Amidst the firestorm of controversy between Donald Trump and Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the couple whose son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in Iraq, the mainstream media and mainstream political commentators continue to repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseam, the bromide that has been drummed into their heads ever since the U.S. invasion of Iraq: that U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq died for their country. Or died to keep us safe. Or died protecting our rights and freedoms here at home.
It’s all just one great big lie, one that Americans are expected to just keep repeating over and over again no matter how false it is.
Khan didn’t die for his country. He didn’t die to keep us safe. He didn’t die protecting our rights and freedoms. Captain Khan died for regime change.
Let’s keep in mind an important point, one that U.S. officials and their acolytes would prefer that people forget: Iraq never attacked the United States. It was the U.S. government that attacked Iraq. As I pointed out in my article “Captain Khan Was Waging an Unconstitutional War,” when the U.S. government invaded Iraq it was the illegal aggressor and Iraq was the defending power in the conflict.
How can it be said that Khan died to keep us safe? Iraq was never threatening our safety.
How can it be said that Khan died defending our rights and freedoms? Iraq was never threatening our rights and freedoms.
How can it be said that Khan died for his country? Iraq was never threatening our country.
The discomforting truth — the truth that the mainstream media and political commentators do everything to avoid — is that Captain Khan died for nothing, unless one considers regime change to be something worth dying for.
That’s what the invasion and occupation of Iraq were all about from the get-go — regime change — that is, the violent ouster of Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein and his replacement by a U.S.-approved ruler or, as matters ultimately turned out, his replacement by an official Islamic regime, one that thousands of U.S. soldiers have given their lives to preserve.
That’s what the mainstream media and political commentators call dying for your country, dying to keep us safe, and dying to protect our rights and freedoms. It’s the big lie that has been maintained ever since the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Recall the Persian Gulf intervention in 1991, the conflict that breathed new life into the U.S. national-security establishment after it had lost its official enemy, the Soviet Union and communism, with the end of the Cold War. After the Persian Gulf conflict ended, conservatives and officials within the U.S. national-security establishment went ballistic over President George H.W. Bush’s refusal to send U.S. forces into Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein from power and replace him with a U.S.-approved regime.
That’s what the next 11 years of brutal sanctions were all about. The sanctions were designed to squeeze the life out of the Iraqi people with the aim of inducing Saddam to resign, or inducing the Iraqi people to oust him in a violent revolution, or inducing the Iraqi national-security establishment to oust him in a coup.
Several hundreds of thousands of deaths of Iraqi children later, Saddam Hussein was still in power. In 1995, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, expressed the sentiments of U.S. officials when she said that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it” — that is, worth the attempt to oust Saddam from power and replace him with a U.S.-approved ruler. The sanctions continued for another six years after Albright made that statement, wreaking even more death and destruction among the Iraqi people and, not surprisingly, inciting ever-growing anger and rage among people in the Middle East.
By the time the 9/11 attacks occurred, it was clear that the sanctions were never going to succeed in bringing about regime change in Iraq. Moreover, by this point people all over the world had become outraged over the high death toll that the sanctions had produced among Iraqi children. Two high UN officials, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, had even resigned in protest over what they termed genocide.
The 9/11 attacks, which, not surprisingly, were motivated in part by the anger generated in the Middle East from the deaths of all those Iraqi children from the sanctions — provided U.S. officials with the opportunity they were looking for. Scaring Americans with bogus fears about Iraq’s WMD program — the program that U.S. officials had supported and supplied during Iraq’s war on Iran during the 1980s (see here and here), President Bush and the U.S. national-security establishment ordered U.S. military personnel to invade and occupy Iraq in order to achieve what the sanctions had failed to achieve — regime change.
That’s what Captain Khan died for — regime change. It’s what all the other U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq died for. Not for their country. Not to keep us safe. Not to protect our rights and freedoms. They died for regime change, which, as I point out in my eBook The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State, has been a central element of the national-security branch of the federal government ever since it was called into existence after World War II.
Why can’t U.S. officials and their media and political acolytes be honest with people? Why can’t they just acknowledge that Captain Khan and other U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq died for regime change?
Isn’t the answer obvious? What grieving spouse or other family members want to hear that their loved one died for the sake of regime change? They want to hear that he died for his country, or to keep us safe, or to defend our rights and freedoms. And so the lie is told and then repeated over and over again.