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[casi] Greek Lawyers and Blair; Clinton and Kiesling

Greek Lawyers and Blair; Clinton and Kiesling

August 13, 2003

By Nikos Raptis

Nobody can deny the "wisdom" of the US elites. When the
peoples of the earth were creating the International
Criminal Court in Rome, in 1998, the US Government told them
that (being rabble) they can do whatever they wish, but the
US (being the Lord's chosen people) will have nothing to do
with this kind of troublesome institution.

So, when the Athens Bar Association on Monday July 28, 2003,
filed a suit at the International Criminal Court at the
Hague against Prime Minister Tony Blair and other senior
British government and military officials for crimes against
humanity, etc, during the invasion of Iraq by the US, the
leader of the invaders, Bush the Second (and Blair's
keeper), remained "untouchable" by the suit of the Greek
lawyers. The "wisdom" of the US does pay, always.

The 47-page document filed with the Chief Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, by
the lawyers of Athens lists 22 crimes that were "perpetrated
by subjects of the United Kingdom (military and civilians),
some of which in collaboration with citizens of the United

Here is a sample of the crimes listed (as numbered in the

2. March 22-23, 2003: The American-British forces attacked
residential areas at Basra killing 50 civilians and
destroying several houses; reported by Reuters, the News
Agency of Athens, Agence France Press, and Al Jazeera....
According to the ICC Statue, the above acts constitute the
following war crimes: a) Wilful killing of persons protected
under the provisions of the [12 August 1949] Geneva
Convention {Article 8, (2), (a), (i)} [of the ICC Statute].
... d) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property,
not justified by military necessity and carried out
unlawfully and wantonly {Article 8, (2), (a), (iv)}.

14. March 29, 2003: Destruction of 75,000 tons of food
supplies (among them milk for children, tea and sugar) by
the British forces; reported by Reuters and the Athens News
Agency... This act constitutes the following war crimes:

b) Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method
of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to
their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supplies
as provided for under the Geneva Conventions {Article 8,
(2), (b), (xxv)}.

22. April 9, 2003: Destruction of monuments by the allied
forces; reported by the Athens News Agency and the ICOMOS
(International Council on Monuments...), According to ICOMOS
the bombing caused serious damage to many monuments. These
are the following monuments: one of the three oldest
universities in the world (AD 1234), the Gate of Al Quastani
(AD 510), the site of the Mussa Al Kadem Muslim mosque (AD

..., the walls of Nineveh, the archaeological sites of the
Hellenistic cities (of Ktisifon and Selefkia)....The damage
caused by the allied forces constitute breaches of the 1954
Hague Conventions and also war crimes according to the ICC
Statute: Intentionally directing attacks against buildings
dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable
purposes, historic monuments, hospitals,... {Article 8, (2),
(b), (ix)}.

Finally the document of the Greek lawyers adds:

"According to the(ICC) Statute, the criminal charges refer
to acts (in rem) and not to persons (in personam)...
Therefore, it is obvious that in case of collaboration in
crimes under the jurisdiction of the (IC)Court the
collaborating parties in the crimes can be tried by the
International Criminal Court even if they are citizens of a
country that is not Part of the Statute. By extension, in
all cases in which citizens of the United States acted in
collaboration with British subjects, the former can be tried
by the Court independently of the fact that the United
States has not ratified the ICC Statute..."

What an insult! The gallant son of Barbara Bush to be tried
as a "collaborator" of the lowly Tony Blair (also known as
the gallant son's "poodle"). Furthermore, how can some
upstart Athenian lawyers question the "wisdom" of the
American Emperor in not ratifying the ICC Statute? Also,
ultimately, the Emperor has the (divine) right to "just say

Let us dwell a bit on the reactions to this courageous
initiative taken by the Athenian lawyers. On July 27 (one
day before the filing of the suit) the Athens paper "Sunday
Eleftherotypia" commented: "No matter how much the
effectiveness of such an initiative is disputed... the
essence remains."

The, July 29, English Edition of "Kathimerini" (an insert of
the International Herald Tribune) writes: "The suit is not
supported unanimously by Athenian lawyers . 'I did not
support this act. I consider it populist fireworks. In fact,
many colleagues abstained from the vote. I believe that the
suit will lead nowhere,'

(Athens Bar Association ) member Dimitris Hadzimichalis told
Kathimerini." Mr. Hadzimihalis, who obviously has nothing to
do with "populist fireworks", is not satisfied with the
votes of the majority of his colleagues. He demands a
unanimous decision, as is the norm in any democratic

[Note: "Kathimerini" has a "glorious" history in
conservatism. For decades, since the 1930s, it had been
publishing the "sophisticated" articles of Walter Lippmann,
Joseph Alsop, and other "flowers" of American journalism.
After World War II the rise of the American Empire resulted
in a globalized "fraternity" of "professional" friends of

Of course the membership of the fraternity is limited, but
the material benefits for the members is unlimited (thanks
to the American taxpayers). In contrast, the amateur
anti-Americans (i.e. people who disapprove of the violence
of the American elites) lose the material benefits of the
American benevolence, but gain their dignity. Greece had
(and has) its share of (obnoxious) professional friends of

The (politically very serious) satirical "To Pontiki" (The
Mouse), which was the first to announce the action of the At
hens Bar Association, insisted that: "Finally a news item
that makes us feel proud as a nation."

The London "Guardian" commented: "This act expresses the
anti-war feelings of the Greek people. Although, the Greek
socialist government silently supported the military
operation in Iraq, providing air space and military bases in
Crete, 90 % of the Greek people were against the war.
However, Mr. Blair received all the poison by the Athens Bar

The "Daily Telegraph" of London writes that the charges are
based on reports of the Greek papers most of which are
anti-American. The truth is that they are based mostly on
reports of the foreign media.

The London "Financial Times" claim that the Athens Bar
Association is "deeply politicized" (as if that is a crime!)
and "Its members belong to parties that are the opposite of
the moderate socialist government".

Blair's spokesman, when asked about the move of the Greek
lawyers, replied: "Yes, we are aware of the matter. We have
no comment to make as we do not wish to influence the course
of justice." (The above review of the foreign press is from
the July 30 issue of "Eleftherotypia".)

Even if the suit by the Athens Bar Association were to be
rejected by the Court the news about its filing is a
positive thing. However, the real Nuremberg for Bush & Co.
should originate with the American people themselves.

Clinton and Kiesling

"On February 24, (2003), John Brady Kiesling (a 45-year old
senior diplomat serving in the US Embassy in Athens) sent a
letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell. The diplomat
wrote: 'We should ask ourselves why we have failed to
persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is
necessary...' This was a passage from the resignation letter
of John Brady Kiesling. He had been in the foreign service
for 20 years." (Commentary of March 15,2003)

A few days ago, on June 29, "Eleftherotypia" had as its
front page story the news that Bill Clinton had sent a
letter to Kiesling expressing his "deep emotion" after
reading his resignation letter and urging him to "Please
continue to express your views" (Translation of Clinton's
words from the Greek text.)

The letter was leaked to the paper, or as it puts it: "the
letter came into our possession."

Why did Clinton sent that letter? Is he trying to help his
fellow-Democrats by pretending that now he is against the
war in Iraq? Who leaked the letter to "Eleftherotypia"?

To be praised by Bill Clinton should make one ask himself
what did he do wrong or ask where Clinton is aiming at. As
mentioned in the Commentary, "Most Greeks... feel great
respect for the Kieslings' (including Kiesling's wife
Phyllis and daughter Linda) honesty and courage." I feel
that the Greek people are very much interested in the fate
of the Kieslings in the hands of Bush, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft,
et al.

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