Today is Memorial Day in the US, a national holiday honoring those who died in US wars. It’s a day of parades, flag-waving, & nationalism but not really to honor deceased soldiers so much as to glorify wars which are inherent to capitalism, especially in its barbaric phase. It’s unspeakable that Trump would pardon war criminals–the special forces, mercenaries, & Marines who murdered, tortured, desecrated the corpses of Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, & others. But Trump (who got himself exempted from the military by claiming bone spurs), is not breaking new political ground here. Impunity for war crimes is a US political tradition going back countless wars. The US spends considerable effort brokering impunity agreements with puppet regimes it installs after occupation, most notably in Iraq & Afghanistan, & routinely short-circuits the sentences of those prosecuted for war crimes.

Since 2001, the US has spent $5.9 trillion for the so-called ‘war on terror’. A conservative estimate is that over 724,000 people have been killed in those wars & another 10 million forcibly displaced. This is not just a matter of war criminality by individual soldiers but of systemic culpability of the US government, better known as the US “military-industrial complex.”

There are few people in the world who retain any illusions about US militarism but those who do espouse the imaginary “humanitarian war” scenario. We can only scratch our heads in disbelief & contempt. One of the historic tasks of this generation internationally is to oppose US & all militarism under whatever guise it operates.