Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rage Against the Machine: Bush should be tried for war crimes

It pains me to say; it pains me deeply, but I need to vehemently disagree with the rhetoric of one of my favorite bands. According to Jason Gregory of Gigwise,
"Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha has called the US president George W Bush to be tried as a war criminal.

De la Rocha's comments came during the band's headlining set at the T in the Park Festival in Scotland last weekend.

Addressing the crowd, he said: "They said we had said George Bush should be assassinated. We did not say that. We said he should be tried for being a war criminal."
As an avid guitarist and music-wannabe-aficionado, I was instantly entranced as a college freshman by the unique blend of funk, hardcore, and hip-hop that Rage Against the Machine conceived. As an 18 year old who really didn't know better, I was also attracted to the fiery brand of leftist rhymes De la Rocha articulated.

But for the last eight years, we've been bombarded with concocted rhetoric regarding the Iraq War spewed from various liberals, their Democratic enablers, and ultimately disseminated vis a vis the Mainstream Media. In liberal fantasy-land, President Bush is a pariah, while the true crimes against humanity committed by Iraq despot Saddam Hussein and his Baathist cronies are either overlooked or completely forgotten.

It's truly unbelievable.

Let's review the facts for those of you still deficient on your history of the past 18 years:

1. After the 1991 Gulf War, a CEASE FIRE was signed; for the duration of the 1990's, the United States Air Force and Navy, primarily, engaged in low-level military action against the Iraqi government, destroying fighters, radar installations, and other military targets. These attacks were not without provocation, however, as Saddam's military perpetually violated terms of the cease-fire by entering the no fly zones that existed over Iraq or building military installations in said no fly zones.

2. After the resultant 1991 cease-fire and the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led military coalition, Saddam violated sixteen United Nations violations, which called ultimately for military action against the Iraqi government.

3. Iraq flouted by using chemical weapons against the Iranians during the 1980's Iran-Iraq War.
"Iraq's chemical weapons program was mainly assisted by German companies such as Karl Kobe, which built a chemical weapons facility disguised as a pesticide plant. Iraq’s foreign contractors, including Karl Kolb with Massar for reinforcement, built five large research laboratories, an administrative building, eight large underground bunkers for the storage of chemical munitions, and the first production buildings. 150 tons of mustard were produced in 1983. About 60 tons of Tabun were produced in 1984. Pilot-scale production of Sarin began in 1984. Germany also supplied reactors, heat exchangers, condensers and vessels. France, Austria, Canada, and Spain provided similar equipment."
Furthermore, Iraq also used chemical weapons on its own citizens, primarily the Kurds in Halabja.
"The Halabja poison gas attack occurred in the period March 1617, 1988, during the Iran-Iraq War. Chemical weapons (CW) were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja, killing thousands of people, most of them civilians (3,200-5,000 dead on the spot and 7,000-10,000 injured[1]). Thousands more died of horrific complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack.[2] The incident, which Human Rights Watch (HRW) defined as an act of genocide, was as of 2008 the largest-scale chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history."
Furthermore, De la Rocha added, "'If in protest to their war you burn down the American's up to us, generation after generation to beat the system which perpetuates war. Wake up,' he said."

So how is Bush a war criminal? Because he used British and Russian, but intelligence gathered during the Clinton Administration? Because he merely acted on claims made by Bill Clinton, Al Gore, et al. made during the 1990's? Because it was time to depose a wily but pathological dictator, who slaughtered over 500,000 of it's civilians?

Can anyone truly answer this?

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