The US/UN/NATO Race for Global Full Spectrum Dominance. (2/4)
The Dismantling of International Law and a Return to Global Barbarism.
In recent decades an unprecedented deterioration, one can say a “collapse” of international law has occurred. This deterioration is driven by the US and NATO, and its refusal to abide by long-established legal principles of international law in all its aspects; peaceful coexistence, human rights, military conduct and others, which have been established over hundreds of years.
Many of these principles and laws were implemented after unspeakable human suffering. Unless this regression into global barbarism is opposed by all necessary popular, political, diplomatic, economical, legal, and if necessary military means, humanity will descend into a state of global barbarism and unspeakable outrages. The most serious deteriorations over the past two decades are:
The deterioration of the principles enshrined in the Treaty of Westphalia and National Sovereignty.
The treaty of Westphalia xxii was signed by European powers in the year 1648 a.v., after a religious and political power struggle between European empires had resulted in a war that lasted over thirty years. The treaty defines the sovereignty of national states and the principle of non-interference into the internal political affairs of sovereign nations by others. The treaty of Westphalia was one of the international legal principles that was used as a guideline for the drafting of the Charter of the United Nations and it is by many considered as thé most important principle of international law with respect to the regulation of bi-lateral and multilateral diplomacy and politics.
The principle of non-interference into domestic affairs and the principle of national sovereignty enshrined in the UN Charter is increasingly being challenged by those who argue, that is the Americans, that the “international community”, again that is the Americans, has a “responsibility to protect” civilians in cases where the government of a sovereign state is not able to protect its citizens, or when the government of a sovereign state is committing severe violations of other principles such as human rights. A resolution that implemented the responsibility to protect was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009, in violation of the UN Charter.xxiii
This false responsibility was first termed humanitarian intervention, but it appears that that term could only be used in propaganda when a crisis was already in progress. The slogan responsibility to protect was coined in order to give this strategy more flexibility so that “intervention” could be used even before the US had succeeded in creating a crisis. The ”responsibility to protect” (R2P) also had the advantage of claiming to make a moral argument, of course never addressing how the USA came to claim this “responsibility” or why it operates only against its enemies and never its vassals and allies.
Although the guiding arguments for the primacy of human rights and the responsibility to protect “R2P” may sound convincing at first inspection, a closer analysis reveals that the erosion of national sovereignty based on the R2P opens a Pandora´s Box of serious problems.
The first instance where the R2P, which was then still termed humanitarian intervention, was used to override national sovereignty was NATO´s intervention into the internal affairs of Yugoslavia during the Clinton Administration in which the Secretary of State was Madeleine Albright.
It is now a well established and documented fact that the internal conflict in Yugoslavia was initially manufactured by an alliance of Slovenian and Croatian separatists with ties to WWII German National Socialism, with the covert support of the German government and the German Intelligence Service BND xxiv, and the Vatican. The German intelligence service BND provided the first weapons, second-hand Bulgarian AK 47 assault rifles, to Slovenian and Croat separatists.
As the conflict escalated and the country was forced apart along ethnic, and religious lines, the USA and other Western powers became increasingly involved, resulting in NATO´s “intervention” in fact its outright aggression against the Federal Republic, without approval from the United Nations Security Council and in complete violation of the UN Charter and NATO’s own Charter. NATO member states cooperated with a wide variety of terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda and Bin Laden’s mujahedin.xxv The USA financed, trained, and was arming the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA/UCK) which was heavily supported by Al Qaeda brigades and which to a large extend was financed by Heroin trade and trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe and Northern America.xxvi xxvii
The war on and dismemberment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has according to retired French Brigadier General Pierre Marie Gallois been planned and prepared by European powers in unofficial meetings on a farm in Germany since 1976; more than a decade ahead of the first public Slovenian and Croatian demands for secession from Yugoslavia. Brig. Gen. Pierre Marie Gallois was the French representative to these meetings and has disclosed many of the details in a stunning interview.xxviii xxix
According to Gallois, one of the principle motivating factors for the covert and subsequent overt war on Yugoslavia was that Yugoslavia was the sole Russian ally in the Balkan region and the last functioning socialist state in Europe. Other motivating factors were that Germany wanted to re-establish its geo-political influence in the region which it had lost subsequent to world wars one and two. Yet another factor was to define a post cold war role for NATO. In fact, so the former French Brigadier General, the war on Yugoslavia provided the model for the war on Iraq and subsequent wars.(ibid.)xxx
The sole correlation between the intervention in Yugoslavia and Serbia, and the still ongoing NATO occupation of Kosovo and human rights is, that a humanitarian crisis was cynically manufactured with the intention to create a pretext for a military “intervention” in fact a military attack, based on the “R2P” the claimed responsibility to protect.
The usurpation by the United States of the role of the United Nations by arrogantly claiming to itself this invented responsibility has resulted in the deterioration of the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia and the UN Charter that both guarantee the sovereignty of nations and the concomitant right of the self determination of peoples.
It is is nothing less than western colonialism once again justified by the “white man’s burden”. In a recent article, Dr. Henry Kissinger discussed whether nations like Syria and other Arab nations would at all qualify for protection against interference into their internal affairs under the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia.xxxi
Kissinger argues, that almost all Arab nations, with the exclusion of eventually Iran, Turkey and Egypt, were nations whose borders had been more or less arbitrarily drawn by former colonial powers and that it was therefore questionable whether they could be defined as nation states that would be protected by the provisions in the Treaty of Westphalia. Iran, Turkey, and Egypt on the other hand, so Kissinger argues, had a long history as nations.
Lehmann has written an article in response to that of Dr. Kissinger. According to Lehmann, Kissinger´s interpretation is representative of the condescending, ethnocentric, colonialist attitude of Western nations towards countries world wide. It is also symptomatic for the social constructionism that guides Western foreign politics. While Kissinger questions the national sovereignty of almost all Arab nations on the basis that their borders were arbitrarily drawn by former colonial powers, he does not mention Israel, whose borders have been arbitrarily drawn by the same former colonial powers. xxxii
Neither does he mention the fact that the United States itself is also an artificial creation resulting from the extermination of the native peoples, the Louisiana Purchase of the south from France in 1803, and Florida from Spain, the War of 1812 against Canada, the war of conquest against Mexico in 1846, the war between two nations the United States and the Confederates states, known as the Civil War in the 1860s and the artificial extensions into Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
The most recent example of a successful abuse of the erosion of national sovereignty under the pretense of a manufactured Responsibility to Protect is NATO´s abuse of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011) on Libya.xxxiii
It can be argued that this Resolution never existed as the UN Charter requires that resolutions have the concurring votes of all permanent members of the Security Council. Russia and China abstained. An abstention is not a concurrent vote. It may be that Russia and China expected that the abstentions were enough to kill the resolution from being passed. Legally they were correct, but regardless whether Russia and China were taking a calculated Risk, or whether Russia, which was then under the presidency of Medvedyev was trying to appease the USA/NATO, which would have left China to deal with the impact of the US and NATO and GCC member states as well as Israel alone, will only be answered by future historical analysis.
What is certain, however, is that both the Russian and Chinese political leadership must have been aware that even though a UNSC resolution arguably is not legally valid unless all Security Council members vote in favor of it, it is a long established political practice that only a veto is sufficient for blocking an intervention. Since the first Russian, then USSR, abstention on UNSC Resolution 4 (1946) on Spain, an abstention has interpreted as not preventing the adoption of the resolution.
The claim that the USA, France and the UK abused the UN Charter was compounded when the US and its allies exceeded even the terms of their own resolution and conducted a war of aggression against Libya. A repetition of this abuse, directed against Syria, has so far been successfully stopped by Russia and China at the Security Council who since have consequently vetoed resolutions on Syria.
The deterioration of the Geneva Convention.
The Geneva Conventionxxxiv comprises four treaties and additional three protocols that establish standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of victims and participants of war. It was updated to it´s current version in 1949, following two wars of global reach and unspeakable violence and it is thus, like the Treaty of Westphalia, a reaction to unspeakable acts of violence and human suffering, that has affected large populations. The Geneva Convention defines the wartime rights of both civilian and military prisoners, affords protection of the wounded, and establishes protections for civilians in war zones. It also specifies the rights and protections that are afforded to non-combatants. Since the onset of the US-led “war on terror” in 2001 the Geneva convention has been systematically undermined by the USA as well as other NATO countries.
These systematic erosion of the Geneva convention includes:
• The illegitimate use of the term “unlawful combatants”xxxv and the indefinite imprisonment of prisoners of war in places like Guantanamo and outside the required norms of the Geneva Conventions.
