A War Crime in Real Time: Obliterating
by Francis A. Boyle
November 15, 2004
The obliteration of Fallujah continues
apace. Article 6(b) of the 1945 Nuremberg Charter defines a Nuremberg
War Crime in relevant part as the ". . . wanton destruction
of cities, towns or villages. . ." According to this definitive
definition, the Bush Jr. administration's destruction of Fallujah
constitutes a war crime for which Nazis were tried and executed.
There is nothing surprising about that.
Since the Bush Jr. administration's installation
in power by the United States Supreme Court in January of 2001,
the peoples of the world have witnessed a government in the United
States of America that has demonstrated little if any respect
for fundamental considerations of international law, international
organizations, and human rights, let alone appreciation of the
requirements for maintaining international peace and security.
What the world has watched instead is a comprehensive and malicious
assault upon the integrity of the international legal order by
a group of men and women who are thoroughly Machiavellian in their
perception of international relations and in their conduct of
both foreign policy and domestic affairs. This is not simply a
question of giving or withholding the benefit of the doubt when
it comes to complicated matters of foreign affairs and defense
policies to a U.S. government charged with the security of both
its own citizens and those of its allies in Europe, the Western
Hemisphere, and the Pacific. Rather, the Bush Jr. administration's
foreign policy constitutes ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized
principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law, in
particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and
the Nuremberg Principles. So their obliteration of Fallujah was
to be expected.
One generation ago the peoples of the
world asked themselves: Where were the "good" Germans?
Well, there were some good Germans. The Lutheran theologian and
pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the foremost exemplar of someone
who led a life of principled opposition to the Nazi-terror state
even unto death.
Today the peoples of the world are likewise
asking themselves: Where are the "good" Americans? Well,
there are some good Americans. Like three Catholic Nuns in Denver,
they are getting arrested and going to jail for protesting against
United States weapons of mass destruction (WMD) whose power for
human extermination far exceeds even the wildest fantasies of
Hitler and the Nazis. Or else for protesting against illegal U.S..
military interventions around the world. Just recently the Nuclear
Resister estimated that since the Fall of 2002, there have been
more than 9,500 anti-war related arrests in the United States
alone. Many more will be coming.
In international legal terms, the Bush
Jr. administration itself should now be viewed as constituting
an ongoing criminal conspiracy under international criminal law
in violation of the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment,
and the Nuremberg Principles, due to its formulation and undertaking
of aggressive war policies that are legally akin to those perpetrated
by the Nazi regime. As a consequence, American citizens possess
the basic right under international law and the United States
domestic law, including the U.S. Constitution, to engage in acts
of non-violent civil resistance in order to prevent, impede, thwart,
or terminate ongoing criminal activities perpetrated by U.S. government
officials in their conduct of foreign affairs policies and military
operations purported to relate to defense and counter-terrorism.
This same right of civil resistance extends
pari passu to all citizens of the world community of states. Everyone
around the world has both the right and the duty under international
law to resist ongoing criminal activities perpetrated by the Bush
Jr. administration and its nefarious foreign accomplices such
as Blair, Berlusconi, Howard, Koizumi, Kwasniewski, etc. by all
non-violent means possible. If it is not so restrained, the Bush
Jr. administration could very well precipitate a Third World War.
The time for preventive action is now.
Civil resistance is the way to go. People power can overcome power
politics. Popular movements have succeeded in toppling tyrannical,
dictatorial and authoritarian regimes throughout former Communist
countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and most recently
in Latin America. It is time once again to exercise People Power
here in the United States of America: "When in the Course
of human Events. . . We hold these Truths to be self-evident.
. . . we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes,
and sacred Honor."
Despite the best efforts by the Bush Jr.
Leaguers to the contrary, we American Citizens still have our
First Amendment Rights: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association,
Freedom of Assembly, Freedom to Petition our Government for the
Redress of these massive Grievances, Civil Resistance, etc. We
are going to have to start vigorously exercising all of our First
Amendment Rights right now. We must use them or else, as the saying
goes, we will lose them. We must act not only for the good of
the Peoples of Southwest Asia, but for our future, that of our
children, that of our nation as a democratic society committed
to the Rule of Law and the U.S. Constitution. The Nazis had their
Francis A. Boyle, Professor of Law, University
of Illinois, is author of Foundations of World Order, Duke University
Press, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, and Palestine, Palestinians
and International Law, by Clarity Press. He can be reached at:
War Crimes & Criminals