Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Iraq: The changing face of America's Wars Part I

Resolution 1441 states simply
That Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under the terms of Resolution 687. Iraq's breaches related not only to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), but also the known construction of prohibited types of missiles, the purchase and import of prohibited armaments, and the continuing refusal of Iraq to compensate Kuwait for the widespread looting conducted by its troops in 1991.

Then, you have the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which defines the crime of genocide to be
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The United States signed on to this document on December 11, 1948, and the Senate was treated to a speech in it's favor by Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) every day from 1967 to 1986 (a total of 3,211 speeches in favor of the document) until it was ratified by the Senate in February 11, 1986 (rumor has it that the 11 who voted against where doing so to annoy the Senator for his constant harping on it, but they remain un-confirmed).

Originally it was meant to include Politicide as well, but the USSR and the People's Republic of China (then getting ready to rev up the Cultural Revolution and kill at least 20 million outright and up to 60 million from starvation) where able to use political pressure to keep Political Mass Executions out of the term Genocide, and instead grouped seperately as Politicide, on which there are no international conventions banning yet (I am looking at you China).

In 1986, Saddam Hussein began the Al-Anfal Campaign. This campaign of Genocide, targeted agains tthe Kurdish people of Northern Iraq (Especially in Ninawa, Dahuk, Arbil, At Ta'mim [Kirkuk], and Sulaymaniyah), used nerve gas to kill innocent people.

Accordign to Human Rights Watch,
With only minor variations ... the standard pattern for sorting new arrivals [at Topzawa was as follows]. Men and women were segregated on the spot as soon as the trucks had rolled to a halt in the base's large central courtyard or parade ground. The process was brutal ... A little later, the men were further divided by age, small children were kept with their mothers, and the elderly and infirm were shunted off to separate quarters. Men and teenage boys considered to be of an age to use a weapon were herded together. Roughly speaking, this meant males of between fifteen and fifty, but there was no rigorous check of identity documents, and strict chronological age seems to have been less of a criterion than size and appearance. A strapping twelve-year-old might fail to make the cut; an undersized sixteen-year-old might be told to remain with his female relatives. ... It was then time to process the younger males. They were split into smaller groups. ... Once duly registered, the prisoners were hustled into large rooms, or halls, each filled with the residents of a single area. ... Although the conditions at Topzawa were appalling for everyone, the most grossly overcrowded quarter seem to have been those where the male detainees were held. ... For the men, beatings were routine. (Iraq's Crime of Genocide, pp. 143-45. ISBN 0-300-06427-6)
That was for those captured alive, and taken to the Concentration Camps. Others where subjected to the poisonous concoctions of Ali Hassan "Chemical Ali" al-Majid, in bombings conducted from planes and howitzers.

In 987, he began to use Mustard Gas (US Supplied for use against Iran), as well as the Nerve Agents Sarin, Tabun, and VX. The worst of these attacks was on the City of Halabja in what came to be known as the Nerve Gas Attrocity, in which the city of 70,000 was bombed with conventional and chemical weapons attacks for an immediate death toll of 5,000, with up to 10,000 dead. To this day, persons affected by the attack are still dieing from latent affects of the strike.

The chemical pre-cursors to these weapons where provided by the US, Singapore, India, Germany, the Netherlands, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. Though the UAE and Singapore supplied the precursors for all four kidns of weapons, the United States only sold the chemicals needed to make Mustard Gas.

Under the Genocide Convention alone, the United States was provided legal and moral authority to invade the Nation of Iraq.

Days before Colin Powell went to the UN to discuss the US Claims against Iraq, final confirmation on the presence of Mobile Weapons Labs was delivered to him. These labs, later verified by embedded journalists, where confirmed to exist upon the US invasion of Baghdad. These labs presented a violation of Resolution 1441.

Other justifications for the war include
  • Interference with UN Weapons Inspectors, which was required in the Cease Fire in 1991 at the end of the First Gulf War.
  • The attempted assasination of George H. W. Bush by Saddam Hussein
  • The continued assaults on US and Coalition Aircraft enforcing the No Fly Zone over former targets of Saddam Hussein
  • Intelligence that Saddam Hussein had refused to expell members of al-Qaeda who where hiding in Iraq following the Invasion of Afghanistan
  • Confirmation of Saddam Hussein buying suicide bombers for use against the United States of America
  • and the removal of Saddam Hussein to be replaced with a democratic Regime.
And thus, the United States went to war.

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