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Reagan: the Most Popular War Criminal

Posted in the database on Monday, June 27th, 2005 @ 19:56:17 MST (1559 views)
from Another Day in the Empire  

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“Former President Ronald Reagan was named the ‘Greatest American’ of all time in an interactive contest tonight, topping fellow Republican Abraham Lincoln,” reports WorldNetDaily. “Of more than 2.4 million votes in the survey sponsored by America Online, Reagan… captured the title with 24 percent of ballots, just edging out Lincoln by 0.44 percent, according to host Matt Lauer.” Unfortunately, this is more evidence the average American, or at least the average AOL user who participated in this poll, knows absolutely nothing about history (or maybe he does and approves of mass murder, torture, rampant sadism, and repeated violations of international law). Consider the legacy of the Reagan years, scrupulously avoided by the corporate media when the Gipper cashed in his chips last year:

Like Bush, Reagan was fond of violating all manner of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, the UN General Assembly’s Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty (1965), its Declaration on the Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (1970), and its Definition of Aggression (1974), among others. Like Bush, Reagan ignored the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 as a matter of course.

Reagan’s 1983 invasion of Grenada was a violation of the UN Charter articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 as well as of articles 18, 20, and 21 of the Revised OAS Charter. It was a textbook example of aggression under article 39 of the United Nation’s Charter.

Reagan intervened in El Salvador’s civil war, an act that contravened the international legal right of self-determination of peoples as recognized by article 1(2) of the United Nations Charter. AOL popularity contest winner Reagan provided military assistance to El Salvador’s murderous and sadistic government, fond of killing not only political opponents but American nuns and missionaries as well. The US-trained Atlacatl Battalion paramilitary killed around a thousand civilians in the village of El Mozote in the Department of Morazan in 1981.

Reagan organized and trained the infamous Contras for the purpose of overthrowing the legitimate government of Nicaragua in violation of the terms of both the UN and OAS. Reagan thumbed his nose at the International Court of Justice on May 10, 1984, when it ruled the United States had an obligation in accordance with the Interim Order of Protection to stop supporting the terrorist group. As if this was not enough, Reagan mined Nicaraguan harbors, a violation of international law set forth in the 1907 Hague Convention on the laying of Submarine Mines, to which both Nicaragua and the United States were parties (imagine if Nicaragua had mined the harbors in Boston or San Francisco).

Reagan, the most popular man ever—well, for Americans, anyway—teamed up with the Israelis to invade Lebanon in 1982, a crime against the peace as defined by the Nuremberg Principles. Reagan was an accomplice to crimes against humanity, war crimes, and grave breaches of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949 when he supported Israel and its Phalange and Haddad militia allies in Lebanon (most notable in this context was the genocidal mass murder in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut).

The Gipper, so revered by Americans, violated Article 39 of the UN Charter when he parked the U.S. Sixth Fleet in Libya’s Gulf of Sidra and eventually bombed Libya on April 14, 1986, killing civilians, including Moammar Gadhafi’s daughter.

In addition, Mr. Popularity, with his blood stained hands, supported South African apartheid, obstructed the achievement of Namibian independence (a violation of Security Council Resolution 435) by linking it to the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola, and violated international law by illegal occupying the island of Diego Garcia, (a violation of the international right of self-determination of the people of Mauritius as recognized by the United Nations Charter).

But I guess I’m too negative and needlessly concentrating on the dark side of this man’s legacy, which also includes starring in several good-humored if completely forgettable movies.



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