Now the Cartoonish Glorification of the SEAL Team 6 Assassins and Marauders

“In Bin Laden’s Compound, Seals’ All-Star Team” runs the headline in the fawning New York Times. You knew it would happen after the Sheik Bin Laden bloodletting was proclaimed. The Washington Post reports these invaders were “ripped” and sculpted males–of course. SEAL Team 6 is depicted as so secret no one acknowledges their existence. Indeed they operate outside even US norms of civilised combatant behaviour. Yet shortly after their killing a woman and wounding another woman trying to defend her husband in their bedroom, the world was told about these special ops SEALs. Young people watching this virtual military pornography are supposed to envy their brute strength, their vast training in killing women, their superhuman brutal training and their dashing bravado as twenty-four men attack defenceless sleeping residents in a home.

The glorification of American power and the lust for Islamic blood is only to be condemned as uncivilised, excessive nationalism in this Spartan nation of militarisation and love of war. Note we are now engaged in a self-glorification of killing unarmed men and shooting women for sport, and elevating such violations of Just War doctrine to a kind of superhero hagiography. We revel in these mystery men who attack a house in a country without permission, without legal authorisation and proceed to gun down its occupants.

Home invasion is a crime in this country and those SEAL Team 6 members are nothing but thugs. It is time we oppose such gratuitous violence. If Sheik Osama Bin Laden was a non-resistant, unarmed individual, he should not have been harmed. One does not kill in a so-called war on terrorism civilians in urban areas. Those killers under orders to kill and not take any principal alive, had the right under the Nuremberg Principles to refuse an immoral order. The U.S. Military Code of Conduct is official practice as established by two presidential executive orders {Eisenhower and Carter}: Principle II states: ” I will never surrender of my own free will.” That means not only surrendering to a force majeure but also one does not obey an illegal order as a home invasion if one has a moral choice. One may defy and indeed is responsible to refuse an order whether at My Lai or elsewhere, if ordered to intentionally kill unresisting civilians or unarmed command authority.

The argument of “following orders” does not apply to an illegal order. Attorney General Eric Holder testified that the assassins’ actions were legal. They were not and he dutifully shamed the nation. Yet his proclamation of legality is ex post facto. Home invasion is illegal. Invading a sovereign nation for this type of crime is illegal. The lack of identity of these navy personnel is instructive. If their actions were so heroic and if they are so gallant, why not release their names? A cowardly nation that commits acts of state terrorism at night should proclaim its heroic actors. Fear of retaliation? Fear of cashing in on murder? Fear of relatives being under threat? Perhaps but I think it is shame: the knowledge that sending young men to slaughter people in their bedrooms is not heroic but an act of state terrorism and prosecutable.

I agree with President Obama in his decision not to release photos of the corpse of Mr Bin Laden. Yet that decision while appropriate does not mitigate his responsibilities as a Nobel Peace Laureate to steer the nation away from barbaric mistreatment of non-white peoples throughout vast areas of Asia to a more responsible position within the international community.

It is fitting to note that John F. Kennedy established these assassin Sea Air Land teams in 1962 as part of his “Nation Building” scheme of counterinsurgency with so-called Special Forces. Even the “Green Berets” were created by the Cold War containment president. Mr Kennedy thought Vietnam could be managed by elite counterinsurgency units but instead he escalated dramatically the war during his administration including the assassination of our “ally’s” president, Ngo Dinh Diem. What a country! We kill our own allies’ leaders if they don’t work out. Vietnam of course was a war of genocide and mass murder that is beyond debate. No prosecutions for war crimes were instigated of course because might makes right. Now we replicate it in terms of illegal actions by the same units as established by the dashing, martyred president. No longer in the jungles of Vietnam but still in Asia and still a disgrace.

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