Crimes against humanity

by Chris Bertram on October 23, 2010

It has become commonplace for self-styled leftist erstwhile advocates of the Iraq War to whine that their critics have been unkind to them. Can’t those critics accept, they wheedle, that there were reasons on both sides and that the crimes against humanity of the Saddam regime supported at least a prima facie case for intervention? During an earlier phase of discussion, when those advocates were still unapologetic, but whilst the slaughter was well underway, we were treated to numerous disquisitions on moral responsibility: yes there is slaughter, but _we_ are not responsible, it is Al Qaida/the Sunni “insurgents”/Al-Sadr/Iran ….

Well “the latest Wikileaks disclosures”: ought to shut them up for good (it won’t, of course). “Our” side has both committed war crimes directly and has acquiesced, enabled, and covered up for the commission of such crimes by others. The incidents are not isolated episodes: rather we have systematic policy. The US government has a duty to investigate and to bring those of its own officials and military responsible to justice. Of course, this won’t happen and the Pentagon will pursue the whistle-blowers instead. So it goes.