Compensation for blunders [Archives:2003/661/Opinion]

August 21 2003

It is not understandable how the United States and her allies will insist on demanding compensation for the blunders of leaders of Third World countries, when the leaders of the United States and Great Britain have inflicted many a heinous crime over the last hundred years. We should not look at the world in terms of what power dictates, but what are the demands of justice, when we start to pass judgment on world leaders. This is not to say that the victims of the Lockerby plane should not be allowed to be relieved of the tragic trauma through just compensation for the uncalled for loss of life while being on a civilian journey. But then there are many instances when the United States has shot down civilian planes, including an Iranian Airliner, yet we did not hear that the United States compensated the relatives of the deceased passengers. In fact, even the apology given for the attack was weak and insensitive to the feelings of the relatives of the deceased passengers. On the other hand, there are several crimes, which both of these great powers are directly or indirectly involved in, especially against civilians, as they carry out their strategic goals here and there.
It should be borne in mind that “collateral damage” should be one of these crimes that deserve to be considered as worthy of compensation from the perpetrators and therefore a world tribunal should be set up to regulate the way warfare is conducted and to bring perpetrators to justice. The thousands of Iraqi civilians who were killed in an unjust and uncalled for war initiated by sheer arrogance and strong Zionist sympathies are entitled to compensation just as much as the Lockerby victims. Even now with the “major battles over”, the United States continues to kill civilians almost on a daily basis, including very young children, journalists and other by standers in this ugly adventure that has yet to see the end of the tunnel. The scene of the young Iraqi child and Mazen Adni, the Reuters photographer, just two of the most recent civilian casualties in the ongoing Gulf War III, surely does not escape the sympathetic eye. Yet the commanders of the occupying forces, shrug the incidences as merely part and parcel of war and therefore should not be subject to accountability. In other words, when the US spills the blood of thousands of civilians, it is all right, but the rest of the blundering world leaders better watch out, because their people will continue to pay compensation for the blunders of their leaders for generations. The United States should be accountable for the hundreds of thousands of civilians who lost their lives in the first, second and only instances when weapons of very massive destruction were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In both cases, the killing of civilians was not merely “collateral damage” but an intentional and premeditated mass murder. Great Britain should be liable for the compensation to the Palestinian people for creating a “homeland for the Jews” in the midst of an already existing homeland for an indigenous people who have lived there for thousands of years. In the same context, the United States government is accountable for additional compensation for arming the Zionist state and allowing it to continue to inflict thousands of mostly civilian casualties in the Holy Land. These are tragedies that must not be allowed to continue just because the states involved have the guns. In fact these states deserve to be punished for their crimes and the victims least of all deserve an apology with tears from the perpetrating states, for the long term tragedy they have created, which not only affects the Palestinian people (and the Iraqis), but the whole Arab World. We should not also forget that the continuing bloodshed in Afghanistan has its toll of civilian casualties also. Moreover, the US and its allies should really start to figure out how many trillions they owe to the millions of civilians that have fallen victim to their destructive arsenals. The claims are further justified by the fact that many of these wars and adventures lack statutory backing and moral motivations.
It is amazing how the United States is now looking for “partners” to support the reconstruction of Iraq. Yet, it is the United States that should be bear full responsibility for quickly rebuilding Iraq and all the infrastructure it destroyed along with Great Britain. After all, the last War in Iraq is purely “their baby” and theirs alone, and was carried out without any substantive legitimacy, even by United States statutory rulings, since the Congress of the United States did not declare war. It goes without saying that the international community insisted to the United States that war was really uncalled for and that the motives behind the war are not transparent or even legitimate by any means. But then, how can anyone bring Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair to face accountability for unleashing their weapons of mass destruction against Iraq. Surely the Iraqi people have a right to demand that the international community impose upon the US and Great Britain to bear the burdens of the cost of rebuilding what they intentionally destroyed without due cause and due process.
Correction: In the last Common Sense (Issue 660) the observer made an unintentional reference to the Islamic Republic of Iraq, when it should have been the Islamic Republic of Iran.