Another atrocity. Yesterday, the dam holding back the waters for the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station was destroyed releasing a massive flood surge, imperilling people and places below the dam on the Dnieper River. Both sides blamed each other. From the Russian standpoint, it makes no sense to blow up the dam. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, it was a desperate attempt to improve the defensive positions of Ukrainian forces. It is the latest atrocity in this war. On 26 September 2022, the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up. [A huge ecological crime] Ukraine and western monopoly media blamed Russia. Again, it makes no sense that Russia would blow up pipelines to deliver its gas. Reputable journalist Seymour Hersch made clear his case that the United States, aided by Norway, sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines. Russia is no longer blamed.
Atrocities and the disinformation surrounding them is the subject of an important book by AB Abrams, Atrocity Fabrication and Its Consequences: How Fake News Shapes World Order (Clarity Press, 2023). It is an important book because it delivers an incisive account on how hegemony is systematically conducted by the US Empire. It cuts through the disinformation used to foment wars by the US, backed by its allies. What the US is engaged in is aggression, what the Nuremberg Tribunal deemed “the supreme international crime”; thus, it undermines the US Constitution. It also creates a pretext for the US to attempt an overthrow of governments it doesn’t like, killing and displacing people, destroying infrastructure and economies, and leaving devastated lands to rebuild (often with treasuries and resources looted by the US).
This book has a depth that is not compromised by its breadth. It offers a thoroughly empirical criticism of the weaponization of human rights by Western imperialist powers. The existing anglophone academic literature too often takes for granted the so-called human rights abuses and atrocities in countries that do not bow down to the West-led order, even when serious arguments have been raised against them.—Tay Jeong
The table of contents is a lead-in to how Atrocity Fabrication reveals the systematic nature of hegemony: Cuba and Viet Nam, the US war in Korea, the disinformation about a massacre in Tiananmen Square, the first US war in the Gulf (i.e., war on Iraq), the US war on Yugoslavia, the second US war on Iraq, creating conflict with North Korea, the NATO-Libyan war, the western-backed insurgency in Syria, and the demonization of the rising economy of China.
In each of these ten chapters, Abrams adumbrates some historical background, and a pattern of what is inimical to Empire is spelled out: anti-communism, control of resources wherever they may be, and instilling and maintaining obedience to Empire.
Abrams makes clear what the rules-based order is: rules decided by the US for other countries; however, the US is above the law. The order is enforced by the US as it sees fit.
It was clear that Yugoslavia’s military had not been defeated, but attacks on civilian targets and its economy had terrorised it into submission. (p 241)
Yet, the US usually does not openly flout the laws. It will create pretexts, surround itself with supportive international actors, and call upon its stenographic media. This is one stage of atrocity fabrication. For instance, Saddam Hussein’s weapons-of-mass-destruction in Iraq and the purported genocide in Xinjiang. Abrams brings this sleazy tactic to the fore.
Western reports were notably frequently sympathetic towards the perpetrators of terror attacks in China, with commentaries published that would be unimaginable if Western or Western-aligned countries had been similarly targeted. (p 455)
Perhaps the worst of all fabrications is the false flag. This is when a massacre is perpetrated and the perpetrator lays the blame laid elsewhere, thereby creating a false casus belli. Such an atrocity fabrication may willfully sacrifice innocent people to attain a foreign policy objective. One example of this was the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. The West seized upon this to vilify Syrian leader Bashar al Assad. Or the warmaker will use the fabrication to justify one’s own hand in mass killing by blaming the other side. This Madeleine Albright did when she infamously said the deaths of half a million Iraqi children was a price worth achieving US policy objectives.
Demonizing the leader of a country that the US identifies as an enemy state (i.e., a state that is not sufficiently obedient) is another important weapon in the arsenal of Empire. Thus Assad, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Miloševic, the Kims in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Muammar Gaddafi are all caricatured along the lines of the WWII boogeyman, Adolf Hitler. Today, the US excoriates Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Nicolás Maduro, and anyone else who does not bend to Empire.
U.S. print media notably likened Hussein to Hitler 1,035 separate times. (p 163)
The French humanitarian NGO Medecins du Monde even spent $ 2 million on a publicity campaign promoting juxtaposed pictures of Hitler and President Milosevic, … (p 215)
In attaining its objectives, the US will stoop to whatever means it deems necessary. Atrocity Fabrication is replete with the most sordid acts of criminality: massacres, rapes and violent sexual indecencies, torture, burying people alive, brutalizing prisoners-of-war, using cluster bombs, napalm, depleted uranium. The book must be read to grasp the inhumanity and perversion of warmakers.
Whatever and whoever, thus, the US will ally with Islamic terrorist groups such as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), al Qaeda, and Islamic State (IS) — and even retract the designations of groups formerly held to be terrorist, such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). In other words, the terrorist enemy of a US enemy is no longer a terrorist. Too often, it is those actors wielding the term terrorist that may be the biggest terrorist. As the noted linguist Noam Chomsky stated in the film Power and Terror (2002): “Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”
The US-aligned world has regularly resorted to propping up defectors and encouraging false narratives. Along with this is the often insidious role played by NGOs to bring down governments.
People need to inform themselves; Atrocity Fabrication arms the reader with information to ponder and to think past mind-numbing patriotism.
This is the third book that I have read by AB Abrams, so I am aware of the depth of research, the substantiated factuality, the logic, and the implicit morality that led to these books being written. Books by Abrams are critical reading.
It is clear that there is a rogue entity beholden to its oligarchic class and that this lawless class seeks full spectrum domination through whatever means. That Empire and hegemony persist in the 23rd century is condemnatory; enlightened and morally centered people must relegate such criminality to an atavistic past.
Don't be deceived by the warmaking demagogues. Refuse to be an accomplice to killing. Life is meant for all humans to live together in peace.
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