Police forces all over the UK will soon be able to draw on unmanned aircraft from a national fleet, according to Home Office plans. Last month it was revealed that modified
military aircraft drones will carry out surveillance on everyone from protesters and antisocial motorists to fly-tippers, and will be in place in time for the 2012 Olympics.
Surveillance is only the start, however. Military drones quickly moved from reconnaissance to strike, and if the British police follow suit, their drones could be armed --
but with non-lethal weapons rather than Hellfire missiles.
The flying robot fleet will range from miniature tactical craft such as the miniature AirRobot being tested
by Essex police, to BAE System's new HERTI drone as flown in Afghanistan. The drones are cheaper than police
helicopters -- some of which will be retired -- and are as wide as 12m in the case of HERTI.
Watching events on the ground without being able to act is frustrating.
Targets often got away before an unarmed drone could summon assistance. In fact, in 2000 it was reported that an airborne drone spotted Osama bin Laden but could do nothing but
watch him escape. So the RAF has been carrying out missions in Afghanistan with missile-armed Reapers since 2007. From the ground these just look like regular aircraft.
The police have already had a similar experience with CCTV. As well as observing, some of these are now equipped with speakers. Pioneered in Middleborough, the talking
CCTV allows an operator to tell off anyone engaging in vandalism, graffiti or littering.
Unmanned aircraft can also be fitted with speakers, such as the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), which could not only warn fly tippers that they were breaking the law but also be loud enough to drive
The LRAD is a highly directional speaker made of a flat array of piezoelectric transducers, producing intense beam of sound in a 30-degree cone. It can be
used as a loudhailer, or deafen the target with a jarring, discordant noise. Some ships now carry LRAD as an anti-pirate measure: It was used to drive off an attack on the
Seabourn Spirit off Somalia in 2005.
LRAD makers American Technology prefer to call its product a device rather than a weapon, and use terms such as "deterrent
tones" and "influencing behaviour." Police in the US have already adopted a vehicle-mounted LRAD for crowd control, breaking up protests at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh last
year, although there have been warnings about the risk of hearing damage.
The LRAD has been tested on the Austrian S-100 unmanned helicopter, and the technology is
ready if there is a police requirement.
But rather than just driving them away, a police drone should be able to stop fleeing criminals in their tracks. Helicopters
already mount powerful searchlights, and strobe lighting capabilities can turn such systems into effective nonlethal weapons. High-intensity strobes can cause dizziness,
disorientation and loss of balance making it virtually impossible to run away.
This effect was first harnessed in the "Photic Driver" made by British company Allen
International in 1973. However, it has taken improvement in lighting technology (such as fast-switching Xenon lights) and an understanding of the physiology involved to make
such weapons practical.
A "light based personnel immobilisation device" developed by Peak Beam Systems Inc has been
successfully tested by the US military, and work to mount it on an unmanned helicopter in the States is under way.
This sort of light would be too dangerous for a
manned aircraft because of the crew being affected. But an unmanned "strober" could be a literal crime stopper, and something we could see deployed within the next couple of
Even the smallest drones could be used for tactical police operations. As far back as 1972 the Home Office looked at model aircraft as an alternative to rubber
bullets, literally flying them into rioters to knock them off their feet.
French company Tecknisolar Seni has demonstrated a portable drone armed with a double-barrelled 44mm Flash-Ball gun. Used by French special police units, the one-kilo Flash-Ball resembles a
large calibre handgun and fires non-lethal rounds, including tear gas and rubber impact rounds to bring down a suspect without permanent damage -- "the same effect as the punch
of a champion boxer," claim makers Verney-Carron.
However, last year there were questions over the use of Flash-Ball rounds by French police. Like other impact
rounds, the Flash-Ball is meant to be aimed at the body -- firing from a remote, flying platform is likely to increase the risk of head injury.
