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Category: Crises

Body Count Treaty

We are all aware that the US government enters into treaties with other nations on a regular basis.

This has been a normal function of government since our founding. Article 6 paragraph 2 of the constitution reads, “all Treaties …shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” Through the years, that has been interpreted to mean that treaties are on an equal footing to congressional laws.

In other words, the US government can not enter into a treaty that would violate your right of free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment. The constitution is superior to laws or treaties.
The US government also violates treaties and has since the first treaties we made with the Americans Indians. According to anti-nuke and human rights activists, the US is currently in violation of numerous treaties to which it is a signatory. If you are the biggest kid on the block, who is going to make you follow the rules?

Perhaps the next few paragraphs you will read will be viewed as a useless suggestion. You are entitled to that opinion.

Whatever your thoughts, you have to tip your hat to the folks at They run a web site recognized as one of the best sources to find out how many Iraqi civilians have been killed in the conflict. I won’t bore you with all of the statistics, but I will mention a noteworthy few:

*Between 24,500-27,700 Iraqi civilians have died.

*In the 10 month period ending in June 2005, about 800 civilians died each week on average 20% of the casualties were women and children

*The US military killed 37% of the civilians; the insurgents killed 9%

*Twice as many civilians died in year 2 of the occupation as compared with year 1

*At least 42,500 civilians have been injured

Of course nearly 1900 US service personnel have died. According to the web site “In the current occupation phase this database includes all deaths which the Occupying Authority has a binding responsibility to prevent under the Geneva Conventions and Hague Regulations.

This includes civilian deaths resulting from the breakdown in law and order, and deaths due to inadequate health care or sanitation.”

A goal of IBC is simple; guilt-trip the “civilized” world into a treaty that would force the signatories to keep an accurate count of civilian deaths. These deaths would be reported to a neutral agency such as the UN or the International Committee of the Red Cross

Fredrick Douglass noted that power concedes nothing without a demand. This is one we should demand, but it starts with you! Yes, it is an uphill fight. The power-elite will fight such an international treaty tooth-n-nail because it will limit their ability to gloss over “collateral damage.” We must do everything in our power to stop the war and lessen the likelihood of future wars. If a treaty will lessen the possibility for America or some other imperial power from entering into a war of choice, it is worth the effort.

The Bush Administration was all too happy to promote “morals” and “family values” in the last election. I say let’s hold them to their word.

I can not imagine a more moral treaty to enter into than one intended on keeping the world informed of civilian casualties can you? Can any sane person say that killing innocent civilians is moral? It seems the least we could do is report the “collateral damage” to a third party.
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