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 Philip Giraldi Archive
Where Are They Now?
The trillion dollar a year war on terror is a witness protection program for government felons

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cincinnatus1

The United States already has by far the per capita largest prison population of any developed country but I am probably one of the few Americans who on this Independence Day would like to see a lot more people in prison, mostly drawn from politicians and senior bureaucrats who have long believed that their status makes them untouchable, giving them license to steal and even to kill. The sad fact is that while whistleblowers have been imprisoned for revealing government criminality, no one in the federal bureaucracy has ever actually been punished for the crimes of torture, kidnapping and assassination committed during the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama presidencies.

Why is accountability important? After the Second World War, the victorious allies believed it was important to establish responsibility for the crimes that had been committed by officials of the Axis powers. The judges at the Nuremberg Trials called the initiation of a war of aggression the ultimate war crime because it inevitably unleashed so many other evils. Ten leading Nazis were executed at Nuremberg and ninety-three Japanese officials at similar trials staged in Asia, including several guilty of waterboarding. Those who were not executed for being complicit in the actual launching of war were tried for torture of both military personnel and civilians and crimes against humanity, including the mass killing of civilians as well as of soldiers who had surrendered or been captured.

No matter how one tries to avoid making comparisons between 1939 and 2015, the American invasion of Iraq was a war of aggression, precisely the type of conflict that the framework of accountability provided by Nuremberg was supposed to prevent in the years after 1946. High level US government officials knew that Iraq represented no threat to the United States but they nevertheless described an imminent danger posed by Saddam Hussein in the most graphic terms, replete with weapons of mass destruction, armed drones flying across the Atlantic, terrorists being unleashed against the homeland, and mushroom clouds on the horizon. The precedent of Iraq, even though it was an abject failure, has led to further military action against Libya and Syria to bring about “regime change” as well as a continuing conflict in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has been waging a largely secret “long war” against terrorists employing torture and secret prisons. The American people and most of the world bought into the lies and half-truths because they wanted to believe the fiction they were being spoon fed by the White House, but is there a whole lot of difference between what the U.S. government did against Iraq in 2003 and what Hitler’s government did in 1939 when it falsely claimed that Polish troops had attacked Germany? Was subsequent torture by the Gestapo any different than torture by a contractor working for Washington?

Many Americans would now consider the leading figures in the Bush Administration aided and abetted by many enablers in congress from both political parties to be unindicted war criminals. Together they ignited a global conflict that is still running strong fourteen years later with a tally of more than 7,000 dead Americans and a minimum of hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, Somalis and Syrians.

War breeds more war, due largely to the fact that guilty parties in Washington who piggyback on the prevailing narrative move onward and upward, rewarded in this life even if not necessarily so in the hereafter. A friend of mine recently commented that honest men who were formerly part of the United States government do not subsequently get hired by lobbying firms or obtain television contracts and “teaching” positions at prestigious universities. Though not 100% accurate as I know at least a couple of honorable former senior officials who wound up teaching, it would seem to be a generalization that has considerable validity. The implication is that many senior government officials ascend to their positions based on being accommodating and “political” rather than being honest and they continue to do the same when they switch over to corporate America or the equally corrupted world of academia.

I thought of my friend’s comment when I turned on the television a week ago to be confronted by the serious, somewhat intense gaze of Michael Morell, warning about the danger that ISIS will strike the U.S. over the Fourth of July weekend. Morell, a former senior CIA official, is in the terror business. He had no evidence whatsoever that terrorists were planning an attack and should have realized that maneuvering the United States into constantly going on alert based on empty threats is precisely what militant groups tend to do.

When not fronting as a handsomely paid national security consultant for the CBS television network Morell is employed by Beacon Global Strategies as a Senior Counselor, presumably warning well-heeled clients to watch out for terrorists. His lifestyle and substantial emoluments depend on people being afraid of terrorism so they will turn to an expert like him and ask serious questions that he will answer in a serious way suggesting that Islamic militants could potentially bring about some kind of global apocalypse.

Morell, a torture apologist, also has a book out that he wants to sell, positing somewhat ridiculously that he and his former employer had been fighting The Great War of Our Time against Islamic terrorists, something comparable to the World Wars of the past century, hence the title. Morell needs to take some valium and relax. He would also benefit from a little introspection regarding the bad guys versus good guys narrative that he is peddling. His credentials as a warrior are somewhat suspect in any event as he never did any military service and his combat in the world of intelligence consisted largely of sitting behind a desk in Washington and providing briefings to George W. Bush and Barack Obama in which he presumably told them what they wanted to hear.

Morell is one of a host of pundits who are successful in selling the military-industrial-lobbyist-congressional-intelligence community line of BS on the war on terror. Throw in the neocons as the in-your-face agents provocateurs who provide instant intellectual and media credibility for developments and you have large groups of engaged individuals with good access who are on the receiving end of the seemingly unending cash pipeline that began with 9/11. Frances Townsend, who was the Bush Homeland Security adviser and who is now a consultant with CNN, is another such creature as is Michael Chertoff, formerly Director of the Department of Homeland Security, who has successfully marketed his defective airport scanners to his former employer.

But the guys and gals who are out feathering their own nests are at least comprehensible given our predatory capitalist system of government. More to the point, the gang that ordered or carried out torture and assassination are the ones who should be doing some hard time in the slammer but instead they too are riding the gravy train and cashing in. To name only a few of those who knew about the torture and ordered it carried out I would cite George Tenet, James Pavitt, Cofer Black and Jose Rodriguez from the intelligence community. The assassination program meanwhile is accredited to John Brennan, currently CIA Director, during his tenure as Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor. And then there are Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon together with John Yoo at Justice and Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice at the White House, all of whom outright lied, dissimulated and conspired their way to bring about a war of aggression against Iraq.

There are plenty of nameless others who were “only carrying out orders” and who should be included in any reckoning of America’s crimes over the past fifteen years, particularly if one also considers the illegal NSA spying program headed by Michael Hayden, who defended the practice and has also referred to those who oppose enhanced interrogation torture as “interrogation deniers.” And then there are Presidents Bush and Obama who certainly knew what was going on in the name of the American people as well as John Brennan, who was involved in both the torture and renditions programs as well as the more recent assassinations by drone.

So where are they now? Living in obscurity ashamed of what they did? Hardly. Not only have they not been vilified or marginalized, they have, in most cases, been rewarded. George W. Bush lives in Dallas near his Presidential Library and eponymous Think (sic) Tank. Cheney lives in semi-retirement in McLean Virginia with a multi-million dollar waterfront weekend retreat in St. Michaels Maryland, not too far from Donald Rumsfeld’s similar digs.

George Tenet, the CIA Director notorious for his “slam-dunk” comment, a man who cooked the intelligence to make the Iraq war possible to curry favor with the White House, has generously remunerated positions on the boards of Allen & Company merchant bank, QinetiQ, and L-1 Identity Solutions. He sold his memoir At the Center of the Storm, which has been described as a “self-justifying apologia,” in 2007 for a reported advance of $4 million. His book, ironically, admits that the U.S. invaded Iraq for no good reason.

James Pavitt, who was the point man responsible for the “enhanced interrogation” program as Tenet’s Deputy Director for Operations, is currently a principal with The Scowcroft Group and also serves on several boards. Cofer Black, who headed the Counter-Terrorism Center, which actually carried out renditions and “enhanced interrogations,” was vice chairman of Blackwater Worldwide (now called Xe) and chairman of Total Intelligence Solutions, a Blackwater spin-off. He is now vice president of Blackbird Technologies, a defense and intelligence contractor. Rodriguez, who succeeded Black and in 2005 illegally destroyed video tapes made of Agency interrogations to avoid possible repercussions, is a senior vice president with Edge Consulting, a defense contractor currently owned by IBM that is located in Virginia.

John Yoo is a Professor of Law at the University of California Berkeley while Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of mushroom clouds and is widely regarded as the worst National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in history, has returned to Stanford University. She is a professor at the Graduate School of Business and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy as well as a fellow at the Hoover Institution. She is occasionally spoken of as either a possible GOP presidential candidate or as a future Commissioner of the National Football League. Her interaction with students is limited, but when challenged on her record she has responded that it was a difficult situation post 9/11, something that everyone understands, though few would have come to her conclusion that attacking Iraq might be a good way to destroy al-Qaeda.

Paul Wolfowitz, the Bush Deputy Secretary of Defense, is seen by many as the “intellectual” driving force behind the invasion of Iraq. He is currently a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and advises Jeb Bush on foreign policy. A bid to reward Wolfie for his zeal by giving him a huge golden parachute as President of the World Bank at a salary of $391,000 tax free failed when, after 23 months in the position, he was ousted over promoting a subordinate with whom he was having an affair. His chief deputy at the Pentagon Doug Feith left the Defense Department to take up a visiting professorship at the school of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, which was subsequently not renewed. He is reported to be again practicing law and thinking deep thoughts about his hero Edmund Burke, who no doubt would have been appalled to make Feith’s acquaintance. Feith is a senior fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute and the Director of the Center for National Security Strategies. His memoir War and Decision did not make the best seller list and is now available used on Amazon for $.01 plus shipping. If the marketplace is anything to go by Feith and Tenet are running neck-and-neck on secondary book exchanges as George also can be had for $.01.

The over-rewarding of former officials who have in reality done great harm to the United States and its interests might well seem inexplicable, but it is all part of a style of bureaucracy that cannot admit failure and truly believes that all its actions are ipso facto legitimate because the executive and its minions can do no wrong. It is also a symptom of the classic American character flaw that all things are of necessity measured by money. Does anyone remember the ancient Roman symbol of republican virtue Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who left his farm after being named Dictator in order to defeat Rome’s enemies? He then handed power back to the Senate before returning to his plowing after the job was done. The historian Livy summed up the significance of his act, writing “It is worthwhile for those who disdain all human things for money, and who suppose that there is no room either for great honor or virtue, except where wealth is found, to listen to his story.” George Washington was America’s Cincinnatus and it is not a coincidence that officers of the continental army founded the Cincinnati Society, the nation’s oldest patriotic organization, in 1783. It is also reported that Edward Snowden used the alias “Cincinnatus.”

Lord Acton once observed that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” More recently essayist Edward Abbey put it in an American context, noting “Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.” That senior government officials and politicians routinely expect to be generously rewarded for their service and never held accountable for their failures and misdeeds is a fault that is perhaps not unique to the United States but it is nevertheless unacceptable. Handing out a couple of exemplary prison sentences for the caste that believes itself untouchable would be a good place to start. An opportunity was missed with David Petraeus, who was fined and avoided jail time, and it will be interesting to see how the Dennis Hastert case develops. Hastert will no doubt be slapped on the wrist for the crime of moving around his own money while the corruption that was the source of that money, both as a legislator and lobbyist, will be ignored. As will his molestation of at least one and possibly several young boys. One thing for sure about the Washington elite, you never have to say you’re sorry.

 
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136 Comments to "Where Are They Now?"

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  1. Well said Mr. Giraldi. Thank you.

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  2. What a comprehensive exhibition of war criminals….

    The best, of course, is the inversion by which CIA was blamed for faulty intelligence on Iraq and the CIA boss who cooked the this intelligence remained in favor of the regime (which requested the cooking). It must have been the janitor of Langley who cooked the intelligence on Iraq.

    Just rot everywhere you poke a stick. And failing upwards. How long can this go on?

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  3. you can tell all the truth you want about the war crimes of the elite. They lie. They manipulate. They kill. All for money.

    But you fail to understand something– America is not a democracy. Our founding plutocrats said that they wanted to create a nation that was less democratic than the one under the Articles of Confederation. And so they did. And you and your kind will speak reverently of them and their undemocratic constitution.

    Consider the pig. And the pig wants to go somewhere. Maybe Hawaii. Or Tahiti. But pigs cannot go to those locations. Why? Because they don’t have any wings. If pigs had wings, they could vacation in Hawaii. But they don’t. So they can’t.

    You are an American. You do not live in a democracy. You think you do, but you don’t.

    You and your fellow citizens don’t get to decide what america should do. You want the people to be able to stop the depredations of the elite. But you don’t live in a democracy, so stop worrying about it.

    Ask yourself a question–do you really understand what democracy is? Do you understand how to make America more democratic?

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  4. Thank you, Mr. Giraldi, for another fine analysis. Indeed, America has become a shockingly corrupt empire. This is why those responsible for the Iraq war, the destruction of Libya, and the various hell-bent operations from Afghanistan to Palestine are never punished and never will be.

    With that in mind, lets not forget the essential role played by Big Media enablers who help steer and then sanitize these wars and killing sprees. They play an essential role. Indeed, Washington would not be able to operate above the law if not for the complicit machinations our nation’s vaunted Fourth Estate.

    Let’s credit also the international network of neocon think tanks for producing the intellectual fodder that forever justifies the necessity of US ‘preemption’ in Iraq and elsewhere.

    The corruption is vast and now firmly embedded in our nation’s fabric.

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  5. I second Don Nash’s Motion.

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  6. Great essay, but what about Richard Perle?

    “The war against terrorism cannot be won if Saddam Hussein continues to rule Iraq…Saddam Hussein has an array of chemical and biological weapons…With each passing day, he comes closer to his dream of a nuclear arsenal. We know he has a clandestine program, spread over many hidden sites, to enrich Iraqi natural uranium to weapons grade…His collaboration with terrorists is well documented. Evidence of a meeting in Prague between a senior Iraqi intelligence agent and Mohamed Atta, the Sept. 11 ringleader, is convincing. Saddam Hussein’s removal from office…would be cheered in the Persian Gulf.”

    -Perle, ‘The US Must Strike at Saddam Hussein’ The New York Times 28 December 2001

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  7. “Great essay, but what about Richard Perle?”

    Ah, yes… who could ever forget the Prince of Darkness!

    But, to be fair to Phil, the list is endless!

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  8. As much as it must seem like barrack-room lawyering, what is and is not a war of aggression can only be assessed according to legalistic reasoning.

    Germany invaded Poland, an undoubtedly and internationally recognized sovereign state in the full possession of its sovereignty, which was recognized by Germany itself. There were no prior hostilities between them and no treaty conditions imposed on Poland or any kind.

    The United States invaded Iraq, a sovereign state whose sovereignty was restricted by armistice conditions from a previous conflict, armistice conditions which Iraq had systematically and repeatedly violated almost from the beginning, and over a period of 12 years.

