Dennis Loo

Sometimes asking for the impossible is the only realistic path

Dennis Loo

Dennis Loo
Los Angeles, California,
December 31
Professor of Sociology
Cal Poly Pomona
Author of Globalization and the Demolition of Society; Co-Editor/Author of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, World Can't Wait Steering Committee Member, co-author of "Crimes Are Crimes, No Matter Who Does Them" statement, dog and fruit tree lover. Published poet. Winner of the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award, Project Censored Award and the Nation Magazine's Most Valuable Campaign Award. Punahou and Harvard Honor Graduate. Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. An archive of close to 500 postings of mine can be found at my blogspot blog, Dennis Loo, link below. I publish regularly at, (link below) and also at OpEd News and sometimes at Counterpunch.

FEBRUARY 3, 2012 1:10PM

The Supreme War Crime

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The U.S. and Israel have launched punishing sanctions upon Iran and one or both have assassinated Iranian scientists. Sanctions are not a way of avoiding a war; they are a prelude to war; they are the beginning stages of a war.

Before the unprovoked attack upon Iraq by Bush and Cheney, some of us tried to alert the public to what The New York Times and others would not tell people: it is a war crime to attack a country that has not first attacked you, WMD or no WMD. Apparently, this was not among the "news that's fit to print."

Had the people learned this simple fact, then we could have avoided the more than a million Iraqis who have died violent deaths because of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and we could have avoided the more than 50,000 Americans who have died in the war, either of injuries inflicted in combat or afterwards due to suicides (with 18/day killing themselves because of PTSD and related grief and pain). 

Not only is it a war crime to launch an unprovoked attack on another country, it is the supreme war crime.

The reason for this should be clear: if it is permissable for a country to invade other countries as long as they claim that they feel threatened by that other country, then there would be no bar against wars being carried out right and left under the fig leaf justification that the country didn't like the way that other country was looking at them.

In the instant case, the U.S. government is justifying an attack on a country that does not have a nuclear weapon, has not indicated that it is going to produce a nuclear weapon, and is not threatening to use its radioactive watches (which is about where their nuclear program is at) as weapons against any other country. 

The only country to ever use nuclear weapons upon a civilian population (i.e., non-combatants) is none other than the biggest sword rattler here, the U.S. of A.

The other sword rattler, Israel, has hundreds of nuclear weapons, refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and will not allow the IAEA to inspect its facilities. It is also likely the guilty party for the assassinations of several Iranian nuclear scientists. 

Yet, you don't hear the halls of Congress and the Oval Office resounding with calls for a pre-emptive attack upon Israel or upon the only country that has used nukes on people - the U.S. government itself - in the name of preserving the peace.

Iran has attacked no other countries. The two most bellicose countries in this contrived drama are, on the other hand, the worst perpetrators of aggressive war themselves - the U.S. and Israel. 

None other than American Judge Robert H. Jackson who served as the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg made clear the nature of aggressive war:

"[T]he Nuremberg Tribunal sentenced a number of persons responsible for starting World War II. One consequence of this is that nations who are starting an armed conflict must now argue that they are either exercising the right of self-defense, the right of collective defense, or - it seems - the enforcement of the criminal law of jus cogens. It has made formal declaration of war uncommon after 1945.

"During the trial, the chief American prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, stated:

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." (From Wikipedia). 

 Join the demonstrations tomorrow to stop the war on Iran. 
When officialdom and media mouthpieces speak lies to the people in order to justify mass bloodshedding, the truth must be spoken. When lies carry the day, not only does the truth suffer, but innocents die.

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The demonstrations, with the best will in the world, will have little effect on a government that NEEDS to be at war. You know the reasons for that "need" as well as I.

Such demonstrations will, however, show the government where their propaganda is failing and upon whom it is less than fully effective. I wonder if perhaps we in the west ought not to consider our nations to be "occupied" nations in the WWII sense of that word. Perhaps it is time for an "underground" to spring up with the intent of making it as difficult as possible for our governments to wage war.
I think that sanctions ARE war( or a form of them at least).To skypixie- I appreciate your remarks, but it is important to realize that demonstrations and other forms of resistance DO make a difference. Prior to the start of the invasion of Iraq when millions of people here in the U.S. and around the world came out to protest a war BEFORE it happened-this was UNPRECEDENTED. Never before happened in human history. Also these demonstrations denied Bush & company the cloak of "legitimacy" that he desperately sought. In fact, the NY Times after these demos said that the "other superpower" was civil society.(I'm paraphrasing here - forgot the exact wording), so we should never sell ourselves short, but we do need to realize that we have much to do in resisting the crimes of this system and possibly bringing forward another way- even revolution here in the U.S.
I've re-read my comment and can find nowhere that I said that such demonstrations do not "make a difference."
What I said is that such, "will have little effect on a government that NEEDS to be at war." As is obvious by the American invasion of Iraq in spite of it not having a "cloak of legitimacy" and America's involvement in Afghanistan and about a half-dozen other places.

Resisting the crimes of the present system means changing the system, NOT throwing a set of greed-capitalist bums out and installing a set of greed-socialists in the "pyramid of power" structure, if that is what you had in mind by a revolution. The vast majority of Americans aren't even nearly ready to so much as try socialism, let alone get involved in creating an entirely new system; one that operates on a horizontal management structure instead of a vertical one. Heck most can't even envision such a thing and refer to such a concept as anarchism!
Hi Sky Pixie: I apologize for misunderstanding your comments. I did reread your comments, as well.The point that you made that we need a movement to resist the crimes of this system and even making revolution is well taken .There is a beginnings of a movement for resistance which we can see in the whole Occupy Movement which has done much to shake up things and create openings for debate in society and which need to go much further. Later today, there are set to be demonstrations in a number of different cities across the country demanding "No War on Iran". You can check out the following websites : and for more information and analysis. ( has an excellent article by Bob Avakian, chairman of the RCP,USA called "A Reflection on the "Occupy" Movement: An Inspiring Beginning ... And the Need to Go Further" )
I think that at this time demonstrations could be important. My feeling is that the propaganda war to get Americans on the side of the war against Iran has started. People should show that they are against the war.