ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

October 2009



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Obama couldn’t really be a war criminal, could he?

The bloodied faces of the dead children stared into nothingness.  Welcome to Bala Baluk. 

According to the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan in Let’s rise against the war crimes of the US and its fundamentalist lackeys:

On 5th May 2009, the US airstrikes [in Bala Baluk] targeted people’s homes, killing more than 150, mostly women and children.

Let’s talk about Haji Aman village in Kunduz Province in Afghanistan.

In September German forces called in US bombers to attack two fuel tankers bogged in sand. 

Scores of people were around the tankers, taking petrol, a very rare commodity for most Afghans.

The bombs killed over 150 people, all of them civilians. 

These massaces are not one offs. In fact most go unreported.

More importantly they are the inevitable consequence of western invasion and occupation.  They are war crimes. 

And while the person who pulled the trigger is responsible for these crimes, so to is the person who has overall command of the operation – the US Commander in Chief, Barack Obama.

It was his troops who unleashed the bombs that killed the women and children in Kunduz. It was his troops who killed the women and children at Bala Baluk.

Estimates are that since the invasion 8 years ago US and other western forces have killed up to 10,000 Afghan civilians directly and another 30,000 indirectly (through starvation, illness, dispossession).

The number who have died since the invasion unleashed the forces of imperialism and resistance is estimated at anywhere up to 50,000.

In Pakistan, according to Dan De Luce from AFP  in ‘No let-up in US drone war in Pakistan’ on the US Labor against the War website:

an unknown number of civilians have died in the [drone] bombing war, possibly as many as 700, according to the Pakistani press.

Remember, these are Obama’s drones. 

Evidently killing civilians according to some liberals is OK if it is done by an African-American as commander in chief.

The principle of responsibility is clear.

The Nuremberg and Tokyo trials showed that the commanders were responsible for the actions of their troops, no matter what their level of direct knowledge of the operation.

But, the legalists will argue, that doesn’t mean any of these massacres are war crimes. 

Such a response is morally repugnant.  How many civilians have to die before it is a war crime? 

But secondly, it is wrong. Let me delve into legalisms. 

Here is part of what the Rome statute of the International Criminal Court says about war crimes (edited to leave just some in that might apply to Obama and the actions of his troops and drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan):

2.         For the purpose of this Statute, “war crimes” means: 

(i)     Wilful killing;

(ii)     Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments;

(iii)     Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;

(iv)     Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;

(vi)     Wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial;

(i)     Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;

(ii)     Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives;

(iv)     Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;

(v)     Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives;

(xxi)     Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.

I would have thought at first blush that Bala Baluk,  Haji Aman and the drone killings in Pakistan qualify Obama for the title of war criminal under some of these clauses.

The US is not a signatory to the treaty setting up the ICC.  Neither is Israel, nor China nor Russia.  All claim the decision to prosecute would be ‘political’.

An equally plausible explanation is that their citizens could be bought before the Court and so these nations do not want to give the Court credence in prosecuting their citizens.

The atrocities in Afghanistan and Pakistan are but a few examples of a lengthy list of war crimes Obama could be charged with. 

His complicity in the criminal blockade of Gaza, his support for the genocidal Government of Sri Lanka and his ongoing occupation of Iraq are also cases for the prosecution.

Back in about 1990  Noam Chomsky in If the Nuremberg laws were Applied …  talked about the fact that every president since the end of the Second World war was a war criminal. 

Clinton, George W Bush and Obama since then also fit the Bill with their various criminal adventures around the  world.

Certainly there is already enough evidence to at least bring Obama before the ICC for war crimes.

Obama is a ‘junior’ war criminal compared to the other Presidents, so far. In four years time his list of crimes will be much greater.  

But of course trying to arrest the leader of a country with the most powerful military in the world is impossible.  It is the powerful and the victors who do the prosecuting, not the vanquished.

There can be no justice while imperialism rules the world.

Readers might also like to look at War criminal Obama wins peace prize – satire lives.



Comment from Arjay
Time October 14, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I was treated like a pariah on OLO when 9 months ago suggested that Obama was just another puppet of Corporate USA.Obama was to be the new messiah who could do not wrong.

It just shows how shallow our understanding is of the real power structures operate not only in the USA but also here.

No polly or company dares buck the system.In my view,it is totally corrupt.

If we don’t all get involved soon ,it won’t be just the Afghanis or Pakistanis that suffer.

A Govt/Corporation big enough to give us everything we need ,is powerful enough to take everything we have.This also includes freedom,our most precious gift.

Comment from John
Time October 15, 2009 at 7:36 am

Arjay, on the day Obama was sworn in I wrote Barack Obama is not Jesus Christ ( which argues that he would disappoint because he was managing capitalism. I think I gave him 6 months before the questions about him would start.

Comment from Arjay
Time October 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm

John this issue surpasses left and right polarity.This is common ground that all people of all political persuasions identify with.Slowly the internet consciousness is awakening.The popular press have sold their beliefs for their daily bread.

John Swinton referred to them as intellectual prostitutes who are nothing but the puppets of rich and powerful men.

Write a comment