Special ECO-MOLE Dispatch from London
The Trial of Tony Blair et al
March 15, 2004
On Saturday, March 06, 2004 a public trial was convened in London's famed Trafalgar Square. The "Women's Trial of Blair" issued the following brief against the British Prime Minister and the case for war on Iraq.
|Prime Minister Tony Blair is a prime suspect in the manipulation of information that mislead his country into a war of aggression. Credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation|
Count 1: THE INVASION BROKE UNITED NATIONS LAW
The Attorney-General's advice... was that UN Resolution 1441 found Iraq failed to comply with earlier Resolutions, leading to "serious consequences" which he interpreted as "war." He advised that Iraq's failure amounted to breaking the "Cease-fire" conditions of UNR687 (1991) and that therefore the Gulf War, fought under UNR678, could be revived.
EACH OF THESE ASSERTIONS IS FLAWED:
A. IRAQ DID COMPLY with the 6 conditions imposed by "Cease-Fire" Resolution 687:
1. To relinquished claims to Kuwait: Iraq had left Kuwait and relinquished claims.
2. To return Kuwaiti prisoners: They were returned (unaccounted for may have died in battle).
3. To repay all debts: All Iraq's financial assets and income were seized and controlled by an ESCROW bank in New York from 1990 and used to repay debts and compensation.
4. To cease repression: Repression had ceased (although the embargo caused ongoing death and suffering which led to uprising in 1991-2 [incited by the CIA] which had to be put down). Even prisoners were released in Nov. 2002.
5. To permit UN weapons inspectors in: UNSCOM and UNMOVIC had free access for 13 years.
6. To rid the Region of WMD and discontinue weapons programmes. Former inspector Scott Ritter said that 95% of WMD were destroyed and programmes discontinued by 1998, as now confirmed by Dr David Kay (although another country in the Region made no attempt to remove wmd): And Iraq did report in Nov. 2002 to the UN that her WMD and programmes had been terminated (a 12,000pp report, of which 4,000 were abducted by the US State Dept.). Finally, UNMOVIC was ordered out by the US not by Iraq.
B. "SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES" does not mean war.
1. The phrase "All necessary means" is UN-speak for use of armed force. UN Resolution 1441 warns of "serious consequences" for non-compliance.
2. But it ends; "We remain seized of the matter," which implies waiting for a report. The report was the one on Iraq's WMD which she submitted to the UNHQ in November 2002.
C. REVIVING THE GULF WAR WAS a doubtful OPTION
1. The Attorney General's advice that "A material breach of Resolution 687 revives the authority to use force under Resolution 678" was flawed:
2. The Gulf War was carried out to regain Kuwait under UN control, which was achieved by a Coalition of 16 nations which no longer exists.
3. The Coalition was not resurrected in 2003; the US and UK acted alone against the wishes of other Members.
D. WAR OUTSIDE UN SECURITY COUNCIL CONTROL IS UNLAWFUL
1. The UN Charter Art. 44 states: "When the Security Council decides to use force it shall invite ...Member(s).. to participate in its decisions..."
2. It did not so decide. That is why a "2nd Resolution" was called for. But as US and UK knew it would be vetoed (by spying on the 6 non-permanent Members), they withdrew it:
3. War plans were made by the USA and UK, not by the Security Council as required by Art. 46: "Plans for the application of armed force shall be made by the Security Council":
4. Armed forces must be directed by the Security Council: Art. 47 (3) "The MSC shall be responsible under the Security Council for the strategic direction of any armed forces...".
On these grounds we find Peter Goldsmith, Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon guilty of grave breaches of international law, in that by joining a violent invasion of Iraq they conspired with others to break the rules of the United Nations Charter.
Count 2: THE INVASION WAS A WAR CRIME
The definition of a War Crime under the ICC Act (2001) is an act which:
A: WILFULLY CAUSING GREAT SUFFERING
"Shock & Awe" bombing raids and shelling of cities like Basra were offences under the ICC Act Art.8 Sch.8 (a) (iii) which outlaws: "Wilfully causing great suffering to body or health".
B: EXTENSIVE DESTRUCTION & APPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY
By bombing residential and commercial areas, Ministries and radio stations, telecommunications and electricity stations; and by taking over Ba'ath Party HQs and commandeering hospitals the invasion offended against Art.8 Sch.8 (a)(iv) causing; "extensive destruction and appropriation of property".
C: INTENTIONALLY ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS
By attacking water and sewerage plant, schools and clinics, vital to human health and survival, the invasion offended against Art.Sch.8 (b)(ii).
D: ATTACKING KNOWING IT WILL CAUSE DEATH AND INJURY
By announcing on 19th March 2003 that "If there is conflict there will be civilian casualties" Tony Blair offended against Art.8 Sch.8 (b)(iv) which outlaws; "intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that it will cause incidental loss of life".
E: USING CLUSTER BOMBS, DU ROUNDS AND WMD
By using indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction, depleted Uranium shells and cluster bombs in populated areas, Tony Blair and Geoff Hoon committed an offence under Art.8 Sch.8 (iv) which also outlaws; "damage to civilian objects and widespread, long term and severe damage to the natural environment".
On these grounds we should find Peter Goldsmith, Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon guilty of grave breaches of international law, in that by joining an indiscriminate bombing campaign and using indiscriminate weapons with unpredictable, long-term damage to human health and food and animal stocks, they conspired with others to break the laws of the International Criminal Court.
Count 3: THE INVASION CONSTITUTED GENOCIDE
The definition of Genocide is "the intent to kill or cause serious bodily or mental harm to members of a national, racial or religious group" (Sch.8 Art.6) of the ICC Act (2001). The invasion included plans along these lines:
A: THE ATTACK TARGETED IRAQ
By targeting a nation with indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction, DU rounds and cluster bombs, the accused must have intended to kill members of that national group and to cause them serious bodily and mental harm.
B: TO KILL OR DISABLE MEMBERS OF THE IRAQI NATIONAL BA'ATH PARTY
By determining to destroy the Ba'ath Party, the accused intended to kill members of that national, largely Sunni, religious group comprising some 20% of the Iraqi population.
C: EXACERBATING GENOCIDE
By attacking a population already devastated by the effects of UN sanctions on health services, water systems, foods, medicines and defences, the accused were exacerbating these conditions, destroying water, sewerage, electricity, food warehouses, farms, schools, hospitals, drugs factories and other vital services. It was well known that sanctions had already killed 450,000 children under 5 by 1996.
When US Secretary of State Madelaine Albright learned of this she announced "It is a price worth paying". This affirms her intent to kill large numbers of this national group and "cause them serious bodily and mental harm." The invasion undoubtedly "inflicted on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part".
On these grounds should we find Peter Goldsmith, Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon guilty of grave breaches of international law, in that by joining the violent invasion of Iraq they conspired with others to destroy sections of Iraqi society which is an act of Genocide.
Count 4: CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
The definition of Crimes Against Humanity is "any of the following acts committed as part of a systematic attack against any civilian population". (Sch.8 Art.7) of the ICC Act (2001). The invasion included plans along these lines:
The invasion involved the shooting of civilians at checkpoints and other places as part of a systematic attack on the country with little regard for difficulties of communication, of movement and of identification. This may constitute murder in this context.
B: IMPRISONMENT AND TORTURE OF CIVIL OFFICIALS
By imprisoning non-combatants who are civilians, including members of the civil governing Party, in inhuman conditions at Camp Cropper, depriving them of physical liberty and subjecting them to intense heat and cold, amounts to torture and thus to a Crime Against Humanity.
C: PERSECUTION OF A POLITICAL GROUP (h)
"Ridding the world of the Iraqi Regime" as the Mr. Blair often determines, constitutes an offence of "persecution", which includes political as well as racial, religious and other groups.
On these grounds should we find Peter Goldsmith, Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Geoff Hoon guilty of grave breaches of international law, in that by joining the violent invasion of Iraq they conspired with others to murder, persecute, imprison and torture sections of Iraqi society, which are Crimes Against Humanity.
