"The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor
is the mind of the oppressed..." 

                                                              -Steven Biko

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                                   for social and economic justice


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APPOINTMENT IN BAGHDAD:
AMERICA’S WAR ON THE LIFE-WORLD

A crucial fact has been repressed about the “Iraq crisis”. No mainstream medium reports that the Bush-government plans to attack Iraq already constitute a war crime under international law. “Planning, preparation and initiation of a war of aggression” is prohibited by the Nuremberg Charter, the basis of instituted international law after the defeat and trial of the leaders of the last major imperial aggressor, Nazi Germany. (more)

The same basic international law prohibits the “murder of innocent civilians” and “the wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages or devastation not justified by military necessity”, precisely the war crimes committed by the U.S. and its allies in bombing civilian centres and life-supportive infrastructures in the last “Iraq War” which killed over 1, 000,000 Iraqui civilians. Yet even the British media do not report the war crimes unfolding. Tony the War Poodle barks on, unnamed as the primary accomplice in the unfolding crime against peace.

The “responsible media” also refuse to connect this continuous threat of war criminal attack to the Bush administration’s unilateral self-exemption from the newly formed International Criminal Court - a self-exemption from the rule of law it is now bullying some of the world’s poorest countries to endorse. 

Why is this monstrously hypocritical War Crusade never featured in the media as the real threat to international peace and security? Given that the last U.S.-led war against Iraq failed to remove Saddam, who was armed by the U.S. and its allies themselves, can he really be the target? His elite forces were given U.S. helicopter air cover to protect them from rebelling Iraquis in 1991.

Given that the U.S.-led bombing killed over 500,000 children by its infrastructural damage and subsequent militarily-enforced embargo, why is it that all we hear about is “regime change” when this horrendous mass murder by the last war is not mentioned? Given that Iraq’s vast 112-billion-barrel publicly owned oil reserves are the real treasure this oil-led administration desires for U.S. corporate control, just as with the Caspian oilfields around Afghanistan, why is the spotlight not on the U.S. government as the prime violator of international law for the purposes of forcibly seizing of other countries’ natural resources? Why is the world press refusing to print a word about this very major war crime for foreign treasure?

The Larger Pattern

Consider also the larger pattern that remains repressed from view. The Bush Jr. administration has already sabotaged laws, covenants and treaties to protect individuals and peoples against nuclear weapons, biological weapons, chemical weapons, landmines, small arms, international ballistic missiles, torture, racism, discrimination against women, arbitrary seizure and imprisonment, crimes against humanity and war crimes, military weather distortions, biodiversity loss, and international climate destabilisation. 

Notice that the privileged promulgators of official culture are all silent about this rogue state pattern usurping the rule of law at every level, with none connected or condemned in their joint meaning. As in the last fascist interregnum, the safe and well-off will pretend “that they didn’t know what was going on”. That way they can go along for the imperial ride as servlings, public figures and media stars, and then act shocked if this the war criminal regime unravels, as it will. 

So follow the pathological pattern as it unfolds. This obscene theatre of war in which the poor and the unarmed are always the ones who suffer most is just the latest moment of a unilateralist campaign of attacks by the Bush Jr. regime on international agreements of every kind that protect human life. The attacks are led by a fraudulently elected administration for a plain reason - to render the rule of law void against its own violations. The deepest pathogenic pattern that is repressed from view is that life security on the planet is what every move of this aggressor regime is choosing to destabilize.

America’s War Within 

We need to recognise that this rule by lies, wars and systematic lawlessness not only marks this U.S. administration as the world’s number one Rogue State. Every step it takes of lawless aggression and unaccountability requires the collaboration of those who tacitly consent to or side with it, still a slim majority of the polled American population. The deepest war is within America itself. 

In the end, it is a question of whether the Republic stands, or is usurped all the way down by its basest elements - the money-and-war party that every great American statesman from Jefferson to Lincoln and Roosevelt has warned the country against.

The question is, can America awake to this historic meaning before it is altogether usurped?

John McMurtry PhD
bio
(John McMurtry’s book on these matters, Value Wars: The Global Market versus the Life Economy, Pluto Press, 2002)
 

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updated Sept 2002