Frans van Anraat may count himself a little unfortunate to have been given a 15 year jail term for complicity to war crimes particularly in the current geo-political climate. Of course Meneer van Anraat seeking to profit from the sale of constituent components of chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein’s regime is something that he should rightly stand trial for and yet this beacon of world justice seems misplaced and hollow in the light of so much that has been going on in the last 50 years.

The weapons created using the components obtained from van Anraat were part of a “a political policy of systematic terror and illegal action against a certain population group,” namely Saddam’s repression against the Kurds in the Northern areas of Iraq in 1988. A crime widely reported that the US and the rest of the world chose to ignore at the time. Of course one must add the context here that Iraq was the US’s choice in the Middle East power struggle of the 1st Persian Gulf War between Iran and Iraq which ran from 1980-88.

Hmm, interesting, ok fair enough, so how does the van Anraat ruling square with “It is in Britain’s interests that Indonesia absorbs the territory [East Timor] as soon and as unobtrusively as possible, and when it comes to the crunch, we should keep our heads down.” (Former GB ambassador, Sir John Archibald Ford). British Aerospace Hawk aircraft sold to the Indonesian air force were observed on bombing runs across East Timor every year from 1984 until the Indonesians eventually withdrew from the territory after General Suharto (whose regime originally began purchases of the plane from the Wilson government in 1978) was no longer in charge.

How does this ruling square with U.S. covert operations between 1968 and 1975 to destabilize the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile and, after the violent 1973 coup, to bolster the military regime of Augusto Pinochet, a regime responsible for ‘the disappeared’ accused of state terrorism and genocide and the definite killing of 3,000 people and probably disposal of a further 1,100+ who remain unaccounted for?

How does this ruling square with the Nicaragua contra funded operations of the US that resulted in the destruction both of government and economy in Nicaragua and the loss of 60,000 lives? The Sandinista government had won international acclaim for its gains in literacy, health care, education, childcare, unions, and land reform. The US paid $178 billion to destabilise and eventually bring down the government in 1990.

van Anraat is not the first in the US-led succession of kangaroo trials. Taking things from Nuremburg on, it is worth analysing the actual numbers of those Nazis convicted. It is hardly surprising that Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi hunter, had enough work to keep him going until his death more than 50 years after the Nuremburg trials. The end of the Second World War maked the shift of the US’s enemy from Fascism to Communism and thus a principle of the enemy of my enemy is my friend has been applied. Hence coutless Nazis were simply overlooked in the quest to rebuild West Germany as a buffer against the emergence of a Soviet-influenced Eastern Europe.

In more recent times one need look no further than the trial of Slobodan Milosevic another case of victor’s justice. The Milosevic trial has gone remarkably silent since the defendent decided he was going to actually stand up for himself and not wallow in the dock in contrite fashion. Time was it was in the news every day and yet a couple of sucessive days of Milosevic’s defence and he was micraculously dropped from the schedules. I can only suspect that the trial of Saddam will go much the same way should the bearded one attempt to put up any sort of cogent fight. It is rather coincidental that his defence team seem to have a life expectancy akin to First World War pilots and yet the prosecutors who one might think would be the targets of the remaining insurgents appear to be either anonymous or adequately protected.

Whilst the world allows one single country to prosecute all others whilst it itself refuses to even subject any of its citizens to international legal scrutiny there can be no justice.

I know there will be many Americans remain in the belief that the US is a force for good in the world. Whatever one thinks of the motives and however naive one may be regarding the involvement take a closer look at US involvement across the globe since WWII, you may find the following a good starting point for research. Take one of these conflicts and research why it happened. Look at why it has been “necessary” for the US to bomb over 50 countries since WWII. Look at how it has been possible for the US to in fact invade a British sovereign territory in 1983 when Thatcher was still in charge. If you choose to you will find twice as much again between the years of 1798 and 1948 so it is hardly a recent phenomenon.