• The used of the term “enhanced interrogation techniques”xxxvi in an attempt to legitimize unspeakable acts of torture, including water-boarding, sensory deprivation, forced positions, religious chicane, hours of forced positions during sensory deprivation together with making the prisoners subject to white noise, blindfolding, extreme temperatures as well as sheer physical brutality and even death.
• The use of the term “Extraordinary Rendition”xxxvii that is the kidnapping and disappearance of both combatants and non-combatants. As in Operation Condor conducted by the USA and its vassals in South America against leftists and progressives in the 70s and 80s people simply disappear. Extraordinary rendition is a term used to cover over the fact that people are delivered to third countries who apply torture or “enhanced interrogation techniques” or to people who are simply murdered. Extraordinary Rendition is also covered by the provisions of the Nuremberg Principles.
• Summary executions of prisoners of war on the battlefield and the the delivery of combatants and non-combatants alike to allied but irregular forces, knowing that the prisoners of war will be massacred as it happened in several instances in Afghanistan.
• The delivery of prisoners of war to criminal courts, that is US military tribunals, for prosecution for “terrorism”.
And it does not stop there. The list of outrages against the Geneva Conventions would fill volumes. The results of this systematic violation of international law are outrages like those at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
The renown social psychologist Phillip G. Zimbardo Ph.D, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University,xxxviii who was working as expert for the defense of some of the soldiers who committed the outrages in Abu Ghraib. Zimbardo stated that the appalling acts of torture at Abu Ghraib were not the result of “a few rotten apples among the troops”, as claimed by former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, but that they were the products of a carefully manufactured situation, where high level military and political cadre had to know that the outcome invariably would be torture and abuse.xxxix
The obvious danger of these systematic violations of international law is that it creates precedence and escalates the spiral of violence and abuse rather than defusing a conflict.
The irony is that this systematic violation of international law is being implemented by those nations who are claiming to wage wars as the vanguard of law, human rights, freedom, democracy and justice.
The Hague Conventions.
The Hague Conventionsxl consist of two treaties and regulate among other things, legality of war, declarations of war and surrender, use of legal and illegitimate weapons, military conduct, command structures and and command responsibility for prevention and punishment of crimes by subordinates..
Article one of the first chapter of the Hague Convention of 1909 states, that the laws, rights and duties of war not only apply to armies, but also to militia and volunteer corps and require those forces fulfill the following conditions:
To be commanded by a person who is responsible for his subordinates, to have a fixed distinctive emblem visible at a distance, to carry arms openly, and to conduct their operations in accordance to the customs of war. In countries where militia or volunteer corps constitute the army, or part of it, they are included under the denomination “army”. They also include inhabitants of a territory which has not been occupied, who spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading troops without having had time to organize themselves in accordance with article one if they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
The coining of the term “unlawful-combatant” is designed to try to evade the provisions of the Hague Convention, which clearly specifies that a population has the right to armed resistance against an aggressor’s military forces.
The use of mercenary forces, like the use of 20,000 mercenaries of the Al-Qaeda associated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the attempted subversion of Syriaxli erodes the concept of command responsibility. It provides the USA/NATO with a loophole that lets them commit the most serious acts of terrorism, massacres and military barbarism, while NATO´s military leadership as well as members of Ministries of Defense and NATO members governments enjoy “plausible deniability” for their command decisions. Or so they think, because it is clear in international law that the fact that US officers have real command responsibility, that is effective command and control, over these mercenaries would mean their conviction for war crimes if they could ever be brought before an international tribunal.
Let alone the fact that the USA reserves for itself the right not to make it´s citizens, including military personnel subject to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, while demanding the prosecution of citizens of nations which are in opposition to US/NATO hegemony, this illegal use of mercenary forces is a systematic circumvention of the Hague Conventions as mercenaries are forbidden by the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries from 4 December 1989.xlii
The use of mercenaries has been widely implemented since the war on Yugoslavia and in both the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq and the trend is going towards an increase in their use under the euphemism “private contractors” as if they are construction workers, to fulfill military tasks. These mercenaries do not obey the rules or customs of war.
On the other hand, members of the militia who legally resist US/NATO occupation are often being turned over to police authorities of a government that has been installed with the help of the US/NATO, and can be sentenced to long prison terms or execution because the affordance of the protection under the Hague Conventions is being circumvented.