    Any of these violations ought to have been considered a valid casus belli for resumption of military action by the United States, and indeed had been on several occasions. It was purely a matter of discretion that the United States chose limited military responses, in keeping with its addiction to stand off missile attack. Iraqi non-compliance with the conditions attached to the end of the fighting in 1991 continued, and remained by itself a wholly sufficient justification for resumption of the conflict by the United States in 2003.

    So far the analysis would be inarguable by the overall body of customary international law but, granted, the prevailing assumption that the UNSC alone can authorize things is a challenge. Not much of one though. Plenty of post-1945 precedent for conflicts launched without its approval. Many may dislike that, but it doesn’t mean lawlessness. It just means that UNSC sanction operates within the broader context of prior law and custom. Under which the preceding analysis would hold up easily.

    Further, the UNSC had itself authorized the 1991 conflict and left the US the only remaining guarantor of it. The failure of the UNSC to authorize renewed force explicitly in 2002-3 is not dispositive- indeed it should not even have been necessary to ask. If the UNSC resolutions passed in 1991 were valid then, including the ceasefire terms, then enforcement of same was still valid in 2003.

    Not one bit of which requires even the assumption that WMDs existed. Certainly does not require that any be found. Iraqi violations of the no-fly zone terms would be enough, at least on a repeated basis. Iraqi non-compliance with the inspection regime would be enough, whether or not anyone believed they actually had any weapons concealed, let alone whether any were ever to be found.

    A sensible US administration and Congress would have proceeded on these lines. And told the UN so. There was precedent and justification aplenty, and others have acted similarly since.

    It is a sad function of American political culture that a great crusade must always be concocted in support of ordinary statecraft and deployment of professional military personnel in the pursuit of foreign policy, attached to either or both of an unrealistic existential threat to the still-generally unthreatened “homeland” or an idealistic quest for universal freedom and justice. On some level, it’s actually the mirror image of isolationism. In both cases, Americans assume they live in the city on the hill and aren’t in a country like others, part of the world and its perils every day despite relative security from geography and power.

    Thus far is the international law and morality side of the coin. It wasn’t a war of aggression.

    If there is evidence that US officials actually did know there were no WMDs and, instead of offering the proper justification, cooked up their crusade anyway to mobilize America, then there would be a case under US law for action. Not international law. Although it is worth remembering that the resolution passed by Congress did not only cite WMDs. The PR strategy and the legal basis for action are not the same thing. The latter was broader.

    One day a US government will tell the American people: we have a challenge here that has lasted for over a decade and we believe our best course is to apply force. Here are the existing international law precedents and we will operate within them. It is for such situations that the United States maintains professional, regular military forces all of whose members have chosen this trade, just like nearly every other country maintains such, rather than continuing to call for mass volunteer recruits [which should be reserved for any actual cause the people endorse] or conscript men involuntarily [which really should be limited to the direst necessity, and ideally home defense]. And then submit the case to Congress and tell the people why along these lines. And even the media will speak sensibly. One can dream.

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  9. >let’s not forget the essential role played by the Big Media enablers

    Excellent point Mark Green! So we must ask ourselves “Who owns the media”?
    Hint: they’re the same folks who have been plumping for a war with Iran since 9/12/2001.

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  10. Also, the Iraqis WERE noncompliant with the ceasefire, HAD fired on Coalition aircraft on several occasions, etc.

    The US did not dress anyone up as an Iraqi air defence crew or as Iraqi officials and stage a fake inspection such as the Germans did with those fake “Polish” troops at Gleiwitz.

    A more accurate analogy would be if circa 1928 the Germans had sent a few units into the Rhineland [or as late as 1935 into the Saarland] to shoot at French soldiers. Indeed, the remilitarization of the by-then unoccupied Rhineland itself in 1936, a violation of terms to which the French ought to have responded in force.

    And to be frank, the “aggressive war” charge was tendentious at best, since to that point every major country had launched many such in relatively recent times, including the USSR, France, Britain and the United States. It was influenced in the minds of the leaders and peoples of allied nations by their own skewed interpretations of WW1, to be sure, under which Germany was now an aggressor twice over, and against the same countries more or less. That’s not much excuse. Still, I wonder if it would have been applied if all Germany had done was launch a war against Poland as punishment for the (presumptively real) Gleiwitz incident, as opposed to carrying that war to the point of extinguishing the Polish nation, massacring its social and political elites, killing millions of civilians, annexing the whole shebang to Greater Germany, and then going on to launch multiple wars of aggression against countries for which they didn’t even bother cooking up fake justification (Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Greece come to mind; the USSR too; France no, as it at least had long since declared war first).

    If the US had attacked Iraq in 2003 without there being an underenforced, disobeyed ceasefire in place, had executed thousands of its elites, declared the Iraqi state permanently dissolved, annexed the south and Kurdistan to the US, and declared the Sunni heartlands to be a “General Government” under US sovereignty ["The Commonwealth of Baghdad and Central Mesopotamia", with a non-voting Commissioner in Washington] and placed it under the command of a senior security official mandated to massacre civilians and eliminate all Iraqi cultural identity whatever, and certainly not to empower a council of Iraqi politicians even as a puppet regime, let alone a transitional government, then it would be like what the Germans did to Poland. Even more authentic if the US had gone on to invade and annex chunks of every neighbouring country and set up camps to massacre even more civilians.

    None of which makes drone attacks either prudent or just, but it’s a difference in degree so vast from what the Germans were doing as to be a difference in kind.

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  11. Now the neocons do not have to generate the wars abroad. IS and Nusra the ‘Americanally ‘ legitimate deformed babies born from the quick union of Dick Cheney and Zarqawi in the Iraqi prison would continue on the job.

    http://original.antiwar.com/Dan_Sanchez/2015/07/06/flytrap-to-breeding-ground/

    At home the act was more like an orgy – an extended group sex carried out in the front porch of the media 24/7 by the same familiar players who gave us the Iraq war.

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  12. “I turned on the television a week ago to be confronted by the serious, somewhat intense gaze of Michael Morell, warning about the danger that ISIS will strike the U.S. over the Fourth of July weekend”.

    Yeah, well THAT happened.

    Not.

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  13. None of your comments are relevant, as none of what was going on in Iraq or Kuwait was any of the USA’s business. Why can’t Americans understand that they appropriated a whole, fresh, brand-new continent for themselves – and they are not entitled to go back to the Old World and try to run that too?

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  14. “Also, the Iraqis WERE noncompliant(sic) with the ceasefire, HAD fired on Coalition aircraft on several occasions, etc.”

    Oh Random, and you know this how? Let me guess, you read it in a newspaper, right next to the article about Saddam having weapons of mass destruction? Am I close?

    You’re kinda slow on the uptake.

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  15. That’s an inaccurate, because incomplete, account. Where is your mention of Danzig? That area was taken away, quite arbitrarily and unfairly, from Germany after WW1. Naturally, the Germans wanted it back – so they asked the Poles to hand it over. The Poles refused, so the Germans declared war.

    In the first place, that was exactly similar to the USA’s historic pattern of behaviour going right back to its creation. It told the Native Americans it wanted their land, then killed them and took the land. It looked at Florida and liked it, so it grabbed it from Spain by force. It fancied Mexico, so it invaded it without the shadow of an excuse, and stole about a third of its territory. Its battleship “Maine” blew up spontaneously while on a visit to Havana – exactly as at least half a dozen other battleships blew up spontaneously, from the British Vanguard to the Japanese Mutsu – and the USA used that as a pretext to steal everything it could of the Spanish overseas empire. (If the British and Japanese had followed the USA’s example, Britain might have annexed Brazil over the Vanguard accident, and Japan could have helped itself to New Guinea or Vietnam).

    In the second place, the sainted FDR contributed mightily to the outbreak of WW2. He egged on the Germans to insist on the return of Danzig. Separately, in secret, he urged the Poles to resist all such demands. Again separately, in secret, he told the British and French to guarantee’s Poland’s integrity and declare war on Germany if it went to war with Poland. Then, when war broke out exactly as he had intended, he sat back, folded his arms, and examined his fingernails while France and the rest of Europe were conquered, Britain was bombed and very nearly conquered, and the Wehrmacht reached the Moscow tramlines. Only when his precious fleet was attacked at Pearl Harbor did he end his languid detachment – after Britain had fought alone for 27 months. Even then, Japan and Germany declared war on the USA, not the other way round.

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  16. The Nuremberg war crimes trials were held in Germany and orchestrated by the victorious allies. When some future group of victorious allies holds war crimes trial in Washington DC that will be the day that the USofA faces winner’s justice.
    War crimes are only paid by the losers.

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  17. ” Indeed, America has become a shockingly corrupt empire”.

    Very true, but it didn’t just happen recently. The genocide of the Native Americans was one of the very worst episodes of its kind, and certainly involved more deaths than the Holocaust – possibly by an order of magnitude or more. The circumstances of the Mexican War must shock any decent person who reads about them – just as they shocked Lee, Grant and Lincoln.

    With each criminal assault on another nation that succeeds, the people in Washington and New York refine their repertoire of dirty tricks. When Edward Bernays stirred up the American people to hate all Germans in the early years of WW1, it took him years. Nowadays, such things are accomplished in weeks or days. When the new-born CIA overthrew Arbenz and Mossadegh, and comprehensively failed to overthrow Suharto, they were just learning their trade. The recent spate of “colour revolutions” has demonstrated how smooth and automatic the sequence of events has become. The difference is akin to that between a frontiersman’s muzzle-loader and a modern light machine gun.

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  18. 2003 war was preemptive ,not supported by the existing intelligence or issue of security. Attacking this country was worse than Germany attacking Poland .
    Prior to attacking Iraq, US using the military and economic dominance have maintained crippling sanctions that were not approved by UN . US using e WMD issue maintained the sanctions even after 1995 or 1998 when it ( Iraq) was given clean bill of health of being free of WMD , US tax heated up pressure making removal of Saddam as the new denominator before sanctions would get lifted.
    In many ways US is worse than Germany who can claim victim hood from WW1 .
    What was US ‘s argument for invading Iraq in 1991, keeping sanction,and killing millions . Not being satisfied with the killings and destruction of the society,it created hooliganism and jihadi violence by removing Ghaddafi, weakening Syria and thus contributed to what is seen today as ‘ birth pangs’ of American inspired social changes.

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  19. “America is not a democracy. Our founding plutocrats said that they wanted to create a nation that was less democratic than the one under the Articles of Confederation”

    And it doesn’t work any better than a Democracy

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  20. Fantastic article and comments except “Random Observer’s” “legalistic” John Yoo style comments on why it was not a war of aggression. But as with any Yoo opinion, those comments contains numerous misstatements or disinformation. Accepting only for the sake of argument that U.S. officials did state a true fact of Iraqi acts and alleged violation on occasion, as in “even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while,” none of those acts was of a nature to justify the massive U.S. invasion and killing that ensued. It was a disproportionate response in violation of the proportionality principle of law of war. In other words, it was “murder in violation of the laws of war;” a war crime. Add to that the many other war crimes which Phil cites and there should be a call for an International War Crimes Tribunal to try U.S. officials. Furthermore, as with any ordinary crime, concocting a lie to defend it does not make the act legal, such as arguing that one murdered in defense of their own life when in fact that is not true. It remains murder. Same with aggressive war. All of the Bush administration’s lies, and Obama’s in continuing them, can not make them legal. Some times there is an even harsher judgement imposed for such illegality which is reality, and the U.S. is paying it in multiple ways which are largely hidden yet to ignorant Americans but not to much of the rest of the world. It provides the argument that ISIS utilizes for its wildly successful recruiting campaign along with Israel’s euphemistic “mowing the grass,” campaigns in Gaza to recruit their army and generate sympathy. Of course our direct victims have paid an even higher price but to that list must be added all the indirect victims which were foreseeable and for which the list continues to grow. Unfortunately, as Phil astutely points out, the actual war criminals have only profited off their illegality, leaving the rest of us holding the bag with our children and their children obligated to pay the bill in multiple ways, and leaving a trail of victims that may someday yet raise us to the level of the Third Reich in numbers as we continue gaily along with our “perpetual war.”

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  21. ” Indeed, America has become a shockingly corrupt empire.”

    Democracy and it’s variations are inherently the most corrupt form of government.

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  22. Great article.

    “Condoleezza Rice, who spoke of mushroom clouds and is widely regarded as the worst National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in history,…”

    There is too much competition for this title. Hillary, John Kerry and the list just goes on and on.

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  23. It fancied Mexico, so it invaded it without the shadow of an excuse,

    BS. Texas declared it’s independence after Santa Ana abrogated the Mexican Constitution. Other states revolted as well but only Texas succeeded. The border between Texas and Mexico was in dispute. Texas negotiated and was annexed by the US.

    The US had been after Mexico to try and buy the land it eventually got from the war but Mexico refused so Mexico knew the US was hot for that land. Mexico should have been real careful so as not to give the US any excuse to take it.

    A much larger force of the Mexican army came upon a small American force in the disputed territory and fired on them without warning. They could have let them go and avoided an incident.

    The US had it’s reason to declare war. The Mexican elite thought they would win and get back Texas and Louisiana since they had the larger European trained army and actually wanted the war. Bad idea for Mexico.

    Of course, now they try to rewrite history as the bad American stole the land.

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  24. “How long can this go on?”

    As long as Americans allow it.

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  25. The genocide of the Native Americans was one of the very worst episodes of its kind, and certainly involved more deaths than the Holocaust

    More total BS unless one believes that idiotic claim that there were 25 million Amerindians in North America when the whites arrived.

    There is no evidence of any large scale settlements in the US (greater than 50,000) that were active at the time of the white man’s arrival. When Custer was defeated, the whole of the Sioux nation was less than 20,00o. The Trail of Tears was also about 15,000 and the Cherokee were one of the most successful tribes in North America. There was nobody of significance in Florida until the Seminoles moved down there to get away from white persecution.

    Where are the burial sites and where is the evidence of large scale settlement like the Anaszi (who died out long before whites came)?

    What happened to the natives was wrong – especially to the peaceful and cooperative Cherokee who’s big crime was living on land some politically connected people wanted. But this nonsense that there were tens of millions of Indians is ridiculous.

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  26. “Democracy and it’s variations are inherently the most corrupt form of government.”

    Right: dictatorships are the answer according to the Bush administration with their “unitary executive theory” of governance, i.e., dictatorship. Neocons and their useful idiot ally, the Tea Party, have set about a duplicitous campaign to call into disrepute the alternative to the unitary executive, the one we have which is based upon voting in to office our elected officials. It’s current failures have as much to do with its undermining in so many ways by what has become a proto-fascist permanent opposition in favor of a unitary executive as its inherent corruption which all systems have as they are operated by human beings. Our would be dictators even cite to the Nazi Jurist Carl Schmitt who worked incessantly for dictatorship in Germany in the 1920′s.You want that? An ending like Stalingrad.

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  27. Phil wrote:

    After the Second World War, the victorious allies believed it was important to establish responsibility for the crimes that had been committed by officials of the Axis powers. The judges at the Nuremberg Trials called the initiation of a war of aggression the ultimate war crime because it inevitably unleashed so many other evils. Ten leading Nazis were executed at Nuremberg and ninety-three Japanese officials at similar trials staged in Asia, including several guilty of waterboarding.

    hate like heck to argue with you, Phil –

    I would re-cast the first sentence this way:

    After the Second World War, the victorious allies believed it was important to establish shift total responsibility for the crimes that had been committed by to officials of the Axis powers and to absolutely shield Allies from accountability for crimes they committed..

    The Allies accomplished this by placing themselves — the USA, Britain, and Stalin’s Bolshevik/Communist Russia — on the judge’s bench rather than at the defendant table. According to F J P Veale in Advance to Barbarism, (excerpt below), not until his book was published in England, after the Nuremberg Trials were concluded, was the public made aware of

    (1) the liquidation of 15,000 Polish officers and leaders by the Soviet authorities in the Katyn Forest and elsewhere in 1940 (a deed which the American Congress and the United Nations did not investigate until late in 1952); [and] (2) the fact that the origin of the war crimes trials can be traced to the proposal of Stalin at the Teheran Conference in 1943 that a similar liquidation of 50,000 German officers and technicians should take place at the end of the War.

    Bush, Cheney and the rest of the extravagantly incomplete list of war criminals who have not been called to account are living free not in spite of the Nuremberg trials but because of the Nuremberg (kangaroo) court.

    repeated for emphasis:

    American (and Jewish-Israeli) war criminals have not been called to account because of the way that their direct predecessors maneuvered their own protection from culpability and responsibility for their criminal acts, at Nuremberg. Having achieved such success at Nuremberg, they are only emboldened to commit even more war crimes with even more assurance of impunity.

    They have done so with respect to Iraq, as Phil discussed, and as I am typing this I am listening to Ashton Carter and Martin Dempsey discuss with the US Senate plans to incite Iraqis, Kurds and other Muslims to ”initiate a war of aggression” against fellow Iraqis, Syrians, in an attempt to contain the ”many other evils unleashed by the US war of aggression in Iraq that ended up the wrong way — with an Iranian victory. Therefore, Carter, Dempsey and the US Senate propose to unleash yet more “evil” against Iran and its allies. It is reasonable to project that Iran will be placed Iran in the dock for the crimes that the US and its henchmen intend to commit and then to judge.

    - – – – -

    ““The first edition of Advance to Barbarism was published in England in 1948. . . . My viewpoint was that of a lawyer and a student of history with a lifelong interest in the cause of peace and international justice.

    Advance to Barbarism was the first book published in England which dealt at length with the responsibility for the indiscriminate mass-bombing of civilians and other recent barbarities in warfare and with the war-crimes trials at Nurnberg and elsewhere.

    Previously, it had been universally assumed that Hitler was solely responsible for the air Blitz over England and the natural retaliation for this by the Allies over the continent.

    The Nurnberg Trials had generally been hailed with popular acclamation as a noble, novel and original departure in international jurisprudence and humanitarianism. it was though that they had resulted in the establishment of a new and splendid code of international justice and in the creation of universal principles of a warm and robust humanitarianism.

    Publication of Advance to Barbarism took place despite the existence in England in 1948 of an “Iron Curtain of Discreet Silence” in regard to the barbarization of warfare during the Second World War and the challenge to sound judicial principles in the war-crimes trials. This curtain had been erected around the above subjects after it had been revealed that it was Britain which had launched the bombing of civilian centers, and after attempts to justify trials in which the accuser also sat in judgment on his own charges had only served to emphasize how utterly contrary such trials were to both traditional justice and ordinary common sense.

    Advance to Barbarism: How the Reversion to Barbarism in Warfare and War-Trials Menaces Our Future by F J P Veale, c. 1953

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  28. “Our would be dictators even cite to the Nazi Jurist Carl Schmitt who worked incessantly for dictatorship in Germany in the 1920′s.You want that? An ending like Stalingrad.”

    How silly. Not all dictatorships would be modeled after that one.

    How would you bribe a dictator?

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  29. that’s a fantastic quote, Marais !

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  30. The Nuremberg war crimes trials were held in Germany and orchestrated by the victorious allies. When some future group of victorious allies holds war crimes trial in Washington DC that will be the day that the USofA faces winner’s justice.
    War crimes are only paid by the losers.

    This..

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  31. While some valid points were raised by Advance to Barbarism of the double standard applied, with the Katyn massacre being Exhibit A, too many people have taken that as a defense of both Germany and Japan, whose officers were also tried in a tribunal. But valid principles came out of those tribunals and led to the further development of the law of war. As my father was in the Bataan Death March, I had eyewitness testimony to those crimes growing up, but only on those few occasions as I grew older when he would talk about it until dying prematurely as a direct result of that experience. During the war, some American officials proposed turning Germany in to a wasteland. War crime tribunals became the alternative. That’s an argument for holding our own war criminals accountable. To the Muslim victims of our war crimes, who have no recourse to justice whatsoever, our denial of justice in the form of holding our war criminals accountable stands as an incitement to continue fighting by any means necessary.

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  32. Germany invaded Poland, an undoubtedly and internationally recognized sovereign state in the full possession of its sovereignty, which was recognized by Germany itself. There were no prior hostilities between them and no treaty conditions imposed on Poland or any kind.

    Somebody forgot WWI, and can’t remember much else.

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  33. Realist: “How would you bribe a dictator?” Bribes are the currency of the realm of every known dictatorship for every high and low official, and not necessarily excluding the dictator who may prefer accumulating wealth in the form of gifts versus merely taking wealth by force. Soft power in other words.

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  34. Where are they now? – Philip Giraldi/The Unz Review | Plato's Guns
    says:
    • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    […] Where are they now? – The Unz Review. […]

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  35. and

    @ Tom Welsh

    Germany invaded Poland, an undoubtedly and internationally recognized sovereign state in the full possession of its sovereignty, which was recognized by Germany itself. There were no prior hostilities between them and no treaty conditions imposed on Poland or any kind.

    Wrong.

    Poland did have treaty obligations.

    Zionist Jews who dominated Woodrow Wilson’s delegation at Versailles negotiations insisted that minority rights be guaranteed in European states.

    Zionist leaders insisted on this because one of the key outcomes of Versailles was affirmation of Balfour declaration that gave Jews “a homeland in Palestine.” Many anti-zionist Jews were opposed to zionist Palestine because, they argued, “then people will say to Jews, ‘You have a place of your own; go there, not here.” The zionist “compromise” was to insist on not a “one or the other” solution but “one AND the other.” That is how Jews in Germany came to dominate the Weimar era.

    Versailles gave Poland large swathes of (formerly) German territory. Poland was obligated by Versailles to guarantee the minority rights of Germans in that territory. The Poles consistently violated that treaty obligation.

    The same applies to Germans in Sudetenland. Versailles treaty imposed an obligation to respect minority rights of the many Germans in that territory.

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  36. Good stuff Phil. I’d simply point out was Nuremberg barely wrapped up when Konrad Adenauer began the process of opening the prison doors, letting convicted Nazis back into the mix of things. Alfred Krupp was likely the richest criminal sprung with his (in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation) 400 million fortune restored to him, never mind the slave labor he was convicted for utilizing to prop up the Nazi war machine. At the suggestion of American administrative oversight, I might add.

    And that kind of brings up the CIA. Rinehard Gehlen, Hitler’s eastern front military intelligence chief and major war criminal in his own right, traded his Soviet file to the CIA who promptly put Gehlen to work for them to build a post war anti-Soviet intelligence apparatus. Gehlen then proceeded to fill his ranks with former SS and Gestapo intelligence veterans and then, the entire criminal apparatus was handed over to Adenauer to become the BND (German CIA.) Tens of thousands of more Nazis were spirited out of Europe in a Vatican-CIA coordinated project employing the so-called ‘Ratline’ and of those, many were employed by the good old USA while others went on to lend their considerable ‘talent’ to various Latin America strongmen. Small wonder our present circumstance parallels the Nazis (in more ways than most folk could comprehend.) We’d need a tighter ship than the Nuremberg precedent, my opinion.

    And when naming names in what constitutes a criminal rogues gallery, what about former Marine Corps Drum Major Stephen Kappes? Let’s not forget his incredible criminal incompetence:

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/11/22/reorganizing-murder-inc/

    And when it comes to criminal incompetence, Alfreda Francis Bikowsky Silverstein should be awarded some sort of congressional medal:

    http://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/12/20/alfreda-bikowsky-the-definition-of-stupid/

    Good luck everyone, our fate is in the hands of whatever universe Alfred E Neuman is worshiped as god -

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  37. . I think it’s time you read the Constitution. If your not a politician you certainly have the rhetoric for it.

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  38. During the war, some American officials proposed turning Germany in to a wasteland. War crime tribunals became the alternative. That’s an argument for holding our own war criminals accountable.

    That’s delusional. Equal parts ignorance, misinformation — a deliberate condition perpetrated by the holocaust industry, and fantasy to believe that “the war crimes tribunals [were] the alternative.”

    (nb. My Dad was in WWII and was permanently injured, and we lived with his scars from that war all of our lives. That fact in no way changes the facts — the hard, cold, objective, documented facts that the USA committed crimes against humanity against the German and Japanese people; they did so deliberately and “with malice aforethought” — with plans laid before Germany crossed Poland’s borders. They jury-rigged a so-called war crimes tribunal that flies in the face of justice, and they have been relying on that jiggered justice ever since to commit more of the same crimes against humanity.)

    Even as we discuss this, USA and Israel are planning ways to do unto Iran what they did unto Germany, and to blame Iran for it.
    Don’t believe me?
    Spend an hour listening to US Senate today — http://www.c-span.org/video/?326952-1/defense-secretary-carter-general-dempsey-testimony-us-strategy-isis

    Henry Morgenthau, Jr., FDR’s secretary of Treasury, and his right-hand man — some say his Brain, Harry Dexter White, who was a spy for Stalin even as he negotiated at Bretton Woods, authored the plan to turn Germany into an industrial wasteland.

    Morgenthau’s barbaric plans were being carried out as collective punishment of the German people for at least three years; the Marshall Plan went into operation only in April 1948. By that time, millions of “disarmed enemy combatants” had been starved or exposed to death in Eisenhower’s death camps, and German civilians lived in destitution in the rubble of their cities.

    Read a few pages further into Advance to Barbarism, Todd Pierce, the very next point following the excerpt I posted —

    “(3) The terrible fate that had overtaken the ten to fifteen million (mostly German) inhabitants of Pomerania, East Prussia, Silesia and the Sudetenland who, after an unprecedented orgy of murder, rape and spoliation, had been expelled penniless, shivering and starving from the homelands their ancestors had occupied for centuries. “

    Review Freda Utley’s work (also on-line, The High Cost of Vengeance, c. 1949.

    If you think you have the cajones, watch Hellstorm – The Real Genocide of Nazi Germany.

    The war crimes against Germany did not start with Dresden and they did not end at Nuremberg; as Jorg Friedrich, F J P Veale, and Sven Lindqvist all record, the British formed the plan to destroy Germany and incinerate its citizens as early as 1940 — in many ways, Nuremberg was the coup d’grace of German integrity and sovereignty delivered by the war criminals in FDR, Churchill, and Stalin’s administration in collusion with the numerous zionist Jews operating at every level of all of those states as well as from the Jewish Agency in Tel Aviv, pre-state Israel. David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann were intimately involved in war policy and planning; Ben Gurion knew precisely what German towns were being incinerated and was assured that “not one single Jewish life” would be lost in the firestorms.

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  39. The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact (German: Deutsch-polnischer Nichtangriffspakt; Polish: Polsko-niemiecki pakt o nieagresji ) was an international treaty between Nazi Germany and the Second Polish Republic signed on January 26, 1934. According to the Pact, both countries pledged to resolve their problems through bilateral negotiations and to forgo armed conflict for a period of ten years. It effectively normalized relations between Poland and Germany, which were previously strained by border disputes arising from the territorial settlement in the Treaty of Versailles.

    Germany reneged on the pact obviously.

    And Henry Cabot Lodge did not have any opposing force to Wilson? A major revisionist view of history from a Holocaust denier and Iranian agent!

    France was tremendously motivated in reducing German power.

    As the only major allied power sharing a land border with Germany, France was chiefly concerned with weakening Germany as much as possible. The French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau described France’s position best by telling Wilson: “America is far away, protected by the ocean. Not even Napoleon himself could touch England. You are both sheltered; we are not.” [32] Clemenceau wished to bring the French border to the Rhine or to create a buffer state in the Rhineland, but this demand was not met by the treaty. Instead, France obtained the demilitarization of the Rhineland, a mandate over the Saar and promises of Anglo-American support in case of a new German aggression (a commitment that could not be relied on after the United States failed to ratify the treaty).[33]

    British economist John Maynard Keynes argued,

    So far as possible, therefore, it was the policy of France to set the clock back and undo what, since 1870, the progress of Germany had accomplished. By loss of territory and other measures her population was to be curtailed; but chiefly the economic system, upon which she depended for her new strength, the vast fabric built upon iron, coal, and transport must be destroyed. If France could seize, even in part, what Germany was compelled to drop, the inequality of strength between the two rivals for European hegemony might be remedied for generations.[34]

    France, which suffered significant destruction in its northern territories (the worst damage sustained in areas that formed a so-called Red Zone) and the heaviest human losses among allies (see main article World War I casualties), was adamant on the payment of reparations. The failure of the government of the Weimar Republic to pay these reparations led to the Occupation of the Ruhr by French and Belgian forces.

    Wilson himself headed the delegation (was he a Jew/Zionist)? What about his SoS Robert Lansing? and his closest personal Adisor Colonel Edward House?

    And Clemenceau and David Lloyd George were all puppets in the hands of the Zionists according to this propagandist!!!

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  40. ” Bribes are the currency of the realm of every known dictatorship for every high and low official, and not necessarily excluding the dictator who may prefer accumulating wealth in the form of gifts versus merely taking wealth by force.”

    You’re thinking of democracy. No self respecting dictator would allow his underlings to be bribed.

    You are the one who brought up dictatorship. There are many forms of governance. One of my preferences is meritocracy. The first few years of this country’s existence were under a crude form of meritocracy.

