Sunday May 19, 2013
War Crime Court and its Conflicting InterestsTim King Salem-News.com
Is it fair that nations be prosecuted by countries suspected of having committed the same crimes?
(SALEM) - This story poses an ugly reality about the legal prosecution of war crimes, and is written as Sri Lanka stands accused of numerous violations of international law in Geneva.
A quick review of the record will show that several of the countries occupying a seat in the world court; those tasked with bringing war crime suspects to justice; have their own share of unanswered and unaddressed questions in this same area.
Of course the flip side, is that the nations backing Sri Lanka as it stands accused of brutal and severe war crimes, also have extremely jaded pasts in terms of human rights violations, including mass murder. Everybody's right and everybody's wrong.
One bitter reality is that the national alliances always move around like musical chairs as the years pass; the very important bottom line, is that the nations don't stand united against war crimes The uncalled for U.S. protection of Israel time and time again against war crime charges, has made the system into a joke that prefers particular countries and cultures and designates some as more valuable, than others. The UN is failing over a lack of consistency.
Why are countries like Russia and Cuba, which sometimes make decisions far wiser than those made by governments in the west, failing to support the Tamil people of Sri Lanka in their quest to receive justice?
The recent Tamil Genocide in the country's northern coastal areas, left 160,000 members of this mostly Hindu and partly Christian culture, missing and unaccounted for. Most were killed, some remain in secret government detention camps.
The western nations that are supporting the charges against Sri Lanka, are led by the United States; possibly the largest example of a war crime nation that has raw ability to get away with anything it wants.
I mean, do people even begin to realize what it means to have attacked Iraq and killed up to a million and a half people on bad evidence? That means the Iraqi people didn't deserve it, if anyone actually needs this explained to them, and then you have Bradley Manning's exposure of the cruelest specific crimes against humanity by the U.S. military and it is he who is imprisoned, rather than the men he exposed, as a human being I find this the most tragic aspect of the Obama Administration; not that the ranking is without competition.
His story is the ultimate example of whisteblower retaliation in history and it is the shame of the United States and millions will never see it differently. The man is being nominated for a Nobel Prize.
The advocates of Sri Lanka's government constantly stress that larger examples of war crimes should be investigated also, are they wrong about this? I think they are not wrong on that point, and I believe they do feel singled out, because as a Genocidal country they are bad, really bad, but compared to other massive ethnic cleansings in the past like Bangladesh in 1971 that cost three million lives, and saw Pakistan get away without any real accountability... their murder numbers are lower.
Therefore it seems SL thought they could get away with it and initially, they used the 'terrorist' label on every civilian murder that their forces committed.
In other words, Sri Lanka greatly took advantage of having its enemies designated as somehow less than human, just like Hitler did to the Jews, just like Israel does to the Palestinians.
Sri Lanka knows it has had U.S. favor in the past, but that is in the past, while Israel remains firmly in the good grace of U.S. Congress and Obama, regardless of how many innocent people they kill in the name of Zionism, with the clever excuse or all victims being 'terrorists'.
Sri Lanka's crimes, particularly those that happened in mid-2009, are well documented, thanks largely to London's Channel-4 and its team including Presenter Jon Snow, they produced the documentary 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' that greatly affected world perception of the Tamil Genocide.
Similar programs exposing Israel's slaughter of Gazans in 2008/09, never aired to any degree on western TV, and what does air is always presented in a pro-Israeli light. Repeatedly, Israel has been charged with war crimes, outright murder that is well documented; terrible things, and the United States uses its 'super veto' power in the United Nations to shield Israel from any type of responsibility, or accountability.
In fact, Sri Lanka's government advocates already use Israel in their argument to counter charges of war crimes, and the measurement of that is found in the protective U.S. shield around Israel, maintained in the UN. It would seem like that sets a standard or precedent, but for Sri Lanka that is not the case.
You won't hear any time soon hear Sri Lanka saying, "Hey, Israel gets away with this every time... why can't we?" It isn't going to happen.
Israel had its political enemies, Hamas and Hezbollah, designated as 'terrorist'. Sri Lanka too had its enemy, the LTTE, declared 'terrorist' and it was the G.W. Bush Administration that led to the LTTE receiving this incredibly damaging label.
Sri Lanka's government is charged with the grisly killing of innocent people and members of an armed resistance, it was the culmination of a long ugly civil war between the Tamil Tigers, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and the Sri Lankan government.
Sri Lanka stands accused of shameful crimes and has been in front of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) which insists, following a resolution brought forward by the U.S. government, that Sri Lanka answer for its crimes, and Sri Lanka says it will not cooperate.
Support for Sri Lanka is found in Egypt on behalf of NAM, Russia, China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Algeria and other NAM countries.
They all oppose any country-specific resolution and say the Resolution's text will have no effect without the consent of the concerned country.
Then Cuba challenged the US Ambassador, asking her to submit a resolution on Guantanamo if the U.S. is this concerned with accountability issues in Sri Lanka.
Which leads to a real quandary as I see it.
The countries listed as supporting include the U.S. resolution are Denmark for the EU, France, the UK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Norway.
As we have written in great detail before, the racial tension and strife in Sri Lanka all stems from British Colonial occupation which ended in this country formerly known as Ceylon in 1948, the same year Israel was designated as a government.
Colonial England gave preferential treatment to Tamil people, which was of course, a burn to the Sinhalese Buddhist majority, throughout its years of occupation, and this naturally led to a terrible level of resentment among the Sinhala population.
To see Britain calling the shots against any country today seems ludicrous; the legitimacy does not exist to back a seat for this country or the US as war crime judges. They were qualified in the post-WWII years and in truth, could not have made worse decisions, spare a few that were good.
France and Canada and other countries have been involved in the deadly bombing campaigns in support of rogue, western-friendly forces in Libya, helping totally destabilize the country's long-standing government, and the EU wants to do the same thing to Syria.
And these are the countries, along with the US and others mentioned, that see themselves fit to stand in judgement of other nations. Of course Sri Lanka's political system needs to be taken completely apart; it has military forces that are bloodthirsty, based on our recent reports, they amount to sex-crazed, civilian-murdering bandits and they are war criminals just like their government itself, which ordered the highly-orchestrated ethnic destruction of Tamils.
In my articles supporting the beleaguered Tamil population, I have been heavily criticized for being an American, hailing from a country highly suspect in war crimes, calling for charges against Sri Lanka. I want this article to set the record straight - that I do not defend the U.S. as a country suspected of crimes of war, I never have and never will. I believe the rules are exactly the same for every person in every country and that is what international law and specifically, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, states. The U.S. 'super veto' power seems without question, an unfair advantage and when it is used to repeatedly block a majority vote over war crimes, against Israel, which is charged over and over, a terrible mistake is at hand.
However there is a final note that I want to make about the U.S. war crimes, as opposed to the Sri Lanka war crimes. It is true that in each case, many of the innocent victims, often called 'collateral damage' by the Americans, died from planes dropping bombs, artillery shells, etc. But the Tamil killings in many cases, happened to people who had been rounded up and were in captivity. The U.S. is guilty of terrible mistakes, but the Sri Lankan killings were far more personal, involved far more sex abuse and child killing and corpse abuse and every other type of rancid behavior. It was photographed and videotaped and strikes most humanitarians as many steps beyond forgivable. Instead those responsible for it need to be accountable. Is the U.S. fit for this? Not according to this assessment perhaps, but until a large world change takes place, the U.S. is calling the shots and sets the stage, and it is good to see Sri Lanka standing under the lights.
For all Salem-News.com articles about Sri Lanka, visit this link: Salem-News.com articles under key word 'Sri Lanka'
Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
Mar-08-2012: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge
Feb-28-2012: Tweets from Tamil Eelam
Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes
Nov-24-2011: Fear, Genocide and Torture in Sri Lanka
Oct-15-2011: Genocide 101: World and Media Apathy
Oct-05-2011: War and its Aftermath... a Real Killer for Tourism
Oct-01-2011: Sri Lanka in the Crosshairs of Canadian Parliament
Sep-13-2011: Sri Lanka Recalls Diplomat Accused of War Crimes
Jun-20-2011: Sri Lanka's Violence Toward Tamil Minority Continues
Jun-02-2011: UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is Real
May-31-2011: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger
May-03-2011: Confronting the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka
Apr-27-2011: Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View
Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, Electronic Media Association and The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.
Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 20+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide with an emphasis on Palestine and Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. Marines. You can write to Tim at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)
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