Is America at war with Iraq? How about Afghanistan? Pakistan?
The answer to these questions is perhaps the most important concept that the citizens of the republic of the United States can possibly understand.
The answer is… NO!
No legal or constitutional declaration of war has ever been stated, and therefore America is not officially in a state of war. And the implications of this are more far reaching than any of us realize.
Why is this fact so vitally important to the heath and welfare of America?
If you understand nothing else about the so-called “war on terror”, I wish it to be this: without an official declaration of war by way of congressional decree under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States, America has no authority or legitimacy to attack, occupy, kill, or enter forcibly into another country. The president of the United States cannot declare war; only the congress can approve war. This means that our president, his cabinet, the Congress, and judicial branches of government are all in violation of our most cherished laws under the Constitution of the United States.
The following are the reasons this fact is so important to comprehend, and why if we don’t stop this from continuing to occur – in Pakistan, then Iran, and eventually in our own beautiful, once free United States itself – We The People of the United States of America will lose everything our Constitution grants to us.
—-> The Geneva Convention – this set of documents, of which America is a signatory, are international treaties binding all States that have accepted them. Almost every State in the world has signed the Geneva Conventions. The 1st and 2nd Geneva Conventions straight forwardly state that the sick, wounded and shipwrecked must be cared for humanely and adequately by the enemy state. “Combatants” must treat members of the enemy armies who are wounded, sick or shipwrecked as carefully as they would treat their own injured or sick. All efforts must be made to collect the dead quickly, to confirm death by medical examination, and to identify bodies and protect them from robbery. Medical equipment must not be intentionally destroyed, and medical establishments and vehicles must not be attacked, damaged or prevented from operating even if they do not contain patients. The 3rd Geneva Convention states: “Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War” members of the armed forces who fall into enemy hands are to be considered without exception to be in the power of the enemy State, not in the hands of the individuals or troops who have captured them. The state is therefore responsible for their soldier’s treatment of POW’s.
The convention clearly states that Prisoners of war MUST BE:
- Treated humanely with respect for their persons and their honor.
- Enabled to inform their next of kin and the Central Prisoners of War Agency (ICRC, the International Red Cross) of their capture.
- Allowed to correspond regularly with relatives and to receive relief parcels.
- Allowed to keep their clothes, feeding utensils and personal effects.
- Supplied with adequate food and clothing.
- Provided with quarters not inferior to those of their captor’s troops.
- Given the medical care their state of health demands.
- Paid for any work they do.
- Repatriated if certified seriously ill or wounded, (but they must not resume active military duties afterwards).
- Quickly released and repatriated when hostilities cease.
In addition, prisoners of war MUST NOT BE:
-Compelled to give any information other than their name, age, rank and service number.
- Deprived of money or valuables without a receipt (and these must be returned at the time of release).
- Given individual privileges other than for reasons of health, sex, age, military rank or professional qualifications.
- Held in close confinement except for breaches of the law, although their liberty can be restricted for security reasons.
- Compelled to do military work, nor work which is dangerous, unhealthy or degrading.
The fourth Geneva Convention is: “Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”, all individuals “who do not belong to the armed forces, take no part in the hostilities and find themselves in the hands of the Enemy or an Occupying Power”
Protected civilians MUST BE:
- Treated humanely at all times and protected against acts or threats of violence, insults and public curiosity.
- Entitled to respect for their honour, family rights, religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs.
- Specially protected, for example in safety zones, if wounded, sick, old, children under 15, expectant mothers or mothers of children under 7.
- Enabled to exchange family news of a personal kind. – Helped to secure news of family members dispersed by the conflict.
- Allowed to practise their religion with ministers of their own faith. Civilians who are interned have the same rights as prisoners of war. They may also ask to have their children interned with them, and wherever possible families should be housed together and provided with the facilities to continue normal family life. Wounded or sick civilians, civilian hospitals and staff, and hospital transport by land, sea or air must be specially respected and may be placed under protection of the red cross/crescent emblem.
Protected civilians MUST NOT BE:
- Discriminated against because of race, religion or political opinion. – Forced to give information.
- Used to shield military operations or make an area immune from military operations.
- Punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. – Women must not be indecently assaulted, raped, or forced into prostitution.
In reference to torture, the Geneva Convention states:
“Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission … causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.
“No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.”
“Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities.”
“The following acts are and shall remain prohibited … cruel treatment and torture; … Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; “
“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory … are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”
(Geneva Convention, 1949)
So, this certainly and without a doubt states that torture is specifically not permitted under these conventions. So why is our government and military (and private security forces contracted by the U.S. government) torturing, maiming, raping, humiliating, water-boarding, and mistreating prisoners and civilians and getting away with it? Why hasn’t anyone called foul: a violation of the Geneva Conventions against innocent civilians and prisoners of war?
Quite simply, it’s because no declaration of war was ever legally made. This is key to understanding America’s disposition…
- No declaration of war means there are no official prisoners of war.
- No declaration of war means the Geneva conventions do not apply.
- No declaration of war means that U.S. soldiers can do whatever they please with no repercussions, since the convention that places responsibility for our soldier’s actions onto the state do not apply.
- No declaration of war means that we are occupying another country or “state” against Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution, which states:
“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States …To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water… To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years…”
The term “enemy combatants” has replaced the terms “prisoner of war” and “civilians”.
Proof of this fact – that no war has been declared in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc… can be found in the following, which aired on CSPAN in October 2002:
During the October 2nd and 3rd, 2002 House International Relations Committee hearing on the Iraq resolution, Ron Paul introduced an amendment which actually would have simply and officially declared war against Iraq. The following is that simple amendment, which would have put the United States legally and constitutionally at war and, more importantly, subject to Geneva Convention guarantees and other war crimes documents:
AMENDMENT TO H. J. RES. Ll
To be titled: “Joint Resolution declaring a state of war between the United States and the Government of Iraq“
OFFERED BY MR. PAUL
- Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the following: ‘‘That pursuant to article I, section 8 of the United States Constitution, a state of war is declared to exist between the United States and the Government of Iraq and the President is hereby authorized and directed to employ the United States Armed Forces to carry on war against the Government of Iraq and to bring the conflict to a successful conclusion.”
Mr. Paul also stated earlier of the resolution, as it existed without his amendment:
“We are giving the President the authority to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq. In other words, we are transferring the power to declare war to the President. He can declare the war and fight the war when he pleases. And that is number one. Number two, equal to number one; (the president will) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. In this bill that we are working on, they mention United Nations 32 times — I am sorry, 25 times. They never mention article 1, section 8, once.”
“…No matter what you call it, we are talking about a resolution that permits the President to wage war.” – Ron Paul
The committee put Rep. Paul’s amendment to rest (into the trash) with no dissenting votes, and on the afternoon of 10/03/02, the House International Relations Committee passed this resolution, which gave the president (Bush) the power to send our armies into Iraq without a formal declaration of war by congress, without consideration of the unconstitutional act of preemptively attacking a state or country which poses no imminent threat to the United States according to Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, and without the international constraints of the Geneva Convention or any war crimes legislation to restrain our troops from committing heinous acts of torture and violence against innocent woman and children, civilians, Iraqi resistance to foreign invaders, dogs, cats, livestock, or any other living thing in Iraq while “just following orders”.
And now, President Obama has sent troops illegally and unconstitutionally to Pakistan, without an official Congressional declaration of war. He has withdrawn troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and replaced them with even more private security “peace-keepers” like Blackwater (who changed its name to Xe due to such horrible publicity and war crimes charges). And he is about to make the mistake of “preemptively” invading and attempting to occupy Iran, which would be a fatal error in foreign relations considering Iran’s alliance and friendship with both China and Russia.
But then, Obama’s mentor Zbigniew Brzezinski has been after a conflict with Russia since his post as National Security Advisor in the Carter and Reagan administrations.
-Brzezinski advised Carter in 1978 to engage the People’s Republic of China and traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for the normalization of relations between the two countries. This also resulted in the severing of ties with the United States’ longtime anti-Communist ally the Republic of China. Also in 1978, Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was elected Pope John Paul II—an event which the Soviets believed Brzezinski orchestrated.
In 1979 Brzezinski saw the overthrow of US ally the Shah of Iran, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Iranian Revolution precipitated the Iran hostage crisis, which would last for the rest of Carter’s presidency. Brzezinski anticipated – indeed some some have claimed he even engineered [Matthew Carr, The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism from Alexander II to Al-Qaeda, chapter 10.] the Soviet invasion, and, with the support of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the PRC, he created a strategy to undermine the Soviet presence. – [Wikipedia: Zbigniew Brzezinski]
Brzezinski has had his hands in almost all American conflicts and foreign relations, from Red China to Iran Contra to Russia to Afghanistan to Vietnam. In 1981 Brzezinski revealed that he encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. This was part of a wider policy of forcing the Vietnamese out of Cambodia by funding anti-Vietnamese guerrilla groups that the U.S. helped create. [America Abroad – TIME Magazine]
Understanding that Obama is a student of and was mentored by Zbigniew Brzezinski is imperative to understanding the mentality and intentions of our president and his multitude of not-elected, appointed cabinet members. From Obama’s Chief of Staff – duel Israeli citizen Raum Emanuel, to foreign born Special Adviser Henry Kissinger, these elitist appointees rule our elected officials.
