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United States War Crimes During the First Persian Gulf War - First Persian Gulf War

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United States War Crimes During the First Persian Gulf War
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Bush Ordered the Destruction of Facilities Essential to Civilian Life and Economic Productivity Throughout Iraq.
 
24.  Systematic aerial and missile bombardment of Iraq was ordered to begin at 6:30 p.m. E.S.T. January 16, 1991, in order to be reported on prime time TV.  The bombing continued for 42 days.  It met no resistance from Iraqi aircraft and no effective anti-aircraft or anti-missile ground fire.  Iraq was basically defenseless.
 
25.  Most of the targets were civilian facilities.  The United States intentionally bombed and destroyed centers for civilian life, commercial and business districts, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, historical sites, private vehicles and civilian government offices.  In aerial attacks, including strafing, over cities, towns, the countryside and highways, United States aircraft bombed and strafed indiscriminately.  The purpose of these attacks was to destroy life and property, and generally to terrorize the civilian population of Iraq.  The net effect was the summary execution and indiscriminate corporal punishment of men, women and children, young and old, rich and poor, of all nationalities and religions.
 
26.  As a direct result of this bombing campaign against civilian life, at least 25,000 men, women and children were killed.  The Red Crescent Society of Jordan estimated 113,000 civilian dead, 60% of them children, the week before the end of the war.  According to the Nuremberg Charter, this "wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages" is a Nuremberg War Crime.
 
27.  The intention and effort of this bombing campaign against civilian life and facilities was to systematically destroy Iraq's infrastructure leaving it in a pre-industrial condition.  The U.S. assault left Iraq in near apocalyptic conditions as reported by the first United Nations observers after the war.  As a direct, intentional and foreseeable result of this anti-civilian destruction, over one hundred thousand people have died after the war from dehydration, dysentery, diseases, and malnutrition caused by impure water, inability to obtain effective medical assistance and debilitation from hunger, shock, cold and stress.  More will die until potable water, sanitary living conditions, adequate food supplies and other necessities are provided.  Yet Defendant Bush continues to impose punitive economic sanctions against the people of Iraq in order to prevent this from happening.
 
The United States Intentionally Bombed and Destroyed Defenseless Iraqi Military Personnel; Used Excessive Force; Killed Soldiers Seeking to Surrender and in Disorganized Individual Flight, Often Unarmed and Far from Any Combat Zones; Randomly and Wantonly Killed Iraqi Soldiers; and Destroyed Material After the Cease-Fire.
 
28.  In the first hours of the aerial and missile bombardment, the United States destroyed most military communications and began the systematic killing of Iraqi soldiers who were incapable of defense or escape, and the destruction of military equipment.  The U.S. bombing campaign killed tens of thousands of defenseless soldiers, cut off from most of their food, water and other supplies, and left them in desperate and helpless disarray.  Defendant Schwarzkopf placed Iraqi military casualties at over 100,000.  Large numbers of these soldiers were "out of combat" and therefore not legitimate targets for military attack.
 
29.  When it was determined that the civilian economy and the military were sufficiently destroyed, the U.S. ground forces moved into Kuwait and Iraq attacking disoriented, disorganized, fleeing Iraqi forces wherever they could be found, killing thousands more and destroying any equipment found.  In one particularly shocking maneuver, thousands of Iraqi soldiers were needlessly and illegally buried alive.  This wholesale slaughter of Iraqi soldiers continued even after and in violation of the so-called cease-fire.
 
30.  The Defendants' intention was not to remove Iraq's presence from Kuwait.  Rather, their intention was to destroy Iraq.  The disproportion in death and destruction inflicted on a defenseless enemy exceeded 1000 to one.  The Defendants conducted this genocidal war against the male population of Iraq for the express purpose of making sure that Iraq could not raise a substantial military force for at least another generation.
 
The United States Used Prohibited Weapons Capable of Mass Destruction and Inflicting Indiscriminate Death and Unnecessary Suffering Against Both Military and Civilian Targets.
 
31.  Fuel air explosives were used against troops in place, civilian areas, oil fields and fleeing civilians and soldiers on two stretches of highway between Kuwait and Iraq.  One seven mile stretch called the "Highway of Death" was littered with hundreds of vehicles and thousands of dead.  All were fleeing to Iraq for their lives.  Thousands were civilians of all ages, including Kuwaitis, Iraqis, Palestinians, Jordanians and other nationalities.
 
32.  Napalm was used against civilians and military personnel, as well as to start fires.  Oil well fires in both Iraq and Kuwait were intentionally started by U.S. aircraft dropping napalm and other heat intensive devices.
 
33.  Cluster bombs and anti-personnel fragmentation bombs were used in Basra, and other cities and towns, against the civilian convoys of fleeing vehicles and against military units.
 
34.  "Superbombs" were dropped on hardened shelters with the intention of assassinating Iraqi President Saddam Hussein—a war crime in its own right.
 
The United States Intentionally Attacked Installations in Iraq Containing Dangerous Substances and Forces in Violation of Article 56 of Geneva Protocol I of 1977.
 
35.  The U.S. intentionally bombed alleged nuclear sites, chemical plants, dams and other “dangerous forces.”  The U.S. knew such attacks could cause the release of dangerous forces from such installations and consequently severe losses among the civilian population.  While some civilians were killed in such attacks, there are no reported cases of consequent severe losses.  Presumably, lethal nuclear materials, and dangerous chemical and biological warfare substances, were not present at the sites bombed.
 
The United States Waged War on the Environment.

36.  Before the war started, the Pentagon had developed computer models that accurately predicted the environmental catastrophe that would occur should the United States go to war against Iraq.  These Defendants went to war anyway knowing full well what the consequences of such an environmental disaster would be.  Attacks by U.S. aircraft caused much if not all of the worst oil spills in the Gulf.  Aircraft and helicopters dropped napalm and fuel-air explosives on oil wells, storage tanks and refineries, causing oil fires throughout Iraq and many, if not most, of the oil well fires in Iraq and Kuwait.
 
Defendant Bush Encouraged and Aided Shiite Muslims and Kurds to Rebel Against the Government of Iraq Causing Fratricidal Violence, Emigration, Exposure, Hunger and Sickness and Thousands of Deaths.  After the Rebellion Failed, the U.S. Invaded and Occupied Parts of Iraq Without Lawful Authority in Order to Increase Division and Hostilities Within Iraq.
 
37.  Without authority from the U.S. Congress or the United Nations, Defendant Bush encouraged and aided rebellion against Iraq, failed to protect the warring parties, encouraged mass migration of whole populations placing them in jeopardy from the elements, hunger and disease.  After much suffering and many deaths, Defendant Bush then without authority used U.S. military forces to distribute aid at and near the Turkish border, ignoring the often greater suffering among refugees in Iran.  He then arbitrarily set up bantustan-like settlements for Kurds in Iraq and demanded that Iraq pay for U.S. costs.  When Kurds chose to return to their homes in Iraq, he moved U.S. troops further into northern Iraq against the will of the government and without any legal authority to do so.  As Defendant Baker correctly put it when he visited the area, these atrocities constituted a Nuremberg "crime against humanity."  Although he was referring to the culpability of Saddam Hussein, Baker effectively condemned the relevant members of the Bush Sr. administration under international criminal law as “aiders and abettors” to a Nuremberg crime against humanity.
 
Defendant Bush Intentionally Deprived the Iraqi People of Essential Medicines, Potable Water, Food and Other Necessities.
 
38.
  A major component of the assault on Iraq was the systematic deprivation of essential human needs and services, to terrorize and break the will of the Iraqi people, to destroy their economic capability, and to reduce their numbers and weaken their health.  Towards those ends, the Defendants:

  • imposed and enforced embargoes preventing the shipment of needed medicines, water purifiers, infant milk formula, food and other supplies;
  • froze funds of Iraq and forced other nations to do so, depriving Iraq of the ability to purchase needed medicines, food and other supplies;
  • prevented international organizations, governments and relief agencies from providing needed supplies and obtaining information concerning such needs;
  • failed to assist or meet urgent needs of huge refugee populations and interfered with efforts of others to do so, etc;
  • the intentional bombing of the water treatment plants, despite their awareness of the likely resultant spread of diseases from drinking non-potable water.

