Monday, December 14, 2009


U.S. Lawlessness

The Obama Surge


By Christopher King
Aljazeera

We have entered a period of government lawlessness, led by the United States, with inevitably serious consequences for everyone. Nuclear war is a possibility. With climate change threatening the planet itself, we do not need this as well. Europe must cease supporting this berserk state. It needs to recover the vision, the spirit of goodwill and humanity that laid the foundations of the European Union. In following America, Europe has lost its way.

American behaviour extends beyond inhumanity into viciousness. The character of Barack Obama, which in dealing with non-Americans is no different from that of George W. Bush, also shows the American characteristic of cruelty without limits.

It is said that the Afghan surge is Obama’s defining action, which is probably true politically. He revealed himself much earlier however, in April, at the time the Maersk Alabama’s captain was held by three teenaged pirates. The pirates were in a boat tied to a US warship and were attempting to negotiate for their lives. The captain was in no more danger than he had been for days but Obama approved killing the men who held him. It was not a firefight. It was cold-blooded murder by trained snipers – hailed in the American media as heroism. That defined Obama as I said at the time. His approval of the Afghanistan surge was inevitable.

Beyond inhumanity in Afghanistan
Speaking of Afghanistan, it is not that invading other countries, massacring their inhabitants and stealing their resources is unusual. Men have been doing it for millennia. Nor is it that trampling international law by kidnapping, torture, failure to prosecute torturers and dispensing with the oldest, most critical guarantee of freedom – habeas corpus – is particularly unusual, although we had hoped that these practices were past. What is unusual in Afghanistan is the detached murder of individuals, families and gatherings by drone aircraft whose pilots are hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away. This “murder on suspicion” has by other means, hitherto only been practised by the secret police forces of despotic regimes. America has made it an army procedure in which anyone’s behaviour, as viewed from the air or on the word of informers, can make one liable to instant assassination. Even the Nazi Gestapo, Iranian Savak under America’s puppet Shah and Soviet KGB had the good grace to torture confessions from their victims. Drone assassinations on suspicion are America’s unique contribution to terror.

The 9/11 World Trade Centre attack that triggered the invasion was, of course, nothing to do with Afghanistan. It was blowback from America’s theft of Saudi wealth, its use of that country as a base for attacking other Muslim countries and its support of Israeli injustice against the Palestinians. Osama bin Laden said so.

Beyond inhumanity in Iraq
Perhaps the Afghans are fortunate, however. Although in Iraq US-sponsored sanctions killed half a million children, its invasion killed over a million persons and made four or five million homeless, one might say that the Nazis did worse and the worst is hopefully over. America has surpassed the Nazis, however, in its use of depleted uranium munitions which have spread radioactivity that will last hundreds of thousands of years over wide areas of Iraq. Cancers and birth defects directly attributable to this are now being seen in Iraq and will continue indefinitely, so it is likely that over time the Iraqi civilian death toll will exceed that of the Nazis. Americans say that this material is harmless; however, if depleted uranium were to be dispersed on American territory as in Iraq, it would be considered to be outrageous. If others were to do it, it would be called a “dirty bomb” attack. American use of depleted uranium goes beyond lawlessness to become an attack on life itself.

Beyond inhumanity in Vietnam
A similar case is America’s use of the dioxin-containing “agent orange” defoliant. Not content with using explosives and napalm on civilians, millions of gallons of agent orange were sprayed on Vietnam’s forests during America’s war on the Vietnamese. This environmental and humanitarian disaster killed about 400,000 persons and caused about 500,000 birth defects. Dioxin is persistent and its direct effects continue to the present time. Dioxin also damages human DNA so that its effects will persist in the Vietnamese population indefinitely.
No other country has ever before done such things to another.

Beyond inhumanity in Japan
Indeed, America is the only country to have used nuclear weapons on another. The American narrative of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour is of a treacherous, unprovoked attack by that country. We will recall, however, that in 1852 the American Commodore Matthew Perry used armed force to obtain a trade agreement with Japan. Having had America force itself, its economic philosophy and its technology on them, the Japanese industrialized, only to find Western markets closed to their “cheap” goods. Japanese attempts to found an oriental empire and their attack on Pearl harbour were blowback from their humiliation by Perry and the American and European tariff barriers against them. We might notice that the Japanese are currently unhappy both with American bases, particularly on Okinawa, and a secret treaty under which the US has brought nuclear weapons into Japan. America considers that the Japanese should do whatever it wants. We have yet to see blowback in Japan from Hiroshima and Nagasaki but this might be its beginning. There is always blowback from inhumanity and injustice.

