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How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity
     

How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity

4.5 2
by Michael Mandel
 

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They call it 'collateral damage', but legally and morally it is really mass murder. In Kosovo, America claimed its war was a 'humanitarian intervention', in Afghanistan, 'self-defense', and in Iraq, it claimed the authority of the Security Council of the United Nations. Yet each of these wars was illegal according to established rules of international law.

Overview

They call it 'collateral damage', but legally and morally it is really mass murder. In Kosovo, America claimed its war was a 'humanitarian intervention', in Afghanistan, 'self-defense', and in Iraq, it claimed the authority of the Security Council of the United Nations. Yet each of these wars was illegal according to established rules of international law. According to these rules, illegal wars fall within the category of 'supreme international crimes'. So how come the war crimes tribunals never manage to turn their sights on America and always wind up putting America's enemies -- 'the usual suspects' -- on trial?

This new book by renowned scholar Michael Mandel offers a critical account of America's illegal wars and a war crimes system that has granted America's leaders an unjust and dangerous impunity, effectively encouraging their illegal wars and the war crimes that always flow from them.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Exciting, original, and completely convincing ... This book is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand how the law really works in international affairs, and it throws a great deal of light on those international affairs themselves." --Edward S. Herman

"This closely reasoned and carefully documented study is sad and grim, and necessary. Unless its lessons are heeded by citizens of the rich and powerful states, the fate of the world will be left to the whim of those with the guns and the faith to enforce their will." --Noam Chomsky

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780745321516
Publisher:
Pluto Press
Publication date:
07/01/2004
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Mandel is Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada. He has also taught law at universities in Italy and in Israel, and frequently appears as a commentator on radio and television both in Canada and abroad. In 1999 he led an international effort to have NATO leaders prosecuted for crimes against humanity committed during the Kosovo war. He is currently co-Chair of Lawyers Against the War, founded in Canada in 2001 with members in thirteen countries. He is a contributor to Beyond September 11: An Anthology of Dissent, edited by Phil Scraton (Pluto Press, 2002).

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How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont really know
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Mandel, Professor of Law at York University, Toronto, has written an important book on current international law. In Part One, he shows that the US wars on Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq were wars of aggression, and reminds us of the Nuremberg verdict, ¿To initiate a war of aggression ¿ is the supreme international crime.¿ The UN Charter rightly upholds this: aggressive war is the worst of crimes, because from it flow all other crimes: murder, rape, torture, terrorism. In 1999, the US attacked Serbia, on the pretext of stopping ethnic cleansing, but without UN authority. The US used the International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to portray its aggression as law enforcement, although the ICTY¿s first President admitted that the war was illegal. Intervention, whatever the signboard, violates international law and state sovereignty. Bush has perverted the just, self-defensive war against Al Qa¿ida into unjust, aggressive wars against nations: the attack on Afghanistan has killed 20,000 Afghanis so far, about half of them civilians. Afghanis now say, ¿We were better off under the Russians.¿ Only four of the 15 Security Council members voted for Bush and Blair¿s war against Iraq. They went ahead anyway, unauthorised, illegally. Warmonger Richard Perle wrote, `Thank God for the death of the UN¿. In a brilliant discussion of `collateral damage¿, Mandel reminds us that in law a defendant is equally guilty of murder whether he desired the death, or merely knew that his act was likely to cause death. Part IV of Protocol One to the Geneva Conventions forbids all attacks ¿which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects.¿ So NATO¿s perennial excuse, that it does not target civilians, fails. Part Two studies how international criminal law works. The ICTY from its start worked with NATO, refusing even to consider whether NATO¿s attack on Yugoslavia was a war of aggression. The new International Criminal Court¿s Statute omits the crime of starting a war, thus encouraging new aggressions. The ICC judges only acts in war, putting aggressor and non-aggressor on an equal footing.