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Private Macbeth's Crimes against Humanity

by name Mon May 22nd, 2006 at 01:49:17 PM EST

No, this is not about the Macbeth  most of us know from literature, the play written by Shakespeare.

Instead, we'll take a look at Jessie Macbeth, a former US-Army ranger. Some of you have probably already seen his 20-minute confession, some not yet. For starters, he confesses to having murdered "at least" 200 people during house raids in Iraq, among them a mother and her 3 children. He whines about having done all this on orders and to "be a good ranger". I'll also ask him to turn himself in for crimes of war at the ICJ in The Hague.

But first, go and see his confession over at http://www.peacefilms.org .

(the rest is long and tedious to read)

After seeing his confession video linked above, I dont know if I find the deeds he confesses to more disgusting, or the fact that he does so in a tone of complete self-pity but at the same time fully assured that neither he nor anybody else will see jail for even one day for these despicable actions

To kill 200+ civilians "because he had to do it" or to "be a good ranger" IMO certainly lays claim to many unflattering epithets, like war crimes or genocide. The peacefilms site linked above calls its readers to action, like so many others, but the "action" they want is for people to "read blogs" and "post comments" and "view films" and other nonsense like that. I doubt this will change anything. We're all been reading blogs since 9/11 and things have only gotten worse.

I also want to call the (my) readers to action, but in a very different way. But first and foremost I want to call Jessie Macbeth to action:


Lay aside your self-pity for a while and read through this. You know, I know, and many other people know that to do bad shit like what you did has no excuse. Do you think you are some kind of hero for having confessed these crimes in public ? I think otherwise.

Since the Nuremberg Trials we know that orders are no excuse for crimes of war, that your culpability is not lessened by virtue of the fact that you followed orders when committing crimes. During the 16 months you claim you took part in the war in Iraq, You (and the other people from your unit) had ample opportunity to refuse orders you knew were illegal, to desert like 5000+ of your comrades in arms, to claim status of concious objector ... BUT INSTEAD YOU PREFERRED TO STAY AND MURDER CIVILIANS WHILE KNOWING THESE ORDERS AND THESE ACTIONS TO BE NOT ONLY ILLEGAL BUT INMORAL. How can you look anybody in the eyes after what you did ? Does your mother know about this ?

I have neither respect nor sympathy with somebody like yourself, who confesses to murdering 200+ people in cold blood and expecting afterwards to be seen a victim of circumstances. even if your veil of self-pity makes you think otherwise, you are not a victim. Be a man and face it !

If you have been manly enough to murder at close range mothers imploring you to spare their lives and those of their children, you can sure do the following: take the next airplane to The Hague and turn yourself in for crimes of war to the International Court for Criminal Justice. The ICJ is the main justice court of the United nations, and they have something to say about garbage like you. They keep themselves a zoo of the worst transgressors from the Yugoslavia wars, from the Hutu/Tutsi massacres. Milosevic and other prominent criminals ended up there, and you'll be in appropriate company.

The address of the ICJ

  International Court of Justice
  Peace Palace
  2517 KJ The Hague
  The Netherlands
  Telephone (31) (0)70 302 23 23
  Telefax (31) (0)70 364 99 28
  Telex 32323

The Hague is in the Netherlands, about 30 miles south-west of Amsterdam driving on the A4 autobahn. You need to take an airplane to Amsterdam, then take public transportation or a taxi to the court. Ask the tourist information at the Amsterdam airport for directions.

Personally, I think that turning yourself in may be your best choice for the future, as well as that of your family. Or do you think that the poor kid who is screaming on the background while you lay claim to your 15 minutes of fame deserves to grow up with a war criminal for a father ?

Even if you disagree with me, you will end up being a nuisance to your family, and they'll eventually drop you. They will grow sick of your incurable mental problems, sick of being in danger of your bouts of incontrollable rage, ashamed to be known as the the family of someone who murdered children for money, afraid of the very real danger of contracting diseases due to your exposure to uraniun, sick of the monetary costs they'll have to incur because of you, of having to feed you through, because people like you dont get jobs.

