Monday, July 25, 2016

NATO’s Warsaw Communiqué: Planning the Crime of Aggression

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine. 

This is an interesting article.


I have been a defence lawyer most of my working life and am not used to gathering evidence for a prosecution, but circumstances impelled me to open a file for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, or perhaps some future citizen’s tribunal, in which is contained the evidence that the NATO leaders are guilty of the gravest crime against mankind, the crime of aggression. I would like to share with you some brief notes of interest from that file, for your consideration.
Article 8bis of the Rome Statute, the governing statue of the International Criminal Court states:
For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter on the United Nations.
The NATO communiqué issued from Warsaw on July 9th is direct evidence of such planning and preparation and therefore of a conspiracy by the NATO leaders to commit acts of aggression against Russia, and would be the subject of an indictment of the International Criminal Court against the leaders of the NATO military alliance, if the prosecutor of the ICC was in fact independent, which she is not, and of course, if the articles relating to crimes of aggression were in effect which will not take place until January 1, 2017, if at all, under the articles of the Rome Statute.

Nevertheless, the technical issue of jurisdiction that prevents the issuance of an indictment against the NATO leaders at this time does not legitimate the planning and preparation of acts of aggression as are contained in the NATO communiqué nor reduce the moral weight of the crime of aggression set out in the Statute and the Nuremberg Principles, for the crime of aggression is the supreme crime of war.

On their own words, set out in black and white, in their communiqué of July 9th, the NATO leaders, each and every one, and the entire general staffs of the armed forces of each and every NATO country, are guilty of the crime of aggression. The fact that there is no effective body to which they can be brought for trial is irrelevant to the fact of the crime being committed. They are the enemies of mankind and charged or not, tried or not, they are international outlaws who must be identified as such and called to account by their own peoples.

The evidence of their crimes of course predates this communiqué and consists in years of actions by the NATO powers, since the Soviet Union dissolved itself and the Warsaw Pact, under the agreement with NATO, the 1997 NATO–Russia Founding Act, that NATO would not expand into any of the countries formally members of the Warsaw Pact or the USSR, nor place nuclear weapons there. NATO has broken that agreement continuously since and has, as an organisation, or through groups of its member states, committed acts of aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Russia (during the Georgian attack on South Ossetia and through support of Chechen terrorist groups inside Russia itself), Ukraine and Syria with each act of aggression supported by massive propaganda campaigns to attempt to justify these crimes as legitimate. The western mass media are all complicit in these crimes by distributing this propaganda to the people they are meant to inform.


Tom Hickey said...

The plan with both Russia and China is to encroach on their borders to the degree that they have to respond to defend their sovereignty, and then accuse them of regression, while having built up a formidable force not only to goad them into war but also to fight them when they finally react.

The US is concerned that the window of military superiority is closing fast, now that both China and Russia know US intentions.

Ignacio said...

Tom US top brass must be insane if they think they can even confront one of those two countries, nevertheless both at the same time, even if it's at limited proxy local wars.

May be the last nail in the coffin for US supremacy in the last decades if they go ahead with that STUPID plan.

Tom Hickey said...

In foreign and military policy matters in the US, the neocons, liberal interventionists and war hawks are predominant and the realists are out. Trump is reasserting realism and the Establishment is freaking out. They are now even going as far as trying to picture Trump as in Putin's pocket.

Kaivey said...

Lets hope Trump is too much of an hedonist to risk nuclear war.

Tom Hickey said...

While Trump is a policy realist, I amy concerned about his foundational principle being "get even."

At the organizational level, organization leaders identify themselves with the organization itself, and they see relations among organizations as being among other leaders.

For example, in the navy as captains of a ship mount the gangplank either of the ship that they personally command or another naval vessel, the boatswain pipes them aboard and announces the name of the command, e.g., "Enterprise arriving." When presidents are being received, the boatswain pipes them abroad and announces the country, as in "United States arriving."

It's hard to stay above the personal. Which is a reason that adversarial leaders tend to be demonized.

I don't know how Trump would handle the person but he has a giant ego. I am quite sure that HRC would be challenged by it, if only because as a woman she would have to show toughness.

For example, once a leader lines up a force, withdrawing it or even drawing it down looks like backing down. Leaders really don't like backing down because it makes them look weak. The US is now trying to force Putin and Xi to back down to weaken them. They know it. What could go wrong?

Kaivey said...

The pressure is on Bernie to jump ship and the jill Stein at the Greens. We've got to petition him to save the planet. In history it will be all on his shoulders. Her could change the direction of the world, but will they let him?