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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bruce G. Richardson - Political and Legislative Legerdemain Grant War Criminals Immunity against Prosecution

Dawat Independent Media Center (DIMC)

‌By: Bruce G. Richardson - Political and Legislative Legerdemain Grant War Criminals Immunity against Prosecution
Thursday, 03.01.2012, 11:18pm (GMT1)

Political and Legislative Legerdemain Grant War Criminals Immunity against Prosecution
No president has ever done more for human rights than I have
George W. Bush
By: Bruce G. Richardson

Crass political decisions and legal legerdemain: In April 2004, the American public was stunned when CBS Television broadcast photographs from Abu Ghraib prison, photographs depicting hooded, naked Iraqis contorted in sexually contorted positions while U.S. soldiers stood over them smiling. As the scandal captured headlines around the globe, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld assured Congress that the abuse was perpetrated by a small number of U.S. Military personnel, whom noted columnists branded as ‘sadistic creeps.’ However, these photographs are not, in fact, snapshots of random sadism or a breakdown in military discipline. Rather they represent CIA torture techniques and methods drawn from Soviet KGB practices that have metastasized like an undiagnosed, malignant cancer inside the U.S. Intelligence Community since the onset of the Cold War. (New York Times, ‘Torture at Abu Ghraib’, Seymour M. Hersh, 5/1/04, and Amnesty International, USA: Guantanamo, an Icon of Lawlessness, 1/6/2005).
The photographs from Iraq illustrate standard interrogation techniques inside the global gulag of CIA secret prisons that have operated on executive authority, since the start of the ‘War on Terror.’ The photographs and resultant investigations they inspired, offer tangible evidence that the CIA was both the lead agency at Abu Ghraib in gross violation of the War Crimes Act of 1996,a law that makes it a federal crime to inflict cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment on prisoners in violation of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, and Public Law 109-366, 120 Stat. 2600, 10 U.S.C. sec. 950q, Chapter 47A, and the source of systematic torture practiced in Guantanamo, Afghanistan’s ‘Salt Pit’ and Iraq. What began as an isolated incidence of abuse by a ‘few bad apples’, ‘sadistic soldiers’ on the ‘night shift’ or some ‘recycled hillbillies from rural America’ as articulated by administrations publicists, would grow, in just six months, into a great political scandal that diminished the majesty of the American State, the world’s preeminent power. (Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing, Transcript# 1/6/05, 18-19, 22, and U.S. Army Report of Torture of Afghan Detainees Notes Sadism, Tim Golden, Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 5/21/2005).
The Torture Memos: In August 2002, as a tactic to mitigate international criticism and legalize such questionable interrogative techniques, Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, aided by his deputy John Yoo and vice counsel David Addington, delivered what is now termed the ‘torture memo’, a fifty-page memo to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales providing ‘sweeping legal authority’ for harsh interrogation. By carefully interpreting key words in the UN Convention Against Torture, and its parallel congressional legislation, USC 2340-2340-A, Bybee concluded that federal law limited the crime of torture to ‘acts inflicting, and…specifically intended to inflict pain or suffering, whether mental or physical.’ To constitute torture under the U.S. statute, the physical pain must, he said, ‘be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.’  Bybee observed that psychological torture could become a crime only if there was three tightly linked conditions: (1) the ‘specific intent’ to cause (2) ‘prolonged mental harm…such as ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’ solely by (3) committing one of four forms of mental torture (with threats or drugs) specified in the 1994 U.S. law against torture. Thus, the statute, in Bybee’s analysis, ‘prohibits only extreme acts.’ In particular the ‘sensory depravity techniques,’ did not, in his view, ‘produce pain or suffering of the necessary intensity to meet the definition of torture.’ More broadly, he concluded that any limitation on commander-in-chief powers to order interrogations would ‘represent an unconstitutional infringement of the president’s authority to conduct war.’ (Jay S. Bybee, Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, August 1, 2002, 1-2,816-22). (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nationdocuments/dointerrogations20020801.pdf).
On September ii, 2001, following his evening address to a shaken nation, President George W. Bush gave his White House counter-terrorism staff wide latitude for retribution, sayingany barriers in your way, they are gone.’ When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld interjected that there were legal restraints on such action, the president shouted in response, ‘I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick ass.’ (Against all Enemies, Inside America’s War on Terror: Richard A. Clark, 2002, pp.28-31). Thus, with Caligula-like dispatch, (Roman Emperor A.D. 37-41 noted for his cruelty), America signaled to the world to the effect that articles as codified in the UN Convention Against Torture and other humanitarian instruments and protocols enumerating the laws of war, and those that had been ratified by the United States Congress, were now rendered, in the words of the U.S. Attorney General, ‘quaint.’ The legal basis for these parochial decisions would be found in casting prisoners in the war on terror as ‘enemy combatants’ due to the fact that they did not wear uniforms and therefore ineligible for protection under existing conventions. However, jurists would argue that during the Soviet occupation the United States had armed and supplied these same fighters (sans uniforms) defining them as ‘Freedom Fighters.’ It is also important to note that the U.S. enlisted the Northern Alliance as allies during the invasion of Afghanistan on October of 2001. The Northern Alliance not only lacked identifying insignia and had been cited for war crimes, but had been similarly attired as were the Taliban. (‘The Interrogators War, Enduring Freedom, Abuses by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan’, Mackey, p.117, Human Rights Watch. March 2004).      
 In his February 7 2002, memorandum, Bush wrote: ‘I determine that Common Article 3 of Geneva does not apply to either al-Qaeda or Taliban detainees.’ Common Article 3 bans ‘torture [and] outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating treatment.’ On June 29, 2006, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Geneva does apply to al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees. Under pressure from Bush, Congress gave administration officials retroactive immunity from prosecution. That came just 3 months later when Congress passed The Military Commissions Act. Ironically, the fact that those violating Geneva have been granted immunity within the U.S. makes it easier for foreign countries to pursue prosecution for torture.
Origins of U.S. Interrogation Technique: Many of the techniques employed by the U.S. to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ initially developed from KGB manuals during the early years of the Cold War, are codified in the manual curiously titled Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation, published in 1963 and 1983 editions. Indeed, the pervasive influence of the agency’s torture paradigm can be seen in the recurrence of the identical techniques used by America and allied security agencies in Vietnam (Phoenix Program) during the 1980s, and Afghanistan theatre of operations, coercive interrogation measures resulted in the death of hundreds-of-thousands accused as Viet Cong, Communists and or terrorists. (The Phoenix Program, H. Valentine, 1990, pp. 63, 77, 85, Released Detainee Says he was Abused, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, January 13, 2005).
Indeed, through its own inquiries, Human Rights Watch found that Afghan detainees as had their precedents during the Cold War, ‘had experienced beatings, prolonged sleep deprivation, forced nakedness and humiliation.’ Similarly, in April 2005, the UN Commission on Human Rights expert for Afghanistan, Professor M. Cherif Bassdiounni of DePaul University Law School, reported that U.S. prisons in Afghanistan violated the law: ‘By engaging in arbitrary arrest, and committing abusive practices including torture.’ (Human Rights Watch, Getting Away With Torture, Commission on Human Rights, ECN 4/2005/122, 11, March 2005).
The Efficacy of Torture: From Imperial Rome to America’s imperium, we should have ample experience to answer a fundamental question: Does any torture work? Does it produce accurate information? The past two millennia are rich with examples that confirm time and again, Ulpian’s dictum from the third century A.D.: ‘the strong can resist torture and the weak will say anything to end the pain.’ Indeed, history is replete with examples of the strong who resisted even the most savage, bone-crushing techniques. Summarizing these and other cases, the Yale legal historian John Langbein said succinctly: ‘History’s most important lesson is that it has not been possible to make coercion compatible with truth.’ (The Legal History of Torture or orture 101, M. Levinson, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996).
There are in fact, well-established alternatives to torture. During World War II, the legendary Marine interrogator Major Sherwood E. Moran used empathy to establish ‘intellectual and spiritual rapport with Japanese prisoners. Moran approached each prisoner ‘talking as a human being to a human being’ ‘Moran’s interrogators were among the most effective interrogators in the Pacific Island campaigns of 1944 and 1945, supplying complete Japanese order-of-battle intelligence on Saipan and Tinian within forty-eight hours of landing.’ (Intelligence: Truth Extraction, H. Budiansky, 1996, pp. 32-35). Throughout the war on terror, the FBI has used similar procedures in its time-tested, by-the-book techniques. In the years before 9/11, the FBI worked on the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombing cases using careful investigation and non-coercive techniques to build rapport with suspects that yielded, by May 2001, accurate intelligence about al-Qaeda and the conviction of four terrorists, who, in fact, pleaded guilty. One of the bureau agents involved, Dan Coleman, was appalled by the coercive methods Bush Administration lawyers authorized for the CIA after 9/11. Coleman concluded from his years of in FBI counter terrorism that ‘brutalization doesn’t work.’ ‘Furthermore, we know that, besides, you lose your sole.’ (Intelligence: Truth Extraction, H. Budiansky, 1996, pp. 32-35).
