Fri, 07 May 1999 00:10:35 -0500


Raju G. C. Thomas

[Raju Thomas is Professor of Political Science at Marquette University.
He is the author of 4 books and 4 edited books, over 50 journal articles
and book chapters, and over 70 newspaper Op-Ed articles. His recent
books are Democracy, Security and Development in India (1996) and the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime (1998) and is currently working on two
books, Markets and Politics in India, and Postmortem Yugoslavia. He was
a visiting fellow at Harvard, MIT, and the International Institute for
Strategic Studies in London. Thomas was educated at Bombay University,
the London School of Economics, and UCLA from he obtained his Ph.D.]

In his first sentence in an article on 1st May 1999 in the Hindustan
Times, T.V. Rajeswar states the problem unambiguously: "The war
unleashed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on the
sovereign nation of Serbia on March 24 was a clear case of aggression."
Likewise, former Foreign Secretary of India, A.P. Venkateswaran in an
article entitled, "The Arrogance of Power," writes: "The aerial attacks
launched by NATO against Yugoslavia once again establishes the truth of
the axiom, `Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt
absolutely.' There is no legal sanction whatsoever for this unilateral
action by NATO carried out at the behest of the US, following the
failure of the talks on Kosovo..." The following is a statement by the
permanent representative of India to the UN Security Council on March

"The attacks that have started on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia a
few hours ago are in clear violation of Article 53 of the Charter. No
country, group of countries or regional arrangement, no matter how
powerful, can arrogate to itself the right of taking arbitrary and
unilateral military action against others. That would be a return to
anarchy where might is right... The attacks now taking place on
Yugoslavia have not been authorised by the Council, acting under Chapter
VII, and are therefore completely illegal... What NATO has tried to do
is to intimidate a government through the threat of attack, and now
through direct and unprovoked aggression, to accept foreign military
forces on its territory... There are several traditional descriptions
for this kind of coercion; peacekeeping is not one of them."

I. NATO and International Law

The collapse of countervailing military power, and the reduction of the
United Nations into an obedient organization of the United States, have
now led to the disregard for a whole slew of international laws. The US
and NATO are violating several international laws in attacking Serbia
over Kosovo which is part of a sovereign independent state. American
legal specialists have claimed that NATO actions constitute an evolving
system of international laws. The reality is that NATO is making up the
laws as it goes along to suit their convenience. In essence, NATO has
declared that whatever it does is the new international law overriding
all past laws. Indeed, the US has declared itself the prosecutor, judge
and executioner of whatever laws it chooses to make up to advance its
policy agenda. The following are some of the main violations of
international laws committed by NATO.

(1) NATO actions constitute a violation of Chapter I, Article 2 (4) of
the UN Charter which states: "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."
Chapter VII, Article 39 states: "The Security Council shall determine
the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of
aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall
be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore
international peace and security.

Efforts to justify these actions through earlier resolutions or Chapter
7 of the Charter are acts of distortion and convenience. Article 51 of
Chapter VII states that "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the
inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed
attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security
Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and
security." The problem is that Yugoslavia did not attack any neighboring
states outside its sovereign borders. Instead, Yugoslavia was attacked
by NATO, although no member of NATO was attacked by Yugoslavia. The
Security Council did not sanction the use of force here. NATO bypassed
the Security Council to illegally attack Yugoslavia because of the
certain veto by Russia and China.

(2) The bombing of Yugoslavia is a violation of NATO's own charter which
claims it is a defensive organization and is only committed to force if
one of its members is attacked. No member of NATO was attacked. The
relevant sections of  NATO's basic purpose reads as follows: "It
provides deterrence against any form of  aggression against the
territory of any NATO member state.  It preserves the strategic balance
within Europe."  When communist rule ended in Europe and the Warsaw Pact
was dismantled, presumably these rationales for NATO's existence also
ended.  An alliance usually posits an enemy in advance, and the enemy
lies outside of the alliance system.  A commonly perceived external
enemy is, after all, the main reason for forging an alliance, not for
some vague eventuality that a powerful enemy may arise in some distant
future.  Without an external enemy there would not be sufficient
consensus and motivation to keep the alliance together. There is no
strategic balance in Europe to keep. NATO is dominant and international
laws have become inconvenient.

No doubt, maintaining an alliance without predetermined external threats
may serve notice to non- members that the security interests of the
alliance countries will be protected.  But a single military alliance
without the prevalence of countervailing military power would be
perceived as a serious threat to other states and will provoke them to
seek appropriate military counter balancing measures. Already there are
moves among Russia, China and India to forge a strategic partnership.
Thus, the rationale for NATO's existence would become a self-fulfilling
prophecy.  As such, NATO constitutes a standing provocation to the rest
of the world, an alliance in search of an enemy, or needing to create
one, in order to justify its existence. Thus far, NATO has found its
mission--as absurd as it may sound to normal people except NATO
enthusiasts--in pulverizing 8 million impoverished Serbs into the ground
through 24 hour a day aerial bombardment. Hundreds, if not thousands of
innocent Serbs have been killed. Meanwhile, it would be dishonest to
argue that a weak Russia should not feel threatened by an expanded NATO
and the attack on Serbia, a condition which the US will not contemplate
in reverse including a similar attack on Canada.

(3) The so-called Rambouillet "Agreement" (Serbia did not agree to it)
is a violation of Articles 51 and 52 of the 1980 Vienna Convention on
the Law of Treaties.  Article 51 entitled "Coercion of a Representative
of a State" declares: "The expression of a State's consent to be bound
by a treaty which has been procured by the coercion of it representative
through acts or threats directed against him shall be without legal
effect. Article 52 entitled "Coercion of a State by the Threat or Use of
Force"reads: "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."

First Serbia was threatened with force in order to coerce it to sign the
Rambouillet "Agreement," and when that failed Serbia and its entire
population was subjected to massive terror bombing in order to bring
about submission to NATO diktats. The Rambouillet "Agreement" was not
negotiated with Yugoslavia but presented as a fait accompli. There were
no discussions between Serbs and Albanians. The Albanians were persuaded
to sign only because they were given to understand that once they got
immediate de facto independence, within three years it would
automatically become de jure. Yet Serbia accepted the political terms of
the diktat only insisting that it will not accept a NATO military
presence in Kosovo. Indeed, the military annex of the Rambouillet diktat
were far reaching requiring that Yugoslavia allow NATO forces unhindered
access to all of its territory at no cost to NATO. The military annex
were sneaked in on the last day of the talks without the Russian
representative's knowledge. Milosevic or no Milosevic, no state or
statesman could have accepted these humiliating terms. It was a
deliberate setup to invite rejection so as to proceed with NATO bombing.

The following exchange between NATO spokesman, Jamie Shea, and a
reporter is revealing in the embarrassing terms of the "Agreement" in
retrospect to the West.

Question: The Rambouillet Accords, appendix B in particular . . . called
for the occupation of all of Yugoslavia. . . . Unrestricted passage
throughout [its] air space, territorial waters, rail, airports, roads,
bridges, ports without payment, the electromagnetic spectrum and so on.
Was not the Rambouillet accord, which [Slobodan] Milosevic refused to
sign, in fact, a desire to occupy all of Yugoslavia and not just simply

Jamie Shea: No, absolutely not. . . . We were looking . . . to be able
to deploy an international security force, and that means, of course,
being able to deploy the assets for that security force. . . . At the
moment, all of our predeployed elements in the former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia have come in by the Greek port of Thessaloniki. And for
that, obviously, one has to have an agreement with the Yugoslav
government to be able to have access to those roads, those rail systems,
the air space for the business of setting up an international security
presence, and therefore NATO personnel who may have had at the time . .
. to transit temporarily through Yugoslavia will have had to enjoy those
kinds of immunities. . . .

Question: That's simply not the language, sir. It's "free and
unrestricted passage," the ability to detain people, for example, . . .
and total use of electromagnetic spectrum, sir.

Jamie Shea: I was not a negotiator at Rambouillet . . . but my
understanding, sir, is that it refers to, as you say, passage, exactly
transit. And that's the point I've made.

(4) NATO's objectives in Kosovo are a violation of Clause IV of the
Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States
of the Helsinki Accords Final Act of 1975 which guarantees the
territorial frontiers of the states of Europe.  According to this
agreement: "The participating states will respect the territorial
integrity of each of the participating states. Accordingly, they will
refrain from any action...against the territorial integrity, political
independence, or the unity of any participating state..."

The former Yugoslavia was a party to this agreement, not the new states
such as Croatia and Bosnia which subsequently invoked the Helsinki
territorial principles to preserve their boundaries that were carved out
from the old state. Ironically, while attempts by Serbs of Croatia and
Bosnia to remain part of Yugoslavia were denied, and their declarations
of independence rejected in order to maintain the territorial integrity
of Croatia and Bosnia which had never existed under modern international
law, the right of the Kosovo Albanians to secede was recognized.  What
this so-called Rambouillet peace plan offered was (a) the severance of
Kosovo through NATO bombing with immediate effect; or (b) the severance
of Kosovo through NATO occupation three years later. The Serbs chose
Option A.

(5) If the sequel to the bombing is recogntion of Kosovo as an
independent state, this will violate international law that prohibits
recognition of provinces that unilaterally declare independence against
the wishes of the federal authorities. Donald Horowitz, a leading
specialist on nationalism and ethnic conflict, noted that the secessions
of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Serbia followed
the violent patterns of state dissolution elsewhere.  He pointed out
that states with no history of independence such as Bosnia were swiftly
recognized without considering the consequences. "Led by Germany,
European and American recognition of the former Yugoslav republics was
accomplished in disregard of international law doctrine forbidding
recognition of secessionist units whose establishment is being resisted
forcibly by a central government

The illegality of Unlilateral Declarations of Independence was
established by the British when Rhodesia's Ian Smith unilaterally
declared independence when the British still ruled that state (now
Zimbabwe). Donald Horowitz, a leading expert on ethnic conflict and
secessions at Duke University reiterated this point when Slovenia,
Croatia and Bosnia unilaterally declared independence against the wishes
of the federal authorities in Belgrade. No doubt, the policies regarding
UDI have been inconsistent. The secession of the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus in 1981, a defacto functioning state, has not been
recognized although the secession of Bangladesh in 1971 under similar
circumstances was recognized. The UDI of Biafra from Nigeria in 1971,
Punjab from India in the mid 1980s, Abhkazia from Georgia in 1994,
Chechnya from Russia in 1995, have not been recognized. Clearly,
Palestinians have a right to declare themselves an independent state
because it is not even a part of Israel but illegally occupied
territories since the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. Yet Israel has warned
that it will not recognize the threatened UDI by Yasir Arafat in May

In the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was recognized although it did not
fulfill any conditions of a defacto functioning state. The 1933
Montevideo Conventions on the Recognition of New States, declared that a
state only comes into existence and should be recognized if it fulfills
the following conditions: (a). Clearly recognized boundaries. Serbia and
Croatia were contesting the boundaries of Bosnia. The Croatian areas
wanted to join up with Croatia and already has, the Serbian areas wanted
to join up with Serbia but was prevented by the West. (b) It must have a
stable and well-defined population. Bosnia did not since refugees were
on the move everywhere and what constituted the population of Bosnia was
not clear because of Serbian and Croatian demands. Bosnia was a
stillborn state and remains so. (c) It must have a government in
control. The Muslim government of Sarajevo was not in control anywhere,
and even now Sarajevo is not in control of the Croatian and Serbian

(6) If the bombing of Yugoslavia results in the destruction of Serbian
religious and historical sites, this will be in violation of the 1954
Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of
Armed Conflict.  This Convention was adopted in the light of experience
during two world wars when there was an unwanton destruction of cultural
and historical property in Europe. It was first mooted during the First
World War by President Woodrow Wilson and British Prime Minister
Asquith. Keith Eirinberg noted that "Some 80 years later, the
destruction of cultural property, this time on the territory of the
former Yugoslavia [by the former Yugoslavs themselves], again shocks the
world." But the United States could do little to protest these actions
by Serbs and Croats because it had failed to ratify the 1954 Geneva
Convention. Perhaps with good reason since it has engaged in such
actions from the air itself in Iraq and now Yugoslavia.

Although it has been the practice for the United States to excuse itself
without remorse for the millions of innocent civilians it has killed in
Korea and Vietnam, and the devastation of their lands through
bombardment and use of herbicidal and defoliant chemical weapons as
collateral damage, it is time to reconsider this excuse. Only in the
aftermath of the intense bombing will we see the extent of the damage
caused to the hundreds and even thousands of Serbian and Byzantine
cultural and religious sites in Kosovo. But we do know that NATO
deliberately targeted military and civilian buildings in Serbia.
Historic bridges over the Danube have been destroyed. The presidential
palace, a place of historic value as the residence of the historical
figure, Josip Broz Tito, and previously the royal residence of the
Serbian monarchy, was deliberately destroyed. Because there were some
telephones in there, it was declared a military communication center.
NATO arrogated to itself the role of determining what is or what is not
a military site. Given the fact that it had run out of military targets,
its definitions have become pretty lax.

(7) The 1949 Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of
Civilian Persons in time of War specifically prohibits deliberate
attacks on civlians. Part II, Article 13 states: "The Provisions of Part
II cover the whole populations of the countries in conflict, without any
adverse distinction based, in particular, on race, nationality, religion
or political opinion, and are intended to alleviate the sufferings
caused by war." The Geneva Conventions Act (amended 1995) of the United
Kingdom specifically states that "civilians shall not be the object of
attack" (Schedule 5, Article 52.1) and that "civilians shall enjoy
protection unless they take a direct part in hostilities" (Schedule 6,
Article 13.3). The attack on the Serbian TV station at night when it was
inhabited only by civilians leading to the deaths of at least 20
civilians and serious injury to many more, constituted an intentional
and premeditated attack on civilians. This was mass murder, not
collateral damage.

(8) Beyond the above, there may be several other international
regulations about the environment that is being violated by the attacks
on chemical plants, fuel storage, and refineries. The 1976 Convention on
the Prohibition of Military or Other Hostile Use of Environmental
Modification Techniques, and the 1977 Protocol I Additional to the
Geneva Conventions. Article 55 states:

"Care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment
against widespread, long-term and severe damage. This protection
includes a prohibition of the use of methods or means of warfare which
are intended or may be expected to cause such damage to the natural
environment and thereby to prejudice the health or survival of the

Other conventions include the Vienna Convention for the Protection of
the Ozone Layer (1985, UNEP), the Montreal Protocol on Substances that
Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987), and the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (1992).  A Times of India editorial noted:

'In Yugoslavia, oil refineries and chemical plants have been attacked...
Every attack on a chemical plant is likely to produce a Bhopal, big or
small. While NATO authorities claim to have successfully attacked and
destroyed chemical plants, they do not enlighten the world about the
ecological consequences of such assaults, on the long-term impact on
human beings and unborn children. The so-called `Gulf War Syndrome'
focussed much concern on the US veterans exposed to the chemicals
released during the last days of the war against Iraq in 1991. But there
is ominous silence about the ecological impact of bombing oil refineries
and storages, chemical plants and high rise buildings employing highly
inflammable synthetic materials. It is cynical in the extreme to pretend
that the air strikes against Yugoslavia have exclusively targeted
military installations and the civil population has not been affected.
This is sheer propaganda and undermines the credibility of NATO
authorities in other statements they make."

The International Action Center of New York, among others in Britain and
elsewhere, have claimed  that many of the American weapons used against
Iraq, Bosnian Serbs, and now Yugoslavia utilize radioactive depleted
uranium for more efficient penetrating effect. John Catalinotto,
contributing editor of the book, Metal of Dishonor" Depleted Uranium,
pointed out that the use of DU weapons in Yugoslavia "adds a new
dimension to the crime NATO is perpetuating against the Yugoslav people,
including those in Kosovo...DU is used in alloy form in shells to make
them penetrate targets better. As the shell hits the target, it burns
and releases uranium oxide into the air. The poisonous and radioactive
uranium is most dangerous when inhaled into the body, where it will
release radiation during the life of the person who inhaled it." The
accumulated fall-out here could produce a Hiroshima aftermath effect on
the people of Yugoslavia.

II. Humanitarian Law and the Territorial Integrity of States

United States and Great Britain have argued that the attack on Serbia
was justified under the 1948 Genocide Convention and/or other general
humanitarian principles. Claims have also been made that Article 2(4) of
the UN Charter which upholds the territorial integrity of states against
external military attacks, is countered by Articles 1(2) and 55 of the
Charter, which speak of self-determination of peoples.

However, these articles, including Articles 73 to 91 which deal with
"Non-Self Governing Territories" and the "Trusteeship System," pertain
to decolonization and not the right to secede from existing sovereign
independent states. Article 1 of International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights passed in 1976 referred to the rights of minorities to
self-determination but did not inlcude the right to secede. It implied
the right of peoples in all states "to free, fair and open participation
in the democratic process of governance freely chosen by each state." A
1990 meeting of the then Conference on Security and Cooperation in
Europe in Copenhagen went far in affirming democratic rights and human
rights of peoples but did not go as far as to endorse the right to

In any case, the internal Yugoslav republics of Slovenia, Croatia and
Bosnia declared their independence before any human rights violations or
violence had occurred and were recognized. Those unilateral declarations
of independence produced the subsequent violence. Before the NATO
attack, the deaths of 2000 on all sides and the internal displacement of
300,000 people in Kosovo did not constitute genocide. In Kosovo, a
province no different from Krajina of Croatia from where all Serbs were
driven out, NATO bombing led to the human catastrophe.

Much has been made about "Serbian genocide" in Bosnia which has become
the pretext for the illegal NATO assault on Yugoslavia. Like the Kosovo
"genocide, this is almost exclusively propaganda rather than fact.
Former State Department official, George Kenney, determined that between
35,000 and 50,000 people died in Bosnia on all sides. This is not an
unusual casualty figure during civil wars, Bosnia being among the least
tragic compared to conditions in Tibet (1950s), East Pakistan (1971) and
post 1980 Afghanistan, Kashmir, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Kurdistan, East
Timor, and Rwanda, to mention just a few. The American civil war
resulted in the deaths of almost a million people. Another measure of
the Bosnian tragedy would be to compare it to the average of 20,000
people who are victims of homicide in the US every year. While the
investigators for the Hague Tribunal have interviewed only 223 women
claiming to be raped, and have collected 575 affidavits from women
claiming to be raped, compare this with an average of 100,000 women who
file rape complaints with the police every year in the US, and an
estimated 400,000 unreported rapes annually.

NATO's unqualified and unrestrained bombing campaign that includes the
infrastructure is more likely to kill hundreds of thousands of Yugoslav
citizens in the long run, through lack of proper medical facilities,
polluted water supply, atmospheric poisoning, ozone depletion, and
climatic change. If NATO committed ecocide in Yugoslavia, then it is
also likely that it will have committed genocide in the long term.

The moral justification for NATO's military assault is a retroactive
post hoc rationalization, viz., that President Milosevic had planned the
total expulsions of the Albanians from Kosovo. Dr. Jan Oberg of the
Transnational Foundation in Sweden has argued that Madeleine Albright's
and NATO's claims are downright falsehoods. First, there was no such
talk before the bombing began. Second the bombing was tied to the
Rambouillet ultimatum to Yugoslavia that it either sign the Western
diktat or get bombed severely. It had nothing to do with the post
bombing humanitarian catastrophe. (Indeed, what other excuse could
Clinton, Blair and Albright have given other than blaming Milosevic once
the human catastrophe took place. Could they have said "We are guilty
for generating this bloody mess?") Third, if such a plan existed how
could the West have negotiated with the Serbs knowing this? Fourth, why
did the West not plan for this contingency if it knew of such a plan?
Fifth, how could Milosevic have got rid of all Albanians from Kosovo
when some 1,800 OSCE monitors and several more UNHCR and International
Red Cross personnel, not to mention journalists, were in Kosovo before
the ultimatum was issued? It was NATO that pulled them out although
Yugoslavia had agreed to nearly all of the provisions of the political
terms of Rambouillet. Sixth, how was it that OSCE, UNHCR and other
international agencies never knew or sensed any such plan? Finally, if
NATO knew of such an ethnic cleansing plan, why did it not plan its
bombing campaign more carefully?

If NATO had the right to intervene in Kosovo, does it now have the right
to intervene in Palestine, Kashmir, Tibet and "Kurdistan where human
rights violations are also taking place? Can any state now bypass the UN
Security Council and attack another state by invoking humanitarian
considerations? There are some serious double standards, nay dishonesty,
in the American policy of humanitarian  intervention.

(1) NATO cannot unilaterally invoke the 1948 Genocide Convention, the
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other humanitarian laws,
and proceed to attack independent states. Only the Security Council can
do so which was deliberately bypassed by NATO knowing that Russia and
China would veto such an attack.

(2) There was no humanitarian intervention by the US and the West when
the Nigerian authorities crushed the Biafra separatist movement between
1967 and 1970 causing the deaths of one million Ibos, when Pakistani
forces killed one million and drove out 10 million Bengalis during the
East Pakistani secessionist struggle in 1971, when the Pol Pot regime
killed one million Cambodians, to name just a few cases. In the latter
two cases, the US condemned India and Vietnam for their military
interventions and threatened military action against them. However, both
India and Vietnam intervened AFTER the human catastrophes had taken
place. On the other hand, NATO's rush to bomb CAUSED the human
catastrophe in Kosovo, as did Western interventions earlier in Croatia
and Bosnia by promoting and rushing to recognize Croatia and Bosnia as
independent states against the wishes of the Serbian populations.

(3) Ethnic cleansing is not genocide. If it were, the Allied powers were
guilty of genocide for endorsing the expulsion of some 12 million
Germans from Poland, Czechoslavkia and elsewhere at the end of the
Second World War, and surely European Jews committed genocide when it
drove out nearly a million Palestinians to carve out the state of Israel
in 1948. Many of those Palestinian refugees still remain more than 50
years later. What was definitely genocide was the European invasion of
North America in earlier centuries and the near extermination of the
native Indian population. There is a difference between driving
populations out of a territory and of destroying them physically,
although the Turkish expulsions of Armenians in 1914 led to their
destruction and thereby their extermination which the Turkish
authorities knew would happen.

(4) There is now an ethnically pure Greater Croatia, something that the
Nazis were unable to achieve for their Croatian fascist collaborators
during the Second World War. At the end of the Bosnian and Croatian
wars, almost 900,000 Serbian refugees have been ethnically cleansed from
Croatia and the federation, 300,000 in Republika Srpska and 600,000 in
Serbia. This is more than any other ethnic group, including Albanians,
but not counting internally displaced people. Croatia conducted the
largest single ethnic cleansing of the war with American military
support. Yet there have been no cries for NATO military action against
Croatia, obviously because of American political and military complicity
in these expulsions.

III. The Question of NATO Aggression and War Crimes

Russia, China and India assessed NATO actions correctly.  NATO, the only
alliance left after the Cold War, committed aggression on Serbia. This
illegal act by NATO, bypassing the United Nations Security Council, was
all about saving NATO's face at a very heavy physical, mental, economic
ane ecological price for the Serbs. Washington's determination to
achieve military victory against Serbia at any price is a display of
revenge, retaliation,  fanaticism and megalomania; not reason, prudence,
fairness and wisdom.

In Eugene Davidson's account of the Nuremberg Trials of 1945-46, Mr.
Justice Jackson's clause on aggression defined the chief "Crime Against
Peace" for which indictments against the Nazi political leaders were
prepared: (a) Planning, preparation, initiation, or waging war of
aggresion, or war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or
assurances; or (b) Participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the
accomplishment of any of the foregoing.  An application of this
definition to NATO's actions against Serbia shows criminal culpability
that calls for its own separate war crimes trial. Indeed, the UN human
rights chief Mary Robinson warned that NATO too could be tried by the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Robinson pointed out that large numbers of civilians have been
"incontestably" killed, civilian installations were targeted, and "NATO
remains the sole judge of what is or is not acceptable to bomb."

However, the illegality of NATO's aggression is the real issue which
needs to be judged by the permanent International Court of Justice.

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