Why Do I Testify At The People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War, December 2016

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By Blase Bonpane, Office of the Americas

  • I testify as an unimbedded witness to an unnecessary aggressive war, the greatest International crime.
  • I testify because I want to see every person responsible go before national and International courts.
  • I testify because perpetual war has become the focal point of the destruction of innocents internationally and the rapid deterioration of the United States. 
  • I testify on behalf of the finest of our young people being sent off to die as the enemy in places where they were not wanted.
  • As a witness to war I cannot see any break between the so-called Gulf War of 1990-1991 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Those years were a seamless structure of mass murder.
  • There was no break in the mayhem between 1991 and 2003. On the contrary it was a time of illegally using starvation as a weapon of war. . So-called “sanctions” were devastating to the children Iraq.
  • Lies are the fuel of war and here are just a few that were used to murder innocent Iraqi people:
  • We thank former Attorney General of the United States, Ramsey Clark for his participation.

Lies:

  • That Iraq was responsible for the September 11th attacks.
  • That Iraq and al-Qaida were working together.
  • That Iraq was trying to import aluminum tubes to develop nuclear weapons.
  • That Iraq still had vast stocks of chemical and biological weapons left over from the
  • First Gulf War.
  • That Iraq retained up to 20 missiles which could carry chemical and biological warheads.
  • That Saddam Hussein had the wherewithal to develop smallpox.
  • That U.S. and British claims were supported by the inspectors.
  • That previous weapons inspection had failed.
  • That Iraq was obstructing the inspectors.
  • That Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes.
  • That the war would be an easy win.
  • That the Shia Muslim population of Basra had risen against their Sunni oppressors.
  • That our troops would face chemical and biological weapons.
  • That the interrogation of Iraqi scientists would yield the location of weapons of mass destruction.
  • That Iraq’s oil money would go to the Iraqis.
  • That Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were found.
  • And how about that phony story about Jessica Lynch?
  • These are high crimes and misdemeanors. Democracy is not possible when public servants are liars.
  • Then we had the unelected son of the war initiator, George W. Bush unleash his barbaric blietzkrieg and invasion of Iraq.
  • This illegal act of aggressive war was at the beginning of a new millennium and was preceded by the largest international peace demonstrations in the history of the world.

My wife Theresa together with Ron Kovic and Jessica Lange waited in a frigged tent in Washington, DC for what Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said was “one of the biggest ones we’ve ever had…” It clearly looked like the gathering that Dr. Martin Luther King had for his, “I Had a Dream” speech. See Washington Post for Sunday, January 19th, 2003. But in spite of pleas for peace of hundreds of thousands of citizens in freezing weather at the nation’s capital, the clear message of our government to its people at the opening of the Twenty-first century:

WE DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WANT. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE WAR ON BEHALF OF THE MILITARY, WALL STREET, INDUSTRIAL, CONGRESSIONAL, PRISON, GUN, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPLEX.

Profits soared for the 1%. Wages were all but frozen. Prices rose rapidly as financialization took precedence over useful production. Indeed profit without production led to a huge increase in the price of all useful items. Dollars produced by making counterproductive military trash were looking for products of value. Very quickly a 50,000. home was priced at 500,000. And then at 1,000,000. The economy tanked in 2008. The very reality on money is in question. It currently remains solely as a fiduciary reality without substance.

So I testify as a witness to war.

Our Global Exchange delegation arrived in Iraq in late December of 1990. We did not know if we could get in or could get out of the country. We were very fortunate to see the most developed country in the Arab world just days before it was destroyed. It is ironic but the tyrant Saddam Hussein operated with in the Iraqi constitution of 1921. He maintained separation of Church and State, and we saw a high percentage of women in the universities, on faculties and dressing as they wished. In the Arab world it was a secular state. Then on New Years Day of 1991 we went to Babylon and celebrated with the Iraqi people.

It would be so good for our military to know that if one arrives at a foreign land without arms and without threats, the people are most often friendly, responsive and anxious to know about you and your land. Returning to Baghdad we had a five hour meeting with Yasser Arafat. He explained the Irrational “we don’t talk to you,” position of the United States. Andy Young, our ambassador to the UN, had been was fired for talking to Yasser Arafat who made it clear to us that the key to everything in the Middle East and the key to understanding this criminal war was Palestine. The Arab world demanded that Palestine be free. Why did the United States not talk to Yasser Arafat, why did we refuse to talk to our long standing friend King Hussein of Jordan? Because we wanted a war and were going to have it. We were not interested in any relevant facts.So with a mentally ill policy we repeated the deadly crimes of the War in Indochina. Rampant torture,endless lies, bombing of civilians, smashing in to private homes, killing and terrorizing families.

Aggressive war is simply a form of rape. We knew absolutely nothing about the culture we were destroying. The legacy of our crime in Iraq is ISIS. And ISIS is a near repetition of 12th century Christendom with its Crusader States in the Levant.

Returning to the United States we immediately entered into civil disobedience against the Iraq catastrophe which our nation created. My wife, my son and I were arrested with many others at the Los Angeles Federal Building. After being hog tied and on our bellies on the marble floor of that building, we were placed in basement cells. Many hours later, still in handcuffs we heard the bombing of Baghdad was taking place. 88,000 tons of bombs fell on primarily innocent people.

None of the bombs were smart. None of those who created this disaster were smart. It was January 16, 1991. No, friends there have not been two wars in Iraq. There was just one war which began in 1991. And continues to this day. We have obviously lost this war and every one of the wars since 1945.

To our new President we say: Cease and Desist. This is why we testify.

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