Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saddam's lawyers seek Blair prosecution over war

LONDON (AFP) – Lawyers for the overthrown Iraqi leadership have asked England's attorney general for consent to prosecute Tony Blair, claiming a new interview revealed offences contrary to the Geneva Conventions.

Giovanni di Stefano, representing former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz, wrote to the British government's chief legal adviser on Saturday with a "request for consent to prosecute" former British prime minister Blair, according to the letter seen by AFP.

Di Stefano's Studio Legale Internazionale law firm represented Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, who was deposed by the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Britain, under Blair, backed the invasion.

In comments released from a BBC television interview due out Sunday, Blair said he would have backed the invasion of Iraq even if he knew that it had no weapons of mass destruction, the main justification at the time.

"In summary the allegation against... Blair involves a violation of offences within the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 which without doubt and by his own admission can only but be deemed 'not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly'," said di Stefano's letter, quoting the conventions.

Aziz "is but one in millions affected by the actions (taken by) Blair and others... whom we seek your leave to issue proceedings (against) as per above forthwith."

The attorney general's office was not immediately available for comment.

Once upon a time, in Copenhagen...

...they talked and they talked...




...without ever mentioning what was really on their minds...




... and all mankind was left with the hope they wouldn't end up like this!

The "Obama Doctrine": Eternal war for imperfect mankind

"For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world."

by Rick Rozoff, Global Research

President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States Barack Obama delivered his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance address in Oslo on December 10, which has immediately led to media discussion of an Obama Doctrine.

With obligatory references to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi (the second referred to only by his surname) but to no other American presidents than Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy - fellow peace prize recipients Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter weren't mentioned - the U.S. head of state spoke with the self-assurance of the leader of the world's first uncontested superpower and at times with the self-righteousness of a would-be prophet and clairvoyant. And, in the words of German philosopher Friedrich von Schlegel, a prophet looking backward.

Accompanied by visionary gaze and cadenced, oratorical solemnity, his comments included the assertion that "War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man." Unless this unsubstantiated claim was an allusion to the account in the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible of Cain murdering his brother Abel, which would hardly constitute war in any intelligible meaning of the word (nor was Cain the first man according to that source), it is unclear where Obama acquired the conviction that war is coeval with and presumably an integral part of humanity.

Paleontologists generally trace the arrival of modern man, homo sapiens, back 200,000 years, yet the first authenticated written histories are barely 2,400 years old. How Obama and his speechwriters filled in the 197,600-year gap to prove that the practice of war is as old as mankind and implicitly inseparable from the human condition is a question an enterprising reporter might venture to ask at the next presidential press conference.

Perhaps delusions of omniscience is the answer. The Oslo speech is replete with references to and appropriations of the attributes of divinity. And to historical and anthropological fatalism; a deeply pessimistic concept of Providence.

Obama affirmed that "no Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint." Then shortly afterward stated "Let us reach for the world that ought to be - that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls." An adversary's invocation of the divine is false, heretical, sacrilegious; Washington's is true, unerring, sufficient to justify any action, however violent and deadly. As unadulterated an illustration of secular Manicheaism as can be found in the modern world.

Toward the beginning of his speech the first standing American president in ninety years to receive the Peace Prize acknowledged that "perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars."

Understandably he exerted no effort to justify one of the two wars in question, that in Iraq, but endorsed and pledged the continuation of the other, that in Afghanistan and increasingly Pakistan - while elsewhere speaking disparagingly of the European Crusades of the later Middle Ages.

Neither the Nobel Committee nor its honoree seemed inordinately if at all concerned by the unprecedented awarding of the prestigious and generous ($1.4 million) Peace Prize to a commander-in-chief in charge of two simultaneous wars far from his nation's shores and in countries whose governments and peoples never threatened it in any manner.

In language that never before was heard during a peace prize acceptance speech, Obama added "we are at war, and I'm responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed."

~ more... ~

Anti-war forces bristle at Obama's Nobel speech

President Obama's acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize won praise from conservatives, but some anti-war Democrats in Congress bristled at the commander-in-chief's ruminations about waging a "just war."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a leading critic on the left of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Friday that the president's musings about the inevitability of war and "war's instrumentality in pursuit of peace" threatened to lead the United States into more bloody conflicts.

"Once we are committed to wars instrumentality in pursuit of peace, we begin the Orwellian journey to the semantic netherworld where war is pace, where the momentum of war overwhelms hopes for peace," said the Ohio Democrat.

"Once we wrap doctrines perpetuating war in the arms of justice, we can easily legitimate the wholesale slaughter of innocents," he said. "War is often not just; sometimes it is just war. And our ability to rethink the terms of our existence, to explore the possibility of peace without war, may well determine whether we end war, or war ends us."

~ more... ~

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