सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

Punish Putin? What about those responsible for war crimes in Vietnam, Iraq, Chile, etc.?

By Bharat Dogra 

There have been recent high-level calls from the west for punishing Vladimir Putin as war criminal for launching an invasion of Ukraine. Of course there can be no punishment without investigation and so these should be presumed to be calls for investigation, to be followed by punishment if guilt is proved beyond doubt in a completely unbiased way. This demand can be justly accepted with two conditions.
Firstly while all adverse impacts of the Ukraine invasion should be investigated, all factors which led to the invasion must also be investigated in a completely unbiased way. Secondly all other invasions of the post-war years ( 1945-2022) should also be investigated applying similar standards, as the worst war criminals involved in them, in some cases responsible for several hundred thousand deaths, have not been punished yet. Several of these war criminals are still alive.
To give just one example let us consider the case of Henry Kissinger who dominated USA foreign policy during 1969 to 1977 in the Presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He was appointed National Security Advisor in 1969 and Secretary of State in 1973. It has been widely documented since then that he played a very important role, likely to be a crucial and decisive role, in initiating and supporting in a big way anti-democratic, illegal, violent, catastrophic actions and activities in several nations which resulted in deaths of a very large number of people, including democratically elected, highly popular national leaders like Allende in Chile and Mujibur Rehman in Bangladesh.
Although documentation for this is spread over hundreds of articles and declassified pieces of information, perhaps the most detailed and most discussed documentation for this is available in a book ‘ Trial of Henry Kissinger’ written by Christopher Hitchens which is written almost as a document which can be used for trial in a court of law.
Of course there is in addition a lot of other documentation, all the more so in the specific context of the tragic events in Chile, Cambodia and Laos, Bangladesh and several other Third World countries which suffered from the coups, killings and carpet bombings unleashed by the arbitrary, ill-reasoned decisions taken by US foreign policy under the watch of Kissinger during 1969-77.
Documentation is also available on opposition to his policies by principled USA officials who were close to local realities and opposed the whimsical decisions of Kissinger taken in cruel violation of the advice of on-the-ground US officials. As Prof. Greg Grandin of New York University wrote, “ A back of the envelope count would attribute three, may be four million deaths to Kissinger’s actions, but that number probably undercounts his victims.”
The reason why Prof. Grandin says this is that the tragic impacts of arbitrary and cruel actions continued long after the immediate catastrophic events. For example the overthrow of the popular, democratic government of Allende in Chile caused a large number of killings, imprisonments and torture cases in the immediate aftermath of the coup, but in addition we cannot forget that this started the long and brutal regime of Pinochet dictatorship, with the support of US foreign policy under Kissinger, and this also led to so many avoidable deaths, imprisonments and tortures over a longer term.
Again in Cambodia and Laos over 3500 carpet bombings caused up to half a million deaths but in addition in Cambodia this indirectly helped the brutal communist regime of Pol Pot to come to power and unleash its own mass deaths. In Bangladesh the immediate results of Kissinger dominated policies led first to the killing of nearly 2.5 million persons in genocide by Pakistani forces and its collaborators in 1971 ( plus emergence of 10 million displaced refugees), and later to the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, the popular President, his family members and close colleagues in a coup in 1975. In addition authoritarian military regimes installed by this coup kept their atrocities and repressions going for nearly their 21 years after this.
What makes the conduct of Kissinger even more terrible is that he ignored repeatedly the sane and sage advice of important regional US diplomats. During the ongoing genocide in Bangladesh in 1971 for example, the Dacca based US Consul General and the US Ambassador to India are known to have pleaded repeatedly for stopping the US support for the genocide, but Kissinger and Nixon disregarded them and their advice and went ahead with their total support for ‘good friend’ Yahya Khan, who was overseeing the genocide from his base in Pakistan.
The repeated misdeeds reveal the working of a highly cynical , narrow and cruel mindset, insensitive to mass human suffering and guided only by perceived self-interest. This is revealed in his statements like asking for bombing anything that moves ( in the context of Cambodia ) and saying in the context of Cyprus—the illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer. In the context of the Iran-Iraq war he said—Let them kill each other. He made fun of those who expressed anguish at the massacre of ‘Bengali Hindus’.
It is also one of the biggest ironies of recent history that the same Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, resulting in a controversy which continued for a long time, involving also the resignation of two award committee members.
This is not just a matter of an individual, with the support of his powerful backers, somehow not only escaping punishment for very destructive deeds but also winning the most prestigious award. The more worrying aspect is that when such crimes against humanity go unpunished and in fact are rewarded, then this is likely to pave the way for even worse crimes in future.
There should not be such glaring double standards by the west—giving the biggest award to their own war criminal responsible for the death of at least two million innocent people, while asking for the quick punishment of a Russian war criminal who may be responsible for the death of few thousand innocent persons.
In Vietnam, a country which initially wanted the USA to be an important friend while bravely struggling to oust colonial rulers, the USA responded by such heavy bombing that in tonnage terms it exceeded World War bombing. About 2 million people were killed. Chemicals poisons were thrown on forests and farms on a scale never seen in human history. Nearly 10 million hectares of land was turned barren. Village after village was destroyed. People including children were burnt to death in napalm raids.
Two entirely avoidable invasions of Iraq and equally avoidable sanctions led together to several hundred thousand deaths. The extremely serious impacts of depleted uranium weapons used in Iraq have continued to cause enormous suffering even after several years.
There are numerous such cases of invasions in the post war years which should be investigated in an unbiased way. Then there were remote-controlled coups leading to the fall of democratic, popular governments, accompanied sometimes by assassination of most loved leaders, from Lumumba to Allende to Mujib. An unbiased investigation would identify many war criminals, including top leaders, to be followed by punishment which should be in keeping with the seriousness of the crime.
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The writer is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include ‘Planet in Peril' and ‘Protecting Earth for Children'