Blowback in Iran
This reaction was evident in the case of Iran following the CIA overthrow of the democratic Mossadeq government in 1953 and installation of the puppet Shah. Bush dismissed it as “ancient history” even though the blowback from that event gave rise to the Islamic revolution and the current regime. The viciousness that America currently shows toward Iran is not due to anything that the Iranians have done. To the contrary. It is a case of the attacker blaming the attacked, the thief blaming the person from whom he stole.

Blowback from Hitler and Europe’s reaction
Europe acknowledged that the harshness of the Versailles treaty following World War I gave rise to blowback in the form of Hitler’s rise and World War II, with Italy and Japan joining him as the Axis powers. By recognizing the reality of those events and the simple fact that wars create problems rather than solve them, it has been possible for the European Union to be developed. Unfortunately, the EU is now seen by its newer entrants and applicants for entry in terms of economic benefits rather than the primary objective envisaged by the six founder states.

The original objective of the original coal and steel community was to make warfare impossible by means of economic integration. That spirit and objective needs to be recovered if the EU is to survive. Under the influence of the US, law is slipping away from the EU. Europe has been led by America beyond lawlessness in Iraq and Afghanistan, setting precedents for European behaviour that we had hoped the formation of the EU had extinguished. Other countries will also adopt US and EU behaviour as precedents. We have lost the moral high ground. Neither the US nor Europe is now able to criticize any other country for the awful crime of torture or for “pre-emptive war” on a non-threatening country. America has done it and Europe has been complicit.

President Obama believes that it is legitimate for him to interfere in EU business by pressing for the EU entry of other countries as American presidents have done before him. America controls NATO directly and is selecting and training European officers who are willing to place American interests before those of Europe. This follows the model of the School of the Americas at Fort Benning that in the past has trained most of the coup and subversion leaders of South America.

Blowback in Europe from the Iraq war
European cities, notably Madrid and London, have experienced terrorist attacks as blowback from supporting the US in its Middle Eastern atrocities. Association with the US is as toxic as its fraudulent financial derivatives, not because of harm that might occur to our soldiers or cities but because US foreign policy is aggressive, unjust and illegal. The vicious element in US behaviour makes the US a fit partner for Saddam Hussein to whom it sold the chemical weapons that he used against Iran. Iran had never harmed the US. US lies about Iran’s nuclear programme, its fabricated evidence, sanctions, subversion programme, the chemical weapons used by Saddam as a US proxy, the overthrow of the Mossadeq government are now typical US behaviour. Leaving aside what the US has done to other countries, if an individual were to exhibit behaviour of this nature he would be declared criminally insane and locked away for life. US behaviour is pathological. It is criminally insane.

Europeans must examine carefully the US bases on their soil and the US’s NATO First Act, now before Congress, that has the intention of making them permanent. It is incomprehensible that Europe’s leaders, particularly those of the UK, should collude with the US in its crimes. The only explanation can be that our political class has the same motivations as Anthony Blair – that immediate personal gain is more important than the good of the country. The UK and Europe are giving legitimacy to American lawlessness and worse – not merely inhumanitarian behaviour but behaviour of inhuman viciousness.

The UK has never understood the European Union nor committed itself to it. It might as well leave and be done with it. Europe will not miss it and its leaders can concentrate on enriching themselves by pimping for the US and transferring its population’s cash to its banks.

The British military’s role
The UK military establishment is in full accord with its corrupt politicians and has now committed itself to supporting the politicians in selling the Afghanistan/Pakistan disaster to the British public. We may now recognize them as mercenaries and nothing more. It is, in fact, in the interests of the UK and European military establishment to withdraw from Afghanistan as a war of aggression, get rid of American bases on their soil and develop a European fighting force independent of NATO as the French, before America’s sycophant Sarkozy, always advocated. Their precious careers, pensions and status would be safe and probably enhanced.

The message from the UK’s military establishment is now that UK opposition to the Iraq war encourages Afghan insurgents to kill UK soldiers. UK soldiers are in fact being killed in Afghanistan because of the cowardice of their commanders who will not take the political risk of complying with international and UK law by abandoning this war of aggression.

Anthony Blair, who enriched himself by selling British soldiers lives to the Americans, out-bluffed the other UK political parties at the time of the last election by claiming that failure to support the Iraq war was failure to support our soldiers. It was a disgusting lie but the Liberal Democratic Party, which to its credit voted against the Iraq war, did not credit the British public with the ability to distinguish between supporting our forces by bringing them back from an illegal war and Blair’s mendacity. It is a disgrace to the British army that it is now preaching the same message prior to the coming election in six months time. The British army is playing politics – another destructive trait learned from America.

Lieutenant-General Sir Graeme Lamb, British adviser to General McChrystal, said: “We hear people saying the fight isn't worth it. Does that mean all the sacrifices which have been made, the deaths and the injuries have been for nothing?” Yes, lieutenant-general, that is precisely what it means. Their deaths and injuries have been for nothing. Lives, both British and Afghan, are being thrown away as of no value and for no gain. That is why our troops should come home. The good lieutanant-general said on 2 December: “We are continuing to strike the Taliban ... until their eyballs bleed.” This is surely the unhappy effect of his getting drunk with Americans.

