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This is the utmost hypocrisy. Israel uses human shields regularly in incursions into Palestinian territories. Nothing is done about that or will be. The human shields used by Israel of course are not voluntary. They are forced. It makes no sense to equate voluntary shielding of people from military force with forced shielding. So according to Rumsfeld if an enemy force were advancing to kill Bush and a crowd of UK tourists who were big fans of Bush shielded him from the onslaught they would be guilty of a war crime? The US deliberately bombed and destroyed civilian infrastructure during the Gulf War and the bombing of Serbia. Also, in Afghanistan. Certainly the use of cluster bombs is close to being a war crime if not actually so. Unexploded bomblets remain a long term hazard to civilians. Of course the US refuses to sign on to a ban on landmines as well. The US also destroyed civilian targets in Afghanistan and Serbia. One could go on and on. Of course those who use human shields will be tried for war crimes. Those who massacre the innocent shields bomb hospitals etc will be blameless. Cheers, Ken Hanly ----- Original Message ----- From: "Salwa de Vree" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> > U.S. Accuses Iraq of War Crime Over Human Shields > > By Will Dunham > > WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States warned Iraq on Wednesday not to place > civilians at military sites in a bid to ward off attack, saying using "human > shields" would represent a crime against humanity punishable after any war. > > Iraq was also using schools, hospitals and orphanages to protect military > forces, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. > > He and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of > Staff, addressed the issue of human shields a day after about 100 civilians > who drove to Baghdad from London said they would place themselves near > potential bombing targets to an attempt to prevent attacks. > > The Human Shields group are guests of Iraq's government, staying in a hotel > across from one of President Saddam Hussein's palaces on the Tigris river. > Peter van Dyke, an organizer, said several Americans were in his group. > > During a Pentagon news conference, Rumsfeld said the use of civilians as human > shields "is a practice that reveals contempt for the norms of humanity, the > laws of armed conflict, and, I am advised, Islamic law, practice and belief." > > Myers, referring to the arrival of the group from London, said using > noncombatants to shield potential military targets -- even those who volunteer > for this purpose -- "could be considered a war crime in any conflict." > > "Therefore, if death or serious injury to a noncombatant resulted from these > efforts, the individuals responsible for deploying any innocent civilians as > human shields could be guilty of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions," he > said. > > Myers also issued a similar warning on Jan. 15. > > Rumsfeld noted that Saddam "held hundreds of non-Iraqi civilians at government > and military facilities throughout Iraq and described them as human shields" > before the 1991 Gulf War in which a U.S.-led military coalition expelled Iraqi > troops from neighboring Kuwait. > > HUMAN SHIELDS > > "It is the distinction between combatants and innocent civilians that > terrorism and practices like the use of human shields so directly assaults," > Rumsfeld said. > > Saad Qasim Hammoudi, a senior member of the ruling Baath Party, told Reuters > on Dec. 23 that civilian volunteers, including some from Europe and the United > States, "will be distributed to vital and strategic installations" in Iraq to > act as human shields. He called the strategy a "practical" reaction to the > buildup of U.S. forces in the region. > > Rumsfeld accused Saddam of building mosques near military facilities, and > using schools, hospitals, orphanages and cultural treasures to shield military > forces, "thereby exposing helpless men, women and children to danger." > > He provided no evidence at the news conference for the allegation. > > "Deploying human shields is not a military strategy, it's murder, a violation > of the laws of armed conflict and a crime against humanity, and it will be > treated as such. Those who follow his orders to use human shields will pay a > severe price for their actions," said Rumsfeld, adding those responsible would > be "dealt with" after any war. > > By placing civilians at military sites likely to be bombed, Iraq has sought to > dissuade enemies from attacking a target because of the civilian casualties > likely to result. > > The last time Iraq used civilians as human shields was in December 1998 when > the United States and Britain launched an extensive bombing campaign triggered > by Iraq's alleged failure to cooperate with U.N. arms inspectors. Hundreds of > Iraqis were placed in a number of presidential palaces scattered in Baghdad > and other main Iraqi cities. > > The United States is building a large military force in the region, as > President Bush vows to lead a coalition of nations to disarm Iraq if it fails > to heed U.N. demands to give up its alleged weapons of mass destruction. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > * -- > > _______________________________________________ > Sign-up for your own FREE Personalized E-mail at Mail.com > Meet Singles > > ===References:=== > 1. http://www.mail.com/?sr=signup > 2. http://corp.mail.com/lavalife > > _______________________________________________ > Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. > To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss > To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org > All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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