Who's Online

We have 353 guests online

Popular

3439 readings
Democratic Convention: Barack Obama CAN Chart a New Course for Afghanistan PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Sunday, 24 August 2008 22:31
Democratic Convention: Barack Obama CAN Chart a New Course for Afghanistan.

PEJ News
- Joan Russow - Global Compliance Research Project - Throughout the years, and throughout the globe, there has been no shortage of proposals for real change in the United States. If Barack Obama is serious about "charting a new course for the United States", perhaps he could consider the following proposed actions that would move the United States away from its years of militarism and chart a new course for Afghanistan.

www.PEJ.org
The US-led act of revenge against Afghanistan, and the subsequent ill-conceived NATO offensive action have been unconscionable.

The US and its NATO allies should end the occupation immediately and, instead, contribute to an international fund for compensation; this fund should draw resources for compensation from the NATO states and from any other states that have contributed to the destruction of Afghanistan. Obama, as a lawyer, has the opportunity of demonstrating that the US will no longer undermine but abide by the rule of international law and established international norms.


(1) ARTICLE 51- SELF- DEFENCE - OF THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS HAS BEEN MISINTERPRETED

In the case of Afghanistan, the US misinterpreted Article 51- the self-defence clause of the Charter of the United Nations. Under no circumstance could the invasion of Afghanistan be deemed to be a legal act; it was purely an act of revenge.

Other states that joined the US also disregarded the Charter of the United Nations when they accepted the US misinterpretation of Article 51 as a justification of the US act of revenge. Under most state criminal law, the actions of the US invasion of Afghanistan could not fulfill the criteria of an act of self-defence. (See references, for example, in various national criminal codes, to the operative principles related to what would constitute an act of self-defence).

(2) "OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM" HAS BEEN MISREPRESENTED AS AN INTERNATIONAL MISSION

Since its inception, "Operation Enduring Freedom" - the US-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, has been declared to be an international mission. The public has been deluded into thinking that the involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan was part of an internationally sanctioned mission. The UN Security Council did not pass a resolution authorizing the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The UN Security Council did, however, give conditional support to the NATO mission, providing the mission complied with the Charter of the United Nations. (See section below on how NATO has failed to comply).

(3) SUPPORT BY THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR NATO MISSION HAS BEEN MISCONSTRUED

ISAF, a NATO mission in Afghanistan, received only conditional support from the UN Security Council.

In NATO'S involvement, NATO States gave the impression that there was unconditional support by the UN Security Council of the ISAF and other anti-terrorism operations in Afghanistan.

In the Preamble to UN Security Resolution 1444 in 2002, related to anti-terrorism and ISAF operations, there was conditional support given to these operations:

There was a conditional sanctioning by the UN Security Council of a NATO International Security Assistance Force, which operated under the US-led "Operation Enduring Freedom". This Force, often described as a peacekeeping force, was sanctioned in UN Security Council resolutions only if the Force's actions were in keeping with the Charter of the United Nations. Under the UN Charter, one of the purposes of the United Nations is the following:

"To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,..."

There was only a conditional sanctioning by the UN Security Council of a NATO's ISAF operating in conjunction with the US-led "Operation Enduring Freedom". This Force, often described as a peacekeeping force, was sanctioned in UN Security Council resolutions only if the NATO Force's actions were in keeping with the Charter of the United Nations.

Under the UN Charter, one of the purposes of the United Nations is the following:

"To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,..."

(4) CONDITIONS OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL SUPPORT HAVE NOT BEEN MET

The US, in its US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, has been found to have violated the Convention against Torture, [with at least 600 credible complaints having been filed], and has yet to be assessed on its violation of the Geneva Protocol II on banned weapons systems, such as depleted uranium, and on its violation of environmental instruments.

VIOLATION OF THE FIRST FOUR GENEVA PROTOCOLS

It could be demonstrated that the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, through its use of weapons that would fall under prohibited weapons systems, particularly in its continued use of land mines, cluster bombs and depleted uranium, has violated the first four protocols of the Geneva Convention. Similarly, ISAF has been using these weapons. (See relevant conventions).

The Fifth Protocol has recently come into force, but the US has failed to ratify the protocol. This protocol is significant because it calls upon states to be responsible for the removal of weapon systems that are not self-destructible. The US should be called upon to sign and ratify the protocol, and all belligerent states, including all the NATO states, should be responsible for immediate removal of these prohibited weapons, which have contributed to insecurity within Afghanistan.

VIOLATION OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE

The US, in its US-led Operation Enduring Freedom, has been found to have violated the Convention against Torture, [with at least 600 credible complaints having been filed] and has yet to be assessed on its violation of the Geneva Protocol II on banned weapons systems such as depleted uranium, and on its violation of environmental instruments.

VIOLATION OF THE PROTOCOL II OF THE ICCPR
Last Updated on Sunday, 24 August 2008 22:31
 

Latest News