News Release

Is the U.S. Committing War Crimes in Iraq?


Professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and author of the article “Aggressive War: Supreme International Crime,” Cohn said today: “Between 10,000 and 15,000 U.S. troops with warplanes and artillery have begun to invade the Iraqi city of Fallujah. To ‘soften up’ the rebels, American forces dropped five 500-pound bombs on ‘insurgent targets.’ The Americans destroyed the Nazzal Emergency Hospital in the center of town. They stormed and occupied the Fallujah General Hospital, and have not agreed to allow doctors and ambulances to go inside the main part of the city to help the wounded, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions….”
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Mandel is a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Canada and author of the book How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity. He said today: “According to international law, America’s war on Iraq constitutes the supreme international crime. If the Nuremberg Tribunal were reconstituted tomorrow, the president and his whole administration would stand charged. … The full-scale assault on a major population center like Fallujah, coming more than a year and a half into the war, only proves its madness and criminality.”
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Hallinan is a policy analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus and a lecturer in journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He said today: “On Oct. 8, U.S. fighter bombers carried out what the Pentagon called a ‘precision strike’ against ‘terrorist leaders’ in Fallujah, a sprawling city of 300,000 west of Baghdad. For the past two months Fallujah has been the target of a bombing campaign. According to the New York Times, the attack wounded 17 people, nine of whom were women and children. The victims were apparently from a wedding party that had just dispersed. The Times went on to quote a ‘senior Pentagon official’ who said, ‘We know what the strike was supposed to hit and we hit it. If a wedding party was going on, well, it was in concert with a meeting of a top Zarqawi lieutenant.’ … But according to Article 50 of the [Geneva] Conventions, ‘The presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character.’ In short, the attack violated the [Geneva] Conventions. … A ‘Pentagon official’ also told the Times: ‘If there are civilians dying in connection with these attacks, and with the destruction, the locals at some point have to make a decision. Do they want to harbor the insurgents and suffer the consequences that come with that?’ In other words, terrify the civilian population into cooperating, a strategy that Article 51 [of the Geneva Conventions] explicitly forbids: ‘Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited.'”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167