The public must become more politically aware
The matter is worse than current sacrifices of lives being for nothing. If that outcome, tragic though it is, finalized conflict at least damage would be known and limited. Unfortunately, the Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistani wars have introduced malevolence, destructiveness or evil, as G.W. Bush would call it, into the affairs of men that will produce blowback as it always does. Osama bin Laden’s attacks were blowback from American meddling that were amplified by America drawing Europe and other nations into the illegal Afghan and Iraqi wars. This destructive dynamic must be extinguished. The best way is for every person to refuse cooperation with it. We need a better informed and more politically aware public, which can begin by seeking information from more reliable sources than the UK government-controlled BBC.

This week, the BBC gave Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili about 20 minutes of television time to present himself as a peace-lover, friend of the “free world” using Cold-War language, doing wonderful things, whose tiny country is under threat from an aggressive Russia. Saakashvili is perhaps the most dangerous man in Europe who, with American backing, attempted to embroil NATO in a war with Russia when he invaded South Ossetia. He has rushed to offer President Obama one thousand Georgian troops for Afghanistan, which immediately makes him a friend of Gordon Brown and the UK government-appointed BBC governors.

There is no point in our military families protesting to the government after their sons, husbands or womenfolk have been killed or maimed in Afghanistan. This is not a war in defence of Britain. It is in defence of Gordon Brown’s future payoff, our politicians’ company directorships and our military leaders’ careers. Military families and the general public should appraise themselves of the law and the facts of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These are extremely simple.

The only law necessary is the Nuremberg Principles which are part of UK law and prescribe punishment for war crimes, including wars of aggression. The only facts necessary are: Iraq did not threaten or attack Europe or America and neither Afghanistan nor any Afghan threatened or attacked Europe or America. The only interpretation possible, therefore, is that the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions are wars of aggression and constitute war crimes.

That was not apparent immediately following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade centre when we struggled to understand the attack itself, to find Afghanistan on a map, to distinguish the Taliban from Al-Qaeda, and to understand the aims of Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush and Anthony Blair. It took time to get the truth and when it emerged it was not from our government. Now, eight years on, we know more and it has been evident for much of that time that the Afghanistan invasion was a war of aggression. The American and British governments lied to us.

Gordon Brown, the Joint Chiefs of Defence Staff and government ministers such as Douglas Alexander can give no reason why UK soldiers are fighting and dying there. As Alexander said on television recently: “We’re in Afghanistan defending the UK.” How, exactly, he did not say and nor has anyone else been able to. The London bombers were UK citizens, born in this country and if they had a connection to any other country it was Pakistan, not Afghanistan. None of the Madrid bombers came from Pakistan or Afghanistan either.

Political change in the spring election is needed
The UK needs drastic political change to extract us from the war in Afghanistan as the first stage of detaching from the malign influence of the United States of America. Europe has permitted itself to be occupied by this berserk, vicious state that has 113,337 structures of all types, including 60,086 buildings, in countries external to the United States, according to the US Dept of Defence Base Structure Report. One can see from this that Japan and Germany are still under occupation. The UK is also occupied by half a dozen major bases. The UK’s “special relationship” with America means that our politicians give the US whatever it wants and the US pays off people like Anthony Blair. Watch Gordon Brown’s fortunes improve after he is thrown out of office in the coming elections.

There is no future for Europe or the UK in being parasitized by the USA. The only function of US bases in Europe is to permit political meddling, military provocations and, ultimately, armed force over which Europe has no control. The Japanese are finding that they have no influence whatsoever on what the US does on their territory. We in Europe need to rid ourselves of US bases, form an independent European force and take responsibility for our own security. America is no longer a friend to Europe.

Our current crop of UK politicians and military chiefs are looking after themselves, not the country or the people for whom they are responsible. We now have our own military-industrial complex. The UK’s citizens must find a new type of politician or we can look forward to lives as poverty-stricken serfs of our business, military and political leaders in the service of America. The lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, the behaviour of our politicians and banks as well as the growing underclass in the UK and America itself, demonstrate it.

Never mind the nonsense that our politicians and military chiefs spout about how we endanger our troops by not supporting their wars. Anthony Blair, for whom justice is waiting at the International Criminal Court, kept the Iraq war out of the last election by preaching that. Watch our current politicians fudge the issue with half-truths and hedged promises. In the spring elections we need candidates who will pledge to bring our troops home immediately, take the Iraq war to the International Court of Justice and unlike Barack Obama’s “change”, actually do it. That is the best possible support for our troops and in the best possible long-term interests of our country and the country knows it.


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