  • 1946 – Iran – troops deployed in northern province.
  • 1946 – 1949 – China – Major US army presence of about 100,000 troops, fighting, training and advising local combatants.
  • 1947 – 1949 – Greece – US forces wage a 3-year counterinsurgency campaign.
  • 1948 – Italy – Heavy CIA involvement in national elections.
  • 1948 – 1954 – Philippines – Commando operations, “secret” CIA war.
  • 1950 – 1953 – Korea – Major forces engaged in war in Korean peninsula.
  • 1953 – Iran – CIA overthrows government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.
  • 1954 – Vietnam – Financial and material support for colonial French military operations, leads eventually to direct US military involvement.
  • 1954 – Guatemala – CIA overthrows the government of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman.
  • 1958 – Lebanon – US marines and army units totaling 14,000 land.
  • 1958 – Panama – Clashes between US forces in Canal Zone and local citizens.
  • 1959 – Haiti – US Marines land.
  • 1960 – Congo – CIA-backed overthrow and assassination of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.
  • 1960 – 1964 – Vietnam – Gradual introduction of military advisors and special forces.
  • 1961 – Cuba – failure of CIA-backed and trained Bay of Pig invasion aimed at deposing Castro.
  • 1962 – Cuba – Cuban Missile Crisis, Nuclear threat and naval blockade (US aggressive tactics met with stonewall from Kruschev who refused to sanction retalitory actions)
  • 1962 – Laos – CIA-backed military coup.
  • 1963 – Ecuador – CIA backs military overthrow of President Jose Maria Valesco Ibarra.
  • 1964 – Panama – Clashes between US forces in Canal Zone and local citizens.
  • 1964 – Brazil – CIA-backed military coup overthrows the government of Joao Goulart and Gen. Castello Branco takes power.
  • 1965 – 1975 – Vietnam – Large commitment of military forces, including air, naval and ground units numbering up to 500,000+ troops. Full-scale war, lasting for ten years.
  • 1965 – Indonesia – CIA-backed army coup overthrows President Sukarno and brings Gen. Suharto to power.
  • 1965 – Congo – CIA backed military coup overthrows President Joseph Kasavubu and brings Joseph Mobutu to power.
  • 1965 – Dominican Republic – 23,000 troops land.
  • 1965 – 1973 – Laos – Bombing campaign begin, lasting eight years.
  • 1966 – Ghana – CIA-backed military coup ousts President Kwame Nkrumah.
  • 1966 – 1967 – Guatemala – Extensive counter-insurgency operation.
  • 1969 – 1975 – Cambodia – CIA supports military coup against Prince Sihanouk, bringing Lon Nol to power. Intensive bombing for seven years along border with Vietnam.
  • 1970 – Oman – Counter-insurgency operation, including coordination with Iranian marine invasion.
  • 1971 – 1973 – Laos – Invasion by US and South Vietnames forces.
  • 1973 – Chile – CIA-backed military coup ousts government of President Salvador Allende. Gen. Augusto Pinochet comes to power.
  • 1975 – Cambodia – Marines land, engage in combat with government forces.
  • 1976 – 1992 – Angola – Military and CIA operations.
  • 1980 – Iran – Special operations units land in Iranian desert. Helicopter malfunction leads to aborting of planned raid.
  • 1981 – Libya – Naval jets shoot down two Libyan jets in maneuvers over the Mediterranean.
  • 1981 – 1992 – El Salvador – CIA and special forces begin a long counterinsurgency campaign.
  • 1981 – 1990 – Nicaragua – CIA directs exile “Contra” operations. US air units drop sea mines in harbors.
  • 1982 – 1984 – Lebanon – Marines land and naval forces fire on local combatants.
  • 1983 – Grenada – Military forces invade Grenada.
  • 1983 – 1989 – Honduras – Large program of military assistance aimed at conflict in Nicaragua.
  • 1984 – Iran – Two Iranian jets shot down over the Persian Gulf.
  • 1986 – Libya – US aircraft bomb the cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, including direct strikes at the official residence of President Muamar al Qadaffi.
  • 1986 – Bolivia – Special Forces units engage in counter-insurgency.
  • 1987 – 1988 – Iran – Naval forces block Iranian shipping. Civilian airliner shot down by missile cruiser.
  • 1989 – Libya – Naval aircraft shoot down two Libyan jets over Gulf of Sidra.
  • 1989 – Philippines – CIA and Special Forces involved in counterinsurgency.
  • 1989 – 1990 – Panama – 27,000 troops as well as naval and air power used to overthrow government of President Noriega.
  • 1990 – Liberia – Troops deployed.
  • 1990 – 1991 – Iraq – Major military operation, including naval blockade, air strikes; large number of troops attack Iraqi forces in occupied Kuwait.
  • 1991 – 2003 – Iraq – Control of Iraqi airspace in north and south of the country with periodic attacks on air and ground targets.
  • 1991 – Haiti – CIA-backed military coup ousts President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
  • 1992 – 1994 – Somalia – Special operations forces intervene.
  • 1992 – 1994 – Yugoslavia – Major role in NATO blockade of Serbia and Montenegro.
  • 1993 – 1995 – Bosnia – Active military involvement with air and ground forces.
  • 1994 – 1996 – Haiti – Troops depose military rulers and restore President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to office.
  • 1995 – Croatia – Krajina Serb airfields attacked.
  • 1996 – 1997 – Zaire (Congo) – Marines involved in operations in eastern region of the country.
  • 1997 – Liberia – Troops deployed.
  • 1998 – Sudan – Air strikes destroy country’s major pharmaceutical plant.
  • 1998 – Afghanistan – Attack on targets in the country.
  • 1998 – Iraq – Four days of intensive air and missile strikes.
  • 1999 – Yugoslavia – Major involvement in NATO air strikes.
  • 2001 – Macedonia – NATO troops shift and partially disarm Albanian rebels.
  • 2001 – Afghanistan – Air attacks and ground operations oust Taliban government and install a new regime.
  • 2003 – Iraq – Invasion with large ground, air and naval forces ousts government of Saddam Hussein and establishes new government.
  • 2003 – present – Iraq – Occupation force of 150,000 troops in protracted counter-insurgency war
  • 2004 – Haiti – Marines land. CIA-backed forces overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Of course that’s the price of freedom isn’t it? World’s police force eh? Or perhaps more the actions of a country that is hell-bent on completely safeguarding its interests at all costs despite the price in human terms.

Song Of The Day ~ Big Audio Dynamite – E=mc²

Original Comments:


fiordizucca made this comment,
happy new year Barone 😉
comment added :: 4th January 2006, 15:43 GMT+01 :: http://fiordizucca.blogspot.com

John made this comment,
I believe that it was the British who invented ‘gunboat diplomacy’ but the Americans are now the masters of ‘gunpoint democracy’.
comment added :: 7th January 2006, 17:09 GMT+01 :: http://bigjohn.blog-city.com/

The Fat Boy made this comment,
RedBaron, I don’t agree with your political opinions, but you write well. Do you write for newspapers? Have you considered it?
-Redbaron responds – Thank you for the compliment, I do not write for newspapers at least not on politics or the like because I have a fundamental aversion to doing what I am told. I have written on more boring stuff but it isn’t nearly as fun!-

comment added :: 9th January 2006, 13:12 GMT+01 :: http://spongeblog.blog-city.com

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