Wed | Feb 26, 2020

Norris McDonald | Nixon, Trump, lies, wars and moral principles of justice

Published:Sunday | January 19, 2020 | 12:33 AM
Richard Nixon
Donald Trump
1
2

“I need equal rights and justice…

Everyone is fighting

For equal rights and justice …

Everyone is talking about crime

Tell me who are the criminals?”

– Peter Tosh, ‘Equal Rights and Justice’

A pack of wolves bay at the moon to announce their kill. Donald ‘The Great-Impeached’ Trump and his pack of minions brag, boast, change their stories, get cornered telling lies on American television about a prize kill: the political assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani.

General Soleimani was Iran’s number two leader. This brought America and Iran to the brink of a major war.

Americans, and the world, were shocked by the Soleimani killing. Some 52 per cent of Americans, in an ABC/Ipso, public opinion poll, called President Trump “reckless” in his behaviour with Iran.

Tensions further cooled after Iran retaliated for General Soleimani’s assassination by firing 15 missiles at two American military bases in Iraq. But the threat of war still continues.

POTENTIAL WAR CRIMES

Worried by the war threats, the US Congress hastily passed a ‘War Powers Resolution’ to block a potential war with Iran.

Enraged Americans have planned anti-war protests in 180 communities against a US-Iran war.

General Soleimani was killed at Iraq’s Baghdad International Airport, therefore, the Iraqi parliament demanded that all American troops leave their country.

America has refused to leave, much to the chagrin of the Iraqis.

Trump says “no way” unless “Iraq pays America for the military bases”. Trump further threatened to keep US$34 billion that America has on reserve for Iraq.

This American threat to seize Iraq’s wealth follows the grabbing of Syrian oil and the establishment of a military protectorate-colony to plunder Syrian oil fields.

And although a very quisling United Nations has remained strangely silent, international law forbids plunder, which is the seizing of a nation’s economic resources. Oil is directly mentioned in the legal rules against plunder.

War-crime rules against plunder evolved from

n the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907.

n the post-World War II rules used to try, convict, and execute Nazi and Japanese war criminals.

n modern conventions adopted by the International Court of Justice.

More fundamentally, even if America is not a signatory to the prevailing laws and precepts, Trump’s acts of plunder against Syria or Iraq are potential war crimes.

TYRANNY AND DESPOTISM

America and the world are once again living through the political corruption of the Nixon-Vietnam years and worse.

Aggression, recklessness, erratic behaviour, lack of self-control – all horrifying actions – are not leadership traits one expects in someone with control over America’s nuclear weapons.

In 1974, President Richard Nixon was impeached for corrupt practices. Congressional oversight led to Senator Frank Church being asked, in 1975, to investigate abhorrent practices that were a norm, including:

- Spying on Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr. and other citizens;

- Political assassinations, including that of an African leader, Patrice Lumumba;

- Attempted assassination of foreign leaders and the intimidation of US citizens to prevent dissent.

The Church Commission condemned these immoral practices. This led Senator Church to conclude, in an ‘NBC-Meet The Press’ interview, that if America “ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge of this country… there would be no way to fight back,” because of “the huge technological capacity” of spy agencies.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford, who replaced the disgraced Nixon, thereafter, passed an Executive Order that forbade “political assassinations” by the US Government.

ABUSE OF POWER

President Trump’s general abuse of power, lies, and kunumunu behaviour are causing a sharp political split within his loyal evangelical power-base.

Mark Galli, a former prominent evangelical supporter, calls Donald Trump “a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused”.

Galli was the managing editor of Christianity Today, a 1,000,000 online readership evangelical magazine founded by Dr Billy Graham.

In supporting Trump’s impeachment and removal, Galli wrote a stinging editorial that warned his evangelical colleagues that “none of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character”.

Running against the Devil is a new book by Republican strategist Rick Wilson in which he says that Trump has not cast America as a force of ‘moral good”, but rather as a “pay-to-play” mercenary.

CNN, meanwhile, has exposed a bombshell revelation that Marie Yovanovitch, former US Ambassador to Ukraine, was being spied on by Trump associates working on his 2020 re-election campaign!

There you go, my friends: America is in a grave, moral crisis!

PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE

Moral principles of justice mean the protection of the poor and downtrodden worldwide from unjust wars, intimidation and economic plunder from militaristic forces.

National egotism can become a very self-destructive force unless it is tempered by democratic forces that strongly support the spirit of freedom, justice, human rights, and equality to all cultures, nations, race, religion, and ethnicity of all people of the world.

America gave the world a very progressive, national revolution that brought democracy to the world.

Moral philosopher Thomas Paine was a strong supporter of the American Revolution.

In his book The Rights of Man, Paine supported the idea of freedom and private property as inalienable rights. But he said that all people have the right to resist oppression.

History attests to the seeds of democracy, and progressive moral values emerged from both the American and French Revolution.

Regarding the French Revolution of 1799, it was a phenomenal historical event that started on ‘the road of good intentions’ to bring freedom, justice, and equality to all but ended on a bloody trail of tyrannical despotism and brutality of Maximilien Robespierre, with his ‘Reign of Terror’.

A CLOSING NOTE…

Reggae maestro, Peter Tosh, in his song Equal Rights and Justice, says:

“Everyone is talking about crime

But who are the criminals”

This is a crucial question. People in society must believe that fairness and justice mean that no one is above the law, not even Donald ‘The Great-Impeached’ Trump!

That’s just the bitta truth!

 

- Norris McDonald is an economic journalist, social researcher and political analyst. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and miaminorris@yahoo.com