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Thursday, April 13, 2006

 

UKG-AP: UK doctor court-martialed, says Iraq invasion like Nazis, sentenced to 8 months

By Richard Norton-Taylor - Thursday April 13, 2006 - The Guardian

An RAF doctor told a court martial yesterday he refused to serve in Iraq because he believed the actions of US armed forces there were "on a par with Nazi Germany".

Dr. Kendall-SmithFlight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, M.D., left, told the military court he was not prepared to take part in an "act of aggression" contrary to international law.

The 37-year-old officer, who has dual British and New Zealand citizenship and is based at RAF Kinloss in Morayshire, Scotland, has pleaded not guilty to five charges of disobeying orders, including a refusal to be deployed to Basra last year.

Yesterday, he told the court martial at Aldershot: "I have evidence that the Americans were on a par with Nazi Germany with its actions in the Persian gulf. I have documents in my possession which support my assertions. This is on the basis that ongoing acts of aggression in Iraq and systematically applied war crimes provide a moral equivalent between the US and Nazi Germany."

Flt Lt Kendall-Smith said he considered the war in Iraq to be the equivalent of an "imperial invasion and occupation". He said he was extremely disturbed by America's "imperial campaign of military conquest", which was in direct conflict with his duties.

He added: "It struck me as incongruous and disturbing that the US air force published the phrase 'global power for America' on their documentation during the conflict. I found that the phrase 'global power for America' was imperial." Asked by David Perry, prosecuting counsel, whether he really believed that the actions of US forces in Iraq were comparable to those of the Third Reich, Flt Lt Kendall-Smith replied: "On the basis of active aggression and systematically applied war crimes, serious violations of international law - yes."

He denied trying to resign from the RAF because he had a grievance about being sent abroad at short notice.

Full U.K. Guardian story.

The Associated Press reports this morning that the military court convicted this British air force doctor of disobeying orders and sentenced him to eight months in prison after he called the Iraq war illegal and refused to return for a third tour of duty.


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