DeMello is silenced
By Hsing Lee

I want to address motive for the U.N. HQ bombing in Iraq before the American spin machine convinces the world that Al-Qaeda or Iraqi Saddam sympathizers are to blame for the recent attack on the U.N. Mission.

Sergio Vieira de Mello, head of the U.N. Mission in Iraq, was killed. The American media is blaming this attack on Muslims. Paul Bremer [U.S.administrator in Iraq] hinted that it may have been Saddam loyalists.

Bullshit.

Mr. de Mello, aside from being the head of the Iraq mission, was the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, elected by a Human Rights body which had no American representative. In other words, the U.S. had no control over Mr. de Mello.

He was a key figure in getting elections in East Timor. In otherwords, he made enemies of U.S. oil interests while doing his work in Indonesia.

He made a speech in Osaka recently which talked about the need for rule of law, and of the need for no one to be immune from the rule of law. He made a point of stressing the need for the International Criminal Court. He made a point of encouraging countries to sign on and ratify the Rome Statute.

"First, I firmly believe that it is possible to take appropriate action in response to terrorist acts, or to prevent them, while still respecting human rights. No cause can ever justify a terrorist act. Indeed, terrorism seeks to destroy human rights and States have the duty to protect those within their territory from such acts. However, as the Secretary-General said at last year's session of the Commission on Human Rights '. we cannot achieve security by sacrificing human rights. To try to do so would land the terrorists a victory beyond their dreams.'

In fact, human rights standards already strike a fair balance between freedoms and national security. After all, the standards were drafted by States themselves, who had a keen awareness of their own security concerns.

".Sixth, international criminal justice is an essential part of a rule of law and human rights approach to international security. Two weeks ago the General Assembly elected the 18 judges of the new International Criminal Court. This is a landmark in the creation of an interlocking system that will bring to justice those responsible for crimes considered so heinous by the international community, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes, that they should be subject to international jurisdiction. I urge States to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and thereby join this crucial mechanism aimed at preserving security and guaranteeing justice in the international system."

(see the entire speech at www.hurights.or.jp/asia-pacific/no_31/03.htm)

Bush has made a point of insisting that no American will ever be tried for war crimes. Bush has insisted that America will not recognize the ICC, or ratify the Rome Statute.

If Mr. de Mello had returned to the U.N. as planned three months from now and taken back his post as U.N. Human Rights commissioner, he would be doing so as one who had observed American violations of the Geneva Convention in Iraq. He would have been in a position to speak of what was really going on in Iraq. He would have been in a position to speak about Iraqi prisoners receiving one and a half cups of water a day in 40-degree heat. That speech, if he had planned to make it, will never be heard.

With Mr. de Mello's death, the U.S. has avoided a fourth high profile U.N. voice coming forward to join Denis Halliday, Hans von Sponeck, and Hans Blix in calling America's actions in Iraq illegal, immoral, and inhumane.

Mr. de Mello supported women's rights. Last year, Bush killed a U.N. resolution which would have ensured that women the world over had rights.

Mr. de Mello supported free and fair elections the world over. Mr. Bush promised free and fair elections in Iraq, then reneged on that promise almost as soon as the dust in Iraq began to settle.

Mr. de Mello openly tackled the issues of racial profiling and vilifying of Islam, both of which the Bush administration has been engaged in since 9/11. Bush even legislated racial profiling in the so-called Patriot Act. Observe Mr. de Mello's own words on this issue.

"Fourth, I have been increasingly concerned about what appears to be growing racism, xenophobia and intolerance, exacerbated by the events following 11 September 2001. The rise of the phenomenon of vilifying Islam is particularly disturbing, as are practices such as racial profiling."

Compare this to statements made by key Bush backers like Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham, who have both called Islam evil. Falwell even called the Prophet Mohammed a pedophile.

Mr. de Mello was considered a potential future Secretary General of the U.N. One not under American control. And now he's gone.

It just doesn't add up. People from within the U.N. have been some of the loudest voices bringing awareness to Iraq's plight for a dozen years. The Iraqi people have nothing to gain and everything to lose from this attack, where America has much to gain if they can convince the public that this was the action of Iraqis, not an American plot.

Consider that the Iraqis just lost the only true heavyweight humanitarian observer mission in Iraq. Consider that other observers will now think twice before going to observe what the Americans are doing. Consider that the only people who win from this attack are the neo-conservatives in the White House, who can use this as a pretext to slaughter even more Muslims.

Consider that according to MSNBC, there was a U.N. press conference going on when the bomb hit. But the camera footage they used was from a Japanese camera crew.

A Japanese crew?

As in no Americans were present?

At a U.N. press conference?

Why wasn't there any American media present?

Could it be because the U.N.'s mission and the U.S.'s mission in Iraq are, in fact, conflicting missions, and things that are being said at U.N. press conferences do not jive with the Bush agenda, and thus don't get on American TV?

And now the head of the U.N. Mission is dead, eliminating a serious threat to U.S. troops who may have been open to prosecution for war crimes.

When a capital crime is committed, one must always look for motive. I can see no other group who would have a reasonable motive for this attack except for the Bush administration and their corporate cronies.

There's one more motive which is becoming clear as the dust settles. Bush is trying to change the colour of the allied body bags. He's putting a new resolution to the U.N., demanding a U.N. peacekeeping force to bolster the U.S. presence. But this resolution would put any U.N. troops under U.S. command, and the U.N. would get no additional powers in Iraq. One has to assume that if the U.N. doesn't agree to these terms, more of their people will be killed, until they agree to subjugate themselves to the Americans.

Every time an American soldier is killed, it's headlines. And these headlines are bad for Bush. So by getting international peacekeepers into Iraq, the Bush administration is trying to create the illusion of legitimacy for his illegal occupation. He's also trying to hide U.S. troops behind coloured people, as Thomas Friedman's op-ed of 20 Aug. 03 suggests. Friedman wants to put Iraqis as guards in front of American installations, so that anyone wanting to strike Americans will have to kill coloured non-Americans first.

Let the coolies do the dying, and all that. It's the same tactic they're already using in Okinawa.

Consider that when Canadians were killed in Afghanistan by American pilots, the U.S. media didn't even run the story until a Canadian journalist forced the issue at a press conference, after which the U.S. media rushed to cover their behinds by covering the story.

Like in Nazi Germany, the death of people who don't have the "right papers" just isn't news in the USA. Bush is counting on this as he pushes for "internationals" to take up arms and protect Americans from angry Iraqis. This latest attack on the U.N. may show how desperate the Americans have become.

Methinks Bush's night of the long knives has begun.

No justice, no peace.