Thursday, April 6, 2006

Nowhere near humble enough

Robert Parry on some members of the media who first supported Bush's War, but are now backing off only because he bungled it, not because it was just plain wrong to begin with.

"Those of us who once advocated this war [in Iraq] are humbled," Cohen wrote in a column on April 4. "It's not just that we grossly underestimated the enemy. We vastly overestimated the Bush administration."

Yet, even the tactical retreats by "humbled" pro-war columnists like Cohen have focused on U.S. incompetence in waging the war, not any outrage over the illegality and immorality of invading a country that wasn't threatening the United States.

By failing to expand the criticism of Bush beyond success or failure, the mainstream U.S. news media implicitly embraces Bush's assertion of a special American right to attack wherever and whenever the President says.

It's still out of bounds to discuss how the Iraq invasion violated the Nuremberg principle against aggressive war and the United Nations Charter, which bars attacking another country except in cases of self-defense or with the approval of the U.N. Security Council.

Indeed, in the mainstream U.S. press, there's a smirking attitude whenever international law is mentioned, much like the contempt expressed by President Bush in his quip, "International law? I better call my lawyer."

Yet there is a strong argument that the United States should begin facing up to how Bush's actions violated the rules laid down by the Nuremberg Tribunals, which held that aggressive war was an offense so severe that it justified execution (my em).

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who represented the United States at Nuremberg, stated, too, that the principle did not only apply to Adolf Hitler's henchmen, but to all nations, including World War II's victorious powers.

"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.

This failure of the U.S. press corps to address legal and moral issues raised by Bush's Iraq War also reflects a refusal by the news media to hold leading American journalists accountable for their part in the tragedy.

Much of the media was complicit in the crime. They should answer for it in a tribunal along with Bush and his neo-con henchmen. They don't have to go to jail with him: I'd be happy as a clam if they all just take Goering's way out.

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