    It appears you favor the one form of governance that allows idiots to vote….and run for office.

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  41. Truth be told, Washington, District of Corruption’s degeneracy is so far advanced that nothing can likely stop it. It’s our Sodom and Gomorrah. What’s the remedy (i.e., if there is one)? . . .

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  42. Generally agree with most of this. I would like to make one small correction, though. Paul Wolfowitz was not “having an affair.” His relationship with Shaha Riza predated his appointment as World Bank president, and the relationship was disclosed from the very beginning.

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  43. Germany invaded Poland, an undoubtedly and internationally recognized sovereign state in the full possession of its sovereignty, which was recognized by Germany itself. There were no prior hostilities between them and no treaty conditions imposed on Poland or any kind.

    Germans fought Poles in the three Silesian Uprisings of 1919-21:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesian_Uprisings

    Some background:

    http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2013/08/poland-as-obnoxious-pawn.html

    In Warsaw, Poland’s independence is declared on 7 October 1918. This is followed shortly with the break by Poland of formal relations with Germany, on 13 December. (Page 438)

    Both countries have designs on territories assigned to the other at Versailles, or otherwise nominally administered by the League of Nations. In 1920, Germany must cede to the new Poland the areas of West Prussia, Posen, and East Upper Silesia. These regions include 2 million German citizens. (Page 436)

    The regions are hardly Polish. In West Prussia, for example, the population is less than 25% Polish. The Germans, in accordance with Wilson’s Fourteen Points, propose a referendum for the region. The Allies reject this proposal. (Page 441)

    In Silesia, the Allies – against France’s vote – finally grant a referendum on 16 July 1919. Violence breaks out – an uprising of the Poles, with the intent of preventing the referendum – railway and bridges are blown up, strikes are called, etc. Ultimately, the violence is put down by German volunteers. (Page 451)

    …Finally, on 21 March 1921, the referendum takes place. Further bloody clashes take place, with reportedly over 1500 German citizens meeting their death. Sixty-one percent vote to remain in the German Reich, with 39% for Poland. The results are muddled, with no clear regional distinctions – mostly, the industrial regions want Germany, the rural vote for Poland. Ultimately, the Allies reach a decision that leaves 400,000 Germans as Polish citizens (along with 85% of the region’s coal). This decision is announced on 1 May 1921. Germany is not happy, and Poland wanted more. (Page 453)

    Toward their wants, Poland attacks militarily. On 2 May, the Polish population goes on strike in the coal mines, factories and farms. Trains with arms, sent by France, are intended for the Polish war with Russia. Instead, Poland uses these against the Germans in Upper Silesia – German by international law. French General Le Rond does nothing to stop this, although the Italians under his command attempt to do their duty – paying for this with 40 dead and 200 wounded. (Page 453)

    British Prime Minister Lloyd George puts the Polish efforts into context, in a speech to the Lower House on 13 May 1921:

    “This step was a complete rupture of the Peace Treaty of Versailles…. Poland is the last country that should try to go against the Treaty of Versailles…. If Poland should get permission to overrun these German provinces, that would come to a bad end.” (Page 455)

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  44. Absolutely right, nobody else can clean up this rot than the US people themselves. This is why the regime is so afraid, this is why the (paramilitary) police is so vicious. The US regime is trembling. Not because of Iraq, Libya, Syria or Iran, not even because of the power of the Israeli lobby in the US, then because of all the regime’s rip offs of the society: financial, military and pharma. It is not “a government of the people” it is a government of the rip-off artists: financial, military and pharma. The infrastructure is crumbling, poverty is rising, the society is crumbling, but the US is getting involved in more and more foreign interventions, not less.

    The US has ZERO foreign enemies, its people are the biggest enemy.

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  45. Nobody was better off than citizens of Imperial Germany under the Kaiser. They had rights and a decent level of personal freedom. What they didn’t have was a wasteful government that needed to pander to every parasite imaginable. Unfortunately, Wilhelm II blew it when he backed Austria.

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  46. “former Marine Corps Drum Major Stephen Kappes?”

    The Marine Corps has Majors (the most junior of field grade Officers) and Sergeants Major (the most senior NCOs.) I wouldn’t be surprised that the Marine band had a drum major’ but I would be surprised if it was a military titlr that was capitalized.

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  47. In your linked article, Mr. West, “drum major’ in lower case was a sarcastic reference to the fact that Mr. Kappes was the platoon leader of a ceremonial platoon during his time in the Marines.

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  48. anonymous
    says:
         Show CommentNext New Comment

    Might makes right is the guiding American principle. Foreign policy is hardly more than that of competing mafia dons roaming the world in search of plunder, attacking and robbing those too weak to defend themselves against predators. The US is the strongest one amongst the imperialists and plays the leading role with the other lesser ones such as Britain following along for their slice of the action. Lawyers and priests are employed to produce screeds and sermons attesting to the legality and great morality of whatever the US does and many people are taken in by that. The so-called ‘war on terror’ is really an attack on the domestic population as well as on foreign populations who dare to resist and has the feature of being endless, war without end against the masses of people domestic and foreign.
    The US has caused hundreds of thousands of people to die as a result of it’s invasion of Iraq, turning the entire area into a slaughterhouse that goes on with no end in sight. It’s been a humanitarian disaster, a war crime yet no one has been called to account for it but rather has enriched many of it’s authors. The US has been moving towards a soft dictatorship for years now and at any moment could turn into a hard one were the leadership class to feel insecure in any way. Someday the butcher’s bill will come due.

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  49. Nothing is going to change as long as the duopoly party holds all power, entrenching its ruling class ever more firmly out of the way of democratic accountability. I believe Sheldon Wolin’s description of what has evolved, as inverted totalitarianism (capture of governance as a creature of corporate power), managed democracy (eliminating democratic accountability and substituting propaganda, distractions and sowing division while elections are contested on personality not policy) and Superpower (military and financial projection of power outwards, as a model then also internalized) to be a fair succinct description of the far shore we’ve arrived at since the Founding.

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  50. 1922 White Paper diluted and toned down British commitment to Balfour declaration.
    It was not appreciated by Zionist
    To understand the problem. Great Britain commissioned another -The Shaw Report ( Sept 1929) . Again the recommendation was not endorsed by the Zionist .their dismay led to Ramsey MacDonald ask for a new investigation . This led to The Hope Simpson commisson (1930) . This Shaw report was incorporated into The Passfield White Paper (1930) . The Zionist were angry at both – commission finding and White paper’s recommendation. Weizmann and American Jewish communities threatened and put enormous pressure on PM MacDonald . MacDonald government caved in and repudiated the white paper.

    Gregory Harms and Todd M Ferry -p78 in The Palestine -Israel Conflict , A Basic Introduction.

    . – It does remind the Congress and Senate of USA post 1967 .The visible cowardice have only got worst after 1990.

    Arabs never got a chance to get their voice heard. Neither at parliament,or in private secluded invitation only dinner party or at San Remo where British and France in April 1920 set the terms of the mandate
    Balfour was avidly pro Zionist and had very colonial racial condescending attitude to ” Moslem” he with Brandeis ( USA) came up with the ” democratic principle’ of not subscribing to the use of ” Numerical self determination” but respect the ” Zionism,be it right or wrong’ and ignore ” 700000 Arab who now inhabit the ancient land” . He also reminded that ” Great Powers are behind it” – PARIS 1919 by Margaret Macmillan

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  51. I first read Veale’s ‘Advance to Barbarism’ in the 1963 American edition, when it was published, age 21. I still consider it one of the five most influential political/historical books on the Twentieth Century events that I have read. It led me to Montgomery Belgion’s ”Victors’ Justice” (1949) also excellent, a book not referred to yet in these comments.

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  52. This article was absolutely correct in all its assertions regarding the international criminal culpability of the various former US government officials. Having taught international human rights law and The Law of Armed Conflict and International Criminal Law I can confirm that these individuals have absolutely no valid legal defense to charges of international crimes.
    I would like to emphasize the Bush -Cheney international crime against peace, also called the crime of aggression. This crime has existed as a matter of customary international law since Nuremberg and when they launched the invasion of Iraq with Shock and Awe” they had no legal authority in international law, a “jus ad bellum” to so use American military force in Iraq. They committed a flagrant act of aggression, regardless of what they thought about the legality of their acts under US law. US law cannot of itself give anyone the power to attack another country unless there exists a jus ad bellum under the existing international UN paradigm for use of force. The US had no valid legal justification and any claim to “anticipatory self-defense” was bogus as a matter of international law.

    Another thing that bothers me is the US failure to investigate and prosecute the international crimes of torture committed in the so (wrongly) called “War on Terrorism,” in view of the recent Senate Intelligence Committee report. It is now clear that we committed acts which amount to torture, as some of us crazies have been claiming all along. But the Congress and Attorney General are not fulfilling their legal obligation under the Convention against Torture to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators and those vicariously complicit or who had command responsibility. The prohibition against torture is legally absolute (Jus Cogens) and there are absolutely no exceptions whatsoever, including ticking time bombs.
    The Torture convention states:
    “2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

    3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture. ”

    Lets work on getting the new Attorney General to do what rule of law requires and prosecute Bush and Cheney and associates for having committed international crimes.
    The whole world knows we committed them and the world awaits us showing what accountability and rule of law demand.

    HVC JD, LLM, Diplome in Intl and Compar. Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Strasbourg)

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  53. In your linked article, Mr. West, “drum major’ in lower case was a sarcastic reference to the fact that Mr. Kappes was the platoon leader of a ceremonial platoon during his time in the Marines

    That’s precisely correct, with people who’ve proven themselves to be absolute zeros at the expense of larger society, it’s hard to be generous, particularly when they are so narcissistic as to continue on with no sense of contrition as opposed to step aside. Kappes should have stuck to what he could do competently, e.g. ‘drill team’

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  54. I have thought for some time that those in power realize there are not enough employment opportunities for our population. This is the case pretty much across the planet. This of course is a very real problem which could cause mass insurrection.

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  55. Yes, employment is the #1 issue, always has been, always will be.

    Check this out about US unemployment:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-07/obama-jobs-recovery-spin-explained-1-cartoon

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  56. The coming war with Iran….same song second verse. And the American people blindly followed the band.

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  57. “Robert Lansing may have once had president’s confidence .But “he couldn’t compete with Edward M House,the reserve colonel from Texas”

    ” It was though Colonel House,and not secretary Lansing,that Britain and the Zionists worked on the first great diplomatic act of the Zionist national cause. It would become known as Balfour Declaration”
    Peter Grose page 60 , in ISRAEL IN THE MIND OF AMERICA

    Lansing tried to avert a war in Turkey and prevent Britain from launching attack on Turkey proper. Turkey was interested in finding a way put and was ready to receive US State dept input.
    Morgenthau , a non Zionist w as chosen by Lansing . Here it became again the victim of internal ,behind the scene ,interconnected activities of Zionism. Morgenthau was persuaded to take with him Felix Frankfurter .” whose presence ensured that the Zionist were fully kept informed about the envoy’s actions. Britain moved discreetly to scotch the American initiative by dispatching an immigrant chemist from Russia by name Chaim Weizmann to intercept Morgenthau party ar Gibraltar . There he and Frankfurter succeeded in talking the would – be peacemaker out of proceeding any further ”

    ISRAEL IN THE MIND OF AMERICA – page 61.

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  58. Regarding germany. In 1939, FDR authorized and approved millions of dollars for the purchase of Utah’s thousands of desert acres and contracted to RKO film studio to build a fake german city complex-mainly having apartment buildings. Purpose? Used by USA military practicing aerial fire bombing! Don’t kid yourselves–what ever Joo’s media stated about German false flag operations on Poland is all bull pucks. In 1938 Germany invaded Poland ( Polish were terrorizing the local Germans). In 1939–England France declared war on Germany–massive aerial fire bombing took place.

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  59. I absolutely and completely agree with everything Mr. Giraldi says. I was around during WWII and the Nuremberg trials. I remember the stand we took against aggressive war. This is a different country today and we are the biggest threat to peace now.

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  60. Who decides who the idiots are? Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, some other Straussian? If I had a choice, I’d take my chances with electing officials by lot before I would choose to allow our so-called elites to run us. But run us they’re doing; into the ground with dreams of global military hegemony and giving their rich backers like Adelson and Saban anything they want. What the 21st Century has done is totally discredit the idea of “conservative” fantasists that the problem is democracy and not their version of centralized authority and centralized planning in the form of a massive defense machine which sucks all the wealth out of the hands of middle America.

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  61. Indeed — unemployment is a major factor in population unrest .

    Is it at all possible to give Bush, Cheney etc. the benefit of the doubt that their motivation was, indeed, to address unemployment in US by waging war in the Middle East? Is it possible to ascribe their actions to some benign motive?

    If US leaders perceive unemployment as problematic and fear the possibility that unemployment can result in violence, why would those same leaders deliberately create conditions to provoke unemployment in other nations, such as Iran? Ed Royce and numerous other US congressmen have stated forthrightly that the goal of sanctions on Iran is to create so much distress among the populace that it will riot and overthrow their government.

    What makes that a good policy? In practical terms, how does someone else’s misery create a better economic climate for the USA?

    In moral terms, how might a population reflect on the actions of leaders who create prosperity for the American people on the corpses of other nations? If your grandma stole the Christmas gift she gave you, what would you think of your grandma?

    There’s a strong argument to be made that FDR involved US in war in Europe with the goal of solving depression-era unemployment. Had FDR behaved differently toward Germany, could a similar outcome have been achieved — US economic prosperity — without the killing and destruction that resulted? What if USA and Germany had collaborated and cooperated for their mutual benefit — could a similar era of prosperity and economic advance have been achieved for both nations?

    What motivates leaders to think that war is a more favorable way of producing economic prosperity?

    If the masses fully understood that their leaders are creating employment opportunities by starving and killing other people, how would they respond?

    That brings me to another thought process: What is the culpability of the American people for acquiescing in the criminal behavior of US leaders who have committed war crimes?

    How about the moral agency of “volunteer” war-fighters? People who apply to the US military to become employed by the Department of Defense apply for a job to “kill people and destroy things.”

    Israel has universal conscription. Israel also has organized groups that resist conscription and protest Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians that its military conscripts carry out. Does USA have a similar protest or resistance group?

