Burch: Getting away with murder?

Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

I must question why as a society we are often very quick to apprehend and prosecute some alleged murderers — for instance, those believed to be guilty of killing in our own neighborhoods and cities — but not the worst ones. Among modern-day Americans, who has caused more deaths than George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld? After all, they launched an invasion of Iraq on false premises. How many completely innocent women and children did they cause to die prematurely and unjustly? (To cause the unjust, premature death of an innocent person is, of course, murder.)

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu recently called for George W. Bush and Tony Blair to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their roles in the invasion of Iraq. Tutu, a retired South African Anglican Church archbishop, wrote an op-ed piece for The Observer in which he said that Bush and Blair should be made to “answer for their actions.” (The Observer is a British weekly first published in 1791, making it the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper.)

The Iraq war “has destabilized and polarized the world,” wrote Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1984 for his role in ending South African apartheid. “Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in The Hague,” he added. Tutu was referring to the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

“The then-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand — with the specter of Syria and Iran before us,” said Tutu, who last week withdrew from a conference in South Africa due to Blair’s presence at the event.

Other prominent figures — such as world-renowned MIT professor Noam Chomsky, the author of more than 100 books who is considered by many scholars to be earth’s greatest living scientist — have also called for Bush and Blair to be tried for war crimes. Most of the peace activists and many of the liberals I know call Bush a war criminal. Many Europeans agree, as he was forced to cancel a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, due to threats of protests and possible legal action if he touched down there.

According to Ray McGovern, writing for AlterNet, “George Bush can’t travel overseas for fear of arrest and prosecution” leaving him “doomed to become America’s first better-stay-at-home former president.” McGovern was a senior CIA analyst.

McGovern not only accuses Bush of war crimes, he has even “served” symbolic war crimes indictments to the White House himself, acting for a “people’s tribunal” in a sort of attempted citizen’s arrest.

I think Tutu, Chomsky and McGovern have a good case, which deserves a public hearing at the very least.

In the recent past the U.S. government has hunted down and killed notorious death merchants such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

But what about the death merchants of the U.S. and its allies? There are rumors that the CIA and/or Israel’s Mossad may have assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists, even though the U.S. and Israel have nuclear weapons, have never allowed U.N. inspections of their nuclear facilities, and would consider it an act of terrorism if their own scientists were assassinated.

U.S. drones have even been used to kill American citizens in Yemen without trials or even hearings on the orders of what seems to be a secretive U.S. government death panel.

Israeli attacks on Gaza — at times including white phosphorous — have killed many with virtually no resistance, making that “war” seem more like a massacre.

So I would add Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to the list of suspected war criminals.

It seems obvious to me that there is a terrible double standard. The U.S. and Israel can murder civilians with impunity via extrajudicial assassinations, without due process of law.

Why do we lock the door and throw away the key for deranged people like John Hinckley and Mark David Chapman, and yet let mass murderers live lives of freedom, privilege and opulent luxury?


Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.


Filed under: City Voices

109 Comments on this post:

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 2:11

You apparently don't have enough brain to edit yourself and see your mistakes, bfra. You have the attitude: It's okay for me to edit you and correct you even though I'm making errors when I'm correcting you.

Wake up, dunce! Quit making yourself look more like the idiot you're exposing yourself to be.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 2:20

You should learn to read and understand what you're reading a little better, bfra. You aren't correcting me for your mistakes, you're using your mistake to correct me in mine.

You're hilarious with your attitude it's okay for you to make mistakes to correct me in mine.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 3:06

yogi you are a liar, a coward and an idiot. You have no right to talk about anybody short comings ,when you are deuce master of short comers. :-P

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 3:47

You should learn the meaning of "defend yourself", dumba$$. I have every right to "talk" about anyone's shortcomings when they are constantly making such negative comments to me.

It's called self defense, dumba$$. And to refresh you memory again, I've made the offer several times: You stay off of my back and I'll stay off of yours. You haven't slowed down even though you're making yourself such a bigger idiot.

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 4:06

Nemo - Yogi is mad because nobody will get within smell distance of his dirty diaper.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 5:47

How about doing me a favor, bfra. Tell my neighbor Jefferson I told you to tell him to stay the hell off of my farm. Thanks. I can use that land for something else.

By: govskeptic on 9/8/12 at 7:15

Another hogwash presentation with Mr Tutu as the heavenly source.
He is no better with his robe and large cross than the many actor
presentations which many Hollywood actors and some of the TV Preachers
in attempt to build their legacy in this commercial world.

By: pswindle on 9/9/12 at 4:05

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld do not leave the shores of the good ole USA becasue of this very thing. Poor Blair believed or wanted to believe Bush. See where it got him!

By: yogiman on 9/9/12 at 6:28

I'm sure you know what you're "talking" about, pswindle. My question then is: What are you talking about? You and your fellow posters on this site constantly question anything I post unless you know it. So may I ask: What is your factual information on the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld reason they simply stay home instead of "leaving" the shores? Did it ever dawn on you they are not publicity seekers like; let's say, Bill Clinton, or perhaps that man going by the name Barack Obama? Don't you consider it as a publicity stunt to design and display than personal emblem he shows all the time?

If you and your fellow posters are so intelligent, what is your sensible reasoning for backing a man in the Oval Office when you don't even know his legal name?