On Wednesday night, United States Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat of Ohio) stated, «If might makes right, the Charter of the United Nations means nothing -- the North Atlantic Treaty means nothing -- Geneva Convention of 1949 means nothing -- perhaps even the United States Constitution means nothing.»
It is clear that NATO has violated the terms of several international agreements and the terms of both the UN Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty- NATO's founding document- during this war against Yugoslavia. This would seem to imperil the future of these organizations as well as these documents. What is in doubt is the future of warfare itself, and the legitimacy of NATO as a power fit to wage war.
Let's examine the evidence: NATO nations have violated the UN Charter:
«3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. [NATO nations -- all members of the UN and bound to their charter -- ignored the United Nations, and settled this dispute by solely military means.]
«4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.» [NATO threatened force against Yugoslavia, and then endagered its political independence by insisting on the imposition of the Rambouilliet Treaty, which would have given NATO free reign within all of Yugoslavia, not just Kosovo.]
7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.» (The civil war between the KLA terrorist group and the Yugoslav Federation -- the legitimate government of Kosovo -- was a purely internal affair. Any wholesale slaughter of civilians, or wholesale violations of their rights, would have warranted swift intervention by the UN and its member nations. Since this was NOT the case -- NATO claims it a slaughter was «about» to happen -- the UN had no mandate for intervention, which why NATO ignored the UN Security Council entirely.)
NATO nations have violated their own founding agreement, the North Atlantic Treaty.
«Article 1: The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.» (From the start, NATO resorted to violence in this international dispute, rejecting peaceful means and calls to end the bombing and negotiate on an equal basis with Yugoslavia. NATO has only resorted to force in this matter, even during treaty negotiations, which is clearly inconsistent with the purposes of the UN.)
«Article 3: In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.» «Article 8: Each Party declares that none of the international engagements now in force between it and any other of the Parties or any third State is in conflict with the provisions of this Treaty, and undertakes not to enter into any international engagement in conflict with this Treaty.» [NATO was founded purely on a defensive basis, in order to resist armed attack. The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was the first time in its 50 year history it has taken collective, aggressive action against any other nation. By entering into an engagment significantly in conflict with the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO has violated its reason for existence and its charter.]
NATO nations have violated the Hague Convention, in which states (Section II, Chapter I): «The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.» (Article 22). «-- it is especially forbidden -- (a) To employ poison or poisoned weapons; [NATO has used weapons with radioactive depleted uranium] (b) to kill or wound treacherouslyindividuals belonging to the hostile nation or army; [NATO has bombed clear civilian targets to indimidate the Serb population and to try and cause hatred for thier political leadership] (e) To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering; [NATO has used cluster bombs in civilian areas, designed to scatter and explode at a later time.] Source: http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/hague/hague5.html
NATO nations have violated the Geneva Convention: «Article 16. The wounded and sick, as well as the infirm, and expectant mothers, shall be the object of particular protection and respect. [NATO planes bombed near a clearly-marked maternity wards in Belgrade in May.]
«Article 18. Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict [NATO bombed several civilian hospitals, as well as schools and even prisons.]
«Article 33. No protected person [meaning: a civilian non-combatant] may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.» [The bombing of Serbia was characterized by NATO generals as an attempt to make the Serb population force its leader, Slobodan Milosovic to «see reason» -- a clear case of political intimidation, and an illegal application of the theory of «collective guilt».]
(It should also be pointed out that the Geneva Convention states that the civilian population MAY FLEE from a war-torn region, as indeed it happened in Kosovo. This is not a war crime, it is a consequence of war: Art. 35. All protected persons who may desire to leave the territory at the outset of, or during a conflict, shall be entitled to do so, unless their departure is contrary to the national interests of the State. The applications of such persons to leave shall be decided in accordance with regularly established procedures and the decision shall be taken as rapidly as possible. Those persons permitted to leave may provide themselves with the necessary funds for their journey and take with them a reasonable amount of their effects and articles of personal use.» The cost of the evacuation shall be borne by the country of DESTINATION, according to Article 36.)
NATO member nations have violated the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: «Article 52: Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force -- A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.» [The negotiations at Rambouilliet, France were accompanied by very loud and deliberate threats of military force if not signed by the Yugoslav representatives. Rhetoric such as, «Time is running out» and the setting of deadlines for signing this very one-sided document -- which virtually ceded the sovereignty of Yugoslavia to NATO -- were obvious violations of this Convention. Some also have accused NATO of setting the terms deliberately too high for the Yugoslavs to agree to them, in order to have an excuse to bomb Yugoslavia so they would, as one NATO offical was quoted as saying, «see reason» and allow NATO forces into Kosovo.]