It's pretty much an open secret at this point that all American presidents are certifiable war criminals, even the supposedly good ones. Thomas Jefferson killed the Indians he admired and raped his slaves when he wasn't busy denouncing slavery. FDR put an entire race in concentration camps and even that dovish hayseed, Jimmy Carter, was a founding father of Al-Qaeda. Violating human rights comes with the job description when you run a runaway empire. Noam Chomsky probably put it best when he observed that, if held to the same standards as the Nuremberg Tribunals, every American president would swing from the end of a noose- "Every white one of them" as Zack de la Rocha once added a few years before that poetic sentiment became tragically dated. All this considered, there really is little room for self-respecting historians to get, well, histrionic. If this were anything resembling a fair country, every one of those bastards would have been impeached, from Washington up to Trump and Biden next. But historians are people too and every once in while there is a case, a single war crime, that leaves a stain on your soul that just wont come out. The tragic case of little Nora al-Awlaki is one of those cases for me. So while the whole country hyperventilates over the Donald's latest dance with thuggery, I'm left wondering, what the fuck took you people so long?
Its been 4 years. Jesus Christ! Has it really been 4 years? The Yakla raid was launched a week after Trump's inauguration, so yeah, its been 4 goddamn years since Donald Trump sent a Seal Team 6 death squad to a rural village in central Yemen to murder an 8 year old American girl named Nora al-Awlaki. She was shot in the neck and left to bleed to death over a period of two agonizing hours in her wounded mother's arms. A mountain of excuses has followed. At first the Seals were there to collect intel. The fact that they wiped out an entire village and came up with nothing but some dated videos on bomb construction made that excuse feel a little hollow though. Apparently Seals don't get YouTube. Now the new official story is that the Seals were there to nail AQAP emir, Qasim al-Raymi. Once again, there is no proof and al-Raymi only bought the farm this past year.
Lets get real here people, we all know exactly why Donald Trump rubber stamped the first known US ground assault in Yemen in history. It's the same reason Nora's name sounds so hauntingly familiar. Nora al-Awlaki was the surviving daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the famed American jihadi propagandist. Barrack Obama had him extrajudicially murdered in a drone strike back in 2011. Two weeks later, by coincidence of course, Anwar's teenage son was murdered in another drone strike. The troubling fact about Anwar himself that no American seems willing to touch is that the man has never been empirically tied to a single crime. The CIA ties him to everything and anything but never offers anything in the way of proof. Anwar's crime was that he was an American Muslim who advocated for other western Muslims to reject western materialism and embrace jihad against the nations killing their family back home. He was an extremist agitator and kind of a prick. To America, that's reason enough for a death sentence, and the murder of his next of kin simply underlines the point. Scoff at the scraps of empire and even your children will suffer.
You add to this the fact that Donald Trump openly ran a presidential campaign in which he literally promised to murder the family members of declared terrorists and you begin to get a clear picture of precisely how petty and heinous American foreign policy has become in the age of Trump. An entire village, some 40+ people, nearly all kin to Nora, including at least 9 children, an infant and a pregnant woman, a mosque, a clinic, a school, 120 farm animals- all annihilated to maintain a campaign promise and murder a second grader. And nobody cared. Not really. The news flipped out about the one American psycho killed; some glorified mercenary likely wiped out by giddy friendly fire during the climax of a murder spree. 'Why did he have to die?' Fuck you, you callous slime. He was literally a baby killer. That lasted about a week before it was back to Russiagate.
To me, that is the most repulsive fact of the Trump regime. The Democrats wasted millions of dollars, thousands of hours, pouring over one ridiculous conspiracy theory after another, while Trump literally got away with murder after murder after murder. In those 4 years since little Nora died, hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children have followed her to the grave and that orange bastard's fingerprints are on every tiny body. We gassed up Saudi Arabia's fleet of American bombers as they nailed schools and highways and playgrounds and hospitals. We held off the international community while those rabid Wahhabi dogs starved the poorest nation in the Muslim world and we declared the only people defending this godforsaken place terrorists for fighting back. And what did the media do? They spent hours of prime time on obvious horseshit like the Steele Dossier while they remained deaf to the screams of Trump's real victims. Democrats attempted to pass a few bills blocking the genocide, but nothing with even a fraction of the breathless energy and gobs of money hurled down the bottomless Russiagate pit.
Why? Why is it that time and time again both parties go all in on largely trivial and often downright facetious impeachment scandals when the real crimes these fuckers, all of them, are really guilty of go ignored? Why go after Monica Lewinsky when Bill Clinton brazenly violated the constitution to invade Kosovo for a bunch of Salafi kidney thieves. Why did Nancy Pelosi herself turn up her nose at Dennis Kucinich when he built an airtight case to impeach Bush and Cheney for torture and murder? Why quibble over the Donald's refusal to sell bombs to the Nazis in Ukraine while he keeps children in cages at the border? Why do the real crimes go ignored and unpunished while the chicken-noodle shit gets a fucking parade?
The answer is as ugly as it is simple. Because every American president, every white power supporting one of them, is a war criminal and neither party plans to end the massacre anytime soon. If you held Clinton accountable for Yugoslavia then you would have to hold Bush Sr. accountable for the Persian Gulf. If you held Bush Jr. accountable for Abu Ghraib then you would have to hold Clinton accountable for opening that Pandora's Box with his child starving sanction regime in Iraq, and on and on and on. They don't punish the real crimes, they will never punish the real crimes, because they have every intention to commit them again and again and again.
And who will cry for little Nora al-Awlaki while these cretins cry for our besieged republic? Just soon to be canceled degenerate extremists like me. We get thrown on no-fly lists and kicked off Twitter right alongside the pipe swinging Jethros of QAnon for giving a fuck about dead children. I published my first article for the Libertarian Institute on Nora four years ago. The case haunted me then and it haunts me now. One white supremacist enters the White House as another one leaves and I can't sleep with that child's lifeless body on my mind. I wrote that article near the beginning of my transgender journey, long before I had even heard the words 'Complex PTSD', but something lonesome in Nora's eyes reminded me of another terrified little girl I had seen years ago in my mirror. This is called empathy. Why is it so goddamn hard for Americans to understand? Trump should have been impeached during his first month in office. Don't you dare fucking bitch because it's too late now. I mourn the loss of that child because no one else will. I mourn her with the weight of knowing there will be many more like her in the years to come. May god forgive this country. I can't. I just can't.
Peace, Love, & EMPATHY- Nicky/CH
Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post.
* Everybody Does by Julien Baker
* Holland 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel
* There is a Light That Never Goes Out by the Smiths
* I Think That I Would Die by Hole
* Chinese Satellite by Phoebe Bridgers
* Two Slow Dancers by Mitski
* Nightswimming by REM
* Have You Forgotten by Red House Painters
* Into Dust by Mazzy Star
* Bulls On Parade by Rage Against the Machine