Time to Stop Bush-Cheney’s War Crimes in the Middle East

 “Today the world faces a single man armed with weapons of mass destruction, manifesting an aggressive, bullying attitude, who may well plunge the world into chaos and bloodshed if he miscalculates. This person, belligerent, arrogant, and sure of himself, truly is the most dangerous person on Earth. The problem is that his name is George W. Bush, and he is our president.” Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School, September 22, 2002

 “When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.” Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th president of the United States

 “Force always attracts men of low morality.”Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

When senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) muses aloud about how the U.S. Constitution could take care of a would-be dictator president, who is dismissive of both the American people and the U.S. Congress, you know that things are getting pretty bad for George W. Bush. Underneath the thick layers of propaganda and lies, the president is stark naked. And the picture isn’t pretty: incompetence, insecurity, inflexibility, arrogance, manipulation, lies, a gangster-like, sociopath and sadistic mentality, …etc. 

 Bush’s lack of empathy was appallingly illustrated when, in 1999, as the sitting governor of Texas, he publicly mocked convicted grandmother Mrs. Karla Faye Tucker’s begging for mercy, whimpering in derision: “Please,” referring to her demand, “don’t kill me.”—He had her executed.

On May 21, 2000, New York Times’ columnist Nicholas D. Kristof warned the American people about GWB’s lack of empathy, his insensitivity and his penchant for cruelty when he reported that, as a youngster, growing up in Midland, Texas, Bush Jr. was known to enjoy putting firecrackers into frogs’ mouths, throwing them in the air, and then watching them blow up. Nobody paid any attention to Bush’s troubling trait of character. Nevertheless, it is well known by psychiatrists that cruelty to animals among youngsters is a common precursor to later criminal violence as adults.—No one should be surprised that under the Bush-Cheney regime, the U.S. occupation forces in Iraq are killing Iraqi civilians indiscriminately and that this administration crafted an official policy of running secret prisons and of resorting to illegal torture.

To compound matters, as an incompetent and a failure, after winning a very contested election with the help of his father’s rich friends, Bush made sure to surround himself with like-minded persons. He made a power-sharing agreement with co-oil-man Dick Cheney, most likely under the inducement of rich campaign money contributors: He would play the role of president while the vice-president would run the government and name the all important deputy secretaries. For secretaries, Bush chose people who would not overshadow or contradict him: Donald Rumsfeld as Defense secretary, John Ashcroft, and later, Alberto Gonzales, his small town personal lawyer from Texas, as Attorney General, and yes-woman Condoleezza Rice as Security Advisor, later to replace Colin Powell as Secretary of State, etc. A competent person squeezed into Bush’s inner circle by accident. This was Paul H. O’Neill, the former CEO of Alcoa and former president of International Paper Company. But he resigned two years later, disgusted at the improvisation he was witnessing, especially as the invasion of Iraq was being planned under a cloud of lies, dishonesty and misinformation.

As it turned out, the military invasion of Iraq was an apparent case of “redirected aggression”, a phenomenon typically observed in the animal kingdom. Unable to retaliate effectively against the shadowy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they saw an opportunity in Iraq, a country which they had their eyes on for a long time. The country was run by a ruthless dictator, was sitting on the second largest oil pool in the world, and was seen by Israel as financing terrorists in Palestine.

Moreover, the neocon hierarchy at the Pentagon had plans for a war without end in the Middle East, and they were ready and available. Indeed, General Wesley Clark, the former Commander of NATO, has confirmed that as early as 2001, the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz Pentagon had war plans to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”  What we have been witnessing since 2003 was the implementation of this long term plan.

After more than four years, one would think that George W. Bush’s misguided personal war of aggression against the sovereign country of Iraq has lasted long enough and has killed enough people. To begin with, this is a war that was sold to the American people on the basis of lies, disinformation and misrepresentation. Democracies should never go to war on the basis of lies and misrepresentation because this means they occupy the low moral ground. Not that totalitarian regimes should launch wars of aggression on such dishonest bases, but for a democracy to do so is a fundamental contradiction in terms and is a sign of moral decay. Secondly, this is a war that has resulted in fanning the flame of terrorism not only in Iraq, but all over the world. This is a failed policy and a failed war. The British are beginning to understand that and have begun to withdraw from Iraq. The only ones who do not understand that seem to be the Bush-Cheney regime and its neocon sycophants within and outside the administration.

So far, the Iraq war has been a total human disaster. Some 3,245 American soldiers have perished (losses equivalent to ten fully loaded 747 plane crashes); an estimated 655,000 Iraqis have lost their lives, and millions of people have been impoverished and rendered miserable. But against all advice, the war goes on and Bush is pressing the escalation button. There seems to be something in George W. Bush’s personality that prevents him from showing empathy toward other human beings. He seems oblivious to deaths and sufferings of other people, not the least are the hundreds of thousands of American and Iraqi families who lost love ones in this insane and illegal war.

In fact, the entire military adventure that the Bush-Cheney regime initiated in the Middle East has all the odor of a criminal enterprise. This may explain why the Bush-Cheney duo fought so much to prevent the creation of the new International Criminal Court. Indeed, for this war to have taken place, a lot of principles had to be violated and a lot of laws had to be broken. Bush’s proclivity for thinking that he can violate international law with impunity is well known. In his 2004 State of the Union address, for example, he publicly showed his contempt for international law when he said: “America will never seek a permission slip [from any world body] to defend the security of our country”.

What laws were broken? —First of all, the Iraq war was never approved by the United Nations. This led then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in September 2004, to declare: “The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.”  Case closed as far as the United Nations is concerned. But there is more.

Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, the Iraq war is a war that violated the Nuremberg Charter. Indeed, the Nuremberg Charter (Article 6) which is both U.S. law and international law, makes it a crime for anybody to engage in the “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing; …Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.”  —Article 7 of the Nuremberg Charter even specifies that “The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.” 

If a Nuremberg Court were established to judge those who planned and initiated the Iraq War of March 20, 2003, they would be reminded that “To initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Moreover, Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience…therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

The Iraq War that George W. Bush initiated on his own on the basis of fabricated lies will be judged by history as one of the most blatant abuses of power ever by any American administration. It is a war based on false pretenses and on false perceptions of the Muslim Middle East. For example, it is not true that Middle Eastern Muslims hate the West “because they hate our way of life, our freedom, and our democracy.” Polls indicate that such ideas are simply based on ignorant prejudices. But when Bush II sent American troops storming into private homes in Baghdad and Haditha, and elsewhere in Iraq, shooting first and asking questions later, in a juvenile Texan way, it is no surprise that the entire Muslim world started hating him. That is the way most people view lawless thugs.

If ever there were a president-by-accident, it is the present occupant of the White House. An electoral accident resulted in placing into office a candidate who had not received the democratic approval of the people. And the American people could not have been more out of luck, because it could not have fallen upon a more mediocre politician than George W. Bush. —Unfortunately, it is highly likely that the worst is still to come, with more blunders ahead,  if those who have the power to act in the U.S. Congress continue to put their heads deep in the sand..

Rodrigue Tremblay lives in Montreal and can be reached at  [email protected]

Visit his blog site at: http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.

Author’s Website: http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/

Check Dr. Tremblay’s coming book “The Code for Global Ethics” at:  
www.TheCodeForGlobalEthics.com or at:

[email protected]

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Articles by: Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

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