Hope on the Balkans Kosov@ Crisis
International war crimes tribunal under way
The International Action Center is pleased to announce that the preparation for the International War Crimes Tribunal is officially under way. We both welcome and encourage all who would like to participate in the research effort.
The initial hearing on the indictment will be held in New York City at Dubinsky Hall at the Fashion Institute of Technology on July 31st. Currently, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark is writing up a multi-charge complaint, naming William J. Clinton, Madeleine Albright, William Cohen, various US/NATO Generals and others, as defendants for their part in the war against Yugoslavia.
Below you will find the 21 categories where research is needed. Please feel free to e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (212-633-2889) the International Action Center all relevant research, or research reasonably calculated to lead to relevant information. All research sent to the IAC should be labeled by corresponding category number. Please also include your name, phone number and e-mail in case you need to be reached.
The indictment will be based on crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes. It will examine the laws of armed conflict, the Hague and Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Charter, the United Nations Charter, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The categories are as follows:
1. Research into concerted actions to dismember Yugoslavia and obtain military domination of the Balkans.
2. Research into actions to destroy Yugoslavia economically and militarily.
3. Gathering of information on the destruction of facilities essential to economic life throughout Yugoslavia.
4. Research into the targeting and destruction of facilities necessary for civilian life-- hospitals, electrical plants, residential areas, bridges, water purification plants, and other vital structures.
5. Collection of information on the damage to cultural sites, including historical and religious sites.
6. Information on indiscriminate bombing throughout Yugoslavia.
7. Testimony on the use of prohibited weapons capable of mass destruction (including cluster bombs and depleted uranium) and inflicting indiscriminate death and unnecessary suffering against both military personnel and civilian targets.
8. Evidence on the attacks on facilities in Yugoslavia containing dangerous substances and forces.
9. Examination of the obstruction of justice and the bypassing of the UN charter by engaging in an offensive war against the people of Yugoslavia as a means of securing power for U.S. and other Western powers.
10. Investigation into the United States manipulation of NATO for purposes of securing long term US strategic goals of domination of Russia and other former Soviet Republics, Eastern Europe, and South Asian economic and political spheres and limiting defensive capabilities in the region so as not to interfere with US imperialist objectives.
11. Investigation into the corruption of the Constitutional power of Congress as a means of carrying out an illegal war, and committing crimes against peace, humanity, war crimes, and other high crimes.
12. Investigation into the destruction of the environment.
13. A study of the elevation of the number of refugees through a campaign of bombing,
14. An examination of a systematic policy of inflaming of fratricidal violence, financing and arming KLA militia forces.
15. After the 78 day bombardment, the severing of Kosovo into 5 "zones of control" as a means of implementing the premeditated divide and conquer policy towards the Balkans in specific, and Eastern Europe, Russia and other former Soviet Republics, and South Asia in general.
16. The policy to deprive the Yugoslav people of essential medicines, potable water, food, and other necessities.
17. Research into the systematic manipulation, control and restriction of press and media coverage to mobilize public support for their military and political goals.
18. An examination of the United States and NATO's permanent military presence in the Balkans, the control of its mineral resources and geopolitical domination of the Balkan region.
19. A study of the reconstruction contracts in Yugoslavia after the war, the impact on the economy of the United States and other NATO countries.
20. A gathering of examples of unsubstantiated rumors, lies and distortions by public figures in defending the war policy.
21. An analysis of the Ramboulliet Accords.
22. President Clinton, Congress, and the Pentagon conspired to use the war in Yugoslavia to vastly increase the trend towards militarism, including the large increases in the military budget. This not only leads to the danger of other wars, but constitutes a criminal cutback in spending on social programs designed to help poor and working people in the United States.
23. The attempt by U.S. and NATO to assassinate by aerial bombardment and missiles President Slobodan Milosevic and other top leaders of the Yugoslav government.
If you have additional questions or need information on how the research operation will work, contact Sarah Sloan at the International Action Center: (212) 633-6646.
On the war crimes tribunal
We project a massive people's tribunal on the war on Yugoslavia. It is essential that we develop an international forum that holds the U.S. and NATO accountable for its criminal acts.
A Commission of Inquiry into War Crimes that examines the U.S./NATO conduct of the war against Yugoslavia can incorporate the efforts of organizations and activists in many countries. What is needed is a public gathering of evidence worldwide in a form that can involve the efforts of many thousands of people. Eyewitness evidence, expert testimony from doctors, scientists and lawyers will be included. We will review the public statements of the leaders of the NATO countries describing their reasons for the war. The Ramboulliet Accords as a NATO ultimatum leading up to the bombing will be carefully examined and analyzed. Research will include the beneficiaries of war contracts and the new control of resources in the region. This International Commission will examine newspaper coverage, magazines and periodicals, TV news broadcasts radio and other public materials. Videotapes and photos will be used as evidence.
The indictment will be drawn up by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. It will be based on international law, international conventions to which the NATO countries are signatories, and the UN charter. This indictment will be ready in early July. The reading of the indictment and presentation of initial evidence will be held at a daylong hearing in New York City on Saturday, July 31.
This will be followed by other large public hearings of the initial evidence and new material gathered on an ongoing basis. These events will be organized by local activists in many cities in the U.S. and hopefully in all the NATO countries.
Many other countries around the world may also want to hold mass public hearings on the evidence gathered because NATO is projected now as a global police force. The major military and economic powers have set a dangerous new precedent on their right to intervene in the internal affairs of a small country.
We will help coordinate this effort through the internet and email. It will incorporate the use of videos and utilize satellite hook ups. Millions of people can be involved and educated on the aims of the war, the impact and the next stage of conflict.
At the end of several months of mass hearings the Commission of Inquiry will convene a final War Crimes Tribunal. The Commission will ask internationally acclaimed jurists, human rights activists, trade unionists, leaders of civil rights and women's organizations, members of parliaments and others to review the body of evidence and issue a public verdict.
Many groups and individuals from all over the world have already gathered and prepared extensive evidence of NATO crimes.
The international effort to gather material and hold hearings on war crimes will work with and utilize the material already gathered by many groups of lawyers, jurists, peace groups and NGOs along with the new material.
The body called the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is a political weapon initiated by the U.S. through the Security Council. Its very existence is a violation of the UN Charter and of the sovereignty of nations. This kangaroo court was established in 1993 as part of the effort to justify Western intervention in the Balkans. It is not in any way part of the International Court of Justice which has been based at the Hague in the Netherlands for 50 years.
This International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is stacked with U.S. influenced appointees. No comparable institution exists that is capable of judging U.S./NATO war crimes. Now, an additional 300 investigators will be added by NATO countries to look into Serbian war crimes in Kosovo. No investigators were added to look into NATO war crimes in Kosovo. This reality exposes the tribunal's real agenda.
As the official NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea bragged, "We [NATO countries] are the biggest supporters of the War Crimes Tribunal [for the Former Yugoslavia]. NATO finances the International War Crimes Tribunal." Washington decided to brand President Milosevic a war criminal long before the actual events for which he is charged occurred in Kosovo. On July 18, 1998, the U.S. Senate voted for a resolution to indict Yugoslav President Milosevic as a war criminal.
Last year the U.S. government sabotaged an international effort in Rome, Italy to establish an authentically independent International War Crimes Tribunal. Washington was opposed to any effort to establish a court or any type of international mechanism where U.S. military and political personnel could also be charged with war crimes.
The only avenue open to a genuine public inquiry into the events surrounding the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia is a broad based grassroots people's effort. Such an international activity can educate millions of people to the wider war that is even now in preparation.
We welcome your support for this effort. Please feel free to contact our office at (212) 633- 6646, fax (212) 633-2889, or email email@example.com.
Sincerely, Sara Flounders and Brian Becker
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