Medieval Methodology: Many prisoners have been reluctant to relate their experiences while in American captivity due to deep psychological trauma and scarring, and the fear that their testimony could jeopardize the safety of those they left behind. However, due to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests filed by defense lawyers, Human Rights Watch, the ICRC and a small but significant group of journalists, torture and murder within the American global gulag system have now been amply documented. In Afghanistan, there are 47 detention facilities in 22 of Afghanistan’s provinces. Each, have been cited for a compelling pattern of systematic torture and ill-treatment.’ (Anti-War.Com, John Glaser, 2/20/12). From interviews gleaned from detainees released that have been willing and able to relate their stories, the following examples of the methodology employed by CIA, military police, and other for-hire paramilitary groups or intelligence units emerge: sensory deprivation, hooding, drug-induced mind control, isolation, exposure to extremes of heat and cold, sexual humiliation, which included instilling a fear of rape and the use of female interrogators to photograph and ridicule detainees’ culture and masculinity, threats of death, (shooting, burying alive, wrapping detainees in the Israeli flag as in the case of Muslim prisoners, electric shock to genitalia, nose and lips, water boarding, instilling a fear of drowning, beatings with gun butts, batons, cables and metal baseball bats, stress positions for extended periods while shackled, the use of dogs to induce fear, threats of rape or death against a detainees family, constant verbal abuse, the use of extremely loud music to prevent sleep, and desecration of the Koran, the threat of never-ending imprisonment, forcing detainees to drink enormous amounts of water while tying the penis with string to prevent the ability to urinate, medical treatment withheld from among those captured in wounded condition, forced insertion of foreign objects (bottles, pieces of wood, and strong chemical agents) into the anus, shackling prisoners is such a way as to not allow the use of toilet facilities, and serving rotten and unpalatable food.  While Bush’s attorney general (Michael Mukasey) vacillates over whether or not the practice of water boarding constitutes torture under the statutes, so terrifying is this technique that during a CIA laboratory experiment volunteers could not withstand this abhorrent procedure for longer than four seconds. (The Interrogators War, Inside the Secret War against al-Qaeda, John Murray, 2004, pp. 7-13, 165-173).
At the start of President Clinton’s covert campaign against al-Qaeda in the mid-1990s, the CIA lacked the skills to translate raw intelligence into real results and so, in frustration and desperation, formed covert alliances with Third-World security services known for torture. Prisoners were remanded (via a covert CIA air service) countries notorious for human rights violations. Practitioners in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Jordan, Egypt, and Bosnia, Romania and Morocco as well as others harbored no qualms about extracting fingernails, water boarding, beating, electric shock, and even boiling their hapless victims in oil. This unconscionable and macabre policy would become known as ‘extraordinary rendition,’ placing prisoners of war beyond the adjudication and protection of the courts and thus deny them due process. (Grey Ghost Plane, Outsourcing Torture, Jane Mayer, 2005).
Betrayal: At the U.S. prison at Bagram, the processing of prisoners for Guantanamo reflected both the desperation and the ignorance of U.S. military operatives in the field. Hundreds of Afghan prisoners were held between December of 2002 and August of 2003, when the last of the Guantanamo prisoners were processed, but, although many were released and others continues to be held in Afghanistan, the ninety who were remanded to Cuba were, yet again, almost entirely innocent. Around sixty-percent, including at least 17 men who were working for the Karzai Government, were betrayed by opportunistic rivals, rivals who were all too aware that the Americans were both gullible and lazy, and would not make any attempt to investigate the men’s histories, another thirty percent were bystanders rounded up arbitrarily after attacks on U.S. forces. Along with hundreds of Afghans, and many foreign nationals of Arab extraction who were in Afghanistan on legitimate business were rounded up and turned over to the Americans by predatory soldiers of the Northern Alliance who had been cited by the former President of Ireland and Head of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Mary Robinson, as an undisciplined and predatory gang of vigilantes, that while under the watchful eye of the CIA, engaged in committing atrocities against Pashtuns with an inquisitional fervor, and a policy where ethnic and or religious affiliation determined whether one lived or died.
Others who saw an opportunity to extract lucrative bounties offered by Americans were corrupt Pakistani border guards, Afghan-Army personnel, and a small number of Afghan villagers who also had been seduced by offers of bounties of from $5000-10,000, betrayed them under pretense of sanctuary. (Afghanistan, Political Frailty and External Interference, Nabi Misdaq, 2006, p.256).
Information obtained by journalists suggests as well that large numbers of Taliban foot soldiers were ignorant of 9/11 and were unaware they were fighting against American forces. Taliban conscripts and volunteers were, in many instances, of the impression they were waging Jihad against the Godless Northern Alliance and their Russian patrons. On the ground in Afghanistan, given Dostum’s and Massoud’s history of betrayal in particular, was the Russians, now back and serving as an undeclared, covert- proxy force of the Americans and therefore no surprise that many of those who made their way to Afghanistan thought they were fighting the Russians.  The testimony of one Saudi national is illuminating: Mesh Arsad al-Rashid, a 21 year old Saudi, said that he went to ‘help Muslims fight Dostum and Massoud over a year before any problem happened in America,’ and pointed out that he didn’t ‘know of any alliance between America and Massoud, and all that was known in the world was that Massoud and Dostum were helping the Soviet Union.’ Similarly, other large numbers of low level soldiers among Taliban detachments advised their captors that they were unaware of fighting the Americans, convinced that they were participating in an anti-Soviet Jihad. (Al-Rashid (ISN 74, CSRT Set 4, pp. 22-29, May, 2006, and U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogation, Dana Priest and Barton Gellman, Washington Post, 12/26/2002, and Afghanistan, a Search for Truth, Bruce G. Richardson, 2009, pp.336-344).
Orders to engage in and authority for torture and murder emanated from the highest authority in the land, in bold contravention of national and international statutes. Thus far, with the exception of a small number of low-ranking members of the military, no charges have been brought against those on whose authority murder and torture was sanctioned and even encouraged, notwithstanding the fact that identical techniques employed by U.S. interrogators in the war on terror are identical to those employed by Nazi and Japanese officials prosecuted and subsequently executed as war criminals following the end of hostilities in World War II. (Judging War Criminals, Yves Beigbeder, 1999, pp. 27, 76, 146, 199).
Amnesty from Prosecution: On 17 October, 2006, Republican legislators applauded as President George W. Bush signed a bill granting him and his subordinates, amnesty for acts of torture. When the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Bush Administration officials were bound by the Geneva Conventions, a Republican Congress responded by granting immunity to all responsible, from low rank interrogators to the president, while conservative judges erected a wall of secrecy to protect them from civil liability.
Thus far, Bush Administration officials have escaped prosecution for authorizing, encouraging and concealing premeditated ‘war of aggression’, torture and abuse of prisoners. They concealed facts, undermined investigations, tried to eviscerate the legal definition of premeditated war and torture, and invented novel legal defense.
Around the world, Guantanamo, Bagram, Parwan, the ‘Salt Pit’, and the ‘Dark Prison’ are viewed as a stain on the honor of the United States. They stand as visual evidence of a decision by the U.S. to repudiate its human rights commitments and human rights standard that every American administration up to the arrival of George W. Bush had championed. Law enforcement officials from around the world have pointed to the opinions handed down in American courts that sustain and nurture Guantanamo, legal opinions exacerbated by America’s refusal to ratify the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the multitude of Afghan detention sites as evidence of the corruption and the collapse of the American courts and judicial philosophy, a philosophy once seen as a shining example of exemplary jurisprudence.
Justice Denied: During March of 2009, Baltasar Garzon, Spain’s most high-profile judge, invoked the principal of ‘Universal Jurisdiction’ when he sought to investigate six former Bush Administration officials for giving legal cover to torture at the U.S. prisons in Guantanamo and numerous sites in Afghanistan and for launching pre-emptive ‘wars of aggression’ in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Another High-Court Judge, Santiago Pedrez, declared he would hand down indictments against three U.S. soldiers and a group of Marines, citing crimes against humanity for deaths occurring in Afghanistan such as the revenge killing of twenty-five Afghan villagers. Journalist Glen Ford noted that the world’s biggest potential defendant for war crimes and crimes against humanity is the United States, whose record of direct and indirect involvement in torture and mass killings in Afghanistan has been unmatched by any other nation since World War II. Sadly, U.S. pressure was primarily responsible for forcing Spain to close off its courts and to ‘cease and desist’ from international jurisdiction cases under threat of U.S. trade embargo and barriers and other economic sanctions, using its economic muscle to provide tactical and political immunity from prosecution for officials from both the Bush and Obama Administrations. Such is the legal, moral, ethical and diplomatic albatross America has inherited from the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, a legal conundrum with which we will have to cope for generations to come. (Getting Away with Torture: Secret Government, War Crimes and the Rule of Law, Christopher H. Pyle, 2009, and ‘Sixth Anniversary of the Detainees arrival at Guantanamo’, Associated Press (AP), 10/2007).
Bruce G. Richardson

