Have a Chilcot Fourth of July by David Swanson

Blair's Bloody Hands

Image by Jasn via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Let’s Try Democracy
June 28, 2016

This Fourth of July, U.S. war makers will be drinking fermented grain, grilling dead flesh, traumatizing veterans with colorful explosions, and thanking their lucky stars and campaign contributors that they don’t live in rotten old England. And I don’t mean because of King George III. I’m talking about the Chilcot Inquiry.

According to a British newspaper: “The long-awaited Chilcot report into the Iraq war is reportedly set to savage Tony Blair and other former government officials in an ‘absolutely brutal’ verdict on the failings of the occupation.”

Let’s be clear, the “brutal” “savaging” is metaphorical, not of the sort actually done to Iraq. By the most scientifically respected measures available, the war killed 1.4 million Iraqis, saw 4.2 million injured, and 4.5 million people become refugees. The 1.4 million dead was 5% of the population. The invasion included 29,200 air strikes, followed by 3,900 over the next eight years. The U.S. military targeted civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances. It used cluster bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new kind of napalm in urban areas. Birth defects, cancer rates, and infant mortality have soared. Water supplies, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, bridges, and electricity supplies were devastated, and not repaired.

For years, the occupying forces encouraged ethnic and sectarian division and violence, resulting in a segregated country and the repression of rights that Iraqis had enjoyed even under Saddam Hussein’s brutal police state. Terrorist groups, including one that took the name ISIS, arose and flourished.

This enormous crime was not a well-intended project that experienced a few “failings of the occupation.” It was not something that could have been done properly, or legally, or morally. The only decent thing that could have been done with this war, as with any war, was not to start it.

There was no need for yet another investigation. The crime has been out in the open from the start. All the obvious lies about weapons and ties to terrorists could have been true and still wouldn’t have justified or legalized the war. What’s needed is accountability, which is why Tony Blair may now find himself impeached.

Holding UK accomplices to the crime accountable is not a step toward getting them to squeal on their U.S. bosses, because the secrets are all in the open. But perhaps it can set an example. Perhaps even a UK-free European Union will someday take steps to hold U.S. criminals to account.

It’s too late, of course, to dissuade President Obama from expanding on Bush’s abuses by holding Bush accountable. But there is the problem of the next president (with both major parties nominating people who supported the 2003 invasion), and the problem of a subservient Congress. There is also the screaming need, ever more urgent, for massive reparations to the people of Iraq. That step, required by justice and humanity, would of course cost less financially than continuing the never-ending wars in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. It would also make the United States safer.

These articles of impeachment were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Dennis Kucinich on June 9, 2008, as H. Res. 1258

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor.

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes.

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq.

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources.

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries.

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq.

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors.

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives.

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy.

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture.

Article XX
Imprisoning Children.

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government.

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws.

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements.

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice.

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare.

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency.

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change.

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.


David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. War Is A Lie: Second Edition, published by Just World Books on April 5, 2016. I’ll come anywhere in the world to speak about it. Invite me!

from the archives:

Bush-Obama Powers Will Pass to Next President by David Swanson

Chris Hedges: Bringing In More Troops To Iraq Is Pure Folly

UK Prime Minister Covers Up Crimes Against Humanity by Felicity Arbuthnot

The 35 Articles of Impeachment & the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush by Dennis Kucinich

Iraq: ‘evidence for criminal case against Blair’ says expert + Iraq War Inquiry

4 responses to “Have a Chilcot Fourth of July by David Swanson

  1. Pingback: John Chilcot Finally Releases Iraq Inquiry Report | Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Abby Martin and James Risen: Fighting Censorship, The Surveillance State and Permanent War | Dandelion Salad

  3. Article XXXVI: Lowering the bar far enough that Donald Trump could step over it.

  4. Timely, ironic and penetrating post from David S.

    Truth is, if we can ever get beyond the genocidal cruelty, endless pain, monstrous deformities, and the insufferable injustice of this whole disastrous misadventure ~ the question remains: exactly how to redress this agonizing descent into unprecedented ecocidal horror? A surfeit of horror that is now the Middle-eastern norm, engorging Syria.

    Need we remind ourselves of the litany of war-crimes perpetrated in the name of “Western civilization” aka the perfected model of genocidal atrocity ~ that despicable abomination, the American way of death? From Hiroshima to Vietnam, Central and South America, Indonesia; now the trail of murder and devastation continues to blaze its insane path throughout a region that was once the “cradle of civilization.”

    Dennis Kucinich is the kind of politician the USA and the world really needs. He and his wife were in the UK just over a year ago, attending and participating in the Oxford Real Farming Conference; and this simple fact speaks volumes. For real farming is the solution to resolving the escalating Middle-eastern water crisis. It is impossible to farm arid rocks, to restore the possibility of life, we must understand the principles of regenerative soil-making.

    Civilization cannot thrive if all we do is destroy everything in sight, to gratify the psychopathic appetites of lunatic industrialists and weapons magnates. This class of individual should be shunned and shamed. How do you ‘turn the other cheek,’ when some insane person is determined to gun you to smithereens with obscenely destructive assault ordnance? What chance is there? These villainous instruments of carnage must be banned.

    This is the fundamental problem ~ the glamorization of gratuitous violence.

    It is universal and it must be faced. Laozi shaped the keys to this dilemma millennia ago with immense subtlety. The way forward is the way of creative life ~ not the illusory permanence of death. It is to embrace ingenuity, intelligent inquiry and philosophical mindfulness; it is the way of art and institutional integrity, by means of effective instruments of law ~ not reflexive and reactionary violence, unnecessary war.

    If we are an intelligent species, surely the most intelligent among us should hold sway ~ & not allow our sacred worlds to be subsumed by an ignorant swamp of dereliction.

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