By Lew Brown
Yesterday in the media, amidst a backwash of junk food stories regaling us with the harrowing experience of Tila Tequila at an Insane Clown Posse concert, more outrage over a planned Mosque somewhere in the general neighborhood of the eternal hole in the ground we call “Ground Zero”, Pakistani weather reports and the generally buzzing din regarding the current fleecing of the global economy a story appeared on the front page of Fox News website-quickly followed by the New York Daily News and Jerusalem Post. The Headline reads as some variation of: John Bolton (former US Envoy to the United Nations) Says that Israel has until the end of the week to bomb Iran.
Why is this news? Or rather, why is it not? While the usual right-wing media suspects are busy promoting this latest call for an act of war between Israel and Iran, the mainstream media has offered little mention of the event. Is it because John Bolton is no longer relevant, just as George Bush, Dick Cheney and John Yoo have all moved out of the public eye (except for Yoo who is facing protests as he begins teaching law at U.C. Berkeley-hopefully he won’t be teaching ethics)?
A former U.S. official, no matter how poorly groomed or insane, calling for an act of way between two sovereign nations IS news-but not of the “Holy crap it’s the end of the world” variety—Unless you are an Iranian, of course. The real news here is that Bolton is still acting as a lightening rod for increasing the scope of death and destruction in the Middle East. Preparations for the destruction of Iran have been going on for some time, continuing even up to today with the sale of F-35 Fighter Jets, Joint exercises with U.S. Marines and a now longstanding game plan for the destabilization and control of the Middle East with Israel at the center of power. So a former U.S. official and a “news” organization notorious for promoting an extremist position calling directly for Israel to strike Iran might not seem surprising or significant. Or it may seem criminal.
In many ways the Middle East is like a crowded movie theater with an extremely violent action picture traumatizing the audience. Suddenly some shaggy haired gorilla stands up and shouts, “Fire!” In the U.S. that marks the limits of free speech. So perhaps there should be a law that-if not preventing-can at least punish those who attempt to incite war? Oh wait a minute, there is! In fact there’s just a whole slew of laws floating around in the international courts applicable to just this kind of thing.
For instance Kristina Morvai, a law professor at Budapest University (ELTE), has filed a lawsuit in Hungarian court against the military leaders of Israel for their roles in atrocities committed in the Gaza Strip. In her lawsuit she cites several sections of both Hungarian and International Law including international prohibitions against “The Inciting of War”.
In fact Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights specifically addresses both Hate Speech and the Inciting of War, not to mention the application of that moral and ethical standard against Croatians in the trails following the bloodshed unleashed by the disintegration of the former Yugoslavian Republic. Article 130 of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia specifically states that Inciting War is a crime worthy of trial and punishment. It doesn’t stop there-in regards to internet communications there is little dispute that nation-states can prosecute Internet users (or anyone else for that matter, including corporations who are also “persons”), wherever they may be for a number of distinct crimes, notably: Revealing national secrets, falsifying official documents, or inciting war.
So the real story, or rather the real question on my mind is-if Israel actually does strike Iran would the damage from that-in all of it’s hideous potential-be attributable to actions taken by John Bolton, Fox News and others who have been blatantly calling for war? Anybody willing to take that case to court?