Bruce G. Richardson -Those who Define ‘Terrorism’

Dawat Independent Media Center (DIMC)

By: Bruce G. Richardson -Those who Define ‘Terrorism’
Wednesday, 02.22.2012, 08:33pm (GMT1)

Those who Define ‘Terrorism’
Those who hunt monsters must take caution in the process that they themselves do not become monsters…Anonymous
By: Bruce G. Richardson
 Such historical caveats as international precedent, proscribed aggressive warfare under international sanction, had any semblance of cautionary influence on the Bush Administration. Hailed as a ‘war on terror’ and in retributive response to 9/11, America’s mighty military armada attacked Afghanistan in October of 2001.  Both the Bush and Obama Administrations had, and have falsely labeled Afghanistan as the ‘hub of international terrorism.’  Afghanistan, it has been certifiably proven beyond any reasonable-doubt among all but Hawkish Republicans, had no role whatsoever in 9/11. Not a single, solitary Afghan citizen participated in the orchestration or implementation of the fateful, deadly attack against the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001. Additionally, of equal import is the fact that the Taliban made numerous concessions regarding the residency and extradition of Osama bin Laden to the Bush Administration yet were rebuffed at each and every turn. In light of the available evidence, the farcical claims underscoring the president’s stated justification for war in Afghanistan were therefore rendered as imperialist posturing, cowboy braggadocio, rhetorical dogma and an unlawful, premeditated crime against peace.  The question therefore becomes… who and what entity defines ‘terrorism’ in the modern day parlance of statecraft and public media intercourse?
History accords that the term ‘terrorism’ was coined during the 17th century while France was embroiled in revolution and was used as a literary device to portray the so-called Jacobins, a ruthless and oppressive government who institutionalized torture, imprisonment, rape, and summary execution by guillotine to thwart opposition to their brutal and bloody reign. Terrorism is not new, and even though it has been used since the beginning of recorded history, it can be difficult to define. Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and a strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination.
The United States defines terrorism as ‘the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate government or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological. The UN defines terrorism:  An anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action employed by (semi -clandestine) individual, group, or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons.’ In 1974, Great Britain defined terrorism as: The use of violence for political ends, and includes any use of violence for the purpose of putting the public or any sector of the public in fear.’  In the real world, there are three perspectives of terrorism: the terrorist, the victims, and the general public. Shaping the narrative, however, we find that powerful nations through their respective media organizations which function as ministries of information engaging in unwarranted, covert actions that can only be described as state-sponsored terrorism while defining what they wish to convey to the public as to what constitutes the literal, lawful, accepted definition of terrorism as opposed to legitimate resistance to invasion and occupation.
Misconceptions surrounding the subject of terrorism are legion. Were one to commission a poll amongst rank-and-file Americans, the data collection would with certainty reflect political and ideologically- expedient and connected media functioning as a government ministry of information, who therefore have become complicit enablers and the ever-present Christian Evangelical and government pronouncements manifest as stereotypical-characterizations. That is to say the singular-most often held perception is that ‘terrorism’ is unique to Islam.  The data would also indicate that a majority of Americans believe that the ubiquitous car bomb was the invention of a deranged Muslim. Further, our hypothetical poll would corroborate the widely held notion that responsibility for a majority of terrorist attacks worldwide lies with Muslim extremists. However, the trouble with this data is that it is without foundation…it is simply untrue!
The first-known terrorists were not Muslims but Jews.  According to history, the world’s first terrorists were two militant Jewish revolutionary groups, the Zealots and the Sicarii. Determined to liberate Judea from Roman occupation, these groups used violence to provoke a popular uprising which historians credit with precipitating the Jewish War of A.D. 66, committing numerous public assassinations and other acts of violence in Judea from approximately 4 B.C. to A.D. 70. Their struggle for independence would end at Masada.
Contrary to politically expedient claims by both the Bush and Obama Administrations and NATO, the widespread use of the car bomb is thought by a number of leading asymmetrical or counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare experts to have originated with the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a Catholic secessionist group enmeshed in an eight-hundred year struggle against Protestant Britain. During the 1990s, terrorism spread to several additional countries. Starting in July of 1990, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam initiated a series of deadly attacks against Sri Lankan political leaders, military targets, and civilian activists. The explicitly anti-religious Liberation Tigers are of a secular caste or background in a country that embraces Hinduism and are credited with committing more acts of violence than any other group worldwide.
The term ‘terrorist’ is used today injudiciously. To cast one who self- obliterates himself with an explosive-laden vest and who attacks the troops and interests of the invading and occupation army as a ‘terrorist’, and then sanction the dropping of thousands-of-tons of high explosives on rural villages as a noble cause and portraying such monstrous activity as fighting the ‘war on terror’ is barbaric, monstrous and decidedly inhuman. When foreign troops break into private homes in the nighttime clad in armor and bristling with weapons and bright lights, shouting at the frightened inhabitants in an unintelligible language and appearing as an invasion force from outer space, is this not an act of terror? I submit that that is precisely what it represents!
On Wednesday night, February 8th, NATO aircraft struck a rural village in Kapisa Province that took the lives of eight children. The raid was the result of French troops forwarding bogus information to NATO. The information obtained from an informant alleged that children herding sheep outside the village of Geyaba, ‘were preparing to attack the village.’ Unfortunately this is all too common and far from an isolated incident. Members of the Northern Alliance, for example, often present falsified information to US and or NATO personnel as a device to induce attack against their political rivals.  
When children herding sheep are not protected from marauding aircraft or criminal informants seeking bounty payments and subject to indiscriminate bombing or strafing, is this not an act of terror?  In October of 2005, Frank Wuterich led a Marine death squad in the Anbar Province town of Haditha and slaughtered 24 people, all civilians in an apparent revenge killing. Those on the receiving end of this massacre and their surviving family members will with certainty see this as an act of ‘terrorism.’   The casualty rate among Afghan civilians, callously and inhumanely cast as ‘collateral damage’ by the Obama Administration is extraordinarily high, numbering in the many tens-of thousands. Most fall victim to indiscriminate air assault and pilotless drones. Some have died from exposure, especially the children who have been separated from their normal support groups and services through dislocation caused by the imperatives and priorities of a war of occupation.
Civilians that are victimized by carpet bombing, helicopter gunships, or alien troops entering their homes in the nighttime are all being terrorized as a result of an illegal war of aggression. For the architects of this bloodshed, this war of aggression, to hold an exclusive on the definition of what constitutes terrorism in the world court and public arena is mind numbing, and makes a mockery of international law and people-oriented organizations such as UNHCR and others.
Select Bibliography:
War by Other Means: an Insider’s Account of the War on Terror, by Richard Posner, 2006.
How A Good Versus Evil Mentality, Destroyed the Bush Presidency, by Glenn Greenwald, 2007.
The Future of Justice: In the Age of Terror, by Benjamin Wittes, 2008.
Takeover: Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, by Charlie Savage, 2007.
The War on Terror: And the Rule of Law, by Richard M. Pious, 2006.
The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld; A Prosecution by Book, Michael Ratner, 2008.
Afghanistan: Political Frailty and External Interference, by Dr. Nabi Misdaq, 2006.
American Raj, Liberation or Domination, Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World, by Eric S. Margolis, 2008.
Afghanistan, A Search for Truth, by Bruce G. Richardson, 2009.
Bruce G. Richardson

Senator Kucinich's ethical battle against cluster bombs

Politics - Senator Kucinich's ethical battle against cluster bombs

Politics - Senator Kucinich's ethical battle against cluster bombs

Sat 2/07/2011 14:05

اطبع هذا الموضوع | اغلق هذه النافذة

NNA - 02/07/2011 U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich visited Nabih Berri Complex for the rehabilitation of the disabled and victims of cluster bombs in Sarafand-south Lebanon on Saturday, promising to deliver a message to his government on the need to stop the production of these terror weapons.
Cluster bombs could be air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapons that eject smaller munitions or bomblets. Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area they pose risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards. During attacks the weapons are prone to indiscriminate effects, especially in populated areas. Unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended, and are costly to locate and remove. In July war of 2006, launched by Israel on Lebanon, Israeli fighter planes dispersed a large number of cluster bombs across south Lebanon. Most of these bombs were disguised in the shape of children's toys. Sadly, majority of the victims of these cluster bombs are children.
"The US has a moral responsibility to help Lebanon in this field," said the Ohio Democrat, explaining that the US continued to produce these deadly and treacherous bombs, "Once I return home, I will insist on helping [Lebanon]." Kucinich argued that production of cluster-bombs should halt mainly for the safety of mankind, "We must stop this baby-killing machine...this is the message I will carry home with me."
R.Z.

USSR - using toys to kill


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Mine clearance teams in Afghanistan report finding literally dozens of types of landmines, mainly from the ex-USSR, but also from Belgium, Italy, US and the UK. The most infamous mine used during the Soviet Union's occupation period was the so-called 'butterfly' mine. Helicopter crews dropped untold numbers (figures range into the millions) of the small mines from the air. They were designed to flutter to the ground without exploding, and to thousands of children they resembled butterflys or toys. But one wing of the mine was filled with liquid explosive, designed to ignite and explode on contact, severing hands.

Russian "butterfly" mines



Couldn't find anyn pictures on the net of the little bomblets that the Russians were dropping back in the 80s in afghanistan that looked like little pinkish dolls. They had just enough explosive inside to take off a hand. that's the way these "butterflys" were supposed to work - just blow off a hand - -

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Here is part of a report from the New York Times, 1987.

The best studies of Afghanistan's torment were published jointly last December and a year earlier by two private human rights organizations in New York, Helsinki Watch and Asia Watch. One practice they described is the use of ''toy bombs'' -explosive devices disguised as toy trucks, dolls and other objects. When children pick them up, they explode, blowing off hands, maiming, blinding the victims.

''The practice of using toys to kill is such an outrageous concept that many have refused to accept it as true,'' the 1986 report of the two watch committees said. ''Yet Helsinki Watch has received scores of testimonies about such weapons, from credible witnesses who often have no notion of the significance of what they were reporting.''
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Dawat Independent Media Center (DIMC)

Steel Rain, Cluster Bombs, and Mines…Indiscriminate and Deadly -‌By: Bruce G. Richardson
Friday, 03.18.2011, 11:38pm (GMT1)

