The Accumulated Evil of the Whole
by Kim Petersen
April 10, 2003
Why of course the people don't want war! Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
-- Hermann Göring
How prophetic the words of Nazi weasel Mr. Göring ring when considered against the run up to US President Bush and his administration’s aggression on Iraq. The US and UK conducted a hypocritical buildup of military force in the Persian Gulf while Iraq was being disarmed. Consequently the US and UK sought international approbation through the UN for violence. This was in abject oppugnancy to the principles incorporated into the UN Charter to save future generations from the evil of war.
The US and its fidel underling, the UK, haphazardly constructed a diaphanously guised scenario to overthrow the Iraqi regime militarily. Haphazardly because it was built on an edifice of blatant hypocrisy and a farrago of lies. There never was a hint of a plausible casus belli proffered by the Bush-Blair cabal. (1) Instead plagiarized student papers masqueraded as the latest intelligence, intelligence contrary to the US-UK thesis was buried, and a host of leads were discredited from suspect aluminum rods to fake documentation of uranium purchases from Niger. It finally wound up that Mr. Blair in exasperation turned to the paradoxical moral war argument. Mr. Blair unwittingly discovered that his moral standing faltered ignominiously when confronted with the dissenting voices of the Pope, British clerical leaders, Nelson Mandela, and Nobel Laureates.
The moral war argument had no historical leg to stand on. British and American adventurism in the Middle East, especially vis-à-vis Iraq and Israel refuted any moral authority of the US-UK belligerents and conversely exposed a history of hypocrisy. (2) Even the latest US attempt to smooth over the heinous incongruency of politically supporting, financing, and arming Israel in their blood-spilling of Arabs to expropriate their land is eerily reminiscent of the doomed-from-its-inception Oslo Accord. Uri Avnery compellingly laid out how the so-called roadmap of the Quartet is a sham lacking in specifics, a red herring to stall the ongoing upheaval in the region. (3)
These longtime exploiters of Iraq claim to be liberators. What kind of liberty are the Iraqis supposed to be expecting when they know a Zionist sympathizer, Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, is waiting in the wings to head Iraq in the reconstruction phase? Then there is the scandalized Pentagon hawk Richard Pearle who rabbited on about how a convicted criminal Ahmed Chalabi was Washington’s Iraqi face for regime change. (4) How is all this supposed to play out on the war-ravaged Iraqis who endured 12 years of killing sanctions and then another onslaught of US-UK ordnance?
Well, it seems that is something the world is not supposed to find out. War correspondent Kate Adie relayed the bold Pentagon threat to media who stepped outside the bounds of reporting. (5) First the US was beating independent journalists. (6) Now they are bombing them. Iraqi TV was bombed earlier on. But now the US guns are trained on foreign media outlets. Al-Jazeera was taken out despite many US assurances they wouldn’t be hit; Abu Dhabi TV was also bombed. American forces also turned their guns on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad where most media types are staying. The US deflected blame for the four media personnel killed. It maintained that the media were “not safe” in a war zone. The US countered that it was being fired on from the Palestine Hotel, which was denied by others present. In most cases the blame is pinned on the Iraqis and usually on their despot. Even the firing on the Russian diplomatic convoy by the US was blamed on the Iraqis. It seems the victims are pointing the finger at the US while the US points at President Hussein. A CBC piece that detailed how an errant US bomb obliterated 11 Afghan civilians in the still festering Afghanistan evinced this absurdity of holding Iraq responsible for almost every mishap. There is no Mr. Hussein in Afghanistan to blame for US blunders. This was acknowledged as a mistake and is, to no one’s surprise, under investigation. The US military spokesman assured that "Coalition forces never intentionally target civilian locations." (7)
The media have exposed the folly of pre-invasion US-UK declamations. The lie has been put to the notion that the Iraqi people would welcome the invading US and UK fighters. Furthermore the mendacious claim of a sanitized high precision violence has been refuted. The Arab networks in particular have been presenting an explicit rendering of the horrors of violence. This has infuriated Washington.
Washington has enough on its hands in the US and has been unleashing excessive force against dissent. Nasty pictures from Iraq might foment further unrest at home. So when Yellow Times.org posted al-Jazeera video clips on its website it was censored by its server. (8) Most mainstream media are in bed with Washington. They have a large financial stake invested in the Republican Party. (9)
CNN knew the rules and anchor Aaron Brown openly confessed to censoring the news. Mr. Brown said that CNN wouldn’t show images of casualties that cross the line into pornography. Democracy Now!’s Jeremy Scahill's adroit rejoinder was: "[Q]uite frankly there is no such thing as a 'tasteful civilian casualty,' that term shouldn’t even be in the realm of journalism." (10)
The so-called war is a bloody business. Civilian deaths are edging over 1000 and the Red Cross is no longer able to keep track of casualties. They are simply overwhelmed. Progressive media show the unsanitized ugly face of war.
The US is sending a clear message. If you are not embedded media you can be targeted. Blaming Iraq is a ready justification for all US-UK atrocities.
If this is Operation Iraqi Freedom with a promise of democracy, it seems logical to ask: What kind of a democracy can be built on the seeds of lies, omissions, crimes, massive bombing, and killing? Not only that but something the mainstream media don’t seem keen on iterating is that this aggression is in fact illegal. To inflict aggression and decimate the beleaguered Iraqi civilian population is a supreme crime. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg didn’t mince words at the charge of aggression:
The charges of the indictment that the defendants planned and waged aggressive war are charges of the utmost gravity... To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
Legality and morality are encompassed in one swoop. Meanwhile the sanctimonious and risible “coalition of the willing” continues to aggress; the rest of the world supinely observes as bystanders while the US and UK make a mockery of law and morality.
That is why the US can turn their guns on the independent media. This is not a war it is an “accumulated evil of the whole.” A worse label is hard to come by.
Once the world’s people really start to realize then the second superpower can begin to exert itself as befits a superpower; as a force for morality.
Kim Petersen is an English teacher living in China. He can be contacted at: email@example.com
(1) Kim Petersen, “Grasping at Straws: Searching for a War Pretext,” Dissident Voice, 4 March 2003: http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles2/Petersen_Iraq-Pretext.htm
(2) Kim Petersen, “Why Israel is So Relevant Vis-à-Vis Iraq: The Politics of Hypocrisy,” Dissident Voice, 15 February 2003:
(3) Uri Avnery, “Roadmap to Nowhere: Or Much Ado about Nothing,” CounterPunch, 5 April 2003: http://counterpunch.org/avnery04052003.html
(4) Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Richard Pearle, “Blessed are the Warmakers?” Foreign Policy, 2 April 2003: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/issue_mayjune_2003/debate.html
(5) The Sunday Show, RTE1 Radio, 9 March 2003: Cited in David Miller, “Eliminating Truth: The Development Of War Propaganda,” ZNet, 28 March 2003: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=3346
(6) Ha'aretz Service and UPI, “Two Israeli journalists detained by U.S. troops
in Iraq,” Ha'aretz, 28 March 2003:
(7) CBC News Online Staff, “U.S. jet bombs Afghan home, killing 11,” CBC News, 9 April 2003: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/04/09/afghan_bombing030409
(8) Sherrie Gossett, “Newssite shut down over war photos: Editor of Yellow Times decries 'censorship' of gruesome images,” World Net Daily, 25 March 2003: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31709
(9) Annie Lawson, “US Media dig deep for politicians: Political donations by US media companies,” The Observer, 7 April 2003:
(10) Democracy Now! “CNN's Aaron Brown: On the Network's Coverage of the Anti-war Movement, Media's Sanitization of the Iraq War and Why This is an Inappropriate Time for Reporters to ask Questions About War,” 5 April 2003. Available on the Dissident Voice website: