Clearing House" -- -- When I was a kid, John Wayne war movies
gave us the message that America was the good guy, the white hat
that fought the villain.
Alas, today the US and its last remaining non-coerced ally,
Israel, are almost universally regarded as the bad guys over
whom John Wayne would triumph. Today the US and Israel are seen
throughout the world as war criminal states.
On August 23 the
reported that Amnesty International has brought war crimes
charges against Israel for deliberately targeting civilians and
civilian infrastructure as an "integral part" of Israel’s
strategy in its recent invasion of Lebanon.
Israel claims that its aggression was "self-defense" to
dislodge Hezbollah from southern Lebanon. Yet, Israel bombed
residential communities all over Lebanon, even Christian
communities in the north in which no Hezbollah could possibly
have been present.
United Nations spokesman Jean Fabre reported that Israel’s
attack on civilian infrastructure annihilated Lebanon’s
"Fifteen years of work have been wiped out in a month."
Israel maintains that this massive destruction was unintended
President Bush maintains that Israel has
"a right to protect itself" by destroying Lebanon.
Bush blocked the attempt to stop Israel’s aggression and is,
thereby, equally responsible for the war crimes. Indeed, a
number of reports claim that Bush instigated the Israeli
aggression against Lebanon.
Bush has other war crime problems. Benjamin Ferenccz, a
of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg,
that President Bush should be tried as a war criminal side by
side with Saddam Hussein for starting aggressive wars, Hussein
for his 1990 invasion of Kuwait and Bush for his 2003 invasion
Under the Nuremberg standard, Bush is definitely a war
criminal. The US Supreme Court also exposed Bush to war crime
charges under both the US War Crimes Act of 1996 and the Geneva
Conventions when the Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [
PDF] against the Bush administration’s military tribunals
and inhumane treatment of detainees.
President Bush and his Attorney General agree that under
existing laws and treaties Bush is a war criminal together with
many members of his government. To make his war crimes legal
after the fact, Bush has instructed the Justice (sic) Department
draft changes to the War Crimes Act and to US treaty
obligations under the Geneva Conventions.
One of Bush’s changes would deny protection of the Geneva
Conventions to anyone in any American court.
Bush’s other change would protect from prosecution any US
government official or military personnel guilty of violating
Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Article 3 prohibits "at any
time and in any place whatsoever outrages upon personal dignity,
in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment." As civil
Nat Hentoff observes, this change would also undo Senator
John McCain’s amendment against torture.
Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of
Military Justice says that Bush’s changes
"immunize past crimes."
Under the US Constitution and US legal tradition, retroactive
law is impermissible. What do Americans think of their
President’s attempts to immunize himself, his government, CIA
operatives, military personnel and civilian contractors from war
Apparently, the self-righteous morally superior American "Christian"
public could care less. The Republican-controlled House and
Senate, which long ago traded integrity for power, are working
to pass Bush’s changes prior to the mid-term elections in the
event the Republicans fail to steal three elections in a row and
Democrats win control of the House or Senate.
Meanwhile, the illegal war in Iraq, based entirely on Bush
administration lies, grinds on, murdering and maiming ever more
people. According to the latest administration estimate, the
pointless killing will go on for another 10-15 years.
Trouble is, there are no US troops to carry on the war. The
lack of cannon fodder forces the Bush administration to resort
to ever more desperate measures. The latest is the involuntary
recall of thousands of Marines from the inactive reserves to
active duty. Many attentive people regard this desperate measure
as a sign that the
draft will be reinstated.
According to President Bush, the US will lose the "war on
terror" unless the US succeeds in defeating "the Iraqi
terrorists" by establishing "democracy in Iraq." Of
course, insurgents resisting occupation are not terrorists, and
there were no insurgents or terrorists in Iraq until Bush
Bush’s unjustified invasion of Iraq and his support for
Israeli aggression have done more to create terrorism in the
Muslim world than Osama bin Laden could hope for. The longer
Bush occupies Iraq and the more he tries to extend US/Israeli
hegemony in the Middle East, the more terrorism the world will
Bush and the Zionist/neoconservative
ideology that holds him captive are the greatest 21st century
threats to peace and stability. The neoconized Bush regime
invented the war on terror, lost it, and now is bringing terror
home to the American people.
Paul Craig Roberts, was Assistant Secretary of the
Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of
Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in
Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown:
Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M.
Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of
here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine
interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of