Steel Rain, Cluster Bombs, and Mines…Indiscriminate and Deadly
By: Bruce G. Richardson
Every war must end. But residual or leftover unexploded ordnance can be a war’s legacy, particularly when small and unstable munitions lay around areas where civilians rebuild their lives following a cessation of hostilities.
More than thirty countries have ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the threshold for the Convention to enter into force…and over one-hundred additional countries have signed it since 2008. Holdouts include Russia, Israel and the United States. All three have deployed cluster munitions during the past decade, Russia during the conflict in Georgia in 2008, Israel during its war against Hezbollah in 2006, and the United States during initial and ongoing phases in the wars both in Afghanistan and Iraq.
During the years 2001 and 2002, the United States dropped 1,210 (CBU) cluster-bomb-units which delivered 244,000 sub-munitions or “bomblets” on Afghanistan. On New Year’s Day, 2002, the U.N. reported that U.S. planes dropped cluster munitions on103 cities of Afghanistan and possibly another 25 more. The areas around Heart, Shomali Plain and Tora Bora were particularly hard hit, 600 were dropped in Shomali alone. So terrifying are these weapons that Iraqi troops called the exploding cluster-bombs, “steel rain.” Such cluster munitions can either be dropped from aircraft or fired from inside artillery shells. The ‘parent’ bomb breaks apart as it nears the target area, spewing forth sub-munitions (bomblets). The widely used CBU-87 1,000 pound cluster-bomb leaves a “footprint” encompassing 458 meters. The footprint is measured by the area affected. Each bomblet 13LU-107 injures or kills people within a 152 meter radius. The bomblets drift down to earth in small parachutes. Though most explode on impact, many do not. The unexploded or failure rate is at 22%. (See: www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/cluster.htm).
On October 10, 2001, U.S. B-52s and B1 bombers began dropping deadly 1,000 pound CBU-87 and CBU-103 cluster fragmentation bombs upon “soft targets”, vehicles and people in Afghanistan. The British Halo Trust now estimates on the basis of research that 20% of the bomblets failed to explode, meaning that 48,884 yellow-colored deadly sub-munitions now litter villages, paths and fields of Afghanistan.
According to Jane’s International, internationally-acknowledged military weapons experts:  one of the most savage features is their 6/mm diamond patterned steel jacket. When the bomb explodes, the steel splits, ejecting hundreds of high velocity steel fragments travelling at speeds equivalent to high-power rifle bullets. They kill and injure people from well over 100 meters from the point of detonation. In a critical report BBC characterized cluster munitions as “some of the most savage weapons of modern warfare.” A newly developed warhead (CBU-107) consists of 3,000 small steel flechettes or darts, producing what is described as a “hurricane of metal” within a given target area 200 meters across.  In yet another lethal system deployed in Afghanistan is the U.S. Army’s Multiple Rocket System which fires a missile that contains 644 M77 grenades, a single salvo involves 3 missiles firing their complement of 12 rockets, which saturate an area with 23,184 deadly grenades. (See: cursor.org/stories/steelrain.html).  
During the Soviet/Afghan War, the Soviet PFM-1 anti-personnel mine was widely scattered about Afghanistan. Known as the “Butterfly or Green Parrot” due to wing-like appendages which served to arm the scatter the mine, however the failure rate of impact-detonation was extraordinarily high, likely deliberate, the result of which was to litter the countryside with extremely sensitive-ordnance that need only be slightly disturbed to detonate.
The PFM-1 was scattered over mountain trails, caravan routes and fields.  In the countryside Soviet aircraft and ground troops distributed anti-personnel mines in inhabited areas used for grazing, cultivation and other agricultural activities, and along roads. After sweeps through villages the troops placed mines in food storage facilities, Mosques, under furniture, in fruit trees, and in fields. Even more clearly aimed at the civilian population, especially children, were mines disguised as every-day objects such as toy trucks, watches, pens and knives (See: The Great Game Revisited, Edited by Roseanne Klass, 1987). Many of these deadly devices remain scattered about the country.
The mines were painted in two camouflaged colors: green for vegetated areas and tan for desert regions.  For the Soviets, bombing civilians was clearly intentional. Bombing was a key part of pacification. Villagers who agreed to collaborate were spared bombing (See: Afghanistan, Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror, Bruce G. Richardson, 1996-98).
To this day, hundreds-of-thousands of unexploded Soviet era “Butterfly” mines litter the Afghan countryside, where detonation and resultant loss of limbs and or sight awaits a curious, poverty-stricken child who thinks he or she may have found a toy and or alternatively an item that may be redeemed for money.
The Americans’ promiscuous- use of cluster munitions combined with a high rate of failure, has resulted in the saturation of the country with additional unexploded ordnance.  Due to failure to detonate, the presence of unexploded ordnance is extraordinarily high when combined with Soviet-era totals. Some have reasoned that mines in Afghanistan are like grains of sand…in that they are everywhere…lying-dormant, deadly silent, but poised, waiting to blow-off hands and feet of unsuspecting children, maiming or killing farmers engaged in plowing their fields and or harvesting their crops, and everyday itinerants hiking the multiplicity of mountain trails. Travel to other parts of Afghanistan remains a perilous undertaking.
Today, it is widely accepted among scientists, doctors and aid workers that war is to blame for a myriad of health-issues. The presence of so much expended and unexpended weaponry, waste, rubble, and massive burn-pits have left a toxic legacy that is poisoning the air, the water, and the soil. Add unexploded “ticking time bombs” and highly controversial armaments that the U.S. has only hinted at using in this war…such as depleted uranium, designed to penetrate tank armor, and white phosphorous, a chemical banned under international covenant from use in inhabited areas.  And the result is a radioactive and chemically charred wasteland, accelerating the rise in maimed children, and mutated and stillborn babies. In addition, the average Afghan faces daily NATO bombing throughout the region, occasional suicide attack, hunger, unemployment, pervasive and unabated corruption, rising food and fuel prices, and U.S. installed and supported criminal war lords once again in positions of power.
The litany of horrors is gut-wrenching: children missing limbs, life-threatening burns, eyeless, spinal damage, post traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD), riddled with radiation-induced cancerous tumors, cardiac defects, brain trauma, radiation-poisoning levels 300-times accepted norms, and other catastrophic illnesses, this is the legacy of horror bequeathed to the Afghan people by the world’s superpowers: i.e., Russia and the United States, with their sanctimonious, cold, and oft-stated quasi-noble exhortations regarding the eradication of terrorism proffered as justification for war of aggression; the supreme war crime under international covenant, statute and convention to which they are signatories.
Countries that have in a gesture of humanitarianism ratified the ban on cluster munitions must rally together and pressure the U.S., Russia, and Israel to also ratify the treaty. Would the U.S., Russia and Israel continue to obfuscate the issue, and desist from ratification, signatory countries should then collaborate and deny the intransigents basing rights, re-supply depots and facilities, and military over-flight accommodation from which to wage war on the people of Afghanistan.   
---------------------------------

The cluster bomb controversy

The cluster bomb controversy
As British forces drop cluster bombs on Iraq, BBC News Online looks at where they have been used in the past and why. 
  Eighteen months ago, in western Afghanistan, a 15-year-old boy picked up what he thought was a packet of food - it blew his head off.
Sayyid Ahmad Sanef believed the bright yellow object lying on the ground near his home was one of the 37,000 plastic humanitarian aid packages of the same colour dropped on Afghanistan by US military aircraft - but it had come from a cluster bomb.
Cluster bombs contain as many as 200 smaller bomblets and up to 30% of these fail to explode on impact but, like landmines, remain deadly for many years.
This is particularly the case when the weapons are dropped from medium or high altitude.
This can cause the bomblets, which contain shrapnel and flammable material, to drift in the wind and land a long way from the intended target.
And they are more likely to kill children, who pick them up without knowing what they are, according to British charity Landmine Action.
Director Richard Lloyd told BBC News Online: "As many are brightly-coloured and the size of a drinks can or toy, they are particularly attractive to children."
Landmine Action has joined with the British charity set up to commemorate the late Princess Diana in condemning the "appalling" use of cluster bombs by coalition forces in Iraq.
The chief executive of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, Andrew Purkis, urged people to "put pressure on governments to take responsibility for the clear-up of these indiscriminate weapons of war".
Nato governments and their military commanders generally argue cluster bombs are an effective and useful weapon in certain circumstances.
The UK military says its L20 bomblets have a "secondary arming device" to ensure any that do not explode immediately on impact do so within 15 seconds.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman told BBC News Online: "Cluster bombs are a lawful weapon and we are using them against legitimate military targets.
"Their main benefit is the ability to attack a large-scale moving target, like a mechanised column in transit."
And using any other type of bomb to attack as wide a range of targets over as large an area would require "far greater tonnage of explosives, leading to far greater damage", he said.
But Mr Lloyd said: "As we know from Afghanistan, Kosovo and the last Gulf war, these weapons cannot be used in a way that discriminates between civilian and military targets and that is illegal under military and humanitarian international law."
Cluster bombs have killed nearly 2,000 Kuwaitis since the end of the 1991 Gulf war, according to Labour MP Joan Ruddock.
She said last month their use in Iraq would be "inconsistent with the government's pledge to keep civilian casualties to a minimum".
In 1999, British and US planes dropped hundreds of thousands of bomblets in Kosovo.


Landmine Action says about 200 people alone were killed or injured by them in the year after the conflict ended.
And Kosovan children were five times more likely to become victims of a cluster bomb than a landmine, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Americans also dropped about 285 million cluster bombs on Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, according to the Pentagon.
In August 2000, a quarter of a century after the Vietnam war ended, one of them exploded and killed six children in the central province of Binh Dinh.
They were playing with the device after finding it in a canal.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/2912617.stm

Published: 2003/04/03 12:33:50 GMT

© BBC 2012

Fragmentation bombs disguised as toys



'Brutalizing Palestinian kids is Israeli policy'
Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:54PM GMT
Interview with Ralph Schoenman, the author of Hidden History of Zionism
SC/HGL
Terrorizing little children is a routine policy of Israel, author Ralph Schoenman says.
There is a pattern of Israeli soldiers routinely brutalizing young Palestinian children on a large scale in order to terrorize the entire population, Ralph Schoenman says.


Schoenman, who is the author of Hidden History of Zionism, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV in which he discussed the case of the two Israeli soldiers who were recently convicted of using a Palestinian child as a human shield during the Gaza war.

On Sunday, an Israeli court issued its final verdict on the case, giving the two soldiers suspended sentences of three months and stripping them of the rank of staff sergeant.

Following is the text of the interview:

Press TV: The deputy Knesset speaker slammed the verdict saying it proves that for Israel, the life of an Arab has less value. What does that say about the Zionist claims that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East?

Schoenman: Well, the Zionist claim that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East is ludicrous on many grounds. The fundamental ground of course is that rights are always defined in terms of Jewish identity. Rights are not defined on the basis of citizenship. In fact, the Jewish National Fund, that had regulations adopted by the Israelis, states early on that... in order to be entitled to own land or work land or share-crop it, you have to show at least four generations of maternal Jewish decent. To talk about this as a democracy is an insult to people's intelligence. But fundamentally, what you're describing here is the routine use of children as targets of torment.

