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Reply #42: What was honorable about it? [View All]

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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-26-03 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #16
42. What was honorable about it?
What is honorable about bombing hospitals, power grids, trains and killing civilians to steal their country's resources?

What is honorable about making your pilots fly so high that they can't distinguish any targets and end up committing war crimes with which they have to live for the rest of their lives? Or deliberately cutting off fuel, food and energy from the civilians of Belgrade in the dead of winter?

There was nothing honorable about it at all.

The French Connection

The first time President Chirac of France realized how fast and far the air campaign had moved from its original, modest size was when he watched the Yugoslav Interior Ministry erupt into a fireball on April 3, day 11 of the war.

"Paris was pretty shocked," a French diplomat recalled. Chirac requested an urgent telephone call with Clinton to discuss the strategy being pursued by Gen. Wesley K. Clark, the supreme allied commander in Europe.


That day, Chirac told Clinton he wanted a say, along with the American president and the British prime minister, in all crucial decisions about the war. Clinton told Chirac the target approval process was already too slow. He agreed to include the Frenchman but proposed that they agree in advance on the kinds of airstrikes over which each leader would reserve a veto.

Chirac asked to review any targets in Montenegro, a small republic of Yugoslavia that had remained democratic and was trying to stay out of the war. Blair wanted a veto over all targets to be struck by B-52 bombers taking off from British soil. And all three leaders wanted to review targets that might cause high casualties or affect a large number of civilians, such as the electrical grid, telephone system and buildings in downtown Belgrade.


Aug 20, 1999 The Guardian UK: 'Nato chiefs ordered the bombing of non-military targets throughout Yugoslavia despite opposition from allied governments, the organization's top general has admitted. In the clearest evidence yet that the military planners overrode their political masters, General Wesley Clark, the supreme allied commander, will reveal tonight how he worked out which governments wanted to push harder, which ones were nervous. He adds pointedly: I didn't always defer to those who wanted targets withheld.',2763,203167,00...

Washing His Hands

Feb 7, 2002 The Colorado Springs Independent Newsweekly:

'Dual-use targets aren't prohibited by international law, Clark said. What's prohibited are purely civilian targets or humanitarian targets. So if a road is used by the military and civilians, the road's a target. If electricity is used by the military and civilians, the electricity's a target. Under such an interpretation, most target restrictions implied by the Geneva Conventions would be thrown out the window, critics have said'.


"Contrary to the beliefs of our war planners, unrestricted air bombing is barred under international law," wrote Walter Rockler, an attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, in a May 23, 1999 Chicago Tribune op-ed criticizing the war. "Bombing the 'infrastructure' of a country -- waterworks, electricity plants, bridges, factories, television and radio locations -- is not an attack limited to legitimate military objectives."

Published on Wednesday, June 7, 2000 in the Independent / UK
Amnesty International:
NATO Deliberately Attacked Civilians In Serbia
by Robert Fisk

Only five days after NATO was "exonerated" by the International War Crimes Tribunal for its killing of civilians in Yugoslavia last year, Amnesty International today publishes a blistering attack on the Alliance, accusing it of committing serious violations of the rules of war, unlawful killings and in the case of the bombing of Serbia's television headquarters a war crime.
The 65-page Amnesty report details a number of mass killings of civilians in NATO raids and states that "civilian deaths could have been significantly reduced if NATO forces had fully adhered to the rules of war.

Amnesty records that NATO aircraft flew 10,484 strike missions over Serbia and that Serbian statistics of civilian deaths in NATO raids range from 400-600 up to 1,500. It specifically condemns NATO for an attack on a bridge at Varvarin on 30 May last year, which killed at least 11 civilians. "NATO forces failed to suspend their attack after it was evident that they had struck civilians," Amnesty says.

The report says NATO repeatedly gave priority to pilots' safety at the cost of civilian lives. In several investigations of civilian deaths, Amnesty quotes from reports in The Independent, including an investigation into the bombing of a hospital at Surdulica on 31 May. The Independent disclosed in November that Serb soldiers were sheltering on the ground floor of the hospital when it was bombed but that all the casualties were civilian refugees living on the upper floors.

Amnesty says: "If NATO intentionally bombed the hospital complex because it believed it was housing soldiers, it may well have violated the laws of war. According to Article 50(3) of Protocol 1, 'the presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character'.


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