War is a Crime

Posted: January 20, 2013 in Impeachment, Obama

By Tom Santoni

How many Obama-ordered civilian deaths in foreign lands will you tolerate before speaking out and taking action? Three Pakistani children are three too many for me.

In a blatant and unmistakable act of war against a sovereign nation, Barack Obama, four days into his administration on Friday, January 23, 2009, as commander in chief of US armed forces, ordered the US military to launch Hellfire missile strikes on homes in northwest Pakistan, killing dozens of civilians including at least three children. The military was aiming to bomb al Qaeda and Taliban “suspects,” but there was some unfortunate “collateral damage”. Oops.

Bomber pilots who leisurely drive to work each day, safely ensconced on military bases in the United States, fired the Hellfire missiles on civilians in Pakistan from unmanned, electronically controlled Predator drone aircraft. “Predator” plus “Hellfire” translates into the remote controlled explosion of children’s fragile bodies half a world away. Oh the joys of joystick bombing, the thrill of commuter combat killing, out of sight, out of mind, out of corporate US media.

The illegal air strikes and subsequent murder of civilians prompted mass protests against the US in Pakistan (a nuclear-armed nation!) and, in all likelihood, created hundreds more very angry people who are ready to do anything, anything, to defend their country, their families, and their deep sense of honor.

According to Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon official and fighter aircraft designer,

“…what happens on the ground is for every one of those impacts you get five or ten times as many recruits for the Taliban as you’ve eliminated. The people that we’re trying to convince to become adherents to our cause have turned rigidly hostile to our cause in part because of bombing and in part because of other killing of civilians from ground forces.”

So, in a spirit of bipartisanship and fair play, mindful that in the country I serve no one is above the law, I call for the impeachment of Barack Obama for war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter, and numerous U.N. General Assembly resolutions, just as I had called for the impeachment of Bush/Cheney for committing the very same crimes.

Anyone who doesn’t think Obama should be impeached who supported the impeachment of the previous administration for these same crimes is dealing in double standards and hypocrisy. Everyone who voted for Obama has blood on his hands, especially after he made repeated campaign promises to increase already bank-busting military spending, double the number of US forces in the unwinnable US war and occupation of Afghanistan, continue to develop and deploy Reagan’s Star Wars missile “defense” system, and to “go after suspected terrorists wherever they are.”

Thanks to Democratic and Republican administrations alike, as well as to resource grabs inside developing countries by many Western nations, terrorists are now all over the world striking out against the continuing exploitation and occupation of their lands. Is Obama going to “go after” them all? With hawk-lady Clinton as Secretary of State and so many of Obama’s cabinet choices steeped in generations of promoting US aggression, I don’t doubt it.

Clinton’s appointment of Richard Holbrooke as US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan is viewed by many as a recipe for disaster. Says Scott Ritter, former Marine Corp intelligence officer and U.N. weapons inspector,

“The cause-and-effect relationship between what the United States does inside Afghanistan and what occurs inside Pakistan cannot be ignored by American policymakers. He [Holbrooke] tends to seek military solutions to difficult ethnic-based problems, and he is likely to argue for the deployment of even more U.S. troops to that war-ravaged nation. That would be a historic mistake.”

Obama, by surrounding himself with foreign policy hawks, is falling into the same old savage mindset: bomb first, analyze later.

As for the tens of millions of Americans who expect the Obama administration to hold Bu$hCorp responsible for it’s murderous multiple felonies, don’t hold your breath. With Obama engaged in the very same activities that enraged us and the world about Bush’s neocon plans for “total global dominance” (this exact phrase appears throughout Department of Defense literature), do we really expect justice?

It speaks volumes that Obama brazenly nominated defense contractor Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn as Deputy Secretary of Defense, already waiving his own policy of not nominating industry lobbyists with conflicting interests for positions in his cabinet. So much for the “hope” to “change” the D.C. insider revolving door of military/corporate/government collusion and their perpetual war influence peddling.

Raytheon designs and manufactures some of the planet’s most barbarous devices of death and destruction that have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and made Lynn a very rich man. Raytheon makes cluster bombs that explode on playgrounds in children’s faces long after they’ve been dropped, the Patriot anti-missile system, the Tomahawk cruise missile, Paveway laser-guided bombs, and the errant “smart bomb’ that missed its target in Baghdad in 2003 and killed at least 62 Iraqi civilians. Oops.

The Pentagon rewards Raytheon with tens of billions of our tax dollars each year to make these and newer, more lethal WMD. Lynn has been on Raytheon’s payroll since 2002. That this nomination hasn’t sent up blinding red flags and caused progressives to scream out in protest is beyond me. As long as the American Idle allow such conspicuous and flagrant travesties of justice and crimes against the peace, we, the sheeple, will continue to get exactly the government we deserve.

While Obama is making an honest attempt to deal with our many domestic crises, his foreign policy is nothing but a continuation of US imperialistic, genocidal misadventures masquerading as “homeland security” that are in actuality weaponized offenses designed to control as many of the world’s resources as we can get our grubby little hands on.

It is this material aggression and the sense of American exceptionalism for which Obama must now be held accountable. Hey – he wanted the job! Our job is to fire him if he commits crimes in the process of perpetuating the wanton greed of American empire and its supremacist, bigoted, unsustainable way of life. He has already committed the ultimate crime. Just ask the parents of those Pakistani children.

We must reach across the aisle, condemn the continuing US murder of civilians on their own soil, confront our racist attitude that our lives are worth more than theirs, and do what is right. Impeach Obama and stop the mass murder of civilians! And then continue to immediately impeach every commander in chief that commits crimes against humanity. America will be safer for it, and fewer veterans will commit suicide, and more money will be available to help the tens of millions of Americans falling into the craters of capitalism’s collapse (half of your federal tax dollars go directly to the Pentagon), and the world’s people won’t hate us so much, and precious, brown-eyed babies won’t get blown to smithereens in our name, and we might sleep a little better.

Tom Santoni ( tom@aug.com ) is a long time human rights and economic justice activist, a professional musician and stained glass artist specializing in peace symbols, and a member of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace. He has written many articles on the harmful effects of the US military’s use of Depleted Uranium and other indiscriminate WMD, as well as the aggressive and imperialist US foreign policy transcending both Democrat and Republican administrations and the war crimes committed by both.

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