Wednesday, March 09, 2011

John Kerry: It's STILL All And Only About Us

There are two things that tell you all you need to know about John Kerry, the photograph below and this 2006 essay by Arthur Silber, who for my money, is one of the finest writer on the internet today. As I say, written in 2006 but just as readable and well argued today as then.

John Kerry, Election trail 2004.
John Kerry lives in Boston.

But first this Truthout article that has a few salient points about international rule of law. Said he with a roll of the eyes.

"No-Fly Zone"? Senator Kerry, the UN Charter Is Supreme Law
by: Robert Naiman,
Wednesday 09 March 2011

Surely no one has been surprised to see Senator McCain engaged in what Defense Secretary Gates has rightly called "loose talk" about the use of US military force in Libya.

But to see Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - the man who as a Vietnam veteran joined other anti-war veterans in asking who would be the last American to be asked to die in Vietnam - engage in such "loose talk" - that is a more painful cut.

Of course, this is the same Senator Kerry who voted to authorize the US invasion of Iraq in October 2002, even though such action was never authorized by the UN Security Council, and was, therefore, a major war crime in international law - the crime of aggression. And this is the same Senator Kerry who, as a presidential candidate in August 2004, stood by his vote for the war.

Here is a basic fact about the world that mainstream US media - and politicians like Kerry - generally find distasteful to acknowledge. The Charter of the United Nations rules out the use of military force by one UN member state against another except in two cases: self-defense against armed attack and actions approved by the UN Security Council. more

I do urge you to read this below in it's entirety, it's a great essay and it is also a chance to get to know Arthur Silber. And while you are doing that I shall go and see what he has to say about Bradley Manning, which not having done so before now, makes me extremely lax.

Narcissism and Paternalism as Foreign Policy, and Kerry's Profoundly Objectionable and Dishonest Article
by Arthur Silber

........Kerry thus places himself squarely in the midst of the rogues' gallery identified by Rosa Brooks: those people, including Daniel Pipes, Condoleezza Rice and Jack Straw, who condemn those "ungrateful Iraqis" -- who dare to be ungrateful "after all we've done for you!" As Brooks points out, Kerry also appears to have forgotten that no one asked us to "sacrifice" our "valiant soldiers" for the Iraqis' sakes. Our self-defense was involved at no point in this unforgivable catastrophe: Iraq constituted no threat to us, and our leaders knew it. That is the single fundamental point of any significance in this context:

We have no legitimate right to be in Iraq at all. Period. If we don't want to "sacrifice" American lives for this immensely destructive fantasy, we should never have sent even one American there in the first place. And if we don't want to sacrifice any more, then leave.

But like the parent who decides that the first brutal beating wasn't enough, Kerry insists that "Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines." You see, they're simply children who are misbehaving -- so we need to give a few more orders, and make sure they understand that we mean it this time:.....................

My emphasis.

.....................Keep the scope of this catastrophe in mind -- and never forget that we chose to launch an utterly unjustified, aggressive invasion and occupation of a nation that did not threaten us in any serious manner whatsoever. Given the incomprehensible horror that Iraqis now must live with every minute of every day -- horror that is the direct result of our actions -- who the hell are we to be making demands of anyone? We ought to beg their forgiveness, with every fiber of our being. But for Kerry, and for all our other national leaders, none of this matters and it is hardly ever discussed in any detail in terms of how it affects the Iraqis themselves. Oh, no: it's all and only about us.

The nauseating depths of the Western conviction of its own "exceptionalism" and its unquestionable "right" to coerce the rest of the world to act as we demand are revealed in Kerry's final paragraph:....................more

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