NATO is Guilty as Charged!
During NATO's war against Yugoslavia, the International Action Centre - led by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark - initiated a grassroots, non-governmental process to investigate NATO government leaders and to judge whether they are guilty of international crimes. On Saturday, June 10, 2000, the 'International Tribunal on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against the People of Yugoslavia' found NATO political and military leaders guilty of war crimes. A panel of 16 judges from 11 countries rendered this verdict in New York, before an audience of over 500 people.
Ramsey Clark, lead prosecutor at the tribunal, urged those present, and those they represented from 21 countries, to organize a campaign to abolish the NATO military pact.
Testimony was heard from eyewitnesses, researchers, political and economic analysts, historians, physicists, biologists, military experts and journalists. They each limited themselves to a single area of expertise that contributed a part of the evidence against the accused. Each part contributed to construct a proof that beyond a reasonable doubt proved the guilt of the accused.
Witnesses described how NATO forces used the media to spread lies to demonize the Serbs and their leadership in order to prepare public opinion for war. They showed the real economic and geopolitical interests of the imperialist powers - the U.S. and Western Europe - in seizing economic control of the area from the Balkans to the oil-rich Caspian Sea.
They also demonstrated how Washington rigged the "Racak massacre" and then used the so-called Rambouillet accord - an ultimatum demanding NATO's military control of all of Yugoslavia - to provoke the war. Taken together this all proved a crime against peace.
They also showed the use of illegal weapons, the purposeful choice of civilian targets and the destruction of the environment and the civilian infrastructure that add up to war crimes. The expulsion of hundreds of thousands from Kosovo and Metohija prove crimes against humanity
The witnesses' presentations were accompanied in many cases by slides and videos displayed on a large screen. This was easily visible to the judges and the audience, many of whom stayed throughout the nine-hour day. Pictures and videos were also on display and documentary evidence was offered in books and research papers.
The International Action Center (IAC), founded by Clark in 1992, organized the tribunal. Participants included those who had organized similar tribunals in Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Greece.
Ismael Guadalupe from Vieques, Puerto Rico, gave a powerful speech showing how U.S. military testing on his small island laid the basis for NATO aggression around the world.
Invited speakers, witnesses and judges came from Haiti, Spain, Turkey, Korea, Puerto Rico, India, Germany, United States, Canada, Italy, Yugoslavia, Russia, Britain, Belgium, Iraq, Greece, Austria, France and Portugal. The U.S. government refused visas to four from Ukraine, whose message was read from the stage.
There were also representatives of the Roma people - often referred to by the derisive term "gypsy." Shani Rifati, born in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, told how NATO's occupation has led to the expulsion of 100,000 Romas. The tribunal's verdict condemning the persecution of Roma, is the first of its kind.
Five TV crews taped the entire proceedings, including Serbian and Australian television, and alternate U.S. media sources like the Peoples' Video Network.
Having considered the Initial Charges and Complaint of the Commission dated July 31, 1999, against President Clinton, Gen. Clark, Secretary of State Albright, Prime Minister Blair, Chancellor Schroder, President Chirac, Prime Minister D'Alema, Prime Minister Azmar, [Prime Minister Chretien and Foreign Affairs Minister Axworthy], the Governments of the U.S. and the other NATO member states, former Secretary General Solana and other NATO leaders, and others, with nineteen separate Crimes Against Peace, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in violation of the Charter of the UN, the 1949 Geneva Conventions, other international agreements and customary international law;
The Members of the International War Crimes Tribunal find the accused guilty on the basis of the evidence against them and that each of the nineteen separate crimes alleged in the initial complaint has been established to have been committed beyond a reasonable doubt. These are:
(1) Planning and executing the dismemberment, segregation and impoverishment of Yugoslavia.
(2) Inflicting, inciting and enhancing violence between and among Muslims and Slavs.
(3) Disrupting efforts to maintain unity, peace and stability in Yugoslavia.
(4) Destroying the peacemaking role of the UN.
(5) Using NATO for military aggression against, and occupation of, noncompliant poor countries.
(6) Killing and injuring a defense-less population throughout Yugoslavia.
(7) Planning, announcing and executing attacks intended to assassinate government leaders and selected civilians.
(8) Destroying and damaging economic, social, cultural, medical, diplomatic - including the embassy of the China - and religious resources, properties and facilities.
(9) Attacking objects indispensable to the survival of the population.
(10) Attacking facilities containing dangerous substances and forces.
(11) Using depleted uranium, cluster bombs and other prohibited weapons.
(12) Waging war on the environment.
(13) Imposing sanctions through the UN that are a genocidal crime against humanity.
(14) Creating an illegal ad hoc criminal tribunal to destroy and demonize the Serbian leadership. The illegitimacy of this tribunal is further demonstrated by its failure to bring any case regarding the oppression of the Romani people, who have suffered the highest rate of casualties in the region.
(15) Using international media to create and maintain support for the assault and demonizing Yugoslavia, Slavs, Serbs and Muslims as genocidal murderers.
(16) Establishing the long-term military occupation of strategic parts of Yugoslavia by NATO forces.
(17) Attempting to destroy the sovereignty, right to self-determination, democracy and culture of Slavic, Muslim, Roma and other peoples of Yugoslavia.
(18) Seeking to establish U.S. domination and control of Yugoslavia and to exploit its people and resources.
(19) Using the means of military force and economic coercion in order to achieve U.S. domination.
The Members hold NATO, the NATO states and their leaders accountable for their criminal acts and condemn those found guilty in the strongest possible terms. The Members condemn the NATO bombardments, denounce the international crimes and violations of international humanitarian law committed by the armed attack and through other means such as economic sanctions. NATO has acted lawlessly and has attempted to abolish international law.
The Members urge the immediate revocation of all embargoes, sanctions and penalties against Yugoslavia because they constitute a continuing crime against humanity. The Members call for the immediate end to the NATO occupation of all Yugoslav territory, the removal of all NATO and U.S. bases and forces from the Balkans region, and the cessation of overt and covert operations, including the "International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia," aimed at overthrowing the government of Yugoslavia.
The Members further call for full reparations to be paid to Yugoslavia for death, injury, economic and environmental damage resulting from the NATO bombing, economic sanctions and blockades. Other states in the region which have suffered economic and environmental damage due to the NATO bombing and economic sanctions on Yugoslavia must also be awarded reparations. The Members condemn the threat or use of military technology against life, both civilian and military, as was used by the NATO powers against the people of Yugoslavia.
The Members urge public action and mobilization to stop new and continued sanctions and aggressions by the U.S. and other NATO powers against Iraq, Cuba, North Korea, the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Puerto Rico, Asia, Sudan, Colombia and other countries. We ask for the immediate cessation of overt/covert activities by the U.S. and NATO in such countries.
Members believe that the interests of peace, justice and human progress require the abolition of NATO, which has proved itself beyond any doubt to be an instrument of aggression for the dominant, colonizing powers, particularly the U.S. The Pentagon, the central and key element of NATO and the greatest single threat to the people of the world, must be disbanded.
We urge all people of the world to act on recommendations developed by the commission to hold power accountable and to secure social justice on which lasting peace must be based.
For more information, contact: International Action Center, Room 206, 39 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011 USA; Tel.: (212) 633-6646; Fax: (212) 633-2889; Email: iacenter@ iacenter.org; Web site: www. iacenter.org