David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War & The American Civil Liberties Union – 2018-04-20 01:18:23
Syria: All Wrong and Backwards
David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War
(April 17, 2018) — In the park today I saw a teenager watching two little kids, one of whom apparently stole a piece of candy from the other. The teenager rushed up to the two of them, reprimanded one of them, and stole both of their bicycles. I felt like it was my turn to step in at that point, and I confronted the bicycle thief.
“Excuse me,” I said, “what makes you think you can commit a larger crime just because you witnessed a smaller one? Who do you think you are?” He stared at me for a while, and replied: “the US military.”
There is no crime larger than war. There is no way to legalize it. The Kellogg-Briand Pact bans it, and the United Nations Charter bans it with narrow exceptions that have not remotely been met by any of the US wars of the past 17 years.
A small crime cannot justify a larger one. In 2002-2003 Iraq could have had all the weapons the warmongers were lying about. Or it could have not had them. It didn’t make the slightest difference legally, morally, or otherwise in justifying a war.
Now, Syria could have used chemical weapons. Or it could not have. The question is not uninteresting or amoral or unimportant or boring, but it is completely and utterly irrelevant to the question of war.
So, yes, it’s fun to point out how often they’ve lied and how they lack any proof of their claims and so forth. But do so with the understanding that you’re being played, you’re being manipulated into conceding that if they ever can make a case that some crime has been committed, that will justify them in killing large numbers of people and risking global apocalypse.
It won’t. The problem is not that Trump wants to start a war before the inspectors can determine whether a war is merited. War cannot be merited. There is no such thing as mass murder getting justified by someone else committing murder with the wrong type of murder weapon. This is ludicrous nonsense.
What if Iraqis really had taken babies out of incubators in Kuwait? What if the Vietnamese really had shot back at the invaders in the Gulf of Tonkin? What if the Spanish really had strip-searched a woman or blown up the USS. Maine?
Once the media has got you debating some such question as if it’s an application for a license to kill and kill and kill and kill, you’ve failed at the task of spotting the war lie. The lie is not the answer. The lie is the question.
Imagine if, whenever 12 people were killed with a bomb or guns, the “International Community” had to kill the nearest 20,000 people with poison gas. Why is the reverse so acceptable? It shouldn’t be. It isn’t legal or moral or decent or popular enough for the warmongers to let us have a public vote before they do it.
Trump’s threat of war — the threat itself — is a violation of the UN Charter, which Congress pretends does not exist, but which the US Constitution makes the Supreme Law of the Land along with every other treaty that the United States is party to.
But those Congress members telling Trump he cannot commit the crime of continuing and escalating one of his many wars without Congress, are obliged to act — and not by “authorizing” the crime.
Rather, they are obliged to prevent it — and not to wait and punish it after the fact. The tool available to them is impeachment and removal from office. The list of impeachable offenses is not exactly lacking.
There are some people I know of who have not been falling for the media manipulation. They are people who’ve read War Is A Lie.
The Day DC Was Bombed
David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World Beyond War
(April 18, 2018) — Imagine some foreign nation sent 100 missiles into Washington D.C.
You can imagine this because Hollywood has trained you to imagine it.
Imagine that for weeks or months prior to this attack, the foreign nation’s government and public debated whether to do it.
You can imagine this because you live in the one nation on earth where such debates happen, or because you have heard about the sorts of things that go on in the United States.
Now imagine that the primary excuse for the attack settled on in the debate in the distant foreign capital was this: it would be punishment for the US government’s use of and possession of banned weapons: depleted uranium, white phosphorous, napalm, cluster bombs, etc.
You may be able to imagine that, depending on what you know about events in the world and how good you are at playing role reversal.
Now imagine that the debate here in the United States and in Washington D.C. — including heated discussions on-the-spot by parents with little bloody bits of their children splattered on and staining their clothes, tears streaming, shrieks almost drowning out all talk — that this debate also focuses on whether or not the United States really did use some banned weapon or not.
You cannot imagine that, because you’re not a sociopath, and you realize quite well that nobody could possibly give a flying fuck about such a debate, that one crime cannot legalize another crime, that no country gets to appoint itself retributive global cop, and that murder is murder no matter how it’s packaged.
Now imagine that the world generally agrees with the claim that bombing DC was an appropriate way to “send a message” and to “deter” future “alleged crimes.” But imagine that a new debate has broken out in the world over whether the nation that sent the missiles made its decision through its executive or its legislative branch.
Imagine that even within that nation, elected officials from its Resistance Party are claiming that bombing D.C. can only have been legal if the legislature properly authorized it.
Can you imagine the US public joining in giving the slightest whiff of a shit about such a debate? I cannot.
Now, suppose that the foreign president who sent the 100 missiles claims to have a secret memo that explains the legality of it all quite convincingly, but that you cannot see it because that would endanger his “national security.”
Well, that would just about satisfy all of your remaining concerns, right?
OK let’s try something easier to imagine. Let’s imagine that a bit too many people begin noticing and talking about the “Made in USA” labels on the missiles. Would the claim come forth from the weapons’ dealers’ “think tanks” that at least the missiles were a good patriotic “jobs program”? You may not think that’s likely, but it’s certainly imaginable.
But then, so is this. People might stop accepting horrible bullshit justifications for mass murder. I can imagine that. Can you?
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook