The terrible situation in Egypt and Syria may make one wish to look away, but we can’t. In both countries, thousands have been killed, with horrifying massacres in the last weeks, and the U.S. government is deeply implicated.
The U.S. government backed a military coup removing the elected government of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The military, trained and supported under successive U.S. administrations, receiving more than $1.5B a year, killed over 1,000 Morsi supporters on August 14, including women and children.
Sunday’s New York Times reported that the army is now expanding the definition of “Islamist,” labeling union organizers, journalists, and progressive activists “spies” and “Islamists.” Hosni Mubarak, target of the righteous Arab spring uprising, was released from prison.
But the U.S. will still not call it a coup. Obama’s withholding, temporarily of “some” military aid notwithstanding, is face-saving only, conveying that U.S. interests lie only with maintaining Egypt’s strong military as a buttress against change in the whole region. The suffering and poverty of the people in Egypt, enforced all these years by U.S. is of no concern to the U.S. government up against the needs of its global empire.
But while the U.S. never contemplated an intervention to stop the killing in Egypt by an illegitimate government it supports, President Obama is already intervening in Syria, “supplying paramilitary material, intelligence, and training and working to define the politics of the armed opposition forces. Its close allies—especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey—are supplying weapons to these forces” according to Revolution.
The US Navy is putting ships into place for an action that could have huge consequences: the killing of many more civilians in urban areas in aerial attacks; the increase in violence on both sides (both of which have terrorized the people); the widening of war into Iraq, Iran, Lebanon? Nothing good or the people of Syria can come of this “humanitarian intervention.”
David Swanson wrote Saturday Lying About Syria, and the Lying Liars Who Lie About the Lying:
“Threatening to attack Syria, and moving ships into position to do it, are significant, and illegal, and immoral actions. The president can claim not to have decided to push the button, but he can’t pretend that all the preparations to do so just happen like the weather. Or he couldn’t if newspapers reported news.
“(Yes, illegal. Read the U.N. Charter: ‘All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.’)”
Ask the population of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia — the most recent recipients of U.S. “humanitarian intervention” — how it has U.S. presence worked out?
Pursuing Justice Against Architects of the Iraq War:
The Obama administration, on the other hand, gives war criminals who work directly for the U.S. protection. Inder Comar, a San Francisco attorney, filed suit in March 2013 against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz and Powell, alleging that the Bush Administration violated both international and domestic law in planning and waging the Iraq War. He started a project called Witness Iraq (witnessiraq.com) in December 2012.
“SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., (Aug. 20, 2013 — In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.
“Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the war constituted a “crime of aggression” against Iraq, a legal theory that was used by the Nuremberg Tribunal to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II.
“‘The DOJ claims that in planning and waging the Iraq War, ex-President Bush and key members of his Administration were acting within the legitimate scope of their employment and are thus immune from suit,‘ chief counsel Inder Comar of Comar Law said.
“…The case is Saleh v. Bush (N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2013, No. C 13 1124 JST).”
We will keep you posted on this case through War Criminals Watch.
Debra Sweet is the director of World Can’t Wait.