imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Rumsfeld's Bad Things

by C/O Diogenes Thursday, Apr. 17, 2003 at 4:40 PM

umsfeld could have stopped the shambles easily by ordering adoption of normal measures that would have been used by Iraqi authorities - a perfectly legal order by the occupying power. Iraqi police would have shot looters, quite legally

Rumsfeld's Bad Things

By Brian Cloughle

Op-Ed The Daily Times - Pakistan


Rumsfeld could have stopped the shambles easily by ordering adoption of normal measures that would have been used by Iraqi authorities - a perfectly legal order by the occupying power. Iraqi police would have shot looters, quite legally

Donald Rumsfeld, the US defense secretary, is notorious for delivering uncouth insults in his role as the loosest cannon in the erratic regiment of Washington Top Guns, but his recent hysterical outburst about looting and the breakdown of law in Baghdad was remarkable even for him. His loss of control was undignified and vulgar when he berated the media for failing to report the War According to Rumsfeld.


He complained that television scenes showing looting in Baghdad appeared "over and over again", which indeed they did - just as did pictures of Iraqis welcoming American troops. But Rumsfeld hates being unable to control what the media portray. What he wants is non-violent, kiddie-kissing soldiers being welcomed by happy natives. War is Good! War is Liberating! He does not want pictures of mutilated children or frenzied, murderous looting.


Above all he does not want reporting like this, by Suzanne Goldenberg of the Guardian:

"A [car] pulled up [at Yarmouk hospital] with an entire wounded family and the corpse of a baby girl. Her name was Rawand, and she was nine months old. When her family returned to their home for the first time since the war, yesterday, she crawled over to a small dark oval - a cluster bomblet - which detonated, killing her outright and injuring her mother and two of her boy cousins."


Rumsfeld and Bush support the Geneva Convention, as they told us when television showed pictures of American prisoners. (They ignored the fact that television carried "over and over again" ( to use the Rumsfeld phrase), images of Iraqi prisoners in dire straits ; but let that pass.) What the Convention (Additional Protocol, 1977) says about killing civilians is precise. One of the "grave breaches" is "launching an attack against works or installations containing dangerous forces in the knowledge that such attack will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians, or damage to civilian objects, as defined in Article 57". And Article 85(5) states that "Without prejudice to the application of the Convention and of this Protocol, grave breaches of these instruments shall be regarded as war crimes."


As defined in the Convention, Bush and Blair and their officials have committed war crimes. Not at any stage of hostilities (such as they were, against a practically non-existent military force), was there a tactical requirement to use cluster bombs. Not at any time during their personal exercise of overwhelming might against a puny and inconsequential foe was there military necessity to bomb ordinary houses to rubble.


The attitude of Rumsfeld and his complaisant subordinates to the catastrophic results of their onslaught is inhuman. Nobody dared question the Rumsfeld scream (literally) that "here's a country that's being liberated", even when it was obvious that Baghdad had plunged into anarchy, courtesy of the Rumsfeld plan to have minimum troops and maximum bombing. As any student of war knows well, the fighting troops (not that they had much fighting to do, but, still, they were exhausted by the Rumsfeld PR requirement to get to Baghdad quickly) should have been followed up by twice that number of soldiers to maintain order. Rumsfeld's petulant shrieks of rage are indication enough that he never thought about this. How could he? He has never studied war.


I am minded of George MacDonald Fraser, author of the Flashman books and many others, who as a Lance Corporal in 1945 at the capture of Rangoon was immediately sent to guard a bank. There was nothing in the bank - but all commercial and public buildings should be guarded by occupation forces, and so they were, with severity. If anyone had tried a bit of looting, they would have been shot dead. But in Iraq, US and British soldiers had not been given proper orders and didn't know what to do. They fired over the heads of looters and rioters, which is ridiculous and ineffective.


When a crowd realises that soldiers opposing it will shoot only above their heads, it gains confidence. Looters conclude that occupation troops have been told not to fire at them, and the knowledge makes them bolder. So people redouble their efforts to loot and take vengeance on commercial, religious, political or social enemies, and total chaos results.


Rumsfeld could have stopped the shambles easily by ordering adoption of normal measures that would have been used by Iraqi authorities - a perfectly legal order by the occupying power. Iraqi police would have shot looters, quite legally, under the laws of Iraq, and the relevant provision in international law (Article 43 of the Hague Convention) is that "the authority of the legitimate power having passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all measures to restore and ensure so far as possible public order and safety, while respecting... the laws in force in the country." In other words, shoot looters if the law of the country permits looter shooting. But Rumsfeld and his cringing subordinates could not take such a bad PR decision.


The Washington Post recorded an articulate Baghdad resident's indignation about the feeble American position: "George Bush says on TV, 'we want to give freedom to the Iraqi people.' What freedom? The freedom to steal from houses and hospitals?" But Rumsfeld announced that "where [US troops] see looting, they're stopping it." Reuters reported from the scene and quoted a marine as saying "Hell, it ain't my job to stop them. Goddam Iraqis will steal anything if you let them." Rumsfeld is a liar.


Then Rumsfeld whined that "I picked up a newspaper today and I couldn't believe it. I read eight headlines. And it [sic] talked about chaos, violence, unrest.... I've never seen anything like it." What the man meant was that he did not like factual, truthful news about what was happening. Even US media noted that there was chaos, violence and unrest which anyone but the most brainwashed zombie would admit is hideous and resulted from one thing only: lack of control by the invaders.


The most ludicrous statement by Rumsfeld was that the situation in Iraq "is untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." This is an absurd and bizarre pronouncement, but the worrying thing is that this man represents the United States of America. He is a shrill, hysterical buffoon, but has great influence. Rumsfeld and the other loose cannons are swaggering as conquerors, and we should prepare ourselves for more bad things.


Brian Cloughley is a former military officer who writes on international affairs. His website is

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
The Chaos... Diogenes Thursday, Apr. 17, 2003 at 4:43 PM
nessie daveman Thursday, Apr. 17, 2003 at 5:14 PM
Its just like Groucho Pants Thursday, Apr. 17, 2003 at 5:25 PM
At least the fake... daveman Thursday, Apr. 17, 2003 at 5:32 PM
fake daveman daveman Thursday, Apr. 17, 2003 at 5:35 PM

Local News

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Apocalypse capitalisme O20 7:45AM

Stress, réaction organique à l'agression O19 6:59AM

Elder Aliyah to Israel, Like Abraham and Sarah O18 6:35PM

Politoscope plurivalent O17 6:59AM

Paraphysique du microcosme macrocosme O15 6:44AM

September 2018 Honduras coup update O15 3:31AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:34AM

The Nation Unites Against Brian Kemp, Most Racist Secretary of State in US O14 7:23AM

Paraphysique de l'ubérisation O13 7:56AM

22 Ways Trump Has Increased US Deficit By 4 to 5 Trillion Dollars O12 10:34PM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Plus d'hôpitaux, à bas les aéros O12 6:38AM

When Banana Ruled (documentary) O11 3:00AM

Outstanding Report By RAMOLA D &Dr.Tomo Shibata O10 9:17PM

Dark Clouds Gather on Horizon for Financial System, Warns International Monetary Fund O10 1:51PM

Fbi pure evil & immorality O10 5:39AM

Reality Check: Palestinian-Israeli Coexistence is a Big Lie O09 7:40PM

Voiceless Animals: 2018 Candidates They Oppose O09 7:01PM

IMF Lowers Global Growth Projections and Raises Concerns of Financial Crisis O09 3:27PM

Canitie, l'inhumanité vieillit O09 7:13AM

L'anarchie en quelques exemples O07 6:50AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy