The December 2007 report did not mention other good news: Iraqis appear to accept the highest values of Americans, which should be gratifying. Specifically, they accept the principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal that sentenced Nazi war criminals to hanging for such crimes as supporting aggression and preemptive war—the main charge against Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop, whose position in the Nazi regime corresponded to that of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. The Tribunal defined aggression clearly enough: "invasion of its armed forces" by one state "of the territory of another state." The invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan are textbook examples, if words have meaning. The Tribunal went on to define aggression as "the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." In the case of Iraq, the murderous sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing, the destruction of the national culture and the irreplaceable treasures of the origins of Western civilization under the eyes of "stuff happens"-Rumsfeld and his associates, and every other crime and atrocity as the inheritors of the Mongols have followed the path of imperial Japan.
Since Iraqis attribute the accumulated evil of the whole primarily to the invasion, it follows that they accept the core principle of Nuremberg. Presumably, they were not asked whether their acceptance of American values extended to the conclusion of the chief prosecutor for the United States, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, who forcefully insisted that the Tribunal would be mere farce if we do not apply its principles to ourselves.
Needless to say, U.S. elite opinion, shared with the West generally, flatly rejects the lofty American values professed at Nuremberg, indeed regards them as bordering on obscene. All of this provides an instructive illustration of some of the reality that lies behind the famous "clash of civilizations."
A January poll by World Learning/Aspen Institute found that "75 percent of Americans believe U.S. foreign policy is driving dissatisfaction with America abroad and more than 60 percent believe that dislike of American values (39 percent) and of the American people (26 percent) is also to blame." The perception is inaccurate, fed by propaganda. There is little dislike of Americans, and dissatisfaction abroad does not derive from "dislike of American values," but rather from acceptance of these values and recognition that they are rejected by the U.S. government and elite opinion
How about two reminders?
“The construction of I.G. Auschwitz has assured I.G. a unique place in business history. By adopting the theory and practice of Nazi morality, it was able to depart from the conventional economics of slavery in which slaves are traditionally treated as capital equipment to be maintained and serviced for optimum use and depreciated over a normal life span. Instead, I.G. reduced slave labor to a consumable raw material, a human ore from which the mineral of life was systematically extracted. When no usable energy remained, the living dross was shipped to the gassing chambers and cremation furnaces of the extermination center at Birkenau, where the S.S. recycled it into the German war economy – gold teeth for the Reichsbank, hair for mattresses, and fat for soap. Even the moans of the doomed became a work incentive, exhorting the remaining inmates to greater effort.”
“Conditions were such that sickness was a pervasive fact of life among the inhabitants of Monowitz. The hospital wards built by I.G. were so inadequate that even the S.S. suggested additional wards be built. I.G. refused because of the cost.”
The modern equivalent could be Halliburton (the new I.G. Farben) rebuilding hospitals in Iraq while Blackwater (The New S.S.) express concern for the lack of progress.
As a society, we do not let murderers go free, for experience shows they will murder again. Under a system of equal justice, when physical and circumstantial evidence indicates a person has committed a crime, he or she is indicted and brought before a jury. So it should be: one rule of law for all.
Forgetting is not a good way to insure survival, hence the reminders.
Back to "Good News" by Chomskey
The opinions of Americans on this issue too are not regarded as worthy of consideration; they are not options for candidates or commentators. They were apparently not even reported, perhaps considered too dangerous because of what they reveal about the "democratic deficit" in the United States and about the extremism of the political class across the spectrum. If public opinion were to be mentioned as an option, it would be ridiculed as "politically impossible"; or perhaps offered as another reason why "The public must be put in its place," as Lippmann sternly admonished.
In a free press, all of these matters, and many more like them, would merit regular prominent headlines and in-depth analysis.
In brief, Iraq must agree to allow permanent U.S. military installations (called "enduring" in the preferred Orwellism), grant the U.S. the right to conduct combat operations freely, and ensure U.S. control over the oil resources of Iraq while privileging U.S. investors. It is of some interest that these reports did not influence discussion about the reasons for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. These were never obscure, but any effort to spell them out was dismissed with falsification and ridicule. Now the reasons are openly conceded, eliciting no retraction or even reflection.
Events elsewhere in early 2008 might also turn out to be "good news" for Washington. In January, in a remarkable act of courageous civil disobedience, tens of thousands of the tortured people of Gaza broke out of the prison to which they had been confined by the U.S.-Israel alliance (with the usual timid European support) as punishment for the crime of voting the wrong way in a free election in January 2006. It was instructive to see the front pages with stories reporting the brutal U.S. response to a genuinely free election alongside others lauding the Bush administration for its noble dedication to "democracy promotion" or sometimes gently chiding it because it was going too far in its idealism, failing to recognize that the unpeople of the Middle East are too backward to appreciate democracy—another principle that traces back to "Wilsonian idealism."
"Do what we say, or else."