Jul 12, 2007

Time to give the exit orders

I am in a moment of reflection after reading that the House of Representatives just passed a bill calling for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq within the next 120 days. I just got a bulletin on this from the Sacramento Bee, whose editorial pages can be perceptive at times. I am sure that more will be written on this in the next few days. Interestingly enough, it appears that Dennis Kucinich and some "blue dog" democrats voted against it.

I think now that the pressure on the president is growing. The violence in Iraq, no matter what our decider-in-chief says, is continuing at a fierce level; we are relying more and more on air strikes to bring some semblance of control; our casualty rate is increasing; and even the supposedly safe Green Zone is being attacked--though you never hear about it--almost daily. The rape of the oil resources--honestly, the only good metaphor to use for the bald-faced acquisition of power over the only future source of wealth of Iraq--in the form of the Petroleum Bill is being stalled in the Iraqi Parliament, and funny business is beginning to go on to manipulate the votes.

The petroleum bill was drafted by the US in consultation with the big oil companies, and was one of the only recommendations from the Iraq Study Group that was picked up wholeheartedly by the guys in black. and that is why the following excerpt is most appropriate. My thanks to Information Clearing House for providing tonight this excerpt from John Locke's
The Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690):

"That the aggressor, who puts himself into the state of war with another, and unjustly invades another man's right, can, by such an unjust war, never come to have a right over the conquered, will be easily agreed by all men, who will not think that robbers and pirates have a right of empire over whomsoever they have force enough to master, or that men are bound by promises which unlawful force extorts from them.
Should a robber break into my house, and, with a dagger at my throat, make me seal deeds to convey my estate to him, would this give him any title? Just such a title by his sword has an unjust conqueror who forces me into submission. The injury and the crime is equal, whether committed by the wearer of a crown or some petty villain.
The title of the offender and the number of his followers make no difference in the offence, unless it be to aggravate it. The only difference is, great robbers punish little ones to keep them in their obedience; but the great ones are rewarded with laurels and triumphs, because they are too big for the weak hands of justice in this world, and have the power in their own possession which should punish offenders." John Locke - 1632-1704
Read those paragraphs carefully, because they make the point as strongly as can be made about our attempts to secure control of the second largest known oil reserve. No matter what our motives for invading and occupying Iraq--even if you rely only upon the last desperate moral contortions of the defenders of the war, that Saddam was a tyrant and had to be "taken out"--even if you use only that argument and nothing else, the invasion still falls under the category of a war of aggression, and therefore is illegal under the laws of the United States as well as International Law

We are too big for the "weak hands of justice in this world," at this point, but perhaps over the next few years, we will attempt to repair the damage to basic principles of justice, give up
our efforts to aggrandize what is not ours, stop our major contribution of the destruction of Iraq, and finally come to accept our place as a good citizen of the world. I am not very optimistic, but I certainly can contemplate the idea of hope.

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