Michel Chossudovsky: Abandon The Battlefield!
Centre for Research on Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation
ABANDON THE BATTLEFIELD!
by Michel Chossudovsky
25 June 2004
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"Throughout the history of mankind there have been murderers and tyrants; and while it may seem momentarily that they have the upper hand, they have always fallen."
- (Mahatma Gandhi)
The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok."
- (William Rockler, Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor)
This war is criminal. It violates the Nuremberg Charter, the US Constitution and the UN charter.
Lawrence Mosqueda in an article published in March 2003, shortly before the onslaught of the US-led invasion of Iraq provided the following advisory:
US troops have "A Duty To Disobey all
(See http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOS303A.html )
The military oath taken at the time of induction demands unbending support and allegiance to the US Constitution, while also demanding that US troops obey orders from their President and Commander in Chief:
"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"
The President and Commander in Chief has blatantly violated all tenets of domestic and international law. So that making an oath to "obey orders from the President" is tantamount to violating rather than defending the US Constitution.
According to Lawrence Mosqueda:
"The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order".
In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ." (Mosqueda, op cit, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOS303A.html )
The Commander in Chief is a war criminal. According to Principle 6 of the Nuremberg Charter:
"The fact that a person [e.g. Coalition troops] acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."
Let us make that "moral choice possible" to enlisted American, British, Canadian and Coalition servicemen and women.
Disobey unlawful orders! Abandon the battlefield! ...
Refuse to fight in a war which blatantly violates international law and the US Constitution!
But this is not a choice which enlisted men and women can make individually.
It is a collective and societal choice, which requires an organizational structure.
Across the land in the US, Britain, Canada and in all coalition countries, the anti-war movement must assist enlisted men and women to make that moral choice possible, to abandon the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This will not be an easy task. Committees at local levels must be set up across the United States, Canada, Britain, Italy, Japan and other countries, which have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These committees should provide protection, support and legal council to soldiers who refuse to fight and who face the possibility of prison sentences for desertion, as in the case of Sergeant Camilo Mejia, who was sentenced by a military court in May:
"I sit here a free man... I will sit behind bars a free man because I did the right thing," said Mejia.
When service men and women come home, we must ensure that they are not obliged to return to the war theater. We must engage a process which protects them from court martial.
We call upon veterans' associations and local communities to support this process.
This movement needs to dismantle the disinformation campaign. It must effectively reverse the indoctrination of coalition troops, who are led to believe that they are fighting "a just war": "a war against terrorists".
The legitimacy of the US military authority must be broken.
The Bush Administration must learn the lessons of history. The Iraqi and Afghan people are waging a struggle to oust the US invaders. And that resistance is winning. Ultimately, the only solution is for the American, British and coalition occupiers to withdraw.
Coalition nations should follow the example of the Spanish government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, which has withdrawn its troops from Iraq.
The anti-war movement must question the legitimacy not only of the Bush administration and its indefectible British ally, but also of all those governments, which directly support or pay lip service to the US-led military occupation.
WASHINGTON'S NEW "AMBASSADOR" TO IRAQ
Honduras also decided to withdraw its troops, in response to the appointment of John Negroponte as US "ambassador" to Iraq.
Negroponte served as US ambassador to Honduras during the Reagan administration and played a key role in supporting and supervising the Nicaraguan Contra mercenaries based in Honduras. The cross border Contra attacks into Nicaragua claimed some 50 000 civilian lives. During the same period, Negroponte was also instrumental in setting up the Honduran military death squads, "operating with Washington support's, [they] assassinated hundreds of opponents of the US-backed regime."
In a cruel irony, the Bush administration has appointed a bona fide "terrorist" to wage its "war on terrorism" in Iraq.
In the words of Human Rights Watch:
"There are serious unanswered questions about his complicity with the atrocities in Honduras and the war in Nicaragua."
But "atrocities" --including the torture and killing of POWs-- are part of the Bush Administration's agenda in Iraq.
The "ambassador" who oversees "an embassy staff" of 1700 people, will report back to the Pentagon rather than to the State Department.
The hidden agenda is to replicate in Iraq, the Central American death squadrons. Negroponte has been given the mandate to recruit loyal collaborators from within the ranks of the former Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein. Under this scenario, part of the repressive apparatus including the torture chambers (of course under US supervision to ensure "good governance") could be handed back to officials of the former Baathist police and intelligence apparatus. In all likelihood, a new wave of covert civilian killings and targeted assassinations is envisaged, to weed out civilian support for the insurgency.
© Copyright MICHEL CHSSUDOVSKY 2004.
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