According to the spirit of the international law, NATO is now engaged in war of aggression against Libya. Whatever flimsy excuses it had for attacking Libya under UN Security Council resolution 1970, have disappeared after the passage of resolution 1973 and arming of Libya rebels by France.
ICC has been caught with its pants down, targeting only Africans and no one else.
France has committed a war crime, and the freezing of Libya assets is a crime against humanity.
NATO is not what it was supposed to be at the time of its creation: an alliance for self defence. It is now an American instrument for butchering countries rich in natural wealth or with important geostrategic location and weak military.
And, France has disappointed everybody.
Sarkozified France is not the France we knew in our childhood; a land of happy democracy, fountain of love for humanity and world leader in art and culture.
In a surprisingly short time, Sarkozy has turned France into a killing machine, itching to commit war crimes in lands afar.
The massive arming of Libya rebels by France has suddenly exposed something that may otherwise have remained hidden for quite some time.
Heavy supply of arms and ammunitions to Libya rebels and overall behaviour of NATO have pushed three key questions to the surface:
- Is the arming of Libya rebels by France a war crime?
- After the arming of Libya rebels by one of its key members, has the NATO campaign in Libya, by default, turned into a war of aggression?
- Is the freezing of Libya assets a crime against humanity?
If NATO tries to wriggle out of these questions through legal mumbo-jumbo, it is time for Central Asia to cut loose and run for dear life.
It is no secret that NATO, the daughter of Marshall Plan, is an American instrument for intervention worldwide. After all, Uncle Sam foots nearly 75% of the maintenance cost of this ungainly lady.
What we are presenting here is a short set of pointers; it is not a legal dossier. The Central Asian leadership needs to study the whole issue carefully and quickly, and draw appropriate conclusions for their own safety:
- There are two UN Security Council resolutions that constitute the inadequate fig leaf for US and NATO intervention in Libya: UN Security Council resolution 1970 of 26 February 2011 [complete text at http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10187.doc.htm] and Un Security Council resolution 1973 of 17 March 2011 [complete text at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/17/un-security-council-resolution]
- The resolution 1970 applies total ban on supplies of arms and ammunitions to any side in the conflict but resolution 1973 creates a loophole to bypass this ban. It is a tailor-made loophole to arm the rebels. It is worth noting that resolution 1973 was proposed by France and Great Britain, with Lebanon thrown in jut for ballast.
- France has defended the arming of Libyan rebels, trying to portray it as humanitarian aid. The French poppycock notwithstanding, this is simply a direct and colossal attempt to prolong and expand the civil war in Libya. By most legal interpretations, it falls in the category of war crime and crime against humanity.
- The ICC (International Criminal Court) has issued arrest warrant against Qaddafi. Not to be misled by its grandiose name, ICC is a surrogate offspring of NGOs, most notably Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
- The charges that have been leveled against Qaddafi can easily be attached to Bush, Blair and most recently, Sarkozy. It is even likely that signed warrants, with blank space for date, could be lying in some lower drawer in ICC, for arrest of Ahmedinezhad and Chavez. Predictably, the African Union has rejected ICC warrant.
- ICC is actually a grim joke on mankind. USA and Israel signed the Rome Statute and then ‘unsigned’ from it; they are not state parties to ICC. China, Russia and India are also not state parties to ICC. In other words, it is just a mechanism to trap anyone who dares defy USA and NATO. So far, ICC has targeted African leaders only.
- The existence of ICC is structuralized through Rome Statute [Rome Statute complete text http://untreaty.un.org/cod/icc/statute/romefra.htm]
- The crime of aggression – arguably the kind of thing the NATO is doing in Libya – will not come into the jurisdiction of ICC until 2017.
- ICC cannot take cognizance of crimes related to terrorism simply because despite the most expensive war in the history of mankind, the world community has not been able to agree on a definition of terrorism. This is caricature of justice.
- NATO, guess what, is not a party to ICC. Understandably, NATO allies are not keen to taste collectively their own medicine. On the other hand, the ICC rules cater for taking up a case if it is referred to it by the UN Security Council (This is how both Sudan and Libya, not state parties to ICC, were caught by the scruff of the neck). How convenient.
- The essence of Hague Conventions and Geneva Conventions is that the definition of War Crime includes serious violations of rules of the customary and treaty laws concerning international humanitarian law. This definition offers at least two separate angles to examine the French arming of Libya rebels: 1. If we assume that arming of rebels has contributed to increase in geographical spread and potential of more deaths in the conflict, it makes France as a party to the war crime and the officials that authorized and executed it bear responsibility before the world community, if there is any world community outside the USA and its small circle of bullies — 2. If we take into view the UN Security Council resolution 1973 that specifically created a loophole for arming of rebels, all the countries that voted for the resolution are party to this war crime.
- Going a step further, let’s look at the definition of war of aggression. In simple language, a military conflict waged without the justification of self defence is a war of aggression (or crime of aggression). The Rome Statute of ICC refers to the war of aggression as one of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
- The UN Charter Article 2, paragraph 4 says, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
- The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Pact) of 1947 describes aggression, in part, “Unprovoked armed attack by a State against the territory, the people, or the land, sea or air forces of another State.”
- The UN General Assembly resolution 3314 of 14 December 1974, in defining aggression, says, in part, “This definition makes a distinction between aggression (which “gives rise to international responsibility”) and war of aggression (which is “a crime against international peace”). Acts of aggression are defined as armed invasions or attacks, bombardments, blockades, armed violations of territory, permitting other states to use one’s own territory to perpetrate acts of aggression and the employment of armed irregulars or mercenaries to carry out acts of aggression.”
- The UN General Assembly resolution 2131 says that forceful military intervention in any country is aggression and a crime without justification.
- The judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal (1945-46) and the remarks of the trial judges are considered the primary source for international law. The International Court (Nuremberg Tribunal) declared: “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, 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.”
- Justice Robert Jackson, the head of the American prosecution team, said, “[L]aunching a war of aggression is a crime and that no political or economic situation can justify it.” [This and some other quotes above taken from an article by Walter J. Rockler, a Washington lawyer who was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes — http://www.counterpunch.org/rockler.html]
In the light of above it can be argued that:
1. The arming of Libya rebels by France is a war crime, committed with active or passive approval of other NATO partners. The failure of other NATO members to prevent or condemn this act points in this direction.
2. UN Security Resolution 1973 was drafted with a specific purpose in mind – arming of Libya rebels – and as such it has violated the Purposes of the United Nations, hence losing any legitimacy for NATO involvement in Libya. Moreover, because of the malafide intention at the core of resolution 1973, the resolution 1970 automatically stands null and void. This is now a clear case of war of aggression by NATO against Libya.
3. Since the UN Security Council resolution 1970 doesn’t carry any legal and moral force now, the freezing of Libya assets done under this resolution is also a crime against humanity because the Libyan people are in dire need of food and medicines and other necessities for life. They have the money but that money is lying frozen (actually, stolen) in bank accounts abroad. As we have seen in the case of Iraq, the ‘freezing of assets’ is a thin disguise for stealing other people’s money, denying them the basic necessities, and letting their children and the elderly perish for want of essential medicines and nutrition. No matter what interpretation we prefer, this is clearly a crime against humanity.
It is abundantly clear to a fair mind that France has committed a war crime and NATO is now engaged in a war of aggression, even if this was not the case right from the beginning. Moreover, the freezing of Libya assets (about US $ 120 billion) is a crime against humanity because it has created acute shortage of food and medicines in a country that could afford to buy these things had their money not been stolen under the guise of ‘freezing of assets.’
We have ample grounds to believe that Libya scenario could be replicated in Central Asia. We will reveal our findings in the forthcoming investigative-analytic series “Smashing Greater Central Asia.”
For now, here are a few proposals for the Central Asian leaders:
1. Put all relationship with the USA and NATO on ‘Velcro mode.’ —– Velcro mode works on the principle of Velcro tape; two objects are stuck together by Velcro but you can easily be unfastened by just one pull at the Velcro tape.
2. Pending full reforms at the United Nations, rally the nations around the cause that in future all military interventions should only be authorized by the UN General Assembly and not the Security Council. The General Assembly should strip the Security Council of this barbarian power. This is obviously a conjectural idea but it would expose, yet again, the Security Council for what it is: The quadriplegic concubine of the victors of WWII.
3. All Central Asian countries, at national and regional level, should try to plug any holes that can be exploited by foreign elements. More on this in our forthcoming series “Smashing Greater Central Asia”