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Scrutiny
  
Thank you, Dick!
Does Obama have it in him to accuse Bush and Cheney of genocide?
25/06/2009

While the June 4, 2009, Cairo speech of Barack Obama came in for much praise within global audiences, what escaped attention was a supposedly inconsequential meeting of the former Vice President of United States, Richard Cheney, on June 1, 2009, with the press in Washington. While most of the meeting had Cheney spawning of forgettable anecdotes, what grabbed our attention was a series of statements, which started with the scandalous comment, “I do not believe and have never seen evidence to confirm that [Saddam] Hussein was involved in 9/11.”

As is fabled, Bush and Cheney had decided to go to war with Iraq post 9/11 accusing Iraq of being connected in some way with the 9/11 attacks and also of owning Weapons of Mass Destruction, which ergo gave Bush an excuse to preemptively strike Iraq – and specifically “Islamic terrorists” – under the US National Security Strategy. Not that any reason could be justification for causing such invasion, but the fact remains that while Bush’s Iraqi WMD spin had been proven horribly wrong some years back, the latest comments by Cheney seal the argumentative debate on the fact that all in all, the Bush-Cheney combine really had no justification to invade Iraq. And so we come to our Hugo Chavez spin, which is a question on why isn’t Obama’s administration now stepping up the policy ladder and accusing Bush and Cheney of deliberate genocide in Iraq? For records, the United Nations defines genocide as “Any of the [many] acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.”

Many across the world have been accused, convicted and executed by international courts for such genocidal acts. For appropriate example, as BBC reported on December 30, 2006, “Iraq’s former leader Saddam Hussein is hanged for crimes against humanity... after a year-long trial over the killings of 148 Shias from the town of Dujail in the 1980s.” If Saddam could be hanged for 148 deaths, allow us to examine the civilian deaths caused due to the Iraq war. Though the figures have been disputed, but even the disputed figures range from between 150,000 (Iraq Family Health Survey) to 650,000 (Lancet Survey) to more than 10,00,000 (Opinion Research Business Survey).
The resemblance between the Iraq war and Darfur civil wars (which the US government accepts is a strong case of genocide) are astonishingly strong. In both the cases, the number of casualties (especially of innocent civilians) runs into hundreds of thousands. In both the case, the perpetrators are the same – paramilitaries. In both the cases, the target victims are groups of people from the same “ethnical, racial or religious group.” In Iraq, Bush and Cheney went one step further. They formalised a quasi-genocidal force while setting up the Iraqi forces, where strangely – or perhaps not so strangely – the forces were clearly dominated by Shiite Muslims and ethnic Kurds, indiscriminately writing a swashbuckling tale of terror against Sunni communities. But while Darfur is termed a genocide, the Iraq war is called a ‘counter-insurgency initiative’.

The present US government (and to a large extent, the previous one too) advocated pulling out of troops and decreasing the size of military from Iraq. But when it comes to Darfur what US does is rather declares trial of Omar Bashir for war crimes. Does this sound like genocide? For them it was just ‘War on Terror’

Cut to Darfur case. Sudanese troops and a pro-government militia known as the Janjaweed killed hundreds of thousands of people to suppress an uprising among the region’s ethnic African against the Arab-dominated regime of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. On September 9, 2004, President Bush, EU Parliament, labelled the atrocities in Darfur as genocide. Even John Kerry and senators Joseph Lieberman, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton labelled the Darfur mayhem a genocide. But none of the names in this esteemed list have ever given even passing references of any genocide when it came to discussing the Iraq war.

By:- Sray Agarwal
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