Gender and racial discrimination, surveillance, exploitation and so forth are only effects. The real problem is – that it is possible to suppress the people by false Science or false descriptions of the world – that supports Might Is Right. Or like this. We are not genuine citizens.

17 January 2018

Who Are The International War Criminals Committing and Profiting From War Crimes in Yemen? – By Theodore McIntire

Who is not aware of the widespread violations of the laws of armed conflict in Yemen that has prompted the United Nations to carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged violations and abuses since September 2014?

With so much accumulated and credible evidence of war crimes in Yemen, is it possible to determine suspected war criminals that are currently unidentified and unpunished?

Can anyone overcome a major challenge that the vast majority of the global community appears unaware of and unconcerned about? Who is willing to speak truth to power and identify the international actors who could be charged as war criminals for their role in exacerbating the humanitarian crisis arising from the civil war in Yemen?

The belligerent and supporting countries and actors external to the Yemen civil war are extensive. They include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Iran, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Academi.

Obviously the international entities involved and profiting from the Yemen civil war include many of the big defense contractors, but surprisingly the tentacles of this lucrative business extends all the way down to suppliers of logistics who are not normally identified as providers of military products and services.

In addition, the specialized field of private military contractors operating in Yemen is quite rich. Indeed, the field is so lucrative that even notorious individuals who had previously announced they were “…getting out of the government contracting business." have jumped right back into the center of this very profitable racket.

The most serious and wide ranging accusation that multiple entities have concluded and publicly documented is that the Saudi led coalition has intentionally starved the civilian population in Yemen.

Starvation of a civilian population is in direct violation of International Humanitarian Law Rule 53 which states the use of starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare is prohibited, and Rule 54 which states that attacking, destroying, removing or rendering useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population is prohibited.

The United States has actively supported the Saudi led coalition by providing intelligence, refueling planes, and selling billions of dollars in weapons and training to be used in Yemen. Additional weapons, logistics and services have also been supplied by numerous other international governments and actors who are fully aware that sold items would be used in Yemen.

Under customary international law, aiding and abetting war crimes includes three elements:
(1) A Principal person or entity committed a war crime;
(2) Another actor committed an act that had a substantial effect upon the commission of the underlying offence; and
(3) Required mental state: The other actor knew that that such an act would assist, or had the substantial likelihood of assisting, the commission of the underlying offense.”
Furthermore, the mens rea for aiding and abetting war crimes under customary lawrequires only knowledge and not purpose: “the accused knew that his acts would assist the commission of the crime by the perpetrator or that he was aware of the substantial likelihood that his acts would assist the commission of a crime by the perpetrator.”

With this knowledge and despite warnings from some officials in the Obama Administration that they could be implicated in war crimes for aiding and abetting actions in Yemen that have killed thousands of civilians the United States and other participating countries and actors have proceeded with aiding and arming internal and external suspected war criminals who have involved themselves in the Yemen civil war.

Multiple personnel in the U.S. Congress have been actively investigating U.S. Foreign Military Sales of training provided to the naval forces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that could serve as a crucial link clearly tying the U.S. to the naval blockade and resultant starvation of the civilian population of Yemen.

These and other widespread concerns have not precluded the Trump administration from pressing ahead with plans to expand the transfer of weapons and training to the region.

Although President Trump called for the lifting of the blockade of Yemen, neither a White House Statement nor simple Tweets would in any way obviate the President of the United States of America nor any other government official or citizen of any country in the world from the mens rea for aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen.

When considering the topic of suspected international war criminals we should also take a moment to consider the inevitability of future war crime trials. Reviewing the identities of already convicted war criminals it might be possible to conclude that it is impossible for some to ever be identified as a war criminal as long as they are not Nazi Germans, Slavs, Arabs, Asians, and Africans.

However, using a more objective standard of a peer reviewed academic resource on just war theory does not assume any such limitations: “In asserting the need to find universalisable principles, the just war theorist is usually keen to insist that any war crimes trials are held in neutral states and presided over by neutral parties, rather than the victors whose partiality in proceedings must be presumed: after all, in the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, no allied generals or politicians were held accountable for the atrocities created by bombing civilian centers in Germany and Japan and the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Overcoming ingrained preconceived bias to arrive at war crimes standards that comply with just war theory requires detailed, educated and thoughtful reflection.

Given the overwhelming volume and detail of information already available, is it possible at this point in time to outline a list of those who run the risk of eventually being identified as violating international humanitarian law or failing to fulfill their basic human responsibilities?

Is it reasonable to expect that some individuals from the belligerent and supporting countries and actors who have been in the positions listed below are likely to someday be identified as responsible for facilitating war crimes in Yemen?
  • Current and former heads of governments or organizations
  • Current and former legislators who authorized military action or failed to curb military action
  • Current and former Secretaries of Defense, Ministers of Defense or senior military leaders
  • Current and former government intelligence, military training and defense acquisition officials
  • Board members, Chief Officers, and Directors of major and minor defense contractors
  • Board members, Chief Officers, and Directors of financing entities
  • The public and citizenry for turning a blind eye and remaining silent

Who could or should be added to this list or called out by name?

Theodore McIntire

The author was a 1984 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, was a Major (Retired) of the U.S. Air Force and is currently a worldwide advocate and promoter of Human Security.

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1 comment:

  1. Mass Starvation as a Political Weapon

    A new book details the history—and future—of famine around the world

    Tufts University, January 18, 2018


    Tufts Now: In the popular imagination, famine is often connected with too many people and too little food—that is, with overpopulation and low agricultural production due to natural disasters such as drought. How does that line up with reality?

    Alex de Waal: That is nonsense. Famine is a very specific political product of the way in which societies are run, wars are fought, governments are managed. The single overwhelming element in Alex de Waal. Photo: Kelvin MaAlex de Waal. Photo: Kelvin Macausation—in three-quarters of the famines and three-quarters of the famine deaths—is political agency. Yet we still tend to be gripped by this idea that famine is a natural calamity.



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