In town today is one of the world’s biggest war criminals. He is here to tell the Australian government the expectations of the US self-appointed global policeman, to brief the Deputy-Sheriff.
Calling Rumsfeld an international war criminal is not a piece of rhetoric – the evidence is clear and damning of his career as a bureaucrat of torture and pre-emptive war.
Rumsfeld is the director of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which has so-far killed tens of thousands of Iraqis as well as over 2000 US and 100 British troops. That invasion has advanced the barbaric program of refining the technology of mass murder, such as the use of depleted uranium, which has been tested in Australia.
The Nuremberg war crimes trials after WW2 established the principle of command responsibility – that no senior Nazi officer, bureaucrat or politician could avoid responsibility for mass murder by pointing the finger at the underlings that actually killed the Nazis victims. The leaders who knew or should have known of what their subordinates where doing were just as guilty as those from whom direct orders to kill could be traced.
So Rumsfeld is responsible for what his subordinates have done – such as the sickening tortures and human degradation of Abu Ghraib, which have also occurred in other places in Iraq, in Afghanistan, at Guantanamo Bay, and now it seems in other parts of the world where the US has sub-contacted torture. And does anyone doubt that such barbarities continue today, hidden from view?
But unlike Nuremberg, the only people convicted over Abu Ghraib were underlings—low-rankers like Lindy England, brutal and racist no doubt, but hardly chiefly responsible. That chief responsibility goes up the line, expanding as it rises, to Rumsfeld and his boss Bush. But Rumsfeld and his fellow neo-con V-P Dick Cheney are most responsible because they gave the signal by saying that the detainees in the US prisons weren’t covered by the Geneva Convention—weren’t prisoners of war. This was a green light to US soldiers and prison guards everyone to torture and degrade as they pleased—all rules were dropped.
This is the record of Donald Rumsfeld—and it goes on.
This man has a long record as a bureaucrat of war; he was in Richard Nixon’s sordid government and US Secretary of Defence under Gerald Ford. Then he took that familiar US path, that interweaving of corporate, political and bureaucratic office, by becoming an executive in a series of transnationals.
As a representative of a pharmaceuticals company and a Reagan presidential envoy he met and cemented relationships with Saddam Hussein while his government secretly sold chemical weapons to Saddam for use against the Iranians (and later against his own people).
This latter is one of the indictments against Saddam Hussein at present—and he should be tried, but by the International Court of Justice, not by a US puppet court. And Donald Rumsfeld should be standing along-side or in front of him in the dock!
Rumsfeld’s career goes beyond these specific murderous events however. He is a leading neo-con—and these are very dangerous people, dangerous to the future health of this planet and the human race. Their plan, called “Project for a New American Century”, is just that—a plan for this new century to be dominated by Transnational and US corporate interests and the military muscle and political hegemony to ensure it.
And they mean dominate—not discuss, not persuade, not enlist by peaceful acquiescence in American aims. Oh yes, if you are so spineless as to submit to perpetual MacDonald wages, Transnational destruction of the environment, US bases and subservient local pollies, perhaps you may be allowed to enrol in this new world.
But be warned, this is not about the interests of the people.
When I speak of American domination, we are not talking about the working and middle classes of the US. How Rumsfeld, Bush and the other neo-cons regard those people was graphically illustrated by the fate of New Orleans—let them swim or starve or drown, and then let Halliburton KBR rebuild the city for the needs of the wealthy. Don’t complain about your National Guard being crippled - we need it and its equipment to better enforce our rape and pillage of Iraq and its oil, and Afghanistan and the gas to its north.
No, the New American century is to be in the interests of the corporate and political elite to which Rumsfeld belongs—and it will be enforced by military bases, by invasions and their threats, by economic coercion, and by enrolling subordinate countries like Australia in the project.
Of course plans often go astray, and have the opposite effect to that intended, and that’s what’s happened in Iraq. In all their imperial arrogance, Rumsfeld, Bush and all rolled into Iraq over the bodies of thousands, seized the oil-fields, and declared ’Mission Accomplished’- perhaps the biggest political miscalculation since Harold MacMillan’s ’Peace in our time’!
Because the Iraqi people said no—you aren’t stealing our resources, you aren’t carving up our country like a joint of meat between your Halliburtons and your Bechtels and your other corporate thieves, and we won’t accept your puppet governments installed by bogus elections.
They have fought back, and 2000 plus US deaths and thousands of casualties have ignited the American peace movement, and alerted American citizens to this illegal and unjust war founded on lies and deceptions and manipulations of fear.
The Vietnam war (remember Rumsfeld was in government then) ended MOSTLY because the Vietnamese fought them to a standstill.
But it was greatly aided not only by the US and global peace movement but by the RITA—the Resistance in the Army. You can’t fight an imperial war when your soldiers won’t co-operate.
This is starting to happen again, and Donald must be having nightmares. Because they haven’t dared to bring back the draft, this is a so-called ‘volunteer’ war—volunteers from poverty or misguided patriotism.
But even with this, the recruiting taps for cannon fodder are drying up fast in the US, and a President on 37% approval is in a bind about the tremendous unpopularity of bringing back the draft.
They’re in a bind anyway however—the war can’t be won, but they can’t withdraw from the second biggest oil reserves in the world, and next door to the largest. Any new Iraqi government after such a withdrawal would quickly be like Vietnam - dead-set against the US and its interests. So they have a tiger by the tail.
Their response is to try to enrol others to do more of their dirty work for them—their puppets in Iraq, and their lapdogs elsewhere—of whom some of the most loyal are here in Australia.
That is what Rumsfeld is here for—more use of training bases in Australia for US troops, more political support from Howard’s faithful rat-pack, and more corporate access to Australia’s resources and workforce for Halliburton KBR and the others.
He is being fawned on and his ego is being flattered and his will is being catered to that Australia is behind him, no worries, Sir! by Downer and Hill and the other brown-noses.
His visit coincides with the imminent passage of the ’terror laws’- they are part of the agenda, to cow and divide Australians to better enrol this country in the Project for a new American Century. They are not needed to protect Australia, and most people know it—but they are still insecure, subject to manipulation of their fears and knowledge gaps.
We must give a lead, and reject the atmosphere in place before these laws are even passed, demand and assert our right to protest, to say to Rumsfeld YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE, CRIMINAL, JUSTIFIER OF TORTURE, PLANNER OF MASS-MURDER, AND YOUR AUSTRALIAN COURTIERS ARE LYING TO YOU ABOUT THIS COUNTRY—WE ARE NOT LAPDOGS, AND WE REJECT YOU AND ALL YOU STAND FOR!