Sent to WS, Blog, indivs David D
Many of OMNI’s newsletters expose the
operating (invading, bombing, blockading) outside international moral standards
and law. Especially see the US
Imperialism newsletters. This newsletter
pauses to focus not only on national leaders’ and individual soldiers’ crimes
but on the large issues of war crimes and related illegal and immoral behavior. US
An underlying theme of this newsletter and of all of the newsletters pertaining to war is the necessity of the
peace movement in all of its local organizations to be informed, to think, and
to act globally. Often the argument is
made that peacemaking must begin with individual search for inner equanimity,
steadiness, and strength, and nobody can deny their importance, but our
leaders’ reckless lawlessness, bombing and torturing, making the world more
morally and socially violent and cruel, destabilizes each and every one of us
locally and individually, and must be stopped.
Our local leaders and citizens work hard to make our homes and towns
beautiful, rational, peaceful. But
simultaneously our national leaders operate from opposite values to demolish
and disrupt in permanent war. Already
the financial and moral costs of that chaos are affecting our local lives and
hopes (we see and feel it only partly because the money is borrowed—called national debt). So we must be
engaged in more than local beauty, order, and amity In order to act globally, we are not
compelled to wait until we have fully matured, and anyway a lifetime is seldom
enough time to enable that ideal condition.
Oderint dum metuant –“Let them hate so long as they fear”—was a motto of the
Roman Empire.” “’…some nations are serial aggressors,’
observed The Black Commentator in the
fourth year of the war in .” Blum, America’s
Deadliest Export (2, 3). Iraq
"To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
- Robert H.
U.S. Prosecutor, Military
- Robert H.
“I wonder how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own.” Howard Zinn Let us be citizens of the world.
My blog: War Department/Peace Department
See: chemical warfare, drone warfare, empire of bases,
conventions, Genocide of Native Americans, imperialism, international law,
International Network for Abolition of Foreign Bases, “Support the Troops,” torture,
treaties, war crimes, US weapons of mass destruction, and related newsletters
and blog posts. US
#1 is at the end.
Contents Lawlessness Newsletter #2
David Swanson, Daybreak, Yearning for Democracy and Peace
Pierce on Gregory Johnsen, Authorization for the Use of Military Force 2001 and the
Adams, McVeigh: Oppose the Drones, the War Criminals
Herman: Support Our Troops, Wars, War Criminals
Lizza on Barron and the Kill-List
Hedges, Violent, Homicidal Culture
James Lucas, Deaths Since WWII
Vietnam War Laos
Contact your Representatives
SWANSON, DAYBREAK, GOOGLE SEARCH, MAY 19, 2014
1. Book Talk: Author David Swanson's "Daybreak!" - YouTubew.youtube.com/watch?v=17A_fwn...
Aug 31, 2009 - Uploaded by Bill Hughes
On Sunday afternoon, Aug. 30, 2009, activist/author David Swanson discussed his new book: "Daybreak ...
David Swanson is co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com. He's also a board member of Progressive Democrats of ...
We first encountered David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, when he broke the news of the 'Downing Street Memo', a document that many ...
War Crimes Times Statement of Purpose (revised 06/2011)
The War Crimes Times provides compelling, ongoing information on war and the war crimes that invariably accompany war, the many costs of war, the effects of our war culture on our national character and international reputation, and the need to hold accountable those who initiate and conduct illegal wars. Additionally and importantly, we also report on the efforts of the many people who sacrifice their time, money, and comfort to work for peace.
When national leaders initiate hostilities they create the conditions—the extreme use of force coupled with limited accountability—for the war crimes which invariably follow. War crimes are therefore an inherent part of war. The suffering caused and the enmity aroused by war crimes must be regarded as costs of war. Since these and other costs far exceed any benefits of war, we seek to end war as a tool of international policy.
Towards this goal, we believe that holding war criminals accountable will send a strong message to all current and future heads of state to very carefully weigh all the consequences of the decision to go to war. While we recognize that
States has long relied on unlawful military force to
further its foreign policy goals, we are particularly concerned with the
blatant and egregious violations of international law committed by the
beginning with the Administration of George W. Bush and now continued and
expanded under President Obama. United States
We endorse any efforts, including impeachment, which would bring war criminals of any administration to justice. The War Crimes Times has resolved to see that Bush, Cheney, Obama, and other government officials and military officers who have committed war crimes are prosecuted—no matter how long it takes.
There is no statute of limitations on war crimes.
The latest The War Crimes Times (Spring 2014)
In this issue p. 1: “By ‘absolving the people from meaningful involvement’ (Bacevich, p. 6) through elimination of the military draft, reliance on elite ’special ops’ forces (Turse, p. 1), drones (pp. 1-11), and a subservient press, the military mentality has won the ideological battle (Hedges, p.1) But would it make a difference to the American people if they knew that since World War II, our military-minded foreign policy was responsible for the equivalent of three to five Holocausts (Lucas, p. 1) and other violations of international law (Rosal, p. 12;Ford, p. 18)? Would knowledge of blatant hypocrisy (Gamage, p. 16) or budget tradeoffs (Gagnon, p. 14) help restore sanity? We can only hope so and keep trying to inform the people of the truce costs of war and militarism.”
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Reading [on the
Authorization for the Use of Military Force, AUMF]
f you read nothing else this weekend, read Gregory Johnsen's somewhat epic performance on Buzzfeed about the original Authorization for the Use of Military Force that came out of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the permanent state of war that one 60-word sentence in that document created in the United States, a phenomenon that the Founders specifically and repeatedly warned against. (Johnsen is the recipient of first Michael Hastings Fellowship, named for the renowned journalist who died in an automobile accident last year.) If nothing else, the piece functions as a very loud warning siren against upending the rule of law and the separation of powers out of fear and panic. War, Mr. Madison cautioned, is "the true nurse of executive aggrandizement." We have traded his wisdom for the undying partisan hackery of apparatchiks like David Addington and John Yoo. It is not a good trade.
Unbound by time and unlimited by geography, the sentence has been stretched and expanded over the past decade, sprouting new meanings and interpretations as two successive administrations have each attempted to keep pace with an evolving threat while simultaneously maintaining the security of the homeland. In the process, what was initially thought to authorize force against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan has now been used to justify operations in several countries across multiple continents and, at least theoretically, could allow the president - any president - to strike anywhere at anytime. What was written in a few days of fear has now come to govern years of action.
The piece goes on to illustrate with painful clarity a meek and timorous Congress, which had allowed so much of its constitutional war powers to leach into the executive over the previous five decades that most of its members had forgotten how to exercise them at all, let alone how to exercise them at a moment of national trauma. (One pissant aide to a forgettable schlub like Dennis Hastert gets to bulldoze past legitimate constitutional questions because we...must...do...something, and everybody acclaims him a hero.) Congress -- in the persons of Joe Biden and John Kerry, among others -- tries to cover its ass but ends up taking what everybody knows is a dive. And, after the dive, we see Yoo, who should have been kept away from the councils of government for the same reason we keep Charlie Manson out of the cutlery, immediately find a way to renege on a deal that had been cut with the Congress and expand the president's power beyond anything remotely conceived of in the Constitution.
Maybe it shouldn't be so surprising that Congress didn't think about how the war would end when it passed the AUMF on Sept. 14, 2001, but after more than a dozen years, we are no closer to an answer. "This is a bizarro war," Jack Goldsmith told me recently. A tenured law professor at Harvard who worked in the Office of Legal Counsel under George W. Bush, Goldsmith has written a pair of books on national security law. "What we don't see, we don't care about."
Read the whole thing and understand how we got to where we are today, when the president is going to deliver a speech about the NSA revelations, arguing for "reforms" in which there is no good reason to believe. Read the whole thing and see in it the seedbed for unlimited drone warfare and whatever comes after that, which undoubtedly will be worse. Read the whole thing and understand how Abu Ghraib happened and why Gitmo is still open. Read the whole thing and watch the relentless abandonment of self-government over the past 13 years. Read the whole thing and realize that we are no longer even the nation we pretend to be, Read the whole thing and realize how much the late Osama bin Laden actually won.
Authorization for the Use of Military Force and the permanent state of war
Gregory D. Johnsen wrote, "Maybe it shouldn't be so surprising that Congress didn't think about how the war would end when it passed the AUMF on Sept. 14, 2001, but after more than a dozen years, we are no closer to an answer." (photo: unknown)
See Elliott Adams, “Protecting the Wrong People at Drone Base.” Space Alert! (Dec. 2012), for a strong indictment of US war crimes, and the urgent responsibility of us all to resist now. –Dick
Support Our Troops, Our War, and Our War Criminals
The call to “support our troops,” or “our boys,” is really an appeal to support the war in which the troops are engaged. Critics of the war would say that if the war is unjustified, possibly even a criminal enterprise in violation of international law at several levels, as was so clearly true of the
war, supporting the troops and war is to support international
criminality. The proper support of our troops and boys therefore is to
oppose the war and fight to get our boys (and girls) out before they can kill
or be killed while participating in such a criminal enterprise. Iraq
Naturally, this critical view of supporting our troops gets little play in the propaganda system, and the propaganda design of the formula “support our troops” is probably effective in the environment of patriotic fervor that wars engender. But the hypocrisy here runs deep. Many of the threads of hypocrisy woven into this propaganda fabric stem from the fact that the political and military establishments care very little about the welfare of our boys. The really bad thing about their deaths, injuries and suffering is the resultant negative publicity and possible increased financial costs of greater attention to their needs that might limit military budget size and flexibility. There has been a notorious struggle over the damage our boys have suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan from economies in the protective equipment provided to them; from the damaging psychological effects of multiple tours of duty; from the reluctance to recognize the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the seriousness of traumatic brain injury (TBI); and the scandals reflecting lagged and poor care of personnel back home and in need of medical care.
In earlier years, also, it was a long struggle to get recognition of the damage suffered by U.S. troops in Vietnam from the massive chemical warfare used there, where, of course, the damage to U.S. personnel was only a small fraction of that suffered by the Vietnamese people, still unacknowledged and unrectified by the responsible criminal state. The ironical usage of “MIA” to mean “missing in America,” referring to war veterans in a sad state of indigence and homelessness at home, also goes back at least to the Vietnam and post-Vietnam war days. There are many MIAs in the United States today, and a dramatic figure that did get some publicity was that more military personnel committed suicide than were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2012 (349 versus 295).
It is enlightening also that there is an inverse correlation between aggressively supporting
wars and supporting our troops with generous funding of their medical
care and post-service education and general welfare. This is plausible. The
bulk of service personnel are drawn from that 47 percent of the population that
Mitt Romney derided as government-dependent and not “job creators.” (The heads
of Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics. Ratheon and Textron are job
creators.) Romney, Paul Ryan, George Bush, John Boehner
(etc.) and their monied base are fighting a major battle to diminish or
terminate the welfare state, and many Democrats as well as Republicans are with
them, so that containing what amounts to welfare state benefits to our boys
with PTSD and otherwise in distress is entirely logical. U.S.
Of course, along with “support our troops” there is an implicit “support our torturers and higher level war criminals.” This flows from the overwhelming and increasingly centralized power in the hands of the dominant elite, including the military-industrial complex (MIC) and leading politicians, and an associated remarkable level of self-righteousness. Anything we do is tolerable because we are not only strong and the global policeman, but also good and always well-intentioned, and are therefore not to be questioned when we do abroad precisely what we condemn in target states. We can support Saddam Hussein and even provide him with “weapons of mass destruction”, when he is doing us a service in attacking Iran, even when he is using chemical weapons there; and with no seeming sense of shame or guilt we can quickly turn him into “another Hitler” when he disobeys orders. We can help the Shah of
nuclear capability, but threaten war when his successor regime tries to do what
was encouraged with the Shah; and again, with utter self-righteousness. It
testifies to the greatness of the Western propaganda system that these
shifts and mind-boggling double standards can occur without the slightest pause
or recognition or any need for explanation or apology. Iran
The really high level war criminals like Bush, Blair, and Obama can get away with anything, not only because they are at the pinnacle of power and can set their own rules, but also because they dominate the external institutions that supposedly make the rule of law international, but fail to do so. One of the prettiest cases is, of course, the invasion of
Iraq in March 2003, an act matching Hitler’s
1939 invasion of ,
and resulting in a million or more Iraqi deaths. Although this was a blatant
violation of the most fundamental principle of the UN Charter, while UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan did point out that the invasion was
“illegal” he didn’t express great anger or suggest that the invaders be
expelled or even reprimanded. He got on board the aggression ship, as did the
Western great powers (with the Russians and Chinese essentially just sitting
there watching). Poland
But the sick comedy of “international law” rode on, with the UN, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and International Criminal Court (ICC) playing their assigned role by applying it whenever the Big Aggressor or one of his leading allies felt the application of legal principles to be useful. The Big A and his Little Aggressor client Israel wanted a legal input for Darfur, but not for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, invaded by Rwanda and Uganda, whose leaders were Big Aggressor clients, and so it was—Sudan’s al-Bashir was indicted by the ICC, Rwandan and Ugandan leaders were exempt. Big A and allies wanted legal authority for attacking
Libya, but not Bahrain,
so the ICC and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) obliged with indictments
for Gaddafi and sons, silence on . The Big Aggressor wants
international law applied to Syria, so Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights, who along with her predecessor Louise Arbour didn’t lift a
finger in the case of the Iraq invasion-occupation, which produced a million
dead and 4 million refugees, now repeatedly urges the UNSC to call on the ICC
to investigate Bashir al-Assad’s war crimes in Syria. Pillay played the
same role in the case of Bahrain Libya,
in collaboration with the ICC, greasing the skids for a NATO military attack on
and the ouster and murder of Gaddafi. Libya
The role of the “international community” (in the sense of the leadership of the Western great powers and their clients, not the underlying populations) was dramatically exhibited in giving the newly elected U.S. President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace prize in 2009. He hadn’t done anything whatsoever for peace at that time, but gave the appearance of a leader more moderate than Bush and Cheney. A silly award, but once again a giveaway on the supportive-groveling qualities of Western political/cultural institutions. (Can you imagine the Nobel Committee giving the award to Amira Hass, Malalai Joya, Kathy Kelly, or Richard Falk, people actually making genuine personal sacrifices in the interest of peace?) Honest analysis and morality would have recognized that Obama was going to be a major war criminal by structural necessity, embedded as he was in a permanent war political economy where political survival, let alone success, required the commission of war crimes. Obama soon found that political success demanded killing foreigners; that budget enlargement for killing was easy, but spending for progressive civilian needs was difficult and would anger powerful people. He quickly adapted to being a warrior president, his seemingly most proud accomplishment being the killing of bin-Laden.
Obama has played all the war cards. He has lauded the Vietnam War as a noble enterprise and is pleased to participate in and laud a memorial that celebrates it. Like Bush he loves to speak to military cadres where he can draw resounding applause with patriotic and war rhetoric, although increasing numbers of liberal Democrats have gotten on board his war-oriented ship of state and also find his warrior image and actions agreeable. He has gone somewhat beyond Bush in institutionalizing government rights to invade privacy, closing down information access, and criminalizing whistle-blowing. His drone war policy and claimed right to assassinate even
citizens based on executive
decision alone breaks new ground in criminality and in enlarging the scope of
acceptable war crimes. He has also refused to prosecute U.S. torturers
and high level war criminals, violating earlier promises but, more importantly,
violating international law and effectively ending the rule of law. We
need change we can believe in, but Obama is giving us compromise and literal
regression that we must vigorously oppose. U.S.
• Article first appeared in Z Magazine April 2013
The Lawyer and the Kill-List Memo
By Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker, Reader Supported News, May 25, 2014
Lizza writes: "David J. Barron, a lawyer at the Department of Justice, sent Eric Holder, the Attorney General, a lengthy memorandum. Barron, who had celebrated his forty-third birthday earlier that month, was a professor at
American Unlimited Imperialism: Now
by Francis A. Boyle
Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of
But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War. Today, a century later, the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration and now the Democratic Obama administration are threatening to set off World War III.
