The Killers

In-depth Report: ,

“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” D. H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature

Individual U.S. Presidents come and go, but the Oval Office is reserved for the Killer-in-Chief. If, as these war-mongers like to say, “the buck stops here,” then our latest incarnation of a “leader,” Donald Trump, has in a few months accumulated enough guilt to last endless lifetimes. There are no excuses. While the headlines scream distractions from the bloodbath, Trump and his “team” are slaughtering innocents in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and countless other places off the American public’s radar.

That’s the way the story goes. That’s the way it always has gone. That’s the way the public and the killers want it to go. Pure innocents, killers at heart. The victims out of sight.

Let me retract that statement about guilt. Our chieftains feel no guilt; they seek the job because they lack a sense of guilt.  They relish killing, but always wash their hands and deny responsibility.  Or say “we didn’t mean it.”  They lie.

Forget the “deep state” for the moment, forget Obama’s and Bush’s and Clinton’s blood-stained hands, forget Obamacare and Trump’s ultimatums to Republicans, forget Neil Gorsuch, forget March Madness, and forget your forgetting.

Remember this: In the past few days in Mosul, Iraq, the U.S. Commander-in-Chief, Donald Trump, slaughtered 200-300 civilians, mostly women and children, through airstrikes. Read this article by Jason Ditz. This technological terror included a single strike against a large building that killed more than 130 civilians: This massacre is just one of many in recent weeks across the region in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan. Read further in this article by Bethan McKernan.

American exceptionalism has always justified the killers – yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Trump has ably succeeded his predecessors in this divine right to kill. The recent dead in Mosul just add to the total waged against Iraq since this criminal war was launched by George W. Bush on March 19, 2003.

Focus on Trump’s tweets or his hair or his face all you want, but if you look at his hands you will see they are covered in blood. He is an able Killer-in-Chief.

Tolstoy once said that the difference between state violence and rebel violence is the difference between bullshit and horseshit. He was right. The same can be said of our glorious leaders.

Bob Dylan first sang in 1963: “For you don’t count the dead/When God’s on your side.”

But some of us are counting, Mr. Trump.

Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely.  He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is

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Articles by: Edward Curtin

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