The particular that is being cited... the Israeli soldiers convicted of using a nine-year-old boy in Gaza as a human shield and then getting suspended sentences of three months, is being treated as if this is some kind of unique event. In fact, it is a routine treatment of Palestinian children from the inception of the Israeli [regime] and in every armed conflict in which it has engaged.

Story after story after story we've documented over the years. In this year in Nablus on February 18, 2010, a girl of 16 was used as a human shield while they searched her house. Her 15- and 17-year-old brothers were brutalized in front of them. This is with a family that has a father that is diabetic and has had both legs amputated. He's dependent upon the labor of his children to sustain the family. They are detained.

Indeed, the pattern of brutalizing Palestinian children is not, as I state, an isolated incident. Every time the Israelis engage in an operation in the West Bank, which is continuously, the same phenomenon occurs. On March 8, Amir Almontaser, a ten-year-old Hebron child, was savagely beaten after his twelve-year-old brother Hassan had endured similar treatment the week before. At 2 a.m., Israeli soldiers broke into their house, snatched Amir from his bed, threatened his parents with death by gunfire if they interfered, took him down the stairwell, and brutally beat him, causing internal abdominal bleeding. In complete shock, Amir could not open his mouth or speak for a week. This is the routine treatment of children and is a way of terrorizing the entire Palestinian population.

Press TV: After the sentence was handed down, an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldier said, and I quote, "Does that mean the decisions soldiers make during an operation should enter a courtroom? Will we find ourselves in court every time we are forced to confront a civilian population?" End quote. Would such a justification hold in any real court of law?

Schoenman: Well, please, let's put this in context. These actions arise over the unrelenting onslaught on the population of Gaza. The official statistics of civilians, that is to say people who have no connection to any fugitive resistance on the part of the population, and since when is resistance to an occupation a crime, but of just those who were designated as civilians, some 1500 were killed in Gaza.

There is no exceptionalism when it comes to children. There are automatic weapons sites that are set up by Israel so that anything that moves over areas hundreds of yards across is automatically caught in cross-fire. This is the routine message through which the population is terrorized in Gaza. (And) it's not restricted to Gaza.

One particular point about the treatment of children. When my wife and I were in Lebanon at the time of the Israeli invasion of 1982, living in Palestinian camps, the routine procedure on the part of the Israelis was to drop fragmentation bombs across the villages, across the refugee camps, and across the fields of Palestinians and Lebanese alike. These fragmentation bombs were disguised as toys -- they were disguised as little telephones, they were disguised as little playthings and balls. They were brightly colored and designed to attract children, to attract civilians to pick them up, and they detonated, sending fragments of razor-sharp pieces of steel in all directions, lacerating the organs of the victim, causing amputations, causing internal bleeding that could not be stopped, routinely across the Palestinian villages and refugee camps of Lebanon amongst the areas of Lebanon that were under siege.

Children and civilians are the primary target because the object of the exercise is to terrorize the population, to drive them out of the land and occupy that land yet again. That's the process of Zionist colonization.
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Many disguised as toys, Still being found by children




Israel's Bombs in Lebanon:"ABOUT A MILLION CLUSTER BOMBS WHICH DID NOT
EXPLODE" ARE SCATTERED ACROSS SOUTH LEBANON



http://www.dawn.com/2007/03/07/int10.htm

March 07, 2007

Gambling with death in Lebanon's fields

By Sylvie Groult


AIN BAAL (Lebanon): For weeks Ali Nasser waited for the bomb disposal
team. But the arrival of spring left him no choice but to go to his
fields, sown last year by the Isreali military with hundreds of
unexploded cluster bombs.

The alternative is to lose the tobacco crop which provides the means
of feeding his 11 children, and which normally brings him $6,580 a year.

"How can I feed my family? I can't wait, I must sow the crop," said
this farmer in south Lebanon where hundreds more like him face a daily
gamble with death in their own fields.

THE UNITED NATIONS ESTIMATES THAT "ABOUT A MILLION CLUSTER BOMBS WHICH
DID NOT EXPLODE" ARE SCATTERED ACROSS SOUTH LEBANON WHERE THEY HAVE
KILLED 30 PEOPLE AND WOUNDED 187 SINCE THE 34-DAY WAR ENDED ON LAST
AUGUST 14.

But, said Nasser: "If I don't deliver the tobacco to the state, I have
no money. So I continue to work – each morning I go to the fields with
my children." Nasser, 54, found the first cluster bombs – bomblets
enclosed in a larger bomb which scatter on impact – last year after
the end of Israel's offensive against Lebanon and Shia Hezbollah
guerrillas.

"IT WAS IN AUGUST, SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE END OF THE WAR. I WENT WITH
THE WHOLE FAMILY TO OUR FIELDS," HE RECALLED. "MY DAUGHTER DISCOVERED THEM, ONE SHAPED LIKE A BALL, ANOTHER WITH A RIBBON, AND ONE WHICH RESEMBLED A TELEPHONE. SHE STARTED LAUGHING – SHE DID NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WERE." 
He went for help to the UN's anti-mine coordination
centre. "They came for a first time and told me they would return,"
the farmer said, adding that nothing happened.

By September he was getting desperate to attend to his plants and, on
the advice of a neighbour, approached a Palestinian living in a nearby
camp.

"For $100 he worked for a whole day. He picked up bomblets and hurled
them as far as he could so they exploded," Nasser said.

"Others he collected using sticky paper and depositing them in a fruit
crate on a layer of straw. The crate stayed there for three days and
then disappeared with the contents." Relieved, Nasser went back to
working with his tractor in the fields on the edge of Ain Baal
village, near the port city of Tyre.

But early in February, cluster bombs started to reappear. Three
surfaced, while Nasser suspects others still lurk buried in the soil.

"I returned to the anti-mine centre. The next day they came, took the
three away and told me `Don't touch your land, we are going to return'
to clear it. I am still waiting," he said.

At the anti-mine centre, spokeswoman Dalya Farran said 855 areas with
unexploded bomblets had been listed, and added that "more than 100,000
of these devices" have been recovered by the 63 teams, civilian and
military, working to made the region safe again.

But the controversial weapons have continued to claim victims such as
15-year-old Ahmad Naji, who had attended a school lecture on the
dangers of the bomblets just two weeks before he lost his left foot.

"The cluster bomb was hidden under a stone. It exploded when I put my
foot on it," said the teenager, sitting at home in Batoulay village
and wearing a gold medal he had earlier won for running, his favourite
pastime.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has estimated that the
Israeli offensive on Lebanon and the war with Hezbollah cost the
country's agricultural sector $280 million.

In the south, planted with tobacco and olive trees, the FAO says one
quarter of cultivated land has been made unusable by unexploded munitions.

The United Nations has asked Israel for months – in vain – to tell it
where the Jewish state's aircraft unleashed their deadly cargoes.—AFP
----------------------------------------------- 

Politics - Senator Kucinich's ethical battle against cluster bombs.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Politics+-+Senator+Kucinich%27s+ethical+battle+against+cluster+bombs.-a0260356434

NNA - 02/07/2011 U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich visited Nabih Berri Complex for the rehabilitation of the disabled and victims of cluster bombs in Sarafand-south Lebanon on Saturday, promising to deliver a message to his government on the need to stop the production of these terror weapons.

Cluster bombs could be air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapons that eject smaller munitions or bomblets. Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area they pose risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards. During attacks the weapons are prone to indiscriminate effects, especially in populated areas. Unexploded bomblets can kill or maim civilians long after a conflict has ended, and are costly to locate and remove. In July war of 2006, launched by Israel on Lebanon, Israeli fighter planes dispersed a large number of cluster bombs across south Lebanon. Most of these bombs were disguised in the shape of children's toys. Sadly, majority of the victims of these cluster bombs are children.

"The US has a moral responsibility to help Lebanon in this field," said the Ohio Democrat, explaining that the US continued to produce these deadly and treacherous bombs, "Once I return home, I will insist on helping [Lebanon]." Kucinich argued that production of cluster-bombs should halt mainly for the safety of mankind, "We must stop this baby-killing machine...this is the message I will carry home with me." R.Z.

NNA 2011 LEBANON

Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company 
-------------------------------------------------------

DOCUMENTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST THE LEBANESE AND PALESTINIAN PEOPLES

DOCUMENTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
INTO ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST THE LEBANESE AND PALESTINIAN PEOPLES

[introduction.]

p Findings and conclusions of the International Commission of Inquiry ’into Israeli Crimes Against the Lebanese and Palestinian Peoples, August 15–16, 1982, Nicosia, Cyprus
(Excerpts)
p           On June 6, 1982, regular Israeli
troops invaded Lebanon and committed aggression against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. The goal of this invasion was to liquidate the Palestine Liberation Organization primarily by killing as many Palestinians as possible. The aggressors killed, wounded and maimed dozens of thousands of the Lebanese and Palestinians, predominantly women, children and old people; thousands upon thousands of people are missing, while close to a million people have 192 been left homeless or have been forced to flee from their native cities and villages. It was in cold blood that the invaders destroyed fourteen Palestinian refugee camps, three major cities in Southern Lebanon, and 32 villages...
p In reaching its conclusions and findings, the Commission made it a point to be satisfied beyond doubt before doing so.
p The Commission heard the evidence of a wide range of witnesses, many of whom had actually observed events in Lebanon. These included three members of the Commission itself, Paulette Pierson-Mathy, Mikis Theodorakis and Hans Goran Franck, who were sent to Lebanon before the meeting, members of Scandinavian, Greek, Dutch, Canadian, Finnish and French medical teams, social workers and journalists who had worked in or visited West Beirut, and experts on military matters and on the lethal^ effects of the sophisticated weapons used by the Israelis in Lebanon and also witnesses from inside Israel...
p The doctors also gave the effects of different kinds of bombs, particularly cluster bombs and phosphorus bombs, on men, women and children, and the total destruction of the livelihood of people already living near the edge of existence...
p From the Commission members who visited West Beirut and the doctors and journalists who entered the city in the last few weeks came detailed evidences of the bombing of the city. The widespread indiscriminate character of the destruction was shown by many slides, examples of the different kinds of bombs used had been photographed or brought to us...
p The state of Israel and its Zionist rulers are accused of the following criminal actions: I—crimes against peace;
p II—crimes against humanity;
193
p III—war crimes, and 
IV—actions aimed at denying the right of self– determination of the Palestinian people.

