Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D. – 2005-07-12 22:43:57
“War crimes: Violations of the law and customs of war.”
— Principles of the Nuremberg Charter and Judgment, Principle VI b
We’ve finally become the barbarian horde that the world has always feared. How so? At home, the Bushites are implementing their fascistic militarizatio n of US culture.  Abroad, their minions have been implementing the illegal conquest and occupation of Iraq with horrific impact:
(A) the indiscriminate slaughter of more than 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilian noncombatants ; and
(B) the unnecessary destruction of the world’s most important museums, antiquities, and archeological sites .
Focusing for the moment on the latter criminal outrage, the pre-war Bush administration and the Pentagon were repeatedly warned by world-class scholars and international officials that: (1) Iraq is literally the cradle of human civilization; and (2) the invading US military must not allow Iraq’s priceless patrimony to be disturbed, looted, or destroyed. 
Moreover, international law unequivocally prohibits belligerent occupants — like the US military in Iraq — from confiscating, destroying, or damaging historical monuments, antiquities, works of art, and institutions devoted to the arts and sciences. Regardless of their actual ownership status, such cultural properties are to be treated as private property, and thus beyond the reach of the occupant.
For the law of war’s applicable provisions, see Article 56 of the 1907 Hague Regulations and the 1954 Hague Convention Relative to the Protection of Cultural Properties in Case of Armed Conflict. It’s noteworthy that any violation of the law of war constitutes a war crime. 
Nevertheless, the government of the belligerent occupants — namely, the Bushites — subsequently allowed widespread looting while they blithely looke d the other way. Furthermore, the Pentagon’s thuggish brass and ignorant field marshals have been willfully implementing the destruction of the world’s old est archeological sites.
For instance, they’ve constructed a vibrationally-pulve rizing US air base adjacent to the Ziggurat. And they’ve been conducting archeologically-damaging military operations next to the Biblically-signific ant ancient cities of Ur (the patriarch Abraham’s birthplace) and Babylon (scene of the Babylonian Captivity and the Handwriting On The Wall). 
To place in proper perspective the magnitude of the Bushites’ outrageous war crimes against 5,000 years of human civilization: (A) an Oxford scholar says “You’d have to go back centuries, to the Mongol invasion of Baghdad in 1258, to find looting on this scale”; and (B) a Boston University professor of archeology calls it “the greatest cultural disaster of the last 500 years.” 
Outside the USA, the world is quite understandably outraged at the ghastly carnage and wanton destruction wrought by this depraved war against the crad le of civilization. Inside the USA, the morally-blind American people are yawni ng indifferently: “Pass me the chips and the remote, dude. We’re gonna watch th e next episode of ‘Empire’!”
Evidently the American people don’t realize — or don’t care — that their own government not only is committing numerous war crimes but also is on an unsustainable collision-course with the rest of humankind. If they did, they ‘d be idiomatically stating the obvious: “Something’s gotta give, or this planet’s toast!” 
 Evan Augustine Peterson III’s two-part OS series, “American Militarism” [Part 1: explains how the Pentagon’s consolidation of military with politica l and economic power, combined with its secrecy, has produced a war-dependent US economy. Part 2: defines “militarism”; explains how the regressive right is intentionally implementing the militarization of American culture, and how U S over-investment in military defense is tipping the balance away from a democratic republic and toward neofascism.)]: A. “American Militarism, Part 1: Is The USA Addicted To War?” (May 2005): http://orbstandard.com/News/Peterson/peterson_is_the_us_addicted_to_w ar.html B. “American Militarism, Part 2: On Celebrating Militaristic Nationalism” (July 2005): http://orbstandard.com/News/Peterson/Peterson_On_Celebrating_Militaristic_Na tionalism.html
 Evan Augustine Peterson III’s 10-31-04 NFPNZ essay “A Question Of Conscience: How Many More? British Study Concludes That 100,000 Civilian Dea ths Have Been Caused By Iraq War Violence” [This study’s deeply-disturbing conclusion is the tip of the evidentiary iceberg, when one considers the large number o f prosecutable war crimes that have been committed by Americans in Iraq — like their illegal invasion, routine acts of torture in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, indiscriminate applications of lethal force in sieges like Fallujah, widespr ead use of napalm bombs and depleted-uranium munitions, etc.]: http://nuclearfree.lynx.co.nz/howmanymore.htm
 UCSD Professor Emeritus Chalmers Johnson’s must-read 7-8-05 CD/TP essay, “The Smash Of Civilizations” [Delivers the lurid details concerning the Bush administration’s “privatization” of the antiquities trade in Iraq, and the U S military’s wanton pillaging and intentional destruction of Iraq’s 5,000 year-old cultural heritage (all of which are war crimes).]: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0708-29.htm
 Chalmers Johnson, ibid.
 Consider these authoritative legal definitions of “war crime”: A. “The term ‘war crime’ is the technical expression for a violation of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. Every violati on of the law of war is a war crime.” Source: US Dept. of Army, Field Manual 27-10, The Law Of Land Warfare 178, para. 499 (1956). B. “War crimes: Violations of the law and customs of war.” Source: Principles of the Nuremberg Charter and Judgment, Principle VI b, 5 UN GAOR, Supp. No. 12, at 11-14, para. 99, UN Doc. A/1316 (1950). C. “War Crime. Conduct that violates international laws governing war.
Examples of war crimes are the killing of hostages, abuse of civilians in occupied territories, abuse of prisoners of war, and devastation that is not justified by military necessity.” Source: Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Ed ition (St. Paul, MN: West Group, 1999), p.1577.
 Chalmers Johnson, ibid.
 Johnson, ibid.
 Finally, three recent essays by caring Americans challenge Mr. Bush’s myopic neocon collision-course with reality and explain why it is unacceptab le:
A. Heather Hamilton and Sam Stein’s 7-11-05 TP essay, “Bush Fiddles While The World Warms” [Among the G8 nations’ leaders, only Mr. Bush wants t hem to focus on terrorism and to ignore that on which everyone else agrees: the obvious fact that global security, climate change, poverty, and terrorism ar e inextricably intertwined.]: http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20050711/bush_fiddles_while_the_world_warms .php B. Tom Englehart’s 7-11-05 CD/TD essay, “Making The World Unsafe For Democracy” [Challenges Mr. Bush’s latest rationalization for illegally occup ying Iraq, which is NOT “forcing terrorists to fight on their turf instead of our s” (consider the bombings in London and Madrid), but IS making the world unsafe for democracy.]: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/07
11-01.htm C. Ralph Nader’s 7-9-05 CD essay, “Ralph Nader’s Open Letter To George W. Bush” [Challenges GWB to “put his money where his mouth is” by: (1) repealing his tax-cuts for the rich and conscripting upper-class children, s o they can contribute their fair share to support his “war on terror”; OR (2) becoming the strict constructionist he falsely claims to be, and thus strictly construing Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution, which assigns the p ower to declare war solely to Congress, so Congress can use the War Powers Clause to revoke his unconstitutional declaration of war against Iraq.]: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0709-25.htm
About The Author: Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D., is the Executive Director of the American Center for International Law (ACIL). He writes on international law, human rights, ethics, foreign policy, government, politics, and culture. His artic les have been published online by — among others — AxisOfLogic, BellaCiao, BuffaloReport, CentreForGlobalResearch, CoalitionForFreeThoughtInMedia, Cold Type, DebtSlavery.org, Democrats.com, Eklektikos, EnvirosAgainstWar, ForeignPressFoundation, InformationClearingHouse, IrishAntiwar, Kucinich.us, NewtopiaMagazine, NuclearFreePeacemakerNewZealand, OnlineJournal, OpEdNews, OrbStandard, PinellasGreens, PopulistAmerica, SantaBarbaraProgressive, Scoop, TheModernTr ibune, ThePeoplesVoice, TheRepublic, TodaysAlternativeNews, UrukNet, VHeadline, and ZNet.