Historically this latest eruption of
American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin
to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the
U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898.
Then the Republican administration of
stole their colonial empire from
Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines
inflicted a near genocidal war
against the Filipino people
while at the same time illegally
annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native
Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near
Additionally, McKinley’s military and
colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure
America’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic
rubric of the “open door” policy.
But over the next four decades America’s
aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the so-called “Pacific”
Ocean would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor
on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing
Second World War.
Today a century later the serial imperial
aggressions launched and menaced by the neoconservative Republican
administration and the neoliberal Democratic
Obama administration are now
threatening to set off World War III.
By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of
11 September 2001, the Bush Junior administration set forth
to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living
in Central Asia and the Middle East and Africa under the bogus pretexts
fighting a war against
“international terrorism” or “Islamic fundamentalism”; and/or
eliminating weapons of mass
the promotion of democracy; and/or
intervention/responsibility to protect (R2P)
Only this time the geopolitical stakes are
infinitely greater than they were a century ago: control and domination
of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundaments and
energizers of the global economic system – oil and gas.
The Bush Junior/Obama administrations have
already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin
America (e.g., the Pentagon’s reactivation of the U.S. Fourth Fleet in
2008), and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together
with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their
Today the U.S. Fourth Fleet threatens Cuba,
Venezuela, and Ecuador for sure.
Toward accomplishing that first objective, in 2007 the neoconservative
Bush Junior administration announced the establishment of the U.S.
Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM)
in order to better control, dominate, steal, and exploit both the
natural resources and the variegated peoples of the continent of Africa,
the very cradle of our human species.
In 2011 Libya then proved to be the first
victim of AFRICOM under the neoliberal Obama administration, thus
demonstrating the truly bi-partisan and non-partisan nature of U.S.
imperial foreign policy decision-making.
Let us put aside as beyond the scope of this
paper the American conquest, extermination, and ethnic cleansing of the
Indians from off the face of the continent of North America.
Since America’s instigation of the
Spanish-American War in 1898, U.S. foreign policy decision-making has
been alternatively conducted by reactionary imperialists, conservative
imperialists, and liberal imperialists for the past 115 years and
This world-girdling burst of U.S. imperialism at the start of
humankind’s new millennium is what my teacher, mentor, and friend the
late, great Professor Hans Morgenthau denominated “unlimited
imperialism” in his seminal book
Politics Among Nations 52-53 (4th
The outstanding historic examples of
unlimited imperialism are the expansionist policies of Alexander the
Great, Rome, the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries, Napoleon
I, and Hitler.
They all have in common an urge toward
expansion which knows no rational limits, feeds on its own successes
and, if not stopped by a superior force, will go on to the confines
of the political world.
This urge will not be satisfied so long
as there remains anywhere a possible object of domination - a
politically organized group of men which by its very independence
challenges the conqueror’s lust for power.
It is, as we shall see, exactly the lack
of moderation, the aspiration to conquer all that lends itself to
conquest, characteristic of unlimited imperialism, which in the past
has been the undoing of the imperialistic policies of this kind…
The factual circumstances surrounding the
outbreaks of both the First World War and the Second World War currently
hover like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of all humanity.
Since September 11, 2001, it is the Unlimited Imperialists à la
Alexander, Napoleon, and Hitler who have been in charge of
conducting American foreign policy decision-making.
After September 11, 2001 the people of the
world have witnessed successive governments in the United States that
have demonstrated little respect for fundamental considerations of
international law, human rights, or the United States Constitution.
Instead, the world has watched a
comprehensive and malicious assault upon the integrity of the
international and domestic legal orders by groups of men and women who
are thoroughly Hobbist and Machiavellian in their perception of
international relations and in their conduct of both foreign affairs and
American domestic policy.
Even more seriously, in many instances
specific components of the U.S. government’s foreign policies constitute
ongoing criminal activity under well recognized principles of both
international law and United States domestic law, and in particular,
...which applies to the President himself
as Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces under Article II,
Section 2 of the United States Constitution.
Depending on the substantive issues involved, these international and
domestic crimes typically include but are not limited to the Nuremberg
offences of “crimes against peace” - e.g.,
Their criminal responsibility also
concerns “crimes against humanity” and war crimes as well as grave
breaches of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1907 Hague
Regulations on land warfare:
torture, enforced disappearances,
assassinations, murders, kidnappings, extraordinary renditions,
“shock and awe,” depleted uranium, white phosphorous, cluster bombs,
drone strikes, etc.
Furthermore, various officials of the United
States government have committed numerous inchoate crimes incidental to
these substantive offences that under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment,
and Principles as well as U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956) are
international crimes in their own right:
planning, and preparation, solicitation,
incitement, conspiracy, complicity, attempt, aiding and abetting.
Of course the terrible irony of today’s
situation is that over six decades ago at Nuremberg the U.S. government
participated in the prosecution, punishment, and execution of Nazi
government officials for committing some of the same types of heinous
international crimes that these officials of the United States
government currently inflict upon people all over the world.
