Does the US practise “Hammurabi” law?

Sep 26, 2022

The US soldiers returned home with 13 dead bodies and scores of injured ones after 20 years of Afghan invasion. Trillions of dollars-worth military junks in the Afghan junkyard tells the saga of a futile war that the most powerful one in the world led. War for the sake of war made the US back to square one in a typical characteristic of the human species. 

For the first time in history, the US got a tight slap on their ego. The left-over uniforms, weapons, helicopters, vehicles, etc are laughing at the most powerful country on earth. At least for some time, they will not interfere in the internal matters of other countries.

Maybe, that was the first time a US president cried in front of the media for killing soldiers by its “friendly” foe. When 13 US soldiers died, more than 150 Afghans lost their lives.

In 1700 BC, the famous Babylonian emperor Hammurabi bought the first written rules for his country. Mesopotamia, which included today’s Iran, Syria, was under him. That rule was called a code of Hammurabi, which included verdict and all. That was created for the upper caste. So, the acceptance of the code was high. Even after his death, the country followed this rule. The code classified people as upper, middle and lower classes. The rate for an individual was also divided according to the class. Paying blood money or the tit-for-tat system was the punishment.

For example, at that time, if a person belonging to the upper caste killed a lower caste person, he had to pay 10 silver coins to his kin. The rate for a middle-class person was 20 coins and for an upper-class person, it was 30 coins. Hammurabi believed God authorised him to create the code for better governance. Everyone had to follow these codes as the rules.

Much water has flown through the river. Yet, we stand at the very spot we started from. America holds high value for its citizens because American pride is held above everything. It looks at the poor Afghans and other Asians inhumanly with no value. When America lost 13 commandos along with scores of Afghans, it re-triggered a war against terrorism. Every country has the right to retaliate when attacked unprovoked. The next day, the US fired rockets at terrorists. The retaliation hit poor Afghans, including a few kids and women. The Americans had no remorse because America holds its citizens’ values very high. But all US enemies silently laugh at the setback.

Interestingly, around 3000 years after the death of Hammurabi, America declared freedom from Britain. Thus, the Americans also set up their ruling. Accordingly, all humans have equal value. All people have the right to live happily. That was the fundamental of the American constitution. Though Hammurabi has nothing to do with the history of American freedom, the ghost of Hammurabi overshadows the American mindset of giving variable values to people in other continents.

As we read history, we understand that it was the American ego that triggered the Afghan war. In its hunt for the world’s most notorious criminal and one time America’s favourite child called Osama Bin Laden, it rained bombs on Afghanistan. Interestingly, Laden was not an Afghani. He was not hiding in Afghanistan but in Pakistan, the long-known Asian friend of the Americans. Same Pakistan was getting money from the US to fight against terrorism. When we read all these together, we read it like an Amar Chitra Kata.

Unfortunately, we humans are like this. We never know why we are fighting and who our enemies are. We fight for fighting. As a species, we must think; do we have any change after lakhs of years. We claim that we are the post-modern humans and most civilised on earth. Unfortunately, the so-called humanity left us long ago.

At the end of the story, America has signed a de facto agreement with the Taliban superseding an elected government and surrendered before with all its sophisticated weapons to kill those US supporters. Now it is the turn of India.

We need to wait for some time to read emerging stories of the Afghans. For us, that may be an amusing story. Going by what we have read hitherto, we can expect a clean-shaved and modern-dressed version of the Taliban. Finally, the outfit is a matter. The world is ready to accept a refined Taliban. Once the Taliban leaders change their dress code, Europeans and Americans will lay a red carpet for them.

All roads will converge into what is called “power”. Fundamentalism is a path to reach the final destination called a” Power station”. There is no value for the life of the poor.