-- James B Thring LAAW@IRAQ Trial of Bliar et al 4m
Washington's Faith-based Parks
"Although President Bush's faith-based initiative has yet to win congressional approval," Bill Berkowitz writes in an essay for Working Assets Online, "ramifications of the proposal has been felt in a number government agencies. The latest agency to take up the president's faith-based call is the National Park Service. Over the past several months, the NPS has brought Christian displays to our national parks and creationist books to the souvenir shops at the parks. It has also been reported that the NPS was considering removing historical information it found 'conservatively incorrect' from historical documents and video presentations."
The watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has also noted that the National Park Service recently has "approved the display of religious symbols and Bible verses, as well as the sale of creationist books giving a non-evolutionary explanation for the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders within national parks."
This is a far cry from the vision of Stephen Mather, an early director of the National Park Service, who wrote in an internal document dated February 1925: "The primary duty of the National Park Service is to protect the national parks and national monuments under its jurisdiction and keep them as nearly in their natural state..... All other activities of the bureau must be secondary (but not incidental) to this fundamental function relating to care and protection of all areas subject to its control."
Berkowitz's complete article is available online at:
Genetic Pollution? Get Used to It!
On February 23, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a 70-page report that revealed that more than two-thirds of the country's corn, soy and canola seeds were contaminated with lab-created DNA from genetically engineered crops. The discovery came as a shock to consumers.
The biotech industry had spent years downplaying environmentalist concerns and assuring the public that genetically engineered plants would never pose a threat to the natural world. So did the biotech industry express shock at this alarming discovery? They did not. Biotechnology Industry Association spokesperson Lisa Dry shamelessly told the press: "We were not surprised by this report
knowing that pollen travels and commodity grains might commingle... in transport or storage."
The Washington Post explained the industry's position: "Rather than pursue the unrealistic goal of trying to keep seeds completely free of genetic contaminates, she and other industry representatives said, the United States should work harder to get European and other nations -- many of which have balked at engineered crops and foods -- to be more accepting of the technology.
Or, as Dry dryly argued: "Its important for countries around the world to adopt a uniform standard [of acceptable levels of contamination]."
Let's Jet around the World and Pretend We're Still at Home
The San Francisco Chronicle runs a weekly feature called "The Zone: for Students with Active Brains." On February 24, the topic was "Festivals and Fireworks." It featured the following inadvertent commentary on the evils of globalization.
"When Disneyland Hong Kong opens in 2005 on Lantau Island, you'll think you're back in Southern California." And isn't that the ultimate goal of globalization -- to turn the entire planet into a homogenized clone of Southern California?
Queen Steamed as Bush Visit Wrecks Palace Garden
|George W. Bush's Marine Force One helicopter did more than hover over the Buckingham Palace gardens. Bush's state visit damaged trees, trampled rare flowers and traumatized the Queen's pet flamingos. Credit: Photomontage / The-Edge|
The US press was gah-gah over George W. Bush's historic visit to Queen Elizabeth's Buchingham Palace stomping grounds last November, but it was left to the British press to lambast the Yanks for doing a bit too much stomping.
As Terry O'Hanlon reported in London's Sunday Mirror: "George W. Bush's royal visit destroyed large swathes of the gardens at Buckingham Palace. Rare flowers and ancient trees were destroyed or damaged by Bush's helicopters and the Queen's pet flamingoes are reportedly 'traumatized.' Adding insult to injury, the Palace is not insured for such damage.
"Palace staff said they had never seen the Queen so angry as when she saw how her perfectly-mantained lawns had been churned up after being turned into helipads
for the Bush visit."
Bush's army of clod-hopping security agents trampled the Queen's rare plants while the rotors of the Bush's Marine Force One helicopter and two support Blackhawks damaged trees and shrubs that date from the time of Queen Victoria.
"Some of the roses, flowers and shrubs damaged are thought to be rare varieties named after members of the Royal Family and planted by the Queen Mother and Queen. The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage."
The Queen's insurers have told her she is covered for statues, garden furniture and plants she personally owns, but the bill for repairing damage to the lawns and the structure of the Palace will probably have to be picked up by the Government.
The British press reported that "The historic fabric of the Palace was also damaged as high-tech links were fitted for the US leader and his entourage during his three-day stay with the Queen. Adding insult to injury, Bush's electronic security protections were so massive that "the Royals couldn't get a decent TV picture during the visit."
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