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IRAQ: War crimes problems

Since Siegfried Ramler too part in the Nuremberg trials, his opinion on the Iraq problem is of special interest: "As to plans for war crimes trials of the Iraqi leadership, both the jurisdiction and the venue present a dilemma. Neither the International Criminal Court, to which the US is not a signatory, nor an ad-hoc indictment by the Hague court under UN auspices are viable options. An initiative by the "coalition" to conduct proceedings would be regarded by much of the world as a show trial. It's difficult to see how that perception could be avoided. Neither the Middle East nor the US would be suitable venues and it is hard to think of alternate sites. A key question would be the determination of criteria to designate war criminals in this situation and how widely or narrowly to cast the net of individuals to be indicted. Since the aim is to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, the challenge is to handle this matter with sensitivity - neither ignoring crimes committed, nor being seen as the punitive victors punishing the vanquished".

Ronald Hilton - 4/4/03