Thursday, May 24, 2012

Up against the wall: Unindicted profiteers for war crimes and crimes against humanity

War is crime.

When my father graduated from high school at age 17 he rushed to volunteer for WW II and fought in the South Pacific, in the US navy, stationed in the Philippines.

When I was 17 I was involved in the antiwar movement--and so was my father. We radicalized together and both of us came to the view that war is crime. He supported my peace activism and my slow conversion to nonviolence.

The evidence continues to amass that war is not just a crime, but it is the worst way to manage conflict. The war that radicalized my father and me is still claiming casualties, and I don't mean hoary old US vets finally succumbing to Agent Orange cancers--they've already done that by the thousands. I lifted one of them--my long-gone brother-in-law suffering miserably with more than 40 inoperable tumors--onto his deathbed in 1995. Those cancers take 5-25 years to develop and the Wall in Washington would need to be doubled in size if we wanted all US war mortalities carved in that stone.
But a Wall to memorialize all the war dead from Vietnam would need to be at least 60 times larger than that. Vietnamese were killed too, and continue to be killed, many of them born long after the end of the war. Like the legends of Japanese soldiers hiding in caves in remote South Pacific islands long after the end of WWII, unexploded US ordnance fights on, often located near the surface of the Earth in fields in that agricultural land, and continues to kill farmers, children, and animals. Those old devices are predicted to continue killing for up to 300 years. Little immortal war criminals sold to the US by patriotic corporations at high rates of profit. War is in the interest of the ruling class, not the rest of us. When Occupy sees that root of the problem, perhaps we can really Occupy the Pentagon and Occupy the War Profiteer Corporations. Sign me up.

Time to evolve. Nonviolent conflict management is humankind's next great step. Hypothetical exercises are interesting--name me a human conflict and I will construct a justification for violence on the part of all conflict parties or I will construct a nonviolent plan to manage the conflict--but the real costs of war and the preparation for war are simply misery for the masses and opulence for the war profiteers.

Step one: Outlaw war profiteering. Make all Pentagon contractors nonprofits. Take the profit out of war and start societies where crime doesn't pay.

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