To further decry the importance of the illegality and unconstitutionality of the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan… a memo was given by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, dated January 25, 2002, urging President George Bush to declare the war in Afghanistan exempt from the Geneva Convention. In the memo, the corrupted White House lawyer referenced the 1996 law passed by Congress known as the “War Crimes Act”, which banned any American from committing war crimes – defined in part as “grave breaches” of the Geneva convention. The memo warns that the law applies to “U.S. officials” and that punishments for violators “include the death penalty.” (NewsWeek, May 17, 2004)
Shortly after Gonzales’ memo came out, Secretary Powell wrote a dissenting memo arguing that Alberto Gonzales’ attempt to declare the war in Afghanistan exempt from the Geneva convention undermines more than a century of U.S. policy and practice. In that memo, he states:
“It will reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva conventions and undermine the protections of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific conflict and in general. … It may provoke some individual foreign prosecutors to investigate and prosecute our officials and troops. … We will be challenged in international forums (UN Commission on Human Rights; World Court; etc.).”
On March 19, 2003, despite these warnings by Powell and others, Bush (not Congress) declared a preemptive war in Iraq.
This one act alone – especially since it was proven that no “weapons of mass destruction” were anywhere near Iraq, nor that Iraq had the capability to produce such weapons, nor that Iraq or Sadam Huesain had anything to do with the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, and 7 and the attack on the pentagon – and since Iraq posed no “imminent threat” to the United States, constitutes a “grave breach” of the Geneva Convention, which states:
“Law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defense or defense of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury, to prevent the perpetration of a particularly serious crime involving grave threat to life, to arrest a person presenting such a danger and resisting their authority, or to prevent his or her escape, and only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives. In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.” (United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Fall 1990)
The U.S. Military Code specifies that it is a crime to violate the Geneva convention:
“Whoever, … commits a war crime, … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, … and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death. … Definition: As used in this section the term ‘war crime’ means … a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949 [or acts] prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907 … ” (Section 2441: U.S. Military Code on War Crimes)
Also, after WWII in 1945, the United States led the formation of the “Nuremberg Principles” which formed the United Nations Charter. This charter binds every country in the world. It defines as a crime:
“Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances…”
For a chronological account of the actions taken by the U.S. Military under the leadership of George W. Bush as Commander-in-Chief which lead to multiple violations of the Geneva convention and U.S. Military Code, please go here: http://impeachforpeace.org/evidence/pages/torture.html
I could go on and on with countless violations of the Geneva Conventions, war crimes, Nuremburg principles, etc… but what would be the point? We are not at war.
This one little fact that has been overlooked and not reported by the media is the key to ushering in peace. Acknowledging it would mean the end of these illegal and unconstitutional occupations of innocent countries, and the unwarranted murder and impoverishing of whole populations. It would mean that torture, outrageous POW camps like Guantanamo Bay, and any other war crimes committed by this administration, our troops and Blackwater thugs overseas, and crimes against Americans themselves would be treated as such and punishable by the Geneva Conventions and other war crimes treatises.
The new president continues to abuse the jargon of the previous administration, calling for a “war on terror”. This is ridiculous, and is about as winnable as a war on mosquitoes. This war on terror can best be described as a never ending, un-winnable war, which will continue to allow the United States and the United Nations to invade and terrorize any country, any home, and even any American who challenges the corporate fascist control of America and abroad.
While we as mindless sheep continue to refer to the events in the middle east as:
the “war in Iraq”
the “war in Afghanistan”
the new “war in Pakistan”
and the impending “war with Iran” - which will no doubt lead to something akin to a “war with the world”…
These politicians and appointed officials are making fortunes for their lobbyists and elitist co-conspirators though the corporations they own, chair, direct, advise, and profit from by awarding no-bid contracts to them in these occupied countries, but only after our military destroys them to create the need for reconstruction.
It is time for the American people to wake up and take responsibility for the war crimes and human rights violations that our government is perpetrating against the people, the families, and the innocents of the Middle-East. This will not stop until they have taken over, through the United Nations, all of the nation-states, not excluding our own. We, as responsible citizens can no longer afford to ignore these crimes. For the only other way that this will stop, is for the citizenry to stand up and say, “NO MORE KILLING”
We must do something now… for the hour is late, and every innocent death is on all of our hands. And they get bloodier by the hour.
Clint Richardson (realitybloger.wordpress.com)
Sunday, October 11, 2009