The War Crimes Confession of Condi Rice

The incomparable Robert Parry puts Condi Rice clearly in the frame for war crimes after her extraordinary confessions during her trip to the UK last week -- confessions that have been entirely ignored by the US press. While there was a brief flurry over her casual remark about "thousands of tactical mistakes" in Iraq, no one but Parry caught her admission -- nay, her boast -- that the Bush Regime's policy in Iraq was an open, deliberate, carefully considered violation of the Nuremberg-based laws against aggressive war: principles articulated most forcefully by America's own representative to that international tribunal, and which were later incorporated into the UN Charter.

As Parry notes, Rice confessed that the Bush Administration launched an unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq to effect a unilateral "regime change" for political and ideological purposes -- the same crime for which the Hitler Administration was justly condemned at Nuremberg. This action was and is illegal under the Nuremberg principles, the UN Charter and United States law.

The implications of all this are unavoidable. Americans are now living under a criminal regime, a rogue junta that no longer feels the need to disguise its criminality. Hence Rice's confession; hence Bush's confession about illegal wiretapping of American citizens; hence the Administration's bold protestations in open court that the president cannot be bound by any act of Congress or judicial ruling in carrying out his "inherent" powers as Commander-in-Chief; hence the Supreme Court's craven kowtowing to this presidential dictatorship in its ruling yesterday in the Padilla case, when the Justices simply refused to address the issue of Padilla's years-long "indefinite detention without any formal charges or, for 20 months, any contact with the outside world.

But worse than all this is the sickening, despairing fact that the American Establishment -- Democrats and Republicans, media barons and financial chieftains, military officers and academic leaders, the courts and Congress -- all have countenanced and embraced this open tyranny. There are simply no institutional forces with any power willing to stand up against the dictatorship. Nor have the American people moved in sufficient mass to present a credible challenge to the enemies of liberty.

These are in many ways the darkest days in American history. Even in the Civil War, there was no real question that the Republic itself would survive -- even if in a reduced territory, had the slaveholding aristocracy that drove the Southern succession triumphed in the war. But now it seems that the Republic is well and truly dead, in every state of the Union, from sea to shining sea.

Excerpts from Parry's story are below.

: On March 31 in remarks to a group of British foreign policy experts, Rice justified the U.S.-led invasion by saying that otherwise Iraqi President Saddam Hussein “wasn’t going anywhere” and “you were not going to have a different Middle East with Saddam Hussein at the center of it.” [Washington Post, April 1, 2006]

Rice’s comments in Blackburn, England, followed similar remarks during a March 26 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in which she defended the invasion of Iraq as necessary for the eradication of the “old Middle East” where a supposed culture of hatred indirectly contributed to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

“If you really believe that the only thing that happened on 9/11 was people flew airplanes into buildings, I think you have a very narrow view of what we faced on 9/11,” Rice said. “We faced the outcome of an ideology of hatred throughout the Middle East that had to be dealt with. Saddam Hussein was a part of that old Middle East. The new Iraq will be a part of the new Middle East, and we will all be safer.”

But this doctrine – that the Bush administration has the right to invade other nations for reasons as vague as social engineering – represents a repudiation of the Nuremberg Principles and the United Nations Charter’s ban on aggressive war, both formulated largely by American leaders six decades ago.

Outlawing aggressive wars was at the center of the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II, a conflagration that began in 1939 when Germany’s Adolf Hitler trumped up an excuse to attack neighboring Poland. Before World War II ended six years later, more than 60 million people were dead.U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who represented the United States at Nuremberg, made clear that the role of Hitler’s henchmen in launching the aggressive war against Poland was sufficient to justify their executions – and that the principle would apply to all nations in the future.

“Our position is that whatever grievances a nation may have, however objectionable it finds the status quo, aggressive warfare is an illegal means for settling those grievances or for altering those conditions,” Jackson said. “Let me make clear that while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose, it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment,” Jackson said.

With the strong support of the United States, this Nuremberg principle was then incorporated into the U.N. Charter, which bars military attacks unless in self-defense or unless authorized by the U.N. Security Council. [end excerpt]