By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf and Africa under the bogus pretexts of (1) fighting a war against international terrorism; and/or (2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or (3) the promotion of democracy; and/or (4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention”/responsibility to protect.
Only this time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century ago: control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic system—oil and gas. The Bush Jr./ Obama administrations have already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and
This current bout of
“The outstanding historic examples of unlimited imperialism are the expansionist policies of Alexander the Great,
It is the Unlimited Imperialists along the lines of Alexander,
Francis Anthony Boyle is a professor of international law at the
SPRING ISSUE 2014 : Available now
The War Crimes Times spring issue has been printed. Order copies now while supplies last.
Donate to the project.
Links to all past print issues below right.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Deaths In Other Nations Since WW II Due To
by James A. Lucas [This gives only a small part of the original. –Dick]
Editor’s note: An edited version of this article appears in the Spring 2014 WCT print edition. The link below is to the original unedited version complete with source notes. The numbers in this article were compiled in 2007. Since then, the U.S. has added to its total through attacks on other nations including Libya, Yemen, and Somalia; with its drone program; with the residual political instability from past actions in Afghanistan and Iraq; and likely from secret special operations.
"After the catastrophic attacks of September 11, 2001, monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time 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...
"The overall conclusion is that the United States most likely has been responsible, since WWII, for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world."
Read the details about the 37 victim nations in the full article here.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Edward Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975, was a “maverick social democrat of principle, pride, propriety and extraordinary political imagination. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country's resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies.” His attitudes and policies ran counter to
He was sacked by Governor-General Sir John Kerr (who the CIA referred to as “our man Kerr”).
See John Pilger’s surprising account of the CIA’s role in overthrowing a democratically elected leader in
Friday, March 7, 2014
From 1964 to 1973, the
Up to a third of the bombs dropped did not explode, leaving
Here are some other startling facts about the
o Over 270 million cluster bombs were dropped on
o Nearly 40 years on, less than 1% of these munitions have been destroyed.More than half of all confirmed cluster munitions casualties in the world have occurred in
o Each year there continue to be over 100 new casualties in
o Between 1996 and 2012, the
Legacies of War
travels across the
Recent Related Newsletters
5-23 Grassroots Militarism
5-15 Conscientious Objection
Congressional Delegation Arkansas
Sen. John Boozman
Republican, first term
320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4843
Fax: (202) 228-1371
FORT SMITH: (479) 573-0189
JONESBORO: (870) 268-6925
LITTLE ROCK: (501) 372-7153
LOWELL: (479) 725-0400
MOUNTAIN HOME: (870) 424-0129
STUTTGART: (870) 672-6941
EL DORADO: (870) 863-4641
Sen. Mark Pryor
Democrat, second term
255 Dirksen Office Building
Constitution Avenue and
First Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2353
Fax: (202) 228-0908
Little Rock office: (501) 324-6336
Rep. Tom Cotton
Republican, first term
Phone: (202) 225-43772
HOT SPRINGS: (501) 520-5892
PINE BLUFF: (870) 536-3376
Rep. Rick Crawford
Republican, second term
Independence Avenues SE
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4076
Fax: (202) 225-5602
CABOT: (501) 843-3043
MOUNTAIN HOME: (870) 424-2075
Rep. Tim Griffin
Republican, second term
Independence Avenues SE
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2506
Fax: (202) 225-5903
LITTLE ROCK: (501) 324-5491
Rep. Steve Womack
Republican, second term
1119 Longworth Office Building
New Jersey and
Independence Avenues SE
Phone: (202) 225-4301
Fax: (202) 225-5713
ROGERS: (479) 464-0446
HARRISON: (870) 741-7741
FORT SMITH: (479) 424-1146
Contents US Lawlessness Newsletter #1
US Imperial History
Grandin, Preparation in
Latin America, Documents
Myths Feeding US Imperialism
Rise of Imperial Presidency
US War Crimes
John Yoo Abusing Intellect, Justifying Crime for President Bush
and Justice for Some Liberty
Monbiot: Obama and Drones
LAWLESSNESS NEWSLETTER #2 US