My Turn: What entails a crime against humanity?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Isaac Mass wrote a My Turn on Aug. 1. I have read it several times and believe he has made a mistake with his claim that safe cities for people seeking sanctuary in the U.S. encourages lawlessness. At the outset, I now clarify and define sanctuary as I use it: Sanctuary is refuge or shelter from economic deprivation and austerity directly related to unjust laws or treaties just as surly as providing safety from an evil dictator or a raging regional war.

Mr. Mass reminded us that we are a nation of laws and disobedience to the law is dangerous. Yes, Martin Luther King Jr. told us the United States is the greatest purveyor of violence on Earth. Look at what happened to him. And nothing has changed. Even so, we all need to step back and notice that Nazi Germany was a nation of laws and Hitler was elected. Russia, China, Iran, Korea and Bolivia are nations of laws. President Vladimir Putin grins when he points out that Russia is a nation of laws.

The Nuremberg principles were formulated precisely because the totalitarian dictatorship of Nazi Germany was a nation of laws. One cannot commit crimes against humanity and claim innocence because it was the law and that instructions came from someone higher up the totem pole. Our legal duty as citizens of Earth requires that we resist unjust laws, treaties, military orders and government policies. We must avoid crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Modern legal theory imposes a burden on mature citizens to judge their nation’s laws in the light of justice. The need here is to clearly discuss contradictions in bad government as they relate to Earth law via the Nurenberg principles.

Use this recent alarming border episode for example: The influx of tens of thousands of children fleeing the formerly peaceful Honduras. It is not normal to see tens of thousands of children fleeing in panic. This social malady is traceable to the overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya only six weeks prior to him leaving office. It was a regime change traceable to us. President Zelaya was kidnapped by masked men at 3 a.m. and taken to a U.S. airbase and then flown out of the country.

We can go two ways to solve this panicked population pressure: Build a wall and continue helping Canadian gold mining corporations plunder the place, or assist the people of Honduras in their efforts to live in peace.

A recent truckload of immigrants in a hot truck trailer had two Romanians among a mixture from the Americas. Those two are representative of the tumult experienced in the path of millions fleeing the mainly U.S. funded Syrian war. The actual facts of the economic, disaster and war refugee problem indicate that an unrestrained world-wide U.S. colonial war is killing millions of people. The U.S. is threatening Venezuela, Iran, Korea, Russia and China while causing mayhem in the Middle East, Central and South America and Africa. The most powerful military in history is raging across Earth.

People are coming to the heart of the beast for asylum from unjust laws, treaties and war. Lawlessness is in the eye of the beholder when one is examining huge human migrations. Many are fleeing destruction of their villages or being shot by drug war helicopters while traveling back and forth along a Honduran jungle river in the cool hours of early morning or late evening.

Everyone should be given refuge from crimes against peace. What is a crime against humanity? That one is fought over every day.

Garrett Connelly lives in Greenfield.