Clinton Doctrine [ Same Shit, Different Era]

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Mon Aug 23 17:10:17 MDT 1999

Comment on the message below: From "The Splendid Blond Beast: Money, Law,
and Genocide in the Twentieth Century" by christopher Simpson, Common
Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, 1995:

"The fact is that no clear international ban against crimes against humanity
existed prior to 1945, due in large part to U.S. opposition. Unlike war
crimes, crimes against humanity are usually a government does to its own
people, such as genocide, slavery, or other forms of mass violence against
civilians." [p.8]

"Crimes against humanity remain considerably harder to prosecute than war
crimes, narrowly defined, in part because the criminal nation-states are
unlikely to prosecute themselves, and because international diplomatic
practice--particularly by the United States--has blocked the creation of an
international criminal court [Clinton admin and previous administrations]
that would have jurisdiction to try the perpetrators of these atrocities.
Even the most horrific cases of human rights abuses are often protected from
international justice." [p. 8]

" During World War II, the structure of international law established in the
wake of World War I not only obstructed efforts to rescue European Jews, but
it also became a tool in the hands of the factions in Washington and London
who favored making a separate peace with the Nazis at the expense of the
U.S.S.R. They contended that Hitler's crimes inside Axis countries were
legal, technically speaking, and that Hitler himself was immune from
prosecution because of his status as head of state. [Noriega? Pinochet?] The
Allies should avoid making too much of an issue of Nazi crimes, argued
British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden and the U.S. State Department's chief
legal advisor, Green Hackworth, because doing so would undermine political
initiatives to settle the war through negotiations; in addition, most
atrocities would be impossible to prosecute. Tragically, these same factions
often controlled the U.S. State Department's day-to-day impltation of policy
concerning Jewish immigration and refugee relief." [p.11]

"In the wake of World War I, the Dulles brothers helped construct the
international treaties and legal definitions that shut down efforts to bring
mass murderers of that time to justice." [ p. 12]

"Herbert Pell's UNWCC [United Nations War Crimes Commission] became one of
the first targets for the Allied factions favoring clemency for Axis
notables who had collaborated in Nazi crimes. State department legal chief
Green Hackworth succeeded in engineering Pell's dismissal in early 1945,
then in shutting down the UNWCC altogether within thirty-six months after
the end of the war. Then a U.S. intelligence agent named Ivan Kerno, who had
worked with Allen Dulles since the 1920s and who served as legal counsel to
the new United Nations Organization, sealed the UNWCC records, keeping them
off-limits to war-crimes investigators for more than forty years. It took
the scandal surrounding the wartime career of UN Secretary General Kurt
Waldheim to break these files open at last." [ p 13]

"At the same time, the main military powers quite openly sought to use the
conventions [Hague and Geneva] to stabilize Europe and buttress their
authority over shaky colonial empires. They formally banned fighting by
guerilla groups, revolutionaries and unauthorized armies, which had
increasingly become a problem for imperial powers worldwide. The military
and legal doctrine known as 'reprisal' authorized countries that had signed
the treaties to legally commit what would otherwise clearly be
crimes--shooting hostages, mistreating prisoners of war etc--to punish
enemies during wartime for their (alleged) war crimes, so as to deter them
from further violations. This meant that rebellions could 'legally' be met
with extraordinary savagery, in part because the basic revolutionary tactic
of guerilla fighting by irregular troops had itself been declared to be a
war crime [exact legal postion Nazis took in occupied territories]." [p. 19]

"Lansing [ U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing, an uncle of the Dulles
brothers] viewed agreements such as the Hague conventions and Geneva
conventions as infringements of U.S. national sovereignty. [Exact position
of Clinton administration in recent U.S. vote against formation of a World
Court to deal with war crimes etc and exact position of the
Helms/Lugar.Hatch "Sovereignty Exemption" to ratification of UN 1948
Convention on Genocide after 40 years in 1988]He strongly opposed any trials
for war crimes or atrocities beyond those that the defeated powers might
choose to carry out against their own military officers. 'Lansing exhibited
one curious state of mind', observed presidential advisor Edward House
during an earlier debate over the U.S. response to the sinking of the
Lusitania. 'He believes that almost any form of atrocity is permissible
provided a nation's safety is involved'. When house asked Lansing who should
best determine the level of atrocity appropriate to protect the nation,
Lansing replied, 'the military authorities of the nation committing the
atrocities.' Thus, the leaders of of the armed forces accused of committing
a crime should be the final judge of whether the act was justified in the
interests of the nation. Lansing believed that any new precedents set by the
Paris conference against war crimes would probably endanger the United
States in a future crisis, and he insisited that his government exempt
itself from international commitments that might limit its freedom of
action." [ p. 23]

"Lansing strongly objected to any introduction of the concept of 'laws of
humanity' and to trials of foreign leaders before any foreign or
international court. International law, he contended, regulated relations
among nations; it had no jurisdiction over what a state chooses to do to its
own people. International efforts to set human rights standards could never
be enforced, he continued, and their failure would undermine compliance with
treaties that could be enforced, such as treaties concerning international
commerce..." [ p. 25]

Clinton's sociopathic hypocrisy and shameless use of "concern" about
genocide and atrocities [while they continue big time within the U.S.] as
covers for imperial power projection and hegemony, while he has taken the
exact same positions as Lansing took, should be exposed and protested
widely. Send this to the White House.

Jim C.

James Craven
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.
Vancouver, WA. 98663
(360) 992-2283; Fax: (360) 992-2863
blkfoot5 at
*My Employer Has No Association With My Private/Protected Opinion*

-----Original Message-----
From: NAda802074 at [mailto:NAda802074 at]
Sent: Monday, August 23, 1999 12:13 PM
To: marxism-news at
Cc: marxism at; marxist-leninist-list at
Subject: Clinton Doctrine

Clinton doctrine: world cop

By Victor Perlo

In announcing his "doctrine" last month President Clinton stated that
whenever civilians are attacked anywhere "because of their race, ethnic
background, or their religion - and it's within our power to stop it, we
will stop it."

That credo was used to justify U.S. occupation of Bosnia and our current
occupation of the Kosovo province of Yugoslavia, where civil conflict
designed to break up Yugoslavia was largely organized by Washington,
with other NATO countries as accomplices. The same precept is the U.S.
justification given for the near-daily bombing of Iraq - supposedly to
defend Kurds in the north and a religious faction in the south.

The Wall Street Journal commented:

"But the Russians and some European allies worry that Mr. Clinton is
pledging to deputize the U.S. military as a global cop." (7/6/99)

Their fears are certainly valid: the "cop" could be used against any of
them. Clinton's advisers are preparing a presidential speech for the
fall in which he will precisely define the doctrine. The list of
previous "doctrines" makes clear that each new one continues and builds
on earlier ones. Thus, the anti-working class, anti-Communist essence of
earlier pronouncements will continue.

The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 was taught in every history class when I
went to school. Posing as a defense against European intervention, it
really declares U.S. capitalism's determination to control the entire
Western Hemisphere. Under it, the United States waged war against and
dispossessed all Native American peoples; we seized more than half of
Mexico's land area. To avoid U.S. military appropriation, large areas
were given to or sold cheaply to America by Spain, France and Russia. By
the end of the 19th century, the United States occupied many Central
American and Caribbean countries.

The Truman Doctrine, under the pretense of "containing" Soviet
influence, was actually a declaration of war against the Greek people,
who were winning a revolution for socialism. Using the full weight of
its military power, the U.S. forces finally defeated the Greek
revolutionary armies.

The Eisenhower Doctrine covered the conversion of Israel into a
mini-imperialist surrogate for U.S. imperialism in the Middle East.

The Nixon Doctrine used South African racist forces to wreck the
economies of Mozambique and Angola, and to prevent consolidation of
their socialist-oriented societies.

The Carter Doctrine placed the U.S. fleet in the Persian Gulf to insure
the shift of a large part of British and French oil holdings into the
hands of U.S. Standard Oil monopolies.

The Reagan Doctrine imposed CIA-organized fascist dictatorships in Latin
America and conflicts to overthrow progressively oriented regimes in
Africa. Simultaneously, it accelerated the arms race, announcing as its
goal forcing the USSR to do likewise at the expense of peaceful

All the post-World War II doctrines were implemented with extreme
cruelty - mass torture and murders - by U.S. trained deputies and
mercenaries. Now the Clinton administration, goaded by the Republicans
to be even tougher, continues its determination to completely smash
Yugoslavia and Iraq, and to impose on them governments chosen by
Washington. The 2000 elections may make enforcement of these doctrines
more murderous: George W. Bush is regarded as even more belligerent and
expansionist than Clinton or Gore.

Now Colombia is becoming a major focus. Washington annually doubles the
financing and the military to fight the revolutionary forces, headed by
FARC, which has the support of much of the peasantry and has won control
over an area approximately the size of Massachusetts, Connecticut and
Rhode Island combined. FARC is fighting against the Clinton Doctrine,
which tries to disguise its intervention as "drug suppression."

The actuality was exposed when the wife of the U.S. colonel in charge of
the intervention was arrested for wholesale narcotics importation and
sale in the United States. What a farce!

The most heavily armed fascists and neo-fascist forces can be beaten, as
the Soviets defeated Hitlerism in World War II and the Vietnamese
defeated its U.S. would-be conquerors - with assistance from the U.S.
peace movement. Our peace forces today actively oppose U.S. aggression
in the Americas: the militant actions against the "School of the
Assassins" in Georgia; movements in support of liberation struggles in
Central America, etc. U.S. trade unions are involved in some of these
efforts. But, as yet, there is little awareness among peace forces of
the significance of the Colombian struggle. Surely it will come.

Most urgently is the need for a much stronger peace movement in the
United States, with the active, strong participation of the trade

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