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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Skeptic US/British planes fire on Iraq (closed) (102* d) RE: US/British planes fire on Iraq 24 Feb 01


Sorry for not being more precise. A nation has the "right" in the sense of the ability to use terrorism and under the guise of sovereignity to do what it needs to do to protect itself. Not "right" by any standard of international law or morality. It's sad that when it comes to our allies, the US and I suppose Britain don't even bother to protest when anymore.

From a practical standpoint, he use of assassination as a tool of state is counter-productive. Eventually even your allies start wondering if they're next.


I wasn't trying to suggest there were not a number of atrocities committed in Desert Storm. By both sides. Some of which should be actionable. I am suggesting that Ramsey Clark, despite a fairly high profile in international peace circles, pursues the agenda of peace only as it supports his own personal agenda. He has, over the years, demonstrated a bad habit of finding facts to support his conclusions. Amnesty International has documented some of the atrocities and the International War Crimes Tribunal has heard the evidence. The Commissions and the World Court have declined to act. Interestingly, the charge of genocide in the second indictment rests, in part, on the economic sanctions, claiming that it denies basic health care and food to Iraqi citizens. Of interest is the indictment the a group called INDICT has presented leveling a charge of genocide against Saddam Huessan for diversion of the money allowed by the UN sanctions to buy food and medicine for citizens to his war machine.

To his credit, Ramsey Clark does make his personal agenda very clear: Information, Activism, and Resistance to U.S.Militarism, War, and Corporate Greed, Linking with Struggles Against Racism and Oppression within the United States. to quote the purpose of his International Action Center.

As militarism and war imply countries other than the United States, his efforts seem a little lop sided. Of late he has expanded to accuse NATO of genocide in Yugoslovia. He was noticeably silent on the earlier genocide in Bosnia, however. Or rather, he claims it never happen. I guess all those tens of thousands of people who disappeared are just on a long vacation. Reading (and believing) some of the reports at the IAC site makes you think the various ethnic cleansings in the area were the work of NATO. Or that it's somehow their fault.

Is the US guilty of human rights abuses? Probably. Is Iraqi. Dittto. And Indonesia. And Sri Lanka. What about Rwanda? Ethiopia? To deliberately limit your moral outrage to a single country indicates a different agenda. To ignore the guilt of others in pursuit of that agenda is intellectual and moral dishonesty. The failure of any competent international tribunal or court to act would lead a reasonable person to suspect that Mr Clark's definitions and application werrn't all that credible. (The same bodies ho were established by the various documents Mr. Clark cites as being violated).

The fight against terrorism, human rights violations, genocide and other atrocities is fought anywhere they occur. All who share in the responsibility should be punished. Mr Clark is right in supposing that it might not happen in the US. He should learn a lesson from Amnesty International, who tries to apply their criteria impartially and might find a more receptive audience (Well, probably not in the US. We have an amazing capacity for self delusion and rationalization)

Which is why I didn't do a detailed read of his book. There were other sources available that had a little more credibility. (To me at least), and a lot less posturing and presumptions.

And as it seems the rule of the day is to impune intent without adequate evidence, let us consider:

'Skeptic' has learned that it is better to refute facts than to consider them

Or learned not accept them blindly because Clark is a " Nobel Prize nominee" Or to carefully consider the source of facts?

Trashes the book he hasn't read and find the truth easy to ignore. He dismisses a Nobel Prize nominee whose fact-finding group toured Iraq in Fe. '91 while the bombs flew

Troll addressed that in part. Being a Nobel nominee implies exactly nothing. Merely argument to authority. I prefer all the truth, not just the truth that plays to a particular prejudice or agenda. (except my own, of course :-)) I'll take Clark's legally detailed definition and application of the term 'genocide' before the opnion of any anonymous Mudcat expert (myself included.)

I'll take the opinion (by default) of the various international (and national) bodies who considered his charges. Their silence was and is resounding.

Clark documented his findings in detail, presented them to the United Nations and filmed these events

Who did nothing, to their discredit

Amnesty International cited his findings heavily while condemning Desert Storm

Which is consistent with their mission. Integrity is a good thing to find. I believe that there charges were at least looked into by congress. Integrity does it every time.

Find a copy of this film, called "No Place to Hide," and look at what war fever can do

Or live it. Much more frightening and profoundly more meaningful. Talking to people who lived it/lived through it allows you to ask the questions you need, not just accept or reject the film-makers point of view.

Fuel-air explosives, mocked by the misunderstanding 'Skeptic,' erupt into an above-ground fireball that is quite enormous and indiscriminate

Mocked?. I'd say "had some question" is a better description. I'd read about incindiaries and Napalm. Not this.

Its potency has been described as 'nuclear' by Doctors Without Borders, who have sought their ban

An should. I'm not sure what nuclear potency means. Radiation burns and burns by napalm of air bursts (except i had heard the air bursts were incendiary bombs with an altitude trigger) have some similarities. However, I was responding to your original statement that merely said

fuel-air explosives which produce nuclear destruction without the bad press of the A-bomb

A far cry from your second statement. As I know all to well, it never pays to over generalize or over dramatize.

Again, your first statement was tanks with snowplow attachments that buried surrendering soldiers alive has a far more sinister (though no less deadly) meaning than Those tanks with plow attachents? Hundreds were mounted this way to burst thru Iraqi earthworks. Several Allied commanders diverted these to bury bunkers with soldiers inside. Some US tank drivers recalled seeing white flags waving from inside those bunkers

The first statement (and the beginning of the second) seem to imply that was a deliberate policy (as does Clark in some of his charges). In which case the responsibility flows up the chain of command. If it was action by individual tank commanders, they should be court marshaled.


And the smart bombs were only 75% accurate. All the talk about "Saddam put military targets in the middle of civilian areas' aside, by about the four day of the war it was pretty evident that Saddam was a paper tiger. (Although he did shoot at planes and brough a few down - something Clark forget in one of his indictments). Yet we kept on. An don. And on. Arguing that because we kept on, the final assault resulted in less casualties is one of those non-falsifiable claims beloved of the parasciences. But then, no is claiming the contrary.

Colatteral damage' [sp?] sounds a lot better than '100,000 civilians killed,' don't you think? Don't dismiss the truth without daring to examine it

Sound advice. Mine to you is to examine all sides the truth before you claim to possess it.

There were clearly abuses by the Allied forces. Abuses that were never addressed by competent authority. Napalm, for instance. Or the 25% of the smart bombs that missed their targets. Mr Clark feels that Bush the Elder maneuvered the world into war, pushing the UN to support him and went overboard executing the UN mandate. I agree it went much further than it ever should have been allowed too. The "highway to hell" incendiary burst. Explaining them away as "war is hell" carries venality to unacceptable limits.

Despite the very real claim that we were protecting the sovereignty of Kuwait from invasion by Iraq. (which Mr. Clark sites as evidence of some crime in one of his indictments on the curious grounds that Kuwait wasn't a democracy) - One of the purposes of the UN, according to its charter.

In war, no matter how "noble" there are no heros. Everyone is wrong, no matter how painfully necessary the fighting may be. The innocent end up doing the suffering, both directly and as "collateral damage". Mr Clark is trying to find a hero and a villian. (Probably viewing himself as qualified for the role ofhero and having already defined the US (and Britain and NATO and the UN, as the villain). He seems more qualified as a gadfly. And despite self advertisement, his devisive methods seem to do more harm than good..



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