Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of course war criminals want imunity 

In spite of the fact that the U.S. likes to claim the right to judge people in other countries and put its adversaries on trial it will brook no judgment of itself or itself or its henchmen. It has refused to sign the agreement that brings into existence of the International Criminal Court and, worse still, it is cutting off aid to anyone who does sign it without first signing an agreement to never bring charges against U.S. troops.

Of course, the U.S. excuse for this refusal to participate in this court is that there might be cases brought against the U.S. for “political” reasons. The reason for this is presumably the U.S. wouldn’t ever commit the type of crimes that justify being brought up on charges of war crimes.

Obviously, the real reason the U.S. doesn’t want to be subject to any such court is that as it sends it army around the globe to subjugate people it knows they will likely engage in what are considered war crimes. Take this for example:

The villagers of Abu Sifa near the Iraqi town of Balad had become used to the sound of explosions at night as American forces searched the area for suspected insurgents. But one night two weeks ago Issa Harat Khalaf heard a different sound that chilled him to the bone.

Khalaf, a 33-year-old security officer guarding oil pipelines, saw a US helicopter land near his home. American soldiers stormed out of the Chinook and advanced on a house owned by Khalaf’s brother Fayez, firing as they went.

Khalaf ran from his own house and hid in a nearby grove of trees. He saw the soldiers enter his brother’s home and then heard the sound of women and children screaming.

“Then there was a lot of machinegun fire,” he said last week. After that there was the most frightening sound of all — silence, followed by explosions as the soldiers left the house.

Once the troops were gone, Khalaf and his fellow villagers began a frantic search through the ruins of his brother’s home. Abu Sifa was about to join a lengthening list of Iraqi communities claiming to have suffered from American atrocities.

According to Iraqi police, 11 bodies were pulled from the wreckage of the house, among them four women and five children aged between six months and five years. An official police report obtained by a US reporter for Knight Ridder newspapers said: “The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people.”


n Abu Sifa last week, Khalaf’s account was corroborated by a neighbour, Hassan Kurdi Mahassen, who was also woken by the sound of helicopters and saw soldiers entering Fayez’s home after spraying it with such heavy fire that walls crumbled.

Mahassen said that once the soldiers had left — after apparently dropping several grenades that caused part of the house to collapse — villagers searched under the rubble “and found them all buried in one room”.

“Women and even the children were blindfolded and their hands bound. Some of their faces were totally disfigured. A lot of blood was on the floors and the walls.”

Khalaf said he had found the body of his mother Turkiya with her face unrecognisable. “She had been shot with a dumdum bullet,” he claimed.


It was on November 19 last year that a US marine armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb that killed a 20-year-old lance-corporal. According to a marine communiqué issued the next day, the blast also killed 15 Iraqi civilians and was followed by an attack on the US convoy in which eight insurgents were killed.

An investigation by Time established that the civilians had not been killed by the roadside bomb, but were shot in their homes after the marines rampaged through Haditha. Among the dead were seven women and three children.

One eyewitness told Time: “I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny.”


Last week Jalal Abdul Rahman told this newspaper about the death in January of his 12- year-old son Abdul. It was a Sunday evening and father and son were driving home after buying a new game for the boy’s PlayStation.

They were a few hundred yards from their home in the Karkh neighbourhood of Baghdad when — according to Rahman — US forces opened fire on the car, killing Abdul.

Soldiers approached the car and told Rahman he had failed to stop when ordered to do so. Rahman said he had never heard an order to stop. The soldiers searched the car and, as they departed, they threw a black body bag on the ground.

“They said, ‘This is for your son,’ and they left me there with my dead son,” he added.

Rahman claimed he had had nothing to do with the insurgency until that moment. “But this is America, the so-called guardian of humanity, and killing people for them is like drinking water. I shall go after them until I avenge the blood of my son.”

Clearly these are war crimes. And almost certainly they are not isolated incidents. They are part and parcel of wars of conquest. The people who are responsible for these acts are the people that launch these wars.

Needless to say, the leaders of the U.S. have no intention of being brought to account for this. Even if these things are brought into the international limelight and substantiated, you can be sure it will be the low ranking grunts that are made to fall on their swords. The Bushs, Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Rices, and others who make these crimes inevitable will not be judged by anyone. At all costs, they will make sure of that.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?