Let me ask you this: Did you ever make any effort to verify Lucas' claims, or did you accept his assertions and methodology on their face?
I didn't need to read much of the linked article before a recognizable pattern emerged in the development of estimates by the author: Hold the United States responsible for all the deaths in the world.
This insistence on overkill is what makes the arguments of people like Lucas and you easy to dismiss.
Lucas has determined "The U.S. is responsible for between 1 and 1.8 million deaths during the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan
On the face of it alone, this is an outlandish claim. The war was between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan
; but the US is responsible for all of the deaths caused in that war (presumably including Soviet casualties). And how? By luring the Soviets into a conflict with the Mujahedeen which was supported by the US.
Lucas blithely dismisses any culpability on the part of the Soviets with this:
The Soviet Union had friendly relations (with) its neighbor, Afghanistan, which had a secular government. The Soviets feared that if that government became fundamentalist this change could spill over into the Soviet Union.
The Soviets had been engaged in influencing politics in Afghanistan since 1947 as Russia had been for many years prior to the Russian Revolution. In 1979 the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power in Afghanistan in the Soviet backed Saur Revolution
. Lucas describes the PDPA as secular (which of course they were, in addition to being communist) and the relationship between the PDPA as simply "friendly" (which no doubt it was in the sense that the puppet is friendly with the puppeteer).
The PDPA seized power from Mohammad Daoud Khan who himself seized power from King Mohammed Zahir Shah through a military coup in 1973. A year later, Pakistan launched covert operations in Afghanistan; one of which was training the mujahedeen of Jamiat-e Islami to fight against Daoud's government. After the 1979 seizure of power by PDPA, Jamiat-e Islami, along with other Islamic insurgent groups (now trained and equipped by both Pakistan and
the US), turned their attention and rifles on the Soviet puppet government; leading to Soviet military intervention and the wider war.
I've no doubt that an element of Soviet concern over the mujahedeen insurgency was the possibility that a hard-line Islamist government in its neighboring vassal state would result in a spillover of jihad into the Soviet Union, but I guess you and Lucas find this a perfectly legitimate reason for the Soviets to have invaded Afghanistan. All US actions with the ostensible purpose of national security were fraudulent and made it responsible for millions of deaths, but not so with the Soviet Union.
So Lucas' conclusion is that the US, not the Soviet Union, not PDPA forces, not the Mujahedeen and not Pakistan was responsible for all of the possibly 1.8 million deaths that were a result of the war, because the US followed Pakistan's lead in training and equipping the mujahedeen.
Lucas adds another 12,000 deaths to the US kill count by virtue of the direct military action it waged in Afghanistan after 9/11/2001. 1.8 million for "luring in" the Soviets but only 12,000 for firing American rifles and dropping American bombs.
That the pompous Zbigniew Brzezinski wished to claim credit for the fall of the Soviet Union and boasted to a magazine about the brilliance of the trap he set for the Soviets is apparently all Lucas needed to conclude the US is responsible for all the war's casualties.
This is only one nation specific claim of over 25 Lucas makes, and all of them contain specious arguments in varying degrees of outlandishness, and all blame the US for virtually every death that has occurred in every nation, no matter what other countries were involved.
Two more, in brief, are:
The US, not the Khmer Rouge, is responsible for the 2.5 million deaths of Cambodians murdered by Pol Pot and his brutal forces, because
America bombed Cambodia and destabilized the country. Interestingly enough, while Lucas of course blames the US for the deaths caused by the bombings, he doesn't provide a count.
The US is responsible for the deaths of between 100,000 and 200,000 Israelis and Palestinians because
the US has supported Israel.
Anyone not caring to read the entire article now gets the picture.
It would be foolish not to acknowledge that the US government has for a very long time now been involved in covert operations intended to topple and install governments in foreign nations, and willfully ignorant to consider America a global knight in shining armor fighting only Black Knights and never causing the deaths of innocents. There have been far too many devious, unconscionable and blatantly stupid actions taken by our government that have indeed resulted in thousands of deaths. These actions are not what Americans want their nation to be about and they have not all been celebrated or even ignored by us. It is not an excuse for inexcusable actions but the fact that these sorts of actions, and worse have been taken by nations throughout the history of mankind can't be ignored, and using absurd evaluations the likes of those made by Lucas to assert that the US is the #1 Terrorist Nation in history does nothing to expand awareness of the failings, dangers, and pure immorality of practices and policies in which our government has engaged and which it may yet undertake. It is far more likely that it has the opposite effect. It is not necessary to communicate the wrongness of US actions that caused 100,000 innocent deaths by inflating it to 2 million through tacking on the casualties directly caused by other actors.
Lucas concludes that the US is responsible for between 20 million and 30 million deaths around the world since WWII and 10,000 individual 9/11's.
Aside from the fact that a reading of his methodology for arriving at these numbers is worse than simply flawed, it's absurd, he and you provide no context. No where do we ever see a JTT polemic about the 20 million Soviet citizens killed by Stalin or the 45 million Chinese killed by Mao, the 2 million Koreans killed by their government or even the 800,000 killed in Rwanda. In fact it's surprising that Lucas didn't come up with some rationale to blame the US for these deaths too.
Lucas claims that it is essential that Americans learn about the atrocities of the US so that we "can begin to understand the pain that others feel."
What does this even mean?
Americans are well acquainted with pain and not blind to the pain of others. The degree to which the American people respond charitably to the victims of disasters around the globe is certainly proof that we are not a nation of psychopaths who have no sense of empathy, or a country of callous xenophobes who care not one whit for the bloody wogs.
Lucas begins his article with
A few people at that time (immediately after 9/11) attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple.
The only people I remember who were saying these things were doing so in the context of arguments that we had gotten what we deserved. Folks like Ward Churchill whose essay Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens
was published on 9/12/01, one day after the towers fell, and in which he wrote
As for those in the World Trade Center... Well, really, let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire - the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved - and they did so both willingly and knowingly.
Just the kind of rhetoric that is likely to motivate Americans to begin to understand the pain that others feel
or question the foreign policy practices of their government.