America’s afflicted almanac over 30 years should accomplish it bright a austere and 18-carat charge to the aphorism of all-embracing law offers a added applicable way advanced than the “law of the jungle,” altercate Nicolas Davies and Medea Benjamin.
By Nicolas J. S. Davies and Medea BenjaminSpecial to Consortium News
Across the arc of anarchy and alternation acquired by U.S. wars, interventions and sanctions about the world, the accomplished several weeks acquire apparent new flare-ups of baleful abandon and deepening altruistic crises.
A distinct day’s account at the alpha of September included; “School Hit in Huge Somali Explosion; ” “US Army Sends Added Aggressive Equipment to Bases in Syria;” “Libya Announces State of Emergency in Capital Tripoli Afterwards 39 Deaths in Unrest;” “Lebanon Is Balancing on a Tightrope;” “Saudis Admit Strike on Bus Carrying Children Unjustified;” “Police Disperse Protesters at Entrance to Iraq’s Nahr Bin Omar Oilfield.;” “Brazil Calls in Army Afterwards Mob Attacks on Venezuelan Migrants;” “Thousands Mourn Ukraine Rebel Leader;” and an commodity about Afghanistan “17th US Commander Takes Over America’s Longest War.”
The aftermost article, by Voice of America, appear that General Austin Miller is demography command of 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan as they soldier on in the “graveyard of empires” afterwards 17 years of war. In the exciting canicule afterwards the Soviet abandonment from Afghanistan in 1989 and the end of the Algid War, who would acquire predicted that America would anon be mired in its own quagmire in Afghanistan or that the abatement of the Berlin Wall would conductor in an era of U.S. wars that would sow abandon and anarchy beyond so abundant of the world?
And yet, it was absolutely in those exciting canicule at the end of the Algid War that what Mikhail Gorbachev has alleged Western “triumphalism“ was born. In the belly of the Pentagon, in corporate-funded Washington anticipate tanks and in offices in the White House beneath Republican and Democratic administrations, ideologues affiliated to both parties dreamt of a Pax Americana or a New American Aeon in which the U.S. would be the unchallenged, alike unchallengeable, administrative power.
Two above algid warriors, President Johnson’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb, told the Senate Account Committee in 1989 that the U.S. aggressive account could cautiously be cut in bisected over ten years. Committee Chairman Senator Jim Sasser hailed “this different moment in apple history” as “the aurora of the ability of calm economics.”
Instead, admitting baby cuts in the aboriginal 1990s, the aggressive account never fell beneath the Algid War baseline accustomed afterwards the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and began aggressive afresh in 1999. The longed-for, post-Cold War “peace dividend” was trumped by a “power dividend” built-in of triumphalism, ambitious cerebration and the “disastrous acceleration of confused power” in the military-industrial circuitous that President Eisenhower accustomed and warned adjoin in his adieu accent to the nation in 1961.
Many who accepted the adorable eyes of “monopoly administration and domination,” as Gorbachev alleged it, capital to acquire that a apple disqualified by American bread-and-er and aggressive ability would be a absorption of the best in American society. But these advantaged associates of the advanced aristocratic were absolutely dark to the ancient injustices axial the United States, let abandoned the absoluteness of activity in the further alcove of America’s neocolonial empire, policed by head-chopping kings, base dictators and arduous afterlife squads.
Neocons Step In
John Bolton and the neocons were not so idealistic. They artlessly believed that the U.S. could use its abounding forms of economic, aggressive and brainy ability to appoint a new apple adjustment that dissenters about the apple would be blank to resist. U.S. ascendancy would generally acquire to be imposed by force, but attrition would be abortive as continued as America’s leaders kept their assumption and were able to use as abundant force as all-important to appoint their will.
This would crave apprenticeship new ancestors of Americans to ample the ranks of a abjection abstract of administrative troops and an alike beyond army of acquiescent consumers, taxpayers and voters who would embrace whatever dreams accumulated America and its apprenticed political and media systems conjured for them. Fortunately, the new bearing is proving added intelligent, artistic and advocate than the neocons imagined.
The axial dystopian fantasy of the bodies who acquire run America for the accomplished generation, bashed on these baneful affair of celebrity and cynicism, is that the United States can administer the apple as a preeminent, supranational bread-and-er and aggressive power, appliance the affectionate of “monopoly on violence” that civic governments affirmation the appropriate to aural their own territory.
In this worldview, back the U.S. uses violence, it is legitimate, by definition; back U.S. opponents use violence, it is illegitimate, additionally by definition. Noam Chomsky refers to this as “the distinct standard,” but it is the antipode of an all-embracing adjustment based on the aphorism of law, in which rules and standards would administer appropriately to all.
When Bolton threatened the prosecutors and board of the All-embracing Bent Cloister (ICC) with U.S. sanctions and case in U.S. courts, alike as he boasted that U.S. efforts to attenuate the cloister acquire fabricated it “ineffective,” he laid bald the antipathy for the aphorism of all-embracing law in America’s “single standard.”
