Heinous War Crimes and State-sponsored Terrorism of US and Its Allies
Heinous War Crimes and State-
sponsored Terrorism of US and Its
#Tags: war crimes, terrorism, state terrorism, US, Israel, UK, France, Australia, India, NATO
Brigadier (Retd.) Dr. Ahsan ur Rahman khan
(Courtesy: INFORMED COMMENT article dated 21 May 2020) (1)
Romana Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, and book reviewer. Her articled titled “Netanyahu brands the Int’l Criminal Court investigation of Israeli War Crimes a Strategic Threat” (2), published on 21 May 2020 highlighted US’ continuing opposition to the decision of International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the much known heinous war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinian civilians.
In that article she has reported:
- “Since the International Criminal Court (ICC) determined that Palestine is a state for the purpose of its investigations into war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinian civilians, a fresh round of threats against the institution is taking place. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned of consequences ——-. If the ICC continues down its current course, we will exact consequences, Pompeo said”;
- “Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has branded the possible forthcoming war crimes investigations as a “strategic threat”. Speaking during the first cabinet meeting, ——–, Netanyahu declared: “This is a strategic threat to the State of Israel – to the IDF soldiers, to the commanders, to the ministers, to the governments, to everything”.
- “Collusion with Israel on behalf of the international community is a major impediment – it must not be forgotten that internationally, Israel enjoys tacit support which allows it to build itself as a strategic threat against Palestinians”.
This rather hostile and aggressive act of US and tacit support of US’ Allies, to shield Israel’s horrible war crimes in Palestine, is not without a reason. US, its Allies and Israel are all ‘partners in war crimes’.
US and its Allies have their own heinous war crimes records. In that context US mostly had the lead role in committing war crimes in Asia, Africa, etc, supported by its Allies (UK, France, other European countries, Australia); whereas Israel has been the main war criminal in Palestine and Middle East, openly supported by US, European powers, and tacitly supported by many other countries.
On the part of Israel, its record of horrendous war crimes in Palestine (according to a report of 3 January 2016), very briefly, includes: “about 5,100,000 Palestinians killed since 1948; post-1967 excess deaths 0.3 million; post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million; 3,600 under-5 year old Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) infants die avoidably EACH YEAR in the OPT “Prison” due to Israeli ignoring of the Geneva Convention”; and, “currently 7 million Palestinian refugees, and 4.2 million Palestinian refugees registered with the UN in the Middle East; over 40 years of illegal Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza” (3).
In the case of US and its Allies, obviously US holds the worst and much prolonged war crimes record. Even as far back as the period 1898-1902, US’ occupational military in Philippines massacred 2,00,000 (10,00,000 according to other estimates) Philippine civilians. And, the extreme savagery of US’ military was evident from the records that during the operation ‘March across Samar’ US Brigadier General Jacob H. Smith ordered his troops to kill all Philippine people of the ages 10 years and above; for that he ordered his troops, “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better it will please me” (4). Further records of US’ war crimes in WW-1, WW-2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, War on Terror, etc are also available (5).
The ‘War on Terror’ is still going on. Factually this title ‘War on Terror’ is a facade to cover, albeit clumsily, US’ ‘militarism’ with the assistance of its Allies to strengthen its geopolitical and geoeconomic stranglehold in the world, at the cost of causing widespread human and material devastation in ‘target’ countries/regions. In this war too war crimes and state-sponsored terrorism has been/still being repeatedly perpetrated not only by US but also by its Allies. According to a Watson Institute Brown University’s Cost of War Project, “The US government is conducting counterterror activities in 80 countries, vastly expanding this war across the globe”. “At least 800,000 people have died due to direct war violence,—–“. “It is likely that many times more have died indirectly in these wars, due to malnutrition, damaged infrastructure, and environmental degradation”. “21 million Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani, and Syrian people are living as war refugees and internally displaced persons, in grossly inadequate conditions”(6).
In the case of this war on Terror the extreme savagery, in complete disregard of human values and Geneva Convention, of US government’s policy makers – US’ Presidents and others, as also of the governments of US’ Allies, came fully to light due to advancement of media development.
In that context, in the case of US, even Encyclopaedia Britannica confirmed that (with connivance of US’ Presidents, Congress and military commanders): (a) Afghan prisoners were moved to US’ Guantanamo Base and were continuously tortured without any trial; (b) Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison were subjected to extremely inhuman abusive torture by US’ troops; (c) In separate programs run by US’ Central Intelligence agency (CIA), dozens of individuals merely suspected of involvement in terrorism were abducted outside the United States and held in secret prisons in eastern Europe and elsewhere or transferred for interrogation to countries which routinely practiced torture; (d) and, CIA subjected persons in its custody to extreme torture, in the name of “enhanced interrogation techniques” which also included waterboarding (interrupted or controlled drowning, often called simulated drowning), which was generally regarded as a form of torture under international law; objections to application of these torture techniques by CIA on the persons in custody could not bear fruit, CIA’s torture remained in place; and subsequently US President vetoed a bill directed specifically at CIA which would have prevented CIA from using any interrogation technique, such as waterboarding, which was not included in the US Army’s field manual on interrogation (7).
In the case of US’ Allies who committed war crimes and state-sponsored terrorism in tandem with US in the countries so ‘targeted’ by US, even Australia did not lag behind. In that context, an article titled “New video evidence of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan must spur ICC inquiry” by CJ Werleman published recently on 19 March 2020, provides much revealing facts (8). CJ Werleman is a journalist, author, and analyst on conflict and terrorism. He has mentioned that during the last about a decade he has interviewed both the perpetrators of war crimes in Afghanistan as also those who were on the receiving end of those crimes.
Some parts of CJ Werleman’s article, which are especially noteworthy, are: (a) “On Monday night, the Australian current affairs programme Four Corners aired helmet-camera footage it had obtained showing members of Australia’s elite Special Air Services (SAS) carrying out a sweep of a village in Oruzgan province in May 2012. As the soldiers make their way through the wheat field, a local man is found lying on his back after being subdued by an SAS squad dog. A patrol scout identified only as “Soldier C” then calls out to his superior officer, asking, “Do you want me to drop this c**t?” Seconds later the soldier shoots the young man dead at close range. An Australian Defense Force (ADF) inquiry into the incident cleared “Soldier C” of any wrongdoing”; (b) “The programme featured commentary from Braden Chapman, a former SAS soldier, who claimed it was routine for Australian soldiers to plant radios and weapons on the bodies of dead Afghan non-combatants to conceal evidence of war crimes”; (c) Inspector General of ADF (Australian Defence Forces) affirmed that “These are not isolated incidents, nor can they be dismissed as murderous actions of a few “bad apples”. Rather, they take place within a culture of immunity, toxic masculinity and racism, ——; (d) Moazzam Begg, one of those who were at the receiving end of US’ and its Allies’ war crimes and state-sponsored terrorism in Afghanistan confirmed about the evidence of those crime “The evidence is so overwhelming and so thoroughly documented, that Afghans submitted 1.17 million statements to the ICC in a three month period following the Court first signaling its intent to investigate possible war crimes in their homeland in 2018”; (e) “The US has responded by threatening members of the ICC with capture and punishment. It’s hard to believe but the Taliban, who are also being investigated by the ICC, have made no such threats. Such is the US government’s interaction with the process of justice. They are simply unaccountable for anything they do, Begg told me”; and, (f) “That the US has a president who has made pardoning convicted US war criminals a matter of business as usual, and that the Australian military inquiry acquitted a soldier of carrying out cold blood murder, further emphasises the need for independent international judiciaries, particularly in regards to the potential checking power they hold over the actions of powerful states“ (9).
In the case of this War on Terror, ICC has picked up the case of US’ war crimes in Afghanistan for investigation. However, US has announced that it will not allow these investigations and cancel the visas of ICC members, besides threatening them. US mentions that it does not recognise ICC as a legitimate body because US had signed but later not ratified the “Rome Statute” under which ICC was created. On the other hand, the report dated 9 March 2020 of US’ leading newspaper The Washington Post highlighted, “The OTP (ICC’s Office of The Prosecutor) says the information it gathered indicates, among other allegations, that U.S. interrogation techniques used in Afghanistan — involving “Torture, cruel treatment, outrages against personal dignity, and rape” — amount to war crimes”. The judges of ICC have therefore authorised Chief Prosecutor to open investigations of US’ war crimes in Afghanistan. Besides that US’ claim that ICC does have legitimacy to conduct any investigation against US, has also been negated by this report by highlighting, “The United States is not a member of the ICC. However, the treaty that created the court, the Rome Staute, allows it to investigate citizens of nonmember states if the alleged crimes occurred on the territory of a member state. Once Afghanistan ratified the Rome Statute and joined the ICC in 2003, U.S. military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan came under the court’s jurisdiction” (10).
All these undeniable facts clearly bring to light as to how so brazenly US and its Allies have been perpetrating war crimes and state-sponsored terrorism in the powerless countries of the world since last so many decades. And now, US is also adamant to defend its Allied “Partners in War Crimes” by threatening ICC of ‘consequences’ if ICC tries to investigate these war crimes! It is really unfortunate that the people of these countries who claim to be ‘civilised’ repeatedly elect such crime perpetrating mafias to their government – tarnishing the image of their national character.