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 2011-12-08 05:42 am Back to NEWS
Global Pressure Increases On Bush and Blair for Alleged War Crimes
Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) and Ex-US President George Bush (right) have been indicted for War Crimes by Amnesty International and a Malaysian War Crimes tribunal, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT)

Former U.S. President George W. Bush came under further global pressure as Amnesty International urged the governments of Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia, in Africa, to arrest him during his recent visit to Africa, and following a Malaysian War Crimes tribunal’s damning critique of international criminal law institutions today.

The recent call by Amnesty International to have former US President George W. Bush arrested, while he was on a trip to Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia, and tried for human rights abuses committed during his time in office, and the failure by the governments or authorities of those countries to do so must, while expected, not go without comment. It raises serious questions about the tenacity, fairness and reliability of international law enforcement in today’s world.

We keep in mind the swiftness with which Saddam Hussein a few years ago and Muammar Gaddafi just a few weeks back were both zealously hunted down and subsequently executed, even if the latter case was an extra-judicial open-air street killing.

George W. Bush and his co-accused, former British prime minister Tony Blair, are both accused of human rights abuses committed at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq during the illegal occupation by western troops of that country, Iraq. Indeed, in February 2011, Amnesty International officially requested that Swiss authorities start a criminal investigation of former US President George W. Bush and arrest him for his alleged crimes; for that reason, Bush was actually forced to cancel a planned trip to Geneva, Switzerland, fearing imminent arrest by Swiss authorities. Amnesty International had given Swiss federal prosecutors an in-depth legal and factual analysis of Bush’s criminal culpability for his role in acts of torture he allegedly authorized, such as “water-boarding”. In his published memoirs “Decision Points”, Bush openly admits to authorising the tactics of water-boarding on suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.

Just a few weeks ago, after a four-day period of deliberation, from November 19 to November 22, 2011, and following two years of intensive investigation by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC), a tribunal—the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT)—consisting of five judges reached a unanimous ruling that found George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as a result of their roles played out during the Iraq War or the occupation of Iraq. The tribunal was formed by former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, an outspoken critic of the Iraq War and its aftermath, who has argued that there is need for an alternative judicial forum to that of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in the Hague, Netherlands, which has seemed unwilling to indict Western leaders.

Before the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT) there was the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), held in Istanbul in 2005, which, after extensive hearings between 2003 and 2005, finally established, in 2005, that:

“The invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is illegal. The reasons given by the US and UK governments for the invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003 have proven to be false. Much evidence supports the conclusion that a major motive for the war was to control and dominate the Middle East and its vast reserves of oil as a part of the US drive for global hegemony… In pursuit of their agenda of empire, the Bush and Blair governments blatantly ignored the massive opposition to the war expressed by millions of people around the world. They embarked upon one of the most unjust, immoral, and cowardly wars in history.”

The manipulations carried out by the American and British governments in preparation for Iraq’s brutal and merciless invasion include, as has been publicly verified, the falsification of documents and the deliberate manufacture of lies and other falsehoods. It is hoped that relevant bodies around the world will pursue the cases against these former heads of western states, otherwise it would appear to most people in the wider world that western leaders are themselves above the law, immune or exempt from any form of prosecution for war crimes, and can manipulate their positions of power into just acting as they please and offer any reasons for all others to simply accept with no further questions asked.

In fact this case brings to mind how western leaders, between 1960 and the late 1980s, acted with equanimous impunity in overthrowing a slew of (especially) third-world leaders—including democratically elected ones—who were apparently not their “puppets”, the standard scapegoat for that being “the fight against communism”. Today, we happen to know otherwise. It would appear that no peace can indeed be achieved in this world if those who claim to have the power to rule the world selfishly abuse that power and in fact twist or rebrand the meaning of peace so that peace ends up meaning aggression or war for their own benefit. War is not the same as peace, and it is high time that especially the western press took that argument vigorously to the sensibilities of their audience, insofar as world opinion is not to be seen as a mere object of manipulation, but as a healthy base for common information and education.

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