maandag 13 september 2010

WikiLeaks’ Afghan War Diaries

(article by guest author Steve Lendman)

On July 26, WikiLeaks published "The Afghan War Diaries”, releasing over 75,000 reports describing lethal US military actions, including numbers internally killed, wounded, or detained by geographical location, units involved, and major weapons used. Accounts come mainly from soldiers and intelligence officers. But they also come from US embassies and other sources revealing corruption and criminality across Afghanistan, including cover-ups, collusion, distortion, and duplicity - a sordid story needing telling to shock a comatose public to action, and revive a badly needed anti-war movement. Since the Pentagon Papers, these reports comprise the most significant (comprehensive) archive about the reality of war, with no resolution or opposition in US Congress, providing a comprehensive understanding of the war and modern warfare in general. As expected, the White House reacted sharply and deceptively.

The US Constitution grants the power to declare war, appropriate funding, and "provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the nation” exclusively to Congress. The UN Charter is also explicit, explaining under what circumstances violence and coercion (by one state against another) are permitted. Any unilateral threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 of the UN Charter, or authorized by the Security Council, is prohibited, but justifiable self-defense is permissible. Under Bush and Obama, Washington violated these laws by attacking and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, two nations posing no threat to America. This constitutes willful aggression, what the Nuremberg Tribunal's Justice Robert Jackson called "the supreme international crime" enforceable under the US Constitution's "supremacy clause", under which international laws and treaties automatically become US ones.

Since October 2001, US forces (including CIA operatives) committed appalling crimes of war and against humanity, in violation of the four Geneva Conventions, the US War Crimes Act, the UN Torture Convention, the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Genocide Convention, the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles, US Army Field Manual 27-10, and other US and international laws - using weapons of mass destruction to massacre millions (mainly civilians), cause vast devastation and destruction, and continue oppressive occupations illegally. Partnered with NATO, America's military/industrial/media collaborators misportray US wars as humanitarian, hiding their imperial purpose - state terrorism against millions, showing an utter disregard for the law, truth, humanity or justice.

WikiLeaks documented the evidence, lifting the fog of war, revealing its true face, the human carnage, shocking atrocities, rampaging death squads against civilians, murdering women and children wantonly, torturing randomly arrested victims, operating freely under a media blackout. After WikiLeaks revelations, media reports focus largely on their legality, political impact in November, and how congressional Democrats and the Obama administration may be harmed. They say nothing about nine years of duplicitous lies, shocking war crimes, no accountability, and two illegal wars, demanding they end, their grotesque harm stopped, and hundreds of billions for war profiteers used for homeland needs to revive a sick economy, harming millions as a result. Undaunted, the White House vowed to keep fighting, continue America's longest war, its occupation and violence in Iraq, defying popular sentiment against them, discounted for imperial gain and expediency - what the media won't explain.

In his 1995 book, "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam," former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said "we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why" about a war that shouldn't have been fought and couldn't be won, what he told Lyndon Johnson privately, what the public never knew and few know now. It's no less true about Iraq and Afghanistan. General Stanley McChystal was not sacked for deriding his superiors but for losing an unwinnable war. His Chief of Operations, Major General Bill Mayville said: "It's not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win". This is an assessment McChrystal and others know and what major media accounts won't report. It is an assessment WikiLeaks hopes to change by inspiring a crescendo of antiwar sentiment, what can't come a moment too soon.

Steve Lendman (BA from Harvard, MBA from Wharton) is a political activist. He writes a blog ( on war and peace, American imperialism and a range of other social, economic and political issues.

1 opmerking:

Hugo Freutel zei

"Afghanistan is less safe than 2001!" Stated Afghanistan NGO Safety Office ( ANSO ) in The New York Times. ( source NRC Handelsblad 13-9-2010 ).
Wikileaks protects and warns humans going to war.
I am sure Wikeleaks saves more people by checking warpowers. War always escalates...
Good article by Steve Lendman.