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A Million Iraqi Victims… Do They Deserve an International Tribunal? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Over one million Iraqi citizens have died since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 according to the recent survey conducted by (ORB) Opinion Research Business. The survey found that 20% of the Iraqi citizens had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, rather than natural causes. Narmin Othman, Iraqi Minister of State for Women’s Affairs said in an interview to Al-hayatt newspaper (1/2/2008) “over two million Iraqi women lost their husbands and were left without any supporter for themselves and their kids. They became victims of tyranny, poverty and exploitation”. US Department of Defense announced that about 600 Iraqi children, most between 15 and 17 years old, are detained in the Camp Cropper prison, which is a holding facility for security detainees operated by the United States Army near Baghdad International Airport. These are just very little examples among the huge amount of violations that the Iraqi people are facing daily under the American occupation of Iraq, which represents the lofty history, and noble culture of the entire Arab nation.

Human Rights Watch organization (HRW) announced in its recent report of January 31, 2008 that the killing of at least 17 Iraqi civilians by employees of the US- security firm “Blackwater” last September focuses attention on the impunity with which private contractors operate in Iraq. However, war determiners do not have any judicial inquiry. The question is: How does the “civilized world” accept violating the life and dignity of an entire nation in this barbarian way? How does this world become dumb while millions of humans are living in an absolute hell? I have always tried to answer this question in the last three years, and now I find the answer in an interview published in the “Foreign Policy in Focus” (January 23, 2008) by Michael Shank with the great American writer Naom Chomsky. He says: “there is a shared assumption here and in the West that we own the world. Unless you accept that assumption, the entire discussion that is taking place is unintelligible”. From this precept, adds Chomsky, the US talks about “the Foreign Fighters in Iraq”. Those foreign fighters are definitely not the Americans, rather they are some Arab fighters, as the 160,000 American troops are not foreign fighters because they occupied Iraq and it became in their own hold!

The second answer to this question is provided by the Human Rights Watch Organization (HRW) in its report of January 31, 2008. This report talks about the horrific profanations by Bush government to the human rights worldwide. The HRW says “the United States is still infringing the fundamental human rights by maintaining secret detention centers abroad, arresting civilians illegally, and justifying the act of torturing them. The HRW confirms that “the US also supports tyrannical leaders who breach the rights of their citizens under the pretense of democracy”. Kenneth Roth, HRW’s executive director says: “Washington and European governments always accept the results of the most doubtful elections when the winner is a strategic or commercial ally”.

The famous British writer, Simon Jenkins, gives the third answer in his article “The ‘war on terror’ licenses a new stupidity in geopolitics” (The Guardian – 3012008). He says: “the language loved by Bush has been translated into a universal disaster bringing death and misery to millions”. Jenkins adds: “from the law courts of America to the mosques of west London and the mountains of the Hindu Kush, the war on terror has been lethally and predictably counter-productive. It embodies the new stupidity in international affairs”. Isn’t it a legal right for the victims of this horrible terrorism which deluged Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon and Palestine with blood, death, annihilation, extortion, plundering, distortion, and torturing to ask for accountancy? Isn’t there any one in the Security Council who can ask for appointing a committee to investigate into the killing of a million Iraqi civilians, deforming another million and widowing over one million women leaving them in dearth and exploitation. Who is responsible for the explosions of houses, and the murdering of the Iraqis? Is it “Al-Qaeda” or the American Security firms? Who is responsible for combating this culprit war? Shall all its crimes pass without any inquiry or accountancy?

Saddam Hussein was indicted for the massacres he committed. So why not the American occupation is indicted also for its bloodbaths that registered an analogic number in the human history. In their continued statements, Bush and his aids insist on the crime of occupying Iraq because they are living tranquilly in the culture of impunity. They killed civilian Japanese in Hiroshima and millions of Vietnamese peasants. They also destroyed the life of the Palestinian nation and now they believe that they will escape punishment because they are civilized democrats and the victims are Arabs and Muslims.

No hope is expected from the United Nations, not even from the Congress or the democratic parliaments. There is no trust in the “independent” judicial bodies where the dogma of justice collapses when the criminal is a Western democratic political leader and when victims are “foreigners”. The question at end is: Do one million Iraqi victims deserve prosecuting the killers under the just democratic system of the US?