In September, 2005, an international conference on the international issue of impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity was held at the Palais Bourbon (Assemblée Nationale) in Paris. Confronted with the US policies, its “war on terrorism” and its disastrous impact on global efforts to deepen and entrench the rule of law, the Association for the Defence of International Humanitarian Law, France (ADIF), in cooperation with the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), assembled leading human rights intellectuals, historians, lawyers and NGOs representatives from the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, to spearhead international civil society’s response to this threat, for the well-being and positive development of humankind.
This book reflects a primary response by international civil society to US disregard for international law. It is a damning indictment of the Hiroshimas of our time. It provides a cogent elaboration of the international legal values to be defended, for humanity to triumph over the new wave of global barbarism brought about by the efforts of the United States to consolidate and extend the dimensions of its empire.
Once the champion of the United Nations, the United States now skirts the Geneva Conventions, uses international humanitarian law as a pretext for intervention, engages in bombardments causing grave civilian losses, and seeks to expand its options in relation to torture while continuing to render prisoners to countries known for its practice. Having failed in its effort to block the establishment of the International Criminal Court, the United States still refuses to ratify its Statute—even though the ICC Statute modified the rules of the 1977 Geneva Protocol and The Hague in an effort to satisfy the trajectory pursued by U.S. foreign policy.
The United States’ pursuit of a unilateral imperial policy based on military force destroys the credibility of the nascent international legal framework. Rather, the US is leading the world by example toward a future without rules or values, where humanity is subject to the whims of the more powerful.
Former government officials, scholars, advocates and directors of international organizations operating at the highest level in the areas of international humanitarian law address the relevant international law, the threats thereto by US policy, its ramifications for the world system, and possible avenues of legal recourse.