The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Even if the rebuttal below holds with respect to U.S. conduct in the Gulf War, war crimes still apply (do they not?), for under the sanctions siege warfare such a document reveals knowledge of the consequences of sanctions. Andrew Loucks The Global Movement to End the War against Iraq - Hamilton Chapter Box 1013, McMaster University 1280 Main Street West Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 1C0 Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 27289 Fax: 905-523-0107 ("ATTN: OPIRG - Iraq Working Group") Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.leb.net/globalmewi Check out our Iraq Activist Guide at http://www.leb.net/globalmewi/hamilton ----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Herring" <Eric.Herring@bristol.ac.uk> To: "Hamre, Drew" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "Tom Nagy" <email@example.com> Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2000 7:46 AM Subject: Re: "Allies deliberately poisoned Iraq public water supply in Gulf Wa r" > Dear all: > > I passed on the Glasgow Herald article and the document on > to a senior USAF contact of mine who was able to contact > someone involved in the drafting of the document. Here are > his comments, stripped of identifying detail. Whether or > not you agree with his comments, any rebuttal needs to be > careful. > > I am willing to pass on responses (measured ones, as is > usually the case with CASI's high standards). > > Best wishes > > Eric > > 1. > 'Oh. . .quick glance mentions NOTHING about targeting the > water purification > plants nor of a specific intent to harm civilians. We did > NOT bomb water > treatment plants. > What is notable and noble, is the DIA was conducting an > assessment of the > impact the sanctions were having on Iraq--beyond the > military affect. > Many of the chemicals mentioned are used in the manufacture > and maintenance > of weapons and weapon support. The UN, and I emphasize > "UN," sanctions were > comprehensive--meaning any "dual use" products would be > banned. > However, I will read in more detail and get back to you. > Again, as I mentioned, I see nothing in the message stating > the US/Coalition > deliberately attacked a specific public health facility > (water treatment), > only that the DIA was making an assessment of the affect of > the > sanctions--in the usual matter-of-fact unbiased impersonal > style in formal > message format.' > > 2. 'Please note the following: > Title of message: "IRAQ WATER TREATMENT VULNERABILITIES (U) > " > and > "SUBJECT: IRAQ WATER TREATMENT VULNERABILITIES (U)" > > The "(U)" means the message's initial classification was > UNCLASSIFIED. Thisis significant!! > > UNCLASSIFIED means this report was not EVER classified and > as such was never"hidden" and never had a requirement to be > "declassified." In deed, the message is on a DoD web-site! > > It is obvious to me that the message was NOT prepared to > support of any military operation, targeting policy or plan > to conduct an attack. (Any such communication would have > been at least "SECRET." It was merely what > the title said: an assessment of how vulnerable the Iraqi > water system was. > > My opinion is that some people may be reading into this > much, much more than what it really is---if you read the > message with an unbiased and unemotional eye and you will > see it is a cold-hearted assessment of the effect of > sanctions and NOT a "BDA" of the effect of a specific > targeting action or policy. > > In addition, as I said in earlier email--many of the > chemicals (Chlorine for example) are used in the > manufacture of weapons and are considered "dual > use" and subject to sanctions. If you read the message > again, you might detect a tone that suggests the > UN/Coalition re-evaluate that portion of the > sanction because of the Law of Unintended Consequences. > > You write: "The coalition, led by the US, deliberately > destroyed Iraq's drinking water (and sanitation) system," > > Indeed we did lead, but we never deliberately destroyed > such targets. It would be folly to risk aircrew and > aircraft to destroy such targets that offer no tactical or > strategic advantage. > > "in the full expectation that this would cause many > civilian casualties." > > No sir, nothing of the kind, and I see nothing in this > assessment that demonstrates an intent to do such a thing. > Where, oh where in the report does it imply or state we > deliberately attacked and targeted their water > purification system--what it does say is the effect of > sanctions related to > specific dual-use chemicals are having an affect on the > water system. I am > not splitting hairs here, I am reading the message for what > it is, and only > for what it say's. THERE WAS NO DISCUSSION IN THE "BLACK > HOLE" TARGETING > CELL TO TARGET CIVILIANS---PERIOD!!!!! > Simply put, we did NOT go after the water plants to, in > your words, to > "cause many civilian casualties." No, never went to war > with Iraq to cause > civilian casualties and this report is speaking to the > effects of sanctions > on dual use items. > > Keep in mind that of the few water facilities hit were hit > because of two > reasons; 1) they were misidentified and bombed by an > aircrew under combat > conditions and while being shot at (which brings to fore an > argument AGAINST > the ICC--imagine bringing a case against an aircrew who > misidentified a > target under combat conditions--how silly! A mistake is > NOT a crime. The > 2nd reason is simply because the target was part of a small > grid system > supporting a significant military target and the rule of > proportionality was > assessed and accounted for.' > > 3. 'I spoke with a principle associated with the > drafting of the > original message. . .just as I suspected. . .it was an > estimate/assessment > of the impact of sanctions beyond what was originally > intended > (double-effect/unintended consequences).' > > ---------------------- > Dr. Eric Herring > Department of Politics > University of Bristol > 10 Priory Road > Bristol BS8 1TU > England, UK > Tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582 > Fax +44-(0)117-973-2133 > http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Politics > email@example.com > > -- > ----------------------------------------------------------------------- > This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq > For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org > Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: > http://www.casi.org.uk -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk