Monday, March 21, 2005
Bastard Regime, Gangster State
The evil of our leaders taints all our souls. Veterans For Peace is calling for the Bush's and Cheney's impeachment. While I think that this is too little and too late, it is significant. I am always deeply moved when I hear from groups of veterans who have mobilized and are engaging in sincere and consistent activism against the imperialistic wars we are fighting. These, along with enemy soldiers and civilians in the contested areas, are war's direct victims and their voices should be the most resonant in any debate about the futility or usefulness of war. Their suffering should dictate right away that this insanity end. Most members of Congress and all of the Bush family have no immediate relative in danger of serving, being wounded, or dying in war. None of them will find themselves on the floor of a cell in a foreign country contracted to torture or even kill them. Their risks of encountering a "roadside" bomb as they drive through Arlington National Cemetery are minimal at best. These people, in their comfortable cars, heated-cushioned chairs and flag-draped buildings, know nothing of the tattered morale and dread of American soldiers. They believe that pride is nourishment enough for both body and soul. How quickly and defensively they dismiss the truth that where poverty coupled with loss of limb and life is rampant, PRIDE IS MORE MORTAL THAN FLESH.
Mike Ferner. "Serving, refusing, impeaching."QUOTE:Having taken care of hundreds of young soldiers used up and thrown away during Vietnam, and witnessing yet another generation led to slaughter on a lie, it gives me particular satisfaction to publicly announce that on Monday, the Veterans for Peace national office, representing 118 chapters across the country, will notify the entire Congress of the United States of our demand that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney be impeached!!
VFP is calling for Bush and Cheney's impeachment because - and this is important to understand - when Senate adopts an international treaty, it becomes part of the supreme law of the land, the same as an act of Congress. It's clearly stated in par. 2, Article VI, of the U.S. Constitution. This means Bush and Cheney have specifically and continually violated Article VI of the constitution and the U.S. War Crimes Act passed by Congress in 1996. We are calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney because they continue to commit what are clearly defined by the Nuremberg Principles - legally binding on the U.S. - as "crimes against peace...crimes against humanity...and war crimes." ...The Nuremberg Tribunals following WWII did not favorably judge the first nation the world determined had waged a war of aggression, nor its "good citizens" who obeyed their government. END QUOTE.
So for those who are asking, what laws have we violated? What have we done? I submit these documents and suggest that you read them. Look at what we've done in terms of them and you will see the criminality of this regime and why it must be stopped dead in its tracks.
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. END QUOTE.
This is the article of our constitution that says that any international instrument we enter into becomes American law. In the eighteenth-century, the American government, Continental, Confederation and Constitutional, had more respect for international instruments than it does now.
QUOTE:TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 118 > § 2441
§ 2441. War crimes
Release date: 2004-08-06
(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death. (b) Circumstances.— The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act). (c) Definition.— As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct—
(1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
(2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;
(3) which constitutes a violation of common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party and which deals with non-international armed conflict; or
(4) of a person who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended at Geneva on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996), when the United States is a party to such Protocol, willfully kills or causes serious injury to civilians. END QUOTE.
This 1996 law construes American law in terms of the Geneva Conventions and international instruments. How did we come to disrespect these instruments so completely within a decade? The people who govern us are insane, or driven by manic greed and hatred. Reason, reality and precedent are forgotten. Are you still not convinced that America has turned from a democratic republic to a criminal, imperialist state?
QUOTE:Principle VIThe crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).(b) War crimes: Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave-labour or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war, of persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime. Principle VIIComplicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law. END QUOTE.
There is a table of contents, and each one is hyperlinked.Read them through and you will see just how illegal our conduct in the last five years has been.
Our wars since 2000 have been wars of aggression, and were planned well in advance. This is a fact. This will never be erased, ignored or put away. And no matter how secret the government will try to keep it in the US, the truth will come out. A war of aggression is a crime. Period.We have conducted both these wars brutally. We have sought to destroy our enemies rather than vanquishing their strength. Inflicting destruction beyond an enemy's strength is crininal in the conduct of a war of any kind. So both the wars and their conduct were criminal.We did not occupy Afghanistan or bring it under the boot because our leaders are afraid to do so. After all, Aghanistan doesn't have the second largest oil reserve in the world, does it? They also dimly remember the Soviet experience there. What they do not realize is that the Soviet experience with a few variations is what we are experiencing now in Iraq.
Our occupation has been unforgivable. We, intentionally, have forced the Iraqi people to contend with a broken infrastructure, unclean water, untreated sewage, substandard housing and poverty that is more intense than anything they experienced before. Our military and government mistakenly believe that if the people are so impoverished they will not fight against occupation and the rape of Iraq's resources. They are wrong. Our occupation and forcible social neglect are crimes against the humanity of the Iraqi people. Social neglect as rape-- only an American would think of it. We have also tried to create something akin to the open-door policy in China in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. Our little trip back in time has been complicated by the so-called "insurgency." I prefer to call it a resistance movement. The pipelines are installed and blown up within a week. The dynamic is played out over and over again. The way I see it, it's a rough form of justice, but nothing like a court.
Our conduct is sociopathic and murderous to the civilians who fall into our hands. In American jails and various prisons in various countries, people are taken in and disappear. There is no line to the outside world, no lawyer, no connection at all to significant others. I noticed that the photographs of men being humiliated at Abu Graib were eagerly circulated, and I also noticed that there were no photographs of women or children being humiliated in the presence of evidence that these things have also happened. I really wonder what the result of the circulation of such photos would be in our open-door, laissez-faire paradise known as Iraq.
So beyond doubt, we see an imperialist, criminal state, a government which privileges force either as torture or money over reason, reality, and precedent. A democratic republic and a imperialist state are not the same, they may not even co-exist. When this country turned the corner toward imperialism more than a hundred years ago, it set democracy on a treadmill. Now the democratic republican root is cut away, and those of us who remember it do not mourn as much as we rage. Can we retrieve it? I don't think that's possible without the overthrow of the current government and the suppression of the elites. It is not possible without the striking of corporate personhood from law, economic practice, and culture. It is not possible without the disowning of religion in the public sphere and the embrace of the secular society. In other words, I think a civil war is the only way we will ever bring democratic practice back to American culture and society. And where there is democratic practice, there is the hope of democratic republicanism.