To be sure, I personally oppose the
imposition of capital punishment upon any human being for any reason no
matter how monstrous their crimes, whether they be,
According to basic principles of
international criminal law set forth in
paragraph 501 of
U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, all high
level civilian officials and military officers in the U.S. government
who either knew or should have known that soldiers or civilians under
their control (such as
the CIA or
mercenary contractors), committed or were about to commit
international crimes and failed to take the measures necessary to stop
them, or to punish them, or both, are likewise personally
responsible for the commission of international crimes.
This category of officialdom who actually
knew or should have known of the commission of these international
crimes under their jurisdiction and failed to do anything about them
include at the very top of America’s criminal chain-of-command,
the U.S. Secretary of Defense
Secretary of State
Director of National Intelligence
the C.I.A. Director
National Security Advisor
the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff
along with the appropriate Regional Commanders-in-Chiefs,
especially for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM)
These U.S. government officials and their
immediate subordinates are responsible for the commission of crimes
against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as specified by
the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles as well as by U.S. Army
Field Manual 27-10 of 1956.
Today in international legal terms, the
United States government itself should now be viewed as constituting an
ongoing criminal conspiracy under international criminal law in
violation of the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the
Nuremberg Principles, because of its formulation and undertaking of
serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against
humanity, and war crimes that are legally akin to those perpetrated by
the former Nazi regime in Germany.
As a consequence, American citizens possess
the basic right under international law and the United States domestic
law, including the U.S. Constitution, to engage in acts of civil
resistance designed to prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate ongoing
criminal activities perpetrated by U.S. government officials in their
conduct of foreign affairs policies and military operations purported to
relate to defense and counter-terrorism.
For that very reason, large numbers of American citizens have decided to
act on their own cognizance by means of civil resistance in order to
demand that the U.S. government adhere to basic principles of
international law, of U.S. domestic law, and of the U.S. Constitution in
its conduct of foreign affairs and military operations.
Mistakenly, however, such actions have been
defined to constitute classic instances of "civil disobedience" as
historically practiced in the United States.
And the conventional status quo
admonition by the U.S. power elite and its sycophantic news media for
those who knowingly engage in “civil disobedience” has always been that
they must meekly accept their punishment for having performed a prima
facie breach of the positive laws as a demonstration of their good faith
and moral commitment.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs! The U.S. government officials
are the outlaws!
Here I would like to suggest a different way of thinking about civil
resistance activities that are specifically designed to thwart, prevent,
or impede ongoing criminal activity by officials of the U.S. government
under well‑recognized principles of international and U.S. domestic law.
Such civil resistance activities represent
the last constitutional avenue open to the American people to preserve
their democratic form of government with its historical commitment to
the rule of law and human rights.
Civil resistance is the last hope America
has to prevent the U.S. government from moving even farther down the
path of lawless violence in,
...and nuclear confrontation with,
Such measures of "civil resistance" must not
be confused with, and indeed must be carefully distinguished from, acts
of "civil disobedience" as traditionally defined.
In today’s civil resistance cases, what we
witness are American citizens attempting to prevent the ongoing
commission of international and domestic crimes under well-recognized
principles of international law and U.S. domestic law.
This is a phenomenon essentially different
from the classic civil disobedience cases of the 1950s and 1960s where
incredibly courageous African Americans and their supporters were
conscientiously violating domestic laws for the express purpose of
By contrast, today’s civil resisters are
acting for the express purpose of upholding the rule of law, the U.S.
Constitution, human rights, and international law. Applying the term
“civil disobedience” to such civil resistors mistakenly presumes their
guilt and thus perversely exonerates the U.S. government criminals.
Civil resistors disobeyed nothing, but to the contrary obeyed
international law and the United States Constitution. By contrast, U.S.
government officials disobeyed fundamental principles of international
law as well as U.S. criminal law and thus committed international crimes
and U.S. domestic crimes as well as impeachable violations of the United
The civil resistors are the sheriffs
enforcing international law, U.S. criminal law and the U.S. Constitution
against the criminals working for the U.S. government!
Today the American people must reaffirm their commitment to the
Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles by holding their government
officials fully accountable under international law and U.S. domestic
law for the commission of such grievous international and domestic
They must not permit any aspect of their
foreign affairs and defense policies to be conducted by acknowledged
“war criminals” according to the U.S. government’s own official
definition of that term as set forth in,
The American people must insist upon the
impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and
long-term incarceration of all U.S. government officials guilty of such
heinous international and domestic crimes. That is precisely what
American civil resisters are doing today!
This same right of civil resistance extends pari passu to all
citizens of the world community of states.
Everyone around the world has both the right
and the duty under international law to resist ongoing criminal
activities perpetrated by the U.S. government and its nefarious foreign
accomplices in allied governments such as Britain, the other NATO
states, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Georgia, Puerto Rico, etc.
If not so restrained, the U.S. government
could very well precipitate a Third World War.
Here in Puerto Rico we saw the stunning
example of the most courageous civil resistors against Yankee
Imperialism on Vieques.
The future of American foreign policy and the peace of the world lie in
the hands of American citizens and the peoples of the world - not the
bureaucrats, legislators, judges, lobbyist, think-tanks, professors, and
self-styled experts who inhibit Washington, D.C., New York City, and
Civil resistance is the way to go! This is
our Nuremberg Moment now!
Francis A. Boyle
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA