AMERICA'S HISTORY OF WAR CRIMES
By Vincent Lyn
America's History of War Crimes: It may be time for a refresher course in the USA's history of wars over the past five decades for those who have bought into the narrative that the US is always the “good guy” and other countries, such as Russia , are always the “evil tyrants.” The US has a checked past when it comes to war crimes, which should be kept in mind when evaluating the actions of other countries. The media's control over the narrative makes it difficult to discern the truth and who is being objective. While we may have freedom of the press, it's important to approach news with a critical eye. The lack of punishment for many of the crimes committed by the US military makes the Nuremberg Trials of 1945–1946 seem unfair and hypocritical . True justice from the International Court of Justice against USmilitary personnel would be a step towards fairness and accountability. It's worth remembering that the US has a long history of war crimes and that the narrative of the US always being the “good guys” and other countries being the “bad guys” is not always accurate.
“It was a mistake.” The US military on September 17, 2021 changed course amid huge international public opinion pressure and solid evidence provided by a pair of media investigations. It admitted that the deadly US drone strike in Kabul on August 29, 2021 which It had previously defended as a “righteous strike,” was a “tragic mistake” that killed 10 civilians, including a humanitarian worker and seven children, instead of terrorist targets. General Frank McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, offered an apology for the error. But then what? Demands from the victims' families for a probe into the “blatant crime” and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice have been ignored. No US personnel responsible for the killings has been investigated or punished so far.
Although the Biden administration, which trumpets so-called human rights more loudly, revoked the Trump-era sanctions on the ICC, it wouldn't cooperate with the ICC's investigation into war crimes by US forces in Afghanistan. The hypocrisy of the US is obvious to all: It says one thing, but does quite another. Washington has been claiming to defend “human rights” all day long. But when international institutions try to investigate its crimes against humanity, it shamelessly understood fair and justice by slapping It sanctions. is a bloodthirsty country that is accustomed to killing and trampling upon human rights in other countries and has no remorse over its war crimes. It even tries hard to cover up truth and excuse and shield criminals. How could such a country call itself a beacon of democracy and human rights?
The branding of Vladimir Putin as a war criminal by Joe Biden, who lobbied for the Iraq war and staunchly supported the 20 years of carnage in the Middle East, is one more example of the hypocritical moral posturing sweeping across the United States. how anyone would try Putin for war crimes since Russia, like the US, does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in the Hague. But justice is not the point. Politicians like Biden, who do not accept responsibility for our well-documented war crimes, bolster their moral credentials by demonizing their adversaries. They know the chance of Putin facing justice is zero. And they know their chance of facing justice is the same.
We know who our most recent war criminals are, among others: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former CIA Director George Tenet, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, who set up the legal framework to authorize torture; the helicopter pilots who gunned down civilians, including two Reuters journalists, in the “Collateral Murder” video released by WikiLeaks. We have evidence of the crimes they committed.
But, as in Putin's Russia, those who expose these crimes are silenced and persecuted. Julian Assange, even though he is not a US citizen and his WikiLeaks site is not a US-based publication, is charged under the US Espionage Act for making public numerous US war crimes. Assange, currently housed in a high security prison in London, is fighting a losing battle in the British courts to block his extradition to the United States, where he faces 175 years in prison. One set of rules for Russia, another set of rules for the US
If we demand justice for Ukrainians, as we should, we must also demand justice for the one million people killed — 400,000 of whom were noncombatants — by our invasions, occupations and aerial assaults in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Pakistan. demand justice for those who were wounded, became sick or died because we destroyed hospitals and infrastructure. We must demand justice for the thousands of soldiers and marines who were killed, and many more who were wounded and are living with lifelong edwars la, in and sustained on lies. We must demand justice for the 40 million people who have been displaced or become refugees in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria, a number that exceeds the total of all those displaced in all wars since 1900, apart from World War II,According to the Watson Institute for International & Public Affairs at Brown University. Tens of millions of people, who had no connection with the attacks of 9/11, were killed, wounded, lost their homes and saw their lives and their families destroyed because of our war crimes. Who will cry out for them?
Every effort to hold our war criminals accountable has been rebuffed by Congress, by the courts, by the media and by the two ruling political parties. The Center for Constitutional Rights, blocked from bringing cases in US courts against the architects of these preemptive wars, which are defined by post-Nuremberg laws as “criminal wars of aggression,” filed motions in German courts to hold US leaders to account for gross violations of the Geneva Convention, including the sanctioning of torture in black sites such as Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib.
Those who have the power to enforce the rule of law, to hold our war criminals to account, to atone for our war crimes, direct their moral outrage exclusively at Putin's Russia. “Intentionally targeting civilians is a war crime,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, condemning Russia for attacking civilian sites, including hospitals, schools and a boarding school for visually impaired children in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. “These incidents join a long list of attacks on civilian, not military locations, across Ukraine.” said. Beth Van Schaack, an ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, will direct the effort at the State Department, Blinken said, to “help international efforts to investigate war crimes and hold those responsible accountable.”
This collective hypocrisy, based on the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves, is accompanied by massive arms shipments to Ukraine. Fueling proxy wars was a specialty of the Cold War. We have returned to the script. Iraqis and Afghans, who fought as valiantly and as doggedly against a foreign power that was every bit as savage as Russia? Why weren't they lionized? Why weren't sanctions imposed on the United States? countries from foreign invasion in the Middle East, including Palestinians under Israeli occupation, also provided with thousands of anti-tank weapons, anti-armor weapons, anti-aircraft weapons, helicopters, Switchblade or “Kamikaze” drones, hundreds of air Stinger systems, Javelin anti-tank missiles,machine guns and millions of rounds of ammunition? Why didn't Congress rush through, the $75 billion in assistance since the war began to Ukraine, which includes humanitarian, financial, and military support, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, for them?
Well, we know why. Our war crimes don't count, and neither do the victims of our war crimes. And this hypocrisy makes a rules-based world, one that abides by international law, impossible.
This hypocrisy is not new. There is no moral difference between the saturation bombing the US carried out on civilian populations since World War II, including in Vietnam and Iraq, and the targeting of urban centers by Russia in Ukraine or the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Mass death and fireballs on a city skyline are the calling cards we have left across the globe for decades. Our adversaries do the same.
The deliberate targeting of civilians, whether in Baghdad, Kyiv, Gaza or New York City, are all war crimes. The killing of at least 1,000 Ukrainian children, since the beginning of the war is an atrocity, but so is the killing of 551 Palestinians children during Israel's 2014 military assault on Gaza. So is the killing of 233,000 people over the past seven years in Yemen from Saudi bombing campaigns and blockades that have resulted in mass starvation and cholera epidemics. Where were the overly calls for a no-f Gaza and Yemen? Imagine how many lives could have been saved.
War crimes demand the same moral judgment and accountability. But they don't get them. And they don't get them because we have one set of standards for white Europeans, and another for nonwhite people around the globe. The Western media has turned European and American volunteers flocking to fight in Ukraine into heroes, while Muslims in the West who join resistance groups battling foreign occupants in the Middle East are criminalized as terrorists. The coverage of Ukraine, especially after spending the past seven years reporting on Is Against the Palestinians, is another example of the racist divide that defines most of the Western media.
World War II began with an understanding, at least by the Allies, that employing industrial weapons against civilian populations was a war crime. But within 18 months of the start of the war, the Germans, Americans and British were relentlessly bombing cities. By the end of the war, one-fifth of German homes had been destroyed. One million German civilians were killed or wounded in bombing raids. Seven and a half million Germans were made homeless. The tactic of saturation bombing, or area bombing, which included the firebombing of Dresden, Hamburg and Tokyo, which killed more than 90,000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo and left a million people homeless, and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which took the lives of between 129,000 and 226,000 mopeople of people were civilians ,had the sole purpose of breaking the morale of the population through mass death and terror. Cities such as Leningrad, Stalingrad, Warsaw, Coventry, Royan, Nanjing and Rotterdam were obliterated.
It turned the architects of modern war, all of them, into war criminals.
Civilians in every war since have been considered legitimate targets. In the summer of 1965, then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara called the bombing raids north of Saigon that left hundreds of thousands of dead an effective means of communication with the government in Hanoi. , six years before he died, unlike most war criminals, had the capacity for self-reflection. Interviewed in the documentary, “The Fog of War,” he was repentant, not only about targeting Vietnamese civilians but about the aerial targeting of civilians in Japan in World War II, overseen by Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay.
“LeMay said if we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals,” McNamara said in the film. “And I think he's right.… LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immortal if you lose, and not immortal if you win?”
