Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Many Benghazi Critics are Themselves War Criminals

I continue to be amazed by the Republican Party’s obsession with the alleged culpability of the Obama administration in the deaths of four Americans at our country’s embassy in Benghazi.  Every “smoking gun” turns out to be another damp squib, and while it is disturbing that officials were discouraged from speaking without administration “minders” (and should be held accountable for what could amount to intimidation), the supposed case against the President, his United Nations ambassador (who had exactly nothing to do with handling the attack and its aftermath), and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never quite materialises.

The Republican fixation with Benghazi, and the party’s sudden obsession with transparency and justice is all the more extraordinary to me given that many of the same people now baying for Clinton’s blood were responsible—together with Clinton and many a Democrat—for misleading the public about a war of aggression based on lies and power lust which led to the deaths of 4,487 U.S. soldiers, around a thousand times as many as were killed in Benghazi. 

The war, sold to the public by a lying Vice President who shamelessly manipulated intelligence, packaged and given cover by a credulous Secretary of State who read off misinformation to the United Nations as though it were the gospel truth, and facilitated by a Defence Secretary who made specious, warmongering claims, was arguably the most devastating U.S. blunder in over thirty years.

President George W Bush, driven by an ideologically-bankrupt and morally-repugnant militaristic agenda, presided over this cabinet of criminals who, abetted by a host of underlings—the CIA director, the National Security Advisor, deputies to the Secretaries, etc—incited an unnecessary, destructive, self-defeating, and almost unbelievably violent war which lasted eight years and claimed the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.  These people managed a war which brutally dismantled Iraq’s civil infrastructure, and they then invited in their cronies from the corporate world to take contracts for rebuilding that infrastructure, protected by lawless packs of military contractors who ravaged the streets of Iraq.

This terroristic war and the edifice of lies which enabled it would have been impossible without the complicity of many members of Congress, including some of those who are most vocal in condemning the Obama administration for what is at worst bureaucratic inefficiency followed upon by a streak of control-freakery. 

There are plenty of reasons to be critical of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy.  But Republicans have chosen the least substantive of reasons, hitting on an example which is an utter distraction and lets the administration off the hook for serious wrongdoing (again, much of it abetted by Congress).

It is, however, a distraction which serves to highlight the hypocrisy and criminality of many of these Republicans, who in a just world would be behind bars for the commission of war crimes and as accessories to crimes against humanity.

After the Second World War, before the development of a framework for prosecuting crimes against humanity, German war criminals were charged with “participation in a common plan of conspiracy for the accomplishment of crimes against peace” and “planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace”. 

If there was a shred of justice in the world, George W Bush and his cabinet, would be held accountable for the same crimes.

1 comment:

  1. While you're at it, hold accountable the congress that supported the wars, the other nations that found the intelligence viable, why not just put everybody in jail?