonstrated that he does not hold a comprehensive value for life, especially the lives of anyone he considers to be an opponent. And now he is touting his disregard for international law and threatening the entire civilian population of North Korea. The world does not want, nor does it need, an entitled American President with a short temper and an itchy finger on the trigger of a nuclear arsenal that is “locked and loaded”. We have already pulled that trigger twice and no one appreciates our President’s perceived eagerness to pull it again. I ask Donald Trump to voluntarily step down from the Office of President of the United States before making himself, and our entire nation, war criminals.
Mark Charles (Navajo) serves as the Washington DC correspondent for Native News Online and is the author of the popular blog “Reflections from the Hogan.” His writings are regularly published by Native News Online in a column titled “A Native Perspective” which addresses news directly affecting Indian Country as well as offering a Native perspective on national and global news stories. Mark is active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram .
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