President George H W Bush and the First Iraq War (1991)

excerpted from the book

Lying for Empire

How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face

by David Model

Common Courage Press, 2005, paper


George H. W. Bush discovered a way to go back in time. You take a modern, industrialized country with a modern infrastructure and drop 88,500 tons of explosives on it and, presto, you have bombed it back into the pre-industrialized age.

From about 1968 to 1991, Iraq enjoyed considerable economic progress with electricity and water available to the entire country. Since 1982 the government built 18 new hospitals some of which were renowned in the Middle East. Health care was virtually free and education was universal and free through college. Food was both inexpensive and abundant. People without land were offered low-interest loans on the condition that the land became productive within five years. Malnutrition was non-existent. A strong infrastructure of highways, dams, hydroelectric power, flood control, irrigation systems, and an efficient telephone system contributed to the growing strength of the economy.

Iraq was at the forefront of the Arab world in its treatment of women. In 1969, the government created the General Federation of Iraqi Women to campaign on behalf of women's rights. By 1983, the Federation launched a four-year plan to encourage women to seek employment.

Overshadowing these advances was the rule of Saddam Hussein who assumed the presidency in 1979 and maintained his rule through one of the most oppressive internal security apparatuses in the world.

Added to the hardships imposed by Saddam Hussein, George H. W. Bush bombed the country resulting in a loss of electricity and clean water, factories in ruins and many homes a mass of rubble. The economy was virtually annihilated. Over 100,000 people were killed in a period of several months. Iraq was again in ruins. After several months of primarily U.S. bombing, one of the most advanced nations in the Middle East was virtually reduced to rubble.

The United States used Kuwait as the spark to ignite the Iraqi tinderbox. f Capitalizing on all of the disputes between Iraq and Kuwait, U.S. leaders encouraged Kuwait to continue the above policies in order to provoke Iraq into an invasion in which the Americans would claim to be neutral. In fact, as discussed below, they planned to use the invasion as a pretext to declare war on Iraq. The war on Iraq would bring Iraq and its oil into the American Empire.

Saddam Hussein was not prepared to invade Kuwait without either the approval or indifference of the United States. Saddam Hussein met with the American ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie on July 25, 1990, to seek out the U. S. position on an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The following is part of the transcript of the conversation:

U.S. Ambassador Glaspie-I have direct instruction from President Bush to improve our relations with Iraq. We have considerable sympathy for your quest for higher oil prices, the immediate cause of your confrontation with Kuwait. As you know, I lived here for years and admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. We can see that you have employed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business but when this happens in the context of your threats against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received instructions to ask you, in the spirit of friendship, not confrontation-regarding your intentions. Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait's border?

Saddam Hussein-As you know, for years I have made every effort to reach a settlement in our dispute with Kuwait. There is to be a meeting in two days. I am prepared to give negotiations this one more brief chance. But if we are unable to find a solution, then it would be natural that Iraq will not accept death.


U.S. Ambassador Glaspie-What solutions would be acceptable?

Saddam Hussein-(A list of conditions). What is the United States opinion on this?

U.S. Ambassador Glaspie-We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary of State James Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America. (http://www.whatreallyhappened. com!ARTICLES/APRIL.html)

The Invisible Babies Snatched from Incubators

The stage was set for the inevitable war against Iraq. Iraq had invaded ( Kuwait, Saudi Arabia had agreed to become the staging ground, and Saddam Hussein had been depicted as the Middle Eastern equivalent of Hitler who posed a threat to the region. To win the support of the American people, Washington hired a number of public relations firms to educate the American people about the necessity of declaring war against Iraq. Kuwait funded an estimated 20 public relations firms, lobby groups, and law firms including the Rendon Group (public relations) for a retainer of $100,000, Neill & Co. (lobbyists) for $50,000 per month, and Hill & Knowlton (the world's largest public relations firm at the time) which served as mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. Craig Fuller who ran the Washington office of Hill & Knowlton was one of President Bush's closest friends and advisors. Some of their activities included arranging media interviews for visiting Kuwaitis, setting up days of observance such as National Free Kuwait Day, organizing public rallies, releasing hostage letters to the media, distributing news releases and information kits, contacting politicians at all levels, and producing dozens of video news releases which were distributed to the media.

