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Saturday, August 04, 2007


War crime upon war crime

...and throw in a media crime as well.

For the last few days, stories have appeared in the press about the near total lack of running water in Baghdad, and now we read the associated story that the power grid is near collapse. Richard Becker, writing on pslweb, documents how these are not just tragedies, but war crimes as well. Occupying powers have a legal obligation to provide for the population, and they should be rushing water to Baghdad with every means available to avoid a catastrophe.

Meanwhile, trying to explain the cause of this catastrophe to its readers, the AP writes this:

The national power grid became decrepit under Saddam Hussein because his regime was under U.N. sanctions after the Gulf War and had trouble buying spare parts or equipment to upgrade the system.
But the power grid didn't just "become decrepit," nor did the water purification plants. It's not Saddam Hussein who needs to be blamed for this situation. The power grid and the water purification plants were deliberately bombed by the U.S during the first Gulf War, and deliberately bombed with complete foreknowledge of the consequences, thereby committing a double war crime - not only attacking civilian targets, but doing so with the knowledge (and, one can only presume, the intention) that genocide would result (in the form of more than a million dead Iraqis during the sanctions period).

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