– by Shenali D Waduge –
There is little point in pointing fingers at Ban Ki Moon – he is only a figure head reading out scripts prepared for him. An organization that is mandated to secure peace and ensure fair and equal justice we have to question how far the UN and its Secretary General has been both fair and just. Third World together or the super powers of Russia and China must request the UN to end the impunity for US and NATO crimes being committed in every corner of the world overtly and covertly and seek investigations of these crimes. A motion must be brought against the UN Secretary General for the manner he is abusing his mandate.
Investigate UN crimes first
UN has become an organization that is corrupt, mismanaged and lacks accountability. Its budget is shrouded in secrecy, the performance outcomes of its specialized agencies are vague and one wonders whether there is conflict of interest in every area they branch out its activities! If the world body is accountable to all its member states why is the UN unwilling to go through audits and questions raised by its members? There are over 50,000 employed in the UN and a large number of “consultants” which has become an abused practice. The personnel costs of the UN contribute 70% of the funding it receives and the UN pension scheme is what makes anyone desire to belong to the UN!
For speaking against UN peace keepers trafficking Eastern European women into sexual slavery in Bosnia, Madeleine Rees, was dismissed from her job at the UN office of the High Commission for Human Rights in March 2010. Her stand on the issue of sex slaves resulted in her transfer to Geneva in 2006 to head the UN Women’s Rights and Gender Unit division but she clashed with Navi Pillay the UN High Commissioner for Human rights before she was out of a job with the UN altogether. Her story has even inspired the film – “The Whistleblower” though UN officials claimed her dismissal had nothing to do with her role in Bosnia. There are plenty more scandals that has embarrassed the UN over the years.
Former Secretary General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali is said to have played a key role in supplying weapons (disguised as relief material) to Hutu regime (through a $26million arms deal in 1990) which carried out the Rwanda genocide in 1994 against the Tutsis as disclosed in a book by Linda Melvern. Boutros-Ghalis’ contacts with Hutus were never investigated. Kofi Annans son was involved in the $9billion oil-for-food scandal. Annan is now brokering peace in Syria! Kurt Waldheim a former Secretary General was also a Nazi.
Investigate West’s crimes
Illegal US/NATO invasion of Iraq:
9/11 attackers were not Iraqi, they had no links to Al Qaeda, Iraq did not have WMDs but Iraq was attacked, invaded and occupied. The US was prepared to spend $900billion per year on destruction to secure 115billion barrels of oil reserve while 49m Americans live in poverty and 46million depend on food stamps and 4m are homeless.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq was based on a lie – allegations of weapons of mass destruction. While in Iraq, a Johns Hopkins University study published in the medical journal Lancet in 2004 estimated that 100,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed or died between the invasion in March 2003 and October 2004. Most of victims by coalition forces were children/women. Many of these killings committed by mercenary forces clad in military attire.
Why did the UNSG not appoint a Panel of Experts to brief him on the violations of an illegal invasion and occupation? Why did UNSG not investigate the alarming crimes committed by US and Allied forces upon the Irai civilians?
John Hopkins University study in 1988 estimated that if cancers continued on the current curve 44% of the Iraqi population would develop cancer by 2000 – which proved true. US has since dropped over 3000 tons of depleted uranium with Iraqi future generation likely to be born with birth defects.
New York Times reported in 2003 that US Secretary Rumsfeld personally approved over 50 US airstrikes in Iraq which killed many innocent Iraqi civilians.
Pentagon policy informed to the media was that any strikes that result in 50 or more civilian deaths was “unavoidable collateral damage. That means the US administration is well aware of targets and given its policy it simply excuses all civilian deaths above 50 as “collateral damage“ it is classified information as to whether this policy still continues. By virtue of this authorization the US is committing a crime and that crime is murder?
Use of Nuclear / Chemical Weapons
Changing the rules of engagement and using Depleted Uranium bombs on Iraq towns where no tanks and no armored Iraqi vehicles existed. Repeated policy of shooting everything that moved an order given from our high command and in direct violation of the Geneva Convention.
Investigate US occupation of Afghanistan
- Not because of 9/11 or Osama “ the hijackers were mostly Saudis
- US occupies Afghanistan because it is a strategic hub in Central Asia (Afghanistan borders Soviet Union, China and Iran).
- US is building a 1900km long $8billion oil and gas pipeline through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
- The entirety of US bases in Afghanistan are all located along the route of the gas/oil pipeline
- Afghanistan has over 1400 mineral outcroppings and 70 viable deposits worth over $1trilion (including iron, Hajigak iron, coal, copper, cobalt, gold, lithium “ raw material to make batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys).
- The US Government and business elites were well aware of Afghanistan mineral wealth and energy resources as far back as 1979 when it supported the Mujahideen “freedom fighters we know today as the Al Qaeda and Osama.
- In 2001 before US occupation opium production was 200 tons by 2009 opium production has reached 6900 tons generating cash earnings of more than $200billion annually
- opium production has increased by a staggering 3100% (from 185tons before arrival of US in 2001 and now 5800tons in 2011)
- Afghanistan accounts for 90% of opium and cannabis supplies to the world. Opium, morphine, cannabis, heroin, codeine, thebaine are all sought after by pharmaceutical companies.
Investigate US Acts of Aggression:
- Since World War 2 the US has conventionally bombed 28 countries (William Blum – Rogue State)
- US regime change illegalities never investigated : In the past 40 years itself 6million people are said to have been killed because of CIA secret wars. The 6million dead belong to the Third World. A total of 560 US covert military interventions have taken place between 1798-2008. 170 of these interventions was between 1798 to 1945. 390 military interventions between 1945 and 2009. 391 with Libya. 20million civilian deaths by US interventions. Over 200 US military interventions in the Third World by the US. From mid 19th century to 20thcentury US military had conquered all lands and original inhabitants to the western edge of its continent, stolen half of Mexico, invaded Korea, annexed Hawaii, conquered Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba. By 1930 US sent military gunboats to Latin America over 6000 times and invaded Cuba and Mexico once again, invaded Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Columbia and protracted wars in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Haiti. ALL these were to ensure US corporations and financial houses to dominate the economies of most of Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and much of South America.
- 50,082 crimes were committed by 56,904 US soldiers from 1967 to 1998 in South Korea.
- Number of crimes committed by US soldiers since September 8, 1945 (when they were first stationed in Korea) is estimated to be around 100,000. Unfortunately, the South Korean government does not have statistics on US soldiers’ crimes committed before 1967, because SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) went into effect in 1967, allowing the South Korean court jurisdiction over crimes committed by US soldiers with narrow and limited application.
- 1963 South Vietnam : CIA backs coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam paying USD40,000 to kill him
- 1964 Brazil : Democratic Government of President Goulart overthrown in March 1964
- 1966 Ghana : overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah by the CIA because of his non-aligned Marxist economic perspective.
- 1970-3 Chile : Marxist President Salvador Allende overthrown and murder planned by US with President Nixon personally authorizing $700,000 for the covert operation. General Pinochet took over on 1973 “ US installs a dictator!
- 1979-89 Afghanistan : Carter Doctrine that the US would not allow any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf. US armed Afghan insurgents provided weapons and training to the Mujahideens (leader of whom was Osama bin Laden) to fight the Russians a covert operation costing over $3billion.
- 1980 “ Turkey : 3000 US troops landed before the 12 September coup.
- 1980-81 “ Poland : US supports Solidarity movement
- 1981-90 “ Nicaragua : CIA overthrows Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega through a group tasked to sabotage ports, refineries, boats and bridges / arming contras despite Boland Amendment.
- 1980-95 “ Cambodia : Reagan Doctrine of aiding anti-Soviet resistance movements abroad applied to Cambodia under Vietnam occupation following Khmer Rouge genocide.
- 1980s “ Angola : Reagan administration helps anti-communist rebels led by Jonas Sayimbi who was supported by the Heritage Foundation. Savimbi was killed by Angolan military in February 2002.
- 1986 “ Philippines : US pressurized President Marcos to step down and hand over power to Corazon Aquino
- 1992-1996 “ Iraq : CIA indirectly supports sabotage campaigns between 1992 and 1995 but fails to topple Saddam Hussein.
- 2001“ Afghanistan : Plan to invade Afghanistan developed by CIA Special Activities Division on pretext of 9/11
- 2002-3 “ Iraq : CIA Special Activities Division enter Iraq in July 2002 before the main invasion and prepare ground for the arrival of US special forces. Turkey bans use of US forces across its territory.
- 2002“ Venezuela : Coup and installing Pedro Carmona as President
- 2006 to present “ Palestinian authority : Hamas and Fatah win 2006 election and form Palestinian Authority National Unity Government in 2007 headed by Ismail Haniya and takes control of Gaza Strip. Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization.
- 2006-2007 “ Somalia : CIA funds coalition of anti-Islamic warlords
- 2005 to present “ Iran : CIA authorized to undertake black operations against Iran $400m was authorized as covert operation to create unrest in Iran in 2007.
- 2011 “ Libya : following Arab Spring overthrowing of rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya was next target with US/NATO airstrikes, arming of rebels/mercenaries and killing of Gaddafi
- 2012 “ Syria : President Obama authorizes to support regime change in Syria and overthrow Government of President Assad “ rebels and mercenaries again being armed and trained.
USA and NATO have violated a number of international laws.
- US+NATO have violated the UN charter (Article 2(4) use of force against a sovereign state)Article 2(4): prohibition of use of force
- against the territorial integrity or;
- political independence of any state or;
- in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the UN
- Forcible intervention in another state is prohibited in international law under Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter which states:
- “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”.
- “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations”. This rule was “enshrined in the United Nations Charter in 1945 for a good reason: to prevent states from using force as they felt so inclined”, said Louise Doswald-Beck, Secretary-General International Commission of Jurists in 2003.
- The Preamble to the Charter declares that the “armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest…” Article 51 preserves the “right of individual or collective self defence if an armed attack occurs…”.
- In 1970 the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations
- The Declaration states “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.”
- The “use of significant armed force“ was authorized through Resolution 678 after the Kuwait invasion by Iraq in 1990 (on the devious instructions of the US so that it could then invade Iraq)
- In 2003 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1441 which authorized “use of force” claiming Iraq’s noncompliance on WMDs (and we know what a farce that is now). These Resolutions have been used for Yugoslavia, Somalia, Sierra Leone on the ground of humanitarian interventions.
- NATO did not have UN authority to invade former Yugslovia. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on March 24, 1999. NATO is an alliance of 19 countries: the United States of America (USA), Canada, The United Kingdom (UK), Federal Republic of Germany, French Republic, Italy, Republic of Turkey, Spain, Hellenic Republic (Greece), Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Denmark, Belgium, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Iceland, Republic of Poland, Czech Republic, Republic of Hungary, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
- It is a violation of Article 33 of the UN Charter, which states that the parties to any dispute shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, or other peaceful means of their choice. NATO and the US never explored non-military means.
- It is a violation of Article 37 of the UN Charter, that states that, should the parties to a dispute of the nature referred to in the Article 33 fail to settle it by the means indicated in that Article, they shall refer it to the Security Council. NATO tried by all means to avoid the Security Council before, during and after the aggression.
- It is a violation of Article 39 of the UN Charter that states that the Security Council (not NATO, or any other alliance or individual state) shall determine the existence of any threat to peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken.
- It is a violation of Article 41 of the UN Charter that states that the Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the UN to apply such measures. The Security Council did do that.
- It is a violation of Article 42 of the UN Charter that states that the Security Council is the only body that can consider operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the UN.
- It is a violation of Article 51 of the UN Charter that protects the civilian population.
- It is a violation of Article 79 of the UN Charter that protects journalists.
- It is a violation of Articles 1 and 7 of the NATO’s own Charter that claim it is a defensive organization and is only committed to force if one or more of its members are attacked. They also claim the Treaty’s consistency with the UN Charter. No member of NATO was attacked. NATO ignored the UN Charter.
- The so-called Rambouillet “Agreement” written and put out by NATO (and which Yugoslavia did not sign) is a violation of Articles 51 and 52 of the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties which forbids coercion and force to compel any state to sign a treaty or agreement. Not only that the “Agreement” was purposely written in such a way as to “invite rejection” by Yugoslavia, but Yugoslavia was asked to sign the Rambouillet “Agreement” under threat of bombing which was realized by two and a half months of savage aggression.
- The Rambouillet “Agreement” is a violation of the Helsinki Accords Final Act of 1975 which guarantees the territorial frontiers of the states of Europe.
- NATO violated the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of War that prohibits deliberate attacks on civilians. It also violated the 1977 Geneva Convention, and the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions, which repeatedly confirmed in their appendixes a principle of the law on war which provides that military operations should not target and kill civilians. (See “Destruction of Environment,” “Destruction of Health Care,” “Destruction of Agriculture,” “Destruction of Civilian Infrastructure”)
- NATO violated the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction from 1997. It is worth noting that the US is the only country in the world, together with Turkey – a NATO member, that refused to ratify this Convention. (see “Illegal Weapons”)
- NATO violated the UN Resolution from 1996 that condemns the use of Depleted Uranium. (See “Illegal Weapons”)
- It violated the 1976 Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, and the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions which states that care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage, and prohibits the use of methods or means of warfare which are intended or may be expected to cause such damage to the natural environment and thereby to prejudice the health or survival of the population. NATO also violated the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.(See “Destruction of Environment,” “Destruction of Agriculture”)
- NATO violated the Convention on the Cooperation in the Field of the Protection and Sustainable use of the Danube River. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Waters and International Lakes. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the Barcelona Convention on the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against the Pollution. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the Convention on Transboundary Pollution of Atmosphere. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the Ramsar Convention, a treaty providing a framework for international cooperation for the preservation and wise use of wetland ecosystems. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the Basel Convention on Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- NATO violated the Convention on Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxic Weapons, and on their Destruction. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- NATO violated the principles of the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development, adopted at the UN Conference on the Environment and Development in 1992, that declares that states shall respect international law which enables the protection of the environment during war conflict. The US was the only county that decided not to sign the Declaration. (See “Destruction of Environment”)
- It violated the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which the US failed to ratify. (See “Destruction of Cultural and Historical Sites”)
- It violated the 1972 UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of World Culture and Natural Heritage. (See “Destruction of Cultural and Historical sites,” “Destruction of Environment”)
- NATO violated the Convention on the Prevention of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons including Diplomatic Persons adopted in 1973, and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations adopted in 1961.
- By openly trying to undermine the Yugoslav government, at the possible cost of provoking a civil war, and by openly trying to assassinate the Yugoslav leadership, NATO violated Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Helsinki Accords.
- NATO violated a substantial part of the Nuremberg Judgments, directed at Nazi war criminals, which held that the ultimate crime in international law, the ultimate war crime – which carries with it every crime that may be committed in the war – is launching an unprovoked attack upon another state.
- Also, each of the NATO countries violated their domestic laws and constitutions. So, for instance, none of the countries had a vote in their Parliaments to discuss and sanction the deployment of troops and the war on Yugoslavia. None of the NATO governments proclaimed war on Yugoslavia, and NATO itself did not proclaim war on Yugoslavia, which made their actions against Yugoslavia illegal even before they begun.
- Germany made a double violation of its constitution – not only did it not proclaim the war, but it ignored a very clear clause which forbids the country to engage in a military action outside of its borders. After 50 years, Germany ended its military silence.
- NATO has argued that the attack on Yugoslavia was justified under the 1948 Genocide Convention and other humanitarian principles, as well as under the UN Charter Articles 1, 2, and 55, which speak of self-determination of peoples.
- NATO actions cannot be justified by the Genocide Convention or the mentioned UN Charter Articles. In the case of the UN Articles, they pertain only to decolonization and not to the right to secede from existing sovereign independent states. In the case of the Genocide Convention, NATO ignores the fact that the Security Council is the only power that can sanction any action taken. NATO did not support the UN Charter Articles and the Geneva Convention – it violated them.
- US+NATO have violated the NATO charter (defensive organization)
- US+NATO have violated the Convention on Law of Treaties (Vienna 1980) (art. 51 and 52 use of coercion and force to compel a state to sign a treaty)
- US+NATO have violated the International Accords (Helsinki 1975) (guarantee of the territorial frontiers of European states)
- US+NATO have violated the International Law (Charter of Nuremberg Tribunal1950) (art. 6 war crimes devastation not justified by military necessity)
- US+NATO have violated the Laws or Customs of War (Geneva Convention)(art. 3,7 devastation not justified by military necessity, art. 13, 51 unlawful attack on civilians, art. 52 unlawful attack on civilian objects)
- US+NATO have violated the International Convention (La Hague 1954) (Protection of Cultural Property)
- France has violated its own Constitution (art. 35).
- US/UK/France violates UN charter by arming Syrian gangs
US together with NATO have committed crimes against humanity and genocide which no countries of the world together have committed. Sadly their atrocities never get Resolutions against them and they continue to hound the world with impunity.
The US-backed India supported Resolution against Sri Lanka is just one such. It showed Sri Lanka their decision had nothing to do with Sri Lanka’s progress post-conflict and that the members that voted for the Resolution cared not that Sri Lanka suffered 30 years of terrorism and thousands of civilians were victims of LTTE suicide bombs and attacks.
Sri Lanka thanks those that voted for Sri Lanka and those that abstained. It showed that at least these members saw the Emperors for who they were.
We have nothing much to say about these Emperors – someday soon their crimes will haunt them and their sins will emerge.
Why is the UN Secretary General not formulating an Action Plan against the HR violations by the West?
The UN General Assembly must make their objections.