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IF MILITARY MIGHT IS RIGHT October 27, 2004

Posted by wmmbb in Iraq Policy.
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According to Michael Fullilove in the SMH American policy will not be too different whether Bush or Kerry wins, specifically in the application of force. His central argument is that:

America’s primacy in the internation system shapes the way its policy makers look at the world. Partiality to coercive measures and wariness of international law is not purely a personal predilection of Bush’s

The expression of this “partiality” is seen in Iraq, illustrating the war on terrorism, or the reliance:

. . .on military might rather than the international rules in order to maintain [American] security and promote a liberal order.

What, then, is terrorism other than a convenient emotion-laden slogan? If only so I will know, terrorism can be defined as “the systematic use of [extreme fear],especially as a means of coercion”.

Terrorist can, I suggest, be characterised by mentality as well as methods. They should such a disregard for human rights and human well being of the civilian population such that their acts constitute a crime against humanity. Their mentality is framed by the conviction that they are the agents of god or righteousness, and other people do not matter. People who purport to be Christians and Muslims who pronouce such beliefs are, religious cultists. I would include many, if not most, of the so-called religious supporters of the Republican Party.

Fullilove acknowledges that Kerry now call Iraq a “profound diversion from the war on terrorism”. The war on a terrorism is a rhetorical device, assuming that right exists only on one side, and yet the prosecution of the war in Iraq would suggest otherwise that the methods and mentality adopted by Americans amount to terrorism.

Patrick Graham’s article first published in The Guardian, and later republished in the SMH provides geneal evidence:

Falluja is already now being bombed daily, as it is softened up for the long-awaited siege. It has been a gruelling year for its people. First, they were occupied by the US army’s 82nd Airborne, an incompetent group of louts whose idea of cultural sensitivity was kicking a door down instead of blowing it up. Within eight months of the invasion, the 82nd had killed about 100 civilians in the area and lost control of Falluja, leaving it to the US marines to try and retake the city last April. After killing about 600 civilians, the marines retreated, leaving the city in the hands of 18 armed groups, including tribesmen, Islamists, Ba’athists, former criminals and an assortment of non-Iraqi Arab fighters said to be led by the Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Graham notes:

Recently, a Bush administration official told the New York Times the bombing was driving a wedge between the citizenry and the non-Iraqi fighters. If, indeed, the civilian population is being bombed for this end, this is a grave war crime.

He then gives specific instances in which he was involved in which the Americans were in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

There are at least two points to be made. The United States of America was founded, as set out in the Declaration of Independence, on the principle of the rule of law, for what else is a “decent respect for the opinion of mankind”? Justice must prevail, and crimes must be prosecuted in the humanities struggle against terrorism.

Postscript/Expanation:
Fair dinkum, I was tired when I wrote this. Hence the glaring spelling mistake, and even worse English than has become the norm here. I had my blog already for publishing, with newspaper lying over the keyboard, when pressing down on the newspaper wiped out the lot. This rewrite was done through the haze of tiredness.

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