Another option is the
taser. Taser stun guns are now so light (about 150 grams) that they could be mounted on the smaller drones. Antoine di Zazzo, head of SMP Technologies, which distributes tasers
in France, says the company is fitting one to a small quad-rotor iDrone (another quad-rotor toy helicopter), which some have called a "flying
Robots are already the preferred way of approaching possible bombs without putting officers lives at risk. In the future, police may prefer to deal with
potentially dangerous suspects the same way, tackling them remotely using a taser if the situation requires it.
But tasers are controversial. In 2008 the Met rejected
government plans for a wider issue of tasers to non-specialist officers because of the fear they could cause, and there have been numerous complaints of abuse. For some, the
arrival of a hovering law-enforcement drone with a video eyes and a 50,000-volt taser at the ready might be a police technology too far.
U.S. 'Star Wars' laser plane successfully shoots down ballistic missile for first time Link
The U.S. have successfully taken out a ballistic missile with a high-powered laser beam mounted to a plane, it revealed yesterday.
The U.S. Missile Defence
Agency (MDA) announced the feat after the test overnight on Thursday in central California.
The plane uses lasers to lock onto the missile and follow its trajectory and
then brings it down with a single shot from its nose - all in a matter of seconds.
It is the first successful test of a futuristic, directed energy weapon and realises
what had previously just been a science fiction fantasy.
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan controversially proposed 30 years ago having lasers in space to bring down missiles.
Iran and North Korea could now be forced to
alter their missile programmes to make them faster and to look at how to counter the laser beams.
Aviation experts Boeing provide the airframe for the plane, which is
a modified 747 jumbo jet.
Aerospace and defence contractor Northrop Grumman produce the high-energy laser and Lockheed Martin are developing the beam and fire control system.
the first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration
against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an
airborne platform,' the U.S. MDA said.
It added: 'The revolutionary use of directed energy is very attractive for missile defence, with the potential to attack multiple
targets at the speed of light at a range of hundreds of kilometres and at a low cost per intercept attempt compared to current technologies.'
The test took place at
Point Mugu's Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off Ventura in California. MDA did not say what the range was.
Work on the system has been going on
for around 10 years and has cost more than $1billion.
Until now, the laser beams have managed to hit stationary targets from stationary platforms but direction one from a
plane at a moving target is a huge leap forward.
Critics claim the system may not be practical during an actual war and last year the programme was scaled back to one
plane by the defence secretary Robert Gates.
Defence analyst John Pike told The Guardian this week's test is unlikely to change his mind.
'Gates seemed to believe
that therw as no prospect of the plane engaging targets at ranges of several hundred kilometres, and that engagements at ranges of less than 100 kilometres were not militarily
Can the FBI Secretly Track Your Cell Phone? February 10, 2010
The Justice Department is poised this week to publicly defend a little-known law-enforcement practice that critics say may be the "sleeper" privacy issue of the 21st century:
the collection of cell-phone "tracking" records that identify the physical locations where the phones have been.
It may come as a surprise to most of the owners of the country's 277 million cell phones, but their cell-phone company retains records of where their device has been at all
times—either because the phones have tiny GPS devices embedded inside or because each phone call is routed through towers that can be used to pinpoint the phones' location to
within areas as small as a few hundred feet.
Such location "logs" never show up on your monthly cell-phone bill. But federal court records filed over the past year indicate that federal prosecutors and the FBI have
increasingly been obtaining such records in the course of criminal investigations—without any notice to the cell-phone customer or any showing of "probable cause" that tracking
the physical location of the phone will turn up evidence of an actual crime.
"Most people don't understand they are carrying a tracking device in their pockets," says Kevin Bankston, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group
that has been trying to monitor the Justice Department's practice.
Much about the practice—including how many "tracking" records have been collected by the government—remains shrouded in secrecy. But in one court case in which the use of
such records arose, a Philadelphia FBI agent named William Shute testified that he had obtained such records 150 times in recent years in order to track the location of federal
It also briefly became an issue in last year's New Jersey gubernatorial race when the ACLU obtained records showing that, as U.S. attorney, Republican candidate (and now
governor) Chris Christie had acquired such records 79 times without judicial warrants. (Christie called criticism of the practice "overblown hyperbole.")
This week, the constitutionality of the Justice Department's method of acquiring such records will be argued in federal court for the first time.
A panel of three federal judges in Philadelphia on Friday is due to hear oral arguments in a landmark case in which Bankston's group and the ACLU are contending that the
Justice Department's cell-phone tracking practice raises profound "privacy" issues under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The groups contend the Justice Department should be required to first obtain the equivalent of
search warrants from federal judges in which they would have to establish "probable cause" that the records will actually yield evidence of a federal crime.
Currently, the records are obtained under what are known as "2703(d)" orders—a
reference to an obscure provision of a federal law known as the Stored Communications Act—in which prosecutors only need to assert that there are "reasonable grounds" to believe
the records are "relevant" to an ongoing federal criminal investigation, a much lower standard that that needed for a search warrant.
The case arose because a federal magistrate in a drug case in Philadelphia refused to grant an order to turn over cell-phone tracking records of one subject, making the
magistrate (and a handful of other magistrates and federal judges who have issued similar rulings in recent years) something of a hero to privacy advocates.
But the Justice Department is appealing, contending in a brief that the concerns of its privacy critics are "outlandish" and overblown. The thrust of the department's
argument: cell-phone tracking records are "routine business records" that contain "non content" data and are therefore "unprotected" under the Fourth Amendment of the
Constitution. The idea that the government's acquisition of records might lead to "dragnet surveillance"—as the critics claim—is an "absurdity," states one of the Justice
Department's briefs in the case, which is cofiled by Mark Eckenwiler, the associate director of the DOJ's Office of Enforcement Operations.
Federal prosecutors were even more blunt in an earlier cell-phone tracking dispute, although in ways that might hardly be reassuring to most cell-phone users.
"One who does not wish to disclose his movements to the government need not use a cellular telephone," the prosecutors wrote.
CELL PHONE (FBI can listen to you when phone is turned off)
Patriot Act Renewal Process Extended Until the End of February
Act was supposed to expire at end of 2009; will Christmas Day terrorism attempt affect outcome?
Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 1/12/2010
Will keep pressure on but fears climate may have changed
Despite some library-friendly changes last fall in one version of the
USA PATRIOT Act renewal, Congress did not resolve its differences, and in December extended the sunset deadline for the sections of the act that were supposed to expire at the
end of the year.
Now Congress must renew or revise those sections, notably Section 215 (which includes the business records provision involving libraries), by the end of February.
According to a pre-Midwinter Meeting circulated by the American Library Association (ALA), the organization, along with allies, "has been pushing to raise the appropriate
legal standards for law enforcement to obtain, and for recipients to challenge, orders for library records, attached gag orders and other information. Although this fall’s
debate could have targeted only the three sunsetting provisions, the coalitions and ALA also emphasized the need to reform legal standards covering national security letters
Two bills pending Dueling bills are pending in the House, H.R. 3845, and Senate, S. 1692. (Here's a comparison
chart via the Center for Democracy and Technology.)
"At this time, the House bill, H.R. 3845, is preferred over the Senate version, in part because H.R. 3845 also includes some improvement to the NSL standards," ALA
said, expressing disappointment that the federal government supports the “weaker” versions of these bills.
"If they had their way, they would merely reauthorize the three sections 'as is,'" ALA warned, suggeting that concerns over terrorism fueled by the attempted Christmas
Day airplane bombing attempt likely will impact Congressional deliberations or even additional amendments.
