War Criminal Obama to Announce a Troop Decision

By John Kusumi

President Barack Obama will address the nation from West Point Military Academy tonight (Tuesday, 8pm), where he is expected to announce that he is sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

There are three words which Barack Obama finds inconvenient: International Criminal Court (ICC).

Throughout the 1990s, the international human rights community worked at laying the groundwork and setting the stage for the ICC. The ICC was created to prosecute only the very worst atrocities — genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity — through indicting individuals, not governments.  There are lengthy analyses of the ICC’s impact, but a short one observes three new rules in the world:

1. Thou shalt not commit genocide;
2. Thou shalt not commit war crimes; and
3. Thou shalt not commit crimes against humanity.

These rules could seriously crimp the style of a warmongering President. Barack Obama should either come into compliance with the ICC, or turn himself in to the ICC.

What is the evidence that he is off the page, or out of compliance with the ICC?  Here are three terms which defenders of Barack Obama find inconvenient: land mines, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium (DU). They are employed in the U.S. arsenal, and yet they are not the gift that keeps on giving — instead, they are the harm that keeps on harming. These three types of weapons create “leave behinds” or “calling cards” of war. Long after a battle has ended, nearby civilian non-combatants continue to be in mortal danger from land mines, cluster bombs, and DU weapons.

If I were a U.S. President, I would be trying my damndest to avoid the designation of being called a war criminal. In line with that, the first order of my administration would be to remove land mines, cluster bombs, and DU weapons from the U.S. arsenal. By the fact that Obama has not issued a similar order at any point in his ten month long administration — and given the fact that war is in progress, and civilians are being killed by the U.S. arsenal — that is information that I find sufficient to look upon him as a war criminal.

For that matter, Obama could have issued a proclamation embracing the ICC, a step which the former administration of George W. Bush neglected to take. On this issue, Obama chose to have continuity with the Bush administration.

In fact, Obama signaled his attitude about war crimes shortly after his election. Ostensibly retaliating at militants in the Gaza Strip, Israel conducted air strikes beginning on December 27, 2008 and a ground war from January 3 – January 18, 2009. And, in the same action, Israel committed the war crime of using airbursts of white phosphorous above civilian areas.

Personally, I am somewhat hawkish on national security, and I would not remove white phosphorous from the U.S. arsenal entirely. It is not dangerous to future civilians; instead, it is dangerous to civilians in the same time frame as its use. White phosphorus basically creates a “rain of fire.” It makes sense to use it on a battlefield, but is a crime against humanity when used in populated civilian areas, as Israel did on Gaza:

The long and the short of it is that Israel committed war crimes, and Barack Obama was shamefully silent about the atrocity. Thereby, we can surmise that he is sanguine, with an easy countenance for war crimes.

On this latter matter, I am standing with the balance of the international human rights community. Wikipedia notes, “Human Rights Watch said its experts in the region had witnessed the use of white phosphorus,” and “Amnesty International said a fact-finding team found ‘indisputable evidence of the widespread use of white phosphorus’ in crowded residential areas of Gaza City and elsewhere in the territory.”

For a world leader to have no objections when documented war crimes have occurred — especially when it is on the part of an ally being financed by the nation of that world leader — shouldn’t observers conclude that he is a tacit accessory during the fact of war crimes? Because war crimes are among the most serious of offenses that can be committed, it is not enough simply to say that “Israel should tamp down on war crimes.” It is necessary to call for bringing to justice those individuals who ordered and / or participated in these war crimes.

And now, America is being treated to Obama’s explanation of why we will send thousands of more troops into Pipelineistan (excuse me, Afghanistan). It is a war that is not affordable, and that chiefly serves the purposes of being a gravy train for price gouging on the part of military contractors. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq should each have been feasible on budgets of less than $100 billion each. Instead, each is costing over ten times that amount. When we total up the tab for both wars, the cost to the American people is in excess of $2 trillion. It has been a profitable bonanza and a gravy train for military contractors. 

The American people should entirely reject this plan for more death and destruction. Barack Obama should either come into compliance with the ICC, or turn himself in to the ICC.

John Kusumi is a human rights campaigner who founded the China Support Network in 1989, post-Tiananmen Square. You can read more of his work here.

3 responses to “War Criminal Obama to Announce a Troop Decision

  1. First rate analysis and fair warning. The maximum war criminals are Bush-Cheney. Vincent Bugliosi got part of the case and it’s a slam dunk. the broader case is based on the 1.0 million dead civliians due to civil strife Bush-Cheneyknew would happen if they invaded.

    Obama is a special case. He promised “no mas” – no more Gitmo, no mor Iraq but he hedged on Afghanistan. That was “the tell” as to his real allegiances. He couldn’t resist the war party and the cult of perpetual crisis and war. If he takes the leap, he’ll have avoided the chance he had with the Eikenberry warning and he’ll have made the choice to proceed with full knowledge of the consequences..

    • yes, excellent, hard-hitting post.

      Another ‘tell’ is that Obama refused to prosecute Bush-Cheney, et al. for war crimes — that was a sure heads up he planned to commit the same deeds.

  2. Thank You Thank You Thank You.

    This long time activist of Impeach for Peace (tried to impeach the last war criminal) could not agree more.

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