You may want to talk to your new friends at IVAW about some of the more interesting effects of Uranium on the human body. You'll think twice about fucking your wife after that, knowing what can happen to her just because you fancy some conjugal pleasure. If she gets to know about this stuff first, she'll kick you out of her bed for good if she plans to stay healthy enough to raise her child.

In the video you say you've seen enough veterans from past wars: want to end up like that ? A deranged, drunken bum sleeping in your own shit and vomit in some gully ? A dry and warm cell with food every day is the preferrable alternative as I see things.

And then there is the US govt, about whom you've stuttered some unflattering things in your video. You say they are doing everything to keep these things out of the public's view: do you really think that, after seeing you 'fessing up and reading this - and read they will - the army won't send in somebody with your skills to snuff you and your family so that you wont ever be able to rat on what is really going on, to name your chain of command, the locations, dates, give names and addresses of victims of all the crimes you committed ? Well, think again.

Now consider the alternatives: destroy the lives of your family and end up on the streets, or turn yourself in to the ICJ in Holland and confess to everything you've done and witnessed. While jail is not fun, you'll have food and a place to sleep, and you may receive some medical attention. If you get lucky or you have a decent attorney you'll do your time in Holland instead of the US. I do seriously suggest you get yourself a lawyer to figure out how to best go about surrendering yourself to the ICJ.

A second thing you will be doing by turning yourself in at the ICJ will be that you'll give the people who are against the war the first trial for crimes of war against an american veteran. By doing that you'll contribute to the troubles of the bastards who sent you over there to do what you did. Just as you've led the way on a path of unconcionable crime, you may now lead the way to ultimately stop this war, and others, and so ultimately save lives on all sides.

Did you know that hunters, the people who go into the forest to shoot deers and boars and other animals, always take care to not shoot pregnant animals, or female animals with kids below a certain age ?

And now, a call to action to the IVAW


You people have done a decent job educating the public, bringing the insider view to us people who would otherwise have no idea what is really going on there. But, over 3 years after this illegal and inmoral war was started, it is obvious that it is not enough. I want to ask you, as war veterans and americans, to take responsibility for your actions and redeem your good name.

I am asking you to give every assistance possible and necessary to your comrades (still) in arms who would want to surrender in The Hague for crimes of war they committed in Iraq, but also to those who have already returned from the war. Some will find the idea crazy, but for many others the thought will be an alternative to a career as a war criminal to be considered seriously.

Please talk with competent lawyers, write up leaflets, pass on the information to troops in Iraq. I know that many of the troops make transit stops in civilian airports here in Europe. If, as you say, many of them are against the war and have had enough of it, they may want to take the detour to The Hague. Please provide them with timetables for the various airports used for transit between Iraq and the US and UK, as well as the visa requirements. I think that US citizens dont need a visa in most EU countries.

Since your govt wont turn over anybody for crimes of war, crimes against humanity, etc., let alone cooperate with international institutions, the proposition of attaining convictions against americans may seem remote, but I dont see any way of stopping people from surrendering to a criminal court by their own accord. I also think that it is past the time when americans should have started to own up, on an individual basis, to the disasters the bush regime has wrought upon the world. Mere debate solves nothing, because there are no consequences beyond roused emotions.

Because of that, I urge you to discuss this subject within your group and with other groups of veterans, and with any audience opposed to this war, to past and future wars of the US. If you come to any consensus, I urge you to inform the people still in the war of the possibility, and to give those willing to surrender to the ICJ all possible assistance in doing so.

You enrolled as soldiers, variously to take revenge for 9/11, to pay tuition for university, or to "defend your country". Everything fine and nice, but you've been had: Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan had anything to do with 9/11; and the attack was probably committed by the very people who sent you over there. Regarding the other reasons, you've been had again. You'll probably never see a cent of tuition money according to info from anti-recruitment movements from your country, and instead of defending the US of A, you've all ended up committing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You may now as well shoulder your responsibility before yourself, your country and the world.

Last but not least a call to the habituees of Eurotrib:

AFAIK the countries which have signed on to the UN Universal declaration of human rights have variously incorporated passages into their laws sanctioning crimes of war and crimes against humanity, and they have a subsidiary obligation to prosecute war criminals and those who have committed crimes against humanity, such as genocide, independently of the jurisdiction in which these crimes took place and irrespective of the nationality of either victims or offenders, or where they reside.

This means that all our countries have - at least in theory - the obligation to prosecute charges against anybody who comes to their attention for stuff like what Ranger Macbeth did. I plan to explore the possibility of bringing this to the attention of the office of the prosecutor here in Vienna. While a criminal complaint may ultimately remain a symbolic act, it will always be seen as far more serious as just "demonstrating" before this or that embassy.

I urge all readers (inside but mainly outside of the US) to explore the possibility of bringing charges against Macbeth in their own jurisdiction. If nothing else, we'll know which jurisdictions will dismiss the case out of hand and which jurisdictions will at least go thru the motions and request the extradition of Ranger Macbeth.

Should he turn himself in at The Hague ?
. Yes 0%
. Yes but not realistic 100%
. No 0%

Votes: 1
Results | Other Polls
This is difficult. Not because I am not outraged by this person's crime, nor because I am unmoved by the inhumanity. But because I feel compassion for his situation as well.

Armies like to draft young people for a reason, their characters are more plastic, more easily moulded. Adult men, such as those who fought in the second world war have values separate from a military logic and cannot be so easily brain-washed into this terrible mindset.

But young men are. Their training involves stress, where is is only their loyalty to their friends, their determination not to let them down, to be part of the pack. To be valued and esteemed by people you come to see as your peers.

And everybody else is other. Is enemy. Even other units, other packs are potential rivals. The ongoing rivalry between army and nay. Competing for resources.

They are tortured. Sorry, not tortured. But are taught to resist interrogation by being put through situations involving interrogation under stress. Just games of course, but crack and you may never live it down.

So, not only are they de-humanised, but they are brainwashed into seeing others as dehumanised.

Then sent ot a place where every hand is possibly raised against you. those hands not raised against you may provide willing cover for those that do. Trust no-one. Everyone is to blame. They all wear the same clothes, they all look the same, they're not-like-us. They are barely human, hell they can't even speak english. They don't matter......killing them is easier than trying to sort them out.

It was an english bishop during the crusades who coined the blood-chilling phrase "kill them all, let God sort out his own".

Bush declared his own crusade and Blair willingly followed him in. Our guys have a mission and they are allowing God to sort out his own.

No, I do not give MacBeth quarter. But judging by his own testimony, his conscience will never allow him rest anyway. Anything we do to him will be as nothing.

But whilst the west thinks it has the right to do these actions, stretching back however long then we will continue to damage the very young men who are half of our future.  Vietnam and now Iraq are the obvious examples.

What MacBeth did was a crime. But so was what was done to him to enable him to do it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 05:54:41 AM EST
This diary was posted on Kos about a woman hearing about her father's experience in Vietnam;-

It ends;-
Though we would like to believe that we are above such things, that our morals and good, solid upbringing would act as shiny beacons leading us away from such depravity, the truth is, we just don't know how we might act or what we might do if emboldened by fear, anger, and the desire to stay alive in a war zone, and we should consider ourselves lucky that we will likely never know.

Though such things may disgust, sadden and enrage me, I have learned that I can never be so presumptuous as to judge the actions of a lowly grunt in the field.  I must leave that to others, for if I do not, I would find myself forced to pass judgment on my father, and, knowing what I know of him, that is something I would never do.  Those unfortunate enough to experience the unthinkable in war don't need my condemnation, for theirs has been created for them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 07:04:18 AM EST
see http://www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/igeneralinformation/inotice.pdf

"to settle in accordance with international law the legal disputes submitted to it by States, and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized international organs and agencies."

"Only States may apply to and appear before the Court. The Member States of the United Nations (at present numbering 191) are so entitled."

I think he needs to go to:
ICC - International Criminal Court

Maanweg, 174
2516 AB, The Hague
The Netherlands


And even they might not taken the case:
"Emphasising the primary responsibility of States to investigate and prosecute international crimes, the Statute provides that a case is inadmissible before the Court where the case is being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution."

and Milosevic was prosecuted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)

by JeroenMostert on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 06:50:10 PM EST
the seedbed of this carnivorous plant is tilled and sowed on the teamsports field....

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu May 25th, 2006 at 10:16:26 PM EST

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