Hill & Knowlton invented a horror story to evoke a strong emotional response to strengthen public support for a war against Iraq. On October 10 the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on Capitol Hill held a hearing on Iraqi human rights violations. Although the hearing bore a resemblance to a congressional proceeding, the ad hoc Human Rights Caucus was, in fact, nothing more than an association of politicians. The caucus was chaired by Democrat Tom Lantos and Republican John Porter who were also cochairs of the Congressional Human Rights Foundation whose offices were located in Hill & Knowlton's Washington office and were rent-free. John R. MacArthur, in Second Front, observed that:

On October 10, the congressional Human Rights Caucus provided the first formal opportunity for Amnesty [International]-and Hill & Knowlton present their evidence against Iraq on Capitol Hill. Conveniently for the Washington war party and its burgeoning Saddam-is-Hitler industry, the caucus provided the appropriately informal setting in which to spread hysteria. The Human Rights Caucus is not a committee of Congress and therefore it is unencumbered by the legal accoutrements that would make a witness hesitate before he or she lied.

The emotionally-charged horror story came from a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl named Nayirah who supposedly could not reveal her last name for fear of putting friends and family still in Kuwait at risk. She tearfully recounted that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers taking babies from incubators and leaving them on the cold floor to die. She also provided written testimony, which was packaged in media kits prepared by Citizens for a Free Kuwait.

The story was repeated frequently by President Bush who claimed that 312 babies had suffered the same fate. It was also repeated on television, radio and at the Security Council. According to the Center for Media and Democracy in How PR Sold the War in the Persian Gulf

Public opinion was deeply divided on Bush's Gulf policy. As late as December 1990, a New York Times/CBS News poll indicated that 48 percent of the American people wanted Bush to wait before taking any action if Iraq failed to withdraw from Kuwait by Bush's January 15 deadline. On January 12, the US Senate voted by a narrow, five-point margin to support the Bush administration in a declaration of war. Given the narrowness of the vote, the babies-thrown-from-incubators story may have turned the tide in Bush's favor.

The real horror story was not about babies and incubators but about how the U.S. government used a lie to sell a war in which over 100,000 people died. Hill & Knowlton had omitted a minor detail about the identity of the 15-year-old Kuwaiti volunteer, namely that she was, in fact, the daughter of Saud Nasir al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. They also failed to mention that she had been coached by Hill & Knowlton before her appearance in front of the Caucus.

After the war, human rights investigators and reporters completely discredited the story. John Martin, an ABC news reporter, traveled to Kuwait and on March, 15 1991, and interviewed Dr. Mohammed Matar, director of Kuwait's health-care system and his wife Dr. Fayeza Youseff, chief of obstetrics at the maternity hospital. They both denied any knowledge of babies being snatched from incubators. Martin also visited al-Addan hospital where Nayirah had claimed that she witnessed the removal of 15 babies from incubators. Dr. Fahima Khafaji, a pediatrician at the hospital, refuted the stories of Nayirah.

Amnesty International, a highly respected international human rights group, had lent support to the story in a report on human rights abuses in Kuwait. In its press release, Amnesty promoted the story as fact. It cited two unidentified doctors and Nayirah's testimony to the Caucus. The Bush administration should have been given credit for duping an organization which prides itself on its scrupulous research. One month later, Amnesty discovered the truth and issued a retraction on April 1991.

In Second Front, John R. MacArthur quotes John Chancellor of ABC when he wrote that:

"The conflict brought with it a baggage train of myth and misconception, exaggeration and hyperbole... Accounts of lraqi atrocities were accepted without question. There was the tale of premature babies thrown out of incubators in a L Kuwait hospital and left to die. It never happened..."

On January 15, New York time or January 16, Iraqi time B-52s were flying towards their targets in Iraq and cruise missiles were fired from ships in the Indian Ocean to unleash a reign of horror on the Iraqi people. The euphemism "collateral damage" refers to the destruction to civilians and civilian targets during a bombing raid. Its sinister purpose is to use a relatively innocuous expression to describe the killing of innocent people. In the bombing of Iraq, the whole country became collateral damage. Iraqi military forces were absolutely incapable of defending Iraq against bombers that drop their bombs from 40,000 feet or cruise missiles which were fired from ships anchored 20 miles out at sea. The result of American (and other coalition members') bombing cannot even be described as a victory but more accurately as the perpetration of unconscionable carnage. Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the United States under President Kennedy and president Johnson produced a documentary based on his findings during a week of traveling through Iraq during the bombing. After viewing this documentary, I can only describe the bombing as one of the more horrid evil deeds of modern history. In Killing Hope, William Blum refers to the observations of a UN inspection team that:

declared that the allied bombardment had had a "near apocalyptic impact" on Iraq and had transformed the country into a "pre-industrial age nation," which "had been until January a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society."

