[News] World Tribunal on Iraq

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Wed Dec 15 12:21:26 EST 2004

World Tribunal on Iraq

Premeditated Death and Destruction Unleashed Against a Sovereign Nation and 

by Niloufer Bhagwat

Opening statement before the Iraq tribunal hearings at Tokyo,

11 Dec 2004

Honorable Judges , Prosecutors , Amici Curiae , witnesses of the satanic 
death and destruction of the people of Iraq , of homes and livelihood , of 
hospitals , schools and places of worship; concerned citizens of Japan .

We live in strange times. For even as a war rages fiercely in Iraq which in 
epic terms can be compared to a "Mahabharat" , a fierce war between the 
forces of right and wrong , justice and injustice , occupation and national 
liberation ; we resume this trial in the dark shadows of an "Apocalypse" 
which is the continuing military occupation and the reduction of the entire 
population of Iraq into the inmates of a vast concentration camp 
unmonitored even by the Red Cross and other UN and other International 
humanitarian organizations. Unprecedented in the annals of legal history, 
evidence is being recorded in this trial even as crimes continue to be 
committed with impunity, bringing home to us the reality of human 
existence, that words are never enough to defeat a brutal tyranny and even 
those of us who use words as tools are speechless in the face of the 
deliberate and premeditated death and destruction unleashed against a 
sovereign nation and people ,a member state of the United Nations waged 
solely to capture its oil resources and with that objective to subjugate 
and eliminate its population through one strategy or another.

Millions of people in the world including in the United States , even 
before the aggression and military occupation commenced , much before we 
commenced our slow and painstaking examination of evidence and precedents , 
sensing imminent and unprecedented danger to the peoples of the entire 
world including to soldiers recruited to defend Republics and parliamentary 
democracies proceeded to pronounce their verdict against the doctrine of 
"continuous war " against one nation or another ;against the conversion of 
domestic economies into "war economies" even as thousands and thereafter 
millions were rendered unemployed .The people across continents opposed the 
policy of "blood for oil" and declared their rejection of this strategy of 
pre-emptive war for the control of resources of other societies and nations .

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War had 
estimated before the military onslaught that a fresh attack against Iraq 
would result in the deaths of anywhere between 48,000 to 260,000 Iraqi 
citizens and that post-war effects could take the lives of an additional 
200,000 Iraqis excluding those killed in the 1991 attack on Iraq and those 
dead because of illegal sanctions imposed on the civilian population of 
Iraq by the Security Council and issue which I had dealt with in detail at 
Kyoto, quoting extensively from the statements of Mr. Dennis Halliday a 
former International Civil Servant of rare integrity who had resigned on 
the issues of sanctions claiming that it amounted to an illegal declaration 
of war on the civilian population.

Now in the 19 month of the occupation by the military forces mainly drawn 
from the United States and UK along with other smaller contingents all 
members of the coalition of the aggressors ; Lancet Online Medical Journal 
based in the UK has published a study by American health experts and 
researchers at the John Hopkins School of Public Health, Columbia 
University and al Mustansiriya University Baghdad on the deaths of Iraqi 
civilians under the military occupation. The study confirms that : " 
Violent deaths were widespread
.and were mainly attributed to coalition 
forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women 
and children

The report went on to say that: "Making conservative assumptions , we think 
that about 100,000 excess deaths , or more have happened since the 2003 
invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air 
strikes of coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths."

Les Roberts and Gilbert Burnham who collaborated on the research published 
informed the media that they had evidence of the use of air power in 
populated urban areas. Richard Horton editor of the Lancet in an editorial 
emphasized that the "findings also raise questions for those far removed 
from Iraq – in the governments of the countries responsible for launching a 
pre –emptive war". The mounting evidence of the human catastrophe in Iraq 
not seen since the days of the Second World War prima facie indicates that 
the death toll may be more but not less than 100,000 and even the Lancet 
report however sincere has underestimated the death toll from all facets of 
the Occupation.

In assessing the extent of Genocide it is necessary to focus on the 
destruction and attack on hospitals and health clinics to deny medical 
relief to those who could be saved if the Iraqi health service was not 
destroyed . This strategy was visible in the policy of organized looting 
and destruction of Iraqi hospitals in the weeks and months after the attack 
.The deliberate bombing of water pipes, the cutting off of water supplies 
to cities and town under siege by US, UK and other forces , destruction of 
sewage pipes and sanitary facilities , of electricity and heating have 
condemned millions in Iraq to consume contaminated water and food ,as a 
consequence the old, the feeble, and the children have been dying of 
diarrhea and related diseases caused by contamination of food and water 
with lack of medicines and health care leading to an increase in mortality. 
This is an indicator that apart from death by violence the Occupation has 
condemned people to death from malnutrition and lack of food , and water 
and food borne diseases with inadequate health care directly caused by the 
Occupation .

The intrepid reporter Dahr Jamail reporting for a weekly in Alaska has 
disclosed that from what he had seen in six months in Iraq at close 
quarters , it was difficult to find any family in Iraq who had not had a 
member killed on account of the conditions arising from the Occupation. And 
what of the heroic city of Fallujah which dared to resist the mercenaries 
of US and UK Security Companies and Agencies, who have no combatant status 
under the Geneva Convention in any armed conflict , yet are to-day high 
profile in one war after another in Bosnia, in Kosovo , in Afghanistan and 
other theatres including in the trafficking in human beings as slaves .On 
14th October 2004 sensing that the city of 300,000 was to be singled out 
for destruction as it had become a symbol of Resistance against the 
Occupation ; the people of Fallujah through several organizations of 
Teachers, Tribal Leaders, the Shura Council , the Bar Association, through 
the President of the Study Centre of Human Rights and Democracy forwarded 
an urgent appeal to the Secretary General of the United Nations in these 

" Your Excellency, It is obvious that the American forces are committing 
crimes of genocide every day in Iraq .Now while we are writing to Your 
Excellency , the American warplanes are dropping their most powerful bombs 
on the civilians in the city , killing and injuring hundreds of innocent 
people . At the same time their tanks are attacking the city with their 
heavy artillery
" "On the night of 13th October alone American bombardment 
demolished 50 houses on top of their residents. Is this a genocidal crime 
or a lesson about democracy? It is obvious that the Americans are 
committing acts of terror against the people of Fallujah for one reason 
only : their refusal to accept the Occupation."

"Your Excellency and the whole world knows that the Americans and their 
allies devastated our country under the pretext of the threat of the 
Weapons of Mass Destruction .Now after the destruction and the killing of 
thousands of civilians , they have admitted that there were no weapons 
found .But they say nothing about all the crimes they have committed 
.Unfortunately everyone is now silent and will not dignify the murdered 
Iraqi civilians with words of condemnation .Are the Americans going to pay 
compensation as Iraq has been forced to do after the Gulf War


" We know we are living in a world of double standards .In Fallujah , they 
have created a new vague target: AL ZARQAWI. This is a new pretext to 
justify their crimes, killing and daily bombardment of civilians. Almost a 
year has passed since they created this new pretext and whenever they 
destroy houses 
.they said ‘We have launched a successful operation against 
AL Zarqawi. hey will never say that they have killed him because there is 
no such person. And that means the daily killings of civilians and the 
daily genocide will continue."

"At the same time the representatives of Fallujah , our tribal leader has 
denounced on many occasions the kidnapping and killing of civilians , and 
we have no links to any group committing such inhuman behaviour." " 
Excellency , we appeal to you and to all the world leaders to exert the 
greatest pressure on the American administration to stop the crimes in 
Fallujah and withdraw their army
.the city was quiet and peaceful when its 
people ran it 
.We simply did not welcome the Occupation. This is our right 
according to the UN Charter , International Law and the laws of humanity. 
If the Americans believe in the opposite they should first withdraw from 
the UN and all its agencies before acting in a way contrary to the Charter 
they have signed"

" It is very urgent that your Excellency along with the world leaders, 
intervenes in a speedy manner to prevent a new massacre
." This was the 
voice of the people of Fallujah appealing to the UN and to world leaders 
and what was the response? After the administration of the United States 
had taken care of the African-American voters and others through the 
Diebold electronic voting machines on the 8th November commenced the 
destruction of Fallujah which to the United States was a symbol of Iraqi 
resistance throughout the world. There is hardly a home intact in the city 
of Fallujah. The first attack by US forces with the Black Watch Regiments 
poised on the highways , was on the Fallujah hospitals and medical 
personnel who report the casualty figures and treat the wounded the 
messengers of the devastation and loss of lives .Dr Khamis al-Muhammadi of 
the Fallujan General Hospital has informed the media that she was seized 
and taken away by Occupation forces even as she was about to cut an 
unbilical cord during child birth; several doctors have been reported to 
have been killed and all hospitals and clinics destroyed. AL ZARQAWI like 
BIN LADEN was never captured despite the destruction of the entire city. 
Yet who can destroy the spirit of Fallujah which has survived many attempts 
of a whole century to crush it.

Even as use of Depleted Uranium , of napalm, of banned chemicals spread 
throughout the world , Mr . Kofi Anan reacted to the appeal of Fallujah and 
pronounced what had already been known to millions that : "The Occupation 
of Iraq is illegal
" with the Japan Times subsequently reporting that the 
Secretary General of the United Nations would pay the price for this 
statement with calls for his resignation despite past services rendered and 
though the real price for the fraudulently conceived ‘FOOD FOR OIL’ program 
vests with the Security Council and the entire policy and its 
implementation was illegal as it sought to impose control over the 
resources of anther sovereign country to regulate production and 
distribution of Oil.

With the war declared categorically illegal even by the Secretary General 
of the United Nations , on what basis does the US administration plan to 
increase troop levels .Why has it concealed from the world that it has 
already created four military bases in Iraq with the objective of permanent 
occupation . And what is the nature of the liberation of Iraq. Dahr Jamail 
reports that Baghdad after 19 months remains in shambles bombed out 
buildings sit as insulting reminders of unbroken promises of reconstruction 
70 % of Iraqis at the very minimum are unemployed and there is a five mile 
petrol lines in an oil rich country.Engineers and doctors are unemployed 
and ply taxis .there are mass graves of innocent civilians in Fallujah and 
bodies with skins melted by napalm .bodies bloated and rotting devoured by 
dogs in the street after the complete destruction of the city of Fallujah 
water supply is frequently cut off from cities and towns targeted for 
attack children lie deformed by Depleted Uranium exposure in shattered 
hospitals from lack of treatment or even pain medication the Iraqi Red 
Crescent, other relief teams and the Red Cross has been obstructed in 
rendering aid mosques are bullet ridden with blood stained carpets."

Even as governments and heads of State continue to deal with war criminals 
we must recall that the assault on Fallujah and other cities , towns and 
villages of Iraq are covered by article 6 (b) of the 1945 Nuremberg Charter 
and in the trials of the Far East or Tokyo trials among the war crimes 
defined include the" Wanton destruction of cities , towns or villages " 
crimes for which the Nazi leaders and other Generals and militarists were 
tried and executed .The acts perpetrated by US,UK forces in the onslaught 
on Fallujah constitutes a clear violation of the laws of Land War found in 
the US army Field Manual 27-10. What of the US, UK soldiers used as one 
half of the poor to kill the other half ;recruited from working class 
families from isolated and marginalized communities and towns affected by 
the economic recession and the downturn sweeping the United States and 
England with employment opportunities steadily decreasing. Christian Bollyn 
of the American Free Press , Washington D.C asked Lt.Col. Joe Yoswa if the 
US was using Depleted Uranium in Fallujah and received the reply that " DU 
is the standard round on the M-1 Abraham Tanks" which have been used in 
Fallujah. Because of the nature of poison gas exploded by the exploded DU 
shells, American Free Press asked Yoswa if the troops were protected from 
DU poisoning .Lt.Col. Joe Yoswa seemed unaware of the dangers posed by DU. 
Marion Falk a retired Nuclear scientist from Livermore Lab informed the 
media that US troops in DU contaminated battlefields are considered "throw 
away soldiers" who are dispensed with once exposed , and replaced by others 
who become throw away in their turn with risks of cancer ,deformed children 
from genetic damage and serious health problems. There is no higher purpose 
to fulfil for the "throw away soldiers" than the war and oil profits of the 
Corporations at stake from the continued occupation and the fear and 
unemployment at home; the bankrupting of the US economy are two sides of 
the same coin of which one side is the Occupation and the other side is the 
whipping up of fear and frenzy in the United States. Uranium Weapons

There is a direct connection between the appropriation sought for the war 
at the cost of sweeping budget cuts and the steady elimination of social 
security funds and post office savings .There is also a direct connection 
between the nature of elections held in the United States , in Kabul where 
Mr.Hamid Karzai the representative of the UNOCAL Company cannot stir out of 
Kabul , and the elections proposed to be held in Iraq under conditions of 
Occupation and coercion .

In all three countries the strategy is the same ; coerce the electorate and 
declare an election as "won" after which without a constitutional mandate 
enslave the majority of the people by obfuscating political ,economic and 
social rights reducing countries to garrisons .In recognition of these 
similarities and the impact of the illegal war on the people of the United 
States that the anti-war coalition has supported the "absolute right of the 
people of Iraq to resist the occupation of their country" and declared 
their own resistance to re-instate the draft and to prepare for resistance 
if conscription returns. In what has far reaching consequences for 
International Security the movement has declared that "it is incumbent on 
us to reject that notion that smaller countries must disarm and leave 
themselves defenseless at the demand of Bush and the Pentagon. Such demands 
are not only hypocritical , irrational and unjust , they amount to little 
more than a pretext for more invasions and occupations " . In the context 
of the fact that the resistance to the Iraq war has more than one front 
with the the military front in Iraq and the political front in the Americas 
it is necessary in view of the Security Council having acquiesced to the 
Occupation despite the fact that it is illegal that the General Assembly 
should be moved by a member of the United Nations to initiate moves for the 
vacating of the aggression against Iraq under Article 35 read with article 
11 (2 ) . Any organization in which some powers have the hegemony of the 
veto can never fulfill the requirements of a new democratic international 
order .

Prof. Niloufer Bhagwat


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