As a direct result of these cruel and inhuman acts, thousands of people died, many more suffered illnesses and permanent injury.  For these actions, the Defendants are guilty of Nuremberg Crimes Against Humanity and the Crime of Genocide as recognized by international law and U.S. domestic law.
 
Defendant Bush, Having Destroyed Iraq's Economic Base, Demands Reparations Which Will Permanently Impoverish Iraq and Threaten Its People with Famine and Epidemic.
 
39.  Defendant Bush seeks to force Iraq to pay for damages to Kuwait largely caused by the U.S. and even to pay U.S. costs for its violation of Iraqi sovereignty in occupying northern Iraq to further manipulate the Kurdish population there.  Such reparations are neo-colonial means of expropriating Iraq's oil, natural resources, and human labor.  Meanwhile, the United States government dominates and controls the respective governments and oil resources of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
 
40.  The United States government has successfully carried out its longstanding threat and war plan to seize and steal the oil resources of the Persian Gulf for its own benefit.  The United States now either directly or indirectly controls the natural energy resources that fuel the economies of Europe and Japan. Acting with their de facto allies in Israel and Great Britain, the Defendants are today seeking to consolidate their control over the entire Middle East in a blatant bid to establish worldwide hegemony.
 
Bush's "New World Order"
 
41.  Today, the government in the United States of America constitutes an international criminal conspiracy under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles that is legally identical to the Nazi government in World War II Germany.  The Defendants' wanton extermination of approximately 250,000 people in Iraq provides definitive proof of the validity of this Nuremberg Proposition for the entire world to see.  Indeed, Defendant Bush's so-called New World Order sounds and looks strikingly similar to the New Order proclaimed by Adolph Hitler over fifty years ago.  You do not build a real New World Order with stealth bombers, Abrams tanks, and tomahawk cruise missiles.  For their own good and the good of all humanity, the American people must condemn and repudiate Defendant Bush and his grotesque vision of a New World Order that is constructed upon warfare, bloodshed, violence and criminality.
 
Impeachment

42.  All of these aforementioned international crimes constitute "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" as defined by the Article 2, Section 4 of the United States Constitution and therefore warrant the impeachment, conviction, and removal from office of Defendants Bush, Quayle, Baker, Cheney, Powell, and Scowcroft.  In regard to this matter, Congressman Henry Gonzalez of Texas has already introduced an Impeachment Resolution into the House of Representatives, that is numbered House Resolution 86, calling for the impeachment and removal from office of these Defendants because they have committed these international crimes and also because they have subverted and perverted constitutional government in America "to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
 
A Special Prosecutor
 
43.  These Defendants must be impeached by the House, tried and convicted by the Senate, and removed from office.  Thereafter, we believe that the Commission of Inquiry and the International War Crimes Tribunal will have produced sufficient evidence to trigger the application of the Ethics in Government Act, 28 U.S.C. §591 et seq., that would lead to the appointment of an Independent Counsel (i.e., Special Prosecutor) to investigate and prosecute these high-ranking officials for the wholesale violation of federal criminal laws in their decision to launch and wage this criminal war against the people and State of Iraq.  We fully intend to see Bush, Baker, Cheney, Quayle, Scowcroft, Webster, Powell, Schwarzkopf and the rest of the U.S. High Command sitting in jail for the rest of their natural lives.

Conclusion

44.  Make no mistake about it:  The very nature, future and existence of the American Republic depends upon the success of these endeavors.  Today, the battle begins for the hearts and minds of the American People between the Warmongers and the Peacemakers.  We ask all of you to join us in this legal campaign and moral crusade to reclaim for the United States of America a democratic government with a commitment to the Rule of Law and the Constitution both at home and abroad.

Notes

[i]  See Ramsey Clark, Planning U.S. Dominion over the Gulf, in his The Fire This Time 3-37 (1992).  See also Ramsey Clark & Others, War Crimes:  A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq (Maisonneuve Press:  1992).
[ii].  See Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time 23-24 (1992); Hamdi A. Hassan, The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait 37, 47-51 (1999); The Glaspie-Hussein Transcript, Beyond the Storm 391-96 (Phyllis Bennis & Michel Moushabeck eds. 1991).


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