Archives for posts with tag: wars of aggression

000553a

The war drums are beating for North Korea, as Donald Trump put it in a Tweet (of all things), “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”

Following WWII, 12 of 24 high ranking Germans were hung for:

Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
War crimes
Crimes against humanity

A war of aggression is a war conducted without the justification of self defence. As the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg following WWII put it, “War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Since WWII this standard has all but been forgotten and it has become almost facile to even mention it. The American government has become the primary global aggressor. According to Global Research – The Centre for Research on Globalization, the “US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II”.

No amount of propaganda or jingoistic patriotism can hide the reality of the illegal aggressive nature of modern warfare if we allow ourselves the time to think, even for a moment, something that the propaganda is specifically aimed to discourage and suppress.

George Bush sold the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on bringing democracy to the Middle East, fourteen years later and with no democracy in sight, the war continues and the people are still dying.

It might be good to pause and wonder why no one is taking on Saudi Arabia, one of the most undemocratic and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, recently visited by Theresa May for a cosy ‘trade’ mission. Couldn’t they use a bit of democracy, western style?

As I write, Trump is very proud to have dropped ‘the mother of all bombs’ (MOAB – Massive Ordnance Air Blast) (‘What it does is basically suck out all of the oxygen and lights the air on fire’ – Bill Roggio of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies) on Afghanistan. I am sure the hearts of mothers across the world will share his pride in his new found toys, or perhaps his own mother might wish she’d never spawned him.

As a US naval strike group heads for the Korean Peninsula, officials in North Korea, Pyongyang, have warned that the “current grim situation” justified its “self-defensive and pre-emptive strike capabilities with the nuclear force at the core.”

As ever, whatever the US beef with North Korea, it is a beef with the top, headed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. It is extremely unlikely we’ll see another Saddam takedown. It is the down trodden people of North Korea, their homes, towns and cities, and their lives, that will be ripped apart and turned to rubble and radioactive dead meat.

Trump is heading the world towards its first nuclear war and, once again, the many will pay the price for the grasping, greedy, power hungry few, who sit safe in their halls and bunkers of power.

Remember Nuremberg, lest we truly do forget. “War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Criminals in power are still just criminals, and it is we, the people, who always, always, pay for their crimes and the penalty for their crimes.

KOG. 13 April 2017

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_trials

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_aggression

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-has-killed-more-than-20-million-people-in-37-victim-nations-since-world-war-ii/5492051

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/02/22/us-military-official-us-troops-iraq-absolutely-combat/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_in_the_Middle_East

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/03/theresa-may-hopes-example-female-potential-saudi-arabia

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/donald-trump-moab-us-bomb-afghanistan-mother-of-all-response-statement-a7683221.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/moab-gbu-43b-mother-of-all-bombs-price-weight-blast-radius-afghanistan-isis-a7683101.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/10/politics/us-aircraft-carrier-carl-vinson-north-korea-strike-capabilities/

lifestyle-graffiti-crop

I’ve just come across an AlterNet article entitled ‘5 Ways Trump Is Mentally Torturing Us Now’.

UK readers might struggle a bit with this as this is America wearing its heart on its sleeve, something which in Britain is culturally alien to us. But before dismissing this with any of the usual cynical, and frankly smug, hauteur with which many this side of the Atlantic view America, this is a very serious matter and one that, not only should we pay attention to, is something we are also grappling with, albeit in a less overt way, but at the cost of thousands of lives.

The western world and significant developed countries across the world have been privileged to enjoy a relatively peaceful existence since WWII, and we have also been fortunate enough, in the process, to take that for granted, despite living in a world in which less privileged nations have suffered dictatorships, warfare and invasion ever since the second world war, much of that at the hands of the greedy west.

The rise of economic colonialism, which we call Neoliberalism, has seen the rapacious corporate greed which has torn so many countries apart turn inwards on those countries which have reaped the most benefit from advancing technology and capitalism. In the UK this began with Thatcherism, but which, on the back of the bankers criminal global crisis and financial robbery, has seen, since 2010, a gloves off attack on our entire way of life. They began with poor, sick and disabled people and have been ramping it up ever since to cover more and more social groups; those who live less fragile and precarious lives, one such group being junior doctors.

It remains, though, that we are not yet experiencing anything like the terror of the apartheid regime in South Africa, Chile under Augusto Pinochet, the genocide in East Timor, the horror of the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, to name but a few in which there has been and is untold suffering which westerners generally have quite comfortably ignored, including the many wars of aggression for which the west is entirely responsible for prosecuting in the name of democracy.

David Cameron said in 2013, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.” Of course he did not tell us what plans he had in place to attack us and our way of life, we had to wait for their imposition and at every stage people have been driven to despair, poverty, deprived of the means of survival, causing death and countless suicides and we were entirely unprepared for the onslaught.

To be clear, although so many other nations have, and are, experiencing very much worse, the situation we are in is no less serious and, as so many are discovering to their great cost, we ignore it at our own peril.

What we are having to learn in the UK is that we are, in the current climate, in this for the long haul. Despite the many cries that we should, ought or must do something, what those cries ignore is that right now there are no ready solutions available, and we all need to learn to toughen up and go the distance, to fight and never give up fighting and, frankly, we are unprepared and out of practice. Relatively speaking, we’ve had it easy, notwithstanding that those who have suffered the violence of poverty over the years are a little better prepared for the war on the poor and the escalation of right wing oppression.

We are, perhaps, just slightly ahead of America in this, again, not withstanding the millions in poverty, without health care, living in tents, abandoned by capitalism, but still America was not prepared for Trump and many in middle class America are shocked and traumatised newcomers to the internal war of neoliberalism and last gasp vulture capitalism.

This is not the time to gloat, this is the time when we need to find common cause across the globe, this is the time to stop segregating people by nationality, race, colour or creed, and finally accept that we are neighbours, sisters and brothers.

We have a common enemy, the corporatised world of global greed in which our governments are fully complicit and it is, in fact, time to grow up, if we can, if we are willing, if we are able and if we have the courage to go the distance. Every death and every suicide is a tragedy and many of us have already lost friends and family and our grief is yet more of the burden that we must carry. Whatever happens, the solution is not going to come from above and there are no pills that will cure this, if people need therapy and can get it, so much the better, but this is the fight of our lives and for our children’s lives and our common future.

KOG. 25 March 2017

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/5-ways-trump-mentally-torturing-us-now?akid=15356.21655.er0pjT&rd=1&src=newsletter1074416&t=1003

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-is-too-tolerant-and-should-interfere-more-in-peoples-lives-says-david-cameron-10246517.html

18_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,496

Monday 18 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

A vote on Trident is due today (Monday) which is likely to be passed by parliament. You have made your own views very clear, “…it would be sheer madness to contemplate even for a moment giving up Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent.”

The ‘logic’ behind Trident as a nuclear deterrent is still that of ‘mutually assured destruction’. If the nation’s conventional weapons are destroyed in an attack and the nation reduced to rubble we would still have the capacity to retaliate against the attacking nation. Why?

There are nine nations in the world with nuclear weapons, nine nations which are capable of holding the world to ransom. Britain, these small islands, is not dealing on any kind of equal footing with some 160 warheads, Russia has 1,600 and the USA 1,920 and the idea that we are any kind of major player is ludicrous.

You claim, “we remain committed to working alongside our Nato allies and playing our full role in the world.” Really? Did we live in a democracy, isn’t this something worthy of a referendum? Brexit has seen a run on the pound, how does that compare to millions of lives eradicated in a nuclear holocaust?

The 20th century saw the world at almost continuous war across the globe and the 21st century is riven with strife. Industrial progress has seen the proliferation of industrial scale war and destruction. This is not progress. Those of us who call for peace, like Jeremy Corbyn, are still dismissed as beardy, hippy, peaceniks, as if war was a virtue and we’re just lunatic fringe dreamers.

There is no virtue in war or the ability to make war and the current century isn’t about defence, it’s about wars of aggression and the escalation of arms for profit. Trident is just the tip of an iceberg of what is insanity and no amount of flag waving and tub thumping patriotism will make it otherwise. Every penny spent on arms is money that could have saved lives, cured diseases, tackled the evil of poverty saving tens of thousands of lives every year and improved life for millions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36710731

http://www.businessinsider.com/nine-nations-have-nukes–heres-how-many-each-country-has-2014-6?IR=T

http://history1900s.about.com/od/warsconflicts/a/Wars-And-Conflicts.htm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/11382808/Winter-death-toll-to-exceed-40000.html

23_june_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,472

Thursday 23 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Only national governments can declare and make war using the full might of the nation’s armed forces and military power. Those who serve in the armed forces do so in defence of the realm, or that’s what it’s supposed to be, but these days they get orders to fight in wars of aggression, but still at government behest.

And those who make the moral and ethical decision for war, what burden should they carry, at the very least, for the repatriation and burial of war casualties and notification of next of kin?

And what could we possibly say about a government that takes the decision to dole out that responsibility to private companies other than call them the worst possible cowards? Under the holy grail of free marketeering, who would dare to take the public shilling for such a contract, BAE (weapons) Systems? G4S? How about American Life Insurance Company, Virgin or Kellogg’s? Or how about Arriva? That’s got a nice, cosy, coming home sound to it? The answer, of course, is they’ll come without a care.

Nothing is sacred when there’s a juicy £36m four-year contract of tax payer money in the offing.

If I know anything about you Tories it is that you exercise power without responsibility. What happened to Bethan Tichborne who shouted out to you, “You have blood on your hands”, in protest against cuts to disability benefits? Not only did she report taking a beating at the hands of security guards but she was ordered by the court to pay a ‘£225 fine, a victim surcharge of £22 and to make a contribution of £500 towards court costs’.

A police officer apparently told the court that Tichborne’s demeanour was “angry, fixated, aggressive and very focused on her intentions”. Really? And why the hell wouldn’t it be?

Can we expect custodial sentences for those families who have the temerity to express their outrage when some private employee comes to call to tell them that the reward for their loved one dying in war is condolences from a zero hours contract employee (because the work is somewhat sporadic)? Or perhaps a telegram from Hasta La Vista Inc? What’s next, handing the decision for war over to BAE Systems? They are certainly tooled up for the job and it would relieve parliament of tiresome debate and any irksome responsibility for war at all. Let the profiteers rule.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5bb56b80-33ce-11e6-ad39-3fee5ffe5b5b.html#axzz4CIvSIbIu

MoD to privatise war casualty services

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/16/activist-shocked-conviction-cameron-protest

04_february_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,336

Thursday 04 February 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

During your arms junket to the Gulf in 2012 you were pictured wearing a poppy as were others in your delegation. That is not the same as making sure your buttons are done up or wearing a tie, it’s a deliberate act of adding and wearing a symbol of remembrance for all the lives lost to war.

It is an oft used and tired saying that many politicians just ‘don’t get it’, but it’s also sadly true.

I wonder what you make of the all party call for the suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia which Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond admits have been used in Yemen. Inconvenient? Irrelevant? A damned nuisance?

Modern warfare, thanks not least to Bush and Blair, has been twisted to be some kind of peace process, or as Bush said, bringing democracy to the Middle East. That’s the lunacy of our times, the Orwellian dysfunction and dystopia we now live in. The shock and awe required for peace. That’s the kind of lunacy that will see some ultimate fool use nuclear weapons as the final solution for peace and that fool will be a politician.

Warfare is also the indiscriminate killing of civilians, those inconvenient lives that get in the way of war and become collateral damage from guns, drones and bombs that are anything but ‘smart’. And do those civilians have any say in the death meted out on them by politicians? Do they have a democratic voice not to be killed? No they get to be dead or refugees. Yet they, the people, are democracy, if such a thing exists.

Democracy isn’t having a government as against a dictator, democracy is the people and the ability of the people to hold governments to account and modern warfare is the ultimate weapon against democracy. Wars of aggression, the ultimate international crime, have become the new global expression of imperialism. The war against terrorism is itself a war of terror, normalised by politicians and the media to such an extent that war is hardly even news any more. Indeed, you can even wear a poppy whilst promoting it because you just don’t get it.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/nov/05/david-cameron-gulf-arms-trip

MPs call for immediate halt of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34788100

12_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,313

Tuesday 12 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

A nuclear deterrent and arms proliferation do not increase national security, they increase national insecurity. Invading sovereign nations which have not committed acts of war against the UK are illegal wars which commit the supreme international crime of wars of aggression. They are crimes against peace. You are not defending this nation by going to war against the possibility of attack, any more than I would be protecting myself and family if I attacked someone who I thought might attack me or my family one day. The crime thus committed would be mine and mine alone, the perpetrator, and I would rightly be prosecuted for that crime. Such acts would not in any way increase our security but create insecurity, not least that I might well be incarcerated, leaving my family abandoned, to prevent me engaging in such acts of aggression again.

National security is people having secure homes with security of tenure, a place that children can call home and be safe, where families and individuals can reside without fear of unfeeling government bureaucracy casting them adrift against their will, depriving them of the most basic choice over where they live.

National security is the provision of life serving aids such as mobility scooters, which should be secure and remain available to those who rely on them to maintain a quality of life which, for the physically ably mobile, is taken for granted.

National security is every child having enough food to eat, never going to school hungry and not having to live with the daily violence and the mental and physical assault of poverty.

National security is for the elderly to be safe and warm and not fear that the choice to heat or eat could mark their last winter on Earth or that a fall might leave them helpless to die because no help was at hand because such services were cut.

National security is a government which understands the difference between war and peace and that the cost of war is measured in lives lost before their time, of minds and bodies shattered by a violence that none should suffer. War is ultimately the failure of governments to maintain peace. Teachers don’t make wars, mothers don’t make wars, bakers don’t make wars, children don’t make wars, midwives don’t make wars, governments, tyrants and despots make wars. Teachers, mothers, bakers, children, midwives – the people – pay the price.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_crime

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/09/council-tenants-lose-lifetime-right-to-live-in-property

http://www.cpag.org.uk/child-poverty-facts-and-figures

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/up-to-750000-elderly-people-forced-to-choose-between-food-and-heating-their-homes-this-winter-a6760361.html

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/28/poorest-councils-bear-brunt-of-care-cuts

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/20/old-people-falling-down-cuts-councils-essex

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/Terrorism_War_Zinn.html

13_december_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,284

Sunday 13 December 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I have to say that the move in Britain from a putative liberal democracy to a dictatorship has been impressive. I grant you that, and the money and interests that you serve. After all what does a dictatorship look like? It looks just like us but we imagine it would look very different, visibly oppressive, long shopping queues, oppressed peasants and all the visual images we have been subjected to of oppressed societies under oppressive regimes.

But such images belie the reality of people living just as usual, no matter where they are. People still have to shop, eat, live. They watch television and ‘the news’. People still go to work, life in general looks ‘normal’ and people react and live in ‘normal’ ways. What they can’t see, don’t see, refuse to see, is that in a dictatorship we all become progressively less free, starting at the bottom but moving slowly, but progressively, upwards. Just like Britain right now.

The shrinking of the welfare state, bringing in forced labour for people seeking jobs and forcing people into onerous Claimant Commitment Contracts and the routine use of sanctions denying people the means of survival. Punishing people with the hideous bedroom tax instead of building houses. Attacking disabled people and denying them support and care, ending the Independent Living Fund. Creating a crisis in the NHS and forcing top down reorganisation (attacking junior doctors for work they already do) that increases health insecurity and creeping privatisation. Attacking the unions and the rights to strike and to peacefully protest. Attacking our social and employment rights and even planning to scrap the Human Rights Act. Cutting front line services and putting people’s lives at risk. Corporatising the state and, for example, pursuing fracking against the will of the people and communities. Manipulating voting and Gerrymandering to rig elections. Undermining democracy and fast tracking laws and now working to neuter the House of Lords. Engaging in wars of aggression. Putting military troops on our streets. And so much more.

Your latest bid to undermine working class communities by ending life time contracts in social housing, claiming it will increase social mobility, is right up there in the despicable stakes. It will not increase social mobility, it will increase social insecurity undermining family and community life and social identity. You do not create any meaningful social mobility by enforcing social insecurity. It doesn’t matter that right now existing tenancy agreements are secure, that is just a smokescreen for an inevitable future of insecurity for (but not exclusive to) working class people.

This is what a dictatorship looks like.

http://www.boycottworkfare.org/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-contract-demanding-more-from-jobseekers-in-place-across-britain

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/08/bedroom-tax-harming-childrens-learning-amid-stress-and-hunger-experts-claim

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2015/09/art-cruelty-why-conservative-attack-disabled-people-harms-us-all

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/09/nhs-trusts-in-england-run-up-almost-1bn-deficit-in-three-months

http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/News/nhs-facing-creeping-privatisation-

http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/no-to-the-trade-union-bill/

http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/whats-in-the-human-rights-act-cameron-wants-to-scrap–ekox_1SdBx

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-clashes-with-conservative-controlled-oxfordshire-council-over-cuts-to-frontline-a6729616.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-tories-are-removing-twice-as-many-people-from-the-electoral-register-in-britains-poorest-areas-a6701446.html

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/09/cameron-war-lords-rebellion-tax-credits

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11600927/David-Cameron-to-fast-track-tough-anti-terror-laws.html

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4d7ee334-9cde-11e5-8ce1-f6219b685d74.html#axzz3u8BXmpJF

http://thepensivequill.am/2015/12/syrian-war-crime-of-aggression-with.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ten-thousand-troops-flood-britains-6887367

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/09/council-tenants-lose-lifetime-right-to-live-in-property

29_november_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,270

Sunday 29 November 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The First World War (WWI) was called ‘the war to end all wars’. The Second World War (WWII) gave us the supreme international crime, ‘wars of aggression’, since when such wars have become the preferred war of choice of western powers.

Doing a Google search I came up with, ‘Since the end of the Second World War in 1945 there have been some 250 major wars in which over 50 million people have been killed, tens of millions made homeless, and countless millions injured and bereaved’.

If I attempted to dispute those figures it would only be because we’re still counting.

We count debt, Britain’s debt is £1.5 trillion and counting, but where is the same running debt count of war?

Make no mistake, wars are debt, exacted by the few at the expense of the many, for which the living pay the price (just like money and profit, oddly enough).

Wars are the obscene price that the living pay for our existence on Earth.

When will we realise that war is insane?

Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity. Please explain.

Senior figures in the Parliamentary Labour Party are seeking legal advice on how to unseat Jeremy Corbyn for his opposition to war, a man who enjoys an overwhelming public democratic mandate, which includes my vote.

There doesn’t seem to be any democratic room for sense amongst the senseless.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/10/98/world_war_i/198172.stm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_aggression

http://www.debtbombshell.com/

20_may_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,091

Wednesday 20 May 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

As a child of the post war era I recall it as a time of hope, of visits to the local newsagents to buy sweets, I don’t remember at what age, but certainly under 10 and free to roam over quite a large area on my own as long as I told my Mum where I was going. I remember paper rounds and Saturday jobs which were considered routine then, of spending tips on cigarettes after I started smoking at 10. As a young teen, having learnt to build bikes from scratch, skilfully cobbled together from whatever we could scavenge around the area, principally the local brook, I’d ride miles with my older brother to a nearby abandoned pit to enjoy the exhilaration and scares of the various tracks. Back then it was unthinkable to be escorted to school by a parent and such an affront to our child dignity would have been a source of unendurable shame.

I can recall when it all changed for me and one day in particular outside the pit in Cleadon, County Durham on a community and youth work placement. The lines were drawn, the militant forces of miners and police facing each other, the picket line and the forces sent to crush the strikers and the strike. A coach was approaching the picket line right in front of me, it’s windows covered with galvanised fencing (what I thought of, ironically, as pig wire) and striking miners hanging on striving to tear the fencing off to stop the strike breaking scabs and the Police striving to tear the strikers off.

I remember also the apocalyptic world as mines closed and entire towns and villages lost their way of life, stolen by Thatcher. I didn’t know it then, but we lost a whole lot more than the mines, the life of the nation was set on a path of change that has ultimately led to the present and the invasion that you Tories represent into every facet of our lives.

I could never have imagined that government would come to dominate the lives of the working class to absolutely and so disastrously, nor the lies and spin that would become a national narrative of hate and oppression for anyone on benefits and of care and support turned to malice against the poor and especially sick and disabled people.

It’s been a process of what is called mission creep, in which the invasion of Iraq played a huge part. Who could have imagined that the very actions that spawned the Nuremberg trials, leading to the international prohibition of wars of aggression and the subsequent hanging of the perpetrators, would ever be undertaken by one of Hitler’s foremost enemies, Britain, or that Blair and the rest of you would get away with it?

As you prepare to flush our human rights act down the toilet of history, where is the outcry? Is Britain finally broken apart from those who you regard as extremists?