Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dust Off the Nuremberg Files

by: Anwaar Hussain

At Nuremberg, in early October 1945, the four prosecuting nations -- the United States, Great Britain, France and Russia -- issued an indictment against 24 men and six organizations of the Nazi Germany. Of that 24 only 21 eventually sat down in the trial. The individual defendants were charged not only with the systematic murder of millions of people, but also with planning and carrying out the war in Europe. Twelve Nazi officials were sentenced to be hanged, three sentenced to life in prison, four were given prison sentences of 10-20 years, and the rest were acquitted.

Presently, the ongoing American and British slaughter of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians constitutes a blatant war crime. Average legal skills should be able to prove that a similar case for the prosecution against the current coalition leaders can easily be constructed on comparable lines.

In September 2004, the incumbent UN Chief Kofi Annan made a very clear statement. Talking to BBC Annan said “the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.” Being the UN Chief, and the custodian of International law, he should have known what he was talking about.

The consequent unlawful war of aggression, the killing of civilians and abuse of prisoners constitute war crimes as clearly as the UN Chief's statement.

Here are the Nuremberg Trial indictments.

The Nuremberg Trial Counts One & Two: Conspiracy to Wage Aggressive War and Waging Aggressive War. The "common plan or conspiracy" charge was designed to get around the problem of how to deal with crimes committed before the war. The defendants charged under Count One were accused of agreeing to commit crimes. Accusation for Count Two was defined in the indictment as "the planning, preparation, initiation, and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances."

Abundant evidence is now available that shows that leaders and advisers of the Bush and Blair administrations engaged in “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression.” Iraq posed no threat to either the United States or Britain. Its government had neither the means nor the intent of waging war against these countries; nor did it issue any threat to them. It possessed no WMDs.

The events now bear out that the US administration had plans ready well before the 9/11 crime to not only invade Iraq, but also target much if not all of the Middle East. Former CIA Director James Woolsey and presidential advisor David Gergen have confirmed that. The war of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," was planned well over a decade earlier. All alibis put forward by Bush administration for the Iraqi invasion, and the resultant near-genocidal massacre, have now been fully exposed as fraudulent motives.

In his book 'The Price of Loyalty', writer Ron Susskind disclosed that from the very beginning of the Bush administration, the President was scheming and contriving to launch a belligerent war against Iraq. Richard Clarke, Bush’s counter-terrorism expert, in his book 'Against All Enemies' confirmed the Bush administration’s fixation with attacking Iraq. He also noted down in his book, an insider’s view on the illegal planning, preparation and initiation of the war through the deliberate manipulation of intelligence.

Bob Woodward, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Watergate reporter, clearly establishes that just five days after 9/11, the President was clandestinely scheming to go after Saddam Hussein and not bin Laden – the man purportedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. In particular, 72 days after 9/11, Bush ordered Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to draw up the secret war plans.

According to The Sunday Times, another fact recently come to light is that the Royal Air Force and the USAF doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs at Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war. The allies dropped twice as many bombs in the 2nd half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001. By end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.

These attacks were intensified from May 2002, six months before the November 8 2002 UN Resolution 1441 that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith argued gave the coalition the legal cover for war. These details follow the leak of minutes of a key meeting in July 2002 at which Blair and his war cabinet discussed how to make "regime change" in Iraq legal.

This new information and the Downing Street memo clearly show that the two leading coalition members, the US and Britain, were fully engaged in “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression” and "fixing" intelligence to suit these aims.

The Nuremberg Trial Counts Three and Four: War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. These Counts addressed the charges of atrocities committed against humanity in the death camps, concentration camps and killing rampages like the indiscriminate bombing of civilian population centers.

According to various sources, as a result of this genocidal war, over 24,000 Iraqi civilians have died directly and over 120,000 indirectly. The Afghanistan toll on civilians is cited any where between 6,000 and 10,000.

Substantial evidence is now available that the Bush administration leaders, and military personnel following orders of these leaders, have committed “violations of the laws or customs of war,” including “murder . . . of civilian populations of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war . . . plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.” The perpetrators’ unjustifiable entreaties of military inevitability, of course, cannot free them of their actual crimes.

If all other war crimes could be argued against by legal wizardry, there is one crime of the coalition forces that is enough to surely sentence them ten times over for crimes against humanity. The use of depleted uranium weapons by the US armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan is as horrific a crime against humanity as there ever could be. This one crime takes its ghastly toll not just on the existing humanity, but successive generations continue to suffer for eons to come. A look here (too graphic, be warned) would confirm that the hideous beginning has already been made.

According to recent studies, the rate of birth defects, after increasing ten-fold from 11 per 100,000 births in 1989 to 116 per 100,000 in 2001, is soaring further. There have been 650 cases of birth deformities in total since August 2003 reported in government hospitals in Iraq. That is a 20% increase from the previous regime.

Also, a dreadful increase was registered in the rate of cancer among children under the age of 15 in southern Iraq from 1976 to 1999. In the province of Basra, the occurrence of cancer of all types rose by 242 percent, while the rate of leukemia among children rose 100 percent. Children living in the area were falling ill with cancer at the rate of 10.1 per 100,000. In districts where the use of DU had been the most concentrated, the rate rose to 13.2 per 100,000. Appalling as these results were then, the last six years have witnessed a further rise in the number of children under 15 falling ill with cancer in Iraq. The rate has now reached 22.4 per 100,000, more than five times the 1990 rate of 3.98 per 100,000.

The medical crisis is being directly blamed on the widespread use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the US and British forces in southern Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, and the even greater use of DU during the 2003 invasion.

According to a August 2002 report by the UN sub commission, laws which are violated by the use of DU shells include: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Charter of the United Nations; the Genocide Convention; the Convention Against Torture; the four Geneva Conventions of 1949; the Conventional Weapons Convention of 1980; and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, which expressly forbid employing 'poison or poisoned weapons' and 'arms, projectiles or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering'.

No legal genius, then, is required to indict George Bush, Tony Blair and a few other coalition leaders with violating:

* The United Nations Charter
* The 1945 Nuremberg Charter
* International humanitarian law
* The Geneva Conventions

The main indictments could be further buttressed by certain other charges.

There have been verifiable instances of offering inducements, coercing and threatening others, including the members of the United Nations Security Council, to support belligerent acts against Iraq. Moreover, there are speculations gaining momentum with each passing day that the incumbent US government itself was involved in the 9/11 crime. State leaders that conspire in the annihilation of their own citizens are the exact opposite of being instruments of rightful authority. They are, indeed, agents of unashamed criminality.

One problem remains though. And that is that it is always the vanquished that are supposed to have committed war crimes. The current accused are militarily so powerful that inflicting a military defeat on them by any power/combination of powers looks remote at the moment. Additionally, the ‘war on terror’ has been purposely made so elusive that the lines of legality are blurred enough to muddy the evidence of the crime. The only possible line of action seems to be an immediate impeachment of these leaders by their nations as a first step, followed by a swift recourse to international law after these leaders have been disinvested of their powers.

Noam Chomsky once said, "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American President would have been hanged." If that be the case then some now would be hung and then re-hung.Dust off the Nuremberg files ….I would say.

http://malakandsky.blogspot.com/2005/05/dust-off-nuremberg-files.html

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article Jack.....ED

Tue May 31, 10:32:00 AM  

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