(Article changed on May 14, 2013 at 21:15)
Nuremberg Trials Nuremberg Trials: looking down on the defendants' dock. Ca. 194 by by Ca 194
Antiwar leaders protest, "Hands off Syria!" but do NOT call for the prosecution of US homicidal crimes against humanity ALREADY committed in Syria by the CIA, the State Department, Congress, the Executive branch, and investment bankers. Nor have they called for the prosecution of US crimes in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba, Lebanon, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Guatemala, Congo, Korea and Greece. Yet, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, once the highest law officer in America, has long described US foreign policy after the last world war as the greatest crime against humanity, and declared that he would welcome a chance to lead an effort to prosecute those responsible.
To my knowledge as a people's historian, Americans protesting with the now standard slogan "Hands off..." have as yet never called for the prosecution of ANY US crime against humanity under the Nuremberg Principles, Kellogg-Briant, the US Constitution, conventional law, common law, or laws found in the scriptures of every religion. With such a history, US war criminals have no fear of arrest, arraignment, indictment, punishment, imprisonment, or hanging, and can therefore freely plan any new depredations they wish.
Your author asks this in the name of all the millions mercilessly slaughtered and in the name of all that is Holy:
Is calling for "Hands off Syria" meant to be anything but an effort to look good while merely dissembling compassion for Syrians? Surely, those with experience working in the peace industry could not possibly believe that the protest "Hands Off Syria!" will do anything at all to protect Syrians from being slaughtered. That will still be the result of the greed of the speculative investment banking community that rules the white colonial powers. It is no secret that NO US war has ever been prevented or ended by protest. Could it be that the protesters are only pretending to be innocent of all of America's past crimes against humanity?
Consider for a moment who it really is that the protesters are demanding keep their hands off Syria. Who has had a hand already in the decades of homicidal US war crimes that still go on? Those crimes have been committed by the tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans who participated in them, by the tens of millions who have supported them, and by the hundreds of millions of others who acquiesced in them. All this took place while antiwar leaders went through their usual, now standard, protests against the very government they helped to elect and reelect, as if the American government were something apart from those who protest against it.
Peace demonstrators protest, but they never call for humanity's laws to be brought down on those who willingly participate in crimes of war, or who willingly support them, propagandize them, or honor them as achievements. Other Americans similarly ignore the suffering of war-crime victims, as they enjoy watching their stocks rise in value.
As for antiwar leaders...rarely do they call for more than the prosecution of a few government officials they protest against; almost never do they seek to prosecute the wealthy investors in crime who are served by all appointed officials and by most elected ones.
In order not to alienate their progressive and liberal followers, most antiwar leaders, and many journalists in the alternative media, carefully tread water when swimming in news that has been successfully falsified in the mainstream media. But even sincere and well-spoken antiwar journalists avoid calling for the prosecution of bloody crimes against humanity, which they report in gruesome detail to make a living. Instead of following the logic of bearing witness to these crimes in legal proceedings, they rationalize them as mistaken policies that were nevertheless formulated with good intentions.
Such rationalization is a far more insidious block to any awakening of the citizenry to a need for action than is either the blatant propaganda from corporate media or the absurd cries of Tea Partiers for empire and "just wars." Such calls for power seem an overreach to many discerning citizens, bringing them over to the side of reason, and to compassion and mercy for the poor and miserable multitudes who would face US firepower.
The Lure of Immense Profits from Overseas Investments
In the absence of even a suggestion of possible future prosecution, those Americans who stand to profit from the gains achieved by subjugating others will continue to act and think in defiance of the law and without mercy toward their victims. Because they have no fear of arrest, arraignment, indictment, punishment, imprisonment, or hanging for crimes against humanity, they are willing to accept such crimes in the name of all Americans in order to reap the profits of unjust and predatory investments overseas.
In his book Beyond Vietnam-a Time to Break Silence, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed, "This is the role our nation has taken, refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments."
King pointed his finger at America, at all Americans, including himself. By contrast, however, the professional antiwar leaders (with the exception of a few exceptional clergy-based peace organizations) point their fingers away from themselves and at the government. That reaction is in direct opposition to King, since it denies his teaching that all Americans are both responsible for. and capable of, making both covert violence and the atrocities of war unacceptable and impracticable. They can do so by conscientious objection and by refusing to participate or support violence, or to acquiesce in it.
King would have prosecuted crimes against humanity in the same way he successfully prosecuted racist crimes in the street and in the court of public opinion. It is a reflection of his efforts that, today, racist crimes are tried in government courts.
King said that it was not only a matter of morality, but of logic, that wars should be stopped before they siphoned off the energy needed to improve American society for Americans. As he put it, "The super enormous expenditure of human and financial resources to kill the poor overseas, makes progress in racial and social justice at home impossible." But, today, King is ignored! The slogan "Hands off Syria!" will compete for space and time with every imaginable non-war issue at conferences of UNAC. Your writer naively participated in one such conference and came away more angry than dismayed.
I suppose King might have understood that this ex-pat American is waiting for the American antiwar movement, indeed the antiwar movement in the European empires as well, to come to Jesus. That vision is something akin to waiting for Americans to believe in themselves, to have self-respect and the human decency to put our victims ahead of ourselves, as King did.
Better to bring ourselves before the law, before our infinitely more numerous victims do. In their own beloved countries, previously made poor by imperial plunder, the overseas victims of US crimes against humanity will have many millions within America's ethnic minorities standing with them, as well as a significant proportion of European-Americans who have never identified themselves with America's arrogant wars of aggression.
From the perspective of an expat American who has lived more than half his life among people bombed by America, there is a recognizable bit of "my country right or wrong" in the posture of the American progressive and non-socialist left. In this camp, of course, protest against injustice is the right thing to do. Yet, few within it have any intention to stop their fellow citizens from mass murdering--either because the rest believe it is impossible to do, or because it would make too much trouble for themselves and for many of their neighbors and friends.
What is desperately needed is protest of crimes of the American empire, both behind and beyond crimes of armed intervention; economic and political crimes that often cause even greater loss of life than guns and missiles. The US economic enslavement of neighboring countries of Mexico and Haiti are examples of these crimes that are not protested though the plight the millions suffering from such ongoing crimes against humanity is well known.
This eighty-two-year-old student of the history of earthlings, assures both friends and critics that, barring extinction, the logic and reason and humanity that rule in the arts and sciences and in ordinary daily human life will prevail in the end to stave off the mass homicide that would otherwise result from the continued pursuit of their inhuman interests by insane thieves that, blessedly, constitute only a very small segment of mankind.
jay janson, is coordinator of the King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign and web historian for the entirely educational Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign, which features the pertinent laws, exhortations by Einstein, King and others, and a country by country history of US crimes. This site asks nothing at all from its viewers.