David Halpin looks at the litany of crimes for which former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will have to account sooner or later.
On the same day the BBC reported that former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz was to go on trial after five years in prison over the deaths of a group of Baghdad merchants in 1992, it was rumoured the former prime minister of Britain will be indicted for crimes against humanity. The list of charges is long and not confined to the many alleged crimes in Iraq. Mr Blair’s whereabouts are uncertain; he has been sighted occasionally in occupied East Jerusalem where he is acting as “peace” envoy for the “Quartet”. Most recently, he has been facilitating industrial zones for the employment of Palestinians and for the removal of a few of the over 500 Israeli Occupation Force roadblocks.
The charge list includes:
Examination of this picture shows Ali Abbas was subjected to radiated heatBreaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention from the time he became prime minister in 1997 until March 2003 during whichtime draconian sanctions were being applied to the civilian population of Iraq. These sanctions prompted the resignation of Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck who served as assistant secretaries-general of the UN. The former stated that the effect of those sanctions was genocidal. It was established that there was an excess mortality of babies and children of at least 500,000 between 1992 and 2003. This had to do with foul water, poor nutrition and deteriorating medical services, all of which were satisfactory before the sanctions took hold.
Conspiracy to join with another power in aggressive war, the supreme international war crime, contrary to the Nuremberg Rules and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. This was first made public when he joined Mr George Bush, President of the United States of America, and Britain for bloodied steaks over a barbecue at Crawford Ranch in April 2002.
High treason (betrayal of one’s country, sovereign or government) in manufacturing a case for war, the central one of which was the alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq. This in itself gave no grounds because the possession of such was no basis for a military assault on a sovereign country. Three aggressive nations, the US, UK and Israel, have held weapons of mass destruction for decades; no attempt has been made to disarm them. The grounds for UK military action against Iraq changed as the unlawful operation proceeded under the guise of liberation of the people and Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. The part played by the “sofa cabinet”, three of whom were unelected, in promulgating a war fought on behalf of Her Majesty is being minutely examined by law officers. One such cabinet member, Mr Charles Powell, recently stated on BBC TV that the aim of the war was the removal of Saddam Hussein from power. He would know that was an illegal aim. Ann Clywd MP was appointed Mr Blair’s human rights envoy in Iraq. She has continuously claimed a virtuous aim … [but the fact is that] at least a million Iraqis have been killed, about 40 per cent of whom will have been children. Using a conservative ratio, at least two million will have been maimed.
Ali Abbas’s trunk, hands and forearms were incineratedMr Blair is charged with a litany of war crimes that followed the invasion, one of which is the failure of the “coalition of the willing” to halt the further deterioration in the quality and quantity of medical services in Iraq which had already worsened during the 12 years of sanctions. Another obligation of an occupier is to maintain security for the populace. The very opposite happened. Disbanding the Iraqi army and other Baathist structures was central to the violent chaos which followed the invasion. Protecting the heritage of a country is another obligation of an occupier in international law. Mr Blair failed as leader to meet these and he is so charged.
The general charges in this indictment are followed by an annex which details names in which there has been death or extreme injury.
The charges also include collusion in a military and political coalition which has used banned weapons. The use of white phosphorus at Fallujah by the US was admitted. Armour-penetrating tank and cannon shells, as well as “bunker busting” bombs and missiles, have used depleted uranium. Uranium U238 is dispersed widely as a very fine dust; it has been detected as far away as the UK. Iraqi doctors claim that there have been dramatic rises in grotesque deformities in babies born prematurely, in leukaemia and in other malignancies.
The list of charges includes the case of Ali Abbas, then 12 years of age and formerly of the village of Zafaraniya, which is 30 miles from Baghdad, and his deceased family: his mother who was six months pregnant, his father, brother and at least 10 other relatives. It has been reported that, just after midnight on 30 March 2003 and 10 days into “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, a weapon or two weapons exploded.
We had all gone to bed and there was this loud noise and smoke. I felt very scared and I was in much pain. I kept shouting for my mother. I did not know at the time what had happened to her.
A photograph taken in hospital in Baghdad shows that Ali was burned across his trunk and that his hands and forearms were incinerated. His head, neck, abdomen and legs were unblemished. Examination of this photograph shows this boy was subjected to the most intense radiated heat – not contact heat.
Ali Abbas survived but his entire family were burnt by the Americans
It seems likely that his head and lower half were screened from the source of this radiation by a window aperture or similar, given the rectangular pattern of the thermal injuries. The weapon that caused such rapid incineration is unknown. It certainly was not a thermobaric weapon as used currently in Iraq and Gaza. Uranium weapons give rise to a fireball as the dust ignites. This can melt steel but there are no photographs of human victims of such attacks which match the incineration of the arms of Ali Abbas, although these weapons have been used frequently – both in the Gulf War and in the ongoing Iraq War. The clandestine use of a small tactical nuclear weapon cannot not be ruled out.
The authorities will require that Ali Abbas comes to the Hague to give evidence. However, he has not been able to leave Baghdad since last summer. He has of course required someone else to attend to his every toilet need and to his dressing. An uncle provided that for him whilst he grew from boy to man at the private boys school in London and where he excelled scholastically. Another uncle took over last summer but a visa has not been forthcoming from the UK.
The US named Tariq Aziz the Eight of Spades, thus coming 43rd in the United States’ set of 55 playing cards. His trial for involvement in the hanging of 40 alleged racketeers started on 29 April under a Kurdish judge and a military occupation.
The central charge against Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is that he has caused the death of thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians, the maiming of many more and the displacement of over four million people. Unlike the treatment of those humans, his hearing will be fair.
It is understood that he will be able to receive a Catholic priest in the cell which was formerly occupied by Slobodan Milosevic. The prison chaplain will encourage further study of “faith”, which with globalization were the topics of Mr Blair’s address in Westminster Cathedral. The commander-in-chief of the USA spoke of the “sanctity of life” when he was receiving the Pontiff in Washington recently. This principle will be applied to Anthony Charles Lynton Blair but probably not to the deputy prime minister of Iraq.
*David Halpin FRCS is a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon. He founded the Dove and the Dolphin charity, one of whose aims is to promote the health and welfare of Palestinian children.