[This isn’t meant to be a feel good piece. It’s controversial. If you have a different anti-war opinion you would like to be published, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
by jay janson
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark in his book The Fire This Time – US War Crimes in the Gulf wrote, and has since kept repeating, “the greatest crime since World War II has been US foreign policy.” America’s most famous defector from the war establishment would of course would be gratified to hear this spoken of by activists who present themselves as anti-imperialists and protest their government’s ordered deadly use of the America’s Armed Forces on innocent populations overseas.
Crimes are meant to be prosecuted, and criminals made to pay for what they have done! Otherwise, how on earth will the US-led Western speculative investors in profitable genocidal crimes against humanity ever stop their investing in the massive murdering of millions of children in their own beloved countries, often as not, in their own homes in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Congo, Guatemala, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, just to name some of the nations in which lives have been taken to a total of tens of millions in order to maintain, as Martin Luther King cried out, “unjust predatory investments.”
Activists and journalists become known as ‘leftists,’ anti-imperialists, peace advocates, do not call invasions, bombings, or massive killings, maiming and destruction crimes, let alone prosecutable crimes. If no one ever calls such wiping out of lives a crime, how will humanity ever get to the prosecution that will make such mass murder unprofitable and thus ended?
Laws long ignored are called into use when it is felt necessary by enough of the citizenry. Justice is often not served until prosecution has already taken place in the hearts of enough members of society to constitute a court of public opinion that inevitably comes into session when a lack of justice becomes intolerable for a society awakened to its power by a Gandhi, or a Martin Luther King.
Ramsey Clark has given his name to encouraging journalists not to write interesting exposes, erudite explanations, fascinating insights into and about the horror of a nearly continuous US genocide as Realpolitik, as if it were something other than prosecutable crimes against humanity and crimes against peace. Mass homicidal events are avidly discussed in detail as news and politics, almost never as crimes against humanity and crimes against peace, rather as if they were activities as unchallengeable as the weather. Professors and other intellectuals are, by such omission, leaving their reading public with the impression that the lethal bombings, invasions, wars of occupation and covert violence they write about are somehow lawful and that those engaging in, supporting and abetting this mayhem will not, and cannot, be brought before the law.
It can well be argued that steadfastly avoiding calling a crime a crime over many years, is being both an accessory after the fact of a crime and an accessory before the fact in facilitating a similar repeat of the same crime by not having ever reported earlier crimes. Quoting from ‘Criminal Law Lawyer Source,’ “The legal definition of accessory is quite clear about an accessory after the fact being someone who helps the felon evade arrest or criminal prosecution., An accessory can be held just as liable for the criminal act as the perpetrator.
For a person to legally be found guilty of an accessory offense, the prosecutors must prove that the defendant had knowledge of the crime that was going to be, or had been, committed.” (This first condition to prosecution should be easy to establish, especially regarding so-called ‘investigative journalists.’)
“The prosecutors must also prove that the alleged accessory had intentionally acted to help the criminal in the commission of the offense.” At this point of proof of intention, may the reader allow this author to change the plausible defendants from being unidentified ‘leftist’ journalists to being the known CEOs of the giant news, information and entertainment corporate media conglomerates. Was it not the “intention” of CEOs of news and information conglomerates that men and women entering military service shall know nothing of the very possible prosecutable criminal nature of previous military action in other peoples countries overseas by US military personnel, provable crimes committed by lowest ranking recruits right up the change of command to the Commander-in-Chief President?
Whew! It cannot be argued that these CEOs were ignorant of past prosecutable crimes against humanity, which their TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines and motion pictures were portraying to the contrary as well intentioned ‘humanitarian interventions’ or ‘police actions’ against bad guys. Now lets carry this further to include again as plausible defendants, the activists known as ‘leftists’ and peace demonstrators. They also avoid calling a spade a spade so to speak. ‘Get out of Vietnam!’ ‘Out of Afghanistan’ but not ‘prosecute Americans responsible!’
Once Americans were finished with their expensive massacres of soldiers and collaterally slaughtering of the elderly and women and children, and not have not killed enough defenders of their country to make the defenders cease fighting, Americans did ‘get out of Vietnam’ and Americans students were no longer drafted and sent there. The international sanctions the US then put on Vietnam were less tolerable for that poor country than the war, but that was generally acceptable for those who protested earlier and now lost interest. But who was supposed to pay for all the dead and maimed children. Didn’t the protesters reinforce the absence of any demand for prosecution and justice and seeing US military action as having been just bad policy and not needing punishment as reported in corporate media owned by investors in profitable genocide? Only difference was American ‘leftists’ criticized what Attorney Clark described as crime, as mistakes, unwise and reprehensible, while CIA-fed news networks told us that all that killing was good and doing good for the nation invaded, showed it as blessed by clergy and hailed it as having been an wonderful arena for young men (today would be women as well) to become heroes for bravely and honorably willing to give their lives to protect us at home. (Just by the way, influential news media anchors and publishers might remember that five media personalities were indicted at the Nuremberg Trials, all found guilty, a few hanged. Some of us feel there will be a day of reckoning for the crimes of US presstitues.)
For how many decades did these CEOs of news corporations hail Americans killing and dying to fight c o m m u n i s m where ever ‘it raised its ugly face.’ They have psyched out their captive commercially zapped national and even world wide audience to the point where genocide-justifying media is not expected to explain why Americans now make money and friends with, instead of war on, the very same c o m m u n i s t government of Vietnam. No need to explain except as a heroic ‘mistake’ why six or seven million citizens of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were slaughtered one way or another as the US and France fought c o m m u n i s m in their countries, on their land, even in their homes for some thirty years – no need to explain why today communist China and communist Vietnam are respecte and valued trading partners, but Russia, no longer communist, is still an enemy.
During the American invasion and bombing of Korea, yours truly (astonishingly, in retrospect), allowed himself to be drafted. His young mind being filled with music, mastering his instrument, girls and making his friends laugh, the idea that his country’s government could be a genocidally criminal one, never entered his twenty year old mind. In fact, not once did it even enter his mind during sixteen weeks of practicing to fire all kinds of lethal weaponry, that these toys could kill someone. If he had been sent to Korea instead of Germany, as it turned out, he could of wound up ordered to shoot at his future wife’s relatives. Your author mentions this personal experience to admit that he is guilty of participating in Army service while crimes against humanity were being committed in a Korea that the US government, after forty years of criminally de-recognizing it as territory of Imperial Japan in return for Japanese recognition of the Philippines as US territory, had invaded, overthrown its new all Korea democratically formed government, installed a repressive US military government before bringing in a Korean from the US to run a brutal dictatorship that is now fully documented as having had its police and special forces (the cadre of which having been mostly ex-Japanese soldiers), massacre nearly 200,000 communists, socialists, unionists, farmer organizers and opponents of their nation’s division (approximately 100,000 of which murdered before the North Korean army (whose cadre were mostly made up of former guerrillas who fought the Japanese in Manchuria), reunited Korea sweeping down the peninsula in five short weeks), and subsequently reinvaded and bombed the whole Korean peninsula flat (the North more than twice over), President Eisenhower even threatening to drop atomic bombs. My ignorance of all this in 1952 is testimony of how I was brought up, in large part, by capitalist press deceptions that still today favor investment returns from various forms of profitable genocide.
Okay, its May 2015, the umpteenth Memorial Day holiday created by the government of the young United States of America, which has been owned (as even Franklin Roosevelt, the last insider wealthy aristocratic US president of any great influence is known to have admitted to a close confident, ‘by a financial element in the centers of power since the 1880s’ [FDR 1932 letter to Colonel House] – a ‘financial element,’ we now know as dominated by investors in profitable genocide, which we can accurately say by counting up the millions dispatched by American firepower. – This ‘financial element’ will come to be labeled the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ by a president who dutifully followed its desires for profitable genocide in Congo, Korea, Guatemala, Laos and Vietnam up to his last day in office when, probably feeling his conscience, he spoke a word of warning about it.
Since (as an 2009 OpEdNews article reads), Most War Dead Are Civilians, On Memorial Day, Mourn Them First,
“for to honor only US military dead is to glorify the military mindset. Non-Americans watching CNN in Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq will likely be squinting in grim incredulity at American indifference to the loss of THEIR country’s lives. Memorial Day is NOT Veterans’ Day, but a day of solemn mourning, let’s be inclusive.”
For emphasis, let us add, Good Americans Mourn First the Millions America Slaughtered, Then Mourn US Soldiers (OpEdNews May, 2013) click hereBesides mourning our own, mourn the patriots of US invaded countries that ‘fell’ fighting against overwhelming odds, and their civilian countrymen and countrywomen and children who fell ‘in harms way’ of those US invading forces. Nothing less than this can dent the Memorial Day adulation for dying for what Rev. King called “atrocity wars to maintain predatory investments.”
A few years ago, even the centrist Veterans For Peace finally came through with Vets Ask“Mourn For Those Killed By Americans in Battle in US Wars of Aggression!” OpEdNews, May, 2012, click here“On this Memorial Day, Veterans For Peace asks you to mourn not only for Americans killed in battle, but also for those killed by Americans in battle, to accept that these war deaths did not have to happen–that they were actually in vain. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people have died in American wars of aggression. That is a tragedy and is a truth that must be accepted and for which we must take responsibility.” VFP President.”
What about loving American parents remembering, mourning again, the death of beloved sons and daughters who died while honestly thinking they were serving their country and not speculative investments in the criminal use of US Armed Forces? We respect their grief, for it is pure. It is normal and expected that family and friends of the deceased shall grieve, regardless of the conditions under which their loved ones passed from this world. The Vietnamese hold tight to a tradition of throwing a dinner party annually on the date of a family member’s death. And if the family had a good year financially, the dinner party will probably be more sumptuous, and the American assistant conductor of the Ho Chi Minh founded Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra might even be invited, regardless of the fact the family member was killed by Americans. (In Buddhist equanimity, it be the same as if a tree had fallen on the relative being remembered.) Remembering our dear but dead relatives and friends is a reflection of one’s capacity to love deeply, vicariously feeling the grief of others a reflection of our humanity, and compassion for the grief of non-Americans is a sign of a broader sensitively and intelligence.
But what about the poor bastards watching the parades and listening to the music and speeches honoring dead buddies, who never got over having taken part or having been a witness to the collateral killing of women and children while the intentional killing of as many as possible of their husbands and fathers was going on. How do these veterans with blood on their hands stomach being honored by their generals, among others, on Memorial Day.
One could wax on and on about the implications of celebrating the three day Memorial Day week-end. The original idea behind a special day for public grieving and remembering those who died in the American Civil War was to bind up the wounds left by war. It wasn’t meant to excuse or praise war itself. Yours truly always thinks in anguish about his four bunk buddies from Army basic training, whose remains were hurriedly thrown in a hole dug in the ground somewhere in North Korea while destiny had your future author touring Europe playing music in a symphony orchestra of the 7th US Army occupying post Nazi Germany. I knew these eighteen and nineteen year olds very well. Boy would they be pissed (to put it mildly), if they could hear Memorial Day praise about their having heroically given their lives. Jesus knows they didn’t want to die for something they didn’t even understand, and they had time before they were killed to notice they had been sent to a dirt poor half destroyed place where people didn’t have enough to eat. They would, if they could, raise their body parts up out of that hole in that ancient country of Koreans speaking a language they couldn’t understand, and rush down like banshees upon those geeks parading in their smart looking medals bedecked uniforms with flags and kick their pathetic asses down the street. These young buddies of mine were full of life and laughter, and they died so some already wealthy insane investors on Wall Street could make a killing on the stock market, just as they made a killing buying and selling bombs during WW II, and are making big money buying and selling bombs for the phony ‘war on terror’ they themselves crafted using the media and government they own and control.
These become less than human automaton investors in war who control the what America, sees, hears and reads, they have to stay busy making sure not to many grieving family members know the truth about the obvious, namely, the killing of innocent people in their very own country, as often as not in their own homes. Their patriotism exuding well paid news anchors will lie and misrepresent and quote the meaningless old saw, ‘war is war,’ but no war was ever declared since WW II.
This author, dedicated only to stopping the killing, will continue to write about Memorial Day as he does every year as he has done since 2006, when almost beat up at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in New York City for holding up a sign with another elderly professor that read: Mourn! Not Honor!, Our Dying in Dishonorable, Murderous WarsOpEdNews, May 2009 click here the use of the words ‘honor’ and ‘praise’ for someone like Muhammad Ali, who refused to do what we, for our failure to be a human as Ali, unfortunately went along with.