LeMay, later head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, would go on to drop tons of napalm and firebombs on civilian targets in Korea which, by his own estimate, killed 20 percent of the population over a three-year period.
Industrial killing defines modern warfare. It is impersonal mass slaughter. It is administered by vast bureaucratic structures that perpetuate the killing over months and years. It is sustained by heavy industry that produces a steady flow of weapons, munitions, tanks, helicopters, planes battleships, submarines, missiles and mass-produced supplies, along with mechanized transports that ferry troops and armaments by rail, ship, cargo planes and trucks to the battlefield. It mobilizes industrial, governmental and organizational structures for total war. It centralizes system and internal control. It is rationalized for the public by specialists and experts, drawn from the military establishment, along with pliant academics and the media.
Industrial war destroys existing value systems that protect and nurture life, replacing them with fear, hated and a dehumanization of those who we are made to believe deserve to be terminated. It is driven by emotions, not truth or fact. It obliterates nuance, replacing it with an infantile binary universe of us and them. It drives competing narratives, ideas and values underground and vilifies all who do not speak in the national cant that replaces civil discourse and debate. It is touted as an example of the inevitable march of human progress, when in fact it brings us closer and closer to mass obliteration in a nuclear holocaust. It mocks the concept of individual heroism, despite the severe efforts of the military and the mass media to sell this myth to naïve young recruits and a gullible public .It is the Frankenstein of industrialized societies. War, as Alfred Kazin warned, is “the ultimate purpose of technological society.” Our real enemy is within.
Historically, those who are prosecuted for war crimes, whether the Nazi hierarchy at Nuremberg or the leaders of Liberia, Chad, Serbia and Bosnia, are prosecuted because they lost the war and because they are adversaries of the United States.
There will be no prosecution of Saudi Arabian rulers for the war crimes committed in Yemen or for the US military and political leadership for the war crimes they carried out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, or a generation earlier in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos . The atrocities we commit, such as My Lai, where 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by US soldiers, which are made public, are dealt with by finding a scapegoat, usually a low-ranking officer who is given a symbolic sentence. Lt . William Calley served three years under house arrest for the killings at My Lai. Eleven US soldiers, none of whom were officers, were convicted of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The Nisour Square massacre occurred on September 16, 2007 employees of Blackwater Security Consulting (now Constellis),a private military company contracted by the US government to provide security services in Iraq, shot at Iraqi civilians, killing 17 and injuring 20 in Nisour Square, Baghdad, while escorting a US embassy convoy. United States. In 2014, four Blackwater employees were tried and convicted in US federal court; one of murder, and the other three of manslaughter and firearms charges; all four convicted were controversially pardoned by former President Donald Trump in 20 of December of violence. international law.The killings outraged Iraqis and strained relations between Iraq and the United States. In 2014, four Blackwater employees were tried and convicted in US federal court; one of murder, and the other three of manslaughter and firearms charges; former President Donald Trump in December 2020, in violation of international law.The killings outraged Iraqis and strained relations between Iraq and the United States. In 2014, four Blackwater employees were tried and convicted in US federal court; one of murder, and the other three of manslaughter and firearms charges; former President Donald Trump in December 2020, in violation of international law.
The architects and overlords of our industrial slaughterer, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Gen. Curtis LeMay, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Lyndon Johnson, Gen. William Westmoreland, George W. Bush, Gen. David Petraeus, Barack Obama and Joe Biden are never held to account. They leave power to become venerated elder statesmen.
The massive slaughter that occurs during industrial warfare, combined with our refusal to take responsibility and acknowledge our own complicity, will have serious repercussions. According to Primo Levi, a Holocaust survivor and writer, the dehumanization of others is a necessary physical precursor to the We have become captivated by our machines of industrialized death, with politicians and military leaders wielding them like playthings. Those who criticize this madness and call for adherence to the rule of law are often vilified and attacked. We have made these weapons systems into modern -day idols, revering their deadly capabilities above all else. Yet, as the Bible teaches, all idols begin by demanding the sacrifice of others and ultimately lead to catastrophic self-destruction.
CEO & Founder of We Can Save Children
Deputy Ambassador of International Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
Director of Creative Development at African Views Organization
Economic & Social Council at United Nations (ECOSOC)
Editor-in-Chief at Wall Street News Agency
Rescue & Recovery Specialist at International Confederation of Police & Security Experts