Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Final Statement of the BRussells Tribunal

(The following is the final statement of the BRussells Tribunal, an international commission of inquiry held in Brussels on April 14-17, 2004. Tom Barry, policy...

(The following is the final statement of the BRussells Tribunal, an international commission of inquiry held in Brussels on April 14-17, 2004. Tom Barry, policy director of the IRC, participated in this tribunal, which focused on the origins of the “new imperial world order.” More information on the Brussels Tribunal and other planned international tribunals can be found at: www.brusselstribunal.org )

The BRussells Tribunal focused on the programs and policies proposed by “The Project for the New American Century” (PNAC), a predominantly neo-conservative “think-tank” that has advocated global US hegemony, primarily through the threat or use of military power. The objective of the Tribunal, working as a commission of inquiry, was to establish whether there was a link between PNAC’s proposals and the foreign and military strategy of the current US government, and the subsequent invasion and occupation of Iraq. The Commission also examined the impact of policies and programs advocated by PNAC on the stability and security of international relations.

 To establish its findings and shape its report, the Commission heard testimony from specialists on international affairs and witnesses knowledgeable about the current conditions in Iraq. The Commission also relied on PNAC’s reports and official US government documents, as well as written analyses.

The Commission came to the following conclusions: 

  1. The PNAC program consists of three main components:
    1. to establish US hegemony in the new century, relying primarily on military and technological superiority;
    2. to prevent the emergence of any competing global or regional powers by imposing what is sometimes termed a “Pax Americana”;
    3. to exercise pre-emptive action against all perceived threats to American “interests” and security.
  2. A significant number of signatories to PNAC’s 1997 founding Statement of Principles” became senior members of the current US administration, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. The adoption of those principles by this administration is evidenced by official White House documents such as “The National Security Strategy” of September 2002. These principles have been put into action through the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  
  3. According to a clear majority of States and a large consensus of legal experts, the invasion of Iraq constitutes an act of aggression, a breach of one of the most fundamental norms of the international legal order. This demonstrates that the implementation of policies emanating from PNAC and endorsed by the current administration runs counter to the principles of the UN Charter and undermines the United Nations itself, which bears the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.  
  4. The invasion of Iraq has resulted in more than 10,000 civilian deaths. With each passing day of occupation, the number of victims grows, as do the gross violations of humanitarian law and human rights, such as arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and deprivation in regard to basic needs. The situation of the Iraqi people has clearly deteriorated and the promises of democracy and freedom have proved to be illusory. The constant use of the words “democracy”, “freedom” and “human rights” in such a context amounts to a complete perversion of those terms.  
  5. Far from bringing stability and peace in Iraq and the region, the invasion and occupation have created instability and chaos. Moreover, the deliberate destruction of Iraq has effectively promoted the Israeli government’s policies of further unlawful expansion and de facto annexation of territories as well as further annihilation of the rights of the Palestinian people. The Tribunal noted that PNAC itself called explicitly in 2002 for the US administration to align itself with the views of the Israeli government. These developments increase hostility between the peoples of the region and the West, contrary to the proclaimed objectives of making the world a safer place.  
  6. There is evidence of a consistent US strategy, as envisioned by the PNAC report entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, to establish global domination by military means.  Contrary to claims that this domination would be a “benevolent hegemony”, it is more likely to lead to a state of permanent war. PNAC policies are based on brutal unilateralism and disregard for legality. As such, the ideas of PNAC constitute an intellectual crime. The war in Iraq is only one element of a global agenda which is linked with logics of the dominant economic system, inspired by neo-conservative ideology and supported by religious fundamentalism.  
  7. Due to the growing resistance encountered by the occupying powers in Iraq and other unanticipated difficulties, the United States and United Kingdom have made cynical requests for the involvement of the United Nations in Iraq, thereby pre-empting the sovereign rights of the Iraqi people to determine their future.  The United Nations should avoid complicity with — let alone legitimise in any way — the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Any such action would further discredit this world body. The UN should restore its legitimacy through ensuring the complete withdrawal of all occupying forces and assisting the Iraqi people in recovering their full sovereignty.  Any involvement of the European Union or of NATO to help the occupying powers should be refused.  
  8. Finally, the Tribunal calls upon the peoples of the world to demand that their governments    deny  military, political, financial or any other support to the occupying powers; and
    oppose the illegal implementation by occupation forces or their surrogates of any plans for the wholesale privatization of the Iraqi economy.
     
    The Tribunal also expresses its solidarity with the Iraqi people and its support for their attempts at recovering their full sovereignty.
  9.  

    For More Information “Project for the New American Century,” IRC Right Web Profile, December 2003, online at: : https://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/pnac.php

     

     

    Citations

    Tom Barry, "Final Statement of the BRussells Tribunal," IRC Right Web (Somerville, MA: Interhemispheric Resource Center, April 21, 2004).

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is one of the Senate’s more vocal hawks, and one of the prime vacillators among Republicans between objecting to and supporting Donald Trump.


Ron Dermer is the Israeli ambassador to the United States and has deep connections to the Republican Party and the neoconservative movement.


The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute is a rightist think tank with a broad mandate covering a range of foreign and domestic policy issues that is known for its strong connections to neoconservatism and overseas debacles like the Iraq War.


Max Boot, neoconservative military historian at the Council on Foreign Relations, on Trump and Russia: “At every turn Trump is undercutting the ‘get tough on Russia’ message because he just can’t help himself, he just loves Putin too much.”


Since taking office Donald Trump has revealed an erratic and extremely hawkish approach to U.S. foreign affairs, which has been marked by controversial actions like dropping out of the Iran nuclear agreement that have raised tensions across much of the world and threatened relations with key allies.


Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and an evangelical pastor, is a far-right pundit known for his hawkish policies and opposition to an Israeli peace deal with the Palestinians.


Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and considered by some to be a future presidential candidate.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

The Trumpian new regional order in the Middle East is predicated on strongman rule, disregard for human rights, Sunni primacy over Iran and other Shia centers of power, continued military support for pro-American warring parties regardless of the unlawfulness of such wars, and Israeli hegemony.


A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


The Trump administration’s nuclear proliferation policy is now in meltdown, one which no threat of “steely resolve”—in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s words—will easily contain. It is hemorrhaging in part because the administration has yet to forge a strategy that consistently and credibly signals a feasible bottom line that includes living with—rather than destroying—regimes it despises or fears. Political leaders on both sides of the aisle must call for a new model that has some reasonable hope of restraining America’s foes and bringing security to its Middle East allies.


Congressional midterm elections are just months away and another presidential election already looms. Who will be the political leader with the courage and presence of mind to declare: “Enough! Stop this madness!” Man or woman, straight or gay, black, brown, or white, that person will deserve the nation’s gratitude and the support of the electorate. Until that occurs, however, the American penchant for war will stretch on toward infinity.


To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


RightWeb
share