Violations Committed by NATO
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War Crimes Tribunal on NATO
Violations Committed by NATO
Lousie Arbour
An Impartial Tribunal?


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avgust 20, 2008


















Violations of international laws committed by NATO - Part 1.

The collapse of countervailing military power, and the reduction of the United Nations into an obedient organization of the United States, have now led to the disregard for a whole slew of international laws. The US and NATO are violating several international laws in attacking Serbia over Kosovo which is part of a sovereign independent state. American legal specialists have claimed that NATO actions constitute an evolving system of international laws. The reality is that NATO is making up the laws as it goes along to suit their convenience. The following are some of the main violations of international laws committed by NATO.

(1) NATO actions constitute a violation of Chapter I, Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter which states: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations." Chapter VII, Article 39 states: "The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Efforts to justify these actions through earlier resolutions or Chapter 7 of the Charter are acts of distortion and convenience. Article 51 of Chapter VII states that "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security." The problem is that Yugoslavia did not attack any neighboring states outside its sovereign borders. Instead, Yugoslavia was attacked by NATO, although no member of NATO was attacked by Yugoslavia. The Security Council did not sanction the use of force here. NATO bypassed the Security Council to illegally attack Yugoslavia because of the certain veto by Russia and China.

(2) The bombing of Yugoslavia is a violation of NATO's own charter which claims it is a defensive organization and is only committed to force if one of its members is attacked. No member of NATO was attacked. The relevant sections of NATO's basic purpose reads as follows: "It provides deterrence against any form of aggression against the territory of any NATO member state. It preserves the strategic balance within Europe." When communist rule ended in Europe and the Warsaw Pact was dismantled, presumably these rationales for NATO's existence also ended. An alliance usually posits an enemy in advance, and the enemy lies outside of the alliance system. A commonly perceived external enemy is, after all, the main reason for forging an alliance, not for some vague eventuality that a powerful enemy may arise in some distant future. Without an external enemy there would not be sufficient consensus and motivation to keep the alliance together. There is no strategic balance in Europe to keep. NATO is dominant and international laws have become inconvenient.

No doubt, maintaining an alliance without predetermined external threats may serve notice to non- members that the security interests of the alliance countries will be protected. But a single military alliance without the prevalence of countervailing military power would be perceived as a serious threat to other states and will provoke them to seek appropriate military counter balancing measures. Already there are moves among Russia, China and India to forge a strategic partnership. The rationale for NATO's existence may soon become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As such, NATO constitutes a standing provocation to the rest of the world, an alliance in search of an enemy, or needing to create one, in order to justify its existence. Thus far, NATO has found its mission--as absurd as it may sound to normal people except NATO enthusiasts--in pulverizing 8 million impoverished Serbs into the ground through 24 hour a day aerial bombardment. Hundreds, if not thousands of innocent Serbs have been killed. Meanwhile, it would be dishonest to argue that a weak Russia should not feel threatened by an expanded NATO and the attack on Serbia, a condition which the US will not contemplate in reverse including a similar attack on Canada.

(3) The so-called Rambouillet "Agreement" (Serbia did not agree to it) is a violation of Articles 51 and 52 of the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Article 51 entitled "Coercion of a Representative of a State" declares: "The expression of a State's consent to be bound by a treaty which has been procured by the coercion of it representative through acts or threats directed against him shall be without legal effect. Article 52 entitled "Coercion of a State by the Threat or Use of Force"reads: "A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations."

First Serbia was threatened with force in order to coerce it to sign the Rambouillet "Agreement," and when that failed Serbia and its entire population was subjected to massive terror bombing in order to bring about submission to NATO diktats. The Rambouillet "Agreement" was not negotiated with Yugoslavia but presented as a fait accompli. There were no discussions between Serbs and Albanians. The Albanians were persuaded to sign only because they were given to understand that once they got immediate de facto independence, within three years it would automatically become de jure. Yet Serbia accepted the political terms of the diktat only insisting that it will not accept a NATO military presence in Kosovo. Indeed, the military annex of the Rambouillet diktat was far reaching requiring that Yugoslavia allow NATO forces unhindered access to all of its territory at no cost to NATO. The military annex were sneaked in on the last day of the talks without the Russian representative's knowledge. Milosevic or no Milosevic, no state or statesman could have accepted these humiliating terms. It was a deliberate setup to invite rejection so as to proceed with NATO bombing.

The following exchange between NATO spokesman, Jamie Shea, and a reporter is revealing in the embarrassing terms of the "Agreement" in retrospect to the West.

Question: The Rambouillet Accords, appendix B in particular . . . called for the occupation of all of Yugoslavia. . . . Unrestricted passage throughout [its] air space, territorial waters, rail, airports, roads, bridges, ports without payment, the electromagnetic spectrum and so on. Was not the Rambouillet accord, which [Slobodan] Milosevic refused to sign, in fact, a desire to occupy all of Yugoslavia and not just simply Kosovo?

Jamie Shea: No, absolutely not. . . . We were looking . . . to be able to deploy an international security force, and that means, of course, being able to deploy the assets for that security force. . . . At the moment, all of our predeployed elements in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have come in by the Greek port of Thessaloniki. And for that, obviously, one has to have an agreement with the Yugoslav government to be able to have access to those roads, those rail systems, the air space for the business of setting up an international security presence, and therefore NATO personnel who may have had at the time . . . to transit temporarily through Yugoslavia will have had to enjoy those kinds of immunities. . . .

Question: That's simply not the language, sir. It's "free and unrestricted passage," the ability to detain people, for example, . . . and total use of electromagnetic spectrum, sir.

Jamie Shea: I was not a negotiator at Rambouillet . . . but my understanding, sir, is that it refers to, as you say, passage, exactly transit. And that's the point I've made.

Part 2