*Update: the official Studyguide with BOTH topics will be handed out on Tuesday. This one is not complete; more info will be added.
Here is a study guide on BUSH WAR CRIMES. Another study guide regarding the AL-BASHIR case will be submitted soon. (they will also be emailed to all of you)
SALMUN Conference 2010
GEORGE BUSH WAR CRIMES STUDY GUIDE
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)
I. This study guide will talk about the war crimes that the Bush administration is being accused of, and their long-lasting effects.
- First of all, what is a war crime?
- The specific legal definition of a war crime is most simply a criminal act in violation of the international Law of War. Conceptually, a war crime is derived from the inadequacy on the use of force by states and other parties to keep a certain amount of humanity in armed conflict.
II. How This Applies to the Bush Administration:
- Bush’s doctrine of “preemptive war” is a license to prosecute wars of aggression. It runs directly against the United Nations Charter’s prohibition on the use of armed force except in self-defense or when authorized by the Security Council. A preemptive war is a war of aggression. “Operation Iraqi Freedom” falls directly into this category.
- “it poses a fundamental challenge to the United Nations and could lead to a global free-for-all.” Kofi Annan
III. Torture: (article 8 states that willful killing or torture of protected persons also qualifies as a war crime)
- August 2002: Justice Department advises the White House that torturing al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad “could be justified,” and that international laws against torture “may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations” conducted in President Bush’s war on terror.
- Justice Department’s view of torture: “torture must be equally intense to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”
- Witness example: Mr. al-Haj - showed censored drawings to his lawyer. Sami al-Haj was consequently held in captivity, by the United States, for five and a half years. He was sent to Gitmo in 2001 and never saw an attorney until 2004. Repeat : He spent five and a half years in “prison” and no charges were ever filed against him.
IV. Health risks from US depleted uranium-rich bombs (Iraqi cancers and birth defects)
- The estimate of the tons of DU (depleted uranium) the US used in Iraq = 1000-2000 tons. This is more than three times of how much was used in the first Gulf War…only this time it was mainly spread in Iraq’s cities, not on the battlefield.
- Despite that the DoD (US Department of Defense) has denied medical care to people whose health is at risk, it also refused to clean up the environmental mess left behind by the weapons and has continued to lie about the reasons of health effects for people exposed to depleted uranium.
- These long lasting health effects include:
o Respiratory and neurological problems
o Rashes, cancers, cataracts, amnesia
o Kidney and lunge damage
o Joint and muscle pain, fibromyalgia
o Genetic birth defects (change in DNA and RNA)
- Potentially, hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and other places are already sick or will continue to get sick due to exposure to DU contamination. The sicknesses are beyond comprehension for doctors or nurses to cope with. (source: Rokke project 2005 – outspoken critic)
- Results from radiation AND chemical/biological agents, pesticides, immunizations, exposure to pollutants from oil-well fires
VI. President Bush is being “indicted” for war crimes committed against the Afghan people since the U.S.-led coalition began its antiterrorism campaign in October 2001.
- Afghanistan: attacks led by US forces such as aerial bombings and killings = violation of int’l law
- U.S.-led forces targeted and killed many civilians during massive bombing of facilities unrelated to military objectives, such as government ministries serving civilian needs, as well as hospitals, schools and homes
- Bush may have ordered bombing private facilities and slaying war prisoners according to Tokyo-Based International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan
- Bush also found guilty for ordering attacks against civilians with indiscriminate weapons during US-led antiterrorism operations in Afghanistan 2001
- Something to keep in mind: “(…)under international law, a defendant must pay great care to differentiate legitimate objects and civilians in claiming that one’s act is self-defense” (Akroyd, former head of legal studies at Aston University in Britain)
- When Tommy Franks, who coordinated the recent U.S.-led military attack on Iraq, was asked about civilian casualties, he shot back: “We don’t do body counts.”
See More At: