When one compares the ‘newness’ of America which is a little over two centuries old with ancient civilizations several thousand years old like Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Sri Lanka, India, the Arab world, Persia (Iran), China and so on, it is not really surprising that America is behaving in a childish, petulant manner; immature, naive, selfish and greedy.
I really don’t know what the fuss is all about and the need for this regime to defend itself against puerile allegations when we can, instead, take our own stand against the horrific war crimes committed by the USA and its allies during the past decades against the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Vietnam, to name a few.
Let us take Iraq first and the below-mentioned crimes:
1. George Bush, Snr., after invading the Panama Canal, turned his attention to Iraq, bombing it to smithereens with specially turned out missiles loaded with Depleted Uranium (DU) taken from old nuclear warheads, which on impact leaves a residue of radioactive dust throughout the country and remains radioactive for 4,500 million years. Now, years later the wind would have blown it all over the world causing cancer, leukaemia, birth defects, and several other malignancies. Babies are born, even as I write, without brains, eyes, genitalia, limbs, cleft lip and palate. Mutants as a result of serious war crimes against humanity.
Sanctions hurt children the most with 6 ,000 to 7,000 deaths a month due to malnutrition, water-brone diseases, typhoid. Water-purifying units were allowed to be imported but not the generators to run them. This was deliberate!
Prior to 1990 Iraq was a well-ordered society with 95% literacy and access to free health care. The scandalous UN "Food for Oil" programme, only allowed US$100 a year per Iraqi. Corruption by those who managed the fund appointed by the UN was highlighted in the global media. A US Defence Department evaluation noted that ‘Degraded medical conditions in Iraq are primarily attributable to the breakdown of public services (water purification and distribution, preventive medicine, water disposal, health-care services, electricity, and transportation. Hospital care is degraded by lack of running water and electricity.
According to Pentagon officials that was the intention.
2. George W. Bush, Jnr. Was Commander-in-Chief of Gulf War II in Iraq which became the testing ground for new and sophisticated weaponry like the Tomahawk heat-seeking cruise missiles which could be fired from long distances. The 2,000 lb bombs dropped on targets, specified and unspecified, created 6 ft craters and the shrapnel made of sharp pieces of metal amputated limbs and created horrific injuries. The weapons used also included cluster and phosphorous bombs, the latter giving off a waxlike substance, luminous in the dark and which could burn flesh to the bone. Much has been said about Guantano Bay in Cuba and the notorious Abu Graib detention centre in Iraq (now closed permanently) where prisoners were subjected to mental, physical and emotional torture. Male detainees were hooded and had electrical wires aimed at their genitalia. Female American wardens were as brutal, using their panties to cover the heads of men and getting them to strip naked and pile on top of each other in faux displays of sexual performances. Dogs were used to frighten them and water-sledding was common practice; all this authorised by Defence Secretary, Dick Cheney, in a Memorandum of acceptable torture methods. Female Iraqi detainees were repeatedly raped by US soldiers.
Instead of prosecuting Bush and Blair (PM of England them) for all such war crimes, they have been free to shovel manure (Bush) on his Texan Ranch and Blair carries the title Middle East Envoy and earns millions on speaking assignments. So much for "Human Rights Allegations" charges brought against Sri Lanka who merely ended a 30-year struggle against terrorism.
3. Massacre of fleeing Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait by Americal aerial bombardment. Whether dead, dying from their injuries or alive, they were shovelled by bulldozers into mass graves. The "Rules of War" does not permit the killing of retreating soldiers.
4. Vietnam! Investigative Journalist Seymour M. Hersh in his essay The Massacre at My Lai wrote: " We have smashed the country to bits," wrote Telford Taylor, chief United Stated prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials, ‘and we will not even take the trouble to clean up the blood and rubble.’ He was referring not to Germany, but to Vietnam. During more than a decade in the 1960’s and 1970’s the US despatched the greatest ever land army to Vietnam, dropped the greatest tonnage of bombs in the history of warfare, pursued a military strategy deliberately designed to force millions of people to abandon their homes while killing as many of them as possible (the kill ratio) and used chemicals in a manner that profoundly changed the environment and genetic order, leaving a once beautiful land petrified. At least three million people lost their lives and many more were maimed and otherwise ruined; 58,022 were Americans and the rest were Vietnamese. President Reagon called this a "noble cause".
The scandalous massacre at My Lai killed 500 men, women and children while asleep in their huts.
5. Nagaskai and Hiroshima’s devastation by nuclear bombs: Only one intrepid Australian Journalist, Wilfred Burchett (1945) was heroic enough to visit Hiroshima soon after the nuclear explosion and recorded his experiences are in an essay The Atomic Plague. As the nuclear bomb was detonated in mid air, the city centre stood but the perimeter around it was blown to dust. These are some extracts from his report; "Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. it looks as if a monster steamroller had passed over it and squashed it out of existence" "Stretched out on filthy mats on the floor of the first ward I encountered were a dozen or so people in various stages of physical disintegration from atomic radiation. "Patients were terribly emaciated and gave off a nauseating odour." "For no apparent reason their health began to fail. They lost their appetite, hair began to fall out, bluish spots appeared on their bodies, and bleeding started from the nose, mouth and eyes. By 1950 the death toll had risen to 300,000 for both cities and about that number were sickened by radiation poisoning and would eventually die.
There are many more atrocities committed by America and its allies, but the above clearly indicates the "EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE" the world has been subjected to, with no punishment meted out to them by Human Rights Groups, the United Nations or any country ruined by them. Perhaps Sri Lanka, small as it is, could seek justice on behalf of all those innocents slaughtered by them.
Linda van Schagen,