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Monday, the International Criminal Court (ICC)… the famed “Hague” of the Netherlands… publicly announced that it was formally charging Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with the crime of Genocide. You might remember him from this video:


Sudan’s President Uses Bush’s Lies to Disavow Genocide

 
I should preface this by saying that the ICC concluded Bashir was deliberately targeting civilians, ordering his military to rape, murder and pillage entire villages with the intent of wiping them out. That would be a difficult (though not impossible) charge to levee against President Bush. But the list of charges against Sudan’s President seem eerily familiar:

The official report accuses Bashir of “targeting ethic groups for killing”, “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of those groups”, and “deliberately inflicting on those groups conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction.” The fact that Bashir did not personally carry out the crime does not indemnify him, as the charges state:

“The Prosecution does not allege that AL BASHIR physically or directly carried out any of the crimes. He committed crimes through members of the state apparatus, the army and the Militia”

Many of the examples of crimes given should give the Bush Administration pause:

  • Forces and agents controlled [Ed note: not “ordered“] by AL BASHIR attacked civilians in towns and villages inhabited by the target groups, committing killings, rapes, torture and destroying means of livelihood. (Pg 2)
  • In Darfur, he assessed that the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups, as socially and politically dominant groups in the province, constituted such threats: they challenged the economic and political marginalization of their region, and members of the three groups engaged in armed rebellions. AL BASHIR set out to quell those movements through armed force and, over the years, also employed a policy of exploiting real or perceived grievances between the different tribes struggling to prosper… (Pg 3)
  • He promoted the idea of a polarization between tribes aligned with the Government, whom he labeled “Arabs”, and the three groups he perceived as the main threats, whom he labeled “Zurgas” or “Africans”. The image is only one of many devices used by AL BASHIR to disguise his crimes. Both victims and perpetrators are “Africans” and speak “Arabic”. (Pg 3)
  • AL BASHIR decided and set out to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity. His motives were largely political. His pretext was a “counterinsurgency”. (Pg 3)
  • From March 2003 up to the date of filing, AL BASHIR’s orders giving “carte blanche” to his subordinates to quell the rebellion and take no prisoners triggered a series of brutal attacks against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups. The Armed Forces, often acting together with Militia/Janjaweed, singled out for attack those villages and small towns inhabited mainly by members of the target groups. The attackers went out of their way to spare from attack villages inhabited predominantly by other tribes considered aligned wth the Government, even where they were located very near villages inhabited predominantly by members of the targeted groups. (Pg 3)
  • The Government has the right to use force to defend itself against insurgents. However the crimes covered in the Application are not the collateral damage of a military campaign. (Pg 4)
  • In Darfur 35,000 people have been killed outright in such attacks; an overwhelming majority of them are from the three target [ethnic] groups. (Pg 4)
  • As a result of the attacks to the villages, at least 2,700,000 people, most of them members of the target groups, have been forcibly expelled from their homes. (Pg 5)
  • Girls as young as 5 years old have been raped.(Pg 5)
  • Victims suffer the trauma of being forced to witness their own homes and possessions destroyed and/or looted and family members raped and/or killed. The victims thereafter endure the anguish of learning that, in many cases, prior homelands have been occupied and resettled by members of other communities – and thus, there is no prospect of ever returning. (Pg 6)
  • AL BASHIR denies victims access to the criminal justice system. (Pg 8 )

That’s just a portion of the 10 page indictment. Other crimes mentioned are the direct effect of other crimes, such as starvation, homelessness and lack of access to medical care due to being displaced. One observation… “[Bashir’s] dismissal of staff opposed to crimes and the appointment of key personnel to implement the crimes”… is more than a tad reminiscent of President Bush firing General after General until he found one not totally adverse to bombing Iran, or searching for an Attorney General that would greenlight the use of “torture”. And thinking of “catapulting the propaganda:

AL BASHIR consistently denies, conceals and distances himself and his subordinates from the crimes committed. Throughout the time period relevant to this Application, AL BASHIR personally and through his subordinates denies that crimes are taking place. AL BASHIR uses the Sudanese Intelligence and Security Service (“NISS”) to further manipulate local and international public opinion. – (Pg 8 )

To summarize:

Bashir:

  • Attacked civilians in towns and villages inhabited by target ethnic groups
  • Exploited real or perceived grievances between the different tribes he labeled “Arabs”.
  • Directed military to use torture against “insurgents”.
  • Actions resulted in the displacement of over two million people.
  • Ordered attacks by land and air that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians.
  Bush:

  • Attacked civilians in towns and villages inhabited by target ethnic groups (“Shock & Awe”)
  • Exploited real or perceived grievances between the different tribes (Sunni, Shi’ite, Kurds, Baathists, etc).
  • Directed military to use torture against “insurgents”.
  • Actions resulted in the displacement of over two million people.
  • Ordered attacks by land and air that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

George Bush won’t ever be charged with “genocide” simply because no one could ever prove it was his intent to create chaos and exterminate an entire race of people, but there can be NO argument that he has committed war crimes, because crimes the ICC just charged Bashir with, George Bush is guilty of too, there can be no doubt about that.

In the coming weeks, I hope to bring you a series of reports reviewing the Nuremberg Trials and charges levied against Nazi war criminals in the Hague following World War II… many of whom were NOT charged with Genocide but for “war crimes” alone… and see how many of them apply to the Bush Administration today.

(UPDATE: “Harper’s Magazine: Bush Admin. Worried About Possible Criminal Prosecution“)

ADDENDUM: Tuesday, the DOW closed below 11,000 for the first time in two years. The magic number is 10,587… Bill Clinton’s last day in office.

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