The use of CIA personnel for military operations. The USA is increasingly making use of unmanned aerial vehicles for both observation as well as for kinetic military actions. None of the CIA´s Gameboy Killers in Langley, Virginia is operating within a legal military command structure. Regardless if a drone attack is targeting resistance fighters, so-called terrorists, or if the Gameboy Killers at Langley blow the bride and groom of a wedding party in Pakistan or Somalia to kingdom come, any an all of these drone attacks are a circumvention of the Hague Conventions.
Chapter two of the Hague Conventions states that prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile government and not in the hands of the individuals or corps that capture them.
Both the use of private military contractors and the use of allied or state sponsored mercenary forces, including Al Qaeda brigades are a breach of the Hague Conventions.
In Syria we are, as we are writing, witnessing the wide spread torture and summary executions of captured Syrian military personnel. Western intelligence personnel have been captured after firing into peaceful demonstrations with sniper rifles to enrage the demonstrators against the Syrian police and government. Non of them was operating under the Hague Conventions and violations against a cohort of international laws and conventions have been committed by the assassins of peaceful demonstrators.
Extrajudicial Executions and Assassinations. The corruption of the US domestic and military legal systems and the violations of the US Constitution has resulted in the extraordinary situation that the American president not only has abolished the ancient right of habeas corpus but now claims the right of a tyrant, the claimed right to effect the extrajudicial assassination, that is the murder of both US citizens and citizens of any other nation, anywhere in the world who he claims to be a “threat”..
In fact, President Barak Obama takes pride in personally making life and death decisions by determining whether the one or the other individual shall be targeted for assassination. Death has become his plaything, like an American Caligula.
Notwithstanding the audacity and arrogance of signing this practice into “law”, no executive order, and no approval by the corrupted congress of the USA can establish any basis in international law for this practice. Each and every assassination is in fact nothing but premeditated murder.
These extrajudicial executions and assassinations are a stark warning of what of” human rights”, “civil liberties” “freedom”, “democracy” and “justice” now mean in the United States of America and NATO in practice as opposed to what they preach.
Plausible deniability for acts of barbarism. It would be possible to write volumes about the problems that arise. The shortest way of describing what the US is practicing by systematically circumventing international law is to sum it up as follows:
• The systematic circumvention of international law.
• The systematic circumvention of legal responsibility for illegal acts of war.
• The systematic circumvention of human rights, civil liberties and the systematic implementation of torture, institutionalization of terrorism and massacres on civilian, military, combatants and non-combatants.
• A return to barbarism in war and to wars of aggression, that is crimes against peace, unrestrained in their ferocity and cruelty.
All that, and more, under the pretext of freedom, democracy, the responsibility to protect, human rights or war on terrorism. No act of terrorism is in fact shied away from, such as the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, the murder of Muammar Ghadafi President Milosevic, President Saddam Hussein, President Habyrimana and countless others.
The Establishment of Illegal International Courts and Politicized Trials – A Pseudo-Legalistic Political Witch-hunt and Victors Justice.
Whereas the systematic erosion of international law is one alley that is leading towards a return to barbarism, the establishment of pseudo-legal international courts which are being used by NATO and allied nations for a pseudo-legalistic political witch-hunt and the implementation of victors justice against those who have fallen victims to NATO´s ”interventions” is an equally dangerous alley towards barbarism. In deed, it may be even be more dangerous than the outright violation of international laws and conventions because here the illegal aggression is disguised as legitimate justice.
The ICTY, ICTR, SCSL, SCL, and similar special courts and tribunals are such Quasi-Judicial Institutions. Modern international law does not provide any legal basis for the creation of any of the above mentioned institutions. Their utility is to provide ”legal” sanction to the already unlawfully achieved results of covert or overt illegal wars, aggressions, or interventions.
While these quasi-judicial tribunals are unlawful in the first place, their methodology of achieving ”desired results” is even more so, since new rules and regulations are written on an ad hoc basis to secure convictions, as was the case at the ICTY and ICTR and others.
The results of such ”International Criminal Justice” are
- the conviction of mainly Serbs through rigged show trials and the demonstrative acquittal of real perpetrators who belonged to the NATO allied, Al Al Qaeda associated Kosovo Liberation Army, also known as KLA / UCK, at the ICTY;
- the conviction of Hutus through the same rigged show trials at the ICTR which acts to protect the criminals of the RPF, and its western allies, the very ones who provoked and prosecuted the war in Rwanda,
- the conviction of Khmer Rouge members while the leaders and military officers of the USA are granted complete impunity for the devastating carpet bombing of Cambodia which destroyed the irrigation systems and led to a collapse of the society,
- so on at the other tribunals.
These tribunals all are part of a system of show trials designed to demonize the former regimes of the countries concerned, to justify the US et al aggression both direct and indirect, against the countries concerned and to cover up the real role of the west in those wars.
The very creation of the International Criminal Court, ICC, is in fact another step towards the deterioration of international law due to the fact that the UN Security Council, notwithstanding the position of a given state to the ICC, which includes non-signatory states, can refer a case to the ICC Statute.
This creates the potential for situations where an non-signatory state to the treaty may force another non-signatory state to the same treaty to be bound by the treaty non of the two has signed. This state of affairs is an explosion of the very nature of international law at its very base.
Indeed, the USA refuses to be bound by the Rome Statute in any way and has stared that if any of its officers are ever charged and arrested by The ICC they will use force to obtain their release. This is nothing less than gangsterism.
The results of such justice will invariably be highly politicized show trials and victors justice, and it is in deed precisely what has occurred at the ICC since it was established.
xxii Treaty of Westphalia. Peace Treaty between the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France and their respective Allies. The Avalon Project. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/westphal.asp
xxiii UNGA Resolution 63/308 the responsibility to protect. http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/Resolution%20RtoP.pdf
xxiv Newhouse John (1992), The Diplomatic Round, The New Yorker, 24 August 1992, pp. 63 – 65.
xxv International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia , Thursday 3 May 2012, pp. 28424 – 28506. http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/trans/en/120503IT.htm
xxvi Chossudovsky Michel, German Intelligence and CIA supported Al Qaeda sponsored Terrorists in Yugoslavia. Globalreasearch. http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BEH502A.html
xxvii Chossudovsky Michel, Kosovo ”Freedom Fighters” financed by Organized Crime. Globalresearch. http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=22619
xxviii Interview with French Brigadier General, ret. Pierre Marie Gallois. (I) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgUNO3SZBP4
xxix Interview with French Brigadier General, ret. Pierre Marie Gallois. (II) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfFrynxn7os&feature=relmfu
xxx Ibid. 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgUNO3SZBP4 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfFrynxn7os&feature=relmfu
xxxi Kissinger Henry (2012) Syrian Intervention risks upsetting the Global Order. The 4th Media. http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/06/06/henry-kissinger-syrian-intervention-risks-upsetting-global-order/
xxxii Lehmann Christof (2012), A Response to Henry Kissinger on Syria and the Global Order. The 4th Media http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/06/10/a-response-to-henry-kissinger-on-syria-and-the-global-order/
xxxiii UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011) Libya. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm#Resolution
xxxiv Geneva Conventions, ICRC. http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/treaties-customary-law/geneva-conventions/index.jsp
xxxv Värek René (2005) The Status and Protection of Unlawful Combatants, Juridica International,pp. 191-198. http://www.juridicainternational.eu/index.php?id=12632
xxxvi Ruth Blakeley (2011): Dirty Hands Clean Conscience ? The CIA Inspector General´s Investigation of ”Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” in the Wat on Terror and the Torture Debate, Journal of Human Rights, 10:4, 544-561 http://www.therenditionproject.org.uk/pdf/PDF%20175%20%5BRB%20Dirty%20Hands%5D.pdf
xxxvii Kweskin, Qureshi & Twu, The International Legal landscape Of Extraordinary Rendition, University of North Carolina School of Law.
xxxviii Philip G. Zimbardo Ph.D at Stanford University. http://www.zimbardo.com/
xxxix Mbugua Martin , Zimbardo blames Military Brass for Abu Ghraib Torture. University of Dalaware. http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/2006/dec/zimbardo120705.html
xl The Laws of War, The Avalon Project. Yale University. http://adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/overview.php
xli Lehmann Christof (2012) Attack on Syria likely before March ? nsnbc.
xlii The International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, 4 December 1989. ICRC. http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/530
xliii Ibid. Lehmann Christof (2012), NATO`s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, Interventionism, Possible Preparations for A Regional War Directed against Russia and China, and Developments in Global Security, nsnbc. http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/