September 4, 2012
The United States is ready to violate international law and attack Iran’s civilian population if the country does not halt its nuclear program, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
The U.S. is “reluctantly” considering additional covert action against Iran, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The plan calls for air strikes on power plants and other sites “that could impact Iranian civilian populations.”
Under the Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague, IV), drafted October 18, 1907, it is illegal to bomb civilian infrastructure and the Nuremberg Principles state that “devastation not justified by military necessity” is a war crime.
In November, we reported on comments made by current and former U.S. intelligence officials who stated Israel’s target list includes Iran’s electric grid, internet, cellphone network, and emergency frequencies for firemen and police officers.
Targeting civilian infrastructure is now a common practice. Beginning in 1991, Iraqi civilians and their infrastructure were deliberately targeted by the U.S. military. The savage bombardment had a “near apocalyptic impact” on Iraq and had transformed the country into a “pre-industrial age nation,” which “had been until January a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society,” writes author William Blum, citing United Nations observations.
“Bombing of Iraqi cities served no military purpose but was designed to destroy the civilian infrastructure. War games in July 1990 in South Carolina trained pilots to bomb civilian targets and Pentagon statements about plans to bomb civilian targets in August and September 1990 are evidence that these targets were set well in advance of January 15, 1991,” writes David Model in his book, Lying for Empire: How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face.
“Critical elements of the civilian infrastructure were destroyed including communication systems, oil refineries, electric generators, water treatment facilities, dams, and transportation centers,” Model continues. “Over 90 percent of Iraq’s electrical capacity was destroyed in the first days of the bombing.”
The New York Times also reported that the United States is ready to turn up the heat in the Persian Gulf when it conducts a large-scale minesweeping naval exercise in the Persian Gulf later this month. It is also stepping up efforts to finish building a new radar system in Qatar. The U.S. claims the system in combination with existing radar in Turkey and Israel will create an antimissile umbrella around and against Iran, according to the Christian Science Monitor.