Get  Serious  about  the  War

Bill Neinast

neins1@aol.com

Some history makers understand the significance of their actions better than the historians who try to interpret those action many years later.


A judge on one of the international war crimes trials in the Pacific after WWII was one of these.


This Dutch jurist was one of my professors at The Hague Academy of International Law in The Hague, Holland, in 1960.  He believed that the war crimes trials in both Germany and the Pacific were serious mistakes.


He called the trials victors’ justice that changed the face of war.  Prior to WWII, the only military and civilian leaders of a vanquished country who died were those leading their troops on the battlefield.


Some of the better known leaders in that category include Napoleon, who was exiled to Elba.  General Robert E. Lee was allowed to surrender his sword to General Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, and return home on his horse, Traveller.  On November 9, 1911, two days before the armistice that ended the killing in WWI, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany/Prussia was allowed to seek asylum and live in exile in Holland.


The 1940’s, however, created a new drama.  First, Mussolini and his mistress were killed and hung for display in public.  Then the surviving military and civilian leaders of Germany and Japan were placed on trial for public ridicule and then execution.


This Dutch jurist believed that the leaders in future conflicts would consider their fate as losers worse than dying as martyrs or heroes on the battle fields.  They would fight to the bitter end and require their followers to face the same fate.


Until recently, he may have been right.  If Saddam Hussein had been offered the option of safe passage for his family and official entourage to exile in a friendly country, would some lives have been saved in Iraq?  If such an offer were made today to Bashar Hafez al-Assad of Syria, could the carnage in that beleaguered country end quickly?


Speculation may be the only resource for historians to answer those questions. If Hussein left any personal notes or journals that might give an insight into his thinking on the matter, they have not been publicly acknowledged.  As of today, there does not appear to be any thought about granting Assad sanctuary.


So the jurist’s opinion may be irrelevant today.  The current war, and we are at war, is like none other in history.


There is no single leader or commander.  Our enemy is more like the Lernaean Hydra monster of Greek mythology.  This monster had reptilian traits with more heads than vase-painters could paint.  For each head cut off, it grew two more.


A Hydra does sound like the radical Muslim armies we are fighting throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.  Every country seems to have one or more elements of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, or some such under independent leadership.  They may, or may not be, coordinated.  When necessary, however, they will act in concert.


This was fully evident last week with the coordinated attacks against U.S. embassies and consulates in 21 countries of the Middle East and elsewhere.


The naive Obama administration refuses to label this as a war on our interests.  It is instead, in their limp excuses, uncoordinated attacks by Muslims unhappy about a film critical of Mohammad that was produced in this country. 


The evidence, however, is that these were well planned, coordinated attacks with sophisticated weapons that began on the anniversary of 9/11.


As the leaders of these movements believe that dying in these causes makes them martyrs in the eyes of Mohammad, no rational arguments will dissuade them from continued war on what they consider to be the Great Satan.


So here’s the perspective.


Although the current administration refuses to admit that we are at war, it regularly takes action to eliminate any need for war crimes trials.  It assassinates with drone strikes those considered to be leaders of actions against our interests.  Most of these violate the sovereignty of the nations in which the strikes occur.


It is past time for us to get serious about this war and take the drone strikes to the next level.  Embassies are sovereign territories of the U.S. Host countries are responsible for protecting that sovereignty.  In recent cases, that protection is lacking, lives have been lost, and property has been damaged.


So if the U.S. is to get serious and reestablish itself as an international power to be reckoned with, it should:


One--stop apologizing and blaming the attacks on American sovereignty on a film instead of labeling the attacks as the war battles they are.


Two--stop financial aid of every kind to any country in which there has been damage to U.S. property until that damage is repaired or replaced to our specifications with host country resources.


Three--announce that in future cases of this nature, the host country will be notified that the U.S. is under attack.  If the attack is not suppressed within three hours, a number of U.S. planes will make a strafing run over the mob with indiscriminate killing of any one in the mob.  In such cases, U.S. sovereignty is being attacked and we would be justified in violating the host country’s sovereignty to protect our own property.


Four--announce that leaders of the mobs who can be identified and escape whatever protective actions we take will be subject to future summary assassination from drones.


With this type of war and this type of strategy, there is no need for war crimes tribunals.

enough

HOME page>                  NEW STUFF page> 
          WRITING CONTENT page>       GUEST ARTISTS page>Home_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3