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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Reverse compensation: Afghanistan pays, Vatican prays, US hunts

What better example of the distortions of “justice” under colonial modernity than with exact reimbursement for international crimes with Afghanistan v. Vatican.

Afghanistan is being further assimilated by its former US occupier in the name of paying compensation to the victims of 9/11; While the Vatican, rich in colonial plunder, continues to avoid paying for centuries of anti-indigenous genocide written by papal edicts such as the Discovery of Discovery (PDF).

Afghanistan has “protected” $3.5 billion of its foreign reserves, the US commanded to pay for 9/11, as Afghans starve for millions; The Vatican’s atonement for the participation of “many Catholics” in residential “schools” run by the Church of Canada is limited to prayer and apology – following the participation of “many Catholics” in residential “schools” run by the Church of Canada earlier this month. was issued for. Sent to bonded labor, torture, torture and death. (Similar institutions operate in the US as well.)

US courts have ordered billions of dollars in damages against the Taliban for 9/11 – the “debt” for which the Afghan people are being collectively punished and impoverished to pay. The Vatican, in contrast, is protected from prosecution in foreign states by the principle of “sovereign immunity”: the auspices under which state violence is exempt from legal liability.

Although the US and Canadian legal systems have drawn up “terrorism” exceptions to sovereign immunity, these are specifically applied against select Muslim countries and other designated official enemies, not to terror perpetrated by the colonial state.

For example, under America’s “terrorism” exception, states can be stripped of their sovereign immunity and prosecuted for “extra murder” and “torture”—but only if the U.S. government’s “terrorism” be on the blacklist of “State Sponsors”. Meanwhile, America’s own global prerogative for nonjudgmental killing and mass torture lies behind walls of legitimate punishment.

In the earlier colonial eras, this was the label “Berberian/Savage” (one might say BS) used to mark those ousted from sovereign status, and therefore subject to sovereign violence without restraint. Today it is “terrorist”. “Terrorism” is the new BS.

Under this regime of inverted accountability, Sudan was made to pay $335m for “terrorism” to the US last year in exchange for being removed from the list of “terrorist” states.

In contrast, efforts to seek legal redress for US aggression against Sudan – such as the destruction of the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory, which produced 50-60 percent of the country’s drugs, and mistakenly targeted as an al-Qaeda plant and was targeted – dismissed by US courts for raising unacceptable “political questions”.

Now, Sudan is facing a billion-dollar lawsuit in an effort to hold 9/11 accountable, with the al-Shifa factory not surprisingly seen as a casualty of US incursions against Sudan, but of Sudan’s alleged cited as alleged evidence of “incubation”. of al-Qaeda.

In previous US decisions, a similar lack of evidence and reasoning has been no deterrent – ​​for example, holding Sudan liable for $5.9bn by al-Qaeda for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in East Africa. This is despite the judge’s admission that “nothing suggests that Sudan specifically knew or intended to detonate the bombings” and that “the plaintiffs’ allegations are somewhat erroneous as to a causal relationship”. [of Sudan’s actions] with terrorist acts. ,

Similarly, Libya was required to pay $1.5bn for US victims of “terrorist” acts, such as the 1988 Lockerbie plane blast. On the other hand, the lawsuit brought by the US by the 55 civilian victims of the Libyan bombing – which preceded the Lockerbie attack – was dismissed by a US court as not only “frivolous” but “audacious”.

Clearly, “audacity of hope” is a privilege reserved for the US presidents who command the bombings, not the populations who experience them.

The US has not only failed to pay compensation to Iraq for the 2003 illegal invasion and occupation, but has, on the contrary, “withdrawn $400m from Iraq to ensure compensation for any meritorious claims.” [by US nationals] based on terrorist acts committed by the Saddam Hussein regime”. Iraq was awarded to the US on top of $633m in “repairs” – by the United Nations Compensation Commission, as part of Iraq’s recently completed settlement for the First Gulf War Corporations were created to pay – including business profiteers such as Halliburton and Bechtel.

As far as Iraqi victims of US military terrorist acts – drone and checkpoint killings, widespread radiation poisoning, home and critical infrastructure bombings – far from being “assured compensation”, they have been actively denied and brutalized. suppressed by.

