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Just another little war crime
by Steve Martinot (martinot4 [at] gmail.com)
Sunday Jan 5th, 2020 8:15 PM
When Trump murdered Suleimani, he was only continuing the aggression of the US against Iraq and Iran. Against aggression, anything that those countries do against the aggressor can be understood as national self-defense. The terrorism is on the US side.
Just another little war crime
By Steve Martinot

Shall we add Suleimani to the list of people assassinated by the US government? They include, despite some on-going controversy, JFK, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, RFK, Fred Hampton, Karen Silkwood, Louis Lomax, Patrice Lumumba, Che Guevara, and many more. That is an auspicious list of people who, in one form or another, fought for democracy, justice, and national sovereignty in the world. Trump is adding Suleimani to that list.

Trump is not defending US interests in Iraq, however, by committing this act of assassination. He is defending US aggression. Well, that statement contains an interesting internal grammatical contradiction. It should be restated. Trump is furthering and fostering US aggression.

The US invaded (aggressed against) Iraq in 2003 unprovoked. The US gave reasons for its aggression at the time, all of which proved to be false and fabricated. It was simply a case of “might makes right.” The US is responsible for 53% of all military spending in the world. That is, it is higher than the rest of the world put together. “Might makes right?”

The real reason for invading Iraq was to seize Iraq’s oil resources. There was a map drawn up in 2001 that actually specified which EuroAmerican oil corporations would get rights to which specific oil territories in Iraq. This map was presented to the oil corporations by Cheney in a secret meeting in February, 2001, a few weeks after that administration had been sworn into office. Though Cheney refused to disclose what that meeting had been about (in violation of public records law), it was revealed by other sources several years later.

When the US began logistic preparations to invade Iraq (in 2003), there was world-wide opposition. 15 million people demonstrated in the streets around the world against it. Never before had there been such an outpouring of popular international outrage to stop a war-mongering power from engaging in yet another aggression. The US invaded Iraq anyway.

However, the invasion never really succeeded in gaining control of the oil, or of Iraqi society, because Iraqi resistance to the US occupation turned out to be too widespread and too complex for the military mind. What did happen was that 5 billion dollars sent to Iraq from the Pentagon around 2004 to support the US effort got "lost.” If you can’t kill ‘em, then at least make some money off it.

Over the last 8 years, the Iraqis have been slowly putting together a form of national sovereignty for themselves. National sovereignty is not only the basis of international law (whoever nullifies or eradicates another nation’s sovereignty violates international law, something which is now known as a “crime against humanity”), it is also the fundamental basis for democracy. There is no possibility of democracy if a foreign power is making decisions for you.

Since the Iraqis have been facing occupation by a foreign power (the US), whatever they do against this occupying foreign power to expel it from their country is therefore an act of national defense. It is an act of national defense because the US is the aggressor. It has aggressed against Iraq, and it is seeking to aggress against Iran. Whatever those countries do to defend themselves against this or any foreign aggression has to be seen as legitimate national self-defense.

For Trump to order the murder of a foreign government official is a war crime. No war has been declared against Iran. And Iran has done nothing to provoke a war. It has only taken steps and measures to defend itself against US economic aggression. This aggression occurs in the form of sanctions, trade embargoes, extraterritorial procedures against companies and governments that continue to trade with Iran, violation of treaties signed with Iran and ratified by the US congress, and the placing gunboats near Iranian waters. For a conqueror, any act of self-defense is seen as an attack. Like when a cop hits a demonstrator with his nightstick, it is the person hit who gets charged with assault on an officer.

The difference between a war and a conquest is that in a conquest, only one side does the dying.

The assassination of an Iranian official signifies a desire for war. Nothing less. Beyond bullying, it amount to an act of terrorism. And as an act of terrorism, by US standards, it suggests that we as humans must now include the White House in the extant list of international terrorist organizations.

The irony, of course, is that, despite Trump’s endless gaffing against Obama, this tactic of assassination by drone was a procedure experimented and perfected under the Obama administration. Obama would sign off on the list of individuals that the army proposed for assassination, and they would go ahead and do it. As a technological operation, it was clearly perfectible.

What this means is that, given the surveillance technology being developed in the US, with its cameras and GPS’s, none of us can escape the possibility of being killed without warning if the government ever decides to target any of us.

Trump is not defending us by his act of terrorism. He is making us all complicit in his war crime. If that doesn’t sit well with you, then you better get active to bring the White House into compliance with international law. Start with the Nuremberg Decisions (1945).

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