US GIs have been duly honoured on Veterans Day. Now let everyone remember regarding any order to invade and or kill in another country: “An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders — if the order was illegal.
“I was only following orders,” has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn’t work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.
Here below copied are the very clear Nuremberg Principles of International Law, which former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark unequivocally states are part of the law of the land by Article Six of the US Constitution.
“Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.”
“The fact that an internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.”
“The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.”
This paraphrases to, “even if you are head of state you still can be tried under international law.”
The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him”.
This principle could be paraphrased as follows: “It is not an acceptable excuse to say ‘I was just following my superior’s orders'”.
“Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.”
Principle VI “The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes Against Peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(c) Crimes Against Humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population,
“Complicity in he commission of a crime against peace ” or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.
Veterans Day 2017, like Veterans Days and Memorial Days over the last sixty odd years, have been used to herald US invasions, bombings and military occupations as fighting for freedom to distract from the horrific truth of Americans continuing commit crimes against humanity and crimes against peace, often enough the crime of genocide in dozens smaller nations.
Regarding what US GI’s did to the soft spoken Buddhist Vietnamese, the United States of America dropped more than twice the amount of bombs on them that were dropped during all of the Second World War in Europe, Asia and Africa by all sides. This was after the US government first brought back in the formerly fascist French Colonial Army in US ships, and financially supported their attempt to recolonize Vietnam for eight bloody years. (Vichy France had turned its colony over to its ally the Japanese Empire during WWII.)
Martin Luther King cried out one year before his assassination, “They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps”. So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs” So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers” They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords…What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? …We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing — in the crushing of the nation’s unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men.” [Beyond Vietnam, a blistering sermon by Martin Luther KIng, in New York,1967] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qf6x9_MLD0
How many African American veterans would continue to wear proudly their I am Vietnam Veteran caps if they read or listened to the video of King’s sermon Beyond Vietnam – a Time to Break Silence, which has been blacked out of all mention in US criminal mainstream media since 1967!
The reason six US Presidents and US mainstream media gave for the many millions of deaths in French Indochina was that of seeking to prevent a communist government in Vietnam, but in spite of all the six or seven million deaths, maiming, and malformed births throughout Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Vietnam has had ever since the murdering Americans turned tail, a communist government and is, presently, like the Chinese communist government, a favorite trading partner of the United States of America. How do the families of fallen American GIs who know this feel about their sons and daughters having given their lives for this abject failure of the US government and military in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which took the lives of so many innocent millions and achieving nothing but death and destruction. Do not hundreds of thousands of well informed families of US veterans of the invasion, bombing, occupying and destroying in the once beautiful Buddhist nations of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia feel shame for their sons and daughters’ participation?
Regarding what American servicemen and women accomplished in Iraq, namely the taking of almost two million lives, almost a million of which were children, we recall a TV interview of President Bush, jokingly peering under his desk for the missing weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was accused of having as a reason for invading that prosperous oil rich nation which provided good health care to its citizens, and presently is a destroyed country. No compensation, indemnity, reparations were ever given, not even an apology.
Indian author Arundhati Roy in here book, “Tide? Or Ivory Snow? Public Power in the Age of Empire wrote, “Each of the Iraqi children killed by the United States was our child. Each of the prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib was our comrade. Each of their screams was ours. When they were humiliated, we were humiliated.” The U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq – mostly volunteers in poverty truck small towns and poor urban neighborhoods – are victims just as much as the Iraqis of the same horrendous process, which asks them to die for a victory that will never be theirs” – Not this during this year, nor during most probably many years to follow, but in some year future year, when the economic power of the USA wanes and China and other formerly victimized nations supplant the USA as more influential, law will be restored, and because there is no statute of time limitations for murder and genocide, Americans, USA, Europeans and their allies will be sued for compensation, indemnity and reparations in such mega colossal amounts that Wall Street investments in past illegal and unconstitutional use of US Armed Forces and CIA, will turn out to have been worse than just unprofitable.
“Make wars unprofitable and you make them impossible” – A. Philip Randolph, organized and led Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his I have a Dream speech .
“All wars are fought for money” – wrote Socrates in fourth century BC Greece
https://www.thebalancecareers.com › … › Laws and Legislation A Duty To Disobey Unlawful Orders? … the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 90 states that military personnel need to obey the “lawful orders of his/her superior.
Iraq’s health care system
Iraq had developed a centralized free health care system in the 1970s using a hospital based, capital-intensive model of curative care. The country depended on large-scale imports of medicines, medical equipment and even nurses, paid for with oil export income, according to a “Watching Brief” report issued jointly by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in July 2003.
Iraq developed a Westernized system of sophisticated hospitals with advanced medical procedures, provided by specialist physicians. The UNICEF/WHO report noted that prior to 1990, 97 percent of the urban dwellers and 71 percent of the rural population had access to free primary health care; Infant mortality rates fell from 80 per 1,000 live births in 1974, to 60 in 1982 and 40 in 1989, according to government statistics. A similar trend characterized under-five mortality rates which halved from 120 per 1,000 live births in 1974 to 60 in 1989. The US war damaged hospitals, power generation, and water treatment facilities; foreign nurses left the country; and the health budget was slashed. In the eight months following the 1991 war, mortality rates for children under five shot back up to 120 per 1,000 live births, the highest recorded increase for any country in the world in the 1990s, according to the UNICEF/WHO report.
Health Care in Iraq …’Under Saddam Hussein’ by Pratap Chatterjee, managing editor of Corp Watch and the author of ‘Iraq Inc.’ (Seven Stories Press, September 2004).