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Bush Legacy: Gunslinger

George Bush’s true legacy may not be truly understood for many years. Domestically he will be remembered as the president who severely weakened the economy, undermined civil liberties, and removed the foundations of democracy. But it is on the international stage where George Bush will some day be compared to a gunslinger in the old West who shot up and practically destroyed two countries while the local sheriff and his deputies trembled in their boots at the thought of trying to stop him and the local judge supported him.

President Bush has committed a long list of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan that has caused unconscionable suffering and deprivation. He has violated the Geneva Conventions, the UN Convention Against Torture, the UN Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the UN Charter.

Using military force in both Afghanistan and Iraq violated the basic principle of the United Nation’s Charter which established a careful set of guidelines to avoid conflict between two or more nations. The two conditions under which one country may use force against another include defense against an imminent attack and approval of the Security Council after a series of measures, defined in the charter, have been followed in an attempt to avoid a conflict. Neither of the criteria was met when the U.S. attacked Afghanistan and Iraq rendering President Bush guilty of the crime of perpetrating a war of aggression.

Attacking civilians and not treating prisoners humanely are expressly prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq not to mention other countries have been kidnapped, hooded, beaten and detained in inhumane conditions. Close to one million civilians have died during the war and occupation in both countries and the rationale of accidental death can not be invoked to explain such a plethora of deaths.

Torturing prisoners and treating them inhumanely violate both the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture. Holding prisoners and denying them their civil and legal rights also violates international law.

The most serious international crime of which George W. is guilty is the crime of genocide. By destroying the infrastructure further after his father and Clinton initially bombed water treatment plants, electrical utilities, irrigation systems etc., killing a further 600,000 people and creating conditions in which four million people became refugees meets the criteria in the Genocide Convention for the crime of genocide.

While it may be a long time before the American people are fully aware of his war crimes, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced the consequences firsthand.


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