Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Prevention Of War Crimes: Not Illegal

Protesters acquitted of sabotaging US bombers | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Two protesters who broke into an RAF base to sabotage US B-52 bombers by clogging their engines with nuts and bolts were acquitted yesterday after arguing that they were acting to prevent war crimes in Iraq.
This is also like, the best news I've heard in a while. The B-52 Two have been acquitted, on the basis that damaging US bombers helped prevent, or at least delay, a war crime. Surely this means we can go and damage any British or American military equipment, as long as we can prove it was going to be used in a war crime?

The protesters argued that war crimes would be committed in the bombing as the B-52s carried cluster weapons - which scatter unexploded "bomblets" that kill and maim civilians. They argued that the aircraft were also armed with "bunker busting" bombs tipped with depleted uranium that fragments and spreads radioactive toxins harmful to civilians.
I was reading about this Depleted Uranium earlier in a Stopthewar Report (pdf):

The impact of one 120mm DU shell fired from an American Abrams tank creates

between 900 and 3,400 grams (roughly 2 to 7 pounds) of uranium oxide dust. 52 to 83%

of these particles are insoluble in lung fluids.

Particles less than 5 microns in diameter are easily inhaled or ingested and may remain

in the lungs or other organs for years. Once inhaled this radioactive vapor can mutate

35% of cells in surrounding tissue. Internalized DU may cause kidney damage, cancers

of the lung and bone, nonmalignant

respiratory disease, skin disorders, neurocognitive

disorders, chromosomal damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and

bowel diseases. Parents exposed to DU may give birth to infants bearing genetic

defects, moderate to severe deformities, rare illnesses and cancers.

Dr. Janan Ghalib Hassan, a neonatalogist

at the Women and Children's Hospital in

Basra, said that in 2001, 611 babies were born with no limbs, no eyes or other birth

defects, compared with 37 such cases in 1990. The area where the children were born

was subjected to heavy shelling with DU munitions in the first Gulf War.

Meanwhile, in Iraq the American and British occupation forces are responsible for:

● Forbidding any release of statistics related to civilian casualties from use of

DU weapons, both before and after the war and occupation

● Refusal to clean up contaminated areas

● Depriving international agencies and Iraqi researchers the right to conduct full

(DU) related exploration programmes by US/UK occupation forces * .

Laws which are breached by the use of DU shells include the Universal Declaration of

Human Rights; the Charter of the United Nations; the Genocide Convention; the

Convention Against Torture; the four Geneva Conventions of 1949; the Conventional

Weapons Convention of 1980 and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. These

forbid employing 'poison or poisoned weapons' and 'arms, projectiles or materials

calculated to cause unnecessary suffering'.

Sounds like most of the army is fair game? Let's go.

By the way, anyone still think the Iraq war is legal?

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