Since President George W. Bush attacked Iraq in an illegal war based on lies, it follows that the U.S. is responsible for trillions in reparations for those who died and infrastructure destroyed.
Not only should Bush and his collaborating cabinet be relieved of their personal assets, but working Americans should have 1% of every paycheck turned over to Iraq until that country is paid in full for what America owes it.
So says J. Angelo Corlett, a professor of Philosophy of Law at San Diego State University, California and who has made an in-depth study of the subject. Corlett also believes that, like Nazi war criminals after WWII, Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, first term National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "must be executed" if they are duly convicted of the war crime of starting that morally unjust war.
Those further down the U.S. chain of responsibility, he adds, should be sentenced to lives of slave labor in Iraq.
Quoted in Noam Chomsky's "Failed States"(Metropolitan) published in 2006, "reconstruction gap" authority Ed Harriman says, Iraq's "schools, hospitals, water supple and electricity, all of which were supposed to benefit from (Coalition Provisional Authority-administered) money, are in ruins."
The fact is "life is actually worse for the Iraqi people now" than under dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has written. "The country's roads, schools, hospitals, homes, and museums have been destroyed and its citizens have less access to electricity and water than before the war." Stiglitz says life in Iraq is barely livable---explaining perhaps why millions of Iraqis have fled.
If each Iraqi life is valued at, say, $10-million, (a conservative figure considering that U.S. courts are awarding $20 million in wrongful death cases,) the U.S. owes Iraq $2.5 trillion, based on a figure of 250,000 killed. And that's not all:
"There is also the matter of the destruction of virtually the entire Iraqi infrastructure mostly by the U.S., and the destruction of the Iraqi civilization and culture," Corlett charges, as well as the clean-up costs of U.S weapons littering the Iraqi landscape.
Corlett says the U.S. is responsible for reimbursing Iraq for the oil usurped by Houston-based Halliburton in order to fuel the invasion and occupation. This could inflate the debt still further.
Corlett goes on to say, "The U.S. invasion and occupation ofIraq is a moral travesty of grand proportions. Those most responsible for it owe far more than they (could) ever pay. But pay they must."
Tragically, Obama officials show no more concern for the destruction the U.S. inflicted on Iraq than previous presidents cared about the damage this country inflicted on, for example, Nicaragua and Viet Nam. In fact, Iraqi dictator Hussein did a better job by paying $30 billion for his aggression against Kuwait than the U.S. has paid to Nicaragua (zero) for backing the Contra attacks.
In 1986, the World Court ruled against the U.S. and in favor of Nicaragua. It awarded reparations to Nicaragua as the U.S. supported the Contras and was mining Nicaragua's harbors. It also charged the U.S. with encouraging human rights violations.
Professor Corlett is author of "Responsibility and Punishment," brought out by the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy." #
Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...