No War Crimes Trial for Bush/Cheney, While Chirac Convicted on minor Fraud

The United States is now officially more corrupt than the Old World.

Former French president Jacques Chirac has been found guilty of corruption when he was mayor of Paris in the early 1990s (he allegedly paid his own party workers for jobs that did not exist). He was given a two-year suspended sentence.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of that crew launched a war of aggression in contravention of the UN Charter and of the Nuremberg Principles. But they’ve never been so much as the object of a congressional hearing on their invasion and ruination of a country that had not attacked the United States and posed no imminent threat to international order. Ironically, one of their charges against the Baath Regime was that it had launched wars of aggression in 1980 and 1990!

As I have argued before, Bush/Cheney epitomized this sentiment:

To initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Ironically, Chirac was the princpled one here. He opposed the Iraq War and castigated Bush for speaking of a ‘war on terror.’ He quite reasonably said that terrorism (with which the French had a great deal of experience) is a police matter. Bush militarized our heritage of democracy rooted in 1776, whereas Chirac declined to do that to his heritage, of 1789.

The French don’t put their former presidents on a pedestal, beyond the reach of accountability, the way cult-of-personality prone Americans do.

18 Responses

  1. Mr Cole, viewed from France, this trial was a joke. Mr Chirac modified the law several times to keep the prosecutors away. When he was finally was abled to be tried, he pleaded an imaginary amnesia (while giving conferences in top schools at same time). The prosecutors (remote controlled by the government in France, for political affairs) did not even request prison! The judge went over them, which is very rare.

    The French have not much to be proud about there… And more, it’s getting worse with the Sarkozy way. No one is ever going to impeach a French president (especially for perjury).

  2. There won’t be Congressional hearings because Congress was complicit in the crime, which is essentially American exceptionalism.

  3. The contrast is worthwhile as it points put Clinton’s hypocrisy in her self righteous comments about the importance of less imperial nations following America’s example in the the rule of law. When I hear her speak of this amid the shredding of our Constitution I am brought to disgust.

  4. Agree 1000% that Bush & Cheney ought to be held accountable. But, frankly, Juan, I hold a less charitable view of Chirac. French justice convicted him of a serious abuse of power. Perhaps Chirac is no more at fault than fellow members of a French political-economic elite that has abused its insider connections to rig the system for decades. But he was corrupt. His opposition to the Iraq war doesn’t excuse his inexcusable behavior while mayor of Paris. And for this, his legacy remains marred by a big mark of shame.

  5. Cheney is still giving advice; to suggest thet the USA should have gone into Iran or bombed frantically to get back or destroy the lost drone sinks to lower depths than his 1% plans.

  6. We can only hope as one pundit said that maybe someday Bush/Cheyney will be “Pinocheted” i.e. held accountable way, way after the fact…….

  7. There is a bright side to this. By “looking forward”, as opposed to looking back at the war crimes of Bush and Cheney, we can all be more comfortable ignoring what we did to Iraq in the last 21 years.

    Desert Storm bombed Iraq’s infrastructure back into the stone age. Not satisfied, we (wearing our proud UN hat)imposed crippling sanctions on the country for eleven years. And during the sanctions we regularly bombed Iraqi “security” targets, which were probably selected to enhance our success in the invasion we were “looking forward” to.

    But Desert Storm and the sanctions just did not punish Iraq enough. Of course, the Iraqi people, men women and children, had to stand in as punishment proxies for our real punishment target, the hated beast, Saddam Hussein.

    Since Saddam refused to expose himself to certain death by having a picnic lunch in the center of a soccer field, or leading a parade, the only way to inflict more punishment was to inflict it on the proxies again. So in 2003 we blew the dam. We let loose all the tensions, the tribal and religious hatreds, the personal vendettas, the greed and its bedfellow – corruption. We gave the proxies an eight year tour of hell.

    So in the end Bush and Cheney’s freedom is also our freedom to forget the horrors we brought to a country that in no way threatened us. And the “don’t look back” creed keeps us in the right state of mind for present and future use of casual military violence.

    • all the horrors you speak of were brought to the country by saddam hussein and his associated band of killers. funny how the libs always forget this.

      • In the 1980’s we, or should I say the not-so-lib Reagan administration helped Saddam with the war he started with Iran in 1980, which had a population of about 50 million at the time. This was naked aggression by Saddam and his band of killers.

        Then in 1990 Saddam made the mistake of attacking Kuwait, an absolute monarchy with a population of about 2 million at the time. The mistake was to assume that if the US supported Iraq with its Iran aggression, then the US would not be overly concerned about the invasion of Kuwait. He should have known that The US never met a filthy rich oil country monarch it didn’t like. Desert Storm was inevitable, and had nothing to do with whatever vile actions Saddam had taken against his own people.

        Likewise the sanctions were not intended to restrain his beastly tendencies, except towards the Kurds. The sanctions were additive to whatever suffering the Iraqis had at the hand of their rule. Hundreds of thousands of child deaths are attributed to the sanctions.

        The bloody civil war that occurred in the years following the 2003 invasion was not orchestrated or lead by Saddam, he was out of power and in hiding.

        Sure, Saddam was a bloody vicious dictator, but the 21 years of punishment we doled out to the Iraqi people and their society was done at our choice, and with our might. I suppose that doesn’t bother the conscience of a conservative.

  8. The difference isn’t between the US and France, but between the crimes.

    It is much, much easier to prosecute political figures for corruption or larceny or other ordinary crimes than for war crimes. This is not something unique to the US – look at how Israel prosecuted a president for rape, but nobody gets so much as a summons for the attack on Gaza.

    This is because rape, bribery, or other ordinary crimes are not topics of disagreement. Everybody is against them.

    • I’ve always thought it was pretty obviously to do with the color of your skin to be honest.

      There never seems to be much trouble identifying torture and war crimes when its ‘the others’ doing it…noone ever suggested that the Rwandans should ‘look forward ,not back’.

    • It is not necessarily a matter of whether there is a consensus of right or wrong, it is an issue of political will. When was the last time a western leader has been brought to justice for committing war crimes? One can bring up Milosevic, but unfortunately for him he was not friendly with the US or any of the other major western world powers. The major western powers only go after those that they find politically convenient at the time. I cannot think of any instances in recent history. Most people can agree that unjustified wars of imperialism are wrong, but why haven’t any of these leaders been brought to justice for their wars? It is pretty simple, western nations do not want to rock the boat. They are all complicit in these wars of imperialism, and have neither the incentive or the political will to take action. It would create precedent that would rock the foundations of our modern political world.Trying a president for crimes such as rape or bribery does not have the same far reaching impact, as trying those for war crimes.

  9. The current lack of prosecution of any perps from the GWOT for war crimes lies at the feet of Barak Obama. Even before taking office he stated that he was going to “look forward, not backward”.

    He has the same attitude for crimes from his bankster benefactors.

    Based of 3 years of Obama, it is clear that he could be similarly charged with war crimes.

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