Saturday, July 30, 2005
The news that the government is to prosecute British squaddies for technical war crimes in Iraq plumbs new depths of hypocrisy. I do not wish to say that we should never prosecute our soldiers though I would say that it is not right to demand the same standard under the rigours of combat as we should in peacetime or in safety.This one was pretty controversial in that it calls Blair a war criminal on the other hand it did also deal with Iraq (a good way of getting Yugo discussed is by bringing in a war which it is more acceptable to be against) - didn't work this time tho'.
The real obscenity is that Mr Blair & co are using these soldiers as sacrificial offerings to distract from their own position. At the Nuremberg trials the Nazi leaders were brought to trial on charges of planning aggressive war so there is no possible doubt that the cabinet were aware of the legalities.
Parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Ctte has confirmed that the bombing of Yugoslavia was illegal, which certainly makes the entire cabinet "technically" guilty of a war crime & "technically" guilty of the deliberate illegal killing of thousands of people. Beyond this the fact that the Foreign Secretary told Parliament 2 months before our attack that the majority of killings in Kossovo were the racially motivated murder of Serb civilians (technically this is known as genocide)(he didn't mention that most dead Albanians were also killed by their KLA friends) made cabinet members technically accessories to genocide when they went to war to help the KLA. Finally by breaking the occupation agreement & instead of disarming the KLA, providing them with police uniforms & essentially free reign they again became technically legally responsible for the thousands of murders & the kidnap, by our KLA friends, of thousands of schoolchildren as brothel slaves. Both acts are technically crimes against humanity.
It also seems likely that Blair's war on Iraq was almost equally technically criminal since regime change is illegal, though, for fairness, finding WMDs capable of being quickly used against us would change the assessment.
We see politicians coldbloodedly killing 10s or even hundreds of thousands of people purely for reasons of state & then using squaddies as a distraction. The law is meaningless if it does not apply equally to the powerful as to the rest of us & people against whom there is a clear case for the most serious war crimes & crimes against humanity must face justice if this we ever hope to be able to play a part in a peaceful world.
Regarding Harry Reid & Hamish Scott's letters on who, in the Labour cabinet, has a conscience may I, while agreeing that Brown's support of the illegal Iraq war makes him legally a war criminal & thus probably unfit to be anybody's conscience, suggest that Robin Cook is also unqualified for the post.This was a reply to 2 previous letters on who is the "conscience of the Labour Party" - as a reply to something previously published would normally also be published,if not to silly - again we have a comparison with the Iraq war which it is acceptable to oppose.
Cook is the one who, as Foreign Secretary, told Parliament that the killing in Kosovo was largely of Serb civilians, murdered on a racist basis, by our KLA allies. Two months later he was one of the prime movers in what he somewhat disgustingly referred to as "humanitarian bombing" carried out, knowingly & deliberately for the purpose of helping these same openly genocidal Moslem terrorists carry out their policy. This was not merely in breach of international law & thus a war crime but, since it involved deliberate assistance in genocide, was clearly legally a crime against humanity. The Dragodan Massacre carried out under UK authority after peace was declared is an example of what that war was for.
I am afraid that if one wishes to look for people of conscience one must look to Tam Dalyell, Tony Benn & even George Galloway all of whom opposed both criminal wars & all of whom are not within a million miles of cabinet.