U.S. Lawlessness with Impunity

January 1, 1999

"We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population….Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…."

–George Kennan, Director of U.S. State Department Policy Planning Staff, 1948

"Kiss my ass or I’ll kick your head in."

–Harold Pinter, British playwright, poet and actor,
summarizing U.S. foreign policy, 1998

U.S. President Bill Clinton has arrogantly, and foolishly, committed a number of egregious war crimes and crimes against peace. He unilaterally attacked sovereign Iraq with sophisticated weapons of lethal destruction, December 16-19, 1998. 425 of these weapons were Tomahawk Cruise missiles believed to have been tipped with radiation-producing, target penetrating "depleted" Uranium, similar to the ones used in Desert Storm by President George Bush against Iraq in January-February 1991. Clinton committed equally aggressive acts of war against Iraq in June 1993 and September 1996, and against sovereign nations Sudan and Afghanistan, respectively, on August 20, 1998. These crimes caused extensive damage to the infrastructure and environment of these countries, and the murders of undetermined numbers of civilians. All of these acts of war were initiated and carried out with absolutely no Constitutional or United Nations authorization. Whatever the articulated political rationale for it, this flagrant war-mongering has occurred without the support of lawful, deliberative democratic processes. And one of the notable features of the 78-day NATO-U.S. led bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 was the targeting and destruction of civilian infrastructure and facilities in violation of all laws of war.

Then there is the question of the brutal "United" Nations sanctions being imposed against the people of Iraq, first under President Bush and continued under President Clinton. Under international law sanctions are considered an act of war. It is important to understand that the UN is more than ever under the relentless thumb of Washington. It is the U.S. that, in effect, decides which and whether sanctions are to be imposed. Up to 6,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 are dying each month directly due to the sanctions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) which is monitoring the tragedy. The sanctions, then, are equivalent to an active weapon of mass destruction against these innocent children. As such, these sanctions violate the United Nations (UN) Charter itself, various conventions protecting human rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the latter of which the United States has not ratified.

The fact that the sanctions, and bombings, are being directed against a country deemed "rogue" by the United States, when sanctions and condemnations against ally Israel for much worse transgressions against international law and neighboring countries have been ignored over and over again, is deepening a rage within the Arab world. This seething bitterness is likely to create dangerous, terrorizing consequences for generations. After all, it is obvious to most who is on the bombable side of the double standard, even if the United States chooses to be blind to this reality. The fact that the U.S. and other western nations have been largely responsible for arming virtually all the Middle Eastern nations is simply glossed over. The discriminatory application of sanctions, disarmament, and bombings only against Iraq in a region where Israel is, in fact, known by much of the rest of the world to be the most violent, "rogue" nation, is foolish because it ignores context and principles of fairness. Only the United States and Britain, along with Israel, seem unable to comprehend the dangers of such blatantly uneven justice.

These criminal, lawless acts committed by the United States are extremely dangerous, not just to their immediate victims, but because they are committed with such absolute, total impunity from any accountability, domestically and/or internationally. There is no existing democratic force/process that is willing, or able, to enforce the laws and impose sanctions against the outlaw nation, the United States of America. U.S. policies are continually made unilaterally, according to grotesque, self-serving double standards. They use bully forces totally out of control and increasingly threatening to the hearts, minds, and bodies of the majority of the world’s peoples. The entire world is extraordinarily endangered because of this behavior and the arrogance behind it. As the U.S. government insists on committing unilaterally initiated acts of wholesale terrorism, the people of the U.S. become ever more vulnerable to the likelihood of increased acts of retail terrorism by the desperate, enraged voices of the voiceless.

It would indeed be extraordinarily courageous if the elected U.S. Congressional representatives chose to uphold their Constitutional oath of office by vigorously challenging authentic impeachable offenses of Presidential acts of war directed against sovereign nations. Instead, for example, Congress in 1998-99 focused on impeaching President Clinton for lying about consensual sex, and perhaps about other prurient activities. Acts of war require Constitutional deliberation by Congress. If the Congress concludes that the President has unilaterally conducted war, then impeachment is, conceivably, mandated. If the Congress had deliberatively concluded in advance the political risks of, and genuine defensive needs for a declaration of war as the Constitution requires by law then, of course, the President would serve as the Constitutional commander-in-chief of the armed forces in carrying out the Congressional declaration. Genuine and conscientious adherence to this process could go a long way toward ending the historic pattern of dangerous U.S. imperialism as initiated by virtually every 20th Century president. U.S. aggressive hegemony has greatly contributed to an increasingly unjust and unstable world.

If we are to survive the next millenium with dignity (or at all) in a world already comprised of 210 nations and 6 billion people, the U.S. must learn to abide by an ecological politics of justice for all species, for all peoples.


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