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Dear Bert and List, I am trying to clear up some of the red herrings thrown into Hassan's original post by Bert Gedin. Hassan's point was that the USUK occupiers are legally responsible for the damages caused to the civilian population. And his question was how they can be held responsible. This is are valid points. The occupiers are, it appears, in breach of the Hague Regulation and the Geneva Convention "relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War". The chances to make a claim stick may be slim, given the moral corruption of the occupiers. But there should be compensation. And above all, the issue must be raised loud and clear. The comparison with 1991 is also valid: Under the Geneva Convention, an occupier is required to ensure the protection of the civilian population. This holds wether the invasion was "legal" or not. And it applies to the winner and to the loser. Now the spineless Kofi Annan has piped up and reminded USUK of their duties as occupying powers. Even AI has issued a statement, pointing out the breach of the Geneva Convention. The US doesn't seem to worry much. "Looting is transition to freedom", Rummy is quoted as saying by the UPI Pentagon Correspondent. And soldier boys explain in interviews, "we just don't have the manpower" and "we have other missions" (bombing and shooting). The UK seems to pay more heed: "US/UK Forces Breaching Geneva Convention" run one headline in the Guardian. "No 10 calls for 'reality check' on Iraq looting", said another (April 11). "Only the UN can restore order in Iraq", said a third (April 12). (And I thought the UN was irrelevant...) But the Blair government is trying to weasel out of this with some absurd excuses. The most absurd one being that looting is the natural result of ending a repressive government - Rummy's line. And the media is faithfully echoing these lame excuses. There is at least one report stating that the US occupiers encouraged the looting - killed the guards and then invited the public in. And there are plenty of pictures showing the occupiers benignly watching the looting. AI also points out that "UK troops... stood by passively watching the mayhem". http://www.web.amnesty.org/pages/irq-engmde140852003 Anyway, the point is that the occupiers are responsible for the security of the population under the articles of the Geneva Convention. > Sorry to have to say so, but you really are writing > a lot of nonsense, in saying that the Kuwait war was > NOT fought under the UN flag - WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! ("Kuwait war"? You mean the so-called Gulf War?) Bert, I am also sorry that you feel you "have to say so". But are you _telling_ CASI members or are you trying to _persuade_ them? If the latter, you haven't convinced me. I'm more amenable to facts and reason, than to shouting. And what is it that you didn't like about Hassan's polite query? Intentionally or not, you derailed his query with unrelated titbits. Besides, did you think how Iraqi exiles must feel now watching the destruction of their home land? (They are not all Yassers and Samas.) So is this the empathy you can muster for your fellow humans? First red herring: Yes, you are right in saying that the wording in S/RES/0678 (1990) is by "all necessary means". But, this makes no difference. As Hassan pointed out, S/RES 678 contains no "explicit authorization for war". And this, Bert, is based on legal interpretations of the UN Charter and of international law. Other wordings: Before 1998, the US insisted on an even more menacing wording: "very severe consequences" (S/RES ?). This still constituted _no_ automatic authorization. (The 1998 attack was a fait accompli for the Security Council.) In S/RES 1441 the wording is "serious consequences". But to prevent another US 'misinterpretation', China, France, and Russia issued the statement that '"Resolution 1441...excludes an automaticity in the use of force"'. - That's why the US started its bribing/threatening campaign for another resolution. ------- Here is an interpretation by two international law professors (in Australia) on S/RES 678 and 1441: "No, this war is illegal", March 19 2003 http://www.theage.com.au/text/articles/2003/03/18/1047749770379.htm Here is another one (American) on S/RES 1441 only (which I posted to CASI Feb 26/03): "Lawyers Statement on UN Resolution 1441 on Iraq", December 5, 2002 http://www.fpif.org/commentary/2002/0212lawyers_body.html 0212lawyers.pdf ------- You may even read these interpretations, Bert - if only for the sake of keeping an open mind. True, lawyers on behalf of your government argued differently. And you may chose to follow your leader. But this doesn't mean that Hassan is "WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!" (Why are you protesting so much, Bert?) Still, the legality of that war is a red herring you (inadvertently?) threw out in your first response to Hassan's original post. So he was not 'contradicting himself' as you incorrectly claim - he was merely responding to your red herring. You even quoted him out of