Wednesday, November 28, 2007

War Criminals R US


War Criminals ‘R’ US
by Richard Curtis


Published on Monday, January 29, 2007
by CommonDreams.org

(double click on Abramoff money laundry chart right)


Many years ago during boot camp I learned a series of General Orders. And while these are difficult to recall (and oddly enough even to find) any longer, one of the things I recall learning was an obligation to follow all lawful orders. Part of what we learned had to do with the military having made changes in training following the War Crimes at My Lai. My clear impression was that the Navy intended us to know our obligations under the Hague Conventions of 1889 and 1907, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Nuremberg Conventions. These Conventions have legal standing as US law due to their having been ratified by our Senate.
These days the most one hears about such things tends to involve the case of Lt. Ehren Watada, and his refusal to follow orders to deploy to Iraq. Watada’s claim is that as the Iraq War was instigated on false pretexts it is clearly a violation of the above Conventions and in particular a Crime Against Peace. The Army’s position is that Watada refused orders and that this behavior is criminal under the Army’s legal system. The judge hearing the case refuses to allow the defense to even use Watada’s reasons for refusing these illegal orders to be considered.
...
Why would a military judge refuse to allow an officer to make the case that in refusing an order the officer was following a higher law, which is itself recognized by the military?
This seems to be obviously irrational. A judge should be bound by the law, including important provisions of international law that have been incorporated into domestic law. For a judge to refuse to follow the law is beyond reason.
But there is a reason. Watada’s challenge is that the Iraq War is illegal. This fact seems beyond question. A legal war cannot logically be premised on lies, and we all know the Iraq War was premised on a series of well coordinated lies (the “Downing Street Memo” being the proof any rational person needs). The judge cannot allow Watada to argue the War is illegal because it is obviously illegal, and as such constitutes a War Crime, so the judge disregards the law – much to the shame of us all.
If the war is acknowledged as illegal that means admitting that everyone who participates in it, plans it, or orders it is a war criminal


As a society, our morality is incredibly shallow, and we have a difficult time dealing with challenges such as these. Watada is obviously right and those who prosecute him can only succeed if they can put the law aside in making their charges stick.
We don’t like to think that a young Marine drafted into the military via the Poverty Draft and then sent off to war in Iraq is a War Criminal – but he is. They all are. This is the obvious moral truth that follows from Watada’s challenge.
This is what the Nuremburg Conventions demand. One cannot be excused from illegal acts simply because one was ordered to commit those acts. We are all moral beings, even in the military, and as such have a legal and moral obligation to refuse to participate in War Crimes. And yet tens of thousands of military personal, not to mention the entire military command up to the president, are by definition War Criminals.
This is why Watada is not allowed to make a reasonable defense. This is why our politicians and media refuse to discuss the details of his case. This is why most Americans know nothing of international law. The law is clear. The history and origins of the war are clear. It is a crime. And those who prosecute this war are criminals.



These are just the facts of the case. The real question is will the American people tolerate being lead by War Criminals? Will the American people decide that the law and morality matter? Or will we continue to pretend that if someone in a position of power says that it is so that it is so? Nuremburg demands of us that we think morally and think for ourselves. Nuremburg stands in the shadows condemning our leaders and our military.




Watada properly and legally refused an illegal order and we must now admit the truth of his position and recognize that we as a society stand condemned in the light of this truth. Morality is not easy, and thinking for oneself in a time of wars and lies is even harder. There are times when we are tested. This is one of those times.
Are we any better than those Germans who just followed orders?

Richard Curtis, PhD is a recent graduate of the School of Religion at Claremont Graduate University and presently an adjunct professor of philosophy at Shoreline Community College in Seattle, WA.

http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0129-26.htm

If ever there was a time for the people to read the Declaration of Independence and rise to demand the law be enforced against this pack of evil who dare call themselves "elite," it is NOW. Is there no disgust at the immorality of this group, the hypocritical pious bullshit that flows from these liars while they bilk the national treasury and rape foreign countries on behalf of private industry.

Indeed we are the war criminals and our silence will not protect us.

Until we hold these cretins to account, America is no longer the home of the free and the land of the brave it has quite simply become another goose-stepping, order following Hitlerian gang of thugs and dead enders, torturing, raping, stealing and lying all over the world, in the name of
GOD. The fact is that every few years rich white men in oil companies sit down and decide who to rape and pillage next in the name of Jesus, or Mohammed, or anyone else who allows us to project our own misery somewhere else and have them deal with it. If the takeover is not going well and it seldom does, they start a civil war by stirring up local hostilities and bombing various factions. (See the School of Americas..they have been at it for sixty years...it could be a good time to learn about it.) Burma must be an absolute role model for them, a role model in the absolute tyranny that American, AND French oil companies have injected into that poor nation in the name of the almighty buck.

Nope the world has been shocked, but hardly awed, mostly disgusted, dismayed and aware that Nazi Germany was not defeated in the last war, they simply moved to the USA and with Dubya, stepped into plain sight.

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