The Crusaders’ Crimes
Posted on December 22nd, 2011

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Editorial – The Island News Paper Sri Lanka

“The United States urges the United Nations to end, once and for all, its actions in relation to the Goldstone Report ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦ As we made clear when the Goldstone Report was first presented we did not see evidence that the Israeli government intentionally targeted civilians.”

This is what US Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice told the apex world body in April, 2011, urging it not to be preoccupied with the Goldstone report which accused Israel of committing war crimes during the Gaza War. The US led a high pressure campaign to railroad Justice Richard Goldstone into making a retraction. Testifying before the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Rice said the Goldstone report (2009) based on an investigation by a panel appointed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) must simply disappear while the Congress pressured former South African Judge Goldstone to amend it. The US succeeded in having the advance of the report through the UN system stymied effectively.

When UNHRC Chief Navi Pillay issued a statement condemning Bahrain for using brute force against protesters calling for reforms, the US and its allies backing pro-western King Al-Khalifa made her eat humble pie; she retracted it in no time. So much for her impartiality, independence and courage!

It is against this backdrop that the contemptuous rejection by the US of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report should be viewed. Washington is usually dismissive of reports/statements that do not say what it wants them to say. One wonders whether the US government worthies even had the time to flip through the LLRC report let alone study it before passing judgment.

The US is entitled to its views. But, shouldn’t the self-appointed crusaders against war crimes lead by example? Why doesn’t the US accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? It is unbecoming of a world leader to be on a noble mission to rid the world of war crimes without being party to the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Rome Statute of the International Criminal CourtƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, isn’t it?

The US has wriggled out of the Iraqi imbroglio with a troop withdrawal. President Barack Obama calls the Iraq mission a success. But, has the US destroyed the Weapons of Mass Destruction, credible evidence of which President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed to possess before plunging feet first into war? Yesterday, 14 bomb blasts in different locations rocked Baghdad. Only al Qaeda is capable of carrying out such coordinated attacks. The US has made an unholy mess of that country.

Never mind America’s failed mission and tail-between-the-legs exit! What about the blatant war crimes its military committed in Iraq in an illegal war launched on the basis of falsified intelligence dossiers? Will they be probed? If not, what moral right does the US have to campaign against war crimes?

Former Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nobel Laureate, Mohamed ElBaradei, provides enough and more credible evidence of war crimes committed by the US-led forces in Iraq. In his book, The Age of Deception, Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times, ElBaradei makes a damning indictment: “United States and its allies promoted an ethos of violence and cultural division that harkened back to an earlier era of human history.” He also makes stunning revelations: “The harshest reality of the Iraq War and its extended aftermathƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”an aspect that has been disturbingly minimised in Western media reportsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”is the Iraqi civilian loss of life. Estimates have ranged as high as eight hundred thousand Iraqi deaths during the first three years of the war. This does not count the millions maimed or wounded, or the millions displaced from their homes and stripped of their livelihoods.” (Emphasis added)

Rhetorical and trap questions ElBaradei has raised as regards the illegal Iraqi war have gone unanswered: “Should the United Nations request an opinion from the International Court of Justice as to the legality of the Iraq War? If the answer is that the war was in fact illegalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”and moreover, if consideration is given to the massive civilian casualties incurredƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”should not the International Criminal Court investigate whether this constitutes a ‘war crime’ and determine who is accountable? Should Iraq request reparations at the International Court of Justice, or another forum, for the damages incurred during a war launched in violation of international law and on the basis of falsehoods?” Sadly, these questions never get posed to the White House and State Department spokespersons at press conferences.

In a bid to avoid international opprobrium for its war crimes, the US seems to have adopted the same ruse as pickpockets who, when given chase, take to their heels shouting, ‘Pickpocket, pickpocket’, to mislead curious onlookers into believing they are pursuers and not thieves on the run!

Let the US be told: “Physician heal thyself!”

One Response to “The Crusaders’ Crimes”

  1. LankaLover Says:

    An enlightening article! Bravo!

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