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How America Gets Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity Paperback – September 20, 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

About 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (September 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745321518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745321516
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,966,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
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.
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Michael Mandel writes that former U.S. secretary of state Cyrus Vance and former British foreign secretary David Owen presided over a peace process for Bosnia in the early 1990's attempting to make all the ethnic groups in the country feel that they had all their rights and safety. An agreement was reached in early 1992. Everybody supported the deal except the Bosnian Muslims, who were encouraged by the Bush Sr. administration to hold out for more. Almost four years of horrific civil war followed. The U.S. succeeded in convincing its allies at long last in 1995 to bomb the Bosnian Serbs and pressured the Bosnian Muslims to the negotiating table at Dayton and an agreement was signed. Bhoutros Bhoutros Ghali noted later that the old Vance-Owen plans were more or less the same as the 1995 Dayton accords. The whole point of the exercise from the U.S. point of view was to undermine the leadership of its West European allies in reaching a peaceful settlement, maneuvering them to playing second fiddle,, while U.S. military power eventually solved the problem. In 1992 Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, undermining attempts to get the Bosnian Serbs to compromise, announced suddenly his belief that the Serbs in Bosnian and Belgrade should be treated as war criminals.. This is the same man Mandel notes, who was a key state dept. planner while such Nuremberg style offenses took place as the U.S. slaughter of 600,000 Cambodians in 1969-75, U.S. support for the slaughter of 200,000 in East Timor,U.S. support for the terrorist contras and the death squads which slaughtered tens of thousands in Central America in the 80's, the deliberate destruction of Iraq's vital civilian infrastructure by U.S. bombing during the first Gulf War, etc. etc. .Read more ›
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It's a good book. USA is a country who has commit the most war crimes and crimes against humanity in the modern history but comes not before a international tribunal because as a super worldpower is de criminal master of the world,and therefore is above and outside the law.USA is and outlaw state but is also the master of the world.
it's a very good book about the hipocrisy of the international tribunal for yougoslavia where the crimes of the NATO bombardements against hospital,refugees camps,passengerstrains and presscentrum were silenced.
The law is only for the slaves ,the master of slaves are above the law
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Brilliantly analyzed, argued and presented, this book is chilling in its implication. Despite the horrific events leading up to WWII, it seems the world is back to the dark days of accepting and supporting the worst crimes of aggression as long as the population can be lulled into a sense "moral superiority" and justification based on media propaganda, and the truth of the victims' suffering can be kept off the front pages of our complicit mass media. Goebbels would be ecstatic at this level of global acquiescience. History will render a harsh judgment - we're all good Germans now.
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