It is not the ICC that “constrain(s) the United States,” but bounden multilateral treaties like the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions, which were active and ratified by a wiser bearing of American leaders and which Commodity VI (2) of the United States Constitution defines as allotment of the “supreme law of the land.” The ICC did not ad-lib these treaties, but it is all-important to accomplish them, so Bolton’s accent was aloof a political attack, with no acknowledged basis, to bottle U.S. dispensation for war crimes.
In his activity to the U.S. aggression of Iraq, Senator Edward Kennedy declared the 2002 U.S. Civic Security Strategy, the brainy adapt for the invasion, as “a alarm for 21st aeon American imperialism that no added nation can or should accept.” But Kennedy’s acceptance that the blow of the apple would adios and abide resurgent U.S. imperialism was ever optimistic, at atomic in the abbreviate to average term. Admitting an all-embracing uproar adjoin the US-led aggression of Iraq, the U.S. war apparatus formed on, and added countries acquire fabricated their apartment with this animal reality.
Now the U.S. is outsourcing its wars, arming proxies about the apple as a acting for absolute U.S. aggressive action. This minimizes both calm activity from a war-weary U.S. accessible and growing all-embracing attrition to the adverse after-effects of U.S. wars, while U.S. military-industrial interests are able-bodied served by ever-growing accoutrements sales to affiliated governments.
In a new Code Pink report, “War Profiteers: The U.S. War Apparatus and the Arming of Repressive Regimes,” we analyze the links amid the U.S. weapons industry and the atrocities that Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt acquire acclimated its articles to commit, from bombing academy buses, marketplaces and hospitals in Yemen to massacring civilians in Gaza and Cairo.
Toward a Accelerating Adopted Policy
As we access the 2018 U.S. midterm election, Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential attack has served as a arrangement for accelerating candidates to pale out added aitionist positions on healthcare, bent amends reform, academy charge and added calm issues. Sanders has auspiciously activated these positions in a civic campaign, but there has been adored little allocution of what a added accelerating U.S. adopted activity would attending like.
Congressman Adam Smith, who would acceptable become the armchair of the House Armed Services Committee if the Democrats win a majority in November, has promised to trim the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons ambitions, and to accommodate added blank of the U.S. role in Yemen and “special” operations in countries like Niger.
But we acquire that the adulterine and annihilative anatomy of U.S. militarism that has acquired back the end of the Algid War requires a abundant added axiological rethink, not aloof some accent about the edges. The apple badly needs American progressives to accost the adverse after-effects and existential dangers of the “21st Aeon American imperialism” that the backward Senator Kennedy presciently warned adjoin afore its abandon and anarchy become alike added boundless and intractable.
Just as Senator Sanders’ calm positions are advised to accost the axiological problems of our association and to adduce absolute solutions to them, accelerating politicians charge accost the adversity of our militarized adopted activity at its roots, and additionally adduce absolute solutions.
So actuality are three foundations of a accelerating U.S. adopted activity that we would ask accelerating appointment holders and candidates to acquire in 2018:
A 50 percent cut in U.S. aggressive spending sounds radical, but this would alone be a 25 percent cut from the Algid War baseline that U.S. aggressive spending fell to in the 1950s afterwards the Korean War, in the 1970s afterwards the Vietnam War, and afresh in the 1990s.
The third account may be a added aitionist and extensive change in U.S. policy: a U.S. acceding to artlessly be apprenticed by the aforementioned rules of all-embracing law as our beneath able neighbors.
Under the UN Charter, all nations acquire agreed to achieve their differences peacefully, and the Charter accordingly prohibits the blackmail or use of force unless accustomed by the council. The cartel on the use of force that the U.S. has approved to affirmation for itself is already aloof to the UN Security Council, not to any one country, accord or coalition.
This has never formed altogether or prevented all wars. Like calm law, all-embracing law is an amiss and evolving arrangement of laws, courts and administration mechanisms. But all acknowledged systems assignment best back the affluent and able abide to their rules, and courts acquire the ascendancy to authority alike the best able people, institutions or countries accountable.
As President Roosevelt told a collective affair of Congress afterwards his affair with Churchill and Stalin at Yalta in 1945,
“(The UN) care to spell the end of the arrangement of unilateral action, the absolute alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power, and all the added expedients that acquire been approved for centuries—and acquire consistently failed. We adduce to acting for all these, a accepted alignment in which all amiable Nations will assuredly acquire a adventitious to join.”
Our afflicted almanac over the accomplished 30 years should accomplish it bright to any ambiguous American that a austere and 18-carat charge to the UN Charter and the aphorism of all-embracing law offers us a added viable, acceptable and peaceful way advanced than our bamboozled leaders’ antique to the “law of the jungle” or “might makes right,” which has predictably led alone to awkward abandon and chaos.
Politicians active in the midterm elections and voters who appetite to end U.S. wars should acquire and advocate these accepted faculty positions.
Nicolas J. S. Davies is a biographer for Consortium News, a researcher with CODEPINK and the columnist of Blood On Our Hands: the American Aggression and Destruction of Iraq. Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK Women for Peace, and columnist of several books, including Axial Iran: The Absolute History and Politics of the Islamic Republic. They acquire additionally co-authored War Profiteers: The U.S. War Apparatus and the Arming of Repressive Regimes for the Divest From the War Apparatus campaign.
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