“Throughout the history of mankind there have been murderers and tyrants; and while it may seem momentarily that they have the upper hand, they have always fallen.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.” (William Rockler, Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor)
Going on 17 years since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
This is an illegal war. The people of Iraq are calling for the withdrawal of US troops.
Syria, Massive popular support for President Al Assad
“Bring the Troops Home Now” is a strong yet ambiguous statement because it accepts the legitimacy of the Commander in Chief who has the authority to make that decision. And if that decision were taken it would be a historical landmark.
But we cannot depend on Donald Trump to take that decision.
The war is illegal and criminal.
Official White House statements and the media in chorus contend that US troops are in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria as part of an anti-terrorist project against ISIS-Daesh.
The ISIS is what the CIA calls an “an intelligence asset” which is recruited, trained and financed by the US and its allies.
Irrespective of the US Commander in Chief’s decision namely president Donald Trump, US and coalition troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have a moral and legal obligation to “Abandon the Battlefield” and we must make that choice possible for individual servicemen and women currently in Iraq.
“Abandon the Battlefield” rejects the legitimacy of the Commander in Chief. It denies the Trump regime’s authority to conduct an illegal and criminal war on behalf of the American people.
What it says, is that “We the People Refuse to Fight” in a war which violates international law and the US Constitution.
The Iraq war is a criminal undertaking. It violates the Nuremberg Charter, the US constitution and the UN charter.
According to Lawrence Mosqueda, US Troops have a “Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders”.
The military oath taken at the time of induction demands unbending support and allegiance to the US Constitution, while also demanding that US troops obey orders from their President and Commander in Chief:
“I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God”
The President and Commander in Chief has blatantly violated all tenets of domestic and international law. So that making an oath to “obey orders from the President” is tantamount to violating rather than defending the US Constitution.
According to Mosqueda:
“The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the “lawful command of his superior officer,” 891.ART.91 (2), the “lawful order of a warrant officer”, 892.ART.92 (1) the “lawful general order”, 892.ART.92 (2) “lawful order”. In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.”
(Mosqueda, op cit, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOS303A.html )
The Commander in Chief is a war criminal. According to Principle 6 of the Nuremberg Charter:
“The fact that a person [e.g. Coalition troops] acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
Let us make that “moral choice” possible, to enlisted American, British, Canadian and Coalition servicemen and women.
Disobey unlawful orders! Abandon the battlefield! …
Refuse to fight in a war which blatantly violates international law and the US Constitution!
But this is not a choice which enlisted men and women can make individually.
It is a collective and societal choice, which requires an organizational structure.
What is required?
In response to the Iraqi protest movement, which demands the withdrawal of US forces, the anti-war movement must assist enlisted men and women to make that moral choice possible, to abandon the battlefield in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
This will not be an easy task. Committees at local levels must be set up across the United States, but also in other countries, which have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as other countries in the Middle East).
These committees should also provide protection, support and legal council to soldiers who refuse to fight and who face the possibility of prison sentences for desertion, as in the case of Sergeant Camilo Mejia, who was sentenced by a military court in May 2004:
“I sit here a free man… I will sit behind bars a free man because I did the right thing,” said Mejia.
Camilo Mejía was released from prison on February 2005.
When service men and women come home, we must ensure that they are not obliged to return to the war theater. We must engage in a process which protects them from court martial.
We call upon veterans’ associations and local communities to support this process.
This movement needs to dismantle the disinformation campaign. It must effectively reverse the indoctrination of coalition troops, who are led to believe that they are fighting “a just war”: “a war against terrorists”.
There cannot be a war “against” terrorists when Al Qaeda affiliated mercenaries are recruited by the US and its allies including Saudi Arabia and Israel. The legitimacy of the US Commander in Chief must be broken.
The US Administration must learn the lessons of history.
Concurrently, an anti-war debate within the US Armed Forces is required which questions the legitimacy of the Iraq and Afghan wars. Many commanding officers at the highest ranks are fully aware that “the war on terrorism” against Al Qaeda and ISIS-Daesh is “Fake”.
The Iraqi and Afghan people are waging a struggle to oust the US invaders. And that resistance is winning. Ultimately, the only solution is for the American, British and coalition occupiers is to withdraw.
The anti-war movement must question the legitimacy not only of the Trump administration and its indefectible British ally, but also of all those governments, which directly support or pay lip service to the US-led military occupation.
An earlier version of this article was published in June 2004, it was revised and updated (February 14, 2020).