For many of us, the policies of these rulers were far more alarming than a few non-state terrorists. Sure, non-state terrorists can blow up a few buildings and kill some people, but it pales compared to state terrorists with multimillion dollar warplanes bombing thousands of times more life and civilian property. Equally disturbing was the systematic assault of our cherished constitutional rights.
It is a cold, hard fact that the Bush administration lied to justify the Iraq War, which then U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan called “illegal.” They lied about Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, and they lied about Saddam Hussein’s connections to Al Qaeda. These facts are confirmed by the Downing Street Memos, and with painstaking detail in the Consortium News article “Bush Did Lie About Iraq,” among many others. Evidence also indicates the administration desired to invade Iraq before 9-11 and began drawing up plans 5 hours after the attacks. Because the pre-emptive Iraq War was not in self-defense and did not have U.N. Security Council authorization, it was a “war of aggression.” This is the supreme international war crime as defined by the Nuremburg Principles.
Side Note: The moment Obama chose Biden as his running mate it became crystal clear his foreign policy would be similarly bloody and illegal, since Biden is the #1 most responsible Democrat for the Iraq War. At the time, Biden was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and actively suppressed testimony from weapons inspectors offering evidence proving the administration was lying. As one of the most outspoken and powerful Senate war proponents, Hillary Clinton was also among the most responsible Democrats. Obama’s expanded extrajudicial drone assassination program, and bombings in several countries confirmed the initial assumption. News Flash: Democrat bombs kill children too and regardless of cost, all bombs that kill innocents are terrorism.
The Bush administration also lied about the motives for 9-11. We were not attacked because “they hate our freedom.” According to a Guardian report, we were attacked because of…
• Our military bases near Muslim holy lands in Saudi Arabia, where most 9-11 hijackers originated. Interestingly, under Saudi pressure, we dismantled and relocated bases to another extremist oil dictatorship in Qatar.
• Various military invasions, and Gulf War destruction of civilian infrastructure coupled with Bush-Clinton sanctions killing half a million Iraqi children. On 60 Minutes, Madeleine Albright, then Secretary of State under Clinton, infamously said “we think the price is worth it.”
• U.S. financial and political support of Israel, unconditionally. The second and third parts of this series will dig deeper into this American-Israeli foreign policy.
We wonder why Middle Eastern people hate us and engage in suicidal terrorism? Now you know. The killing of innocents by non-state terrorists is despicable, but so is the state terrorism against which they are retaliating. We must condemn all killing of innocents by all sides. However, if we sincerely desire peace and an end to terrorism, we cannot completely ignore these grievances, which peaceful Middle Easterners also understandably hold.
Thus far, the Bush administration has evaded accountability for lying us into war and violating various international laws, until now. According to a Democracy Now report, international war crimes charges were recently filed against the administration and the CIA for their torture program. The New York Times editorial board also recently published an article calling for torture prosecutions.
This is inspiring news in an era of systemic corruption and erosion of civil liberties. There is a possibility architects of Dick Cheney’s “dark side” policy will be held accountable, which can prevent further digression into brutal oligarchy. If they were already prosecuted, the Obama administration may not have followed their footsteps with illegal NSA spying, assassinations, and so forth.
At the very least, members of the Bush administration and CIA may never safely set foot on European soil again. To that, I toast a hearty santé!
Yet, understanding and forgiveness must be available since institutional sin is the enemy, not the individuals. With advanced rehabilitation, ten years in prison should be more than enough for any crime, including torture, or the deaths of at least half a million Iraqis, as estimated by the scientific journal PLOS Medicine. Or, if we choose to be Christlike, we can pardon them along with all nonviolent drug offenders.
Murderous warlords from America and the Middle East are still operating under outdated eye for an eye Mosaic law. They missed the 2,000-year-old legal memo. Revenge was divinely outlawed. Love is the law.