Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Nobel Peace Prize, as determined by Nobel’s own words, should be granted, “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Al Gore hardly fits this requirement; however, this argument will not analyze or critique his behavior for the jets he fuels on his journeys throughout the world, nor the distribution of a film that discussed his life more than the issue it purports to tackle (Global Warming), it will examine some of the events that unfolded during his Vice-Presidency under Bill Clinton. In fact, according to Edward S. Herman the office of Bill Clinton was responsible for some of the most horrific war crimes and abuses of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions and The Hague in the history of the United States. The Bush Administration has simply furthered the abuses of power that Clinton et al reigned down upon poor nations. The list of abuses includes the carrying out of wars of aggression, the use of poison gases and other inhumane weapons, deliberately killing and starving civilian populations, and the use of force beyond military necessity. None of which Al Gore ever used his power to deter or extinguish. As stated by the International Criminal Court, any crime against peace is namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the forgoing…War Crimes and Crimes against humanity. Considering the long list of civilians enslaved, oppressed, starved, and violently murdered during the Clinton Administration, Mr. Gore surly should stand trial as an accomplice along side Clinton.
The list of crimes against humanity committed by the US under Clinton and Gore is gruesome indeed. Included are the genocide in East Timor, the illegal and unwarranted bombings of Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, coupled with aid to Turkey and Columbia, where the civilian casualties from counterinsurgency warfare and death squad operations…exceeded the pre-NATO bombing deaths in Kosovo by a large factor. None of this, of course, includes the brutal sanctions imposed on Iraq, which, had it not been for the power the US wields on the UN Security Council, would have been prosecuted as war crimes under international law.
According to UNICEF, in 1999, years into the Clinton/Gore administration, sanctions in Iraq were killing close to 5,000 children under the age of 5 monthly far beyond normal death rates. Several reports from the United States Defense Agency show that contrary to the Geneva Convention, the US government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the countries water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway. (Jeff Lindemyer, November 2001). Other DIA documents (dated January, 1991, February, 1991, and March 1991) showed that not only was the Clinton/Gore Administration knowledgeable about how the sanctions would impact civilians, they monitored the situation closely. A charismatic statesman, Clinton repeatedly cited abuses of the “Oil for Food Program” by Iraqi leaders as the cause of civilian casualties and suffering, of course avoiding the fact that the devastation of sanctions was being felt by Iraqi’s as early as 1991 and the “Oil for Food Program” did not start until December of 1996. As the “Oil for Food Program” got underway, the US continued charges levied at the Saddam regime, with no basis in fact. According to the US State Department, Holds on inappropriate contracts help prevent the diversion of oil-for food goods to further Saddam’s personal interests. However, Jeff Lindemyer shows that requests for urgent assistance were repeatedly delayed to the point that Secretary-General Kofi-Annan along with Benon Sevon wrote numerous letters decrying the excessive holds placed on items ordered under the program, not by the Saddam regime, but by the UN Security Council.
Remarkable to the Clinton/Gore Administration was its ongoing relationship with President Suharto, the person responsible for genocide in Indonesia, East Timor, and West Papua. Clinton brokered weapons deals and trade agreements, which enslaved an entire people for companies such as Reebok and Nike, while US bought weapons were used to exterminate any people who resisted. Against the will of the Administration and the corporate controlled media, it was the actions of a few brave journalists who brought this tragedy to light. American journalist Amy Goodman was severely beaten by US supplied weapons when she captured the murder of innocent civilians in East Timor. Upon her return to the United States, she worked tirelessly to bring attention to the matter through US media outlets who finally after intense international coverage could no longer ignore the story, however, the coverage the genocide did receive was minimal and no mention was made of US involvement.
Some other notable war crimes and immoralities committed by the Clinton/Gore Administration include the use of DynaCorp, a private “security firm” that at the time Clinton and Gore were lobbying Congress heavily for their use in South America was in the midst of an investigation for participation in a child sex-slave ring. Regardless of this knowledge Clinton/Gore continued to offer DynaCorp military contracts and relied on the firm heavily to carry out illegal military operations. The people of the Delta Niger suffered and continue to suffer horrific environmental degradation, mass murder, and torture at the hands of the US backed government, which Clinton/Gore did not hesitate weaponizing and training at the time of these known abuses.
Clearly, Mr. Gore, if he had any redeeming qualities at all, would apologize for his active role and participation in these war crimes and crimes against humanity, and return the Nobel in order to be awarded to someone more deserving.
Please comment on Jennifer’s blog: Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize