Statement regarding Iraqi and other war crimes
By Elias Davidsson 16 March 1998
With regards to the international campaign launched by the United States labelling Iraqi President Saddam Hussein a war criminal and demanding his prosecution, the undersigned wishes to make the following statement.
The actions for which President Saddam Hussein is charged for, particularly the attack on Kurdish civilians with chemical weapons, took place in 1988, that is ten years ago. The evidence about this attack was widely disseminated but beyond verbal disapproval no state has formally demanded the prosecution of those responsible for these sordid attacks. International law requires though the prosecution of individuals responsible for such crimes.
Ten years and the Gulf War have elapsed without any legal action being taken by the United Nations or by the United States against the person of Saddam Hussein. No member of the United Nations has ever requested such action. Yet it is the moral duty of every State, under international law, to cooperate with other states and the United Nations to secure the prosecution of individuals suspected of participation in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
While not fulfilling their obligations in this matter, the United States and its allies have imposed conditions of life on the entire Iraqi people which have caused the death of over million Iraqi civilians, thereof at least 500,000 children. They are thus themselves committing crimes against humanity, largely surpassing in term of deaths and devastation those measures attributed to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
The invocation of Iraqi war crimes from 1988, ten years later, have little to do with a belated awarness of the need to enforce the rule of law but serve primarily to deflect attention from the horrendous consequences of acts committed by the United States and its alles against the Iraqi civilian population.
While the demand for the prosecution of war crimes, by both Iraqi public officials and others, is justified both from a moral and legal point of view, such demand should include all those who by their acts and omissions have contributed through military and economic warfare to the death of thousands of civilians in Iraq and elsewhere.
(slight amendments were made to the above text on 18 September 2006)