Crime-Free Power

It takes a lot to say some things when the hand that feeds you is the same one that slaps you. You weigh it against your moral true north, you realize you have fewer years ahead of you than behind you, and you no longer have the luxury of accommodating strategic fear. For a crutch, I’ll borrow the wisdom of Rev. William Sloane Coffin

“There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover’s quarrel with their country” – Rev. WS Coffin

The US Supreme Court is currently trying to determine if a US president has immunity against crimes he/she commits while in office. This case, brought to you by Trump Inc. Former Potus wants to not have to answer to any crimes he committed or might commit while in office.

Now, this is all around laughable. I mean rib-cracking angry-sad laughable for those in other countries who have borne the brunt of crimes against humanity committed by several US presidencies.

Not a single authority in the US has ever paused to say- wait a minute, shouldn’t our American presidents be held accountable for killing thousands in proxy wars fought in other countries; for a cold war that was never cold in many countries where the two adversaries armed and fueled hot flames of death and destruction and assassinations of presidents; for thousands killed in pretentious preemptive wars that are now provably criminal; for supporting the invasion of American multinational corporations into other people’s countries to criminally exploit resources at the expense of local communities and families now stuck in generational poverty and subjugated?

While these questions were never asked, American presidents have financed, scolded and supported the prosecution of strongmen in other countries after these rogue presidents left office. It’s pretzel politics so twisted you can’t tell where the knot of audacious sanctimony begins and ends. Ronald Reagan, touted as one of America’s best presidents, was also one Africa’s worst and most dangerous presidents. To cite just one example, he financed the butcher of Liberia, Samuel Doe, bromanced him with an invitation to the White House, and later washed his hands off of Doe’s crimes in all their glorious horror.

The rest of the world has lived under the unspoken rule that an American president can reach into any country’s sovereignty with deathly tentacles and do anything to them in the name of “American interests”, and nothing, absolutely nothing, will be done to that American president.

“May God give you grace never to sell yourself short. To risk something big for something good. And grace to remember that the world is too dangerous for anything but truth, And too small for anything but love” – Rev WS Coffin

The US has the power and arrogance to NOT be party to the Rome Statute, because what American president would wish to see themselves railroaded to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity? That’s for the rest of the inferior countries with their small muscles. Of course in politics there are no equal partners. But we must insist on equal humanity.

There is a way to deal with tough presidential decisions made in the interest of the citizens they have sworn to protect, such as security if in fact another country poses a real threat to US citizens. I’m talking about decisions that might lead to war and the destruction of others. More important, I’m talking about decisions that are not carried out of malicious intent, or out of exploitative measures and the dismissal of other’s humanity. I’m talking about unavoidable decisions where no other measures seem possible. Such decisions, if carried out, have and should always involved compensation and long-term reparative measures for non-combatants harmed.

Unfortunately, the US has a very poor record of making amends where presidential decisions have left irreparable damage in other communities. All other examples of crimes committed while in office that have been bandied around during the SCOTUS case seem obnoxiously personal and private. It’s a tad embarrassing that in this age of evolved democracies, a country carrying itself as the beacon of modern democracy is faced with a former POTUS and presidential candidate in court over salacious crimes of his own making. Should he be excused for the most ridiculous acts of calculated folly? That’s Americans to decide.

My concern here is the struggle to decide immunity for a US presidency that has been allowed to be rogue and enjoy impunity on the international stage.

I understand how political power plays out in a set-up where the “strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must”. But I also understand that the collective weak have always had a voice that time and again, has succeeded in defeating the arrogant will of the oppressive powerful. So this is my small voice on behalf of the weak, just to say- We see the laughable hypocrisy in this case. No president, American or other, should be above the law.

“Patriotism at the expense of another nation is as wicked as racism at the expense of another race… Let us resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never. Let us love our country, but pledge allegiance to the earth and to the flora and fauna and human life that it supports – one planet indivisible… with liberty, justice and peace for all” – Rev WS Coffin

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