Life Grounded Discussions / Livs-grundade diskussioner
Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Location: Tullinge, Botkyrka, Sweden, Earth
|Posted: Sun, 2005 Jul 17 14:54:45 Post subject: WTI : World Tribunal on Iraq : PRESS RELEASE
|WTI : World Tribunal on Iraq : PRESS RELEASE about JURY STATEMENT at http://worldtribunal.org/main/?b=93 wrote: |
|PRESS RELEASE about JURY STATEMENT
27 Jun 2005
The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all -- The Jury of Conscience
Istanbul, 27 June, 2005 - With a Jury of Conscience from 10 different countries hearing the testimonies of 54 members of the Panel of Advocates who came from across the world, including Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom, this global civil initiative came to an end with a press conference at the Hotel Armada where the chair of the Jury of Conscience, Arundathi Roy, announced the Jurys conclusions.
The Jury defined this war as one of the most unjust in history: The Bush and Blair administrations blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history. The Anglo-American occupation of Iraq of the last 27 months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi state and society. Law and order have broken down completely, resulting in a pervasive lack of human security; the physical infrastructure is in shambles; the health care delivery system is a mess; the education system has ceased to function; there is massive environmental and ecological devastation; and, the cultural and archeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been desecrated.
On the basis of the preceding findings and recalling the Charter of the United Nations and other legal documents, the jury has established the following charges against the Governments of the US and the UK:
* Planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.
* Targeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure
* Using disproportionate force and indiscriminate weapon systems
* Failing to safeguard the lives of civilians during military activities and during the occupation period thereafter
* Using deadly violence against peaceful protestors
* Imposing punishments without charge or trial, including collective punishment
* Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment
* Re-writing the laws of a country that has been illegally invaded and occupied
* Willfully devastating the environment
* Actively creating conditions under which the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded
* Failing to protect humanitys rich archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq
* Obstructing the right to information, including the censoring of Iraqi media
* Redefining torture in violation of international law, to allow use of torture and illegal detentions
The Jury also established charges against the Security Council of United Nations for failing to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity among other failures, against the Governments of the Coalition of the Willing for collaborating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, against the Governments of Other Countries for allowing the use of military bases and air space and providing other logistical support, against Private Corporations for profiting from the war, against the Major Corporate Media for disseminating deliberate falsehoods and failing to report atrocities.
The Jury also provided a number of recommendations that include recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq.
The Istanbul session of the WTI lasted three days and presented testimony on the illegality and criminal violations in the U.S. pretexts for and conduct of this war. The expert opinion, witness testimony, video and image evidence addressed the impact of war on civilians, the torture of prisoners, the unlawful imprisonment of Iraqis without charges or legal defence, the use of depleted uranium weapons, the effects of the war on Iraqs infrastructure, the destruction of Iraqi cultural institutions and the liability of the invaders in international law for failing to protect these treasures of humanity.
The session in Istanbul was the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. Sessions on different topics related to the war on Iraq were held in London, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Brussels, New York, Japan, Stockholm, South Korea, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon and Spain.
They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence on the illegality of the invasion and occupation that will be recorded in a forthcoming book.
International Media Coordinator
+(90) 533 644 4687
|PRELIMINARY DECLARATION OF THE JURY OF CONSCIENCE WORLD TRIBUNAL ON IRAQ ISTANBUL 23RD -27TH JUNE 2005 at http://worldtribunal.org/main/?b=91 wrote: |
|PRELIMINARY DECLARATION OF THE JURY OF CONSCIENCE WORLD TRIBUNAL ON IRAQ ISTANBUL 23RD -27TH JUNE 2005
27 Jun 2005
27th June 2005, Istanbul
In February 2003, weeks before war was declared on Iraq, millions of people protested in the streets of the world. That call went unheeded. No international institution had the courage or conscience to stand up to the aggression of the US and UK governments. No one could stop them. It is two years later now. Iraq has been invaded, occupied, and devastated. The attack on Iraq is an attack on justice, on liberty, on our safety, on our future, on us all. We the people of conscience decided to stand up. We formed the World Tribunal on Iraq, to demand justice and a peaceful future.
The legitimacy of the World Tribunal on Iraq is located in the collective conscience of humanity. This, the Istanbul session, was the culmination of a series of 20 hearings held in different cities of the world focusing on the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.
We the Jury of Conscience, from 10 different countries, met in Istanbul. We heard 54 testimonies from a panel of advocates and witnesses who came from across the world, including from Iraq, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The World Tribunal on Iraq met in Istanbul from 24-26th of June 2005. The principal objective of the WTI is to tell the truth about the Iraq war as clearly as possible, and to draw conclusions that underscore the accountability of those responsible and underline the significance of justice for the Iraqi people.
1. The reasons given by the US and UK governments for the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003 have proven to be false. The real motive was to control and dominate the Middle East. Establishing hegemony over the Middle East serves the goal of controlling the worlds largest reserves of oil and strengthening the position of the USs strategic ally Israel.
2. Blatant falsehoods about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and a link between Al Qaeda terrorism and the Saddam Hussein régime were manufactured in order to create public support for a preemptive assault upon a sovereign independent nation.
3. Iraq has been under siege for years. The imposition of severe inhuman economic sanctions at the end of the first Gulf war in 1991; the establishment of no-fly zones in the Northern and Southern parts of Iraq; and the concomitant bombing of the country were all aimed at degrading and weakening Iraqs human and material resources and capacities in order to facilitate its subsequent invasion and occupation. In this enterprise the US and British leaderships had the endorsement of a complicit UN Security Council.
4. In pursuit of their agenda of empire, the Bush and Blair blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history.
5. The Anglo-American occupation of Iraq of the last 27 months has led to the destruction and devastation of the Iraqi state and society. Law and order have broken down completely, resulting in a pervasive lack of human security; the physical infrastructure is in shambles; the health care delivery system is a mess; the education system has ceased to function; there is massive environmental and ecological devastation; and, the cultural and archeological heritage of the Iraqi people has been desecrated.
6. The occupation has intentionally exacerbated ethnic and confessionnal divisions in Iraqi society, with the aim of undermining Iraqs identity and integrity as a nation. This is in keeping with the familiar imperial policy of divide and rule.
7. The imposition of the UN sanctions in 1991 caused untold suffering and thousands of deaths. The situation has worsened after the occupation. At least 100,000 civilians have been killed; 60,000 are being held in US custody in inhuman conditions, without charges; thousands have disappeared; and torture has become virtually routine.
8. The privatization, deregulation, and liberalization of the Iraqi economy has transformed the country into a client economy that serves the Washington Consensus. The occupying forces have also accomplished their primary goal of acquired control over the nations oil.
9. Any law or institution created under the aegis of occupation is devoid of both legal and moral authority. The recently concluded election, the Constituent Assembly, the current government, and the drafting committee for the Constitution are therefore all illegitimate.
10. There is widespread opposition to the occupation. Political, social, and civil resistance through peaceful means is subjected to repression by the occupying forces. It is the brutality of the occupation that has provoked a strong armed resistance and certain acts of desperation. By the principles embodied in the UN Charter and in international law, the popular national resistance to the occupation is legitimate and justified. It deserves the support of people everywhere who care for justice and freedom.
II. Findings and Charges
On the basis of the preceding findings and recalling the Charter of the United Nations and other legal documents quoted in the appendix, the jury has established the following charges.
A. Against the Governments of the US and the UK
1. Planning, preparing, and waging the supreme crime of a war of aggression in contravention of the United Nations Charter and the Nuremberg Principles.
Evidence for this can be found in the leaked Downing Street Memo of 23rd July, 2002 in which it was revealed that: military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were fixed around the policy. Intelligence was manufactured to willfully deceive the people of the US, the UK, and their elected representatives.
2. Targeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure, by intentionally directing attacks upon civilians and hospitals, medical centers, residential neighborhoods, electricity stations, and water purification facilities in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Articles 7(1)(a), 8(2)(a)(i), and 8(2)(b)(i). The complete destruction of the city of Falluja in itself constitutes a glaring example of such crimes.
3. Using disproportionate force and indiscriminate weapon systems, such as cluster munitions, incendiary bombs, depleted uranium (DU), and chemical weapons. Detailed evidence was presented to the Tribunal by expert witnesses that leukemia had risen sharply in children under the age of five residing in those areas which had been targeted by DU weapons.
4. Failing to safeguard the lives of civilians during military activities and during the occupation period thereafter, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Articles 13 and 27, and the ICC Statute, Articles 7 (1)(a) and 8(2)(a)(i). This is evidenced, for example, by shock and awe bombing techniques and the conduct of occupying forces at checkpoints.
5. Using deadly violence against peaceful protestors, beginning with, among others, the April 2003 killing of more than a dozen peaceful protestors in Falluja.
6. Imposing punishments without charge or trial, including collective punishment, on the people of Iraq, in violation of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Geneva Conventions, and customary international law requiring due process. Repeated testimonies pointed to snatch and grab operations, disappearances, and assassinations.
7. Subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions, the ICCPR, other treaties and covenants, and customary international law. Degrading treatment includes subjecting Iraqi soldiers and civilians to acts of racial, ethnic, religious, and gender discrimination, as well as denying Iraqi soldiers Prisoner of War status as required by the Geneva Convention. Abundant testimony was provided of unlawful arrests and detentions, without due process of law. Well known and egregious examples occurred in Abu Ghraib prison as well as in Mosul, Camp Bucca, and Basra.
The employment of mercenaries and private contractors to carry out torture has served to undermine accountability.
8. Re-writing the laws of a country that has been illegally invaded and occupied, in violation of international covenants on the responsibilities of occupying powers, in order to amass illegal profits (through such measures as Order 39, signed by L. Paul Bremer III for the Coalition Provisional Authority, which allows foreign investors to buy and takeover Iraqs state-owned enterprises and to repatriate 100 percent of their profits and assets at any point) and to control Iraqs oil. Evidence listed a number of corporations that had profited from such transactions.
9. Willfully devastating the environment, contaminating it by depleted uranium (DU) weapons, combined with the plumes from burning oil wells, as well as huge oil spills, and destroying agricultural lands. Deliberately disrupting the water and waste removal systems, in a manner verging on biological-chemical warfare. Failing to prevent the looting and dispersal of radioactive material from nuclear sites. Extensive documentation is available on air, water pollution, land degradation, and radiological pollution.
10. Actively creating conditions under which the status of Iraqi women has seriously been degraded, contrary to the repeated claims of the leaders of the coalition forces. Womens freedom of movement has been severely limited, restricting their access to education, livelihood, and social engagement. Testimony was provided that sexual violence and sex trafficking have increased since the occupation of Iraq began.
11. Failing to protect humanitys rich archaeological and cultural heritage in Iraq, by allowing the looting of museums and established historical sites and positioning military bases in culturally and archeologically sensitive locations. This took place despite prior warnings from UNESCO and Iraqi museum officials.
12. Obstructing the right to information, including the censoring of Iraqi media, such as newspapers (e.g., al-Hawza, al-Mashriq, and al-Mustaqila) and radio stations (Baghdad Radio), targeting international journalists, imprisoning and killing academics, intellectuals and scientists.
13. Redefining torture in violation of international law, to allow use of torture and illegal detentions, including holding more than 500 people at Guantánamo Bay without charging them or allowing them any access to legal protection, and using extraordinary renditions to send people to torture in other countries known to commit human rights abuses and torture prisoners.
B. Against the Security Council of United Nations
1. Failing to protect Iraq against a crime of aggression.
2. Imposing harsh economic sanctions on Iraq, despite knowledge that sanctions were directly contributing to the massive loss of civilian lives and harming innocent civilians.
3. Allowing the United States and United Kingdom to carry out illegal bombings in the no-fly zones, using false pretense of enforcing UN resolutions, and at no point allowing discussion in the Security Council of this violation, and thereby being complicit and responsible for loss of civilian life and destruction of Iraqi infrastructure.
4. Allowing the United States to dominate the United Nations and hold itself above any accountability by other member nations.
5. Failure to stop war crimes and crimes against humanity by the United States and its coalition partners in Iraq.
6. Failure to hold the United States and its coalition partners accountable for violations of international law during the occupation, and giving official recognition to the occupation, thereby legitimizing an illegal invasion and becoming a collaborator in an illegal occupation.
C. Against the Governments of the Coalition of the Willing
Collaborating in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
D. Against the Governments of Other Countries
Allowing the use of military bases and air space, and providing other logistical support, for the invasion and occupation.
E. Against Private Corporations
Profiting from the war with complicity in the crimes described above, of invasion and occupation.
F. Against the Major Corporate Media
1. Disseminating the deliberate falsehoods spread by the governments of the US and the UK and failing to adequately investigate this misinformation. This even in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary. Among the corporate media houses that bear special responsibility for promoting the lies about Iraqs weapons of mass destruction, we name the New York Times, in particular their reporter Judith Miller, whose main source was on the payroll of the CIA. We also name Fox News, CNN and the BBC.
2. Failing to report the atrocities being committed against Iraqi people by the occupying forces.
Recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq.
1. The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq;
2. That coalition governments make war reparations and pay compensation to Iraq for the humanitarian, economic, ecological, and cultural devastation they have caused by their illegal invasion and occupation;
3. That all laws, contracts, treaties, and institutions established under occupation which the Iraqi people deem inimical to their interests, should be considered null and void;
4. That the Guantanamo Bay prison and all other offshore US military prisons be closed immediately; that the names of the prisoners be disclosed, that they receive POW status, and receive due process;
5. That there be an exhaustive investigation of those responsible for crimes of aggression and crimes against humanity in Iraq, beginning with George W. Bush, President of the United States of America; Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and other government officials from the coalition of the willing;
6. That we initiate a process of accountability to hold those morally and personally responsible for their participation in this illegal war, such as journalists who deliberately lied, corporate media outlets that promoted racial, ethnic and religious hatred, and CEOs of multinational corporations that profited from this war;
7. That people throughout the world launch actions against US and UK corporations that directly profit from this war. Examples of such corporations include Halliburton, Bechtel, Carlyle, CACI Inc., Titan Corporation, Kellog, Brown and Root (subsidiary of Halliburton), DynCorp, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Texaco, British Petroleum. The following companies have sued Iraq and received reparation awards: Toys R Us, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Shell, Nestlé, Pepsi, Phillip Morris, Sheraton, Mobil. Such actions may take the form of direct actions such as shutting down their offices, consumer boycotts, and pressure on shareholders to divest.
8. That soldiers exercise conscience and refuse to enlist and participate in an illegal war. Also that countries provide conscientious objectors political asylum.
9. That the international campaign for dismantling all US military bases abroad be reinforced.
10. That people around the world resist and reject any effort by any of their governments to provide material, logistical, or moral support to the occupation of Iraq.
We, the Jury of Conscience, hope that the specificity of these recommendations will lay the groundwork required for a world where the international institutions will be shaped and reshaped by the will of people and not fear and self-interest, where journalists and intellectuals will not remain mute, where the will of the people of the world will be central, and human security will prevail over state security and corporate profits.
Appendix: List of Legal Documents
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
The Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1952)
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959)
The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1963)
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979)
The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998)
The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1950)
The American Convention on Human Rights (1969)
The Code of Conduct for the Armed Forces of the United States of America (1963)
Leif Erlingsson, Tullinge, Botkyrka, Sweden
A-TGSS (anti-totalt globalt slav samhälle / Anti-Total Global Slave Society)
Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Location: Tullinge, Botkyrka, Sweden, Earth
|Posted: Thu, 2005 Jul 21 11:23:45 Post subject: An Appeal to Global Conscience
|An Appeal to Global Conscience at http://alternet.org/waroniraq/20996/ wrote: |
|An Appeal to Global Conscience
Posted January 15, 2005.
An appeal to the peace and justice movement, calling for a long-term strategy for undermining the foundations of war.We appeal to all peace and justice movements to stand together as a conscience of the world against the Bush administration’s bloody occupation of Iraq and drive towards an American Empire. We may be in for a long war.
We who stand for democracy in the United States should continue and widen our protests especially at local community levels to:
* oppose further Congressional funding for war and occupation;
A global behemoth can only be fought through global resistance, locally based. We express gratitude to the global peace movement for activating world opinion against collaboration with the U.S. occupation, and call for further efforts, including:
* develop public support for military withdrawal;
* support local referendums on withdrawal and peace candidates in 2006 and 2008;
* build non-partisan peace alliances across all party lines, from left to right;
* support dissenting combat veterans, reservists and their families;
* call for boycotts and termination of profiteering from war and occupation by American corporations in Iraq;
* transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable resources, conservation and energy efficiency.
* support for asylum in Canada and other nations for U.S. soldiers who refuse for reasons of conscience to fight in occupied Iraq;
Together we can undermine the foundations of war and occupation, make it impossible for the American government to continue its course, and begin to plant the pillars of peace.
* demonstrations and political mobilizations in Europe and Latin America against President Bush’s frustrated search for “willing” allies;
* continued efforts to force the withdrawal of British, Italian and other foreign troops from the occupation;
* opposition to European participation in military training of Iraqi troops for an illegitimate U.S.-dominated regime.
The time has come to recognize that the U.S. occupation is the principal cause of the violent insurgency and growing civil war. We disagree with those who, while admitting that that the war was a mistake based on fabricated evidence, nevertheless claim it would be a bigger mistake to end the occupation and withdraw. We ask the question raised decades ago during another unwinnable war: who can justify sending more Americans to be the last to die for a mistake?
Over 40 million Americans already say we should withdraw from this war. These are not uncaring isolationists, but Americans who know better than to kill and die for a mistake, to throw good money after bad, and to ruin what is left of our good name in the world.
These tens of millions of Americans are completely unrepresented in the political process and media discussion. It is time that their frustration, and that of the majority who consider the war a mistake, be met with more than cowardly silence in the halls of power.
To those who say the war must continue three, five or 10 more years, we demand to know what will be left of the Iraq they claim to be saving? What loss in American and Iraqi lives, what cost in dollars wasted, what level of anti-American hatred in the world, are they willing to bear?
To those who consider the war a mistake but still fear the consequences of military withdrawal, we ask these questions: when will enough be enough? If not now, when?
We further believe the struggle to stop the occupation of Iraq is a first and essential step to unite forces against the U.S. government’s current political designs for global dominance. We oppose any ambitions to create an empire dominated by the United States or global networks of capitalism. Nor do we believe that the issue of terrorism can be addressed by permanent war, increased secrecy and suspensions of democratic liberties, but principally through an all-out effort to bring hope to two billion people now festering in humiliation and poverty.
We stand with those who believe in the reality of a multi-polar and multi-cultural world, and especially with those who believe "another world is possible" through social movements fighting for enforceable standards of human rights, fair trade, social justice and environmental protection, and for new institutions that foster a just distribution of global wealth and power and respect for the dignity of the human spirit. The challenge for us all is to imagine, strive for, and begin to live a better life beyond Empire altogether.
TOM HAYDEN (drafter)
REV. ED BACON, rector, All Saints Church, Pasadena
GIOCONDA BELLI, poet and author
MEDEA BENJAMIN, Global Exchange
LARRY BENSKY, Pacifica Radio
NORMAN BIRNBAUM, author
REV. RICHARD BUNCE, Progressive Christians Uniting
LESLIE CAGAN, United for Peace and Justice
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America
JEFF COHEN, media critic
REV. JAMES CONN, United Methodist Urban Ministry
HARVEY COX, professor, Harvard Divinity School
PETER DREIER, professor, director, Urban and Environmental Studies, Occidental College
JODIE EVANS, Code Pink
CHELLIS GLENDENNING, psychologist, author
ROBERT GOTTLIEB, professor, UEPI, Occidental College
ROBERT GREENWALD, filmmaker
RICHARD FALK, professor, global studies, UC Santa Barbara
RABBI STEVEN JACOBS, Temple Kol Tikva
MIMI KENNEDY, actress
REV. PETER LAARMAN, director, Progressive Christians Uniting
SAUL LANDAU, author, professor, CSU Pomona
ROBERT J. LIFTON, Harvard Seminar on Mass Violence
STAUGHTON LYND, historian
ANURADHA MITTAL, founder, Oakland Institute
SARAH PILLSBURY, producer
LUIS RODRIGUEZ, author
JOAN SEKLER, filmmaker
RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW, Shalom Institute
LEONARD WEINGLASS, attorney
PAULA WEINSTEIN, producer
HOWARD ZINN, historian
I second that.
Leif Erlingsson, Tullinge, Botkyrka, Sweden
A-TGSS (anti-totalt globalt slav samhälle / Anti-Total Global Slave Society)
Joined: 03 Jul 2005
Location: Tullinge, Botkyrka, Sweden, Earth
|Posted: Sun, 2005 Aug 07 16:53:18 Post subject: The Good Germans (Nazi Era) And The Good Americans (Today)
|The Good Germans (Nazi Era) And The Good Americans (Today) at http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/GoodGermanAmerican_Today.html wrote: |
|The Good Germans (Nazi Era)
And The Good Americans (Today)
by Philip Greenspan
Swans Commentary, www.swans.com, March 15, 2004
How could a modern civilized country sink to the barbaric depths that could produce the horrors of Nazi Germany? What could account for the approval or acquiescence of the German citizens to such evil rulers? It was indeed difficult to understand how such a phenomenon could take place.
When the Nazis bombed innocent civilians in numerous cities -- Guernica, Rotterdam, Coventry, and London -- those actions were denounced. But the subsequent allied bombings of innocent enemy civilians were much more devastating. Not only were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki unnecessarily despicable but the fire bombings of Tokyo and Dresden were even more horrible. General Curtis LeMay admitted that if the allies had lost the war he would have been tried as a war criminal for his Tokyo firebombing. Yet those actions were applauded by their citizens.
Over the years the US has been complicit in criminal activities throughout the world - usually covering its tracks by the clandestine tactics of the CIA. All sorts of illegal and unconscionable activities -- short of operating death camps -- have been engaged in. Millions of innocent men, women, and children have been killed, tortured, and wounded. Trillions of dollars worth of property were damaged or destroyed. The environment has been despoiled. And lawful governments have been overthrown.
With this background and a policy of continual war being adopted with the consent and approval of most Americans, it is apparent that the phenomenon of the "Good German" is not unique. What can account for it?
I have been giving this some thought and think it's several interrelated conditions -- all properly orchestrated by the state or for the state.
Loyalty, patriotism, obedience
A lifetime indoctrination of loyalty to the state -- pledges of allegiance, singing the national anthem, rooting for the home teams, etc. -- creates a supportive backdrop for improper actions by governments. All governments seek that indoctrination and, in varying degrees, obtain it.
An embroidered historical background is taught that glorifies the accomplishments of the state, suppresses its deficiencies, gives pride to its citizens; and elevates the country as superior to all other nations. The schools, the churches, the media, and prominent and respectable model citizens already indoctrinated reinforce the chauvinistic precept.
Distortions and Cover-ups
A media that completely distorts current news is a necessary next step. The truth is covered up. Justifications are provided.
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's media czar, maintained complete control over the news to which the Germans were exposed. Repetition of the lies eventually caused most to believe what they were being told.
The Bush administration's lies were accepted whole-heartedly by the major media although ample contradictory evidence was available.
Fear is an extremely powerful emotion that will permit extraordinary liberties to be taken of the frightened masses so that they will be secure from the potential threats. The 9/11 attacks so frightened the public that they willingly accepted unlimited war and accompanying restrictions.
Sympathy for the innocent victims provoked anger and a desire for vengeance against the guilty culprits. That Afghans and Iraqis, just as innocent of wrongdoing as the 9/11 victims, would be targeted and would suffer was not considered.
Proposed reasonableness of position
Logical arguments are made to justify taking hostile action without thoroughly exploring the implications of the action. Opinions of a contrary or alternate point of view are suppressed.
The various arguments justifying all out war do not entertain the thought that 9/11 was similar to the Oklahoma bombing which was treated as a crime with prosecution of the perpetrator; nor is there consideration of the motives that prompted the 9/11 bombings and addressing those causes.
Prominent individuals' approval
Prominent pundits, commentators and columnists will express approval of the questionable actions to overcome the doubts that may arise among some thoughtful individuals. After all, if these fine ethical people overwhelmingly support the government, it must be O.K.
"To get along you have to go along." It is difficult to take a position that is in opposition to one that virtually no one else is taking. Harsh punishment may be taken against the dissident. Small groups of protesters in Germany certainly suffered for their opposition. But even against the Nazis, a strong organized group of German women who protested the arrest of their Jewish husbands were successful at saving them.
The enemy is depicted as an immoral creature. Horror stories of their dastardly acts (usually completely false) will often provide the spark to set off the war. Gulf War I had Iraqis throwing babies on the hospital floor, WWI Germans cut off the hands of Belgian nurses, etc. Pictures of Japanese with fanged teeth were displayed on posters during WWII.
What is the antidote?
To change the public's strong support or acquiescence those factors must be broken down. How?
Get the truth out and show that opposition forces exist in sufficient numbers for one to join without being alone in opposition.
Strong committed groups must take up the fight and continue until the tide is turned. At present there are numerous forces throughout the country that are doing just that.
In spite of all the harsh actions that the state and its supporters will take to suppress dissidents, their numbers and power should continually increase and the state will eventually accept the message!
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
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