context to make that claim. Not quite cricket, is it? What Hassan actually said was: 'Even if we aaccept that the 1991 was a "legal" war authorized by the UN, it has no bearing on the issue of compensations or reparations now.' And that's my point also: legality has no bearing on the issue under discussion. So where is the contradiction? And what exactly do you mean by "the historical facts have to be accepted"? The "historical facts" according to Washington and Downing Street perhaps? Second red herring (or misinterpretation?): The UN Compensation Commission (UNCC). UNCC has no bearing on the issue here. The breach committed by the occupiers falls under the Geneva Convention. Nor is an UNCC-like body required to claim damages for the looting. The trick is to make the claims stick. Hassan's question was, "How can the US/UK be held responsible... and how can they be forced to pay compensations (from their money, not from Iraq's oil money)??" Do you have any problems with that question, Bert? You prefer that your government be let off the hook for the crimes it is committing in Iraq? That is your prerogative of course. No-one has answered Hassan's question, and I don't know either. I do know that several Latin American countries have files lawsuits against the US for crimes committed in their countries. So did individuals: the family of the Chilean general Rene Schneider filed a federal lawsuit in Washington against Kissinger - 31 years after Schneider was killed. In another case, eleven Chilean human rights victims also filed a claim against Kissinger. These are very different situations of course, but still... I know of no case where the US has actually paid up. But the important thing is that the charges are being laid, I think. If no charges are laid, worldwide moral anarchy is going to become an accepted fact of life under US domination. Other red herrings: [skipped] As an aside: UNCC was set up to make Iraq pay reparations for real and alleged damages caused during the invasion of Kuwait. There are six categories, I believe, for companies and individuals. I don't know if the compensations for looting, Hassan mentioned, were collected under UNCC. In fact, a commission to collect reparations should never have been set up under the UN. (Reparations are usually imposed by the winning side, as in the Treaty of Versailles.) In any case, it wasn't the UN that set up UNCC. It was the US using the UN as a power toy for its own machinations - like the sanction regime. And it was the US that completely controlled UNCC and directed (or misdirected) all its decisions. Here is the article by Alain Gresh of Le Monde, that many of you may have read: "Oil for Food: The True Story"; Part 1: A Debt of Dishonour; Part 2: How the UNCC Works. http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/iraq1/oilforfood/00gresh.htm Gresh gives an examples where Israeli businesses, (e.g., florists, greengrocers, cinemas and hotels) were awarded millions for revenues lost during the conflict. This is the same, says Gresh, as if the UK had demanded compensation from Germany because cinema attendance dropped between 1939-45. Sorry about the length of this missive. I just feel it is important to try and keep the record straight - with all this disinformation about. Salut, Elga ------------Original Message------------ From: "Bert Gedin" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: Re: [casi] Compensations! Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 18:21:11 +0000 Dear Hassan & List, Sorry to have to say so, but you really are writing a lot of nonsense, in saying that the Kuwait war was NOT fought under the UN flag - WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! You then misquote: "using all means". Unless I'm mistaken, it should be "all neccessary means". However, that might be trivial, the point is that all neccessary means would mean just that, i.e. including military means (the UN not being a pacifist organisation).You then contradict yourself, in saying "Even if we accept that the 1991 was a "legal" war authorised by the UN..." I think we agree that official Iraq saw Kuwait as a natural part of Iraq. But, whatever opinions one might have, the historical facts have to be accepted. Many sources would prove that the UN were involved. Such as UNIKOM (= United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission), BBC reports also the United Nations own information, here an example: Press Release, 27 December 1995. "SECRETARY-GENERAL ARRIVES IN KUWAIT. The (National Assembly) President pointed out that the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 and its liberation by a multinational coalition 1991 under the Security Council had been one of the United Nations Success stories." To leave civilians vulnerable & unprotected in a occupied area is, of course, disgraceful, as well as being unlawful. But, try telling the Coalition that they are contravening the letter & spirit of the Geneva Conventions (I wish you success!)! Greetings, Bert. _______________________________________________ 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