End the War
On Monday, February 12th, 2007, I began my own campaign against the illegal imperialist Iraq war. I am sending this document to all available media so that my fellow Bermudians and those workers resident in Bermuda may understand my reasons for protesting, and what they can do to support the campaign against the imperialism in general and the illegal (mis)adventure in Iraq.
1) The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq on March 19th, 2003 constitutes an illegal war in that it:
a) Had no legitimacy in the form of UN authorization;
b) Broke the UN laws on the justification of a legal war;
c) Is a war crime (‘war of aggression’) as defined by the Nuremburg Principles (based on the war trials of World War 2), that form the basis of modern international law in relation to wars and their conduct;
d) The pretext for the war (WMDs, al-Qaeda links) have been shown (even prior to the war) to be questionable at best, and at worst, consciously manipulated for the purpose of artificially constructing support for a war.
2) The ‘Mess in Mesopotamia’ – that is the invasion and occupation of Iraq – is today threatening to escalate into a ‘Peril in Persia’ with an almost de-ja-vu repetition of the pre-Iraq war military build-up and anti-Iran propaganda. Below I include a few examples of this:
a) The US military confirms that it has ordered a second naval task-force to the Persian Gulf as a ‘routine deployment.’ There is also evidence that they are preparing a third task-force to be deployed there as well. The last time more than one naval task-force was deployed in the areas was in the build-up to the Iraq invasion. Unusually for such a naval task-force mine-sweeper ships are also being attached – historically this occurs only in war-games for invasions or actual invasions. One is also reminded of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that was used for a pretext in an earlier US mis-adventure.
b) Correspondents for peace in Sofia, Bulgaria and Bucharest, Romania are reporting a surge in activity at US military bases in those countries to an extent not seen before other than in the build-up to the Iraq invasion.
c) Credible reports in the New York Times state that there are Israeli and US commandos currently engaging in reconnaissance and intelligence gathering activities within Iran, allegedly with the purpose of developing a list of at least 2,300 targets for a ‘shock-and-awe’ air assault on the Iranian state and people.
d) The US in Iraq have launched an effective ‘fatwa’ of intimidation, harassment and kidnapping of Iranian interests and personnel, including raids on diplomatic missions and embassies in Iraq, with the questionable argument that Iran is supplying and training elements of the Iraqi national resistance against the occupation.
e) A US sponsored and manipulated propaganda campaign has begun with the intention of demonizing Iran, its President, and alluding to Iranian WMDs, a campaign which is extremely similar to the one conducted prior to the Iraq war.
From all this, as well as additional information available to those willing to critically investigate in the media and the internet, and based on historical examples, both of the lead up to the Iraq invasion, and the US actions in Vietnam, along with the documented ‘spill-over’ of that war into Cambodia and Laos, it seems likely that the US, along with its allies, in particular the UK and Israel) are laying the groundwork for at the very least an air assault on the Iranian people.
3) Several of the US military tactics in Iraq (use of cluster bombs, depleted uranium weaponry, collective punishment of whole peoples, sieges of urban centers, indiscriminate firing in civilian areas, evidence of massacres, systematic torture of detainees, armed raids on missions and embassies, evidence of troops taking gruesome ‘war trophies’ [see the testimony of soldier Chanan Suarez-Diaz to a Citizens Hearing for the recent trial of war resister Lt. Watada in Tacoma, WA, where he alleges that troops have taken ‘brain matter’ of killed Iraqis back to military bases as ‘trophies’ kept in fridges]) are of questionable legality, or outright war crimes under the Geneva Conventions, assorted UN Conventions, and the Nuremburg Principles.
4) The Iraq was a ‘war of choice,’ of aggression, based on the illegal and imperialist concept of pre-emptive strikes. It was not a war of defense. It is widely perceived that the war was fought more for the geopolitical control of the strategic region, Iraq’s significant oil reserves, an ‘example’ of US primacy in the post-Soviet world, and war profiteering than a genuine concern for Iraqi democracy and welfare or due to alleged Iraqi WMDs. One wonders why if the war was fought over WMDs why has not North Korea or Israel been invaded? Or if the war was to spread democracy, then why hasn’t Saudi Arabia or China been invaded?
5) As laid out in the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremburg Principles, anyone who is a party to illegal war and war crimes, is guilty of war crimes. This includes the soldier in the field, the officers in HQ, and the ‘politicians’ in Westminster or DC. They are all guilty of war crimes. So are the mechanics who refuel or service US or UK military hardware in our ports, so are the office workers who process various financial or other transactions relating to the illegal war (such notorious war profiteers are Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown and Root, Lockheed-Martin), in the offices of Hamilton.
Even Bermuda, although still a British colony in name, though not directly involved in this illegal and imperialist war, has blood on its hands through its indirect facilitation of the US-UK war machine and the aiding of war profiteers. It is the duty of ALL citizens and workers to refuse to assist in the continuation of this criminal war.
1) The first action one must take is that of self-education. It is the duty of all citizens and workers to refuse and reject the colonial mentality of accepting the status quo, of uncritically accepting imperialist war propaganda and the breakdown of society into order-givers and order-takers. It may be that citizens may still support the criminal war, but they must do so only after critically reviewing and thinking about the issues involved. This discussion must occur in the homes, in the schools, in the Churches, in the workplace, in the pubs, the cafes and the various Bermudian friendly societies and associations.
2) One may then engage in direct action:
a) Citizens may join me every Monday morning outside the US Consulate; or demonstrate there whenever they can and so choose.
b) Workers have the right to refuse to service US-UK military planes and ships that come into harbour or land at the airport.
c) Office workers have the right to refuse to process any transaction that relates to the war and war profiteers.
d) Citizens can lobby the government to offer full asylum to US and UK soldiers who choose to exercise their military and civic duty to not obey unlawful orders, including participating in an illegal war.
e) Citizens, workers and students can all call for and organize a ‘day of action’ on March 19th, the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion.
Bermuda has many serious issues, ranging from the housing crisis, education crises, constant threats to the environment, increasing income inequalities, drug and alcohol abuse, systemic racist and sexist legacies of colonialism and racial capitalism, sexual exploitation and general social insecurity. I pledge my support and assistance to any citizen willing to mobilize to deal with these many problems facing our people. I recognize that the government is working hard to deal with many of these issues, but also recognize that it is foolish to expect ‘government leaders’ to be able to correct all these problems without mass participation, understanding and action. The same is true with opposing the illegal and imperialist Iraq war. Our government and country may be small, but with popular support we can have the political will and ability to do what is right and oppose the war and its threatened escalation. We may be small, but we can become a big example for the world.
1) A phased withdrawal of US and ‘Coalition’ troops from Iraq, and their replacement with a US fully-funded (but not controlled) UN peacekeeping mission.
2) The payment of war reparations by the US, UK and other Coalition forces to the Iraqi people.
3) The return of all post-invasion ‘privatised’ industries to Iraqi workers ownership and self-management.
4) An end to US, UK and Israeli provocation and aggression in the region.
5) The immediate end of ‘extraordinary rendition’ (the ‘loaning’ of suspects to states not bound by conventions against torture).
6) The immediate closure of the US Guatanomo military base and detention centre in Cuba; and the complete transfer of this property to the Cuban people.
7) The closure of all US military bases outside of the US territories, and the payment of reparations for environmental damages caused by these military bases, including Bermuda.
8) The complete closure of Bermuda’s ports to US and UK war machines.
9) I DO NOT support Iran or pre-invasion Iraq, but I do not support military invasion as a means of regime change.
No blood on our hands!
No to imperialist war and aggression!!