To create the illusion that the conflict in Iraq was really a battle, the United States greatly exaggerated the current strength of the Iraqi military. The Pentagon described the Iraqi armed forces as a dangerous threat but according to Major General Matti Peled, a retired Israeli Major General:

The Iraqi Army was not an unknown quantity. After 8 years of war in Iran it was very clear that it was not a threatening army, it was not a first-class fighting force. But the United States spread throughout the world the legend about the invincibility of the Iraqi Army, knowing full well that it was not true. But this gave the U.S. a justification for conducting what it called "strategic bombardment" of the entire area of Iraq, demolishing their entire civilian infrastructure. (Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time)

During the bombing Iraq did not mount a single attack. Its air force was not capable of defending Iraqi cities and Iraqi commanders considered any attempt to do so as suicidal. Even the anti-aircraft fire lighting the sky over Baghdad created the impression of a real defence but Iraqi ground-to-air defences were incapable of reaching bombers at 40,000 feet. Even the Soviet SA-6 surface-to-air missiles were ineffective. Not one of the B-52 bombers was lost in combat.

The bombing campaign continued for 42 days dropping over 80 million pounds of explosives. In the first days of the campaign, the bombing destroyed the Iraqi ground forces access to military supplies, reinforcements, food, water, and medical supplies. Communications systems were very severely damaged and so were tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, and other mechanized equipment. With these losses the Iraqi forces were effectively defenceless. The United States used weapons such as fuel-air explosives, napalm and cluster bombs that are defined as illegal in international law. Estimates of the number of soldiers killed ranged from 100,000 to 200,000 and the injured were left wherever they were hit because Iraq did not possess field hospitals and American bombers destroyed at least five military hospitals.

Bombing of Iraqi cities served no military purpose but was designed to destroy the civilian infrastructure. War games in July 1990 in South Carolina trained pilots to bomb civilian targets and Pentagon statements about plans to bomb civilian targets in August and September 1990 are evidence that these targets were set well in advance of January 15, 1991.

Critical elements of the civilian infrastructure were destroyed including communication systems, oil refineries, electric generators, water treatment facilities, dams, and transportation centres. Over 90 percent of Iraq's electrical capacity was destroyed in the first days of the bombing.

One of the most diabolical decisions in the campaign was to destroy Iraq's water supply, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children long after the war was over. The capacity of Iraq to produce food was severely limited by the attacks on agriculture, food processing, food storage and the food distribution system. Half of Iraq's agricultural output depended on irrigation systems which were also targeted.

The industrial sector suffered heavy damage. Three date processing plants, a baby formula factory, a vegetable oil factory, a sugar refinery, a textile mill, five engineering plants, four car assembly plants, three chlorine plants, 16 petrochemical plants, the country's largest meat storage facility, grain silos, a tractor assembly plant, a fertilizer plant were all bombed. Bombing the chlorine plant was a devastating setback to the country's ability to provide clean water to its citizens. The United States claimed that the baby milk factory was a chemical plant. (In the early 1990s, one of my students who was born in Iraq told me that her grandfather had built it to produce baby formula.) As well, Ramsey Clark, in his documentary, inspected the site after it was bombed and was unable to discover any evidence that the plant was producing chemical weapons but he did discover a large quantity of packages containing milk formula.

Important non-military targets such as 28 civilian hospitals, 52 community health centres, 25 mosques, and 676 schools were bombed. Clearly all these targets were not bombed accidentally particularly given the accuracy of the American bombs and missiles.

Densely populated cities were bombed daily, killing thousands of civilians. Basra, Iraq's second largest city with a population of 800,000, was bombed repeatedly. One of the targets in Basra was a bridge which the Americans attempted to destroy twice, each time bombing surrounding neighborhoods. The people of Basra were so apprehensive about another attempt that they contemplated blowing it up themselves.

One of the worst horror stories of the war was the bombing of the Amariyah bomb shelter in Baghdad where 1500 civilians, mostly women and children, were seeking refuge from the bombing. One bomb penetrated the shelter's roof and opened up a hole through which the second more powerful bomb entered the shelter and exploded, incinerating most of the people in the shelter. After the first bomb struck, a number of people survived screaming for up to four minutes as they tried to escape.

As well, civilian highway traffic was targeted and vehicles such as buses and cars were bombed on a regular basis. Among the victims were truckers transporting humanitarian shipments. Press Secretary Fitzwater reported on February 13, 1991, that:

The loss of civilian lives in time of war is a truly tragic consequence. It saddens everyone to know that innocent people may have died in the course of military conflict. America treats human life as our most precious value. That is why that even during this military conflict in which the lives of our service men and women are at risk, we will not target civilian facilities. We will continue to hit only military targets. The bunker that was attacked last night was a military target... (President Bush Library)

When there was nothing more to bomb, the American military launched a ground war that was superfluous but, nevertheless, brutal. On February 21-22, 1991, the Soviet Union secured an agreement from Iraq in which they offered to withdraw completely from Kuwait the day after a ceasefire of all military operations went into effect. The agreement included specific timetables and monitoring. George Bush refused to offer a ceasefire although he did promise that retreating Iraqi soldiers would not be attacked.

Iraqi forces began to withdraw from Kuwait on February 25, 1991.

Coalition forces ended their campaign on February 27. On March 3, Iraq accepted the terms of the preliminary cease-fire.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the campaign was the slaughter of Iraqi soldiers offering to surrender or retreat back to Iraq. Comments by American pilots such as "turkey shoot," "shooting fish in a barrel," "we toasted them," "we hit the jackpot" and "basically just sitting ducks" were a sad reflection on the state of American culture. Mike Erlich of the Military Counseling Network testified at the European Parliament hearings on the Gulf War that:

... hundreds, possibly thousands, of Iraqi soldiers began walking toward the U.S. position unarmed, with their hands raised in an attempt to surrender. However, the orders for this unit were not to take any prisoners...
The commander of this unit began the firing shooting an anti-tank missile through one of the Iraqi soldiers. This is a missile designed to destroy tanks, but it was used against one man.
At this point, everyone in the unit began shooting. Quite simply, it was a slaughter. (Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time)

At the end of the war, Iraq was incapable of feeding itself, purifying water for drinking, healing the sick or rebuilding itself. March 3, 1991 was the end of the bombing and assaults by coalition ground troops but it was not the end of the war against Iraq. The war continued through the imposition of sanctions, no-fly zones, and bombing in the no-fly zones by Britain and the United States. It was an invisible war which did not appear nightly on CNN with expert commentators (the same applies to most of the mainstream media) because it did not meet their criteria of newsworthiness despite the fact that more than 3,000 children were dying every month because of sanctions and depleted uranium shrapnel.


Genocide Disguised as Sanctions

As part of the war strategy, the United Nations, under pressure from the United States, passed Resolution 661 (1990), which imposed a mandatory and complete embargo on all trade with Iraq. It prohibited nations from buying or selling any Iraqi products, medicine being the only exception. Food was permitted "in humanitarian circumstances."

All decisions related to sanctions were made by the Sanctions Committee of the Security Council which was established by UN Resolution 661. The committee had one representative from each nation on the Security Council and any member could veto a contract without cause. Such a veto allowed the United States to prohibit any contract without the inconvenience of an explanation. To enforce the sanctions, the Security Council passed Resolution 665 which authorized the creation of a U.S.-led international naval blockade.

The criteria the Sanctions Committee applied to food shipments to assess whether they could be shipped to Iraq under "humanitarian circumstances" Were inadequate to avoid a malnutrition crisis. According to Rahul Mahajan in Full Spectrum Dominance. US. Power in Iraq and Beyond:

Although in theory, food was exempted from the sanctions, in practice the sanctions were a little more than an attempt to influence Iraqi policy by starving the people. For example, between August 6, 1990, and April 1991, Iraq was able to import roughly 10,000 tons of grain-the equivalent of Iraqi's daily grain requirement before the invasion of Kuwait. At one time, the United States even blocked a contract to import baby food from Bulgaria because, said the U.S. representative on the Sanctions Committee, adults might eat it.

The number of children who died or who were malnourished was unconscionable and reflected a dehumanization of the Iraq people. One of the studies undertaken by the Harvard International Study Group concluded that one million Iraqi children were malnourished and 120,000 suffering from acute malnutrition. A study of 15,000 children conducted by UNICEF concluded that 27.5 percent of children were malnourished and in another study of 24,000 households, UNICEF estimated that 500,000 children had died. Denis Halliday, a former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and 2001 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, reports that, "In Iraq, the UN-imposed sanctions probably killed up to one million people. Children are dying of malnutrition and water-borne diseases." Ramsey Clark wrote a letter in 1996 to the Security Council in which he reported that:

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports the UN sanctions on Iraq have been responsible for the deaths of more than 560,000 children in Iraq since 1990. Most children's deaths are from the effects of malnutrition including marasmus [extreme weight loss] and kwashiorkor, wasting or emaciation which has reached 12 percent of all children, stunted growth which affects 28 percent, diarrhea, dehydration from bad water or food which is ordinarily easily controlled and cured, common communicable \ diseases preventable by vaccinations, and epidemics from deteriorating sanitary conditions. There are no deaths crueler than these. They are suffered slowly, helpiessly, without simple remedial medication, without simple sedation to relieve pain, without mercy.

