Posts Tagged ‘Fallujah’

“After Hiroshima And Nagasaki, There Was Fallujah.”

April 17, 2010

By William Blum, ZNet, April 17, 2010

William Blum’s ZSpace Page

When did it begin, all this “We take your [call/problem/question] very seriously”? With answering-machine hell? As you wait endlessly, the company or government agency assures you that they take seriously whatever reason you’re calling. What a kind and thoughtful world we live in.

The BBC reported last month that doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the United States during its fierce onslaughts of 2004 and subsequently, which left much of the city in ruins. “It was like an earthquake,” a local engineer who was running for a national assembly seat told the Washington Post in 2005. “After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was Fallujah.” Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.

Contyinues >>

Correspondence exchanged with the International Criminal Court in The Hague

August 1, 2008
By Robert Thompson | Axis of Logic, July 31, 2008 Email this article Printer friendly page

To Mr Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court

Dear Mr Moreno-Ocampo,

For over fifty years I have been a lawyer (now in retirement), and during that time I have had practical hands-on experience of international law at the highest level and criminal law (among other disciplines) at all levels. My experience has also caused me in many fields to work under two very different judicial systems, namely that in operation in England and Wales and that applied in France.

I was greatly upset to hear on the radio that you had decided to seek an arrest warrant against Mr Omar el-Basheer, the current President of Sudan, for his alleged personal responsibility for crimes committed in Darfour, but that you had no desire to initiate proceedings against either Mr George Walker Bush, the current President of the United States of America, or Mr Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, for their admitted personal responsibility for crimes affecting Iraq.

To an experienced lawyer such as I am this seems an extraordinary attitude on your part, since it would seem normal to act first in cases where the accused person admits (and even boasts of) extremely serious breaches of the Nuremberg Principles, as well as provisions of certain Geneva Conventions.

It also seems to me that there is a difference of scale in the offences which either apply or could apply to the facts. The thousands of victims of repression in Darfour are much fewer in number than the victims of the actions of Mr Bush and Mr Blair (and many of those to whom they gave orders) when they decided to wage war against the people of Iraq and subsequently to occupy that country.

It seems to me that you, as Chief Prosecutor at the I.C.C., have an absolute duty to pursue those who admit that they have acted in ways which are so seriously in breach of international criminal law.

If you take the trouble to re-read the Nuremberg Principles, you will find in Principle VI extremely clear definitions of Crimes against Peace, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, and Principle VII adds that complicity in any one or more of these crimes set out in Principle VI is also a crime under international law.

If you consider these simply definitions, it seems impossible for you not to draw the conclusion that these two men (and many of their advisers and servants) are clearly guilty of Crimes against Peace and also appear to have been complicit in both War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

A summary of these three forms of criminality under Principle VI can be made as follows:

a) Crimes against Peace, in that they planned, prepared, initiated and waged a war of aggression against Iraq in direct violation of the international agreement set out in clearly worded United Nations Security Council Resolutions;

b) War Crimes, in that they were party to the ill-treatment and deportation of civilians, and prisoners of war, such as those who were sent to Guantanamo Bay from Afghanistan and elsewhere, and also in the destruction of cities, towns and villages in Iraq (there have also been the use of torture on prisoners);

c) Crimes against Humanity, in that they were involved in the murder and extermination of civilians (as in Fallujah) and the deportation of civilians to Guantanamo Bay.

Under Principle VII things look even worse for both men, since they have been complicit in many crimes committed in many countries including those already mentioned.

I have limited myself in this letter to specific crimes committed in relation to Iraq and Afghanistan, but similar points can be made concerning both men (and their advisers and servants) regarding other lands, particularly the Lebanon and Palestine, under Principle VII, for having provided the aggressors with vast quantities of arms knowing full well that they would be used for unjustified aggression.

The obvious question is therefore why you do not immediately seek arrest warrants against Mr George Walker Bush and Mr Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (and some of the others suggested above). The fact that the United States of America refuses to recognise the I.C.C. should not prevent your so doing, since these people could be arrested if and when they might dare to enter any country which does recognise the Court.

I would be very happy to hear from you, but I do not intend holding my breath while waiting, since your decision to act against Mr Omar el-Basheer seems to be a sign both of shocking partiality against such a man while failing to act against much worse offenders and of an unwillingness to act against persons for the sole reason that they are powerful.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Thompson

Avocat Honoraire au Barreau de Boulogne-sur-Mer

22 rue de l’Eglise




Reply received:

Our reference: OTP-CR-302/08

The Hague, 28 July 2008

Dear Sir, Madam,

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter.

This communication has been duly entered in the Correspondence Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

As soon as a decision is reached, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision.

Yours sincerely,

Head of Information & Evidence Unit

Office of the Prosecutor


Further letter from Robert Thompson:

Rimboval, 31st July 2008

Your reference : OTP-CR-302/08

Dear Sirs,

I thank you for your letter of 28th July 2008, and note the situation, and I await with interest receiving the decision which will be taken on the subject of the crimes committed by the person whom I named – i.e. Mr George Walker Bush and Mr Anthony Charles Lynton Blair – under the terms of Principles VI and VII of the Nuremberg Principles.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Thompson

Military censorship of the war in Iraq

July 31, 2008

By Naomi Spencer | WSWS, 31 July 2008

Five years of bloody US occupation have seen numerous crimes against humanity unfold in Iraq. Millions of Iraqi civilians have been killed and wounded, with millions more made into refugees. Ancient, once-vibrant cities have been destroyed by air raids and chemical weapons. Thousands of Iraqis have imprisoned by the US military in barbaric conditions, and in many cases tortured. In carrying out the occupation, more than 4,400 military personnel—most of them American—have died and tens of thousands have been wounded.

Little reflection of these realities is to be found, however, in the US media, particularly in visual form. Censorship by the military—and self-censorship by media outlets—is part of an effort by the ruling elite to sanitize the war and keep the American public in the dark about its real nature.

As highlighted in a July 26 piece in the New York Times, titled “4,000 U.S. Deaths, and a Handful of Images,” very few photographs of the occupation have trickled out from the military-embedded journalists and been released by the American media. The military and Bush administration have imposed rules barring photos of flag-draped caskets, as well as documentation of battlefield casualties in which faces, ranks, or other identifiers are visible.

The Times notes, “Even memorial services for killed soldiers, once routinely open, are increasingly off limits. Detainees were widely photographed in the early years of the war, but the Department of Defense, citing prisoners’ rights, has recently stopped that practice as well.” Journalists have also been forbidden from releasing images showing what the military deems to be sensitive information—anything from an image of American weaponry to the aftermath of an insurgent strike.

Journalists interviewed by the Times said that even tighter rules imposed last year, requiring written permission from wounded soldiers before their images could be used, were nearly impossible to satisfy in the case of seriously wounded and dying soldiers.

“While embed restrictions do permit photographs of dead soldiers to be published once family members have been notified,” the Times commented, “in practice, the military has exacted retribution on the rare occasions that such images have appeared.”

Clearly, none of these restrictions have anything to do with “prisoners’ rights” or respect for the families of fallen soldiers. To the contrary, the military’s intent is to obscure from the American people the hellish reality in which prisoners and US soldiers alike have found themselves. Indeed, while employing typical military jargon and doublespeak, Defense Department officials make no secret of the subject: free and easy access to photographs, print journalism, and first-hand accounts of the war are a “vulnerability” for US imperialism because it fuels antiwar sentiment in the population and within the military.

Continued . . .

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