When WikiLeaks released the ″Iraq War Logs″ on Friday, 22 October, it confirmed for many what they already knew or suspected, that US commanders were fully aware war crimes were being committed in Iraq, including the murder of civilians and torture of detainees.
The WikiLeaks ″Iraq War Logs″ is said to be the largest classified military leak in history and while the mainstream media is concentrating on the alleged danger it will pose to troops in combat, the many crimes that the US and other coalition troops have been involved in is played down.
The war logs include 400,000 leaked American military files detailing combat in Iraq between 2004-2009 as told by American soldiers themselves. It reveals a barbaric picture of torture and the indiscriminate killings of civilians.
The founder of WikiLeaks and editor-in-chief Julian Assange said, “The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends. In our release of these 400,000 documents about Iraq war, the intimate detail of that war from the US perspective, we hope to correct some of that attack on the truth.” (RT: 23 October 2010)
The report reveals that over 66,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invaded Iraq, this was from a record kept by the US military which they had previously denied having.
The report also goes into heartbreaking stories involving the effects chemical weapons used by both British and the US military during the invasion have had on the Iraqi people, especially young children.
Dr Chris Busby, author of “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth-Sex Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2006”, spoke about how infant mortality rates have soared in Iraq since the invasion.
RT news said that a report showed how Iraq had a higher rate of cancer, leukemia and infant mortality after the eight-month standoff than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. The chemical weapons used were illegal and breached international law.
Dr Samira Al-Ani, a pediatrician from Fallujah General Hospital, said that patients with nervous system malfunctions soared from roughly three a year to three a week since the invasion.
Babies are born horribly deformed, some without an eye and others without limbs.
Dr Abdu Wahab Al-Falluji, head of the Interior Diseases Department of Fallujah General Hospital, lost his son to cancer. His son was only 12 years old. He told RT of how parents left their deformed babies behind in hospital, scared of how their babies look and resigned into thinking that they will die soon anyway.
Wayne Madsen, who is a contributor to RT wrote probably the most important statement which should come out of the WikiLeaks Iraq war logs. He said, “I think we are seeing the US basically responsible for the same kinds of crimes that we allowed Iraq to execute Saddam Hussein and other members of his government for doing. We replace one brutal regime with the US-backed brutal regime. I think that if this was a fair system of international justice, we would see indictments of Misters Bush and Cheney, and Tony Blair and some the US military commanders in Iraq.”
One of the key issues which should come from the Iraq war logs is how the international system is a complete and utter failure. It cannot deal with crimes committed by the powerful simply because it is the powerful which create the rules and laws in the first place.
Another issue concerns justice. Without justice people become frustrated and angry, and can take the law in their own hands. With the international community powerless to prevent the crimes of powerful states, citizens in these countries are probably the single most powerful tool to prevent war and terrorism. The problem is do they care?
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President George Bush, as well as top military commanders and the heads of the Western oil corporations who benefited from the war in Iraq, continue to walk the streets free men and women.
While many brave journalists and writers in the UK such as John Pilger and Mark Curtis report the truth to the British people about the crimes their governments commit in their name, it is yet to be seen when the British people will say enough is enough.
With brave writers like Noam Chomsky in the U.S., who for years have been exposing the crimes of American governments, American people have not still not said enough is enough.
The WikiLeaks report in my view serves no purpose if people continue to turn a blind eye to what their governments do in their name around the world.
Perhaps the most horrific crimes that has been committed during the Iraq war and now in Afghanistan, is that of ignorance and indifference on the part of citizens living in the countries which commit the worse atrocities in the world.
The internet is said to have revolutionised the news and citizens around the world to what is really happening, but it should be asked whether this has altered the bigger picture? The leading powers continue to get away with brutal war crimes and so far the internet news revolution has not produced a single conviction for any of these leaders and those responsible.
One can only hope that the WikiLeaks report will lead to something much more than chatter around dinner tables and anti war protests which does not prevent war crimes from being committed.
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