The War Crimes of George H. W. Bush: Part Two, The Charges
October 3, 2002

(1.) The United States engaged in a pattern of conduct beginning in or before 1989 intended to lead Iraq into provocations justifying US military action against Iraq and permanent US military domination of the Gulf.

In 1989, General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Norman Schwarzkopf, Commander in Chief of the Central Command, completely revised US military operations and plans for the Persian Gulf to prepare to intervene in a regional conflict against Iraq.

The CIA assisted and directed Kuwait in its actions. At the time, Kuwait was violating OPEC oil production agreements, extracting excessive amounts of oil from pools shared with Iraq and demanding repayment of loans it made to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. Kuwait broke off negotiations with Iraq over these disputes. The US intended to provoke Iraq into actions against Kuwait that would justify US intervention. [Emphasis in bold from The-Edge]

In early 1990, General Schwarzkopf informed the Senate Armed Services Committee of the new military strategy in the Gulf designed to protect US access to and control over Gulf oil in the event of regional conflicts. In July 1990, General Schwarzkopf and his staff ran elaborate, computerized war games pitting about 100,000 US troops against Iraqi armored divisions.

The US showed no opposition to Iraq's increasing threats against Kuwait. US companies sought major contracts in Iraq. Arms were sold to Iraq by US manufacturers.

When Saddam Hussein requested US Ambassador April Glaspie to explain State Department testimony in Congress about lraq's threats against Kuwait, she assured him the US considered the dispute a regional concern and it would not intervene. By these acts, the US intended to lead Iraq into a provocation justifying war.

On August 2, 1990, Iraq occupied Kuwait without significant resistance.

On August 6, General Schwarzkopf told [Saudi Arabia’s] King Fahd the US thought Saddam Hussein could attack Saudi Arabia in as little as 48 hours. Iraq never attacked Saudi Arabia and waited over five months while the US slowly built a force of more than 500,000 soldiers and began the systematic destruction by aircraft and missiles of Iraq and its military, both defenseless against US and coalition technology.

In October 1990, General Powell referred to the new military plan developed in 1989. After the war, General Schwarzkopf referred to 18 months of planning for the campaign.

This course of conduct constitutes a crime against peace....

(3.) President Bush ordered the destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic productivity throughout Iraq.

Systematic aerial and missile bombardment of Iraq was ordered to begin at 6:30 p.m. EST January 16, 1991, 18 and one-half hours after the deadline set on the insistence of President Bush, in order to be reported on television evening news in the US. The bombing continued for 42 days. It met no resistance from Iraqi aircraft and no effective anti-aircraft or anti-missile ground fire.

The United States reports it flew 110,000 air sorties against Iraq, dropping 88,000 tons of bombs, nearly seven times the equivalent of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. 93% of the bombs were free-falling bombs, most dropped from higher than 30,000 feet. Of the remaining 7% of the bombs with electronically guided systems, more than 25% missed their targets, nearly all caused damage primarily beyond any identifiable target. Most of the targets were civilian facilities.

The intention and effort of the bombing of civilian life and facilities was to systematically destroy Iraq's infrastructure leaving it in a pre-industrial condition…. Among the facilities targeted and destroyed were:

  • electric power generation, relay and transmission;
  • water treatment, pumping and distribution systems and reservoirs;
  • telephone and radio exchanges, relay stations, towers and transmission facilities;
  • food processing, storage and distribution facilities and markets, infant milk formula and beverage plants;
  • railroad transportation facilities, bus depots, bridges, highway overpasses, highways, highway repair stations, trains, buses and other public transportation vehicles, commercial and private vehicles;
  • oil wells and pumps, pipelines, refineries, oil storage tanks, gasoline filling stations and fuel delivery tank cars and trucks, and kerosene storage tanks;
  • sewage treatment and disposal systems;
  • factories engaged in civilian production; and
  • historical markers and ancient sites.
This conduct violated the UN Charter, the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Charter, and the laws of armed conflict.

After the war ended, thousands of retreating Iraqi soldiers and civilians were strafed and pounded with napalm along the “Highway of Death.”
(4.) The United States intentionally bombed and destroyed civilian life, commercial and business districts, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, historical sites, private vehicles and civilian government offices.

The destruction of civilian facilities left the entire civilian population without heat, cooking fuel, refrigeration, potable water, telephones, power for radio or TV reception, public transportation and fuel for private automobiles. It also limited food supplies, closed schools, created massive unemployment, severely limited economic activity and caused hospitals and medical services to shut down.

In addition, residential areas of every major city and most towns and villages were targeted and destroyed.... In addition to deaths and injuries, the aerial assault destroyed 10 - 20,000 homes, apartments and other dwellings. Commercial centers with shops, retail stores, offices, hotels, restaurants and other public accommodations were targeted and thousands were destroyed. Scores of schools, hospitals, mosques and churches were damaged or destroyed.

Thousands of civilian vehicles on highways, roads and parked on streets and in garages were targeted and destroyed. These included public buses, private vans and mini-buses, trucks, tractor-trailers, lorries, taxi cabs and private cars….

As a result of the bombing of facilities essential to civilian life, residential and other civilian buildings and areas, at least 125,000 men, women and children were killed. The Red Crescent Society of Jordan estimated 113,000 civilian dead, 60% children, the week before the end of the war.

The conduct violated the UN Charter, the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Charter, and the laws of armed conflict.

(5.) The United States intentionally bombed indiscriminately throughout Iraq.

In aerial attacks, including strafing, over cities, towns, the countryside and highways, US aircraft bombed and strafed indiscriminately…. The effect was summary execution and corporal punishment indiscriminately of men, women and children, young and old, rich and poor, all nationalities including the large immigrant populations even Americans, all ethnic groups, including many Kurds and Assyrians....

US deliberate indifference to civilian and military casualties in Iraq, or their nature, is exemplified by General Colin Powell's response to a press inquiry about the number dead from the air and ground campaigns: "It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in."

The conduct violates Protocol I Additional, Article 51.4 to the Geneva Conventions of 1977.

(6.) The United States intentionally bombed and destroyed Iraqi military personnel, used excessive force, killed soldiers seeking to surrender and in disorganized individual flight, often unarmed and far from any combat zones and randomly and wantonly killed Iraqi soldiers and destroyed materiel after the cease fire.

Over a period of 42 days, US bombing killed tens of thousands of defenseless soldiers, cut off most of their food, water and other supplies and left them in desperate and helpless disarray.

Without significant risk to its own personnel, the US led in the killing of at least 100,000 Iraqi soldiers at a cost of 148 US combat casualties…. The slaughter continued after the cease-fire. For example, on March 2, 1991, US 24th Division Forces engaged in a four-hour assault against Iraqis just west of Basra. More than 750 vehicles were destroyed, thousands were killed…. It was called a "Turkey Shoot." One Apache helicopter crew member yelled, "Say hello to Allah" as he launched a laser-guided Hellfire missile.

The intention was not to remove Iraq's presence from Kuwait. It was to destroy Iraq…. The intention was to… so decimate the military age male population that Iraq could not raise a substantial force for half a generation.

The conduct violated the Charter of the United Nations, the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Charter, and the laws of armed conflict.

(7.) The United States used prohibited weapons capable of mass destruction and inflicting indiscriminate death and unnecessary suffering against both military and civilian targets.

Among the known illegal weapons and illegal uses of weapons employed by the United States are the following:
  • fuel-air explosives capable of widespread incineration and death;
  • napalm;
  • cluster and anti-personnel fragmentation bombs; and
  • "superbombs," 2.5-ton devices, intended for assassination of government leaders.
Fuel-air explosives were used against troops-in-place, civilian areas, oil fields and fleeing civilians and soldiers on two stretches of highway between Kuwait and Iraq. Included in fuel-air weapons used was the BLU-82, a 15,000-pound device capable of incinerating everything within hundreds of yards.

One seven-mile stretch called the "Highway of Death" was littered with hundreds of vehicles and thousands of dead. All were fleeing to Iraq for their lives. Thousands were civilians of all ages, including Kuwaitis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Jordanians and other nationalities. Napalm was used against civilians, military personnel and to start fires.

Cluster and anti-personnel fragmentation bombs were used in Basra and other cities, and towns, against the convoys described above and against military units. The CBU-75 carries 1,800 bomblets called Sadeyes…. Each bomblet contains 600 razor sharp steel fragments lethal up to 40 feet. The 1,800 bomblets from one CBU-75 can cover an area equal to 157 football fields with deadly shrapnel.

"Superbombs" were dropped on hardened shelters, at least two in the last days of the assault, with the intention of assassinating President Saddam Hussein. One was misdirected. It was not the first time the Pentagon targeted a head of state. In April 1986, the US attempted to assassinate Col. Muammar Qaddafi by laser directed bombs in its attack on Tripoli, Libya.

The conduct violated the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Charter and the laws of armed conflict....

(12.) The United States waged war on the environment.

Pollution from the detonation of 88,000 tons of bombs, innumerable missiles, rockets, artillery and small arms with the combustion and fires they caused and by 110,000 air sorties at a rate of nearly two per minute for six weeks has caused enormous injury to life and the ecology. Attacks by US aircraft caused much if not all of the worst oil spills in the Gulf.

Aircraft and helicopters dropping napalm and fuel-air explosives on oil wells, storage tanks and refineries caused oil fires throughout Iraq and many, if not most, of the oil well fires in Iraq and Kuwait.

The conduct violated the UN Charter, the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the laws of armed conflict and constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity....

(14.) President Bush intentionally deprived the Iraqi people of essential medicines, potable water, food, and other necessities.

A major component of the assault on Iraq was the systematic deprivation of essential human needs and services. To break the will of the people, destroy their economic capability, reduce their numbers and weaken their health, the United States:
  • imposed and enforced embargoes preventing the shipment of needed medicines, water purifiers, infant milk formula, food and other supplies;
  • individually, without congressional authority, ordered a US naval blockade of Iraq, an act of war, to deprive the Iraqi people of needed supplies;
  • controlled information about the urgent need for such supplies to prevent sickness, death and threatened epidemic, endangering the whole society;
  • prevented international organizations, governments and relief agencies from providing needed supplies and obtaining information concerning needs;
  • deliberately bombed the electrical grids causing the closure of hospitals and laboratories, loss of medicine and essential fluids and blood; and
  • deliberately bombed food storage, fertilizer, and seed storage facilities.
This conduct violates the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other covenants and constitutes a crime against humanity....

(18.) President Bush systematically manipulated, controlled, directed, misinformed and restricted press and media coverage to obtain constant support in the media for his military and political goals.

The American people were seduced into the celebration of a slaughter by controlled propaganda demonizing Iraq, assuring the world no harm would come to Iraqi civilians, deliberately spreading false stories of atrocities including chemical warfare threats, deaths of incubator babies and threats to the entire region by a new Hitler.

The press received virtually all its information from or by permission of the Pentagon. Efforts were made to prevent any adverse information or opposition views from being heard. CNN's limited presence in Baghdad was described as Iraqi propaganda. Independent observers, eyewitnesses' photos, and video tapes with information about the effects of the US bombing were excluded from the media.

Television network ownership, advertisers, newspaper ownership, elite columnists and commentators intimidated and instructed reporters... formed a near-single voice of praise for US militarism, often exceeding the Pentagon in bellicosity.

The American people and their democratic institutions were deprived of information essential to sound judgment and were regimented, despite profound concern, to support a major neocolonial intervention and war of aggression.

The principal purpose of the First Amendment to the United States was to assure the press and the people the right to criticize their government with impunity. This purpose has been effectively destroyed in relation to US military aggression since the press was denied access to assaults on Grenada, Libya, Panama and, now on a much greater scale, against Iraq.

This conduct violates the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and is part of a pattern of conduct intended to create support for conduct constituting crimes against peace and war crimes.

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