Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Thursday, May 15, 2003  

Matter of time...

"The US commander in Iraq, Gen Tommy Franks, was accused of war crimes on Wednesday in a Belgian lawsuit that has provoked stern warnings from Washington. Nineteen plaintiffs filed the suit under Belgium's controversial "universal competence" law, which allows charges to be brought regardless of where the alleged crimes took place."

"The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Richard Myers, said on Tuesday the impending lawsuit was very serious and could have an effect on the travel arrangements of US officials. 'It's looked upon by the US government as a very, very serious situation,' he said during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels. The alliance itself sought to downplay the affair. 'We're not considering moving NATO, or anything like that,' said an official.

This story is in the Times as well, but this particular citation comes from Jihad Unspun, which is in itself worth a look.

These aren't the first charges of war crimes. Earlier this month, Bush and Blair were both charged in Switzerland. Obviously, these aren't going to pose serious difficulties for the President or the Prime Minister. But it is indicative of the rising level of antipathy abroad for US and British leadership.

And of course, the administration is only adding fuel to anger's fire. For example, the Washington Times recently published a story about France aiding fleeing Baathists, citing an anonymous "American intelligence source." Aside from that source (Rove?, Rumsfled?), not a single intelligence agency would confirm it. But what did Rummy himself say about it? "France has historically had a very close relationship with Iraq. My understanding is that it continued right up until the outbreak of the war. What took place thereafter, we'll find out."

This stuff plays great at home with the anti-Bordeaux set, but abroad (and not just in France), this is the kind of rhetoric that makes people consider war crimes suits.

posted by Jeff | 9:28 AM |
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