I. Crimes Against Peace

p ...The state of Israel and its leaders are accused of at least the following acts of aggression:
p a) invading or attacking with the armed forces of the state the territory of another state or any military occupation, provisional as it may be, resulting from such an invasion or attack, or any annexation through the use of force of the territory of another state or any part of it;
p b) bombing by the armed forces of a state of the territory of another state or using any weapon by a state against the territory of another state;
p c) blockade of the parts on the shores of a state by the armed forces of another state.
p Israel is committing a premeditated aggression and the occupation of the territory of a sovereign independent state, founder member of United Nations, and a direct interference in the internal affairs of Lebanon. We .are forced to conclude that Israel is trying to install a "new order" in Lebanon serving its own interests...
p The Israeli aggression has led to the occupation and vast indiscriminate destruction o’f the greater part of the independent Arab state of Lebanon. It has also endangered its political independence. The Israeli aggression has, concurrently with the above, become a serious threat to international peace and security.
Witnesses from inside Israel referred to the gradual change of unwinding taking place within. an influential section of the people of Israel towards the hostile policy 194 of their government to the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. The Commission is satisfied there is a rethinking among these sections about the justification and continuance of the aggression and brutalities committed by the invaders.

II. Crimes Against Humanity

p Having committed an unprecedented act of aggression against independent Lebanon, the state of Israel and its leaders have carried on a course of genocide against the Arab people of Palestine.
p According to the definition contained in Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948, genocide is defined as actions, committed with an intent to exterminate, fully or partly, a national, ethnic, racial or religious groups per se.
p The Israelis have committed the broadest actions against the Palestinians which can be qualified as genocide...
p As a result of the policy of genocide, the Palestinian inhabitants of Lebanon have been put into such a position as to endanger their very existence.
p The overall direction of Israel’s criminal activities is also seen from the fact that, according to the witnesses and documents, all Palestinian males from 16 to 60 years of age have been taken prisoner.
p They really are prisoners of war but were put into concentration camps where they are treated in a most cruel and degrading manner.
p The Commission received eye-witness accounts of Israel maltreatment of Palestinian prisoners of war from members of a Norwegian medical team. The Commission was informed of the extensive use of violence, of regular and 195 systematic beatings, of degrading and inhuman treatment, of physical and mental abuse against these men.
The methods of conducting military actions employed by the Israelis, their treatment of Palestinian prisoners of war, the new orders they brought in with them into Lebanon’s occupied regions, contradict a whole range of norms of international law and, in fact, by their very nature are military crimes.

III. War Crimes

p 1. The Conduct by the Israelis
p of Military Actions Against the Civilian Population, Bombing and Shelling of Peaceful Cities and Villages Violate:
p a) The St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 which obliges both sides in a conflict to fight against the enemy’s armed forces only;
p b) Article 25 of the Statement supplemented to the Hague Convention of October 16, 1907 which prohibits attacking open or non-defended cities;
p c) Article 6 of the “B” Section of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal in Niirnberg which equates the unwarranted destruction of cities and villages to a military crime;
p d) Article 48 and subsequent Articles of the Supplementary Protocol of June 8, 1977 to the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 on protecting war victims;
p e) Resolutions 2444 (XXIII) and 2675 (XXV) of the United Nations General Assembly, which prohibit military operations against the civilian population.
p The three member group of our Commission who visited Lebanon confirmed that as a result of the operations of the Israeli army, substantial parts of Beirut, Tyre, Nabatiya 196 and Saida, as well as of many other places, were destroyed, and whole camps of the Palestinian refugees were razed from the face of the earth. Over 600,000 Lebanese were left homeless, and the occupied territory of Lebanon has been plunged into a critical situation. According to a report compiled by UN observers, some 300,000 Lebanese citizens and not less than 83,000 Palestinians urgently need aid and shelter.
p 2. Use of the Cluster, Phosphorus, Fragmentation and Other Bombs.
p The use of the cluster and phosphorus bombs, and of some other weapons is a violation of the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 and the Hague Convention of 1907. They prohibit the use of arms which cause unnecessary human suffering. Quite recently these weapons were expressly added to the Supplementary Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
p All witnesses stated that these horrendous weapons of mass destruction were widely used by Israel in Lebanon, and the overall majority of those who have suffered from them were peaceful civilians. We heard rumors about even more frightening devices such as the vacuum bomb; we have the duty to inquire further about these weapons.
p 3. Bombing of Hospitals and Clinics Protected by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Insignia.
p This is a violation of one of the oldest rules of the humanitarian law. This is reflected in a number of documents, particularly in Articles 18 and 23 of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, on the protection of the civilian population in case of war.
p The Israeli military obstructed even the International 197 Red Cross from rendering aid to the Palestinians and the population of Beirut.
p 4. Cutting Off Food, Water and Energy and Essential Medical Supplies from the Civilian Population.
p This represents actions against the civilian population prohibited by humanitarian conventions, namely by Article 1, Para 1 of the Supplementary Protocol which prohibits the causing of hunger among the civilian population as a method of conducting warlike actions.
p Such Israeli actions were confirmed by the United Nations Security Council Resolution of July 30, 1982. The Security Council demanded in that Resolution that the government of Israel should immediately lift the blockade of the city of Beirut, so as to permit supplies necessary to satisfy urgent needs of the civilian population and to allow the distribution of aid delivered by UN agencies and by non-governmental organizations, especially by the International Red Cross Committee (IRCC).
p 5. Article 51, Para 2 of the Supplementary Protocol Prohibits Acts of Violence or Threats of Violence Aimed at Terrorizing the Civilian Population.
p The Israeli leaders widely used threats of violence, especially during the siege of Beirut.
p 6. The Refusal to Grant POW Status to Palestinian Fighters Violates:
p Article 4 of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 on the treatment of prisoners of war.
p The Commission was informed that the Israeli 198 government is denying prisoner of war status and treatment to the Palestinians...
p The non-granting to Palestinians of POW status also runs counter to the UN General Assembly resolutions, such as No. 3103 (XXVIII) of December 12, 1973 which demands that this status be granted to those persons who fight against foreign occupation and for their right to self– determination.
p 7. Cruel Treatment of Palestinians, Both Combatants and Civilians, Captured by the Israeli Forces.
p This violates some basic provisions of the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war and the Geneva Convention on protecting the civilian population in case of war. Article 13 of the former contains general provisions that prisoners of war should always be treated humanely. It is prohibited in particular to maim them.
p 8. Preventing the Authorities in the Occupied Territories to Execute Their Functions...
p 9. The Israelis Systematically and Purposefully Shelled and Destroyed the Beirut-Based Diplomatic Representations of the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, France, Algeria, All Arab Embassies and the Canadian Embassy, Which Traditionally Enjoy Protection at Times of Armed Conflicts.
p 10. The Destruction of Monuments and Cultural and Scientific Institutions.
p This violates the provisions of the Hague Convention of May 14, 1954 and Article 53 of the Supplementary 199 Protocol on protecting cultural values in case of armed conflicts.
p The Israelis have -committed exactly such actions in Lebanon.
p The Israeli planes systematically and quite deliberately destroyed the buildings of the Arab University and the Exhibition Hall of the works of art and culture of Palestiniari painters.
p 11. Violation of Other Traditional Rules of Conducting Military Actions.
p The international law prohibits, in particular, any perfidious actions (see Article 3 7 of the Supplementary Protocol).
The Israeli troops on numerous occasions perfidiously violated ceasefire to regroup their forces, to replenish their supplies and to fortify the captured positions, only to perfidiously violate the ceasefire after that.

IV. Denying the Right to
SelfDetermination of the Palestinian
People

p           Since the United Nations General
Assembly adopted, on December 14, 1960, the Declaration granting independence to former colonial countries and peoples, any subjugation of peoples to foreign yoke and domination, any military actions or repressive measures against peoples fighting for their right to self-determination should be viewed as a grave international crime. All the more so since the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1974 adopted Resolution 3236 confirming officially the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
Israel and its leaders, by their systematic actions, primarily by their use of military force, aimed at denying 200 Emacs-File-stamp: "/home/ysverdlov/leninist.biz/en/1985/G243/20071130/243.tx" the right to self-determination and to setting up their own state to the Palestinian people, and by their occupation of the territories that belong to the Palestinian people, have committed just this crime.

V. International Responsibility

p The USA as an Accomplice in Israel’s Crimes.
p           The United States is
internationally responsible for the violations of international law by Israel because of the support it has been rendering to Israel in committing the above international crimes.
p This support included:
p —military aid through shipments of arms and modern technology, while the US-Israeli Memorandum on strategic cooperation signed last year provided for coordinating their operations in the Middle East;
p —economic aid through granting gratuitous assistance and very big loans;
p —on the political and diplomatic plane, direct support of the Israeli aggression as reflected in the use by the United States of its veto right in the Security Council when the USA vetoed resolutions demanding the withdrawal of the Israeli forces and refused to vote for a UN General Assembly resolution denouncing the Israeli aggression.
More than 50% of the Israeli experts go to the EEC, where they receive preferential customs rates and credit benefits. This form of economic support to a state which continues with aggression and occupation of Lebanon constitutes a form of indirect support. Obviously precedents 201 show that aggression is met with immediate sanctions. We call upon the USA and the EEC in particular to take action in helping with what has been done before.

VI. On the Responsibility of the
Organizers and Inspirers of the
Crimes in Lebanon

p The above-mentioned international legal norms violated by Israel are binding upon it either on the treaty basis (the Geneva Conventions, with regard to Israel, came into effect on June 6, 1951), or because these norms have been formed on the habitual basis and have by now become a composite part of the modem general international law, compulsory for all states without exception.
p Israel’s responsibility acquires an even graver character due to its refusal to implement the compulsory decisions of the Security Council.
p The general legal principle of the inevitability of responsibility for the committed offences should be applied to international crimes on an even stricter basis, because they jeopardize international peace and security and lead to incalculable economic, moral and ethic losses for the countries and peoples and undermine the entire international law and order...
p The International Commission warns that all those guilty directly or indirectly of transgressions and violations of international law and crimes against humanity will have to answer for them before the bar of international justice.
202
p Findings and Conclusions of the
International Commission of Inquiry

into Israeli Crimes Against the Lebanese

and Palestinian Peoples,

February 27–28, 1983, Geneva,

Switzerland

(Abridged
)
p           ...In violation of the resolutions of
the Security Council about the immediate and unconditional recall of Israeli troops from the Lebanese territory, the aggressor is deliberately postponing the ceasing of its military occupation to an undetermined date.
p In the time lapse between the Commission’s first and second sessions, its delegated missions went to Lebanon and Israel. They met numerous representatives of Palestinian and Lebanese opinion, as well as witnesses and victims of violence by the Israeli army; they also conversed with responsible persons from various committees opposed to war...
p At the close of the auditions and multiple interventions at a high level on the part of numerous speakers, the Commission came to the following conclusions:
p The prolongation and persistent occupation of an important part of the territory of the Lebanese state constitutes a permanent violation of the most fundamental norms of international law. This occupation is the source of all tragedies and all crimes to which the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples have been subjected for months. This is why everything must be done to put an end to this occupation.
p The Commission gives the main conclusions which it reached:
203
p I. Persistent occupation
Crimes against humanity
Crimes of war
Concentration camps of Ansar and other criminal actions by Israel in Lebanon.
p —The facts collected unquestionably prove that the Israeli occupation authorities are using their military presence to achieve their expansionist goal. To this end they provoke and make use of violence in all its forms. They organize massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps, assist and encourage the dealings of extremist forces which give rise to confrontations between Muslim and Christian communities, as in the case of the area of Mountain Lebanon.
p —The Israeli occupation engenders destabili/ation of the system of political relations and strikes at the normal functioning of the State, in violation particularly of articles 53, 54, 64 of the Geneva Convention of 1949.
p —The Israeli occupation leads to massive and gross violation by Israeli troops and administration of the rights and liberties of the Lebanese and Palestinian civilian population:; round-ups and massive arrests, deportation and internments in concentration camps, use of torture and other forms of violence against detainees, violation of articles 47, 49 and 70 of the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilian populations in case of armed conflict.
p —Persistent occupation and the accompanying barbaric violence, the contempt in Israel of the principles and norms of international law are serious obstacles to an equitable and global settlement in the Middle East, taking into account the legitimate rights of all peoples and in particular the guarantee of the right of the Palestinian people to create its own State.
204
p —By voluntarily multiplying obstacles in face of the humanitarian action of governments and international organizations wishing to intervene in favour of the Palestinian and Lebanese populations victims of the aggression— the Israeli authorities are impeding the supply of food and sanitary material for this population, thus violating articles 55, 56 57 and 59 of the Geneva Convention.
p —Israel persists in totally ignoring the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949 relating to prisoners of war, by refusing this status to Palestinian and Lebanese combatants who,. . are waging a legitimate armed struggle against the invaders (Article 4 of the Convention). Israel takes no notice whatsoever of the 1977 Protocol concerning international armed conflicts as annexed to the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the defence of victims of war, though it took a direct part in its elaboration.
p —The Israelis maintain and multiply concentration camps in South Lebanon. Numerous Lebanese and Palestinian detainees in the Ansar camp are subjected to torture and undergo inhuman treatment. The Commission finds that Israeli authorities still prohibit access to camps to families of detainees, to their lawyers, as well as to representatives of the international media, whilst they do not have the benefit of an international protection of any kind.
p II. Sabra and Shatila: extreme consequences of a policy of extermination o.f the Palestinian people.
p The Commission heard numerous testimonies; it studied documents, films, photos and other elements of proof on the massacre of Sabra and Shatila which it communicated to all participants.
p It also referred to the report of the Israeli Commission of Inquiry and to various hearings given before the Israeli 205 Commission by witnesses attending the February 27 and 28, 1983 Geneva session.
p It took good note of the positive aspects of this inquiry and was pleased therewith.
p But it also pointed out the limits and inadequacies of the documents published by the Commission, and especially the conclusions which it considers not to have any valid implications for those responsible for the massacres.
p For its part, the Commission came to the conviction that these horrible, out-of-the-ordinary events are part of the global policy of aggression, annexation and extermination pursued by the Begin government, and that they bring out the racist aspects of Zionism.
p The invaders continue, in astonishing cold blood, to destroy the Palestinian refugee camps on Lebanese territory. Seventeen camps have been deliberately erased during the months which have passed since the beginning of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. The objective is to chase off all, or almost all, refugees, first "to the North”, then "in the direction of Syria”, and then towards Jordan, to "finally solve" the problem of Palestinian independence.
p The Commission added to inquiry documents the following statement by Yaakov Meridor, the Israeli minister in charge of refugee problems: "Send them eastwards, to Syria. Allow them to leave, but do not let them come back.”
p Lt. Col. Dov Yirmiah found himself excluded from the top reserve of Israel’s army for having disclosed this statement by the minister.
p Thus, Yaakov Meridor confirmed the anti-humanitarian essence of the premeditated, forced expulsion plan of the Palestinian refugees. He admitted, at the October 13, 1982 meeting of the Israeli government, that his plan consisted, as a first step, in the evacuation of refugees from South Lebanon to the North. The systematic destruction of the Palestinian refugee camps and the terror in the 206 southern area of this Arab country were aimed at provoking the flight of Palestinian refugees to Syria and Jordan.
p Scornful of Security Council resolutions and in violation of the promises made by Philip Habib, the American emissary, to the Palestinians about non-entry of Israel’s army into West Beirut, about the non-violation of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and the security of the Palestinians remaining in that country, Israel clearly manifested the intention to pursue a policy of genocide against the Arab people of Palestine.
p In spite of the full guarantee by the Americans, the Israeli army started to take over West Beirut on the night of September 15, 1982. It was an operation planned in advance and prepared with the greatest care in all details. The Israeli army units participating in this operation had been air-lifted to Lebanon the day before.
p The massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila circled by Israeli army units lasted 40 hours without interruption from September 16 to 18. Undisputable facts attest that Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan, General Amir Drori, BrigadierGeneral Amos Yaron, and other Israeli military leaders participated in the instruction of the gangs responsible for the killings at Sabra and Shatila. It was upon Sharon’s orders that’Israeli army units illuminated these Palestinian camps during the night. The electricity supply of West Beirut had been deliberately cut off to hide the massacres.
p Uri Avneri, Israeli politician and journalist, had warned that under cover of the West Beirut invasion operation General Sharon had the intention of destroying the Palestinian refugee camps in the neighbourhood of Lebanon’s capital city. This warning got published in the Israeli press in the morning of September 17, 1982, but the authorities of Israel did not take any notice.
207
p Israeli citizen Ben Yishai confirmed having witnessed the massacres which took place literally next to the commanding post of the Israeli brigade which encircled the Sabra and Shatila camps. He communicated immediately his observations to Sharon, but the Minister did not react in any way. "He thanked me and expressed his wishes for a good year. I got the impression that apparently he was informed about what was happening in the camp.”
p An Israeli officer testified that the Israeli units had received the order not to impede the murderers who, as was said, "were clearing the place”.
p All during the morning of September 18,1982—so reported Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk—many inhabitants of the camps were taken out and then disappeared... They were pushed into trucks leaving for an unknown destination. One still does not know what happened to the persons who so disappeared. Their bodies, thrown out of the trucks, were scattered along the roadsides leading to South Lebanon. These roads cross the areas of Al-Ouzai, Khalde, Harat an-Naame, Kafr Himah. Corpses were also found on the road to the international airport of Beirut”.
p Full information about the number of victims of the massacre has not yet been obtained. On September 22, 1982, an International Red Cross report announced the discovery of the burial of 663 bodies. On October 14, the Orient-Le Jour of Beirut stated that according to Lebanese government sources, 762 corpses had been found, 213 of them in a communal pit; 302 bodies had been identified, then burned by the local assistance brigades; 248 corpses had been buried by the International Red Cross after identification. According to the same source, "about 1,200 bodies have been taken by families for burial in individual tombs”.
p To the total number of victims of the massacre one must add the many corpses taken from the ruins of nearly 200 208 residential buildings destroyed in the course of the massacre in the camps. It was very difficult to make an exact estimate. It was stated that there were hundreds. 115 bodies were uncovered the first day of the search, 56 the second day. The search had to. be interrupted after a few days due to the rapid decomposition of the cadavers.
p On September 23, 1982, the France-Presse Agency assessed at 2,000 the total number of corpses of Palestinian refugees who had disappeared from the camps of Sabra and Shatila. This refers essentially to those taken by truck in an unknown direction.
p Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk states therefore that one can speak of the extermination of a total of over 3,000 persons. During 40 hours, on September 16, 17 and 18, 3,000 to 3,500 men, women and children were killed of the 20,000 who were counted as being in the two camps. Among the 302 bodies initially identified, 136 were Lebanese living in Sabra and Shatila alongside the Palestinian refugees. And Amnon Kapeliouk draws the conclusion: "One believes that about one fourth of the victims of the massacre at Sabra and Shatila were Lebanese citizens, the remainder being Palestinians.”