Law Suit against 4 US Presidents & 4 UK Prime Ministers for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity & Genocide in Iraq Statement on Closure of Legal Case for Iraq in Spain
By BRussells Tribunal
Link February 10, 2010
Law Suit in Spanish Court directed against George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Anthony Blair and
MADRID/CAIRO: Public inquiries on the decision to wage war on Iraq that are silent about the crimes committed, the victims involved, and
provide for no sanction, whatever their outcome, are not enough. Illegal acts should entail consequences: the dead and the harmed deserve justice. On 6 October
2009, working with and on behalf of Iraqi plaintiffs, we filed a case before Spanish law against four US presidents and four UK prime ministers for war crimes, crimes against
humanity and genocide in Iraq. The case presented spanned 19 years, including not only the wholesale destruction of Iraq witnessed from 2003, but also the sanctions period
during which 1.5 million excess Iraqi deaths were recorded. We brought the case to Spain because its laws of universal jurisdiction are based on principles
enshrined in its constitution. All humanity knows the crimes committed in Iraq by those we accused, but no jurisdiction is bringing them to justice. We presented with Iraqi
victims a solid case drawing on evidence contained in over 900 documents and that refer to thousands of individual incidents from which a pattern of accumulated harm and intent
can be discerned. When we brought our case, we knew that the Spanish Senate would soon vote on an amendment earlier passed by the lower house of parliament to
curtail the application of universal jurisdiction in Spain. We were conscious that this restriction could be retroactive, and we took account of the content of the proposed
amendment in our case filing. As we imagined, 2009 turned out to be a sad year for upholding universal human rights and international law in Spain. One day after we filed, the
law was curtailed, and soon thereafter our case closed. Serious cases of the kind universal jurisdiction exists to address became more difficult to
investigate. One more jurisdiction to fall
Despite submitting a 110-page long referenced accusation (the Introduction of which is
appended to this statement), the Spanish public prosecutor and the judge assigned to our case determined there was no reason to investigate. Their arguments were erroneous and
could easily have been refuted if we could have appealed. To do so we needed a professional Spanish lawyer either in a paid capacity or as a volunteer who wished to help the
Iraqi people in its struggle for justice. As we had limited means, and for other reasons mostly concerning internal Spanish affairs, which were not our concern, we could not
secure a lawyer in either capacity to appeal. Our motion for more time to find a lawyer was rejected. We continue to believe that the violent killing of over one
million people in Iraq since 2003 alone, the ongoing US occupation that carries direct legal responsibility and the displacement of up to a fifth of the Iraqi population
from the terror that occupation has entailed and incited suggests strongly that the claims we put forward ought to be further investigated. In reality, our case
is a paramount example of those that authorities in the West Spain included fear. To them, such cases represent the double edge of sustaining the principle of universal
jurisdiction. Western states used universal jurisdiction in the past to judge Third World countries. When victims in the global South began using it to judge Israel and US
aggression, Western countries rushed to restrict it. Abandoning universal jurisdiction by diluting it is now the general tendency. Call for wider
collective effort to prosecute
We regret that the Spanish courts refused to investigate our case, but this will not discourage us. We have a just cause. The
crimes are evident. Those responsible are well known, even if the international juridical system continues to ignore Iraqi victims. Justice for victims and the wish of all
humanity that war criminals should be punished oblige us to search for alternative legal possibilities, so that the crimes committed in Iraq can be investigated and
accountability established. At present, failed international justice allows US and UK war criminals to stand above international law. Understanding that this
constitutes an attack or makes possible future attacks on the human rights of everyone, everywhere, we will continue to advocate the use of all possible avenues, including
UN institutions, the International Criminal Court, and popular tribunals, to highlight and bring before law and moral and public opinion US and UK crimes in
Iraq. We are ready to make our experience and expertise available to those who struggle in the same direction. We look forward to a time when the countries of
the global South, which are generally victims of aggression, reinforce their juridical systems by implementing the principle of universal jurisdiction. This will be a great
service to humanity and international law.
Millions of people in Iraq have been killed, displaced, terrorised, detained, tortured or impoverished under the hammer of US and UK military, economic,
political, ideological and cultural attacks. The very fabric and being of the country has been subject to intentional destruction. This destruction constitutes one of the
gravest international crimes ever committed. All humanity should unite in refusing that law by failing to assure justice for Iraqi victims enables this destruction to be the
opening precedent of the 21st century.
Ad Hoc Committee For Justice For Iraq
Hana Al Bayaty, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal +20 10 027 7964 (English and French) email@example.com
Dr Ian Douglas, Executive Committee, BRussells Tribunal, coordinator, International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq +20 12 167 1660 (English)
INTRODUCTION TO THE LEGAL CASE FILED BEFORE THE AUDIENCIA NACIONAL ON 6 OCTOBER 2009
The following is the introduction to a legal case filed 6 October 2009 before the Audiencia Nacional in Spain against four US presidents and four UK prime
ministers for commissioning, condoning and/or perpetuating multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Iraq. The case was filed under laws of universal
This case, naming George H W Bush, William J Clinton, George W Bush, Barack H Obama, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown, was
brought by Iraqis and others who stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in defence of their rights and international law.
The respondents herein identified in this complaint have all held or hold high public office in the administrations of the United States and the United
Kingdom, and/or commanding authority in the respective armed forces of these countries, and whilst in command or in office actively instigated, authorized, supported, justified,
executed and/or perpetuated:
1. A 13-year sanctions regime on Iraq known and proven to have an overwhelmingly destructive impact on Iraqi public health, especially child mortality 2.
The use of disproportionate and indiscriminate military force, including numerous extra-legal strikes and bombing campaigns throughout the 1990s, entailing the purposeful
destruction of Iraqs water and health facilities, and defence capacities, and the widespread contamination of Iraqs ecosphere and life environment by the unjustified and
massive use of depleted uranium munitions 3. The prevention by means of comprehensive sanctions, and/or military strikes, of the reconstruction of Iraqs critical civil
infrastructure, including its health, water and sanitation systems, and the decontamination of Iraqs ecosphere/life environment, backed by the threat of Security Council veto
where unanimity was not present for such strikes and/or the continuance of the sanctions regime 4. The launching of an illegal war of aggression against Iraq based on
deliberate falsification of threat assessment intelligence and systematic efforts to conceal from the general public in the United States and the United Kingdom, and other
countries, along with parts of the military command structure of the respective armed forces deployed, the true aims and objectives of that war 5. Establishing by design an
occupation apparatus that by its incompetence, inexperience, corruption and/or ideological or sectarian alignment and actions would finalize the destruction of the Iraqi state
and the attempted destruction of Iraqi national unity and identity, entailing an attack upon Iraqis as a whole and the intended destruction of the Iraqi national group as
The acts ordered and/or continued and perpetuated by the respondents identified in this complaint were unlawful in nature, were known to be and/or ought
reasonably to have been known to be unlawful in nature, and were based on manifest and purposive lies, manipulations, deliberately misleading presentations of facts, and
baseless assertions and other false justifications. The consistency of the propaganda effort that supported and contextualized these unlawful acts was such and was aimed and
known to be so that it constituted an international campaign of demonization and dehumanization of Iraqis, the Iraqi nation, the Iraqi state, Iraqs civil and military
leadership, Iraqs civil administrative apparatus, and Iraq in its Arab context. As such, and through actions taken and summarized below, the respondents:
1. Deprived the Iraqi people of all or the majority of their fundamental rights as established and protected by international human rights law and
international humanitarian law, expressed in the UN Charter and conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions, including the right of
defence 2. Structured and implemented policies that continue to deprive the Iraqi people of their sovereignty and the exercise of their freedom, human rights, and civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights, as established and guaranteed by international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the UN Charter and
conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions 3. Consistently gave political and legal cover to these acts, even as these acts were known
to be and/or ought reasonably to have been known to be in violation of international law, including peremptory or jus cogens standards of law 4. Asserted and defended
extra-legal immunity for all those engaged in acts that have attacked the protected rights of the Iraqi people, and established a pattern of impunity for those accused of such
attacks by failing to adequately investigate and prosecute specific and general allegations of grave abuses, and/or to ensure responsibility is assumed throughout the chain of
command that permitted or failed to prohibit such attacks, and/or dismissed or distorted numerous customary legal standards, including the laws of war and those that outlaw the
preemptive use of force in international relations 5. Abused and overran international law, the guarantor of international order, peace and security, which the United Nations
System exists to protect and is deemed to embody, enshrined in the UN Charter, and upon whose foundation the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gains positive affect and
Opportunity for redress for Iraqi victims in their own national jurisdiction is non-existent as Iraq remains occupied, its sovereign institutions dismantled
and non-functioning. Despite numerous individual petitions submitted to its chief prosecutor, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has stated that it has no jurisdiction to
hear cases of abuses and violations of human rights standards and international humanitarian law in Iraq. In light of US and UK threats to use permanent member veto power in the
past, it is not foreseeable that the Security Council in the future will refer complaints in Iraq to the ICC, and nor can Iraqis wait for Security Council reform. Without
effective investigation and prosecution of these abuses and violations, the international community runs the risk of allowing a precedent of unlawful action of such grave
magnitude to be set without censure, thereby endangering the rights and dignity not only of Iraqis but also of people the world over. Such a precedent would be contrary to the
UN Charter and the principles upon which the international order of states is deemed to be founded. The basis for public acceptance of a state of law is that it protects peace
and defends the wellbeing of the people. Failure to investigate and effectively prosecute the catalogue of grave abuses and violations perpetrated by the respondents in Iraq,
and against the Iraqi people, would constitute an ongoing and inherent threat to the basis of the international order in general and to international peace and security
Alongside those in official positions of authority, key political advisers, lobbyists, strategists and corporate representatives have also played a crucial
role in the ideological and political justifications and legitimization sought and falsely proposed in order to execute the overall policy embraced, inclusive of an accumulated
pattern of attacks, military and otherwise, that has lasted 19 years to date, culminating in the 2003 illegal war of aggression waged on Iraq and that continues to be executed
despite wide and ongoing condemnation. Though there are nuances of responsibility inherent to the nature of policy construction and execution, the personal relations and
interconnections between primary and secondary level individuals involved, and the groups or common circles to which they belong, testify to a large degree of cohesion present
in intent and action among the respondents identified and those who support and benefit from the policies they have pursued. At the least, this shared intent is one of
deliberate harm; at worst, it amounts to an objective intent to destroy for definable, and at times publicly enunciated, strategic, geopolitical and geo-economic reasons.
Furthermore, none of the respondents can reasonably claim they did not have knowledge of the likely outcome of their policies, and those they supported, as all had not only
participated in the design and execution of these policies, but they continued to execute said policies once their effects were widely known and had been proven to be
detrimental to and destructive of the health, sovereignty and rights of the Iraqi people, and further have defended these policies and in majority continue to do so.
From the start of the implementation of a US-instigated and dominantly administered sanctions regime up to the present day, an approximate total of 2,700,000
Iraqis have died as a direct result of sanctions followed by the US-UK led war of aggression on, and occupation of, Iraq beginning in 2003. Among those killed during the
sanctions period were 560,000 children. From 2003 onwards, having weakened Iraqs civil and military infrastructure to the degree that its people were rendered near totally
defenceless, Iraq was subject to a level of aggression of near unprecedented scale and nature in international history, occurring in parallel with the promotion of a partition
plan for Iraq, the substantial direct funding of sectarian groups and militias that would play a key role in fragmenting the country under occupation, both administratively and
in terms of national identity, the cancellation of the former state apparatus and the dismissal of its personnel entailing the collapse of all public services and state
protection for the Iraqi people, the further destruction of the health and education systems of Iraq, and the creation of waves of internal and external displacement totaling
nearly 5,000,000 Iraqis, or one fifth of the Iraqi population. By December 2007, the Iraqi Anti-Corruption Board reported that there were up to 5,000,000 orphans in Iraq, while
the Iraqi Ministry of Womens Affairs counts 3,000,000 widows as of 2009.
Such massive destruction of life, having as context a 19-year period of accumulated attacks, with numerous warnings and opportunities for remedy and a
reversal of policy ignored, cannot be mere happenstance. Indeed, the paramount charge that must be investigated, and that plain fact evidence suggests, is that this level of
destruction has been integral to the US and UKs shared international policy for Iraq. The destruction in whole or in part of the Iraqi people as a national group, and depriving
this group of all or the majority of its rights, appears from a reasoned account of the catalogue of violations, abuses and attacks to which the Iraqi people have been subject
to be the unlawful means pursued purposely by the respondents in order to redraw by force the strategic and political map of the Arab region and Iraqs place within that
context, and to capture, appropriate and plunder, via the cancellation of the sovereignty of the Iraqi people and the destruction and fragmentation of their identity and unity
as a national group, Iraqs substantial natural energy resources. Historically, the Iraqi national group, variegated yet cohesive, was and continues to be, despite the
aggression faced, firmly rooted in its overwhelming majority in the concept of citizenship of the Iraqi state a state founded on public provision of services and a nationally
owned energy industry. The policy that the respondents have sought and continue to seek to impose, that has entailed privatizing and seizing ownership of Iraqi citizens
resources, along with the administrative and political partition of the former unitary state, is contrary to the basis of, and cohesion of, the Iraqi people as a national
Until prevented by effective legal investigation and precautionary action, it is highly likely that the combined US/UK strategy in Iraq will continue, though
its tactics may change. Iraqis in the majority show no sign of surrendering their right to and belief in Iraqi citizenship, including sovereign control over Iraqs natural
resources. Between a belligerent foreign aggressor and a resilient, resistant people legal action is crucial to end the ongoing and by all likelihood perpetual slaughter of
Iraqis and the destruction of their national identity and rights. We are before immoral and unlawful acts, contrary to the basis on which the international order of state
sovereignty and peace and security rests, and that brought about and continue to pursue the destruction of the Iraqi state and attempted destruction of the Iraqi nation. Whereas
1,200,000 Iraqis, according to credible estimates, have lost their lives to violence since 2003 alone, the Iraqi people continue to lose their lives or at best live under
constant fear of death, mutilation, detention, exile and lack of access to their rightful resources and freedoms. The sum of these conditions, the outcome of a pattern of
purposeful action whose consequences could be foreseen, and of which detailed and compelling notice was served, situated in a context of false justifications, deceptions, and
outright lies, and matched by the unlawful use of force, and disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force, amounts to substantive violations of the 1948 Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
As proof of the widespread impact of past and current US and UK policies, in 2009 the American Friends Service Committee, in collaboration with the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), reported that some 80 per cent of Iraqis surveyed in Iraq had witnessed a shooting, 68 per cent had been interrogated or harassed by militias,
77 per cent had been affected by shelling/rocket attacks, 72 per cent had witnessed a car bombing, 23 per cent of Iraqis in Baghdad had had a family member kidnapped, and 75 per
cent had had a family member or someone close to them murdered.
Military operations in Iraq from 2003 have already cost for the United States an estimated $800 billion, with long-term costs estimated at $1.8 trillion. By
2009, the estimated cost for the United Kingdom, according to figures released by the UK Ministry of Defence, was Â£8.4 billion ($13.7 billion). The United States continues to
spend $12 billion on the war per month. There has been a total of 513,000 US soldiers deployed to Iraq since 2003. Some 170,000 were stationed during the Surge campaign of
2007, and 130,000 remain deployed as of June 2009. In addition to regular armed forces, the US administration is believed to employ up to 130,000 additional private security
contractors and has refused to release official numbers in this regard. Security companies have been granted blanket immunity under Iraqi law. Equally, there is no effective
mechanism, or hope, for Iraqis to hold US and UK forces to account directly.
The narration of facts that follows is substantiated with evidence detailed in the Annex. Other facts to be investigated while reported are not mentioned in
MORE than half of Chinese people questioned in a poll believe China and America are heading for a new “cold war”.
The finding came after battles over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, climate change, internet freedom and human rights which have poisoned relations in the three months since President
Barack Obama made a fruitless visit to Beijing.
According to diplomatic sources, a rancorous postmortem examination is under way inside the US government, led by officials who think the president was badly advised and was
made to appear weak.
In China’s eyes, the American response — which includes a pledge by Obama to get tougher on trade — is a reaction against its rising power.
Now almost 55% of those questioned for Global Times, a state-run newspaper, agree that “a cold war will break out between the US and China”.
An independent survey of Chinese-language media for The Sunday Times has found army and navy officers predicting a military showdown and political leaders calling for China
to sell more arms to America’s foes. The trigger for their fury was Obama’s decision to sell $6.4 billion (£4 billion) worth of weapons to Taiwan, the thriving
democratic island that has ruled itself since 1949.
“We should retaliate with an eye for an eye and sell arms to Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela,” declared Liu Menxiong, a member of the Chinese
people’s political consultative conference.
He added: “We have nothing to be afraid of. The North Koreans have stood up to America and has anything happened to them? No. Iran stands up to America and does
disaster befall it? No.”
Officially, China has reacted by threatening sanctions against American companies selling arms to Taiwan and cancelling military visits.
But Chinese analysts think the leadership, riding a wave of patriotism as the year of the tiger dawns, may go further.
“This time China must punish the US,” said Major-General Yang Yi, a naval officer. “We must make them hurt.” A major-general in the People’s
Liberation Army (PLA), Luo Yuan, told a television audience that more missiles would be deployed against Taiwan. And a PLA strategist, Colonel Meng Xianging, said China would
“qualitatively upgrade” its military over the next 10 years to force a showdown “when we’re strong enough for a hand-to-hand fight with the
Chinese indignation was compounded when the White House said Obama would meet the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, in the next few weeks.
“When someone spits on you, you have to get back,” said Huang Xiangyang, a commentator in the China Daily newspaper, usually seen as a showcase for moderate
An internal publication at the elite Qinghua University last week predicted the strains would get worse because “core interests” were at risk. It said battles
over exports, technology transfer, copyright piracy and the value of China’s currency, the yuan, would be fierce.
As a crescendo of strident nationalistic rhetoric swirls through the Chinese media and blogosphere, American officials seem baffled by what has gone wrong and how fast it has
During Obama’s visit, the US ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, claimed relations were “really at an all-time high in terms of the bilateral atmosphere ... a
cruising altitude that is higher than any other time in recent memory”, according to an official transcript.
The ambassador must have been the only person at his embassy to think so, said a diplomat close to the talks.
“The truth was that the atmosphere was cold and intransigent when the president went to Beijing yet his China team went on pretending that everything was fine,”
the diplomat said.
In reality, Chinese officials argued over every item of protocol, rigged a town hall meeting with a pre-selected audience, censored the only interview Obama gave to a Chinese
newspaper and forbade the Americans to use their own helicopters to fly him to the Great Wall.
President Hu Jintao refused to give an inch on Obama’s plea to raise the value of the Chinese currency, while his vague promises of co-operation on climate change led
the Americans to blunder into a fiasco at the Copenhagen summit three weeks later.
Diplomats say they have been told that there was “frigid” personal chemistry between Obama and the Chinese president, with none of the superficial friendship
struck up by previous leaders of the two nations.
Yet after their meeting Obama’s China adviser, Jeff Bader, said: “It’s been highly successful in setting out and accomplishing the objectives we set
Then came Copenhagen, where Obama virtually had to force his way with his bodyguards into a conference room where the urbane Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, was trying to strike
a deal behind his back.
The Americans were also livid at what they saw as deliberate Chinese attempts to humiliate the president by sending lower-level officials to deal with him.
“They thought Obama was weak and they were testing him,” said a European diplomat based in China.
In Beijing, some diplomats even claim to detect a condescending attitude towards Obama, noting that Yang Jiechi, the foreign minister, prides himself on knowing the Bush
dynasty and others among America’s traditional white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant elite.
But there are a few voices urging caution on Chinese public opinion. “China will look unreal if it behaves aggressively and competes for global leadership,” wrote
Wang Yusheng, a retired diplomat, in the China Daily.
He warned that China was not as rich or as powerful as America or Japan and therefore such a move could be “hazardous”.
It is not clear whether anyone in Beijing is listening.