Friday, April 06, 2007

Iraq is Lost; Bush War Crimes Continue

I never liked the term "war of choice". The better term, the legal term, is "war crime". War crimes resulting in death are capital crimes under US criminal codes. Check out Section 2441. Also check out the Nuremberg Principles. That Bush committed capital offenses by treasonously committing his nation to a war of naked aggression in Iraq is old news.

In his rush to unleash the dogs of war, George W. Bush knowingly lied about the situation in Iraq, discounting out of hand information countering his various pretexts for war. Indeed, Valerie Plame would not be a household name if the lies Bush told about Iraq had not been deliberate. Indeed, there would have been no reason to retaliate against Ambassador Joe Wilson for daring to tell the truth, for daring to expose the Bush administration's treasonous fraud.

Confident that he had hoodwinked a gullible nation, Bush said:
In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."

-George W. Bush, March 2003

If war criminals are to be held to account, then the prosecution must begin with the Bush administration. I would hope that someone, presumably at the Hague, is drafting indictments against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzales. If the concept of International Law is to have any validity, all war criminals must be held to account.

That Bush has lost the very war he started is a fact often lost on the mass media, Fox kiss ups, and the terminally stupid. Bush has, in fact, lost all the wars he started. His administration has not merely failed, it has done so catastrophically. At least three of the criminals -Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld -should one day stand trial for high treason and capital crimes, having committed this nation to a catastrophic war upon a pack of deliberate, malicious lies. There are some 650,000 counts of murder to be included in the indictment.
The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.

The same group in 2004 published an estimate of roughly 100,000 deaths in the first 18 months after the invasion. That figure was much higher than expected, and was controversial. The new study estimates that about 500,000 more Iraqis, both civilian and military, have died since then -- a finding likely to be equally controversial.

-Washington Post, Study Claims Iraq's 'Excess' Death Toll Has Reached 655,000

Bush partisans have tried to downplay Iraqi civilian deaths while debunking more credible estimates. An early example was the number of Iraqis killed in the Shock and Awe campaign. "Official" numbers were in the range of 2,000 to 3,000, as I recall. But it was Jude Wanniski, a supply side economist with the Wall Street Journal, who reported the more credible number: 40,000. Wanniski's report was conducted by Iraqis in Baghdad and consisted of actual, verifiable body counts in the various neighborhoods. Each city, town and region was broken out and tabulated. It was the best available information until Lancet.

Bushy numbers -at the time -were mere estimates, wishful thinking, propaganda. The US, we were told, didn't do body counts. By the time the administration warmed up to the 40,000 figure, credible estimates had risen. To some 650,000, as we have seen. For Bushies, a mere 40,000 dead civilians sounded good by comparison. It is not surprising that Fox news -in reality a right wing lie machine -tried to debunk credible claims that Iraqi civilian deaths exceeded 650,000. Fox was and is dead wrong. And perhaps deliberately so.

In the end, however, it is Fox that looks stupid and utterly lacking credibility. The Lancet study is sound.

A monstrous war crime

With more than 650,000 civilians dead in Iraq, our government must take responsibility for its lies

Richard Horton
Wednesday March 28, 2007
The Guardian

Our collective failure has been to take our political leaders at their word. This week the BBC reported that the government's own scientists advised ministers that the Johns Hopkins study on Iraq civilian mortality was accurate and reliable, following a freedom of information request by the reporter Owen Bennett-Jones. This paper was published in the Lancet last October. It estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the American and British led invasion in March 2003.

Consider Iraq. Several years ago, I asked my Congressman a pointed question: which side would Bush take when the Iraqi Civil War breaks out? Instead of an answer, I was lectured to about patriotism, about how Bush was the commander-in-chief, about how much better it was to fight terrorism "there" than "here", about how the US is exempt from international laws having to do with war crimes. It was all nonsense and bullshit and I told them that. I also told my congressman that the GOP was not a political party. It is a crime syndicate, I said. And still say.

In the meantime, the civil war has broken out between Sunnis and Shias and Bush has taken sides. He has bet the farm on the Shi'ite regime of Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki. By taking sides, Bush loses the role of "honest broker", our only hope for peace. By taking sides, Bush embroils the US in a sectarian struggle all but impossible to confine inside the borders of Iraq. Neighboring states are not only worried, they have already absorbed at least 2 million Iraqi refugees at great cost to local economies. The Iraqi civil war threatens to destabilize the Middle East.

But Lancet is not the only under-reported study. Some six months ago, Foreign Policy asked more than 100 US foreign policy experts if Bush was, in fact, winning the so-called "war on terrorism". FP reports that the answer was a resounding --NO! Since that time, FP surveyed them again. The news is still not good. The chaotic civil war in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the death count continues to rise, and, on several fronts FP reports, the Bush strategy has failed utterly. The report directly refutes and contradicts Bush's various claims. In fact, the US occupation of Iraq has made us less safe; another attack may be imminent; and that "...the United States may be distracted from the threats that matter most."

Bush has lost his war against Iraq because he lost the battle for Iraqi "hearts and minds". He lost that battle because no one in administration bothered to inform themselves. It was deliberate. There are, obviously, informed people in the apparatus of US government. Valerie Plame was just such a person, an operative with the CIA. For her trouble and because her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson dared to tell the truth, she was "outed". Those in the Bush administration who ordered her cover blown are guilty of treason.

"Insurgent attacks", likewise, grow stronger and more deadly despite or because of the "surge". I don't like the term "insurgent". It implies an illegitimate opposition to a legitimate authority. But, in Iraq, it is the US occupation that is illegitimate, in fact, illegal. Iraqis claim the right to defend themselves, to oppose an illegitimate occupation by arms, if necessary. They are absolutely correct. This should not come as news to the dead heads in Bush's irresponsible and incompetent administration. Perhaps they never bothered to attend a high school history class. It was William Pitt who, in 1778, told Parliament:
"My lords, if I were an American as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I would never lay down my arms- never, never, never".
Pitt was approaching 70 at the time he made those remarks and, as the story goes, he collapsed before ending his speech denouncing British policies in America. He died a month later, a statesman -not a politician.

Bush insists on victory but he cannot define it. He is stuck on flypaper, repeating the same tired slogans, the same bullshit about fighting "terrorists" there instead of here. In the meantime, US casualties, already far higher than anyone imagined, continue to climb. Deaths of Iraqi civilians, likewise, exceed all early estimates.

In retrospect, Bush was altogether too eager for dictatorship. He gave himself away. He said "This would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship...heh heh heh ...just as long as I'm the dictator." But in his analysis of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, W. H. Auden cautions would be dictators that they must not appear too eager for power and glory. Even Caesar, Auden points out, denied the crown not once...but three times.

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