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  62. They pandered to a parasitical militarist class which had the authority for charging civilians before a military court for failing to pay proper respect to the military. Some kind of utopia that is! And now we’re placing our own military on a similar pedestal and deferring to them on military spending so they can use our giant military planes to ship pallets of US currency overseas to bribe and pay bonuses to any corrupt official who will align themselves with the US military, all to the detriment of the American people, while our Generals live like potentates until they go off into retirement and a sinecure from the military contractors and Wall Street banks whose interests they had served while on active duty.

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  63. I’m in no way exonerating our own war crimes and we don’t have to look to WWII for where they began. The West’s treatment of their colonies as well as the ethnic cleansing of the American Indian served in many ways as inspiration for Germany to try for the same. But the solution was not to let the German barbarians go free and to now let American and Israeli war criminals have impunity for their war crimes by that precedent. It’s to use the Nuremberg precedent to demand accountability for our current war criminals.

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  64. And the American people blindly followed the band.

    What is the moral responsibility of the American people re Iraq wars. Should We the People be on the dock with Bush, Cheney, etc?

    Even more importantly — increasingly critically important — what is the responsibility of the American people with respect to the planned war against Iran?

    No Draft / aka “professional army” means the demos has a reduced lever to resist government war actions.

    The Federal Reserve system means that central government can print money without accountability to the people. The rights of the people over their monarch were advanced when a British parliament refused to fund a war that the monarch wished to wage. That possibility no longer exists.

    Sir Edward Coke, chief justice under King James, “the greatest jurist in English history,” “contradicted King James when he declared himself ruler by divine right and above the law. For that, the king had rewarded him with rooms in the Tower of London.”

    Where is the jurist who will put his career on the line to actually follow the pledge his position at the Bar requires of him?

    How about the USA’s bumper-crop of lawyers and law school students — the status they enjoy comes with responsibilities — Anyone remember Elliot Richardson and Archie Cox? http://watergate.info/1999/12/31/elliot-richardson-dies-79.html Where are THEY now?

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  65. The issue was whether “democracy” was better than the Kaiser’s Germany. It wasn’t.

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  66. The West’s treatment of their colonies as well as the ethnic cleansing of the American Indian served in many ways as inspiration for Germany to try for the same.

    Leo Strauss invented a fallacy in the ad absurdum category that he called reductio ad Hitlerum.

    The above comment is in the same absurd category, reductio ad American treatment of indigenous people.

    It reflects a lack of awareness of the facts of the situation in Germany, which has very few parallels with the US colonization and “manifest destiny” of the ‘American’ continent.
    Very very few parallels.
    Almost none.
    In fact, if the history were told based on facts rather than Hollywood, it would be understood that the initial goals of NSDAP were to remove, in as non-violent a fashion as possible, an invading and corrupting force from the territory in which Germans were the natives.

    On the other hand, as our zionist friends frequently point out, the zionist brutalization, dispossession and conquest of the Palestinians is a more apt comparison, and is frequently rationalized by zionists as a repetition of what the American settlers did to the prior inhabitants of the lands the USA now claims as its own.

    There’s another old chestnut, “All that it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

    Earnestly propagating bogus information is a version of that chestnut as the propaganda elites well know: the holocaust narrative has been so relentlessly propagated that “good men” believe it is the gospel truth. Not only do good men refrain from questioning it (out of fear of breaking a taboo or even severe punishment), they join the propagandists in misinforming themselves and spreading it to others. Rather than clarifying matters, good men add to the holocaust smokescreen that permits USA warmongers to get away with their crimes.

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  67. Do you need estate planning and marital advice too?

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  68. “Who decides who the idiots are? ”

    They are known by their stupid actions.

    “If I had a choice, I’d take my chances with electing officials by lot before I would choose to allow our so-called elites to run us.”

    You are conflating elite with intelligent, this is not always the case. But yes a human attribute that is at least as important as intelligence is integrity.

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  69. But the solution was not to let the German barbarians

    The “solution,” in the first instance, is to stop labeling and de-humanizing.

    I notice that you label Germans as “barbarians” but Americans and Israelis are “war criminals.”

    “Barbarian” means “they who are not like us.”
    We are the good guys.
    THEY, the Other, is by definition the Bad Guy, the “Indian” in Cowboys and Indians, the Hun, the Jap, the Bosch, the Chink, the Gook, the Dago, the nigger.

    They are Other; they prove the virtue of We. Because they are Other and We are the good guys, it is permissible, even our responsibility to kill them.

    In a conversation with John Dower about Dower’s book, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima; 9/11, Iraq, Sanho Tree talked about the “conditioning” necessary to “turn an 18- or 19-year old into someone willing to do horrific things to complete strangers for reasons of state, a very unnatural act.”
    Tree continued:

    “So there’s a lot of dehumanizing that goes on, both of the perpetrator as well as the victim. ”

    Tree didn’t stop there, and his next observations are fascinating; he speaks to how the process of dehumanization makes it impossible to get at an understanding of and therefore nonviolent resolution of the core problems:

    “This carries over — In order to do these things you have to dehumanize but if you dehumanize you can’t really get into the mindset of your adversaries and if you can’t get into his mindset you can’t understand what’s motivating them and if you don’t understand what motivates them you can’t get them to stop doing what you want him to stop doing in the first place. “

    (Tree does not address the post-war effects of having dehumanized warriors, an issue the people of the USA will confront for at least another generation).

    The warmongerers’ insistence that Obama and all others use the terms “Islamic terrorist” or “Islamofascist” is an attempt to short-circuit the human thinking process in favor of conditioning all to kill without suffering pangs of conscience. Gideon Levy spoke about at the April 2015 Summit on the US-Israel lobby relationship about how Israelis have accommodated themselves to accept the killing of Palestinians that goes on just miles from the homes of pious Jews.

    One more thing then it’s time to get some advice on estate and marital issues –

    “Barbarian” was applied to Germans retrospectively, rather than to dehumanize Germans in order to enable killing them. That’s equally problematic, in my opinion. There’s no information value in such a construction. Rather than do the painful exploration of “understanding what motivates the Other,” the acts of the Other are ascribed to some inherent malevolence or evil, and evil always resides in the Other; nothing that We did could possibly have causality in the reaction of the other.
    This way of thinking suspends Newton’s Third law, an intellectual trick that was performed around 9/11 by Bush, Cheney etc. when the question was framed, Why do they hate us?

    The Bush Cheney crowd can get away with ignoring the laws of physics (of “Nature’s god”) because the people of the USA have been seduced over a 70 year period to accept the new definitions of Nature that were — and continue to be — propagandized by the people that brought you World War II.

    “Stop harping on WWII, and stop valorizing Nazis,” I’m told.

    1. Getting all the facts straight is not “valorizing Nazis,” it’s just, well, getting all the facts straight in order to extract the maximum information; it’s what Machiavelli urged as essential to the sound leadership of a republic. Is it “valorizing Caesar” to tell the full story of his campaigns?

    2. As long as “Nazism,” “Hitler,” “swastika” are raised by the propaganda elites as reference points, I consider that the door has been opened to explore the topic. I think there’s a Telltale Heart phenomenon going on: even war criminals like Dick Cheney harbor a subconscious awareness of their criminality that they contain or divert by locating it in “Nazis,” “Hitler,” etc. rather than in their own face in the mirror.

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  70. What does Danzig have to do with it?

    My citing Poland was clearly meant to illustrate the differences between that case and what the US was doing in Iraq in 2003. Whether or not Germany had a moral right to Danzig, Poland in 1939 was a sovereign state with sovereignty unimpaired in international law AND recognized by Germany itself. Iraq was NOT in a comparable situation. Ergo, whatever other conditions prevailed, Germany attacked a sovereign state without international law rationale behind it. The US attacked a state subject to treaty conditions specifically in response to its noncompliance with said conditions. In addition, the Germans cooked up a fake incident as a provocation and then proceeded to act as though such a provocation, even had it been real, justified war to the extinction of the Polish state. (Nobody had been that extremist in reaction to past German provocations…). The US may or may not have jacked up the WMD case to a point beyond what the senior officials actually believed, which might be criminal under US law, but under international law the US actually had multiple genuine Iraqi provocations over many years to respond to, AND declined to presume that their resulting right to overthrow its government necessitated the further right to extinguish the Iraqi nation.

    As to Danzig itself, your point presumes an awful lot. In what sense was it taken away unjustifiably? Does that extent to other German territory taken away in 1919? If so, how do you square with the fact that such forced cessions had been normal practice since time immemorial and had been imposed by Germany on others in multiple cases and, in the case of Brest-Litovsk, a truly impressive scale. Germany had itself treated France in 1871 the same way it whined about being treated after 1919- territory ceded, army of occupation, enormous financial indemnity. Versailles may have been unwise, but it was not unjust. It was normal treatment for the loser, even without any tendentious notion of “guilt”. [Naturally, by this standard one might also argue that the German annexation after 1939 was also valid cession from the loser. Fair enough. My point is only that Germany actually started the war in 1939 against a sovereign Poland without legal cover. A territorial claim is not legal cover in and of itself. That's an "aggressive war".]

    And if that claim is to be the analogy to the Gulf, then the point of comparison is not what America did in 2003, but what Iraq did in 1990, taking Kuwait. The latter was actually even more cynical, given all that rubbish about it being the “lost 19th province” of a state that didn’t even exist when the tribal monarchy of Kuwait first emerged. That would have been like Germany claiming Lithuania as the lost land of Bismarck’s Reich.

    You won’t get any argument from me as to the history of US imperialist aggression you cite. Agree with all of it. In other fora, I’ve been often engaged with otherwise rather paleo-minded people who retain the whole “American Exceptionalist!!! YEah!!! mentality in some ways, never admitting that even the lower 48 constitutes a former settler empire. It was just the most effective kind- direct annexation rather than possession, flood with settlers, then set up self-governing federal units of same. Suddenly the whole shebang is the metropolitan homeland. Imagine if France had put more settlers into Algeria. Not that I object to any of that, it meant more land and wealth for the civilization of which I am a part, and my country (Canada) is just a softer version of the same thing anyway. I endorse all of it. But I agree with you it was true.

    As to the rest, that’s what sovereign states do. It will be so until there is one world government and no borders. It is a function of there being nation-states and unavoidable. Unless the trad right is going to embrace one world, we have to get used to it. Americans were long sheltered from it, but America could not have acted very differently. I am glad the US turned its predatory eye and faux-messianic vision away from my country early on, and we have repaid by being happy little helpers. That’s also how it works. But an American world order is the best on offer. A world government is unlikely and undesirable to me, no other state is able to do the job America bullied its way into [not least by making sure Britain and France were finished off by the war], and frankly any contender would be terrifying to me.

    I wish America would be more lighthanded and pragmatic, and could do so without having to snow its comparatively unworldly people with fake justifications for the necessary course, but we take what we can get. The Chinese world order, if we ever get it, will be more aesthetic and quiet, but overall probably worse.

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  71. I remember it as well as anyone who wasn’t in it or lost an immediate family member, which is most humans now alive. I’ve studied it plenty.

    1. Poland did not exist at the start of WW1. A sort of Polish kingdom was set up in embryo by the Germans and by definition there were no hostilities between them before Poland existed or when it was a vassal.

    2. You’re right to the degree there were border clashes between Poles and Freikorps in the 1919-20 period. What there was not was a state of war between Germany and Poland, and neither was Poland defeated in these clashes nor were there any armistice or treaty conditions imposed on Poland. Poland was in 1939 a sovereign state, unimpaired by any such obligations that could be used to warrant force against it, and its borders were recognized. There was certainly no prior obligation to hand over Danzig, for example. And, whatever the rights and wrongs of that case, there were no legal conditions in place to match the ceasefire of 1991 on Iraq, and therefore, which was my original point, the analogy between WW2 and 2003 fails.

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  72. I’d consider some of that more worthy of debate if it were not for all the Joooo stuff. Especially that bit about how the Jews dominated Weimar Germany. Uh, no.

    Formerly Germany territory given to Poland is much like formerly German territory given to France- pretty much all of it the Germans themselves had taken by force. That’s the way it goes, and it’s not necessarily a huge moral case. It just means the Germans should hardly be allowed to whine when they lose in war territory they had won by war. Ever looked at the pre partition borders of Poland, or an ethnographic map from as late as 1900? More Poles than Germans in most of that land. Nor is there any evidence that the Poles treated the Germans living there any worse, or as badly, as the Germans had treated the Poles before 1919. While that treatment may count against Polish treaty obligations, to be a justification for war it kind of has to be worse that just par for the course in the region.

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  73. That’s a good reply, and in a reply to an earlier commenter I correct myself wrt German-Polish hostilities after Versailles.

    Although I reiterate then and now that these grievances did not come with a legal obligation for territorial cessions in 1939 by Poland beyond what were then the borders recognized by all, and did not create behavioural obligations for Poland, its failure to perform which would justify military intervention by Germany or anyone else.

    As to the ethnicity of the regions, yup. You’ll go a long way before you find someone more sympathetic than I am to the rights of peoples to settle communal disputes by force and expulsion, without interference, or for states to back them. I would say Germany and Poland both had that right and if that was what it had been about, Germany would have won, clearly. But Poland did not have 2003-analogous obligations it failed to uphold, and so the analogy doesn’t fit. Germany clearly knew that, hence the Gleiwitz incident.

    And, beyond the questions of 1919-39, Germany went on to occupy the whole of Poland in conjunction with the Russians, not for the first time, and this time set about to eliminate the Polish state in toto, permanently, and as many Polish people as it could. That’s not rectifying a border dispute. And it certainly is not what the US was doing in 2003.

    Thus the analogy to 2003, the original point of contention, still fails.

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  74. They were relevant insofar as the legality or not of the invasion of 2003 was raised, and compared to the actions in the past of countries such as Germany, which were condemned as “aggressive war” at Nuremberg. Although explicitly conceding that I have issues with that aspect of the Nuremberg model, I explained why 2003 was not comparable in international law to the case of World War 2. Since the comparison was made, I addressed it. You must have a different definition of relevant than I have.

    As to what goes on being the USA’s business. It seems now that every country considers everything its business, and the UN has only exacerbated this mindset. Every major country has trade and political interests everywhere and pursues them, not just the US. Every country has a foreign policy and pursues its interests. I once heard a student radical on TV whine about how “we have to put a stop to this American FOREIGN POLICY” as though the fact of having one was evil and unique to the US. Other countries even have them in disparate regions, like the US. Some deploy military force consonant with their capabilities and what they think they can get away with. Only in these do they differ from the capabilities and freedom of action of the US. France, loudest condemner of the US in 2003, has done such things many times before then and since and is doing so this minute.

