INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC). 2008 complaint to ICC re Australian involvement in Aboriginal Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide
Dr Gideon Polya is a Melbourne-based humanist, scientist, academic, artist, and human rights and climate change activist (see: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya ). The contact details of the Chief Prosecutor, the International Criminal Court are provided here: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/Contact .
Dr Gideon Polya, Formal complaint to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court re Australian Government involvement in Aboriginal Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide (March 2008):
International Criminal Court
Office of the Prosecutor
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague
Formal complaint to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court re
Australian Government involvement in Aboriginal Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide
For your convenience I have numbered the various sections of this formal complaint.
1. Statement of complaint
Avoidable death (excess death) is the difference between the actual deaths in a country and the deaths expected for a peaceful, decently run country with the same demographics. Excess deaths can be violent (from bombs or bullets) or non-violent (through deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease) (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ). Thus 1 million of the 6 million victims of the Jewish Holocaust died from deprivation (see Gilbert, M. (1982), Atlas of the Holocaust (Michael Joseph, London)).
Successive Australian Governments have been involved in sustained, remorseless, deliberate, intentional, knowing policies that have resulted in huge avoidable death (excess death) and/or displacement among their domestic and overseas Subjects and among impoverished people around the world subject to global warming impacts due in part to Australia’s world-leading, climate criminal, greenhouse gas pollution policies:
a. Aboriginal Genocide of Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal) Subjects (9,000 avoidable Indigenous deaths each year; 90,000 avoidable deaths in the 11 years of the previous Coalition Government; current Indigenous population about 0.5 million; the annual death rate is 2.2% (for Indigenous Australians), 2.4% (Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory and since 2007 subject to race-specific suspension of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act in contravention of international humanitarian conventions), 0.4% (what it should be) and 2.5% (for Australian sheep) (see: June 2007 edition of the National Indigenous Times: http://www.nit.com.au/news/story.aspx?id=11555 ; “Stolen Generations’: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/19735/42/ , “Invasion & Australia Day”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/19735/42/ , “Racism in Australia, “Bundoora Arabesque””: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/15960/42/ , “Sydney Madonna” and Aboriginal Genocide”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/10865/26/ and “Australian Genocide”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/12578/42/ ).
b. Iraqi Genocide in Occupied Iraq (post-invasion, roughly 1:1 violent and non-violent excess deaths total 1.5-2 million; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 0.6 million; excess deaths; 4.5 million refugees; 1.9 million excess deaths and 1.2 million under-5 infant deaths in the Sanctions period 1990-2003) (see: http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/2008/01/rudd-australia-report-card-1-continued.html ; http://mwcnews.net/content/view/17066/42/ ).
c. Afghan Genocide in Occupied Afghanistan (post-invasion violent and non-violent excess deaths 6.6 million; post-invasion under-5 infant deaths 2.3 million; 4 million refugees) (see: http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/2008/01/rudd-australia-report-card-3-australian.html ; “Top US lawyer and UNICEF reveal Afghan Genocide”: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya080208.htm).
d. Climate Genocide. Global avoidable deaths total 16 million annually with 9.5 million being under-5 year old infants. This is increasingly impacted by global warming and Australia is the developing country with the highest annual per capita fossil-fuel-derived carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution (43 tonnes per person per year in 2007 including that due to fossil fuel exports - about 10 times greater than the annual per capita fossil-fuel-derived CO2 pollution value (2004) for the World (4.2) and China (3.6), about 40 times greater than for India (1) and 160 times greater than for Bangladesh (0.25).) (see: http://ruddaustraliareportcard.blogspot.com/2008/01/rudd-australia-report-card-2-climate.html ; http://mwcnews.net/content/view/15671/42/ ). It is predicted by UK climate expert Professor Lovelock FRS that over 6 billion will perish this century due to unaddressed global warming (see: http://www.businessandmedia.org/printer/2007/20071022221333.aspx ).
2. UN Genocide Convention and “intent to destroy in whole or in part”
Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention (see:
http://www.edwebproject.org/sideshow/genocide/convention.html ) states that “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
“Intent” in horrific crimes is rarely “confessed” but can be convincingly established by a record of “remorseless sustained policy”. Thus the immense 1943-1945 Bengali Holocaust was a man-made, market forces famine in which the price of rice doubled and then doubled again due to a range of factors. Those living on the edge who were unable to pay for food died under the sustained, racist and remorseless policies of the British colonial régime. The Bengal Famine consumed 6-7 million lives in Bengal and the neighbouring provinces of Assam, Orissa and Bihar but has been largely deleted from British history (see: http://www.open2.net/thingsweforgot/bengalfamine_programme.html ; Polya, G.M. (1998), Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability (Polya, Melbourne); http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ).
Churchill deleted mention of the Bengal Famine (a 6-7 million death holocaust atrocity for which he was primarily responsible) from his immense history of the Second World War (see Churchill, W.S. (1954), The Second World War. Volumes I-VI (Cassell, London). However his responsibility and culpability has been revealed from the record of his remorseless, racist, “sustained policy” (e.g. as revealed by the diary of General Wavell, Viceroy of India; see Moon, P. (1973) (editor), Wavell. The Viceroy’s Journal (Oxford University Press, London; see also Mason, C. (2000), A Short History of Asia. Stone Age to 2000AD (Macmillan, London)).
The Bengal Famine was clearly a Bengal Holocaust (and indeed the first of the World War 2 atrocities to be described as a holocaust – see Jog, N.G. (1944), Churchill’s Blind-Spot: India (New Book Company, Bombay)). The “remorseless sustained policy” means that this was “intent to destroy in whole or in part” even if the destruction was “a sustained horrendous collateral in full knowledge” rather than “a vindictive desire to kill”. A bioethical analysis of this culpability is sketched below.
3. Active and passive killing and active and passive genocide
The outstanding bioethicist Professor Peter Singer (Princeton University and the University of Melbourne) has stated that “We are responsible not only for what we do but also for what we could have prevented… We should consider the consequences both of what we do and what we decide not to do” (see: Singer, P. (2000), Writings on an Ethical Life (Ecco Press, New York), ppxv-xvi).
An analogy of “passive genocide” in British-ruled Bengal and in the Genocides involving Australia can be found in the treatment of severely disabled new-born infants. Professor Peter Singer, arguably the most influential living philosopher, has controversially argued for the humane “active euthanasia” of severely disabled infants. At present many experienced hospital doctors will administer pain relief but not sustenance to such infants by way of “passive euthanasia”. However, according to Singer
“Doctors who deliberately leave a baby to die when they have the awareness, the ability, and the opportunity to save the baby’s life, are just as morally responsible for the death as they would be if they had brought it about by a deliberate , positive action.” (see: Kuhse, H. & Singer, P. (1985), Should the Baby Live? The Problem of Handicapped Infants (Oxford University Press, Oxford)).
The active massacre of Australian Aboriginals in the period from Invasion in 1788 until the late 1920s can be described as “active genocide” but the continuing Aboriginal Genocide through sustained policies of deprivation is no less deadly “passive genocide” and the same analysis can be applied to the Iraqi Genocide, the Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide in which Australia is complicit. As outlined below Australia has grossly violated International humanitarian conventions in deliberately failing to provide life-sustaining requisites to its domestic and overseas Subjects.
4. Criminal failure to supply life-sustaining requisites
While annual per capita medical expenditure on Indigenous Australians is similar to that for the non-Indigenous Australians, it has been estimated that this expenditure needs to be at least doubled because of the huge morbidity and the remote location of many Aboriginal communities. While Australia has been prepared to spend up to 6 million dollars each time to save individual solo yachtspersons who have deliberately placed themselves in danger, it has remorselessly refused to meet its obligations towards Indigenous Australians with a consequent huge excess death rate (for details and documentation see: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/15140/42/ ).
WHO data reveal that the “annual total per capita medical expenditure” (2004) permitted by the US Coalition is $135 (in Occupied Iraq) and $19 (in Occupied Afghanistan) as compared to $2,560 (UK), $3,123 (Australia) and $6,096(the US) (see WHO: http://www.who.int/en/ ; see also: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/17066/42/ ). One can now understand why there is such horrendous infant mortality in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan as reported by UNICEF (see: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/index.html ) and as summarized in section #1 above.
The sheer criminality of this Australian failure to supply life-sustaining requisites to Subject people is made clear in Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (see: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm ):
Article 55. To the fullest extent of the means available to it the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate.
The Occupying Power may not requisition foodstuffs, articles or medical supplies available in the occupied territory, except for use by the occupation forces and administration personnel, and then only if the requirements of the civilian population have been taken into account. Subject to the provisions of other international Conventions, the Occupying Power shall make arrangements to ensure that fair value is paid for any requisitioned goods.
The Protecting Power shall, at any time, be at liberty to verify the state of the food and medical supplies in occupied territories, except where temporary restrictions are made necessary by imperative military requirements.
Article 56. To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties.
If new hospitals are set up in occupied territory and if the competent organs of the occupied State are not operating there, the occupying authorities shall, if necessary, grant them the recognition provided for in Article 18. In similar circumstances, the occupying authorities shall also grant recognition to hospital personnel and transport vehicles under the provisions of Articles 20 and 21.
In adopting measures of health and hygiene and in their implementation, the Occupying Power shall take into consideration the moral and ethical susceptibilities of the population of the occupied territory.
Of course under international humanitarian conventions Australia has an obligation to supply such requisites to its own citizens as well as to its Subjects through invasion, conquest and forcible occupation of other countries. However it is noteworthy that no treaty was ever signed by the invading Europeans with the conquered Indigenous Peoples of Australia.
5. Climate Genocide and ICC action
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific body in the world, has identified nuclear weapons, global warming and poverty as the major threats facing humanity (see: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2007/0216am_holdren_address.shtml ). The latest scientific discoveries about climate change make it clear that we have already passed a key “tipping point” for a major ecosystem catastrophe, the complete loss of Arctic summer ice which is now expected to be realized in several years’ time.
What we are facing is a Climate Emergency and a Sustainability Emergency as revealed by the eminent American atmosphere scientist Dr James Hansen who has recently stated that 300-350 ppm atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is the safe, sustainable level for the biosphere and human survival – whereas it is actually 385 ppm now and increasing by 2.5 ppm every year. Dr Hansen is effectively calling not for ZERO EMISSIONS but for NEGATIVE CO2 EMISSIONS and a cessation of coal burning (see the Friends of the Earth’s ”Climate Code Red – the case for a sustainability emergency”: http://www.climatecodered.net/ and http://climatecodered.blogspot.com/ ; see also: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7143567.stm and http://www.thebulletin.org/columns/james-hansen/20080124.html ).
16 million people die avoidably in the world each year (see “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ) but global warming is already impacting on human excess mortality. Eminent atmosphere scientist Professor James Lovelock FRS estimates that over 6 billion will die this century due to unaddressed global warming (see: http://www.businessandmedia.org/printer/2007/20071022221333.aspx ).
Unfortunately the world is now seeing the beginnings of an appalling re-run of the British famine atrocity in India in World War 2 outlined in part #2 above. The price of wheat has doubled in one year (forced up by diversion for biofuels, purchases by prosperous India and China and effects of climate change on agricultural productivity) (see: http://climateemergency.blogspot.com/ ).
Australia is steadfast in its refusal to reduce its world leading annual per capita greenhouse gas pollution and has a major responsibility for the accelerating Climate Genocide that as estimated by outstanding UK climate scientist Professor James Lovelock FRS will affect billions; as reported by the Royal Society: “Even if we act now Professor Lovelock believes that six to eight billion humans will be faced with ever diminishing supplies of food and water in an increasingly intolerable climate and wildlife and whole ecosystems will become extinct” (see his recent lecture at the Royal Society: http://royalsociety.org/news.asp?id=7226 ) .
Consideration of current rates of CO2 pollution and sea levels over millions of years past indicate that a predicted temperature rise this century of 3oC on the current “business as usual” scenario means a roughly 20 metre rise in sea level.
According to America’s foremost climate scientist Dr James Hansen: “There is strong evidence that the Earth is within 1 oC of its highest temperature in the past million years. Oxygen isotopes in the deep sea foraminifera reveal that the earth was last 2oC to 3oC warmer [relative to 2000] around 3 million years ago, with carbon dioxide levels of perhaps 350 to 450 parts per million. It was a dramatically different planet then, with no Arctic sea ice in the warm seasons and sea levels about 25 metres higher, give or take 10 metres.” (see “Climate Code Red”, p9: http://www.climatecodered.net/ ).
The Earth’s atmosphere is ALREADY at 385 ppm CO2 and CO2 concentration is increasing at about 2.5 ppm per year; global average temperature is ALREADY about 1oC above the pre-industrial and now increasing at about 0.25 oC per decade.
I understand that the International Criminal Court may be prepared to make initial investigations of formal complaints by individuals (such as this complaint) but will only act to the fullest extent of its remit in response to formal complaints by National Governments.
Countries at major risk from sea level rises due to climate change include island nations in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific (some of which face total extinction) and countries with mega-deltas in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia (of which some face catastrophic loss of agriculture and massive population displacements). Such Nations will be receiving copies of this formal complaint and are urged to transmit formal complaints to the International Criminal Court.
Dr Gideon Polya
Macleod, Melbourne, Victoria 3085, Australia
March 1, 2008
Dr Gideon Polya published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003). He has just published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/1375/247/ and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contribution “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007): http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ).” .
. Dr Gideon Polya, Formal complaint to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court re Australian Government involvement in Aboriginal Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, Afghan Genocide and Climate Genocide (March 2008): http://climateemergency.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html