America’s tortured brow



– Reagan meets the Taliban and refers to them as Afghanistan’s founding fathers, despite their remarkable ability to deny even the most fundamental of human rights.

Prior to 1986 the UN’s judicial wing, the International Court of Justice was supported by the United States. However, all that changed in 1986. In that year, that fantastic year (my birth), Nicaragua became indescribably pissed off with the US’s involvement in supporting Right Winged terrorists in their country, that they bought a case against the US, to the Court of Justice. The charge was, that:

(a) That the United States, in recruiting, training, arming, equipping, financing, supplying and otherwise encouraging, supporting, aiding, and directing military and paramilitary actions in and against Nicaragua, had violated its treaty obligations to Nicaragua under:
Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter;
Articles 18 and 20 of the Charter of the Organization of American States;
Article 8 of the Convention on Rights and Duties of States;
Article I, Third, of the Convention concerning the Duties and Rights of States in the Event of Civil Strife.
(b) That the United States had breached international law by
1. violating the sovereignty of Nicaragua by:
armed attacks against Nicaragua by air, land and sea;
incursions into Nicaraguan territorial waters;
aerial trespass into Nicaraguan airspace;
efforts by direct and indirect means to coerce and intimidate the Government of Nicaragua.
2. using force and the threat of force against Nicaragua.
3. intervening in the internal affairs of Nicaragua.
4. infringing upon the freedom of the high seas and interrupting peaceful maritime commerce.
5. killing, wounding and kidnapping citizens of Nicaragua.

The US defended itself, not by denying any of the above, but by suggesting that everything it had done in the region, all the terrorist activity and the dead civilians and the economic warfare, and the torturing, was justified because it was preemptively “exercising a right of collective self-defense” for the benefit of other Latin American countries.

As proceedings were clearly going against the US, the lawyers for this new Roman Empire, who answer to no one but themselves, decided to throw their toys out of the pram, by suggesting (and being the only Country to ever suggest) that the International Court of Justice is “semi-legal, semi-juridical, semi-political body, which nations sometimes accept and sometimes don’t.” This obviously setting themselves up to say that when the court inevitably finds in favour of Nicaragua, the US wont listen. And so that is exactly what happened.

The Court found that the US was guilty of attacking key infrastructure in Nicaragua, and arming, training and financing Right Winged terrorists in the Country, although admits that the US probably wasn’t directing the operations of the terrorists. They simply picked them, funded them, armed them, and then said “okay….GO!“. The court also found that the Nicaraguan government had absolutely no part in any arms flow between Nicaragua and insurgents in other Latin American Countries. It found that no Latin American Country had asked for US support in these matters.

The judgement reads:

“Decides that the United States of America, by training, arming, equipping, financing and supplying the contra forces or otherwise encouraging, supporting and aiding military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligation under customary international law not to intervene in the affairs of another State;”

Decides that, by laying mines in the internal or territorial waters of the Republic of Nicaragua during the first months of 1984, the United States of America has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State, not to intervene in its affairs, not to violate its sovereignty and not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce;

Finds that the United States of America, by producing in 1983 a manual entitled “Operaciones sicológicas en guerra de guerrillas”, and disseminating it to contra forces, has encouraged the commission by them of acts contrary to general principles of humanitarian law; but does not find a basis for concluding that any such acts which may have been committed are imputable to the United States of America as acts of the United States of America;

Decides that the United States of America, by the attacks on Nicaraguan territory referred to in subparagraph (4) hereof, and by declaring a general embargo on trade with Nicaragua on 1 May 1985, has committed acts calculated to deprive of its object and purpose the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Parties signed at Managua on 21 January 1956;

The list goes on.

America of course disagreed and ignored the verdict. Nicaragua took it to the UN Security Council, asking for all members to respect international law. The US Vetoed it. Because the US don’t like being told what to do. It is the equivalent of a murderer being found guilty, but then walking out of the court because he doesn’t like the verdict and saying “Yeah, I don’t really take it seriously now, i’m going home” and being allowed to.

Nicaragua then took it to the General Assembly, who passed the Resolution by 94 votes to 3. The 3 anti votes, being obviously the US…….. of course you can guess the second….. Israel, and the third being El Salvador, who at the time were the recipient of huge US aid, to fight the Left Wing uprisings in the Country. The US then tried its hardest since the decision, to discredit the ICJ for being a “hostile forum”, simply because the decision went against the US. I wonder if they’d have followed the same path of trying to discredit the ICJ, if the decision went their way. Something tells me they wouldn’t. And so Nicaraguans had to deal with even further American involvement in their Country. Reagan imposed tougher economic sanctions, and denounced the elections in Nicaragua as suspicious, despite the fact that Canada, Ireland, the European Economic Community and religious groups sent to oversee the elections all said that they were perfectly fair and free.

The US Congress then banned all funding to the Right Winged terrorists in Nicaragua, the Reagan administration carried on covertly. They did this by selling arms to Iran and sending the money gained, to the terrorists in Nicaragua. In 1996 it was revealed that the Reagan administration used money raised through drug trafficking to support the terrorists in Nicaragua. And today, those very same conservative Americans who masturbate furiously over the mere mention of Reagan, are claiming Obama is the one pissing on the Constitution, by trying to improve the Healthcare system. Fickle, despicable, moronic; the American Right Wing.

This is why it amazes me, that it was the Middle East that lost it’s mind first, and began fighting America. Muslim Extremists are the equivalent of the barbarians that sacked Rome. Pissed off at their treatment by this wretched superpower, but just as pathetic, barbaric, and evil as the bastards they are fighting.

Two days ago, marked 9 years since the September 11th 2001 terrorist atrocity in New York City. It was unquestionably one of the most vile and senseless attacks the World has witnessed. The inhumanity was beyond comprehension and it strikes me as utterly counter to human compassion and decency, to assume such an attack is justifiable. That being said, I cant help but wonder why we in the Western World are only ever exposed to this one side of the story.

Almost 3000 people died that day in 2001. Since then, and because of that act, 2071 soldiers have died in Afghanistan, 4736 soldiers have died in Iraq, 14,240 civilians have died in Afghanistan, and as many as 104,595 civilians have died in Iraq, with thousands upon thousands more displaced, starving, and living in poverty that they were not in prior to US led military action. One wonders what this has achieved? One also wonders why we never hear about those deaths? Why is a declaration of war considered a legitimate and almost entirely ethical justification for the deaths of almost 200,000 innocent people? Why are America not considered far far worse than the terrorists who attacked on 9/11? 3000 people is one building. 200,000 people, is an entire city. Imagine waking up, in your city, and finding everyone dead. Children included. How is that in any sense justifiable?

Does anyone in the West know the significance of the date April 28th 2003? I doubt it. It was the date that the Americans imposed a curfew on the people of Fallujah (if Iraqis invaded America and demanded people stay in their homes after a certain time, would Americans agree? No, of course not). The people defied the curfew, and the 82nd Airborne shot and killed 17, and injured over 70. Two days later, a protest in Fallujah against the shootings took place. The US shot two people dead. American terrorism and imperialism at its finest. The documentary ‘Fallujah: The hidden massacre’ gives compelling evidence of an even greater evil, committed by the US against ordinary civilians in Fallujah, including children. It shows footage of White phosphorus being used in residential areas, which breaches human rights conventions. It then shows us footage of children and other victims of the attacks, in the areas in which the White phosphorus was used. Ex soldier Jeff Englehart backs up the claims and the evidence by admitting the use of the banned substance. A Labour MP Alice Mahon pressured the British MOD to respond to the claims. The MOD then confirmed that US forces used MK77 during the invasion. The US defended its actions by saying they gave civilians enough time to evacuate. Overall, 39,000 homes were badly damaged and 10,000 destroyed, along with 60 schools, hospitals, and 65 mosques in Fallujah, by the US, in 2004. They have not been reconstructed. 32,000 compensation claims altogether. It is now 2010, and only 2,500 have received any form of compensation. Is America still convinced these people simply ‘hate our freedoms’?

We as a species seem to have instilled in us, a sense of revenge, as well as an impulse to assume we are the ones hard done by. American governments, including the Obama administration, play the innocent far too often. The usual story across the World, from Latin America, to Afghanistan, is America attempts to control a Country for resource purposes, the people fight back, America refers to them as evil, they refer to America as evil, America attacks and refer to themselves as freedom givers, the locals attack back and America refer to them as insurgents and terrorists, America attacks again, the locals attack again, and so on. All the time, Americans are shocked that anyone could dislike them for any reason, after all they assume quite amusingly that they are the beacon of hope and freedom. And so the cycle goes on. What does it achieve? Nothing.

Right now, the Muslim World assumes it is entirely innocent, and America assumes it is entirely innocent. Both are not innocent. Do I consider America to be terrorists? Damn right I do, quite horrific terrorists too. What is unnerving, and deeply regressive in terms of the history of humanity, is that both sides assume they are fighting a morally just war, for their own abstract concept; One side is fighting for their religion – a man made concept, something that doesn’t exist, a fairy tale. The other side is fighting for a Nation State – again, a man made concept that has no scientific or empirical worth, is not biological, is an archaic throw back to Colonialism, and is simply a social construct that certainly is not worth killing or dying for. It is unbelievably short sighted, because it will never end. America as a Nation are never likely to admit they have been utter bastards across the World for the past 50 years. Islam as a religion is never going to accept it has anger issues and takes its fairy man in the sky a little too seriously.

One problem, from a Western perspective, is that since 9/11 at least, we have had this us VS them mentality. We believe the West is right, and the Muslim World are evil bastards who we tried to help, but were beaten down for it. It emanates from America. We never hear stories of American terrorism; of which there are countless examples. We are made to believe the Office of President of the United States of America is an honourable office. It REALLY isn’t. It’s like the office of Roman Emperor. It means you have the power to impose your will on much of the World, through force if necessary and build a public reason for it, but keep the real reason private. It is an office of criminals. Very little more. The castle of the Presidency is built on pillars of sand, not rock. They will not talk about the fact that when Reagan was President, he helped to create the Mujahideen as an anti-communist force, despite the fact that they were also a very violent human rights abusers. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an ex Prime Minister of Afghanistan is currently on the run from America, who have him labelled as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’. This man is responsible for countless deaths. Yet, conversely. according to the book ‘Afghanistan, the bear trap: defeat of a superpower‘, Hekmatyar was the recipient of the most US covert funding (thought to be around half a billion dollars…….. apparently Tea Party activists didn’t really care about this) ever, and total immunity from the CIA for his role in the Drug trade.

During the Afghan-Soviet war, America funding the creation of over 35,000 religious schools throughout Afghanistan, in order to help train people against Soviets by teaching an extreme form of Islam in the hope that what the crazed Muslim extremists are doing now to America, would be aimed entirely at the Soviet Union. When their anger was aimed at the Soviets, America referred to them as Freedom Fighters. The moment that anger spilled over in the direction of America, they suddenly became known as terrorists. But, the Americans created the problems. They didn’t care if terrorism that they funded was being aimed at Americas enemies. They didn’t care how many people would die, from funding the creation of the monster of Islamic Extremism. It suited their needs, so it was fine. Now it is going against them, and they suddenly find it to be an evil that needs to be defeated.

President Eisenhower famously used his farewell speech to warn the US that the ‘Military-industrial complex’, in other words, private military and arms manufacturers, as a concept, runs entirely at odds with the objection of peace. That when a situation arises in which certain people and groups have material interests in being continuously at war, there can never be peace. Eisenhower said:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Today, this is more crucial a point, than at any time during the past fifty years. A fifty years in which the US has never had a moment where it has not been involved in the affairs of other Nations. The vast economy of the military machine, is the very source of international terrorism, and it is based entirely in the US. Eisenhower recognised it. I think we are all beginning to recognise it. Especially after Iraq.

There will never be an end to terrorism. Because terrorism is not limited to extreme Muslims. Terrorism takes on many forms, and one of them includes direct funding from the very superpower that in public appears to be so anti-terrorism, it goes beyond the realm of hypocrisy and becomes laughable. Whilst money exists, whilst Nation States exist, whilst America exists, and whilst Religion exists – terrorism will also exist.

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11 Responses to America’s tortured brow

  1. Black Flag says:

    Futile,

    Good post.

    You reached back and raised the spectre of Eisenhower, so additional info is necessary.

    Though he spoke of the warning of the Industrial Military Complex, he was also the founder of the Eisenhower doctrine:

    You are with us or you are against us

    His fear of Communism created a condition that even indigenous political movements would be viewed to be hostile to American interests if such movement were neutral.

    Thus, the current system where depots and tyrannies are supported – because they kowtow to American interests – and indigenous political movements, though democratic, are viewed as enemies.

    As long as the Taliban supported US interests, they are friends. When they support Afghan interests (or their own), they are enemies. Saddam ran into the same bipolar view, as has Iran.

  2. Black Flag says:

    Former president of South Africa Thabo Mbeki

    “You cannot export democracy. It has got to be homegrown, it has got to be indigenous,” he said.

    “It is critically important that the people must have the space to determine their future. It does not matter how poor they are and how small they are. The idea that you have some super-powerful country which knows everything about everything … is obviously wrong and obviously would never work.”

    ….

    Thus, the roots of conflict – one side demands space to find their own future, the USA sees it as villainy.

  3. This is one of those few times, I am in complete agreement with you.

  4. Black Flag says:

    Darn, I’ll try hard next post ;)

  5. Moe says:

    futile: re Eisenhower – he did recognize the danger, but he didn’t see fit to issue his warning until the last year of his presidency in what was, in fact, a farewell address.

  6. Moe says:

    I’d like to link to this post and copy that picture. Okay?

  7. Moe says:

    Well, then I shall. Like you blog, so welcome to the blogroll!

  8. Thank you :) much appreciated.

  9. ellipsesgirl says:

    Funny, I just mentioned Nicaragua in my reply to your comment before I jumped over here. Being in their country and speaking with the people that were directly affected by the events you reference was an incredibly uncomfortable experience for me, primarily because I realized that I only ever heard one side of the story. The fact that I was still welcomed in their nation after all our government did to erode their sovereign rights was extraordinarily humbling.

  10. Moe says:

    My brother, a former priest, was in Chile when (US supported) Gen’l Pinochet overthrew Pres. Allende. I think it was ’73. My brother, his wife and infant had to flee the country and leave everything behind – had htey waited they’d never have gotten out.

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