tip of the iceberg (Iraq withdrawal and justice)

Being against the occupation of Iraq has become fashionable amongst Washington insiders nowadays. Centrist and conservative Democrats who once jumped on the pre-emptive bandwagon by voting to give Bush authority to wage war are now removing their proverbial feet from their mouths since it is politically expedient to do so at this time. Republicans, after losing their grip on power in the Congress during the recent elections, are also backpedaling and criticizing the execution of the war (not the moral justification for it though); again, political expediency is changing minds (not hearts, I’d wager).

The Democrats are ambiguous on how they plan to do anything different in Iraq, and most favor some sort of phased withdrawal or redeployment. The general consensus seems to be “We’re there, and we musn’t look back and criticize the decision to invade, we must move forward”, meaning the Bush regime is apparently going to be given a pass for the illegal invasion and wanton murder of thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens. The Bush regime is apparently going to get away with squandered billions of tax dollars for an unnecessary confrontation and the universal sullying of the United States already suspect reputation around the globe. Nancy Pelosi, the soon-to-be House speaker, has already dismissed questions about possible impeachment, so we can assume that holding the Bush regime accountable for their many other misdeeds are also off the table.

This is pure bullshit. The Democratic Party is so maddeningly timid and worried about the prevailing political winds that they continually shirk their responsibilities when faced with blatant unconstitutional behavior by the executive branch (not all Democrats, I might add; the progressive wing of the Party seems more than willing to do the right thing, but they don’t hold any leadership positions yet. Check out http://bernie.house.gov/website/leavesite.asp?url=http://cpc.lee.house.gov/ for more details). The only withdrawal strategies I’ve heard thus far usually include some thought about Iraqis “taking responsibility for their own security”, the Iraqis “standing up” and the US “standing down”, and other such paternalistic, racist crap (from both Democrats and Republicans) you wouldn’t even say to most little children. The leaders of the US consistently fail to address the most fundamental and important aspect of any withdrawal from Iraq: Justice.

If the United States were ruled by honorable men and women, their train of thought on the matter would be totally different from what we are seeing at the moment. I’d like to enumerate several strategies of withdrawal the US could take if it were interested in justice. First, according to any reading of international law, this invasion was an act of unadulterated aggression, and would’ve been roundly condemned as such by the UN if perpetrated by a country of less stature. To make amends for undercutting and undermining the authority of the UN, members of the Bush regime should be required to stand, one by one, before the UN General Assembly and publicly apologize on record for their criminal behavior. This would not only be a first for a belligerent superpower, but it would serve as an example to the rest of the world’s nations that the US intends to act within and respect the framework of international standards in the future. Also, the public shaming of the arrogant Bush regime would be good for the souls of great and small alike (not to mention hilarious!).

Secondly, the US should remove all military personnel, business contractors, mercenaries, and military installations from Iraqi soil. This would prove to the world that the US is not there specifically for the purpose of securing access to oil reserves, and would take away the bottomless cash well that military contractors have been sipping from since the invasion started.

Third, the tax cuts the Bush regime granted to wealthy Americans should be abolished and the money used to pay reparations to the people of Iraq. You don’t storm in someone’s home, kill the innocent, destroy the infrastructure, and leave without any restitution! That’s pure nonsense! Where are the justice-minded politicians who are even suggesting reparations? Not in this galaxy. Tax incentives and giveaways to multinational corporations profitting off of Iraqi misery (Halliburton, Bechtel, military equipment and armament manufacturers, mercenary outfits like Blackwater, etc.) should be repealed and added to the pot for the reparations payments. Iraqi-based companies (or the government itself) should receive some of this money to repair the severe infrastructure damage done by incessant bombing campaigns, with Americans helping only when requested. No American friends of Bush should profit off of this obscene crime, and withdrawing with justice would require these steps.

Lastly, every member of the Bush regime (including those who have resigned) and the neconservative fascists responsible for laying the ideological groundwork for the invasion should be dragged before the International Criminal Court and tried like the criminals they are. Rumsfeld is already facing litigation (in Germany) brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (www.ccr-ny.org) and other human rights groups for his complicity in the Abu Ghraib torture chambers and the operation of the not-so-secret gulag dotted throughout Europe and the Middle East. The victims of these crimes deserve justice, and pulling out of Iraq without prosecuting the people behind it would permanently damage any notion of international standards of justice.

Withdrawing the troops is only the tip of the iceberg. Without justice, there will never exist even a remote possibility of lasting peace in Iraq or any other nation in the world.


~ by free71 on November 16, 2006.

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