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Iraq tribunal hearings at Tokyo

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    World Tribunal on Iraq Premeditated Death and Destruction Unleashed Against a Sovereign Nation and People by Niloufer Bhagwat Opening statement before the Iraq
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2005
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      World Tribunal on Iraq
      Premeditated Death and Destruction Unleashed Against a Sovereign
      Nation and

      by Niloufer Bhagwat

      Opening statement before the Iraq tribunal hearings at Tokyo

      11 Dec 2004

      Honorable Judges , Prosecutors , Amici Curiae , witnesses of the
      satanic death and destruction of the people of Iraq , of homes and
      livelihood , of hospitals , schools and places of worship; concerned
      citizens of Japan .

      We live in strange times. For even as a war rages fiercely in Iraq
      which in epic terms can be compared to a "Mahabharat" , a fierce war
      between the forces of right and wrong , justice and injustice ,
      occupation and national liberation ; we resume this trial in the
      dark shadows of an "Apocalypse" which is the continuing military
      occupation and the reduction of the entire population of Iraq into
      the inmates of a vast concentration camp unmonitored even by the Red
      Cross and other UN and other International humanitarian
      organizations. Unprecedented in the annals of legal history,
      evidence is being recorded in this trial even as crimes continue to
      be committed with impunity, bringing home to us the reality of human
      existence, that words are never enough to defeat a brutal tyranny
      and even those of us who use words as tools are speechless in the
      face of the deliberate and premeditated death and destruction
      unleashed against a sovereign nation and people ,a member state of
      the United Nations waged solely to capture its oil resources and
      with that objective to subjugate and eliminate its population
      through one strategy or another.

      Millions of people in the world including in the United States ,
      even before the aggression and military occupation commenced , much
      before we commenced our slow and painstaking examination of evidence
      and precedents , sensing imminent and unprecedented danger to the
      peoples of the entire world including to soldiers recruited to
      defend Republics and parliamentary democracies proceeded to
      pronounce their verdict against the doctrine of "continuous war "
      against one nation or another ;against the conversion of domestic
      economies into "war economies" even as thousands and thereafter
      millions were rendered unemployed .The people across continents
      opposed the policy of "blood for oil" and declared their rejection
      of this strategy of pre-emptive war for the control of resources of
      other societies and nations .

      The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War had
      estimated before the military onslaught that a fresh attack against
      Iraq would result in the deaths of anywhere between 48,000 to
      260,000 Iraqi citizens and that post-war effects could take the
      lives of an additional 200,000 Iraqis excluding those killed in the
      1991 attack on Iraq and those dead because of illegal sanctions
      imposed on the civilian population of Iraq by the Security Council
      and issue which I had dealt with in detail at Kyoto, quoting
      extensively from the statements of Mr. Dennis Halliday a former
      International Civil Servant of rare integrity who had resigned on
      the issues of sanctions claiming that it amounted to an illegal
      declaration of war on the civilian population.

      Now in the 19 month of the occupation by the military forces mainly
      drawn from the United States and UK along with other smaller
      contingents all members of the coalition of the aggressors ; Lancet
      Online Medical Journal based in the UK has published a study by
      American health experts and researchers at the John Hopkins School
      of Public Health, Columbia University and al Mustansiriya University
      Baghdad on the deaths of Iraqi civilians under the military
      occupation. The study confirms that : " Violent deaths were
      widespread….and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most
      individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and

      The report went on to say that: "Making conservative assumptions ,
      we think that about 100,000 excess deaths , or more have happened
      since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the
      excess deaths and air strikes of coalition forces accounted for most
      violent deaths."

      Les Roberts and Gilbert Burnham who collaborated on the research
      published informed the media that they had evidence of the use of
      air power in populated urban areas. Richard Horton editor of the
      Lancet in an editorial emphasized that the "findings also raise
      questions for those far removed from Iraq – in the governments of
      the countries responsible for launching a pre –emptive war". The
      mounting evidence of the human catastrophe in Iraq not seen since
      the days of the Second World War prima facie indicates that the
      death toll may be more but not less than 100,000 and even the Lancet
      report however sincere has underestimated the death toll from all
      facets of the Occupation.

      In assessing the extent of Genocide it is necessary to focus on the
      destruction and attack on hospitals and health clinics to deny
      medical relief to those who could be saved if the Iraqi health
      service was not destroyed . This strategy was visible in the policy
      of organized looting and destruction of Iraqi hospitals in the weeks
      and months after the attack .The deliberate bombing of water pipes,
      the cutting off of water supplies to cities and town under siege by
      US, UK and other forces , destruction of sewage pipes and sanitary
      facilities , of electricity and heating have condemned millions in
      Iraq to consume contaminated water and food ,as a consequence the
      old, the feeble, and the children have been dying of diarrhea and
      related diseases caused by contamination of food and water with lack
      of medicines and health care leading to an increase in mortality.
      This is an indicator that apart from death by violence the
      Occupation has condemned people to death from malnutrition and lack
      of food , and water and food borne diseases with inadequate health
      care directly caused by the Occupation .

      The intrepid reporter Dahr Jamail reporting for a weekly in Alaska
      has disclosed that from what he had seen in six months in Iraq at
      close quarters , it was difficult to find any family in Iraq who had
      not had a member killed on account of the conditions arising from
      the Occupation. And what of the heroic city of Fallujah which dared
      to resist the mercenaries of US and UK Security Companies and
      Agencies, who have no combatant status under the Geneva Convention
      in any armed conflict , yet are to-day high profile in one war after
      another in Bosnia, in Kosovo , in Afghanistan and other theatres
      including in the trafficking in human beings as slaves .On 14th
      October 2004 sensing that the city of 300,000 was to be singled out
      for destruction as it had become a symbol of Resistance against the
      Occupation ; the people of Fallujah through several organizations of
      Teachers, Tribal Leaders, the Shura Council , the Bar Association,
      through the President of the Study Centre of Human Rights and
      Democracy forwarded an urgent appeal to the Secretary General of the
      United Nations in these words:

      " Your Excellency, It is obvious that the American forces are
      committing crimes of genocide every day in Iraq .Now while we are
      writing to Your Excellency , the American warplanes are dropping
      their most powerful bombs on the civilians in the city , killing and
      injuring hundreds of innocent people . At the same time their tanks
      are attacking the city with their heavy artillery…" "On the night of
      13th October alone American bombardment demolished 50 houses on top
      of their residents. Is this a genocidal crime or a lesson about
      democracy? It is obvious that the Americans are committing acts of
      terror against the people of Fallujah for one reason only : their
      refusal to accept the Occupation."

      "Your Excellency and the whole world knows that the Americans and
      their allies devastated our country under the pretext of the threat
      of the Weapons of Mass Destruction .Now after the destruction and
      the killing of thousands of civilians , they have admitted that
      there were no weapons found .But they say nothing about all the
      crimes they have committed .Unfortunately everyone is now silent and
      will not dignify the murdered Iraqi civilians with words of
      condemnation .Are the Americans going to pay compensation as Iraq
      has been forced to do after the Gulf War……."

      " We know we are living in a world of double standards .In
      Fallujah , they have created a new vague target: AL ZARQAWI. This is
      a new pretext to justify their crimes, killing and daily bombardment
      of civilians. Almost a year has passed since they created this new
      pretext and whenever they destroy houses ….they said `We have
      launched a successful operation against AL Zarqawi. hey will never
      say that they have killed him because there is no such person. And
      that means the daily killings of civilians and the daily genocide
      will continue."

      "At the same time the representatives of Fallujah , our tribal
      leader has denounced on many occasions the kidnapping and killing of
      civilians , and we have no links to any group committing such
      inhuman behaviour." " Excellency , we appeal to you and to all the
      world leaders to exert the greatest pressure on the American
      administration to stop the crimes in Fallujah and withdraw their
      army….the city was quiet and peaceful when its people ran it ….We
      simply did not welcome the Occupation. This is our right according
      to the UN Charter , International Law and the laws of humanity. If
      the Americans believe in the opposite they should first withdraw
      from the UN and all its agencies before acting in a way contrary to
      the Charter they have signed"

      " It is very urgent that your Excellency along with the world
      leaders, intervenes in a speedy manner to prevent a new massacre…."
      This was the voice of the people of Fallujah appealing to the UN and
      to world leaders and what was the response? After the administration
      of the United States had taken care of the African-American voters
      and others through the Diebold electronic voting machines on the 8th
      November commenced the destruction of Fallujah which to the United
      States was a symbol of Iraqi resistance throughout the world. There
      is hardly a home intact in the city of Fallujah. The first attack by
      US forces with the Black Watch Regiments poised on the highways ,
      was on the Fallujah hospitals and medical personnel who report the
      casualty figures and treat the wounded the messengers of the
      devastation and loss of lives .Dr Khamis al-Muhammadi of the
      Fallujan General Hospital has informed the media that she was seized
      and taken away by Occupation forces even as she was about to cut an
      unbilical cord during child birth; several doctors have been
      reported to have been killed and all hospitals and clinics
      destroyed. AL ZARQAWI like BIN LADEN was never captured despite the
      destruction of the entire city. Yet who can destroy the spirit of
      Fallujah which has survived many attempts of a whole century to
      crush it.

      Even as use of Depleted Uranium , of napalm, of banned chemicals
      spread throughout the world , Mr . Kofi Anan reacted to the appeal
      of Fallujah and pronounced what had already been known to millions
      that : "The Occupation of Iraq is illegal…" with the Japan Times
      subsequently reporting that the Secretary General of the United
      Nations would pay the price for this statement with calls for his
      resignation despite past services rendered and though the real price
      for the fraudulently conceived `FOOD FOR OIL' program vests with the
      Security Council and the entire policy and its implementation was
      illegal as it sought to impose control over the resources of anther
      sovereign country to regulate production and distribution of Oil.

      With the war declared categorically illegal even by the Secretary
      General of the United Nations , on what basis does the US
      administration plan to increase troop levels .Why has it concealed
      from the world that it has already created four military bases in
      Iraq with the objective of permanent occupation . And what is the
      nature of the liberation of Iraq. Dahr Jamail reports that Baghdad
      after 19 months remains in shambles bombed out buildings sit as
      insulting reminders of unbroken promises of reconstruction 70 % of
      Iraqis at the very minimum are unemployed and there is a five mile
      petrol lines in an oil rich country.Engineers and doctors are
      unemployed and ply taxis .there are mass graves of innocent
      civilians in Fallujah and bodies with skins melted by napalm .bodies
      bloated and rotting devoured by dogs in the street after the
      complete destruction of the city of Fallujah water supply is
      frequently cut off from cities and towns targeted for attack
      children lie deformed by Depleted Uranium exposure in shattered
      hospitals from lack of treatment or even pain medication the Iraqi
      Red Crescent, other relief teams and the Red Cross has been
      obstructed in rendering aid mosques are bullet ridden with blood
      stained carpets."

      Even as governments and heads of State continue to deal with war
      criminals we must recall that the assault on Fallujah and other
      cities , towns and villages of Iraq are covered by article 6 (b) of
      the 1945 Nuremberg Charter and in the trials of the Far East or
      Tokyo trials among the war crimes defined include the" Wanton
      destruction of cities , towns or villages " crimes for which the
      Nazi leaders and other Generals and militarists were tried and
      executed .The acts perpetrated by US,UK forces in the onslaught on
      Fallujah constitutes a clear violation of the laws of Land War found
      in the US army Field Manual 27-10. What of the US, UK soldiers used
      as one half of the poor to kill the other half ;recruited from
      working class families from isolated and marginalized communities
      and towns affected by the economic recession and the downturn
      sweeping the United States and England with employment opportunities
      steadily decreasing. Christian Bollyn of the American Free Press ,
      Washington D.C asked Lt.Col. Joe Yoswa if the US was using Depleted
      Uranium in Fallujah and received the reply that " DU is the standard
      round on the M-1 Abraham Tanks" which have been used in Fallujah.
      Because of the nature of poison gas exploded by the exploded DU
      shells, American Free Press asked Yoswa if the troops were protected
      from DU poisoning .Lt.Col. Joe Yoswa seemed unaware of the dangers
      posed by DU. Marion Falk a retired Nuclear scientist from Livermore
      Lab informed the media that US troops in DU contaminated
      battlefields are considered "throw away soldiers" who are dispensed
      with once exposed , and replaced by others who become throw away in
      their turn with risks of cancer ,deformed children from genetic
      damage and serious health problems. There is no higher purpose to
      fulfil for the "throw away soldiers" than the war and oil profits of
      the Corporations at stake from the continued occupation and the fear
      and unemployment at home; the bankrupting of the US economy are two
      sides of the same coin of which one side is the Occupation and the
      other side is the whipping up of fear and frenzy in the United
      States. Uranium Weapons

      There is a direct connection between the appropriation sought for
      the war at the cost of sweeping budget cuts and the steady
      elimination of social security funds and post office savings .There
      is also a direct connection between the nature of elections held in
      the United States , in Kabul where Mr.Hamid Karzai the
      representative of the UNOCAL Company cannot stir out of Kabul , and
      the elections proposed to be held in Iraq under conditions of
      Occupation and coercion .

      In all three countries the strategy is the same ; coerce the
      electorate and declare an election as "won" after which without a
      constitutional mandate enslave the majority of the people by
      obfuscating political ,economic and social rights reducing countries
      to garrisons .In recognition of these similarities and the impact of
      the illegal war on the people of the United States that the anti-war
      coalition has supported the "absolute right of the people of Iraq to
      resist the occupation of their country" and declared their own
      resistance to re-instate the draft and to prepare for resistance if
      conscription returns. In what has far reaching consequences for
      International Security the movement has declared that "it is
      incumbent on us to reject that notion that smaller countries must
      disarm and leave themselves defenseless at the demand of Bush and
      the Pentagon. Such demands are not only hypocritical , irrational
      and unjust , they amount to little more than a pretext for more
      invasions and occupations " . In the context of the fact that the
      resistance to the Iraq war has more than one front with the the
      military front in Iraq and the political front in the Americas it is
      necessary in view of the Security Council having acquiesced to the
      Occupation despite the fact that it is illegal that the General
      Assembly should be moved by a member of the United Nations to
      initiate moves for the vacating of the aggression against Iraq under
      Article 35 read with article 11 (2 ) . Any organization in which
      some powers have the hegemony of the veto can never fulfill the
      requirements of a new democratic international order .

      Prof. Niloufer Bhagwat




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