Kerry’s Alliteration Notwithstanding
Secretary of State John Kerry’s “This crime” alliteration, patriotically constructed in a way to seemingly prompt public indignation but in fact merely a poor political construct, is yet another attempt by an American administration to justify war crimes. For some reason America, and American administrations, are immune from war crime prosecutions, almost as if in “the king can do no wrong.” The debacle in Iraq, and of course, in the Middle East as a whole and well before that in Vietnam, lives in US history but still affects those innocent tens of thousands who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from Agent Orange to Iraqi “shock and awe” to prejudicial treatment of the Palestine-Israel briar patch.
One can sympathize, and we must have the humanity to do so, with those in Syria who have recently suffered from what is very likely a chemical weapon attack. The problem is, however, the intelligence capabilities of the United States have not been able to exactly identify who did it – the Syrian government or the so-called rebels, many of the latter backed by the arch enemy of the US – al Qaida. There is a trend of evidence and deductions able to be made that it was the Syrian government, and whether it was or not the Syrian government is not likely to admit any such thing. Nor are the rebels. The US hasn’t come around to accepting responsibility for Agent Orange ravages in Vietnam or long-lasting effects of Agent Orange storage in Thailand, including near the tourist city of Hua Hin.
Great powers have great responsibilities. Yes. Great powers also have great accountability and sometimes make great errors as well as sometimes commit great crimes. It is accountability for the past crimes that matters, and refrain from committing further such crimes, that matters to men, women, and children who stand to suffer and die from unrestrained indignation and wrongful self-supposition of possessing uniquely high moral standards.