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Militarization versus Democracy
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Democrats decry the increased global disrespect for the United States, but fail to recognize that it is the American government's long-standing militarism and disregard for global common security and the rule of International law that has engendered this disrespect. Rather than be a real alternative and embrace an uncompromising global vision ; the Democrats feel compelled to cater to the US citizenry's obsession with militarism by trying to demonstrate how tough Kerry would be as the Commander in Chief.
If the Democrats wish to attain International respect they should make a commitment to move away from long-standing military industrial international practices such as the following:
* engaged in covert and overt "Operations" against independent states; from "Operation Zapata ", and "Operation Northwoods" against Cuba, through "Operation Condor" in Chile , through years of euphemistic operations such as "Operation Just Cause" against Panama and more recently "Operation Enduring Freedom" against Afghanistan, and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" against Iraq
* targeted and assisted in the assassination of leaders of other sovereign states, and condoned the targeting and assassinating of leaders by other states.
* undermined Common Security: peace, human rights, environment and social justice.
* undermined the international resolve to prevent the scourge of war by intimidating or offering economic incentives in exchange for support for military intervention; (the US continually cajoles, intimidates, and bribes, other members of the United Nations.)
* perceived justice in terms of revenge through military intervention rather than respecting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, and misused Art 51 in the Charter of the United Nations to justify military aggression -justified military intervention by misinterpreting Article 51 of the UN Charter " Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security
* disregarded obligations incurred through conventions, treaties, and covenants; and made commitments through conference action plans, related to the Public trust/ Common security - peace, environment, human rights and social justice
* Failed to sign, failed to ratify, failed to enact the necessary legislation to ensure compliance with, or respect for Public Trust international Conventions, Covenants and Treaties,
* demonstrated disdain for the international rule of law, and refused to accept the jurisdiction or decision of the International Court of Justice
* undermined international obligations incurred through Conventions, Treaties, and Covenants, and commitments through UN Conference Action Plans, related to the Public Trust or to Common Security -peace, environment, human rights and social justice
* failed to act on commitments made through UN Conference Action Plans, or failed to fulfill expectations created through General Assembly Resolutions.
* promulgated propaganda for war in violation of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights
* participated in military organization, such as NATO that has a first strike nuclear policy in violation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice that the use or threat to use nuclear weapons was contrary to international humanitarian law,
* misconstrued prevention of war by adopting a policy of pre-emptive/preventive attack to aggressively attack sovereign states that are designated as being on the axis of evil.
* established military bases in sovereign states (in the case of the US over 700 military bases around the world
* produced weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear, chemical, and biological, in defiance of the global commitment made at Stockholm in 1972 to eliminate the production of weapons of mass destruction. and refused to abide by the Non Proliferation treaty obligations
* circulated nuclear powered or nuclear arms capable vessels throughout the world, and berthed these vessels in urban ports
* planted land mines throughout the world, and failed to sign and ratify the Convention for the banning of Landmines
* moved towards the militarization of space, and increasing the arms race through the US Anti-ballistic Missile system
* used weapons such as Depleted Uranium and cluster bombs that would be prohibited under the Geneva Protocol II
* continued to engage in cruel and unusual punishment - Capital punishment.
* promulgated globalization, deregulation and privatization through promoting trade agreements, such as the WTO/FTAA/NAFTA etc that undermine the rule of international public trust law
* subsidized and invested in companies that have developed weapons of mass destruction, that have violated human rights, that have denied social justice, that have exploited workers, that have destroyed the environment.
* failed to ensure that corporations, including transnational corporations comply .. with international law, and to revoke charters of corporations that violate human rights, destroy the environment, denies social justice and contributes to war and conflict
* opposed Mandatory International Ethical Normative (MIEN) standards and enforceable regulations to drive industry to conform to international law, and supported corporate "voluntary compliance"
* failed to revoke charters and licences of corporations that have violated human rights, including labour rights, that have contributed to war and violence, and that have led to the destruction of the environment
* promoted the privatization of public services such as water, and health care, and reduced funding for universities, and promoted corporate funding of education and corporate direction of research
* contributed to environmentally induced diseases and poverty related health problems and denied universal access, to publicly funded not for profit health care system
* failed to reduce their military budget and reallocate military expenses and transfer the savings into global social justice as undertaken through numerous UN Conference Action Plans and UN General Assembly Resolutions. (The US spends over 500 billion per year on the military and is the major exporter of arms)
* opposed an international commitment to transfer .7% of the GDP for overseas aid, and condoned corporations benefiting and profiting from war
* advocated and supported IMF structural adjustment program, and exploited vulnerable and indigenous peoples around the world
* failed to cancel third world debt and failed to ensure the human right to safe drinking water, the human right to unadulterated (non-genetically engineered pesticide-free food), the human right to safe accessible housing, the human right to be clothed, the human right to education, the human right to universally accessible not for profit publicly funded health care that stresses the importance of prevention of environmentally induced diseases, and poverty related illnesses. ( many of these rights have been protected through international human rights instruments)
* promoted the spread of Evangelical Christianity around the world, undermining local indigenous cultures, and instilling fear through the dangerous, and absurd belief in the "rapture" , "Armageddon" and "left behind"
* participated in the proselytizing of religion and the undermining of other cultures and perpetuated the notion that Christianity is superior to other religions
* produced or permitted the production of toxic, hazardous, atomic waste, and failed to prevent the transfer to other states of substances and activities that are harmful to human health or the environment as agreed at the UN Conferences on the Environment and Development, 1992.
* denied civil and political rights including the right to freedom of speech and the right of peaceful assembly, and fundamental labour rights
* produced, promoted, grown or approved genetically engineered foods and crops and led to a deterioration of the food supply, and heritage seeds
* ignored the warnings of the Intergovernmental panel on Climate change and have Change, and Kyoto Protocol
* discriminated on the following grounds: - race, tribe, or culture; - colour, ethnicity, national ethnic or social origin, or language; nationality, place of birth, or nature of residence (refugee or immigrant, migrant worker); - gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or form of family, - disability or age; - religion or conviction, political or other opinion, or - class, economic position, or other status;
* denied women's reproductive rights,
* denied fundamental rights through the imposition of religious beliefs
* enacted anti-terrorism legislation that violates civil and political rights, and engaged in racial profiling
* failed to distinguish legitimate dissent from criminal acts of subversion.
* accepted corporate donations, and deluded the public into thinking that citizens live in a democracy.
compiled by Joan Russow (PhD) Global Compliance Research Project Victoria, Canada
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