The American Sniper movie, which Professor of International Affairs Sophia A. McClennan finds to be “a terrifying glimpse” of a “mind-set that couples delusion with violence”, has rallied countless would-be “sand-nigger” killers and “sand-nigger-killer” cheerleaders with the religio-philosophical pronouncement that groups that commit vicious, illegal, near-universally opposed attacks against much smaller, weaker groups have been “blessed with the gift of aggression”.
(It goes without saying that the film leaves out that the US helped install Saddam Hussein and was a major supporter of and accomplice with him, as part of a US/Euro/Iraqi axis, in killing hundreds of thousands of Iranians, Kurds, and Iraqis, many with poison gas.)
Offering a contrasting view on aggression, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and leading expert on relativity theory Stephen Hawking recently said “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression.”
Aggression, Hawking continued, is a holdover from “caveman days”.
Indeed, the Nuremberg Tribunal, where Nazis were executed for aggression, ruled:
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
This means the US is legally responsible for the rise of ISIS and all other instability, injury, mayhem, chaos, and death resulting from the illegal US invasion of Iraq.
The Nuremberg trial further stated:
If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner’s dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure.
We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.
We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy.
And the 1945 International Conference on Military Trials stated:
If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them…
These rulings were ignored immediately, as the US (already having been essentially continually engaged in aggression since 1776) has essentially continually engaged in aggression since the rulings went into force, and has arrested exactly zero of its leaders for the crime.
Indeed, it has done the exact opposite of what the rulings demanded, illegally demonstrating that “aggressive war-making” is a sure way to “honors” in this power-structure, but never “the prisoner’s dock”, which is reserved for those who stand in the way – the precise stance taken by the Germans and all rogue, criminal organizations.
Before it is too late, will we force our regime to stop acting in line with the ravings of a fictionalized, movie-version of religious fanatic/mass murderer Chris Kyle’s autobiography, and start listening to geniuses like Stephen Hawking and following the law, which was created precisely because all rational observers know that – rendering any justification irrelevant – aggression leads to death and chaos?
Robert Barsocchini is an internationally published researcher and writer who focuses on global force dynamics and also writes professionally for the film industry. He is a regular contributor to Washington’s Blog. Follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.