    Nor is their usurpation of running the old world from the European powers any great moral outrage, any more than the Europeans’ attempt to still run the new world well into the 19th century. It’s what states do. For that matter, first Europe and now China are huge players in Africa. Does the fact that all are “old world” confer special power rights that the US lacks? The US is closer to Africa than China is. Hell, Iran has some play in Latin America, though it hardly rises to the level of a threat to the US.

    American unctuousness about how all god’s chilluns wanna be free and America will make them free is extremely irritating and hypocritical, but their actions themselves are perfectly normal. They are large and powerful and everything affects their interests. The do what others do or would do to protect them, indeed, they in the Gulf are acting for interests broadly more European and Asian than American.

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  75. the Jews dominated Weimar Germany. Uh, no.

    Short response: Uh, yes.

    other obligations demand my attention.

    Evidence and argument to support my short response will be posted.

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  76. I take it you would have preferred the hyphen. Fair enough. I allow some sloppiness of style and punctuation when commenting on websites. My mistake.

    OK, if we are assuming no missiles were fired, no inspection teams snowed [even the UN said that they were not getting the required cooperation ], fine. But at that point, these debates about what is legal and what is not, who can act in world affairs, and what not, are essentially pointless. There is simply no information or context at all to go on.

    My contention, in response to the arguments of the column, is that if these things happened at all then the US invasion was lawful, whether or not there were every any WMDs, and even whether or not the US government believed there were any WMDs. The Iraqi actions, on which every player at the time agreed even those opposed to the US, were sufficient justification by themselves. AND, that this situation was not comparable to that adjudicated at Nuremberg, rightly or wrongly.

    The separate question of whether the US government lied to the American people by emphasizing the WMD threat as real IF it did not believe so [there is no evidence for that] never will be but should be dealt with domestically. It is irrelevant to the international issues.

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  77. The US attacked a state subject to treaty conditions specifically in response to its noncompliance with said conditions.

    Care to elaborate?

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  78. This is pretty poorly written:

    The separate question of whether the US government lied to the American people by emphasizing the WMD threat as real IF it did not believe so [there is no evidence for that]

    But if you’re saying there is no evidence the USA knew it was lying about the WMD, that’s dead wrong:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jonathan-schwarz/colin-powell-wmd-iraq-war_b_2624620.html

    ^

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  79. The separate question of whether the US government lied to the American people by emphasizing the WMD threat as real IF it did not believe so [there is no evidence for that] never will be but should be dealt with domestically. It is irrelevant to the international issues.

    In a Constitutional republic it is critically important whether the People are lied to or even ill- vs well-informed.

    James Madison seemed to think that sound information was the soul of a Constitutional republic — http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s35.html

    “James Madison to W. T. Barry

    4 Aug. 1822Writings 9:103–9
    The liberal appropriations made by the Legislature of Kentucky for a general system of Education cannot be too much applauded. A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. “

    –The People was one of the three legs of the republican stool, according to Machiavelli, who vested more faith in the people as a collective to make consistent, wise, long-term decisions than in either of the other two legs, the monarch/autocrat (i.e. president), or the nobles/aristocrats (i.e. Congress).

    The framers of the Bill of Rights concurred:

    “The First Amendment’s protection of speech and expression is central to the concept of American political system.

    There is a direct link between freedom of speech and vibrant democracy. Free speech is an indispensable tool of self-governance in a democratic society. It enables people to obtain information from a diversity of sources, make decisions, and communicate those decisions to the government.

    Beyond the political purpose of free speech, the First Amendment provides American people with a “marketplace of ideas.” Rather than having the government establish and dictate the truth, freedom of speech enables the truth to emerge from diverse opinions. “

    To lie to the People in a Constitutional republic is perhaps the greatest form of treason that could befall the republic. Lying leaders strike at the very foundation of the Constitution.

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  80. As far as the WMD issue goes it was a preemptive war, with all the moral and legal issues that implies.

    I merely contended that the existence or not of WMDs did not matter- Iraq’s level of sovereignty and noncompliance with the armistice conditions limiting that sovereignty were in and of themselves sufficient justification for the resumption of the hostilities that had been suspended by armistice 12 years earlier. These elements had no analogue in the case of Germany attacking Poland in 1939, still less all the neutral countries Germany invaded after that in pursuit of its war against its actual declared enemies, Britain and France.

    The Germans cannot claim victimhood from WW1 , even without getting into the tendentious question of war guilt. They lost, and were treated as the defeated had for so long been treated, and in the way they had always treated other countries defeated by them. They were handled no worse than they had handled France in 1871, and much, much more gently than they set out to handle Russia in 1918. They had even recovered from the hyperinflation and had their debts rescheduled by the mid-1920s. They had no legitimate grievances, unless one starts from the position that Germany was oh so special and deserved to be treated better than past defeated powers, better than they had every treated the vanquished.

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  81. THAT I can well agree with. The ISIS threat is a strategic challenge to the interests of western countries, to my mind, but a serious threat to most of their homelands, no. Especially not the continental US. Overblown crap.

    Then again, an attack can happen anywhere any time, though likely small. I have always wondered why it would be so hard for even the most under-connected homegrown sympathizers to stage a campaign of small bombings of mini marts across America.

    Then again, this is a public that assumes it can be 100% safe from everything all the time forever, and that any breach of that safety is a catastrophic government security failure. So to that degree I get the state paranoia and the media frenzy. If Americans would accept that a few strip malls blown up is par for the course across half the earth, they could have a more measured, liberty-driven security policy.

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  82. The legalistic analogy was made in the column so I responded in legalistic terms. It was also specifically about a comparison to the case adjudicated at Nuremberg, so German launching of an “aggressive war”.

    In the terms set, 2003 was not an aggressive war and 1939 was. Even if you set aside legalism, 2003 was orders of magnitude less suited to that description than 1939. But I don’t know how you can set aside legalism- it is the only context in which any of these concepts exist for debate at all.

    As for the armistice conditions, it is worth recalling that resumption of hostilities after an armistice is not a new war. It is the same war, resumed from suspension. ANY noncompliance with the armistice is grounds for resumption, always has been. Only the prudential decision of the enforcing power sets the tone.

    The analogy involving Germany would be if the Germans had refused any of the terms of the 1918 Armistice. Refused to turn over their warships and/or aircraft, refused to start demobilizing the army, refused to yield territory, refused to admit Allied troops to the Rhineland, etc. Any would have justified the resumption of military operations by the Allies.

    None of which depends on either the existence of WMDs or US belief in them. Iraq was still noncompliant, and that’s what mattered. The lie, if there was, only matters from the point of view of the US Constitution and laws, and would be for the American people to decide as to whether THEY had been betrayed. I take that issue seriously. It’s just not one on which the international law is engaged or the world has any say. Their requirements were met.

    Now if you really want to exclude legalistic terms, as I said most of the issues disappear altogether, including many you have raised. Then we are back to prudence. By that measure, the question would be, “was the war stupid?”

    You bet.

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  83. Can you supply me the references or sources that support your comments-” Iraq’s level of sovereignty and noncompliance .., ” as sufficient justification of hostilities?

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  84. I never did get why the unitary executive theory is “dictatorship”. It seems like a restatement of the Constitution. The President is the only figure entrusted by the Constitution with the executive power, and he sits atop an otherwise wholly unelected bureaucracy of departments whose only constitutional context is to assist him in the carrying out of that power.

    To have some of it report directly to Congress or to operate essentially independently of the president, against his policy, and perhaps even without the oversight of Congress either through control of its own funding, is to unconstitutionally muddle the legislative with the executive, to identify executive branch officials not named in the constitution and suddenly give them independent executive authority not contemplated in the constitution, and in essence erect a parallel, extra-constitutional executive without any accountability, even in theory.

    One can validly argue against the scope of executive power versus legislative, or federal versus state and people, or all three, but not that some agency of the executive should not be responsible to the president.

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  85. @ http://www.unz.com/article/where-are-they-now/#comment-1000596′

    waiting

    @ http://www.unz.com/article/where-are-they-now/#comment-1000700

    and waiting

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  86. The First Iraq War Was Also Sold to the Public Based on a Pack of Lies
    June 27, 2014
    by Joshua Holland

    Polls suggest that Americans tend to differentiate between our “good war” in Iraq — “Operation Desert Storm,” launched by George HW Bush in 1990 — and the “mistake” his son made in 2003.

    Across the ideological spectrum, there’s broad agreement that the first Gulf War was “worth fighting.” The opposite is true of the 2003 invasion, and a big reason for those divergent views was captured in a 2013 CNN poll that found that “a majority of Americans (54%) say that prior to the start of the war the administration of George W. Bush deliberately misled the U.S. public about whether Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction.”

    http://billmoyers.com/2014/06/27/the-first-iraq-war-was-also-sold-to-the-public-based-on-a-pack-of-lies/

    But as the usual suspects come out of the woodwork to urge the US to once again commit troops to Iraq, it’s important to recall that the first Gulf War was sold to the public on a pack of lies that were just as egregious as those told by the second Bush administration 12 years later.

    The Lie of an Expansionist Iraq

    Most countries condemned Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. But the truth — that it was the culmination of a series of tangled economic and historical conflicts between two Arab oil states — wasn’t likely to sell the US public on the idea of sending our troops halfway around the world to do something about it.

    So we were given a variation of the “domino theory.” Saddam Hussein, we were told, had designs on the entire Middle East. If he wasn’t halted in Kuwait, his troops would just keep going into other countries.

    As Scott Peterson reported for The Christian Science Monitor in 2002, a key part of the first Bush administration’s case “was that an Iraqi juggernaut was also threatening to roll into Saudi Arabia. Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated in mid-September [of 1990] that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the border, threatening the key US oil supplier.”

    A quarter of a million troops with heavy armor amassed on the Saudi border certainly seemed like a clear sign of hostile intent. In announcing that he had deployed troops to the Gulf in August 1990, George HW Bush said, “I took this action to assist the Saudi Arabian Government in the defense of its homeland.” He asked the American people for their “support in a decision I’ve made to stand up for what’s right and condemn what’s wrong, all in the cause of peace.”

    But one reporter — Jean Heller of the St. Petersburg Times — wasn’t satisfied taking the administration’s claims at face value. She obtained two commercial satellite images of the area taken at the exact same time that American intelligence supposedly had found Saddam’s huge and menacing army and found nothing there but empty desert.

    She contacted the office of then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney “for evidence refuting the Times photos or analysis offering to hold the story if proven wrong.” But “the official response” was: “Trust us.”

    Heller later told the Monitor’s Scott Peterson that the Iraqi buildup on the border between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia “was the whole justification for Bush sending troops in there, and it just didn’t exist.”

    Dead Babies, Courtesy of a New York PR Firm

    Military occupations are always brutal, and Iraq’s six-month occupation of Kuwait was no exception. But because Americans didn’t have an abundance of affection for Kuwait, a case had to be built that the Iraqi army was guilty of nothing less than Nazi-level atrocities.

    That’s where a hearing held by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in October 1990 played a major role in making the case for war.

    A young woman who gave only her first name, Nayira, testified that she had been a volunteer at Kuwait’s al-Adan hospital, where she had seen Iraqi troops rip scores of babies out of incubators, leaving them “to die on the cold floor.” Between tears, she described the incident as “horrifying.”

    Her account was a bombshell. Portions of her testimony were aired that evening on ABC’s “Nightline” and NBC’s “Nightly News.” Seven US senators cited her testimony in speeches urging Americans to support the war, and George HW Bush repeated the story on 10 separate occasions in the weeks that followed.

    In 2002, Tom Regan wrote about his own family’s response to the story for The Christian Science Monitor:

    I can still recall my brother Sean’s face. It was bright red. Furious. Not one given to fits of temper, Sean was in an uproar. He was a father, and he had just heard that Iraqi soldiers had taken scores of babies out of incubators in Kuwait City and left them to die. The Iraqis had shipped the incubators back to Baghdad. A pacifist by nature, my brother was not in a peaceful mood that day. “We’ve got to go and get Saddam Hussein. Now,” he said passionately.

    Subsequent investigations by Amnesty International, a division of Human Rights Watch and independent journalists would show that the story was entirely bogus — a crucial piece of war propaganda the American media swallowed hook, line and sinker. Iraqi troops had looted Kuwaiti hospitals, but the gruesome image of babies dying on the floor was a fabrication.

    In 1992, John MacArthur revealed in The New York Times that Nayirah was in fact the daughter of Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the US. Her testimony had been organized by a group called Citizens for a Free Kuwait, which was a front for the Kuwaiti government.

    Tom Regan reported that Citizens for a Free Kuwait hired Hill & Knowlton, a New York-based PR firm that had previously spun for the tobacco industry and a number of governments with ugly human rights records. The company was paid “$10.7 million to devise a campaign to win American support for the war.” It was a natural fit, wrote Regan. “Craig Fuller, the firm’s president and COO, had been then-President George Bush’s chief of staff when the senior Bush had served as vice president under Ronald Reagan.”

    According to Robin Andersen’s A Century of Media, a Century of War, Hill & Knowlton had spent $1 million on focus groups to determine how to get the American public behind the war, and found that focusing on “atrocities” was the most effective way to rally support for rescuing Kuwait.

    Arthur Rowse reported for the Columbia Journalism Review that Hill & Knowlton sent out a video news release featuring Nayirah’s gripping testimony to 700 American television stations.

    As Tom Regan noted, without the atrocities, the idea of committing American blood and treasure to save Kuwait just “wasn’t an easy sell.”

    Only a few weeks before the invasion, Amnesty International accused the Kuwaiti government of jailing dozens of dissidents and torturing them without trial. In an effort to spruce up the Kuwait image, the company organized Kuwait Information Day on 20 college campuses, a national day of prayer for Kuwait, distributed thousands of “Free Kuwait” bumper stickers, and other similar traditional PR ventures. But none of it was working very well. American public support remained lukewarm the first two months.

    That would change as stories about Saddam’s baby-killing troops were splashed across front pages across the country.

    Saddam Was Irrational

    Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait was just as illegal as the US invasion that would ultimately oust him 13 years later — it was neither an act of self-defense, nor did the UN Security Council authorize it.

    But it can be argued that Iraq had significantly more justification for its attack.

    Kuwait had been a close ally of Iraq, and a top financier of the Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1980, which, as The New York Times reported, occurred after “Iran’s revolutionary government tried to assassinate Iraqi officials, conducted repeated border raids and tried to topple Mr. Hussein by fomenting unrest within Iraq.”

    Saddam Hussein felt that Kuwait should forgive part of his regime’s war debt because he had halted the “expansionist plans of Iranian interests” not only on behalf of his own country, but in defense of the other Gulf Arab states as well.

    After an oil glut knocked out about two-thirds of the value of a barrel of crude oil between 1980 and 1986, Iraq appealed to OPEC to limit crude oil production in order to raise prices — with oil as low as $10 per barrel, the government was struggling to pay its debts. But Kuwait not only resisted those efforts — and asked OPEC to increase its quotas by 50 percent instead — for much of the 1980s it also had maintained its own production well above OPEC’s mandatory quota. According to a study by energy economist Mamdouh Salameh, “between 1985 and 1989, Iraq lost US$14 billion a year due to Kuwait’s oil price strategy,” and “Kuwait’s refusal to decrease its oil production was viewed by Iraq as an act of aggression against it.”

    There were additional disputes between the two countries centering on Kuwait’s exploitation of the Rumaila oil fields, which straddled the border between the two countries. Kuwait was accused of using a technique known as “slant-drilling” to siphon off oil from the Iraqi side.

    None of this justifies Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. But a longstanding and complex dispute between two undemocratic petrostates wasn’t likely to inspire Americans to accept the loss of their sons and daughters in a distant fight.

    So instead, George HW Bush told the public that Iraq’s invasion was “without provocation or warning,” and that “there is no justification whatsoever for this outrageous and brutal act of aggression.” He added: “Given the Iraqi government’s history of aggression against its own citizens as well as its neighbors, to assume Iraq will not attack again would be unwise and unrealistic.”

    Ultimately, these longstanding disputes between Iraq and Kuwait got considerably less attention in the American media than did tales of Kuwaiti babies being ripped out of incubators by Saddam’s stormtroopers.

    Saddam Was “Unstoppable”

    A crucial diplomatic error on the part of the first Bush administration left Saddam Hussein with the impression that the US government had little interest in Iraq’s conflict with Kuwait. But that didn’t fit into the narrative that the Iraqi dictator was an irrational maniac bent on regional domination. So there was a concerted effort to deny that the US government had ever had a chance to deter his aggression through diplomatic means — and even to paint those who said otherwise as conspiracy theorists.

    As John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago and Harvard’s Stephen Walt wrote in 2003, “Saddam reportedly decided on war sometime in July 1990, but before sending his army into Kuwait, he approached the United States to find out how it would react.”

    In a now famous interview with the Iraqi leader, U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie told Saddam, “[W]e have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.” The U.S. State Department had earlier told Saddam that Washington had “no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait.” The United States may not have intended to give Iraq a green light, but that is effectively what it did.

    Exactly what was said during the meeting has been a source of some controversy. Accounts differ. According to a transcript released by the Iraqi government, Glaspie told Hussein, ” I admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country.”

    I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.

    I was in the American Embassy in Kuwait during the late 60’s. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that the issue is not associated with America. James Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction.

    Leslie Gelb of The New York Times reported that Glaspie told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the transcript was inaccurate “and insisted she had been tough.” But that account was contradicted when diplomatic cables between Baghdad and Washington were released. As Gelb described it, “The State Department instructed Ms. Glaspie to give the Iraqis a conciliatory message punctuated with a few indirect but significant warnings,” but “Ms. Glaspie apparently omitted the warnings and simply slobbered all over Saddam in their meeting on July 25, while the Iraqi dictator threatened Kuwait anew.”

    There is no dispute about one crucially important point: Saddam Hussein consulted with the US before invading, and our ambassador chose not to draw a line in the sand, or even hint that the invasion might be grounds for the US to go to war.

    The most generous interpretation is that each side badly misjudged the other. Hussein ordered the attack on Kuwait confident that the US would only issue verbal condemnations. As for Glaspie, she later told The New York Times, ”Obviously, I didn’t think — and nobody else did — that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait.”

    http://billmoyers.com/2014/06/27/the-first-iraq-war-was-also-sold-to-the-public-based-on-a-pack-of-lies/

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  87. “initial goals of NSDAP were to remove, in as non-violent a fashion as possible, an invading and corrupting force from the territory in which Germans were the natives.”

    They were VERY initial, since they used plenty of violence early on and just kept escalating it, and that against German citizens who happened to be Jews. It got worse when they took it on themselves to also remove the ‘invading and corrupting force’ from all the conquered territories in which the Germans were not the natives and in which the local Jews were citizens of those places and had ancestors there the previous 500-1000 years.

    Also, invading. How is that? The Jews of Europe settled in all those places from the Rhine to the pale because local rulers said they could. That’s a more legal process of immigration and settlement than America or Europe is experiencing now, and a damned sight less disruptive of the European social structures. Hardly at all, really. The violence was all one way, unless we’re going to start talking about exotic bread manufacturing techniques now.

    And, corrupting. I wouldn’t expect any population to be free of every kind of criminal mindset, Europe’s Jews no different than the rest. But how corrupting? Because they charged interest? I get the idea of criminally high interest to be regulated by law, but I never got the idea that all interest is usury. They are performing a service and loaning a thing, both of which benefit the borrower. Interest is the fee. Like any other charge for service or loan of goods.

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  88. Agreed, and I did indicate this several times. No argument with you on any of that.

    If these are issues the American people can be rallied to judge, then they should have that right as citizens.

    I, again, merely argue that this is a matter for the American people to decide as to whether their government lied to them in committing them to a war. The requirements of the international system were met, and the analogy made in the column between 2003 and the charge of aggressive war at Nuremberg is inaccurate.

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  89. Well, you’ve got me there.

    Until you asked that question I had considered it more of a natural sequence.

    State of hostilities exists.

    Losing side accepts armistice terms.

    Winning side ceases offensive operations as a result of the armistice.

    State of hostilities still exists, suspended by armistice. This is the justification for the winner implementing all kinds of terms, things like no fly zones in this case.

    Armistice terms breached.

    As the armistice was the basis on which operations were suspended, winning side resumes offensive operations.

    I hadn’t considered the possibility that we are now meant to assume that this sequence of ideas has been legislated out of existence. That’s right up there with legislating the end of gender or the rotation of the earth, at least for me.

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  90. No previous hostilities between Germany and Poland? Is that a joke? There weren’t enough to constitute casus belli on Poland’s part, no. But here’s a catch: Russia invaded Poland at the same time, or shortly thereafter, and none of them were hanged for the crime of starting a war of aggression. Why? For no other reason than that they won the bigger war.

    Seek not for justice in the outcome of WWII.

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  91. Bush is speaking again.

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  92. You know, we’re already pretty saturated with the wwii mythology. Might consider that we’re at war perpetually exactly because it doesn’t build character so much as form the basis for self-righteousness, cravings for Manichean drama, and entitlement in a militarist mind. It’s tempting to reform it and claim that there is some message there about the accountability of war criminals because it’s the best promoted war myth–and indeed a dominant religion unto itself–one thinks everyone’s going get that it doesn’t support what ‘we’ are doing now. But that’s crap–what ‘we’ did then is pretty much what ‘we’ are doing now. Yes, war-begets-more-war–what do you think wwii does?

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  93. Happy to at least consider every word of that as valid for debate but here I don’t see the relevance to my original points, which were:

    1. that the 2003 offensive met the burden of international law to a satisfactory level, by being the resumption of military operations in enforcement of the armistice terms of 1991.

    It does not matter for that question whether there were any WMDs, or even whether the US government believed there were any WMDs. Those burdens would have been realistic if the US had been starting a new war against a country not operating under prior armistice conditions. Iraq indisputably was operating under the armistice of 1991.

    The legality of the 1991 war and the armistice at the end of it is the legality of the 2003 offensive as well. The legality of the 1991 war is undisputed by any measure for two reasons: 1. It WAS signed off by the UN so one need not even refer to other arguments; 2. Iraq had invaded a sovereign state whose disputes with it were immaterial. THAT was more like Germany invading Poland than America in 1991 or 2003.

    2. The analogy of 2003 to 1939-45 was therefore false.

    Iraq’s disputes against Kuwait may be considered fair points, although I don’t have much sympathy with the war debt forgiveness part of it, but they fall short of justification for invasion, LET ALONE what they actually did, which was invade AND annex the whole country to Iraq. And then declare it the lost 19th province of Iraq, a state whose existence Kuwait precedes by something like 150 years. That would be like the US now claiming Nova Scotia or all Canada on the grounds that at one point both had been under the same outside empire, even though Nova Scotia had never been part of the US as an independent nation. The US hasn’t tried that one on since the Articles were in force.

    What Iraq had done was invade and extinguish a sovereign state. Routine for centuries, and it may be again soon enough. But since 1945, all the powers had been desperately trying to prevent that ever happening again, and to freeze all borders, assuming eliminating that option would eliminate major, ie interstate, war. This was a flawed notion, and it certainly led to more civil wars, but there it goes. The system as a whole would be much more harmed by interstate war and had to prevent it or at least contain it. All that may be falling apart now, but for all the uses of force by others between 1945-90, Iraq was an early violator of that particular norm. It overplayed its hand by doing that. A less existential intervention, the sort of thing the US had long been doing, it might have got away with.

    Reversing that was the goal the US signed up all its partners and hangers on to, the goal the UN endorsed, the goal consistent to some extent even with pre-UN norms [taking a whole country was considered a bit outré by 1918 at the latest], and to no trivial extent a goal and a justification which WAS laid before Congress to vote on and to the American people to support. I remember plenty of discussion in the press of international peace and good order, national sovereignty, etc.

    To all that extent, neither Congress nor the American people were lied to in 1991. The true issues WERE a large part of the issues laid before them.

    Now, I would say the American people were lied to by all the embellishments- the ransacked hospitals, raped nurses, murdered babies BS, the emphasizing of Saddam’s brutal regime [no real lies there, taken in isolation] versus the Kuwaitis, rather than noting the latter as a corrupt principality, etc. [As it happens I couldn't care less whether Kuwait was a democracy or not, there was no case to be made that it was as bad as Iraq, but all that is meaningless. Kuwait was acting as an ally to the US, and that created at least some obligations. The US would have reneged, in all likelihood, if it weren't for the international issues, but Kuwait was still an ally and has done America's bidding plenty since as well. But the country was painted falsely in the propaganda, for sure.]

    SO, I would say the government lied to the people to that extent. Perhaps that too would be actionable by the American people, but it was clearly a smaller element of the publicly made case in 1991 than WMDs were in 2003, so it would probably be worth emphasizing the later incident in any trials. And in both cases these would be issues for the American people in their republic to decide, not international law issues. The latter are satisfactorily justified for both 1991 and 2003.

    I would have no moral issue with Americans deciding to take such actions, as it happens. As I said above, I would be much happier if Americans would be sellable on more pragmatic arguments and such idealistic bafflegab were not always necessary. But it is, and when the government cooks up such causes falsely, or exaggerates the ones that are real, or embellishes the real case with hysteria, it is lying.

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  94. I’ll buy that.

    The Russians were not tried because they won.

    I’ve hinted above that I have issues with the aggressive war element at Nuremberg, and that is one of the problems I have with it. The other is that I don’t think that should be a legal issue. It is a world of sovereign nations until it isn’t.

    Although there is this, for those who prefer the legal approach- If two criminals murder a man, and you decide not to prosecute one because he is too dangerous, why does that make it unjust to go ahead and prosecute the other one? The guilt of the latter is not increased, neither is it reduced by the fact that there was another participant in the crime.

    I try to be more of a realist. World War 2 ended well because my side won. That’s all I require, in the end. I would have preferred they did without all the juridical crap.

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  95. Random observer seems to lacking in his understanding of linguistic structural analysis and semiotic theory. In plain language he doesn’t know what the meaning of “is” is. The U.S. war of aggression against Iraq is exactly that, a war of aggression, and reams of evidence exist demonstrating beyond any reasonable doubt that numerous members of the Bush administration deliberately lied and manipulated intelligence data. There was no justification, random observer, for the war that the U.S. launched. The instigators of that war are indeed war criminals and there is ample justification for their being indicted and tried in federal court.
    Meanwhile, you can go down the rabbit hole and have tea with the mad hatter, dormouse, et. al.

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  96. Bush and the entire history of international relations and the English language until the day before yesterday, at least.

    Then again, if one can change the meaning of male, female, marriage, constitution, sovereignty, citizenship, or “legal” when applied to immigration, I guess one can change the meaning of “armistice” or “ceasefire”.

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  97. I think I mentioned up the chain that I am a Canadian. Hence my allusion to US designs on Canada, in early days. Glad that was stopped. I don’t really want to live in contemporary America, for all I still see plenty of virtues in it scattered around. We have our own ways, for good and ill. Pity we didn’t get to inherit even more land from the British. The Ohio Country would have been nice, even as an Indian buffer state.

    But I digress.

    I would prefer a US next door that takes its own liberty more seriously, though I have a more state centric world view on foreign and defence policy than most here, or most Canadians for that matter. [I even like my health care. It's crap run, but there are countries doing it better. I don't think it is making me a slave, as Mark Steyn might have it. I can't see what it is preventing me from doing.] I would not expect the US to assume foreigners on battlefields abroad have constitutional rights under the US Constitution, but I’d prefer the US took a more diplomatic view of the citizens of its allies. [I'd also prefer US law enforcement actually allow tourists their consular rights as they are obliged to do, but that's another issue].

    So I have plenty of issues with the US today. It’s more paranoid, scared, dumb and aggressive than the one I visited often as a kid. That’s bad.

    But I dread the day it is no longer the strongest power, let alone breaks up as so many here have speculated. The latter scenario would be an economic, social and security nightmare for my country. The former would make the world much harder for it.

    For all of us in other more or less western nations, there is no alternative to US leadership. We’d prefer it not really be as empire-like as it is now, let alone more. But we have to take what we can get. Any other alternative on the table is too horrible. No one can yet take on the job, and the only country even in theory likely to would pose interesting problems to put it mildly.

    It is for that reason that we really send our modest forces so often to serve alongside those of the US. It’s the price of the world order in which we thrive and Canadians who think otherwise are fools.

    America is in a far better position than we are to just step back and expect to get away with it, and it would be the right of Americans to do that. But then who is going to set and enforce the new set of rules, and is America prepared to go along with rules it doesn’t make?

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  98. They were VERY initial, since they used plenty of violence early on and just kept escalating it, and that against German citizens who happened to be Jews

    Wrong.

