UN: US troops starve Iraqi citizens

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4344136.stm

A senior United Nations official has accused US-led coalition troops of depriving Iraqi civilians of food and water in breach of humanitarian law.
...
"A drama is taking place in total silence in Iraq, where the coalition's occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population," Mr Ziegler told a press conference.
Mr.Ziegler said that in Falluja, Tal Afar and Samarra, Iraqi and US-led forces had cut off or restricted food and water to encourage residents to flee before assaults on entrenched Sunni fighters over the past year.

Do you think that full blockade (including blocking of food supplies) is a right method of warfare?
 
#2
Yes, but were the population told at the same time, that if they moved to GRID 123456 , there would be tented accomodation, food and healthcare facilities? It's one thing to say "starved out" it's another thing to say "Supplies cut off to motivate people to move from an area of imminient danger, to a safe area temporairily"

Incidentally, this is what I suggested in my e-mail to Secretary Powell during the build up to Fallujah, but it probably got the circular file treatment anyway :D
 
#3
The cynic might point out that the difference between starvation or motivation to move to a safe area is fairly irrelevant, given that the very next thing to be said was "we're now going to blow up your homes to save them". Why do they hate us again ?
 
#4
I suppose in a few years time, when freedom and peace finally descend across the length and breadth of Iraq, there'll be a McDonalds on every corner. And in between slurps of sickly milkshake and gulps of reconstituted camel burger, the portly populace will look back and laugh at the folly of resisting the US mission to 'free' them.
 
#6
AndyPipkin said:
Whereas the Russian army's conduct in the Caucasus has been widely lauded as a model of humanitarianism and restraint, right, Sergey?
Andy!

First of all, I don't believe that strategy of American troops was inhuman. Maybe there were some (insignificant) points that (formally) contradict to Geneva convention. But I think that TEMPORARY cuts of food supplies in besieged areas is better than threats to kill anybody who is unwilling to leave these areas.

If you know about UN's reports about violations of Geneva convention by Russian troops in the Caucasus then let me know. It would be interesting to discuss them.
 
#8
Hi Andy!

Thank you for sources but I failed to find there a reference to any UN's report about violation of Geneva conventions by Russian troops. As to human rights organisations then they use to blame every country on daily basis with or without facts. Usually they produce only common words.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/601615.stm

MSF says human rights violations are worsening since Russia announced a new policy of detaining all Chechen males between 10 and 60 on suspicion of being rebels.
Hear about it first time. Have they facts? I doubt. But we read in the article

Federal troops combed Russian-controlled areas of Chechnya on Thursday looking for hidden rebels, checking residents' papers in the towns of Argun and Shali, east and southeast of Grozny.
How it is possible? Checking residents' papers on place is sensless if anyway all males would be detained. Do you see a contradiction there?

http://www.crimesofwar.org/chechnya-mag/chech-felgenhauer.html

Russian military chiefs have adopted a strategy that tries to copy NATO's policy in the Balkans in 1999: bomb till victory and win without heavy casualties. This strategy of victory by bombardment has inevitably lead to massive war crimes.
So I ask you: had NATO troops commited war crimes in the Balkans? Personally, I don't think so.

http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/russia/chechnya/

Today’s attack on a school in Russia, apparently by Chechen rebels, is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said today.
Maybe Russian troops helped the Chechens to capture the school?
 
#9
Perhaps Mr Jean Zeigler might like to consider the situation that this so called infringement of human rights occurred. He might then have a better perspective on the matter. Regardless of the right or wrong that created the situation how who he propose advancing the stalemate of terrorist attacks in an area heavily populated by civilians? Lets look at the options available to the spams:
1. Do nothing and put up with incresing attacks on soldiers and civilians.
2. Carry out your assault with the civilians in place.
3. Gently encourage civillians to temporarily relocate even though terrorists are showing no such constraint in encouraging them to remain.
4. Apply a tough but reasonable degree of force/motivation to encourage relocation away from what was certain to become an area of intense violence.

