“Bush has no right to lecture about human rights”
Posted by terres on August 22, 2008
A message from Ramsey Clark
“Bush has no right to lecture about human rights”
A price the American people are paying for the failure of the House of Representatives to impeach Bush, Cheney and their cabal for crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity — the greatest assaults on peace and human rights of this century — is the Bush Administration’s bellicose drum beat for war against a widening circle of chosen enemies.
Imagine George Bush with the blood of a million Afghans and Iraqis on his hands, the shame of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo hanging around his neck, having trashed the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, lecturing China for violating human rights at the World Olympics in Beijing, a hopeful symbol of international cooperation through the peaceful competition of athletes in friendship.
Imagine George Bush lecturing Russia on human rights after insisting on putting U.S. (not NATO) Star War missile sites on the Russian border in Poland and the Czech Republic despite the tragic lessons of the Cold War, all told the greatest crime in history. Among its costs are expenditures that could have provided food for all, vastly reduced poverty on the planet, progressed toward quality universal health care, education and housing for everyone. Instead it took more lives by military violence on five continents and greater military expenditures than World War II and released the genie of nuclear weapons to a status beyond control. Can the planet survive another arms race? And what was George Bush planning when he urged immediate admission of Georgia to NATO just months before Georgia invaded South Ossetia?
Imagine George Bush who committed wars of aggression, the “Supreme International Crime,” against Afghanistan and Iraq, invading and occupying both, judging Russia’s conduct as” unacceptable,” and demanding withdrawal of Russian forces because it sent troops into Georgia to protect the population of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from an invasion by Georgia that killed citizens and peace keepers alike, destroyed property and had driven tens of thousands from their homes.
Nor was Georgia a stranger to Russia. It had been a part of Russia since 1801 for nearly all the last two centuries. It had great power within the USSR. Joseph Stalin was from Georgia, as were L. P. Beria, longtime head of the NKVD and many others, Edward Shevardnadze, the Soviet Union’s last Foreign Minister and the first President of the Government of the independent Georgia that separated from the Soviet Union in 1990.
George Bush took a keen interest in Georgia, which is on Russia’s southern border, but on the opposite side of the planet from the U.S., early in his Presidency and in Mikhail Saakashvili. Under Bush’s direction the U.S. provided major military arms and training for Georgia. It persuaded, or paid Georgia which had no interest in Iraq to send 2000 troops to there, a number exceeded only by the U.S. and U.K. It trained and supported the Georgian troops for duty in Iraq. Saakashvili, a U.S. law school graduate, to quote the New York Times “…positioned himself to become one of the world’s most strident critics of the Kremlin” and with the strong support from the U.S. he was elected President of Georgia.
The U.S. helped them militarize what had been a weak Georgian state. The Pentagon helped overhaul Georgia’s military forces, train its commanders and staff officers. U.S. marine strained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle. The forces were equipped with Israeli and U.S. firearms, reconnaissance drones and other sophisticated equipment, including anti aircraftweaponry. That the U.S. trained and equipped Georgian forces fled in the face of Russian forces should have told us something about the U.S. training and equipping of foreign militaries.
All this U.S. support and manipulation was with the public goal, urged by George Bush, of making remote Georgia, though a thousand miles from Europe across the Black Sea and Russia, member of NATO and placing Abkhazia and South Ossetia under Georgian control by force.
As in most matters in which George Bush takes aggressive action, oil is a factor in some form. Georgia has made itself available for a pipeline from the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan then across Georgia to the Black Sea, a major Bush goal, carrying oil from Azerbaijan and former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, produced in large part by U.S. oil companies, to Western markets by-passing Russia. Western Europe shared this U.S. interest.
President Bush visited Georgia in 2005, the first U.S. President to do so. Condoleeza Rice visited while National Security Advisor to Bush and since. Saakashvili has been a frequent guest at the White House and in the Washington corridors of power.
It is George Bush’s enticement and incitement of Georgia that created the present crisis. We have not been told what has been paid Georgia for it.
Suppose NATO had agreed to Georgia membership before Georgia invaded South Ossetia, as the U.S. urged. NATO would have been bound by mutual defense pact to defend Georgia as a Member. NATO, a Cold War creation, which includes all the former colonial powers, should be abolished. The U.S. persuaded NATO to share blame for its assaults that balkanized Yugoslavia which was created to end centuries of violence in the Balkans through unity. It tried to persuade NATO to join in its wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq. It nearly succeeded in Georgia.
The U.S. has a major military airbase in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic to Russia’s south and more than 1500 miles east of Georgia which is used to bomb Afghanistan. The U.S. has surrounded Russia with military bases from the Baltic states south across its western border with Europe then east for more than 2500 miles to its borders with Xinjiang Province in western China and Mongolia.
Now we can see the hypocrisy of the U.S. calling NATO into emergency session to address the Georgia crisis with false claims made repeatedly about the ceasefire and withdrawal terms negotiated by President Sarkozy of France, only to back down from all its threats and demands for action after fomenting international friction on false pretenses. The world cannot be made safe for hypocrisy, or mendacity.
It is noteworthy that Georgia is within one hundred miles of the border of Iran across Armenia. While George Bush vigorously protests Russian confrontation with Georgian troops which invaded South Ossetia, he has continued his threatening of Iran with a war of aggression for its alleged but unproven efforts to achieve nuclear weapons capability while he engages in a huge U.S. expenditure for new nuclear weapons. The U.S. now has its largest Naval presence in the Gulf region since the Gulf war, pointed toward Iran. The probability that President Bush will cause Israel and the U.S. to attack Iranian nuclear facilities plants during his remaining months in office remains high. Such an attack would violate the Nuremberg Charter and Article 56 of Protocol 1 Additional to the Geneva Convention 1979, which protects “Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces,” including nuclear facilities, from attack, because of the “consequent severe losses among the civilian population” from the blast and radiation.
As Bush’s crimes grow, so does our responsibility to act. Please bring your friends and family members into the impeachment movement by sending them to ImpeachBush.org and make a donation today so that the movement to Impeach and Indict Bush and Cheney will keep growing. Click this link to make your donation.
August 22, 2008