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by Peter Hume, columnist

Looking at the Four Corners report on Secret Iraq, it is hard not be impressed by the desperate guts of civilians willing to fight the full panoply of the US army to the death.

While the US Marines were killing men, women and children by the thousands in Fallujah, the British, like the cat that swallowed the canary, were smug at how well they had done at pacifying the south. Until they started getting blown up badly, so they decided they’d better pack up and take their traveling death team to pick on … the goatherds of Afghanistan!

The sheer flagrant criminality of the State is so breathtaking. The ethic is always the same double standard: I have a right to be violent to you, you don’t have a right to be violent to me.

One of the marines explained, as if to a moron, “If you order a marine regiment to attack a city, they attack a city.” That’s as far as their ethics go. They don’t the question the ethics of orders to kill. They just kill and assume that the justification comes from the political process.

But what could possibly justify such high crimes on such a large scale? Obviously the pretexts given for war, the weapons of mass destruction and such, were lies and it was later proved that the politicians knew them to be lies at the time — but no prison for them.

What about democracy? Here we see the entire justification for democracy stripped bare. Could a majority vote of the American people justify such blatant mass murder against the Iraqis? No! Could a majority vote of the Iraqi people justify it? No!

That being so, how could democratic government be in any better position than that of a majority using force and threats to coerce the minority into obedience and submission?

In war we see the essence of the State. For all States originate from armies and conquest somewhere along the line: all democracies originated from monarchies, and all monarchies originated from conquest. Government is the ethic of conquest carried forward against the subject population, democracy or no. Government is the spirit of conquest, institutionalized.