The Guardian - Why I arrested Donald Rumsfeld
- The Guardian -
Why I arrested Donald Rumsfeld
As a Veteran for Peace, I consider the lies we were told by the Bush
administration made the Iraq invasion a war crime
• • Nate Goldshlag
• guardian.co.uk, Friday 30 September 2011 17.07 BST
Nate Goldshlag was among several members of Veterans for Peace who
disrupted Donald Rumsfeld's book tour event in Boston this week.
Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
On Monday 26 September, three members of Veterans For Peace and a member
of Code Pink confronted Donald Rumsfeld at a Boston stop of his book
tour. I attempted to make a citizen's arrest. Police hustled all four of
us out, while a hostile rightwing crowd shouted and jeered. To get in,
we had to dress nicely, pay $50 and give Rumsfeld a standing ovation so
that we did not stand out from this crowd. The $50 got you a copy of his
book, which I could not stomach taking. Once Rumsfeld started talking,
at two-minute intervals, one of us got up to confront him.
Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and the rest
of this crew are war criminals, according to international law. They
lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They lied about Saddam
Hussein being linked to 9/11. They lied about mobile weapons labs,
yellowcake from Niger, how painless a war would be and countless other
things. They instigated a program of torture in Guantánamo, Bagram and
who knows how many other black sites. These lies were used as a pretext
for initiating a war of aggression against a sovereign nation – an
international war crime.
They are also guilty of violating the UN convention against torture
(ratified by the US) and are responsible for the murder of hundreds of
thousands of Iraqis and 5,000 Americans. Iraq has been devastated to the
extent that, years later, many of its people still do not have 24-hour
access to electricity. Much other infrastructure is destroyed in one of
the oldest civilisations on the planet. Millions of Iraqis are refugees
in other countries.
War criminals such as these need to be confronted at every opportunity.
This is already happening. They cannot travel freely in Europe for fear
of being arrested. However, the problem is not restricted to the Bush
administration. Barack Obama is also guilty of war crimes, as he has
continued and expanded the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan,
Somalia and Yemen. In all these countries, war and/or drone strikes have
killed thousands of innocent people while doing nothing good and
creating more people who hate American policy.
The real problem is the corporate-controlled government here and the
military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us
about in 1961. The multinational corporate elite need to continue this
policy of endless war, for profit, for resources like oil, and for
global economic control. The military-industrial complex and the
national security apparatus set up after 9/11 consume more than $1tn a
year, while pensions, social security and Medicare are under attack.
Rarely if ever mentioned by the corporate-controlled mass media is the
enormous cost to taxpayers of war, the military and the national
I became an activist in college at Harvard in 1968, at a time when there
was a huge antiwar movement that, along with GI mutinies, stopped the
Vietnam war. After being drafted into the US Army, I co-founded an
underground GI newspaper in Germany. Militant mass nonviolent resistance
– people demanding and creating real participatory democracy – is rising
again against militarism and corporatism, and for human needs not
corporate greed. Events in Tahrir Square have sparked the occupation of
Wall Street in New York. An occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington,
DC, will begin on 6 October. As Bob Dylan wrote many years ago, "the
times they are a-changin'."