Cases involving even the most serious and accepted practices of abuse – for example, Iraqi and Afghan detainees were beaten, stabbed, burnt, starved, electrocuted, faked, killed, Locked up naked in phone-booth-sized boxes, attacked with lions and military dogs, hooded, chained to ceilings, sexually assaulted in Abu Ghraib and other US prison camps, and raped – US courts rejected by.

Judges have ruled that criminals are shielded by immunity as are state officials, and the US Constitution’s prohibition against “brutal and unusual punishment” covers only those convicted of a crime. is – not like Iraqi and Afghan detainees, imprisoned and victimized without any aspect of the legal process.

In contrast, the lawsuit against Iraq claiming millions of dollars for “material support” for 9/11 was allowed – with the exception of sovereign immunity under “terrorism” – to succeed. The minor detail that the plaintiff’s complaint contained “some material fact of any material support actually provided by Iraq” was, as acknowledged by the judge in the case, no bar. no proof? No problem.

It is the same operating principle under which US courts have also awarded billions of dollars in 9/11 damages against Iran, based on the testimony of “expert” witnesses such as Islamophobic conspiracy-theory-peddlers Claire Lopez and Patrick Clausen, in court. Described by “the foremost expert on all matters relating to Iran” who has advocated false-flag operations against Iran to incite war.

In US court rulings, Iran has been accused of trying to “break the backbone of the US economy” as the US ravaged Iran and various other economies by imposing suffocating sanctions – called “economic warfare” by UN special envoys. Described as – largely untested.

Like the Palestinians, those deprived of sovereignty under occupation are prosecuted for “terrorism” in US courts; While the tortures and massacres of their captors are kept out of accountability, those wrapped in a cloak of sovereign immunity. (Although Palestine and the Vatican have the same status as observer states at the United Nations, the Vatican has been granted sovereign immunity in the US, but Palestine does not.)

Muslims and other “state sponsors of terrorism” are blamed for targeting US troops, while the US’s own killings in Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere are forever closed – “collateral damage” under the carpet. “, which is paid marginally. Worshiped Muslim “terrorists” for leaving children and the elderly in the way of American bombs.

Echoing many centuries of colonial logic, “their” violence is attributed to their “savage”, while “our” (greater) violence is also blamed on their “savage”.

“It is essentially the character of the barbarian (or, for that matter, of the terrorist), not his work which is perceived as horror,” said Talal Assad, an eminent critical scholar of anthropology. “Properties” [commonly used to describe “terrorists”] The same applies to state forces waging war, whether ‘just’ or ‘unjust’. The main difference is that states can and do cause far more destruction than terrorists can”: nearly a million were killed directly, many times more were killed indirectly, and in the last 20 years only “the War on Terror” 38 million were displaced.

The violence protected under sovereign immunity – war, torture, genocide – testifies to the violence inherent in the concept of sovereignty itself: rooted in centuries-old European doctrines that denounced the colonial dispossession and enslavement of people deemed “relentless” and “uncivilised”. evolved to be pure. ,

In American law, the fundamental jurisprudence on sovereign immunity was decided by the same jurist in honor of 19th-century Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, who described indigenous nations as inherently subject to “the superior genius of Europe”. Declared and retained international validity. transatlantic slave trade.

Then, as now, the sovereign privileges granted to some are based on the domination of others: slaves, invaders and colonies who are not only subjected to “decent” cruelty, but have been forced to pay “compensation”. . The crime of resisting their oppression – from Haitians punished for their self-liberation, ordered indigenous nations to indemnify oil corporations who plundered their waters and lands.

Instead of following colonial sovereignty’s promise of domination-and-terrorism through power, can we recall, imagine, and write down other possibilities to organize our relations with one another and the world? are?

As Frantz Fanon, the great philosopher of the end of colonialism urged, “Let us not pay tribute to Europe by building states, institutions and societies that draw inspiration from them … If we want humanity to take a step forward, If we want to bring it to a different level than what Europe has shown, we must invent and we must discover.”

This is what real compensation—to make those who have been utterly wronged again—will be required: not a return to the previous status quo, but its radical change towards justice and peace.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of Al Jazeera.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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