Finally I would like to ask Mr Zeigler how many Iraqi's died from starvation or received medical attention as a result of starvation?

PS I hate this UN holier than though cr*p when their own behaviour is hardly a beacon of light on all things Iraq.
 
#10
Birdie_Numnums said:
Perhaps Mr Jean Zeigler might like to consider the situation that this so called infringement of human rights occurred. He might then have a better perspective on the matter. Regardless of the right or wrong that created the situation how who he propose advancing the stalemate of terrorist attacks in an area heavily populated by civilians? Lets look at the options available to the spams:
1. Do nothing and put up with incresing attacks on soldiers and civilians.
2. Carry out your assault with the civilians in place.
3. Gently encourage civillians to temporarily relocate even though terrorists are showing no such constraint in encouraging them to remain.
4. Apply a tough but reasonable degree of force/motivation to encourage relocation away from what was certain to become an area of intense violence.

Finally I would like to ask Mr Zeigler how many Iraqi's died from starvation or received medical attention as a result of starvation?

PS I hate this UN holier than though cr*p when their own behaviour is hardly a beacon of light on all things Iraq.
Absolutely agree. Mr. Ziegler used formal approach. Suppose that American troops stop a lorry with bread and milk. There are no weapons in the lorry, only food. According to 4th Geneva convention technically the troops should allow the lorry to enter into besieged city. Can we say that in this (imaginary) situation Americans intentionally starved Iraqi civilians? I think that we can't (however starvation could took place). No doubt that Amrecans wanted to avoid as many innocent deaths as possible.

But probably there were formal violations of Genenva convention. So our American friends should plan their operations very carefully. Even formal violation is a violation anyway.
 
#11
KGB_resident said:
Birdie_Numnums said:
Perhaps Mr Jean Zeigler might like to consider the situation that this so called infringement of human rights occurred. He might then have a better perspective on the matter. Regardless of the right or wrong that created the situation how who he propose advancing the stalemate of terrorist attacks in an area heavily populated by civilians? Lets look at the options available to the spams:
1. Do nothing and put up with incresing attacks on soldiers and civilians.
2. Carry out your assault with the civilians in place.
3. Gently encourage civillians to temporarily relocate even though terrorists are showing no such constraint in encouraging them to remain.
4. Apply a tough but reasonable degree of force/motivation to encourage relocation away from what was certain to become an area of intense violence.

Finally I would like to ask Mr Zeigler how many Iraqi's died from starvation or received medical attention as a result of starvation?

PS I hate this UN holier than though cr*p when their own behaviour is hardly a beacon of light on all things Iraq.
Absolutely agree. Mr. Ziegler used formal approach. Suppose that American troops stop a lorry with bread and milk. There are no weapons in the lorry, only food. According to 4th Geneva convention technically the troops should allow the lorry to enter into besieged city. Can we say that in this (imaginary) situation Americans intentionally starved Iraqi civilians? I think that we can't (however starvation could took place). No doubt that Amrecans wanted to avoid as many innocent deaths as possible.

But probably there were formal violations of Genenva convention. So our American friends should plan their operations very carefully. Even formal violation is a violation anyway.
Sergey, what you suggest is sometimes not necessarily the right thing to do in war. Again, in Iraq just as we had in Northern Ireland you have one side being held and judged to a certain set of rules opposed violently by terrorists who have no such constraints. I'm not suggesting that those constraints are lifted but I just make the point of the difficulty involved. My second point is the complexity when the rules are simply applied to the situation with no regard to perspective. Is breaking a rule in order to limit civilian casualties not operating in the overall spirit of the Geneva convention?
 
#12
I have't posted much on this subject simply because the UN has little to no creditability with me. Its a place where international bureaucrats and politicians can go to get a paid retirement, Free trips and other perks with no oversight .

Jean Ziegler has his reasons for making the charges.

If and that's a big if ,food was withheld. It would have to be so people would leave a area so they don't killed in that combat zone. Well fed but dead is not my Idea of being Humane.

What is the morality of the of the Terrorist using people as human shields. They are hiding in cities knowing that the people in the cities are providing cover,and coalition forces will hesitate to kill innocent people. They should fight in the open so they don't inconvenence their fellow citizens. Mr Ziegler should personaly delevier that message to Zargawi.
 
#13
By the way after a google search on Jean Ziegler and reading through a long list of entries I have yet to find a single utterrance of criticism by him of the terrorist groups operating in Iraq. Is he just another anti-American on the UN. As the senior spokesman for Human Rights at the UN where is the condemnation of terrorist atrocities in Iraq?
 
#14
The UN is very much in the 'glasshouse' - Oil for Food, child-sex abuse in the Congo - and really shouldn't be throwing stones.
 
#15
Birdie_Numnums said:
By the way after a google search on Jean Ziegler and reading through a long list of entries I have yet to find a single utterrance of criticism by him of the terrorist groups operating in Iraq. Is he just another anti-American on the UN. As the senior spokesman for Human Rights at the UN where is the condemnation of terrorist atrocities in Iraq?
Mr.Ziegler is rather anti-Israel than anti-American and Iraq is not in the focus of his attention.

http://www.americandaily.com/article/7343

Ziegler was appointed by the Commission on Human Rights as Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in April 2000. In five years in this post, Ziegler has focussed most of the resources of his office on Israel – specifically the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
 
#16
KGB_resident said:
Birdie_Numnums said:
By the way after a google search on Jean Ziegler and reading through a long list of entries I have yet to find a single utterrance of criticism by him of the terrorist groups operating in Iraq. Is he just another anti-American on the UN. As the senior spokesman for Human Rights at the UN where is the condemnation of terrorist atrocities in Iraq?
Mr.Ziegler is rather anti-Israel than anti-American and Iraq is not in the focus of his attention.

http://www.americandaily.com/article/7343

Ziegler was appointed by the Commission on Human Rights as Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in April 2000. In five years in this post, Ziegler has focussed most of the resources of his office on Israel – specifically the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Are you sure Sergey? I understand that in his younger days he was a leading light in exposing Swiss Banks holding illegally siezed Jewish money.
 
#17
Birdie_Numnums said:
Are you sure Sergey? I understand that in his younger days he was a leading light in exposing Swiss Banks holding illegally siezed Jewish money.
I was unaware about it. So probably mr.Ziegler is an honest man who is fighting with injustice?
 
#18
UN watch
Reports



Mr. Ziegler, a former Swiss parliamentarian, was first appointed to his U.N. post in 2000, after being nominated by Cuba and Libya. Ziegler has boasted of his friendly relations with both Fidel Castro and Colonel Muammar Khadaffi. In 2002, together with French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, Ziegler won the Muammar Khaddafi Human Rights Prize, an award he helped establish in 1989
.


“
Ziegler’s tenure has been a great embarrassment to the U.N.’s human rights machinery as a whole — the Secretary-General’s comments are just one more recognition of what Geneva diplomats have long been saying,” said Neuer.

Ziegler, who was elected to the post without any previous food expertise, frequently issues pronouncements that are widely considered politically-tinged. He opposed food drops to the hungry in Afghanistan, dismissed the expert opinions of World Health Organization professionals as to the quality of food aid to Africa, and supported the land-grabs and evictions by the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.

“For the 800 million hungry people who desperately need a credible spokesman, and out of respect for his fellow rights experts and the vital causes they each serve,” said Neuer, “it is high time for Mr. Ziegler to draw the necessary conclusions, and resign.” Under U.N. rules, if Ziegler refuses to resign, a majority of 53 member states can nevertheless remove him from his post.

The member states have yet to take a position on Mr. Ziegler’s fate. Although the Commission will not meet in plenary session until March 2006, the Chairman of the Commission, Makarim Wibisono of Indonesia, has the power to appoint experts and, presumably, to dismiss them, in consultation with members states.



HUMAN RIGHTS HIGH COMMISSIONER SLAMS U.N. OFFICIAL FOR “INFLAMMATORY” NAZI COMPARISON

GENEVA, July 22, 2005 – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour slammed one of her organization’s human rights appointees for making references to Israel that were “evocative of Nazi Germany, and in my view, inflammatory.” In doing so, Arbour rejected the claims of Jean Ziegler, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, to the effect that his July 5th characterization of the Gaza Strip as a “concentration camp,” and of Israelis as concentration camp guards, was defensible on grounds he merely repeated remarks allegedly made by an Israeli, or that he was actually referring to “British concentration camps erected in Africa.” The government of Canada has also protested directly to Ziegler for harming the credibility of all U.N. human rights experts

UN RIGHTS EXPERT URGES EU TO SUSPEND TIES WITH ISRAEL

A
case against Mr. Ziegler for bias and abuse of mandate is pending before the UN Commission on Human Rights. In a legal brief filed with the Commission in July, UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO, accused Ziegler of singling out Israel alone for repeated and unfair condemnation. “Ziegler routinely ignores the 35 countries listed on the UN’s Food Emergency list,” said Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch. “Instead he is obsessed with the Palestinian territories, which have never ranked as a food emergency on any list.”

The brief argues that Ziegler breached his obligations as a UN expert to act with impartiality, non-selectivity and objectivity. “Search Ziegler's web site, reports, infinite media interviews and press releases, and there is not a single statement for the hungry of Food Emergency states like Burundi, Congo, or Liberia, let alone blame for any party,” said Neuer. “Yet type in ‘West Bank and Gaza’, and one turns up dozens of pronouncements, with Israel cast by Ziegler as perpetrator of ‘state terror’ and ‘war crimes’
 
#19
KGB_resident said:
Birdie_Numnums said:
By the way after a google search on Jean Ziegler and reading through a long list of entries I have yet to find a single utterrance of criticism by him of the terrorist groups operating in Iraq. Is he just another anti-American on the UN. As the senior spokesman for Human Rights at the UN where is the condemnation of terrorist atrocities in Iraq?
Mr.Ziegler is rather anti-Israel than anti-American and Iraq is not in the focus of his attention.

http://www.americandaily.com/article/7343

Ziegler was appointed by the Commission on Human Rights as Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in April 2000. In five years in this post, Ziegler has focussed most of the resources of his office on Israel – specifically the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Hmm, anti-Israeli. With a name like Ziegler? Was he, or was he not, a member of the Swiss Federal Parliament and was a vocal critic of the Swiss banking system's complicity in the acquisition of the assets of holocaust victims? How very interesting... Have you stopped to think that there's a chance that he's spending so much time investigating Israel because there might actually be something worth investigating in the West Bank and Gaza? Make no mistake, a great deal of the argument over the occupied territories themselves, is concerned with access to arable land and water.

PLEASE start using reputable sources for your arguments. You're making yourself look silly.
 
#20
crabtastic said:
Hmm, anti-Israeli. With a name like Ziegler? Was he, or was he not, a member of the Swiss Federal Parliament and was a vocal critic of the Swiss banking system's complicity in the acquisition of the assets of holocaust victims? How very interesting... Have you stopped to think that there's a chance that he's spending so much time investigating Israel because there might actually be something worth investigating in the West Bank and Gaza? Make no mistake, a great deal of the argument over the occupied territories themselves, is concerned with access to arable land and water.

PLEASE start using reputable sources for your arguments. You're making yourself look silly.
Once our dear moderator PartTimePongo asked me to use quote marks in the case of irony. First time I tried hard but it is virtually impossible because good half of my posts are ironic.

I meant that mr.Ziegler is as 'anti-American' as 'anti-Israel'.

Making myself look silly? It's my hobby.
 

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