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Crime, culpability and punishment

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What follows is a narrative taken solely from my mind, my own thoughts. To be sure the account could just as easily (and I'm sure in many instances it has), come from the victims of genocide in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine or any other place in this Universe where the oppressors practice their murderous craft.

I make no presumption to be qualified to speak as a single voice for these victims, and I mean no offense to those victims by speaking thusly in this narrative. I do this as a human being who feels compassion (and no small degree of guilt) for the victimized. I do this as a writer because it is the writer's responsibility to narrate and document.

It is the writer's responsibility to stand as witness to history. It is the writer's responsibility to ensure that those who seek to make history in their own image do not taint history. It is the writer's responsibility also to indict those who would terrorize and murder in the name of nationalism, or capitalism. The following short narrative is this writer's unassuming attempt to contribute to that duty.

"If a man points a gun at me to rob, rape and pillage and I have no gun, how shall I respond? Shall I welcome this man with open arms and allow myself to become an abettor - an enabler - of the robber, rapist and pillager? If I resist - and how can I resist? - what are my tools of resistance?

"Shall I resist in the Christian way by 'turning the other cheek?' As I turn the other cheek the pillager has raped my daughters and my wife. As the pillager wipes his filthy parts after the rape he kills his victims as well as my sons. But I plead to no avail as he laughs in my face.

"If a man is a powerful leader of a powerful country and he sends other men to my country to commit those above described acts and more, how do we as peaceful men respond? We are not Christian, we are Muslim, but this powerful leader wishes to convert us? He says that we should be as his countrymen and embrace democracy, but his proselytizing is backed up with soldiers, guns, death and destruction. Is this the Christian way, I ask?

"This powerful leader has been responsible for the deaths of over one-half million of my countrymen; this is not the way of Christ. So many deaths, this comes under the heading of genocide and yet many - in his own country and elsewhere - see this man as a strong leader. In my world, we view this powerful leader as a war criminal who needs to be brought to justice.

"But who speaks for my world, my country? Many people living in the country ruled by this powerful leader speak up, but they are ignored. The country ruled by this powerful leader claims to be a democracy but the politicians who supposedly make up this democracy do not speak up. Indeed, these supposed democratically elected politicians have aided and abetted in the genocide committed against my people.
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"The annals of history are written with the blood of many; victims of genocide. The victors - the rapists, pillagers, robbers - ride their bloody steeds on roads made of the crushed skulls and bones of the men, women and children they annihilated in their quest for gold, silver, oil or "making the world safe for democracy," or Christianity.

"Why are the people of my country, my poor country, any less victims of a great holocaust than those people known as the Jews? If it was genocide in the 1940s, why is it not genocide now? Is it perhaps because "making the world safe for democracy" sounds so much more palatable than genocide?

"This powerful leader, whose name is George W. Bush wages a war of genocide against my people and then sends in his robber barons to haggle over the ill-gotten gains. Mesopotamia has seen this type of plundering crusader for centuries, killing and raping in the name of Christendom, when in actuality it is more to do with the God of lucre than with the God of Christ. George W. Bush is but one more murdering, raping, thief descended from a long, evil line. Those politicians and the people in the United States who put the murderers on the throne of destruction and annihilation are culpable. My country and my people held no animus toward the people of America, but we can no longer hold that view.

"I have seen and read that your powerful - and murderous - country has surpassed a milestone, a population of 300 million people. My country had a population of about 22 million, as your genocidal assault continues our population declines. Would you kill us all, in the name of oil, in the name of God?"

George W. Bush is evil, he is a war criminal as defined by the Geneva Convention and all International Law, including the laws of the United States. Under the Geneva Convention, as well as the laws of the United States, most of the members of his Administration as well as many of our elected representatives are also guilty of criminal offenses.
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TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 118 > - 2441
- 2441. War crimes

(a) Offense.- Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death. (b) Circumstances.- The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act). (c) Definition.- As used in this section the term "war crime" means any conduct- (1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party; (2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907; (3) which constitutes a violation of common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party and which deals with non-international armed conflict; or (4) of a person who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended at Geneva on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996), when the United States is a party to such Protocol, willfully kills or causes serious injury to civilians.

Isn't it time for all civilized nations and individuals to stand up to the criminals in Washington, as well as Great Britain and Israel? Who shall speak for the dead and the victimized, if not us? The writers, the chroniclers of history, the witnesses to the atrocities, the man and woman in the street whose sensibilities and conscience are burdened by the rape, pillaging and genocide. If not now, when?

History will judge us all - nay, will condemn us all - by our inaction, by our complicity in these crimes against humanity.

 

Frank is a radical iconoclast of a certain age now living and writing from the urban enclave of Philadelphia.

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"History will judge us all - nay, will condemn us ... by Mark E. Smith on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 at 12:12:46 AM