April 1, 2008 – Hastings on Hudson, NY — Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Force Iraq must be held accountable for systematic violations of international law by US forces in Iraq when he appears before Congress next week, argues a new war crimes report published today by ConsumersforPeace.org on its website http://www.consumersforpeace.org.
The report, which was prepared with the review of noted international human rights attorney Karen Parker, recommends the following areas of questioning with respect to Petraeus’ strategy and tactics in Iraq during the so-called “surge,” resulting in Iraqi suffering that is generally unreported:
* Increased use of attack helicopters and aerial bombing against individuals and buildings under circumstances where it is virtually impossible to ensure against civilian casualties; and the use of excessively powerful munitions that also cause civilian casualties.
* Massive detention of Iraqi civilians without charge, often under atrocious living conditions, a practice that has increased in 2007-2008 both by United States and Iraqi forces.
* Continuing, intentional avoidance by the United States of its responsibilities under international law to provide for the basic human needs of the Iraqi people.
“These strategies are all violations of long-established rules of the laws and customs of war, also referred to as humanitarian law,” the report says in its preface. “What we are witnessing is no less than the United States forces committing war crimes on a daily, wholesale basis for no discernible reason except perhaps to maintain a perception of US dominance in the Middle East.”
Parker is President of the San-Francisco-based Association of Humanitarian Lawyers (www.humanlaw.org) and Chief Delegate to the United Nations for the Los-Angeles-based International Educational Development/Humanitarian Law Project (IED/AHL), an accredited non-governmental organization on the U.N. Secretary-General’s list.
The report, prepared by Washington D.C. based researcher Bill Rau using government and non-governmental documents, press, and video reports, is the third in a series on U.S. war crimes in Iraq published by Consumers for Peace since the fall of 2006.
“We are reporting on US conduct in Iraq simply because international law requires us as individuals, not just our governments, to act to stop war crimes,” said Nick Mottern, director of Consumers for Peace, which is working for total withdrawal of US forces from Iraq through a boycott of ExxonMobil, Shell and BP oil companies.