FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Evil is as Evil Does

 

Compared to the current Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former president Muhammad Khatami is regarded in Western foreign affairs circles as a moderate. When Khatami visited the US in September, he called on the US and Iran to stop verbally assaulting each other in the interest of dialogue that could build trust and eliminate the frictions between the two countries. Khatami said that the precondition for dialogue was “to eliminate the language of threat.”

In an attempt to “resolve conflicts by talking, rather than by aggression,” the venerable Scottish University of St. Andrews invited Khatami to the United Kingdom for an honorary degree, followed by a speech at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. However, a spanner was thrown into the works by two Iranian exiles, who claim to have been unlawfully imprisoned and tortured in Iran during the period of Khatami’s presidency. Under Section 134 of Britain’s Criminal Justice Act of 1988, torture wherever committed in the world is criminal under British law and triable in the UK. Thus, Khatami might still be arrested as he tours the UK in the interest of opening communication.

If Khatami can be arrested in the UK for torture, how does British Prime Minister Tony Blair escape arrest for the torture of Afghans and Iraqis by coalition forces? Why are not US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Richard Cheney, and President George W. Bush arrested when they visit the UK?

Does the British law excuse Anglo-Americans from its reach? Does it exclude government officials while they are in office and pursue them only when they have become private citizens?

Or are we witnessing the operation of the neoconservative assumption that there is one rule of law for the US and its allies and another rule for countries that do not support the neocon agenda? Neocons maintain that whatever the US and its allies or puppets do in the interest of US hegemony is defensible and permissible but is a crime if any other country does it.

When the president and vice president of the United States publicly defend and advocate torture and ram torture legislation through the US Congress, it is hypocrisy for the US to condemn others for torture.

Perhaps Americans don’t notice, but the rest of the world does see the double standard applied when Saddam Hussein is put on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, while US, UK, and Israeli government officials commit far greater crimes by illegally invading countries, targeting civilian populations, and torturing detainees.

Considering the enormous bloodshed and destruction of civilian lives and infrastructure in Afghanistan and Iraq by US and UK troops, why do British left-wing academics and human rights activists want to help the neoconservatives in the US and UK spread the war to Iran? Helping to spread war is what the British left is doing when they agitate for the arrest of Khatami while leaving Labour Party PM Tony Blair free to commit more crimes against humanity. Could it be that the two Iranian exiles are acting as neoconservative agents to block any possible rapprochement with Iran? This is not a wild speculation in view of the role Iraqi exiles played in deceiving the the American public and making false accusations against Iraq that Bush used to justify his invasion.

The Iraq and Afghanistan invasions have turned out to be a catastrophe for the US and UK as well as for the Iraqis and Afghans.
Only a totally deranged political leadership would want to spread the catastrophe to Iran.

According to a BBC news report (October 30), British private security firm personnel–mercenaries to some–outnumber British soldiers in Iraq six to one. A British charity group accuses PM Tony Blair of “allowing mercenary armies to operate completely outside the law.”

In Britain it is no longer permissible to hunt foxes, because it is “cruel and inhumane,” but it is perfectly alright for private mercenaries and British soldiers to murder Iraqi and Afghan men, women, and children for the sake of Anglo-American-Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

Saddam Hussein was overthrown and indicted, and Iraq largely destroyed, in part because Saddam is “an evil man who tortured political opponents.” Evidence of US torture of Iraqis is all over the Internet in vivid photos. According to Amnesty International, “Adequate safeguards against torture and ill-treatment are not in place in Multinational Force detention facilities, and thousands continue to be held without charge or trial.” The president and vice president of the US advocate torture not only of Iraqis but also of everyone declared, correctly or incorrectly, by some US government official to be a “terrorist suspect.”

Why are not Bush, Cheney and Blair on trial? Their crimes dwarf any that could possibly be attributed to Khatami.

The only possible answer is that “might makes right.” Yet, Bush, Cheney and Blair parade around draping themselves in moral justifications for their inhumane deeds and despicable acts.

The fact that Americans tolerate crimes against humanity by their own leaders is evidence that Americans are exceptional only in their hubris.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is author or coauthor of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolutin (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholar journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell. He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

August 14, 2018
Daniel Falcone
On Taking on the Mobilized Capitalist Class in Elections: an Interview With Noam Chomsky
Karl Grossman
Turning Space Into a War Zone
Jonah Raskin
“Fuck Wine Grapes, Fuck Wines”: the Coming Napafication of the World
Manuel García, Jr.
Climate Change Bites Big Business
Alberto Zuppi - Cesar Chelala
Argentina at a Crossroads
Chris Wright
On “Bullshit Jobs”
Rosita A. Sweetman
Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland
Binoy Kampmark
Authoritarian Revocations: Australia, Terrorism and Citizenship
Sara Johnson
The Incredible Benefits of Sagebrush and Juniper in the West
Martin Billheimer
White & Red Aunts, Capital Gains and Anarchy
Walter Clemens
Enough Already! Donald J. Trump Resignation Speech
August 13, 2018
Michael Colby
Migrant Injustice: Ben & Jerry’s Farmworker Exploitation
John Davis
California: Waging War on Wildfire
Alex Strauss
Chasing Shadows: Socialism Won’t Go Away Because It is Capitalism’s Antithesis 
Kathy Kelly
U.S. is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
Fran Shor
The Distemper of White Spite
Chad Hanson
We Know How to Protect Homes From Wildfires. Logging Isn’t the Way to Do It
Faisal Khan
Nawaz Sharif: Has Pakistan’s Houdini Finally Met his End?
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Versus Journalism: the Travails of Fourth Estate
Wim Laven
Honestly Looking at Family Values
Fred Gardner
Exploiting Styron’s Ghost
Dean Baker
Fact-Checking the Fact-Checker on Medicare-for-All
Weekend Edition
August 10, 2018
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Militarizing Space: Starship Troopers, Same As It Ever Was
Andrew Levine
No Attack on Iran, Yet
Melvin Goodman
The CIA’s Double Standard Revisited
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Grifter’s Lament
Aidan O'Brien
In Italy, There are 12,000 American Soldiers and 500,000 African Refugees: Connect the Dots 
Robert Fantina
Pity the Democrats and Republicans
Ishmael Reed
Am I More Nordic Than Members of the Alt Right?
Kristine Mattis
Dying of Consumption While Guzzling Snake Oil: a Realist’s Perspective on the Environmental Crisis
James Munson
The Upside of Defeat
Brian Cloughley
Pentagon Spending Funds the Politicians
Pavel Kozhevnikov
Cold War in the Sauna: Notes From a Russian American
Marilyn Garson
If the Gaza Blockade is Bad, Does That Make Hamas Good?
Sean Posey
Declinism Rising: An Interview with Morris Berman  
Jack Dresser
America’s Secret War on Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Use and Misuse of Charity: the Luck of the Draw in a Predatory System
Louis Proyect
In the Spirit of the Departed Munsees
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Alex Jones and Infowars
Mundher Al Adhami
On the Iraqi Protests, Now in Their Second Month 
Jeff Mackler
Nicaragua: Dynamics of an Interrupted Revolution
Robert Hunziker
Peter Wadhams, Professor Emeritus, Ocean Physics
David Macaray
Missouri Stands Tall on the Labor Front
Thomas Knapp
I Didn’t Join Facebook to “Feel Safe”
John Carroll Md
Are Haitian Doctors Burned Out?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail