-- begin forwarded message: --

Date:  Tue, 8 Jun 1999 15:18:12 +0900
From: Hendrik
To: Multiple recipients of NETSOURCE-L 
Subject:  [NS] The Other War Criminal: Bill Clinton

June 3, 1999

The San Jose Mercury News


By Alexander Cockburn

Compared to Bill Clinton and his accomplices, Slobodan Milosevic is a piker
when it comes to war crimes. Take Iraq. The sanctions imposed by the United
States in 1991 have had a devastating effect on Iraq's civilian population,
particularly the children.

By the end of 1995 alone, the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization said that after careful investigation, it had determined that
as many as 576,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of sanctions. Using
figures from Iraq's Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization
estimated that 90,000 Iraqis were dying every year in Iraq's hospitals,
over and above those who would have expired at the normal rate.

In sum, it is beyond argument that the United States engineered a program
of enforced scarcity that has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of
Iraqi civilians.

In 1996, Madeleine Albright was asked the following question on CBS' "60
Minutes" by Lesley Stahl: "We have heard that half a million children have
died (in Iraq). I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And
you know, is the price worth it?"

Albright infamously replied, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the
price -- we think the price is worth it."

The protocols of the Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibit bombing not
justified by clear military necessity. If there is any likelihood the
target has a civilian function, then bombing is forbidden. NATO's bombers
have damaged and often destroyed Serbian hospitals and health-care centers,
public housing, infrastructure vital to the well-being of civilians,
refineries, warehouses, agricultural facilities, schools, roads and
railways. If the war ends with a negotiated settlement and Slobodan
Milosevic goes on trial before the International Criminal Court, Clinton,
Albright and Defense Secretary William Cohen should have their place on the
court's calendar, too.

And they may face that fate. Under the terms of the International Criminal
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia -- a body set up by the U.N. Security
Council in 1993 -- anyone can file formal complaints for the tribunal's
prosecutor in The Hague, Justice Louise Arbour, to consider within the
terms of the Geneva Convention.

Thus far, there have been three serious requests for investigation and
indictment against the NATO leaders for their conduct against Serbia.

Lawyers in Canada, Britain and France are now working together. Already,
the Canadian team has sent Arbour requests for indictment against 67
persons for war crimes -- including Bill Clinton. To NATO spokesman Jamie
Shea, whom Canadian lawyer Michael Melman likened in role to William Joyce
a k a Lord Haw- Haw, a propagandist for the Nazis hanged by the Allies at
the end of World War II.

Canadian attorney Michael Melman, who is also a law professor at York
University in Toronto, says, "We have a great case. It will be a good test
to see whether the law actually applies to powerful people." Among the
indictable war crimes in the complaint prepared by the Canadian lawyers
are: the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages not caused by
military necessity; the bombardment of undefended towns; the willful
destruction of or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to
religion, charity or education (i.e., monasteries, hospitals and schools,
all hit by NATO's bombs). "They've admitted publicly the essentials of all
these crimes," Melman says.

The suspicion is that the tribunal is a legislative appendage of NATO's war
machine. After all, the indictment of Milosevic had been ardently pressed
by the United States and Britain, and came at a convenient moment when
public appetite in the West for the bombing was waning rapidly. What better
way for this intrinsically dubious institution to demonstrate its
objectivity than to indict the NATO gang?


The San Jose Mercury News, June 3, 1999


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