by Christopher Black — Off-Guardian July 24, 2016
I have been a defence lawyer most of my working life and am not used to gathering evidence for a prosecution, but circumstances impelled me to open a file for the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, or perhaps some future citizen’s tribunal, in which is contained the evidence that the NATO leaders are guilty of the gravest crime against mankind, the crime of aggression. I would like to share with you some brief notes of interest from that file, for your consideration.
Article 8bis of the Rome Statute, the governing statue of the International Criminal Court states:
For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter on the United Nations.
The NATO communiqué issued from Warsaw on July 9th is direct evidence of such planning and preparation and therefore of a conspiracy by the NATO leaders to commit acts of aggression against Russia, and would be the subject of an indictment of the International Criminal Court against the leaders of the NATO military alliance, if the prosecutor of the ICC was in fact independent, which she is not, and of course, if the articles relating to crimes of aggression were in effect — which will not take place until January 1, 2017, if at all, under the articles of the Rome Statute.
Nevertheless, the technical issue of jurisdiction that prevents the issuance of an indictment against the NATO leaders at this time does not legitimate the planning and preparation of acts of aggression as are contained in the NATO communiqué nor reduce the moral weight of the crime of aggression set out in the Statute and the Nuremberg Principles, for the crime of aggression is the supreme crime of war.
On their own words, set out in black and white, in their communiqué of July 9th, the NATO leaders, each and every one, and the entire general staffs of the armed forces of each and every NATO country, are guilty of the crime of aggression. The fact that there is no effective body to which they can be brought for trial is irrelevant to the fact of the crime being committed. They are the enemies of mankind and charged or not, tried or not, they are international outlaws who must be identified as such and called to account by their own peoples.
The evidence of their crimes of course predates this communiqué and consists in years of actions by the NATO powers, since the Soviet Union dissolved itself and the Warsaw Pact, under the agreement with NATO, the 1997 NATO–Russia Founding Act, that NATO would not expand into any of the countries formally members of the Warsaw Pact or the USSR, nor place nuclear weapons there. NATO has broken that agreement continuously since and has, as an organisation, or through groups of its member states, committed acts of aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Russia (during the Georgian attack on South Ossetia and through support of Chechen terrorist groups inside Russia itself), Ukraine and Syria with each act of aggression supported by massive propaganda campaigns to attempt to justify these crimes as legitimate. The western mass media are all complicit in these crimes by distributing this propaganda to the people they are meant to inform.
The same powers have committed and are committing further acts of aggression against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Iran and China and continuously increasing their planning and preparation for aggression against those nations. These plans are also set out in the NATO communiqué but the gravest threat to mankind is the immediate existential threat against Russia, to which the principal part of the communiqué is directed.
The NATO communiqué is in fact a declaration of war against Russia. There is no other way to interpret it.
Many months ago I stated that we can regard the NATO build-up of forces in Eastern Europe, the NATO coup that overthrew the Yanukovich government in Ukraine, the attempt to grab the Russian naval base at Sevastopol, the immediate attacks on Ukrainian civilians in the eastern provinces that refused to accept the NATO coup, the constant propaganda against Russia as “aggressor” and the economic warfare conducted against Russia under the guise of “sanctions,” to be tantamount to a second Operation Barbarossa, the Third Reich’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. I was hesitant to so describe it but the facts were there and now others have recognised that the analogy is the correct one. And just as the leaders of the Third Reich were finally held responsible for their crimes at Nuremberg, so should be the leaders of the new Reich that the Americans and their vassal states are planning to impose on the rest of us.
At Paragraph 5 of the communiqué and following, they commit the first part of their crime by setting out supposed “aggressive actions” of Russia, in which, in every instance, they are the real aggressors.
At paragraph 15 they state, after some drivel about “partnership between NATO and Russia,” that,
We regret that despite repeated calls by Allies and the international community since 2014 for Russia to change course, the conditions for that relationship do not currently exist. The nature of the Alliance’s relations with Russia and aspirations for partnership will be contingent on a clear, constructive change in Russia’s actions that demonstrates compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities. Until then, we cannot return to “business as usual.”
What they mean by Russia “changing course” is, of course, doing what they order, and “compliance with international law” means nothing less than complying with NATO diktats. The world saw what happened to Yugoslavia, when President Milosevic had the guts to tell them to go to hell when Madelaine Albright issued her long list of demands, to him, including the occupation of Yugoslavia by NATO forces and the dismantling of socialism, followed by the choice, comply or be bombed. The Yugoslav government had the right and the courage and so defied them, and so NATO leaders activated the leg-breakers, the enforcers, and the murderers who serve in their armed forces and began the vast destruction of a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
We saw it again with Afghanistan, invaded on a legal pretext of harbouring an alleged criminal, Bin Laden, who has never been charged with a crime and who was working under US Army command in Kosovo in 1998-9, fighting against the Yugoslav government.
We saw it with Iraq, ordered to surrender weapons it never had, and then attacked with “shock and awe” a display of military power meant not just for Iraq, but for the whole world; this I what we will do to you if you don’t play ball.
We saw it with President Aristide in Haiti in 2004 when American and Canadian soldiers arrested him at gunpoint and exiled him in chains to Africa, while the world looked away. We saw it in 2010 when President Laurent Gbagbo was arrested by the French and thrown into the morass of the International Criminal Court. We saw it in 2011 when NATO destroyed socialist Libya and we see it now as they try the same against Syria and Iraq, Iran, North Korea, China and most importantly, Russia.
Paragraph 15 is nothing less than a diktat, “obey us or we cannot return to business as usual,” meaning, ultimately, war.
There then follows a long series of paragraphs of lies and distortions about events with everything blamed on Russia. They know these are lies and distortions of course but the point is that these communiqués are generated in Washington as propaganda devices to be quoted over and over again in the western media and referred to by their diplomats and politicians in every speech.
At paragraph 35 and following they refer to their plans for their new Operation Barbarossa, the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe. They call it the Readiness Action Plan. In other words, all those paragraphs set out their plans for preparing the logistical and strategic capacity to attack Russia. That they intend to do so is now clear with the placement of anti-missile systems in Poland and Romania and soon on Russia’s southeast flank in Korea, that are intended to ensure the success of a nuclear first strike on Russia by NATO nuclear forces. The anti-missile systems are meant to intercept any retaliatory missiles launched by survivors in Russia. But, as President Putin pointed out, they can also be used directly in an offensive capacity.
They then emphasize that nuclear weapons are an important part of their strategy and in paragraph 53 state,
NATO’s nuclear deterrence posture also relies, in part, on United States’ nuclear weapons forward-deployed in Europe and on capabilities and infrastructure provided by Allies concerned.”
The fear is that with recent exercises in Poland and in the Arctic in which the use of air strikes to launch nuclear weapons such as nuclear tipped cruise missiles against Russia played a prominent part, the United States and its NATO allies are planning for and preparing for a nuclear attack on Russia. This is the only conclusion possible since it is clear that Russia has no intention of attacking any country in Eastern Europe nor anywhere else and so the excuse given that the presence of nuclear weapons in Europe is a deterrent against Russian “aggression” is established as a lie and therefore their presence can have only one purpose-to be used in attack.
The evidence is before us, the dossier complete. It sits on a desk, gathering dust, of no use to anyone, except the court of public opinion, and what is that worth these days? But perhaps some one out there will take it, develop it and give it to a tribunal, perhaps one of the people, for the people, set up by the people, to try those who plan to destroy the people, that can act quickly, before the final crime of aggression is committed against Russia; against us all.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes.
Originally posted at New Eastern Outlook