21 January 2004

International Criminal Court to Examine Blair War Crimes

News reports from Reuters and the Independent

"Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court are considering a request by an international body of lawyers to try the Prime Minister for alleged war crimes during the invasion of Iraq."

The logic of war meets the morality of war. Disproportionate use of force causing civilian casualties is a crime under international humanitarian law.

During last year's invasion of Iraq, the Wonder Duo dropped cluster bombs in dense urban areas, killing many civilians.

The logic behind cluster bombs is simple: efficient decimation. Hundreds of mini-bomblets (ie. 'clusters') are scattered by larger bombs, rockets, and artillery shells, hence enhancing the destructive power by dispersing the area of destruction... Needless to say, where these clusters end up is neither controllable or predictable. That's why many markets and bazaars in Baghdad were hit by cluster bombs, even though they were not targetted.

Reuters reports that British aircraft dropped 70 cluster bombs and British artillery fired over 2,000 cluster shells during the war.

Another hot issue that the prosecutors at the ICC have been asked to consider, is whether the Allies deliberately targetted non-military installations during the invasion, an illegal act under the Geneva Convention.

It would seem that Blair should've considered this chain of events before signing up with Bush... unlike the US, the United Kingdom IS a signatory to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, where heads of state are NOT exempt from prosecution.

I doubt, however, that there will actually be a trial, even though the evidence seems quite clear-cut. Two words: political pressure.

The BBC reported the news on radio at 4.30 in the morning, with many interviews and analyses which kept me up till dawn, but apparently this news is missing from their website... Brilliant.

No comments: