Eleven Years Later, Nothing Has Changed

war criminals

Iraq continues to be … well, Iraq.

The plan for saving Iraq begins by ousting Maliki David Ignatius / Washington Post What would an effective quick response to the catastrophic civil wars in Iraq and Syria look like?  Sometimes in foreign policy, as in sports, it can be useful to visualize the right technique — and then hit the ball.

Aw. The hand-picked (by the US) Prime Minister has managed to bungle a representative government that works beyond partisan lines. Given our sterling example, how could THAT have ever happened? Playing puppet-masters AND “spreading democracy” is fatally oxymoronic, as the world is watching.

The marionette got his strings tangled and the next rope he sees may well be the one around his neck. It’s  happened before.*

Enough snark. Eleven years ago, to this day, and 80 days after the ill-fated invasion of a sovereign nation, this piece appeared in the Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard:

iraq-war

Twenty mothers whose lives will be haunted by horrific grief without end.

From the Eugene (OR)  Register-Guard

Letters in the Editor’s Mailbag
June 19, 2003

A question of war crimes

After 80 days, it’s time Americans confronted a grave question: If no weapons of mass destruction are found, then members of the Bush administration are guilty of war crimes.

The U.S.-sponsored United Nations Charter, Chapter 1, Article 2, states: “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members.” And “All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”

Saddam Hussein was evil, but we had no lawful right to depose him. These are our American values.

In the 1945 Nuremberg Trials, there were four counts, and one, if not two, are applicable here. Count one: conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and count two: waging aggressive war, or “crimes against peace.” When it was argued that the court had no jurisdiction, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, lead prosecutor, rejoined, “The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated.”

Remember that in the near year of spin leading up to this war the term “regime change” was never used until 48 hours before the war began: because such a war would have been unlawful.

If war crimes have been committed (thousands are dead), those who screamed about the “rule of law” in 1999 better step up to the plate, else there is no such “rule.”

Hart Williams

war porn

Some of us figured this crap out early on. Moreover, some of us got the bigger picture that is still being ignored in favor of the little crap.

Hundreds of thousands of innocents are dead. Mass murder and wars of aggression? Anybody there?

Happily, they got the bastard who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

victims of the 16th_Street_Baptist_Church_bombing

Clearly, these little girls were a threat to  the power and sadism
of the same racists
that the GOP now not only defends,
but
depends on for their “southern” strategy.
(Heard ANY GOP politician denounce ANY racism
or hate crime in the past several years?)

The case was unsolved until Bill Baxley was elected Attorney General of Alabama. He requested the original Federal Bureau of Investigation files on the case and discovered that the FBI had accumulated evidence against the named suspects that had not been revealed to the prosecutors by order of J. Edgar Hoover. The files were used to reopen the case in 1971. In November 1977, the seemingly forgotten case of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing was brought to Court, where Chambliss, now aged 73, was tried once again and was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Chambliss died in Lloyd Noland Hospital and Health Center on October 29, 1985.

On May 18, 2000, the FBI announced that the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing had been carried out by the Ku Klux Klan splinter group the Cahaba Boys. It was claimed that four men, the afore-mentioned [sic] Robert Edward Chambliss, Herman Frank Cash, Thomas Edwin Blanton, Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry had been responsible for the crime. Cash was dead but Blanton and Cherry were arrested, and both have since been tried and convicted.

And they got the KKK bastards who murdered the three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi exactly 50 years ago two days hence.

On Jan. 7, 2005, four decades after the crime, Edgar Ray Killen, then 80, was charged with three counts of murder. He was accused of orchestrating the killings and assembling the mob that killed the three men. On June 21—the 41st anniversary of the murders—Killen was convicted on three counts of manslaughter, a lesser charge. He received the maximum sentence, 60 years in prison.

The grand jury declined to call for the arrest of the seven other living members of the original group of 18 suspects arrested in 1967.

civil rights workers murdered by KKK

In a hilarious “coincidence” Ronald Reagan kicked off his  1980 Presidential
Campaign with a dog whistle stop at the
county fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Reporters at the time
were just as obtuse and collaborative with the hate
crime
then as they remain to this very day. (And DEFEND …)

OK, not perfect, but JUSTICE. So there’s hope that they’ll get the bastards who inflicted so much death and misery for bogus reasons and personal dreams of revenge and glory.

saddam-hussein-hanging

* Republican “justice.” Gutless bastards couldn’t even do
it themselves, even though this turns out to be
the ONLY
reason for invading and occupying Iraq.

The invasion of Iraq was a monumental crime whose perpetrators need to be brought to justice, and whose willing partisan collaborators need to STFU. Their position hasn’t changed in eleven years.

Neither has mine — but mine has the added virtue of being right.

Courage.

========================

 Mr. Williams has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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