George W. Bush Guilty of War Crimes 053012
That isn’t the news, the news is that someone has said so out loud.
Often, when we hear of terrible dictators like Adolf Hitler or Augusto Pinochet we wonder, “Why didn’t the people do something?” People don’t do something because they aren’t in that moment being oppressed, because they are afraid and don’t know what to do, and because they are given rationales which comfort them. “Weapons of mass destruction” is such a rationale.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and four others were found guilty of war crimes primarily because of torture. Those are the least of their crimes, but the War Crimes Tribunal in Kuala Lumpur only brought charges for which they had witnesses.
George W. Bush led us to war against Iraq on a pretense, and not a very good pretense, either, we should have known better. He also led us to war in Afghanistan, the tough little nation which absorbed the might of the Soviet Union and helped bring it down. It’s now America’s longest running war. He brought us to war in those countries because Iraq has oil and Afghanistan has considerable mineral wealth, a trillion dollars’ worth, according to the Pentagon, who for some reason would know that.
He is also guilty of gutting our treasury, of privatizing the war in a way Milo Minderbinder could only hope to do, squandering our economic resilience while making his old pal Cheney a bundle.
In my view, he’s also guilty of creating the “surveillance nation”, of creating Fatherland Security, expanding the National Security Agency, extended CIA surveillance of Americans, and putting drones in our skies. Our intelligence is now so good it captures terrorists before they even know they’re terrorists, creating and arming terrorists at home to justify the hemorrhaging of money toward “security” while schools close and the post office stops doing mail.
Worst of all, Bush is guilty of making us a nation of cowards. He filled our dreams with rag-headed boogeymen, made us terrified of terrorism, to his own end, to increase the power of government and the executive branch. He did this knowing we are less likely to be killed by terrorists than to choke on a hot dog*, and that we are far safer from terrorists here than Afghanis are from their American saviors. He lifted our skirts and stole our liberties, our wealth, and our dignity.
The Tribunal is a court of “conscience” and has no authority to jail the criminals; Bush and Cheney won’t be thrown in prison indefinitely, won’t be water boarded, won’t have their religion defamed. Instead, they’ll live in luxury and privilege, even honor of a sorts. However, all of Bush’s influence and power can’t make him two important things; it can’t make him innocent, it can’t make him a great leader of a brave people.
*About 300 people a year have died from terrorism since 2000, most on 9-11, while about 34,000 people have choked to death in the U.S. in the same period.
Yes, yes, Saddam Hussein was a very bad man; there are still bad men in Iraq, but was he bad enough to justify invasion?
Bin Laden could have been captured by law enforcement, without war. They were plausible justifications for war, but not the reason.