Saturday May 25, 2013
Great American Heroes: Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin LadenTim King Salem-News.com
Each worked closely with the US military, where's the appreciation?
(SALEM, Ore.) - I'd wager that many people looked at the title to this story and assumed this is some tongue-in-cheek notion I came up with for shock value; after all those guys - being American heroes? You would be fair to think I've been out in the sun a little too long.
This might be my most offbeat tribute ever. 'Uncle Ho', Hussein and bin Laden; all men who ended up on America's most hated list before their time was through, but the title is true to form and is really unfortunate, and uncomfortable. Each of these high profile leaders, at one time or another, was an ally of the United States, US missions and interests overseas.
I recognize that some people can't absorb simple facts if you beat them over the head with an Encyclopedia, but those trying to make sense of the US military, past costly wars and their overall relationship to a history of racism, will find this interesting.
As they say, read 'em and weep.
America has an intense record of encouraging indigenous people to side with the US military machine, with large promises, and then failing these allies generally long before the final hour.
I cite these as recent crucial examples of the United States' historic refusal to help nations whose people are not white, or Christian or Jewish, unless a whole lot of oil or natural resource revenue is on the line. With total hypocrisy, American politicians periodically embrace and enlist the help of the same men they brand as sub-human when the time is right.
Follow the "Ho Chi Minh Trail"
Hồ Chí Minh (Vietnamese pronunciation: [hô̤ tɕǐmɪŋ] had a working relationship with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Second World War; he fought the Japanese on behalf of, and at the request of, the United States of America. It was certainly a mixed up and complicated matter that didn't sit well with some political leaders like Winston Churchill. Ho Chi Minh represented the Communist Viet Minh.
According to Wikipedia: "When the Chinese selected the Viet Minh to lead the Vietnamese against Japan in 1943, the league automatically received the support of the U.S. mission in China, which bankrolled virtually the entire Chinese war effort. U.S. policy makers, already concerned about postwar plans for Indochina, found themselves tied to Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh." 
The alliance with the Americans was a matter the Communists prided themselves on. Soon stories about meetings between Viet Minh guerillas and American Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency, began circulating throughout northern Viet Nam.
Wikipedia states: "When U.S. policy makers finally decided after World War II that Ho Chi Minh was an enemy, the extent of OSS assistance became a matter of controversy. OSS officials, perhaps fearful of accusations that they had aided Communists, insisted that only a few side arms had been given." Tragically, it was another case in a pattern of national politics versus human integrity.
In the immediate years following World War II, Ho Chi Minh went so far as to offer Vietnam as a US territory in exchange for not reestablishing the French government that had colonized and ruled Vietnam without giving a proper or adequate voice to the indigenous population.
If Roosevelt had lived, he never would have funded the return of colonial French forces to Vietnam, which launched the French Vietnam or "Indochina" War". He also would not have allowed the murder and displacement of the Palestinians for the establishment of Israel, as his successor did.
Ho Chi Minh repeatedly wrote to President Harry Truman, seeking to build positive relations with the US. Vietnam had not been autonomous in so many years; Ho Chi Minh wrote about how he believed Americans of all people would respect their quest for independence. None of the communiques to Truman were ever returned.
These were Truman's very costly political mistakes and millions have died as a result of that US president.
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic:صدام حسين التكريتي) was a puppet leader for American politicians until a US led Coalition turned on him in 1990. Hussein launched the Iran-Iraq War, also known as the Imposed War (جنگ تحمیلی, Jang-e-tahmīlī) and Holy Defense (دفاع مقدس, Defā'-e-moghaddas) in Iran, which was covertly funded, not very secretly at all as it turned out, by the US government.
Uncle Sam was sore and had a severely damaged ego after the US hostage crisis that took place during the Islamic Revolution and the overthrow of the Shah in Tehran in 1979.
Saddam Hussein and his military, always traditionally at odds with the neighboring Persians in Iran, were willing to launch an unprecedented modern style war that involved the use of chemical weapons, and was an act of punishment against Iran's new leadership. The war was fought locally, but outside western influences were the benefactors.
This U.S. funded effort led to the loss of over half a million Iranian and Iraqi lives, with a large number of civilians among them. The war was another loser for Uncle Sam, as Iran sent the Iraqi forces packing in defeat in 1989.
An art professor in Tehran, Roya Barette, tells Salem-News that hundreds of thousands of people who were civilians during the war, suffer from often extreme cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) today, along with Iran's military veterans.
PTSD did not have the same lasting effect on Iraq's military.
After fighting Iran for nine straight years on behalf of America's interest in destabilizing the Middle east, Iraq invaded Kuwait the following year, after being told by a US diplomat that American forces would not interfere.
The invasion of Kuwait incited the Gulf War; a quick US led defeat of Iraq's military with a large coalition of other nations.
The PTSD problem in the Iraqi Army was treated by US forces who attacked the men as they tried to retreat to Baghdad. Tens of thousands of Iraqi troops who only one year before were fighting and losing a war on behalf of the US, funded with US money, were trapped and slaughtered like ants on a child's playground.
Even today some of the buses and cars and military equipment of the Iraqi Army in 1991, remains strewn along the "Highway of death" which served as a US Air Force killing field. If you look at the photos carefully you will see things like a machine gun sticking out of the sand, buses, twisted pieces of cars, and what appear to be bleached white human bones. I was told the area was "very dirty", meaning that Depleted Uranium ordinance had been used, and as a result the place was dangerous.
Iraq's PTSD problem was quickly resolved; by the decimation of its military in retreat.
After the close of the Cold War, the US wasted no time in launching a massive military operation against Iraq and Saddam Hussein, faithful friend of the US who was told he could invade Kuwait without reprisal from the Bush government. Along with Iraqi government officials, he said Kuwait was stealing Iraqi oil, that is what people in the Mideast believe. I have met several eastern Europeans who know the same story and also tend to believe it.
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (with numerous variations; Arabic: (أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن), like Saddam Hussein and Ho Chi Minh, led a fight funded by American money that involved the loss of life on a large scale.
Saddam Hussein fought a war of aggression and revenge against Iran that was totally needless.
World War Two was a must-win effort and Ho Chi Minh's forces were extremely useful in fighting the Japanese.
It is Osama bin Laden's war however, that stands out like no other. Right or wrong, even though Russia and China were both on the American side during WWII, the west turned bitterly against Communism following WWII and vice versa, and the "Cold War" was on.
This protracted conflict was the stage setting for a Third World War that never quite started; it kept Russia and the US in a military standoff and weapons buildup that threatened the entire earth and spanned over 40 years.
Osama bin Laden was a key player in the Afghanistan resistance movement that was launched in chaos after Soviet forces invaded the country with the intent of squashing dissent and restoring Communist order to Afghanistan. The resistance, known as the Mujahideen, consisted of jihadist fighters serving under regional warlords.
According to Wikipedia: "One of the CIA's longest and most expensive covert operations was the supplying of billions of dollars in arms to the Afghan mujahideen militants. The arms included Stinger missiles, shoulder-fired, antiaircraft weapons that they used against Soviet helicopters and that later were in circulation among terrorists who have fired such weapons at commercial airliners. Osama bin Laden was among the recipients of U.S. arms." 
By 1989 the Soviet military in Afghanistan was in disarray; taking unacceptable losses and suffering from Hepatitis tied to the consumption of unsanitary food. They were defeated and retreated to Russia with broken spirits. The Soviets left thousands of tanks and trucks and rows and rows of jet fighters, abandoned on Afghan military airfields. Many left their hearts and minds behind as well. Many were killed.
Osama bin Laden, funded as part of a group created by the CIA that everyone has heard of a thousand times; al Qaeda, and his fellow warlords like the late Ahmad Massoud, a truly great individual and tactical military leader, defeated the Russians and set the collapse of the Soviet Union into motion. That was one of the century's most extraordinarily military achievements.
At the end of the day the answer is simple. The United States of America is a nation that, as much as we hate to admit, was formed by people who were such hardcore racists that they actually owned other human beings.
The slavery of African-Americans was accompanied, but mostly followed by the genocidal war to wipe the Native American tribes off the map.
This was eventually followed by the First World War in 1917, where the US insisted that France implement racial discrimination for blacks in their Army, before agreeing to add the American component to the allied war effort.
Then the US entered WWII with total racial segregation for blacks, while Japanese-American families were rounded up and imprisoned in internment camps.
In 1947 the US military was finally desegregated, though that launched a number of other racial problems that continue to this day as an extremely significant problem in varying segments of American armed forces.
I believe the three "notorious" men referenced in this article all made substantial contributions toward goals consistent with those of the US government. Having said that, each has a long list of accusations of wrongdoing that will never go away.
Osama bin Laden is the only one who lives, if he does at all. It is interesting to note that his FBI wanted poster does not list any involvement with the tragedy of Sept. 11 2001.
Makes you think - doesn't it?References:
Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tense of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide. You can write to Tim at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)
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