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End US's war crimes

Saroj KC Friday, Feb 17, 2017 2007 reads

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Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, signed the Lieber code. It was the first documented law for the war crimes in 1863. Since its independence of 241 years, America has been involved in wars approx 229 years. Many people have already lost their lives during the war and the number is still counting. There is no doubt that innocent people have to pay the consequences of war. But what about other crimes, that stems from war?


During the Hague Convention of 1899 and 1907, it endorsed laws against war crime. This was then derived from the Lieber code. There are many international laws against war crimes. But for some countries these laws mean nothing. In July 17, 1998 another organization came to act, the International Criminal Court. This court acts against the members who have committed war crimes: willful killing, torture, inhumane treatment, biological experiment and causing great suffering, destruction and appropriation of property, compelling service in hostile forces, denying a fair trial, unlawful deportation and transfer, unlawful confinement and taking hostages. All the situations are war crimes. But these rules and regulations is not applicable to America. The US government is not a participant of the ICC.




In 2004, the brutality of the United States of America came to light. Many photographs were released by CBS News. The detainees were stripped naked and beaten by the US prison guards. They were forced to have sexual intercourse with the inmates. The photographs also show the use of dogs to torture the prisoners. This incident was criticized by the public; the Bush administration denied the incident. But the pressure from the humanitarian organizations was undeniable. The Bush administration decided to charge some of the prison guards. The administration also demoted Brigadier General Janis Karpinski. He was the commanding officer of the detention facility to the rank of colonel.




In another case on November 19, 2005 US marines killed 24 unarmed civilians in the city of Haditha. Nine US marines were charged in the connection with the incident. Including Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who orders the massacre? He and his six marines were found not guilty on the charge. Despite the protest, it was unheard by the US government and the family of the victims never got justice. Lack of proper actions keeps influencing the incidence. This leads to another crime on August 22, 2008. The airstrike carried by the US Force, resulted into the death of 30 to 90 civilians. Pentagon described the airstrike as “a legitimate strike against the Taliban”. The US government denied the incident. After the release of a cell phone video, US government announced an investigation. But the investigation ended with an execution of Mohammad Nader. He was a local informer from Azizabad. He was found guilty for giving false information about the Taliban. Killings of the civilians never stopped by the US marines. On 11 March 2012, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales kills sixteen Afghan civilians and injures six more. Nine of them were women and children. He also tried to destroy the evidence by burning the body of the victims. Later he returned to his base and claimed the massacre by himself. The Afghan authority described it as “international murder” and demanded a public trial. US government didn't agree and started prosecution under US military law. Robert Bales was found guilty. He was charged with the murder of sixteen people and attempted murder of six people. He is in military prison serving a life time imprisonment with the possibility of parole.



Robert Bales, convicted for the murder of sixteen civilians and attempted murder of six more


It is clear that US government is not trying to reduce war crimes. They execute a civilian who had been accused for giving wrong information. But Robert Vales gets only a life time prison with a possibility of parole. A marine, who brutally kills sixteen civilians and injures six more. This is the reason that the US government is not the participant of the ICC. They do not have to face any jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for any of the crimes. This situation is influencing more brutality in foreign soil. This will never end unless the world put pressure upon America. US should be bound under the laws of International Criminal Court. If America follows the jurisdiction of the ICC, it will certainly help to stop the war crimes. United States government should also look forward to cut the war crimes. US government should introduce new laws and not leaving the guilty unpunished.


No country should be above the laws and humanity.

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