Lipa on Thu, 15 Jul 1999 09:36:58 +0200

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Syndicate: Fw: Charge U.S./NATO with War Crimes-July 31, NYC

International Action Center
39 W. 14th St., # 206, New York, NY 10011
212-633-6646 Fax: 212-633-2889
Web:   email:     

Dear Friend,

We wanted to take some time to explain the new project that we have
initiated called the Commission of Inquiry to investigate U.S./NATO
War Crimes.  We believe that this Commission of Inquiry has a great
and historic task to achieve.  Ramsey Clark and other expert witnesses
will indict and present testimony on July 31 in New York City accusing
Bill Clinton, General Wesley Clark, and others with war crimes against
the people of Yugoslavia.

On July 31, there will be a series of panels and workshops.  There
will be exciting presentations.  There will be analysis and
discussion.  Literature and video resources will be available to be
used for local organizing efforts.  Ramsey Clark will be the key note
speaker presenting the multi-count indictment.  We are also making
time so that local anti-war activists and organizers from throughout
the country can have a chance to meet and plan for Commission of
Inquiry hearings in their cities.

We are not simply trying to reveal the truth about U.S./NATO war
crimes before, during, and after the war.  We are also trying to
educate and mobilize broad public opinion to oppose imperialism.  The
war is not over.  The U.S./NATO occupation of Kosovo and the cessation
of the bombing campaign is not, in our opinion, a sign that peace has
arrived in the Balkans.  The U.S. goal is to destroy all of Yugoslavia
and to continue its march through Central and Eastern Europe, into the
Caucuses, and into the former southern republics of the Soviet Union.

We are organizing to have Commission of Inquiry hearings in cities
throughout the United States, every NATO country, Russia, and around
the world.  We are heartened that this call for an independent War
Crimes Tribunal is resonating on all seven continents.  All who have
suffered the ravages of colonialism, racism, and imperialism are
finding a way to establish a new international network of coordinated
activity in this field.  Exploratory committees for Commission of
Inquiry hearings have been formed in several European countries, in
Canada, and in India.

This process begins on July 31 with a day-long hearing of the
Commission of Inquiry at the Dubinsky Hall at the Fashion Institute of
Technology campus (27th Street and 8th Ave._see enclosed leaflet).
After hearings are held in other cities over the next months, there
will be a culminating International War Crimes Tribunal in New York
City (date to be announced) where collected material is presented to
an international panel.

This is a vast undertaking.  We have set up an international research
effort conducting investigations into twenty-five broad categories of
war crimes and related subjects.  We are collecting public documents,
interviews, eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, video footage,
photos, and other materials to document the charges of Crimes Against
Peace, Crimes Against Humanity, and War Crimes.  Please see our web
page,, for a list of the charges and updates on the

Join This New International Movement

As  you know, the IAC played a major role in initiating and organizing
protest activities and demonstrations between March 24 and June 5.
More than 10,000 people marched on the Pentagon on June 5, and the
three-hour rally was broadcast live on C-SPAN and then rebroadcast.  A
similar mass demonstration was held in San Francisco on June 5, as
well as in cities around the world.  

Hundreds of thousands of people opposed this war.  They distributed
leaflets, put up posters, helped get out mailings, did phone banking,
and generously contributed their hard-earned dollars for this effort.
It was amazing that in such a short time a new mass anti-war movement
started to take shape.  We couldn't have done it without your help. We
greatly appreciate your contributions in the many ways you made them.
The building of a grass roots anti-war movement_on a worldwide
scale--is  the foundation for the struggle against imperialism,
racism, and injustice.  We believe that the Commission of Inquiry to
investigate U.S./NATO war crimes can play an important role in
sustaining and building this international movement. To be a powerful
movement we must be able to assess and analyze the system that is
promoting war, while developing effective literature and outreach
resources that connect the issue of war with the growing problems of
poverty, racism, and oppression.  For instance, the Pentagon used the
Yugoslavia war to push through an expansion of the U.S. military
budget by another $147 billion over the next six years.  This increase
comes on top of the already bloated $300-billion-per-year "defense"
budget.  This is a twenty to thirty percent increase in spending that
will lead to further cuts in education, job training, housing, health
care, child care, and veterans' benefits.

What a cruel hoax!  The United States government can spend limitless
amounts of money to bomb working class and poor people abroad.  But
instead of spending money for programs that alleviate poverty, the
politicians choose instead to build an ever-greater prison-industrial
complex to incarcerate the growing numbers of poor people at
home_almost two million will be imprisoned by the year 2000.

The Commission of Inquiry will hear expert testimony to assess how the
war effort has been used to further militarize the U.S. economy and
U.S. society at the expense of meeting people's needs.

The Danger of a New War

The Commission of Inquiry will chronicle how the U.S. and NATO
deliberately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure; purposely
destroyed the economic foundations of society, especially the
state-owned sector of the economy; used cluster bombs and other
prohibited weapons; willfully ruined the environment; used radioactive
depleted  uranium weapons, and committed numerous other crimes.

The Commission will also deal with the "Whys" of the war.  Why did it
really happen?  How did the U.S. and NATO conspire to dismember
Yugoslavia?  What did the U.S. seek to accomplish with the expansion
of NATO after the collapse of the USSR?  What are the economic and
political goals behind U.S. strategy, not just in Yugoslavia, but in
all of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucuses, and the  southern
republics of the former USSR.

A careful examination of all of these facts will reveal that the
occupation of Kosovo is simply one part of a larger military/political
strategy of the United States and western imperialist governments. And
that the danger of a new war has not diminished.  It is all the more
likely in the coming years.  The stakes are enormous and that is why
we must organize millions of people to act rather than allow the
Pentagon to function with impunity.

Can you help?  We need your support and your participation.  In
addition to attending and organizing others to attend the July 31
hearing in New York City, we hope you will join us either as a
researcher, office volunteer, or someone who can distribute literature
to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or fellow students.

We have been able to build this growing international movement against
war and injustice because of the generous financial contributions of
thousands of people.  It has been inspiring to know that so many
people have been willing to make some sacrifice to help fund this

We urge you to make a donation again. For a tax deductible 
contribution of $50 or more, checks can be made payable to "Peoples
Rights Fund/Tribunal."

The war in Yugoslavia has created unspeakable human suffering.  Today,
thousands of Serb, Roma, and other peoples are being driven out of
Kosovo by fascist thugs operating under NATO's protection.  Being
driven out or killed are also ethnic Albanians who stood with
Yugoslavia instead of the fascist KLA.  It is a rain of terror.  

But this is the time to organize.  To fight back.  To uphold a vision
of solidarity and struggle against war.  History demands the creation
of a new worldwide force for justice.  

We hope you will join us in creating this new force.  It is this which
gives us confidence in the future.  See you July 31 in New York City.

Gloria La Riva
Sara Flounders
Brian Becker
for the International Action Center

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