Does torturing so many children through starvation make the world a safer place? Paradoxically, at least one top American official, Madeleine Albright, U. S. Ambassador to the UN, believed it made sense, as demonstrated by her response to a question by Lesley Stahl on the U.N. sanctions, aired on 60 minutes May 12,1996:

Q. We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean L that's more than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

A. I think this a very hard choice, but the price-we think the price is worth it.

President Clinton interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:

Amy Goodman: President Clinton, UN figures show that up to 5,000 children a month die in Iraq because of the sanctions against Iraq.

President Clinton: That's not true. And that's not what they show... If any child is without food or medicine or a roof over his or her head in Iraq, it's because he [Saddam Hussein] is claiming the sanctions are doing it and sticking it to his own children. We have worked like crazy to make sure that the embargo only applies to his ability to reconstitute his weapon system...

"Dual use" goods are those that can be used for either military or civilian purposes. The U.S. and Great Britain decided to interpret "dual use" goods in the widest possible sense stretching the meaning to absurd extremes. Examples of "dual use" goods that were banned include:

* Vaccines to treat infant hepatitis, tetanus, and diphtheria because vaccines contained live cultures which could be transformed into a fatal strain despite the objections of biological weapons experts who maintained that it was not possible.

* Incubators were banned.

* Cardiac equipment was prohibited.

* Contracts related to electrical power generation were blocked by the U. S.

* The U.S. approved insulin but not syringes

* Blood bags without catheters were approved

* A sewage treatment plant without the generator was approved.

* Pencils for school children were banned.

* Chlorine to treat water was banned.

The shortage of clean water was one of the most widespread and critical humanitarian crises after the 1991 bombing. Bombing and sanctions were responsible for the destruction of the mechanisms for providing purified Water by destroying the water-treatment plants and making it impossible to repair them. The destruction of power utilities made it impossible to boil water and the sanctions made it impossible to repair them. Chlorine was prohibited by the sanctions making it impossible to purify water.

Poor sanitation combined with a lack of pure water was a recipe for a whole host of diseases. Most garbage trucks were inoperable because of the bombing and the prohibition of spare parts; as a result garbage was dumped onto the streets. Sewage pipes were also damaged by the bombing, allowing raw sewage to percolate to the surface and flood commercial and residential areas. Poor sanitation and impure water resulted in high levels of cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and diarrhea.

The lack of pure water and an effective sanitation system combined with malnourishment and radiation from depleted uranium ordnance created an extensive medical crisis. Sanctions robbed Iraqi hospitals of the medicine, equipment, and medical supplies needed to cope with the many diseases plaguing the people of Iraq. Medical shortages included ordinary medications, cancer and leukemia drugs, insulin, anesthetics, and antibiotics. The lack of medical equipment included radiology equipment, laboratory equipment, defibrillation and ECG machines, dialysis machines, X-ray equipment, incubators, oxygen tanks, and sterilization equipment. Patients were dying from easily curable diseases and many were dying in extreme pain due to the lack of painkillers such as morphine. Babies suffering from dehydration withered away.

Ramsey Clark, in a letter to the members of the Security Council on March 1, 1996, summed up the tragedy of sanctions as follows:

One issue between Iraq and the United Nations exceeds all others in importance. That issue is the Security Council sanctions imposed against Iraq at the insistence of the United States. The whole world knows, and history will permanently record, the fact that those savage sanctions have cruelly killed more than one million people in Iraq these last five years, injured millions more, and damaged the population and society for generations to come. Is this the legacy the United Nations wishes to support by failing to completely end the sanctions now?

President Bush lied on many occasions to achieve America's foreign and military objectives in the Middle East. He lied about his real intention in the Persian Gulf which was to lure Iraq into a war for the purpose of crippling a major Middle Eastern power with the second largest oil reserves in the world.

In evaluating the extent to which President Bush and other American leaders committed war crimes, it would be useful to examine the results of a War Crimes Tribunal organized by Ramsey Clark and the International Action Center. The Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal, the outgrowth of the Coalition to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Middle East, formed by a group of American activists during the war. Nineteen criminal charges were laid against President Bush and other members of his administration. The purpose of the commission was to conduct exhaustive research into all the facts related to the charges. It traveled around the world to hold hearings and called on expert witnesses to provide evidence about the war. Tribunal members reviewed the testimony of the hearings, documents from UN agencies, documents of governments, and materials from private organizations and institutions.

The International War Crimes Tribunal first met on February 27, 1992 to consider the evidence and to determine the guilt or innocence of those charged with 19 crimes. The 22 judges on the War Crimes Tribunal represented 18 nations and were from diverse backgrounds. The judges included:

* Lord Tony Gifford, Britain. Human rights lawyer.

* Deborah Jackson, U.S. First vice president of the American Association of Jurists.

* Michael Ratner, U.S. Attorney and former director of the Center for Constitutional rights, past president of the National Lawyers Guild.

* P.S. Poti, India, former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. In 1989 elected president of the All-India Lawyers Union.

* Aisha Nyerere, Tanzania, Resident Magistrate of the High Court in Arusha, Tanzania.

* Dr. Haluk Gerger, Turkey, Founding member of the Turkish Human Rights Association and professor of political science.

Some of the nineteen charges documented against George Bush, James Baker, Cohn Powell, Dick Cheney, and others were that:

The United States engaged in a pattern of conduct beginning in or before 1989 intended to lead Iraq into provocations justifying U.S. military action against Iraq and permanent U.S. military domination of the Gulf.

* President Bush ordered the destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic productivity throughout Iraq.

* The United States intentionally bombed and destroyed civilian life, commercial and business districts, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, shelters, residential areas, historical sites, private vehicles and civilian government offices.

* The United States deliberately bombed indiscriminately throughout Iraq.

* The United States used prohibited weapons capable of mass destruction and inflicted indiscriminate death and unnecessary suffering against both military and civilian targets.

Following are the findings of the War Crimes Tribunal:

The Members of the International War Crimes Tribunal finds each of the named accused guilty on the basis of the evidence against them and that each of the nineteen separate crimes alleged in the Initial attached hereto, has been established to have been committed beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although the War Crimes Tribunal did not have legitimacy as an international court, it did define the crimes committed by President Bush and the aforementioned members of his administration who did violate the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions, and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

The Bush administration violated the following clauses in the Geneva Convention:

1. Convention III, Part 1, Article 3, Clause 1-Persons taking no part in the hostilities, including members of the armed forces who have laid down their arms ... To this end the following acts shall remain prohibited:
a) violence to life and person;
b) outrages upon personal dignity.

Shooting soldiers from aircraft, shooting soldiers in retreat in the back, or shooting prisoners who surrender all violate the above. As well, Protocol I, Chapter III, Article 51 states that:

4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:
a) those which are not directed at specific military objectives;
b) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be directed at specific military objectives.

Bombing the civilian targets mentioned earlier violated 4a. Using napalm, cluster bombs, depleted uranium weapons, and fuel-air explosives Violated 4b. These weapons are not designed to hit specific targets and are clearly incapable of discriminating between military and civilian objects.

Bush's war on Iraq violates the United Nations Charter.

The Bush administration also violated the Convention on the Prevention r and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. According to Article 2:

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group such as:

(a) killing members of the group;
(b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

The United States bombing and ground offensive killed up to 125,000 Iraqis. The approximately one million people who died between the two wars on Iraq due to depleted uranium, unsafe water, and lack of medical equipment and medication are also victims of the U.S. war on Iraq. American bombing and refusal to allow the Iraqis to repair infrastructure clearly "inflicted conditions of life calculated to bring about its [the Iraqi people's] physical destruction in whole or in part."

The so-called war against Iraq was, in fact, an act of mass murder and a massive destruction of property. It was a criminal act on an international level and therefore, a crime against humanity. On February 12, 1991, Ramsey Clark wrote a letter to President Bush and UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar describing the bombing as:

... the clearest violation of international law and norms for armed conflict... It is uncivilized, brutal, and racist by any moral standard... The use of highly sophisticated military technology with mass destructive capacity by rich nations against an essentially defenseless civilian population of a poor nation is one of the great tragedies of our time. (Ramsey Clark, The Fire this Time)

Lying for Empire

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