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Friday, April 2, 2010

Preventing the next "Supreme International Crime"



War of aggression is the mother of all war crimes. The Nuremberg Tribunal declared: "To initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." 

The UN charter provides only two conditions under which one nation might attack another: 1) With UN Security Council approval; or 2) in response to a direct attack by the other nation.

It’s unlikely that the U.S. will get Security Council approval to attack Iran. And it’s also unlikely that Iran would attack the U.S. If the U.S. does attack Iran then, it will be guilty of a crime against peace: the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing...."

In March, the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran issued “An appeal to anti-war organizations & activists to oppose the increasing threats against Iran.”

Here is an excerpt:

“Iran is a country that hasn’t attacked a neighbor in more than 200 years. Even when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran after the 1979 Revolution and, with support from the West, used chemical weapons against both civilians and combatants, the Islamic Republic did not retaliate in kind. And yet the U.S. government claims that Iran represents a serious threat to the Middle East region and the entire world. Without a shred of evidence, the U.S. charges that Iran's program to develop nuclear power for peaceful energy purposes is just a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Never mentioned is the fact that, as a signatory to the U.N.'s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran's right to develop nuclear energy is enshrined in international law. Just a few months ago, the U.N's International Atomic Energy Chief, Mohammed ElBardai, the person responsible for monitoring compliance with that treaty, stated that ‘Nobody is sitting in Iran today developing nuclear weapons. Tehran doesn’t have an ongoing nuclear weapons program. But somehow, everyone in the West is talking about how Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest threat to the world.’ (Interview with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Sept. 2009) Instead, warning of world disaster if Iran should succeed in its imaginary goal of obtaining nuclear arms, Washington argues that Iran must be forcefully brought to its knees, through a combination of increasingly crippling sanctions, taking advantage of Iran's internal divisions and preparing for a possible military attack.”

The appeal ends with these words:

“The political positions taken by anti-war activists in the West can become a real factor in strategic decisions made by the U.S. government and its allies…. We call on all…coalitions, organizations and individual activists to…demand ‘No Outside Interference in Iran's Internal Affairs! Self-determination for the Iranian People!’

“Regardless of differences in our political analyses and views, these demands should be acceptable to all who struggle for peace, justice and a better world for all.”

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War Crimes Times Statement of Purpose (revised 06/2011)


The War Crimes Times provides compelling, ongoing information on war and the war crimes that invariably accompany war, the many costs of war, the effects of our war culture on our national character and international reputation, and the need to hold accountable those who initiate and conduct illegal wars. Additionally and importantly, we also report on the efforts of the many people who sacrifice their time, money, and comfort to work for peace.


When national leaders initiate hostilities they create the conditions—the extreme use of force coupled with limited accountability—for the war crimes which invariably follow. War crimes are therefore an inherent part of war. The suffering caused and the enmity aroused by war crimes must be regarded as costs of war. Since these and other costs far exceed any benefits of war, we seek to end war as a tool of international policy.


Towards this goal, we believe that holding war criminals accountable will send a strong message to all current and future heads of state to very carefully weigh all the consequences of the decision to go to war. While we recognize that United States has long relied on unlawful military force to further its foreign policy goals, we are particularly concerned with the blatant and egregious violations of international law committed by the United States beginning with the Administration of George W. Bush and now continued and expanded under President Obama.


We endorse any efforts, including impeachment, which would bring war criminals of any administration to justice. The War Crimes Times has resolved to see that Bush, Cheney, Obama, and other government officials and military officers who have committed war crimes are prosecuted—no matter how long it takes.


There is no statute of limitations on war crimes.