p At the onset of the massacre the inhabitants of Shatila made two separate attempts to stop the carnage. In particular, a delegation of four persons had gone to the Israeli post near the Kuwaiti Embassy, the building of which was occupied by the Israeli soldiers, in order to explain that there were neither arms nor Palestinian fighters in the camp and that the inhabitants were surrendering. The delegation included Abu Hamad Ismail (55 years old), Abu Ahmed Said (65 years old), Abu Suaid (62 years old) and Tawfik Abu Hakhmeh (64 years old). Amnon Kapeliouk writes that in view of everyone they were approaching the southern exit of the Shatila camp, then disappeared. Two days later, the bodies of three of the members of the 209 delegation were discovered near the building of the Embassy of Kuwait.
p Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin is personally responsible for the massacre in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila. He authorized the invasion of West Beirut, which nothing could justify. His first argument, totally improvised, in favour of the occupation of that part of the Lebanese capital was that the murder of Bashir Gemayel, the recently elected President of Lebanon, would probably have led to general chaos. The recourse to such an argument shows that this murder was in fact all to the benefit of the aggressor.
p The second argument, according to which "thousands of terrorists" had stayed in the camps, was just as inconsistent. General Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, had in fact declared on September 15 that only a few Palestinian combatants and a small representation of the PLO had remained in West Beirut (cited from the Israeli paper Haaretz).
p Although they immediately received the news about the carnage at Sabra and Shatila, the US Department of State and its civil servants did nothing to stop the crime. The allegations about American diplomats posted in Lebanon and responsible for investigating the situation on the spot not being able to enter the camps are inconsistent.
p At this point the Commission notes that Israel, equipped by the USA with modern arms and munitions, has used this material in violation of the agreements existing between the two countries, on the face of which American arms delivered to the Israeli army could only serve for the defence of Israel. In Lebanon they were in operation for aggression and conquest. The world press had on various occasions pointed out violations of the American-Israeli agreements, but the government of the United States has taken no measure of sanctions against Israel, nor did it try to put an end to these 210 violations; one can say that they practically encouraged the aggressor to the detriment of the victim. This attitude of the American administration can only qualify it as an accomplice of Israel in its crimes.
p The types of arms mostly supplied by the United States are:
p —vacuum bombs,
p —fragmentation bombs,
p —cluster bombs,
p —phosphorus bombs,
p —anti-shelter rockets.
p The way in which they were used by the Israeli army leaves no. doubt whatsoever about the determination of the Begin government to fundamentally conduct a war of terror and extermination against the civilian population—which lost tens and tens of thousands of killed and wounded.
p III. Destabilization of the economy and social structure of Lebanon.
p Starting with the inquiry it has been conducting, the hearing of testimonies, the. objective reports of the Lebanese and Israeli press, the large amount of news coverage on a worldwide scale, the Commission calls the attention of public opinion to the fact that following the systematic and deliberate actions of the armed forces of Israel, and of its occupation authorities, we can observe a destabilization of the economy and social structure of Lebanon. Whilst military operations were in full swing, the Israeli currency was introduced on all Lebanese territory occupied by the army of Israel, by an unilateral act...
p At the time of the assault on West Beirut, the Israeli army, with the’ help of Israeli finance experts, trespassed the inviolability of the Lebanese banks. The purpose of this unprecedented measure was to demonstrate that 211 henceforth Israel could control the Lebanese finances in accordance with its interests...
p Israel has been systematically destroying the socioeconomic structure of Lebanon. The infrastructure of the country is demolished, its development needs are being ignored, conditions have been created which make the functioning of the state impossible. The result is agricultural decline, the decline of all the branches of industry, of the national handicraft business and small traders. Many administrative sectors which had been dealing with the recovery of customs and income taxes do not function any more, and this has caused incalculable damage to the Lebanese State.
p This type of policy seems to be preparing for Lebanon to come under a protectorate mandate. It is applied and followed by all who, like Begin, Sharon and others, fanatically defend the conception of a Great Israel. This is why such an attempt must be denounced and fought against with the utmost vigour in the interest of the independence and sovereignty of Lebanon.
p The members of the International Commission declare:
p —the criminal situation created by the occupation can only come to an end with immediate, unconditional and total retreat of Israeli troops from Lebanese territory, according to resolutions 508 and 509 of the Security Council, an indispensable condition to the re-establishment of sovereignty in Lebanon and a normalization of its political and social life;
p —Israel, as an occupying state, is wholly responsible for all criminal acts committed by its forces and collaborators on the territory it occupies and controls...
p The Commission wants to stress once more the fact that in conformity with international law, such crimes are not subject to prescription and that the punishment incurred is 212 irrevocable (Convention of 1968 on non-prescription of war crimes and of crimes against humanity).
p The Commission recalls the practices of the Niirnberg Tribunal which passed judgement on the main war criminals of the Second World War...;
p —the situation persisting in Lebanon puts to the fore the fundamental role in this war of the United States, engaging its responsibility both with regard to occupation and the crimes for which Israel is the guilty party;
p —persisting occupation, brutal violence, the negation by Israel of the principles and norms of international law are serious obstacles to an equitable and global settlement of the crisis in the Middle East, taking into account the legitimate interests of all states and of all peoples of the area and in particular the need to vouchsafe the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to create their own state and to decide in all independence on their relations with the other states;
p —persisting aggression and Israeli occupation, and the ensuing crimes are also a danger to world peace. This is why the Commission deems it necessary to alert and call on world public opinion, political parties, social and religious movements, governments and parliaments, international and intergovernmental organizations to raise their voices and to act so as to guarantee and ensure protection of the Lebanese and Palestinian populations...
p The Commission has noted with satisfaction the development of the steps taken by political and social forces and leaders who in Israel denounced the criminal character of the aggression and annexation policy of the Begin government and who call for rapid achievement of a peace based on recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people for their self-determination and the creation of their own state.
213
p Findings and Conclusions of the Medical Subcommittee of the International Commission of Inquiry into Israeli Crimes Against the Lebanese and Palestinian Peoples, November 20–21, 1982, Athens, Greece
(Abridged
)
p           The sitting of the Medical Subcommittee ... with the participation of 58 delegates from 17 countries, and three international organizations, after hearing testimonies of doctors, other medical personnel, lawyers and journalists, who worked in Lebanon and gave medical treatment to the victims of the Israeli aggression or visited medical establishments which had been destroyed or damaged; and having analyzed the evidence submitted, has reached the following conclusions:
p 1. The Israeli invasion in Lebanon, carried out with the full support of the US, constitutes a flagrant violation of international law.
p 2. The atrocities and indiscriminate bombings against the civilian population took on dimensions surpassing the limits of genocide.
p 3. The cutting off of such basic supplies as water, electricity, foodstuffs and even blood and plasma to the besieged part of Beirut, and the siege of this city withhundreds of thousands of inhabitants constitute an infringement on fundamental human rights and values.
p 4. The violation of every basic human right is also proved by the ruthless bombardment from air, sea and land of residential areas, refugee camps and other civilian targets, such as hospitals and even cemeteries.
p 5. The witnesses who spoke at the sitting proved the use of napalm, phosphorus, fragmentation and cluster bombs, toy and vacuum bombs; all banned by international conventions. The use of these bombs results in a great number of 214 casualties among the civilian population, including infants and children under the age of seven. Those attending the sitting are convinced that both the country of Lebanon and its population have been used to test the efficiency of the most sophisticated US weapons. This constitutes a most flagrant violation of the provisions of the St. Petersburg Declaration (1868), the Hague Convention (1907) and the Supplementary Protocol (June 10, 1977) to the Geneva Conventions on the Protection of War Victims (August 12, 1949).
p 6. The siege and blockade of the city, the explosions, the mock bombings, the dropping of threatening leaflets and the booby-traps were elements of the aggressor’s psychological warfare, which has caused many psychological problems, especially among children.
p 7. The planned, systematic and mass bombardment of hospitals and other buildings bearing the emblems of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is a gross violation of several international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions regarding the protection of civilians. The witnesses gave testimonies concerning specific cases of destruction of hospitals and clinics, of arrests and murders of doctors and medical staff, of the killing and injuring of hospitalized patients, both civilians and combatants, of destruction of first-aid centres, medical vehicles and medical equipment in general.
p 8. Hospital conditions for the injured were very bad, because hospitals were being bombed and could provide no security. Lack of medical supplies and equipment, the reduced numbers of medical ana para-medical personnel, lack of electricity, water and blood, caused insurmountable difficulties, resulting in a high rate of mortality and high percentage of postoperative complications.
p 9. The mass destruction of medical establishments, such as Barbir, Akka, Gaza, Makkassed and many other hospitals and clinics in Southern Lebanon, the creation of various 215 obstacles and prevention of medical personnel and official health bodies from carrying out their duties resulted in a complete paralysis of the health care system in the occupied regions. All this, together with the occupation of the Lebanese Ministry of Health, constitutes a violation of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Population, which forbids the occupying power to modify the status of officials (Art. 54).
p 10. We must say that the position of the International Red Cross is puzzling and negative. Throughout the war in Lebanon it has failed either to take action or fulfil the goals for which it had been founded.
p 11. Israel’s refusal to assign POW status to Palestinian and Lebanese fighters, the torture and cruel treatment of civilians captured by the occupation forces, their detention in prisons and concentration camps constitute a violation of the basic provisions of the above. Geneva Conventions. The violation of the privacy of the home, the repression of all trade union and political activity, the disruption of economic activity, as well as the silencing of every democratic expression, violate the sovereign rights of the Lebanese people.
p 12. The continuing occupation of the sovereign territory of Lebanon by Israeli troops and Israel’s efforts to conceal the facts and nature of its crimes against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples impede a full and detailed investigation of the true dimensions of the crimes against humanity and the violation of human rights.
p 13. We express our concern over the attitude of the multinational military force in Lebanon toward Palestinian and Lebanese patriots, following the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
14. The Israeli aggression in Lebanon can be classified as a grave international crime, violating established international conventions and international law, and causing unnecessary suffering both to fighters and the civilian popuktion...
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