    FDR and the Jews by Richard Breitman and Allen Lichtman, p. 1:

    “Upon gaining power in 1933 . . .Yet before the war Nazi oppression of German Jews followed a jagged trajectory. Some Nazi activists physically assaulted Jews in the early exuberant days of Hitler’s semi legal revolution. Once secure in their authority, Nazi officials curbed personal violence, but enacted a series of discriminatory laws and decrees . . .against Jews. Only in late 1938 did central authorities instigate the violence known as Kristallnacht ** . . . For the first time, the Gestapo imprisoned tens of thousands of German Jews in concentration camps that also held other alleged enemies of Hitler’s new Reich.”

    ** There is a strong case to be made that Kristallnacht was a false-flag instigated not by NSDAP leadership but by zionists and a division of the Irgun known as the Mossad el-aliyeh Bet,(1) zionist agents working throughout Europe including in Germany and Austria to induce and assist German Jews to leave Germany and migrate to Palestine, in compliance with a directive issued by by Louis Brandeis sometime between Jan. 30 and Feb. 14, 1933. (2)

    It makes no sense for NSDAP to have “instigated” Kristallnacht: On Sept. 28/29, 1938, Hitler had achieved through non-violent means British and French agreement with the Munich Agreement. It is, however, consistent with the agenda of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., in service to zionist interests, to “instigate” measure to cast Germany in a negative light, previous efforts to scare American citizens into acquiescing to US war against Germany having failed. Less than two weeks after the Munich agreement, and a month before Kristallnacht, Morgenthau initiated direct consultation with FDR to create at least seven factories for the production of war planes. An arsenal in search of an enemy. http://www.amazon.com/Jew-Who-Defeated-Hitler-Morgenthau/dp/1616149582/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436393023&sr=8-1&keywords=jew+who+defeated+hitler

    (1) Zionism and Anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, by Francis Nicosia.

    (2) Challenging Years: The Autobiography of [Rabbi] Stephen Wise

    - – – -

    “But how corrupting? Because they charged interest? I get the idea of criminally high interest to be regulated by law, but I never got the idea that all interest is usury. They are performing a service and loaning a thing, both of which benefit the borrower. Interest is the fee. Like any other charge for service or loan of goods. “

    Wrong again.

    1. Judea Declares War on Germany, banner headlines in London Daily Express, March 24, 1933

    Read the text of the newspaper article for yourself: “international Jewry” organized to destroy Germany’s foreign exchange, exports, and multiple other forms of economic activity with the goal of destroying Germany’s economy. It’s what our friend Bibi calls an existential threat. Inasmuch as Germany was already economically prostrate, which situation caused the death-by-starvation of German men, women and children, hard on the heels of the World War I famine that had cost the lives of 800,000 German civilians (see The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915 – 1919, by C. Paul Vincent )

    Edwin Black devotes several pages in “The Transfer Agreement” to the acute awareness of the Jewish leaders who managed the economic war on Germany of the profound terror that German people would experience inasmuch as they had present memory of the years of starvation during WWI.
    Furthermore, in “Lords of Finance,” Liaquat Aham provides this snapshot of Germany, 1923 — the Weimar era:

    “On Nov. 5 the price of a two-kilo loaf of bread had soared from 20 billion marks to 140 billion, sparking off nationwide riots. In Berlin, thousands of men and women had paraded the streets, shouting “Bread and work!” Over a thousand shops — bakeries, butchers, and even clothing stores–had been looted. . . . cars were held up and their occupants robbed. In the heavily Jewish areas . . .anyone who was known to be Jewish, or “looked Jewish” had been attacked by gangs of young hoodlums. *** The worst violence was directed at Galician Jews, many of whom had their distinctive beards scissored off or their clothes ripped away. The Borse, the stock exchange, had come under siege by a mob shouting, “Kill the Borse Jews.”

    By the end of the evening on Nov 8, the streets were at last quiet, the mobs dispersed at bayonet point by military police. Heavily armed Prussian state police in green uniforms now patrolled the city. . . .the weather turned extremely cold. That night it began to rain, making life even more difficult for those innumerable Berliners forced to queue up outside the municipal food kitchens and public feeding stations spread across the city. . . .

    Despite the riots and the rain, the infamously louche and tawdry nightlife of Berlin–that “new Babylon of the world” — continued unabated. …along the Kurfurstendamm, the bars and dance halls were, as always, full. As on every night, hordes of prostitutes of both sexes–there were said to be a hundred thousand of them in Berlin alone–paraded outside . . . “A kind of madness” had taken hold of the city, unhinging the whole society. Fortunes were made overnight and as quickly lost or dissipated. Those with money, desperate to get rid of it before it became worthless, indulged in giddy frenzies of spending, while those without sold what few possessions remained to them, including their bodies, in the struggle to survive. A quarter of the city’s schoolchildren suffered from malnutrition.

    Berlin had never been an elegant city. . . .But it had rightly prided itself on being the cleanest and most modern metropolis in Europe. Now it was shabby and going to seed, faded and run down like a “stone-grey corpse,” infested by “beggars, whores, invalids and fat-necked speculators,” its streets crowded by “legless war veterans riding the sidewalks on rolling planks” and by stunted, bowlegged children bent out of shape by rickets.”

    What emotions would bubble to your surface, random observer, if your children, “bent out of shape by rickets” had to beg for their food, and your wife and daughter were forced to resort to prostitution to provide food for them? Remember — tens of thousands of German men had been killed or permanently damaged in WWI; German women became the providers for their families.

    This is an extremely important topic — this tactic of starving civilian populations — The USA led the drive to impose sanctions on Iraq that resulted in the deaths of a million Iraqis, half of them children. Madeleine Albright (in)famously said The Price Was Worth It.

    If you poll any 50 members of the US Congress they will declare without hesitation that it is appropriate to hurt, hang, suffocate and starve Iranian citizens because Iranians are bad and cannot be trusted; “deception being part of the Iranian DNA,” to quote Wendy Sherman, John Kerry’s negotiating partner.

    Are you starting to observe a pattern here, random observer:

    USA covets some nation’s power, or resources, or feels threatened by its independence.
    By one means or another, the target nation’s citizens are starved.
    The target nation is subjected to a sustained campaign of demonization — dehumanization
    Lies are told by the aggressor-state’s leadership to gain acquiescence of the aggressor-state’s citizens to wage war on the target
    By one means or another, a war is provoked; USA has developed expertise in placing the onus for initiating hostilities on the target nation. Benjamin Ginsberg explains the process in a discussion of his book, The Worth of War

    One final citation re the grievances Germans harbored toward Jews (that you ascribe, simplistically, to the practice of charging interest). Hans Luther, Germany’s ambassador to the US in 1933, explained to an audience in Vermont why the German government was taking certain “discriminatory measures” against Jews in Germany. Please read the entire report for yourself, from the archives of the Jewish Telegraph Agency, May 26, 1933 http://www.jta.org/1933/05/26/archive/nazi-jewish-policies-political-not-religious-dr-luther-asserts
    Please note several factors in Luther’s statement:
    – Russian and Polish Jews had migrated to Germany, overwhelming Germany’s already strained economy and displacing native Germans in a time of skyrocketing unemployment;
    – Measures were not aimed at “Germany’s old Jewish families” but at disruptive immigrants, especially Bolshevik Communists who caused riots and attempted to subvert the German political system.

    ** refer back to Breitman & Lichtman, above, for a sharper appreciation of the NSDAP accomplishment in “quelling violence against Jews.”

    As stated before (evidence & arguments still to be mustered) Jews were a dominant force in Weimar. Leo Strauss is key to this argument.

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  99. That was also one of many Bush’s replies scripted by Frum and associates.

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  100. I try to be more of a realist. World War 2 ended well because my side won. That’s all I require, in the end. I would have preferred they did without all the juridical crap.

    You and Michael Ledeen have a lot in common.

    I assume you will hold the same “realist” opinion when your side gets its comeuppance and someone beats the crap out of your sorry ass country.

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  101. I think I have already addressed this several times so let me start differently.

    I remember being annoyed by the whole “war of choice” versus “war of necessity” meme, a faux media creation if ever there was one. There is a case to be made that every war, ever, was both. You can always choose to surrender, so even a war of national survival is a war of choice. There’s no law of physics that says your nation has to be self-ruled, or even exist. You choose to try to survive. Similarly, every war has some goal as its end, so if you will the goal, every war is a war of necessity. Necessity is relative, always. Anything else is mere moralizing.

    Just a little essay into language. I’m not anti-semiotic.

    It’s just that “war of aggression” is a term, albeit a loose one, in international law and politics. There is nothing false or anti-language about assessing it in that context. It is the only context that has meaning. In that context, the US acted in 1991 with full sanction of international law to enforce an element of the international system agreed by all states and which until that time had been more or less upheld for 45 years. Defeating Iraq’s forces, the Coalition settled an armistice with Iraq that was itself sanctioned by the UN as the official terms. That settlement determined the obligations of Iraq and thereby suspended military operations. The resumption of military operations in 2003 to enforce it did not constitute a new war, let alone one of aggression.

    It’s admittedly tough to think of a post-1945 war that is really one of aggression in these terms. The North Korean invasion of South Korea, perhaps. But I’m not sure everyone was then agreed that the North and South were separate sovereign states. Certainly not Vietnam- the separation of North and South was by no means agreed so the North could claim not to be aggressing a sovereign state. Arguing that it was such, the South was defending itself and the US was its ally. Certainly there was a clear casus belli against Cambodia by the South, so not that either.

    Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 would be a good case, but not without problems. Much like Cambodia, Lebanon allowed through incapacity the use of its soil to wage war against a neighbour. The justice of the Palestinians’ complaint doesn’t excuse Lebanon of that. Of course, Lebanon might technically then and now still be in a state of hostilities with Israel since 1948 anyway, I haven’t kept up. So both Lebanon allowing the PLO to operate and the Israeli invasion would have been legal as there was no peace between those countries. Ditto everything done by either side in all the Arab-Israeli wars since 1950. Only Egypt and Jordan are at peace with Israel.

    The invasion of Israel by the Arab states in 1948, perhaps. Israel was an internationally recognized state, albeit just beforehand. But even then, it hadn’t to my knowledge been recognized as such by any of those Arab states, so they weren’t engaging in aggression against a state they had hitherto given prior recognition. That one would be arguable forever, I suspect. They might argue that they were coming to aid the Palestinians, who were supposed to become a state too, analogous to the US aiding the RVN. Then again, the Palestinians were the ones who rejected the deal, so their claim to be a state calling in allies for defence would be suspect.

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  102. I gave you the background marked by lying,falsification,cheating,deception,and arrogant intrusiveness into the affairs of another country supported by massive weaponry. Next came abusing UNSC and misinterpretations . When misinterpretations failed Madam Albright articulated the position that Saddam had to go which was followed by passage of the neocon driven Iraq Liberation Act .

    Bush would have faced millions times worse fate than what Obama and H Clinton are facing( Benghazi fiasco) if he didn’t attack Iraq and execute the wet dream of the neocon.

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  103. Since you have chosen not to respond to my previous query, I have no choice but to plough ahead on the basis of what you have already written. Here, I believe, are the passages that form the crux of your argument that the German attack on Poland was a war of aggression and therefore a violation of international law, whereas the U.S. attack on Iraq in 2003 was not:

    “Iraqi non-compliance with the conditions attached to the end of the fighting in 1991 continued, and remained by itself a wholly sufficient justification for resumption of the conflict by the United States in 2003.”

    “…the prevailing assumption that the UNSC alone can authorize things is a challenge. Not much of one though.”

    “Further, the UNSC had itself authorized the 1991 conflict and left the US the only remaining guarantor of it. The failure of the UNSC to authorize renewed force explicitly in 2002-3 is not dispositive- indeed it should not even have been necessary to ask. If the UNSC resolutions passed in 1991 were valid then, including the ceasefire terms, then enforcement of same was still valid in 2003.”

    I think you’ll agree with me that the legality of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 turns on whether a second UNSC resolution was required.

    Here’s what Kofi Annan, the then United Nations secretary general, declared at the time:

    the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. [as] the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN’s founding charter.

    Here’s what some International legal experts, including the International Commission of Jurists, the U.S.-based National Lawyers’ Guild, a group of 31 Canadian law professors, and the U.S.-based Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy found:

    th[e] legal rationale [was] untenable, and are of the view that the invasion was not supported by UN resolution and was therefore illegal.

    With respect to the argument that UNSC Resolution 1441 provided sufficient authorization for the attack:

    The legal right to determine how to enforce its own resolutions lies with the Security Council alone (UN Charter Articles 39-42), not with individual nations. On 8 November 2002, immediately after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1441, Russia, the People’s Republic of China, and France issued a joint statement declaring that Council Resolution 1441 did not authorize any “automaticity” in the use of force against Iraq, and that a further Council resolution was needed were forced to be used.

    And what was the U.S.’s staunchest coalition partner’s view on this issue?

    Then UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sent a secret letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2002 warning Blair that the case for military action against Iraq was of “dubious legality.” The letter goes on to state that “regime change per se is no justification for military action” and that “the weight of legal advice here is that a fresh [UN] mandate may well be required.”

    Benjamin B. Ferencz was one of the chief prosecutors for the United States at the military trials of German officials following World War II, and a former law professor. In an interview given on August 25, 2006, Ferencz stated:

    not only Saddam Hussein should be tried, but also George W. Bush because the Iraq War had been begun by the U.S. without permission by the UN Security Council.

    He went on to say:

    [As a result], a prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity, that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.

    … The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States, formulated by the United States, in fact, after World War II. It says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can’t use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, “Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they’ve found — then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do.” The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq — which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.

    Professor Ferencz quoted the British deputy legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry who resigned suddenly before the Iraq war started, stating in her resignation letter:

    I regret that I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution. [A]n unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression; nor can I agree with such action in circumstances that are so detrimental to the international order and the rule of law.

    The invasion of Iraq was neither in self-defense against armed attack nor sanctioned by UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force by member states and thus constituted the crime of war of aggression, according to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in Geneva. A “war waged without a clear mandate from the United Nations Security Council would constitute a flagrant violation of the prohibition of the use of force”. We note with “deep dismay that a small number of states are poised to launch an outright illegal invasion of Iraq, which amounts to a war of aggression.”

    And the final nail in the coffin to your argument that a second resolution wasn’t required? Why was the US seeking to secure a second UN resolution authorizing use of force and decided against doing so on March 17, 2003, after they realized the didn’t have the votes to push it through?

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  104. Very well put !

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  105. Thank you

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  106. Thanks very much, sir, for your comments. They’re most instructive.

    ” . . . But the Congress and Attorney General are not fulfilling their legal obligation under the Convention against Torture to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators and those vicariously complicit or who had command responsibility. . . .”

    No, they’re not. The U. S. Government’s degeneracy is complete. . . .