टिप्पणियाँ

ट्रेंडिंग

हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

देशव्यापी ग्रामीण भारत बंध में उतरे मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी, किया केंद्र सरकार का विरोध

- हरसिंग जमरे, भिखला सोलंकी, रतन अलावे*  15 और 16 फरवरी को निमाड के बड़वानी, खरगोन और बुरहानपुर में जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन के नेतृत्व में आदिवासी महिला-पुरुषों ग्रामीण भारत बंद में रैली एवं विरोध प्रदर्शन किया । प्रधान मंत्री द्वारा 2014 में फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने का वादा किया गया था, 2016 में किसानों की आय दुगना करने का वादा किया गया था । आज, फसलों का दाम नहीं बढ़ रहा है, लेकिन खेती में खर्च बढ़ता जा रहा है! खाद, बीज और दवाइयों का दाम, तीन-चार गुना बढ़ चुका है! किसानों को लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने के बजाए, खेती को कंपनियों के हवाले करने के लिए 3 काले कृषि कानून लाए गए । 3 काले कानून वापस लेते समय प्रधान मंत्री ने फिर वादा किया था कि फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव की कानूनी गारंटी के लिए कानून बनाएँगे, लेकिन वो भी झूठ निकला! आज जब देश के किसान दिल्ली में आपको अपना वादा याद दिलाने आए है, तब आप उनका रास्ता रोक रहें है, उनके साथ मारपीट कर उन पर आँसू गैस फेंक रहें हैं, उन पर छर्रों से फायरिंग कर रहें है! देश को खिलाने वाला किसान खुद भूखा रहे, क्या यही विकास है?

18થી નાની ઉંમરના 1,15,129 બાળકો શાળા બહાર? વાસ્તવિક આંકડો 15-20 ગણો વધું

- સુખદેવ પટેલ*  16 એપ્રિલથી સમગ્ર ગુજરાતમાં શાળા બહારના 6 થી 19 વર્ષની ઉંમરના બાળકોનો સર્વે શરૂ થયો છે.  જે 26 એપ્રિલ સુધી ચાલશે. જેની જવાબદારી સરકારી શાળાના શિક્ષકોને સોંપવામાં આવી છે. અત્યારે પ્રાથમિક શાળાઓમાં વાર્ષિક પરીક્ષાઓ ચાલી રહી છે. લોકસભાની ચૂંટણીઓના કામ પણ શિક્ષકોને ભાગે કરવાના આવશે. શિક્ષકો કેટલું કરી શક્શે? શિક્ષકો પાસેથી વ્યાજબી રીતે કેટલી અપેક્ષાઓ રાખવી જોઈએ? RTE ની જોગવાઈઓ મુજબ દરેક બાળક શિક્ષણ મેળવી શકે, તે માટે શાળા બહારના બાળકોને સર્વે કરીને શોધી કાઢવાનું ઉમદા કામ સરકાર વિચારે છે, તે આવકારદાયક છે. આવાં ઉત્તમ કામમાં જેમને સીધો લાભ થવાનો છે,  તેવાં હિતધારકોની પ્રતિનિધિ સમિતિ SMC સ્કૂલ મેનેજમેન્ટ કમિટી આ જવાબદારી સારી રીતે ઉપાડી શકે તેમ છે. શિક્ષણ વિભાગ SSA તરફથી આ કામગીરીમાં SMC ની ભાગીદારીનું આયોજન કરીને યોગ્ય માર્ગદર્શિકા તૈયાર કરવી જોઈએ.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

स्वास्थ्य सेवाओं को मजबूत करने के बजाय बीमा आधारित सेवाओं को प्राथमिकता क्यों?

- राष्ट्रीय स्वास्थ्य अधिकार अभियान  वैश्विक स्तर पर “विश्व स्वास्थ्य दिवस” इस साल “हमारा स्वास्थ्य, हमारा अधिकार” की अवधारणा को केन्द्रित कर मनाया जा रहा है। इस उपलक्ष्य में राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर स्वास्थ्य अधिकार संघर्ष को मजबूत करने के लिए, संवैधानिक और नीतिगत रूप में स्वास्थ्य को मौलिक अधिकार बनाने के लिए, स्वास्थ्य के विभिन्न आयामों को लोगों के हक के लिए संगठित करने, जागरूक करने और स्वास्थ्य के मानकों पर कार्य करने हेतु तथा सरकार को जनता के प्रति जिम्मेदार बनाने हेतु जन आंदोलनों के राष्ट्रीय समन्वय ने स्वास्थ्य अधिकार अभियान के माध्यम से जनता के पक्ष को मजबूत करने के लिए राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर स्वास्थ्य अधिकार के मुद्दे पर सक्रिय रूप से कार्य करेगा।

અમદાવાદ પોલિસ કમિશનરનું જાહેરનામું: નાગરિક સ્વાતંત્ર્ય પર તરાપ મારવાની પ્રક્રિયાનો એક ભાગ

- હેમંતકુમાર શાહ  અમદાવાદના પોલિસ કમિશનરનું લોકશાહી વિરોધી વધુ એક પગલું ચૂંટણી ટાણે જોવા મળ્યું છે.   તા. ૧૬-૦૪-૨૦૨૪ના રોજ તેમણે એક જાહેરનામું બહાર પાડીને ફોજદારી કાર્યવાહી અધિનિયમ-૧૯૭૩ની કલમ-૧૪૪ આખા શહેરમાં લાગુ કરી જણાવ્યું છે કે "કોઈ પણ પ્રચારપ્રસાર રેલી દરમ્યાન કોઈ એ કાળા વાવટા ફરકાવવા નહિ કે ઉશ્કેરણીજનક બેનર કે પ્લે કાર્ડ બતાવવું નહિ અથવા કોઈ વિરોધમાં ઉશ્કેરણીજનક સૂત્રોચ્ચાર કરવો નહિ."

न नौकरियाँ, न पर्याप्त मजदूरी, न राहत: अनौपचारिक श्रमिकों के लिए मोदी की विरासत

- प्रतिनिधि द्वारा  भारत में वास्तविक मज़दूरी 2014-15 के बाद से नहीं बढ़ी है, जबकि देश की जीडीपी जरूर बेहतर हुई है। इस दौरान देश की सामाजिक सुरक्षा व्यवस्था भी थम सी गई है। देश के अनौपचारिक श्रमिकों का जीवन बेहद अनिश्चित है, खासकर झारखंड जैसे राज्यों में जहां अनौपचारिक रोजगार लाखों लोगों की आजीविका का मुख्य स्रोत है।

क्या कांग्रेस का घोषणापत्र मुस्लिम लीग की सोच को प्रतिबिंबित करता है?

- राम पुनियानी गत 4 अप्रैल 2024 को भारतीय राष्ट्रीय कांग्रेस ने 2024 के आमचुनाव के लिए अपना घोषणापत्र जारी किया. पार्टी ने इसे 'न्याय पत्र' का नाम दिया है. इसमें जाति जनगणना, आरक्षण पर 50 प्रतिशत की ऊपरी सीमा हटाने, युवाओं के लिए रोज़गार, इंटर्नशिप की व्यवस्था, गरीबों के लिए आर्थिक मदद आदि का वायदा किया गया है. घोषणापत्र का फोकस महिलाओं, आदिवासियों, दलितों, ओबीसी, किसानों और युवाओं व विद्यार्थियों के लिए न्याय पर है. कांग्रेस के एक प्रवक्ता ने कहा कि घोषणापत्र यह वादा करता है कि भाजपा के पिछले 10 सालों के शासनकाल में समाज के विभिन्न तबकों के साथ हुए अन्याय को समाप्त किया जाएगा.