International War Crimes &
"The George W. Bush Doctrine
on U.S. foreign Policy:
(1) The U.S. claims the right
to preemptive use of military power, including nuclear weapons;
(2) The U.S. will not be bound by international treaties or agreements
if these are deemed by the government to interfere with our national
(3) The U.S. will actively work to prevent the emergence of any
strategic rival on the world scene;
(4) The U.S. will use military policy and power to advance the
interests of U.S. capitalism around the world."
Bill Keach, Illusion and Reality,
International Socialist Review
International War Crimes
" Neoconservative Jeane
Kirkpatrick argued in 1979 that Third World revolutions are illegitimate,
the products of Soviet expansion rather than of local historical
forces opposed to repressive dictatorships (Dictatorships and
Double Standards). Kirkpatrick had solved the moral problem of
the rollbackers: why it is fine to overthrow left-wing governments
and make friends with rightist dictators. The Kirkpatrick Doctrine
held that right-wing dictatorships can evolve into democratic
governments while left-wing nations cannot. Under this Doctrine,
Marcos, Pinochet, and P.W. Botha were leading their countries
down the path of democracy. "
from the book Rollback by Thomas
Bodenheimer and Robert Gould
"It is a gross fabrication
to claim that the contras are composed of democratic groups"....
As I can attest, the 'contra', military force is directed and
controlled by officers of Somoza's National Guard.... During my
four years as a 'contra director, it was premeditated policy to
terrorize civilian noncombatants to prevent them from cooperating
with the Government. Hundreds of civilian murders, tortures and
rapes were committed in pursuit of this policy, of which the 'contra'
leaders and their CIA superiors were well aware."
Edgar Chamorro former member of
the directorate of the main contra organization, the Nicaraguan
Democratic Force (FDN), in a 1986 interview (from
the book Rollback by Thomas Bodenheimer and Robert Gould)
" We must recognize that
there is no division between domestic and foreign policy, no way
to separate ourselves from our nation's actions around he world.
We cannot create a decent society at home so long as national
priorities are distorted by militarism ..."
from the book Trilateralism, edited
"The great masses of the
people at the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted
rather than consciously evil ... they more easily fall a victim
to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in
little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big."
" By the later years of
the Reagan regime, a preferred nomenclature suited to U.S. interests
became standardized for the Third World. In the case of nations
to be rolled back (e.g., Nicaragua), governments were called terrorist
and the insurgents were labeled democratic. In the case of countries
to be supported against "communist" insurgencies (e.g.,
El Salvador and the Philippines), the governments were called
democratic and the insurgents were labeled terrorists. "
from the book Rollback: Right-wing
Power in U.S. Foreign Policy
" Because of its power
and global interests U.S. leaders have committed crimes as a matter
of course and structural necessity. A strict application of international
law would ... have given every U.S. president of the past 50 years
Nuremberg treatment. "
" The propaganda system
allows the U.S. Ieadership to commit crimes without limit and
with no suggestion of misbehavior or criminality; in fact, major
war criminals like Henry Kissinger appear regularly on TV to comment
on the crimes of the derivative butchers. "
" The crimes of the U.S.
throughout the world have been systematic, constant, clinical,
remorseless, and fully documented but nobody talks about them."
Harold Pinter, English dramatist
"War is caused by elites
acting in what they take to be their own interests, institutional
violence promulgated by ruling groups for personal gain."
The Nation magazine
" When I visited Auschwitz
I was horrified. And when I visited Iraq, I thought to myself,
'What will we tell our children in fifty years when they ask what
we did when the people in Iraq were dying.'"
Mairead McGuire, Nobel Peace Prize
Winner, Northern Ireland
Throughout the world, on any
given day, a man, woman or child is likely to be displaced, tortured,
killed or "disappeared", at the hands of governments
or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States
shares the blame."
Amnesty International, in its
annual report on U.S. military aid and human rights
"Americans have been taught
that their nation is civilized and humane. But, too often, U.S.
actions have been uncivilized and inhumane."
Howard Zinn, historian and author
" Rollback as a foreign
policy ... causes untold devastation and misery for millions overseas,
and hinders any potential positive U.S. influence in world affairs...
To the extent the U.S. public backs rollback, this support is
rooted in a misguided sense of patriotism. Patriotism itself -
love of one's country and one's people - is a natural and reasonable
human feeling. But patriotism which measures one's country by
military superiority over all rivals regardless of consequence
is irrational... There is surely a more rational form of patriotism
that searches for excellence in social, economic and moral spheres
rather than in weapon systems. "
from the book Rollback by Thomas
Bodenheimer and Robert Gould
" With unfailing consistancy,
U.S. intervention has been on the side of the rich and powerful
of various nations at the expense of the poor and needy. Rather
than strengthening democracies, U.S. leaders have overthrown numerous
democratically elected governments or other populist regimes in
dozens of countries ... whenever these nations give evidence of
putting the interests of their people ahead of the interests of
multinational corporate interests. "
Michael Parenti, political scientist
"Hitherto acceptable norms
of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive,
long-standing American concepts of 'fair play' must be reconsidered.
We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services
and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by
more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than
those used against us. It may become necessary that the American
people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally
World War II Gen. James Doolittle
explaining in a secret 1954 report to President Eisenhower why
CIA covert operations were needed and what they entailed. From
Katherine S. Olmstead's book - Challenging the Secret Government,
"It is firm and continuing
policy that [the democratically elected government of] Allende
be overthrown by a coup.... We are to continue to generate maximum
pressure toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource.
It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely
and securely so that the USG [United States Government] and American
hands be well hidden."
October 1970 cable to CIA operatives
in Chile from Henry Kissinger's "Track Two" group
"His forces executed or
"disappeared" 3,197 people. Tens of thousands were tortured,
hundreds of thousands were forced into exile. Pinochet destroyed
the constitution, the parliament, the political parties, the trade
unions, and the free universities. "
Saul Landau, author, about Augusto
Pinochet's impact on Chile
"Pinochet is the most
despised figure in Chile with polls showing that upwards of 70%
want to see him stand trial."
" U.S. Ieaders commit
war crimes as a matter of institutional necessity, as their imperial
role calls for keeping subordinate peoples in their proper place
and assuring a "favorable climate of investment" everywhere.
They do this by using their economic power, but also (by means
of "bombs bursting in the air" and) by supporting Diem,
Mobutu, Pinochet, Suharto, Savimbi, Marcos, Fujimori, Salinas,
and scores of similar leaders. War crimes also come easily because
U.S. Ieaders consider themselves to be the vehicles of a higher
morality and truth and can operate in violation of law without
cost. It is also immensely helpful that their mainstream media
agree that their country is above the law and will support and
rationalize each and every venture and the commission of war crimes.
" Coming to grips with
these U.S./CIA activities in broad numbers and figuring out how
many people have been killed in the jungles of Laos or the hills
of Nicaragua is very difficult. But, adding them up as best we
can, we come up with a figure of six million people killed-and
this is a minimum figure. Included are: one million killed in
the Korean War, two million killed in the Vietnam War, 800,000
killed in Indonesia, one million in Cambodia, 20,000 killed in
Angola ... and 22,000 killed in Nicaragua. These people would
not have died if U.S. tax dollars had not been spent by the CIA
to inflame tensions, finance covert political and military activities
and destabilize societies.
Certainly, there are other
local, regional, national and international factors in many of
these operations, but if the CIA were tried fairly in a U.S. court,
under U.S. law, the principle of complicity, incitement, riot,
and mayhem would clearly apply. In the United States, if you hire
someone to commit a murder your sentence may be approximately
the same as that of the murderer himself.
Who are these six million people
we have killed in the interest of American national security?
Conservatives tell us, "It's a dangerous world. Our enemies
have to die so we can be safe and secure." Some of them say,
"I'm sorry, but that's the way the world is. We have to accept
this reality and defend ourselves, to make our nation safe and
insure our way of life."
Since 1954, however, we have
not parachuted teams into the Soviet Union - our number one enemy
- to destabilize that country... Neither do we run these violent
operations in England, France, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, or Switzerland.
Since the mid-1950s they have all been conducted in Third World
countries where governments do not have the power to force the
United States to stop its brutal and destabilizing campaigns.
One might call this the "Third
World War." It is a war that has been fought by the United
States against the Third World. Others call it the Cold War and
focus on the anti-Communist and anti-Soviet rationales, but the
dead are not Soviets; they are people of the Third World. It might
also be called the Forty-Year War, like the Thirty-Year and Hundred-Year
Wars in Europe, for this one began when the CIA was founded in
1947 and continues today. Altogether, perhaps twenty million people
died in the Cold War. As wars go, it has been the second or third
most destructive of human life in all of history, after World
War I and World War II.
The six million people the
CIA has helped to kill are people of the Mitumba Mountains of
the Congo, the jungles of Southeast Asia, and the hills of northern
Nicaragua. They are people without ICBMs or armies or navies,
incapable of doing physical damage to the United States the 22,000
killed in Nicaragua, for example, are not Russians; they are not
Cuban soldiers or advisors; they are not even mostly Sandinistas.
A majority are rag-poor peasants, including large numbers of women
Communists? Hardly, since the
dead Nicaraguans are predominantly Roman Catholics. Enemies of
the United States? That description doesn't fit either, because
the thousands of witnesses who have lived in Nicaraguan villages
with the people since 1979 testify that the Nicaraguans are the
warmest people on the face of the earth, that they love people
from the United States, and they simply cannot understand why
our leaders would want to spend $1 billion on a contra force designed
to murder people and wreck the country."
John Stockwell, former CIA official
Policy and Pentagon