We like war. We like war. We're a warlike people. We like war because we're good at it! And you know why we're good at it? Because we get a lot of practice!
This country's only 200 years old and already we've had 10 major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country, so we're good at it.
And it's good thing we are - we're not very good at anything else any more.
Hunh? Can't build a decent car. Can't make a TV set or a VCR worth a fuck, got no steel industry left, can't educate our young people, can't get health care to our old people, but we can bomb the shit out of your country alright!
Especially if your country is full of brown people. That's our new job in the world - bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya, you got some brown people in your country tell 'em to watch the fuck out! Or we'll goddamn bomb them.
When's the last white people that we bombed? Can you remember the last white people - do you remember any white people that we've ever bombed?
The Germans! Those are the only ones, and that's only because they were trying to cut in on our action! They wanted to dominate the world. Bullshit! That's our fuckin' job!
"3000 major operations, and 10,000 minor operations... bloody and gory beyond comprehension... we have organized death squads in countries around the world... operation in Afghanistan - biggest single operation in the history of the CIA secret wars... we produced the golden crescent - the largest source of heroin in the world... we count at least - minimum figure - six million people who've been killed [by CIA ops] in this long 40 year war that we've waged against the people of the third world"
-- Former CIA Station Chief John Stockwell
The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.
I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.
The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond.
In those difficult moments many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors.
And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.
The occupied government of Afghanistan and the United Nations have both concluded that U.S.-led troops recently dragged eight sleeping children out of their beds, handcuffed some of them, and shot them all dead.
-- Shooting Handcuffed Children
How did we get here? Why is there so much strife in the Middle East? Why are there so many deadly competing cultural, national, political and economic interests there? What is the history behind it all? How can we understand it all without spending years and years becoming becoming scholars of Comparative Religion or Historians?
There is no easy way, but the following two 90 second animated Flash maps, courtesy of Maps Of War, can help to give us a good nutshell summary of answers to questions that have perplexed and caused untold misery and death for centuries.