Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Chimp_junta sticking its illegal nose into foreign elections and weapons? Is this high comedy? is Bushworld.

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** **

International Weapons Conventions in Iran, Iraq

November 29, 2004

By: Omar Khan

In no less than hundreds of articles over the past few weeks, our press
has tirelessly reported on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, or
rather—in characteristic shorthand—on “Iran’s efforts to develop the
capability to make nuclear weapons” (Foreign Affairs, 11/24). Early on
the morning of the November 29th, however, in “Iran Backs Away From a
Demand on A-Bomb Fuel,” the New York Times announced that a settlement
between Iran and Britain, France, and Germany (EU-3) had been reached:
Iranians had agreed to suspend all research on uranium enrichment. One
hopes that with this agreement, daily scrutiny of hypothetical Iranian
weapons might also give way to some observations of actual American
weapons being deployed nearby.

For by many accounts, the use of unconventional weapons has likely been
a US pastime in “The War on Terror” during even its most recent
episodes. Dahr Jamail of Inter Press News Service has recorded Fallujan
experiences of poison gas and bombs that “exploded into large fires that
burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns”—a trademark of
napalm and phosphorus bombs. Though many Americans will no doubt say
such claims are dubious, they have reason to: no outside medical
personnel or observers have yet been allowed into Fallujah to even allow
for further discussion of the matter. Less dubious is the continued use
of depleted uranium munitions, which as Vishnu Bhagwat, former Indian
Chief of Naval Staff, has written amounted in 2003 alone to the
equivalent of nearly 250,000 Nagasaki bombs. But depleted uranium is
nothing new, having been used extensively in southern Iraq during the
first Gulf War. The Department of Environmental Engineering at the
University of Baghdad has accordingly measured radiation levels in and
near the city of Basra to range from hundreds to thousands of times the
normal levels. Dr. Jawad Kadhim Al-Ali, Director of the Oncology Center
in Basra, has theorized depleted uranium as a reason that the death rate
from cancers in Basra has now reached 19 times that of 1988. It was also
in Basra that a previous study led by Dr. Alim Yacoup found the
incidence of leukaemia among children to have doubled between 1990 and
1999. Perhaps it is such reports that have led Dr. Asaf Durakovic, the
nuclear-medicine expert of the Veterans’ Administration, to characterize
DU as a “threat to humanity.” According to an oft cited August 2002 UN
report, the use of DU munitions breaches the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the UN Charter, 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.

In relation to the situation in Iran, one is reminded of the saying that
history is written by the victors: while the New York Times writes of
Iran’s “long history of concealment” in its relation to international
weapons conventions, there is little need for such concealment by United
States Government for its violations of such conventions as they go
almost entirely unreported. This double standard at work in the
application of such conventions is emphasized by a closer look at the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the basis for the present attention on
Iran. Article 4(1) says that “Nothing in this Treaty shall be
interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the
Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes”; Article 4(2) says that “All the Parties to the
Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in,
the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and
technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” it
goes on, “with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas
of the world.” It would seem that the United States, rather than Iran,
would be bound by the terms of the treaty, which obligate it—as a
signer—to undertake to facilitate the fullest possible exchange of
equipment, materials, and so forth to Iran, one such developing country
of the world. According to the aforementioned New York Times article,
like all other coverage of the standoff in this country, such an
exchange was of course not a right, much less a possibility. That right
was instead Iran’s “demand,” one that last week “came in two letters to
the International Atomic Energy Agency from Iran's atomic energy agency,
whose hard-liners oppose any concessions to outsiders.” But as these
hard-liners, like other Iranians, have apparently conceded to their US
and European watch dogs, the question arises with regard to Iraq, where
any comparable watch dogs can be found to concede to. Principle two of
the Nuremburg Tribunal tells us that “the fact that internal law does
not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under
international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from
responsibility under international law.” A dying hope of Iraqis today
would not be so ambitious as to imagine respite in the face of our
longstanding war crimes, but instead an interruption of the silence that
sanctions them.


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