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Why Bush and Blair should be put on trial

There is no doubt that the US presidents and British prime ministers are at the top of ‘world’s most powerful leaders’ list. Therefore, their actions have always had long lasting global consequences. These consequences are not just a matter for local domestic politics but for the entire world. The governments of Bush and Blair were no exceptions and the entire world had to live with the consequences of their decisions and actions.

Looking back at the world of last 10+ years, Bush and Blair should be declared as ‘international criminals’ and put on trial for the very serious problems we are facing today.

The Institute of Economics and Peace published the Global Terrorism Index – 2014 report. The 94 page document is an interesting (or in many ways, horrifying) read and it provides various numerical data and political analyses on ‘global terrorism’ over the last 14 years, beginning in 2000 and ending in 2013

While the statistical data provided in the report is highly detailed and the results are presented in a very clear style, the political analyses and conclusions based on this data are rather shallow, full of omissions and do not go beyond any mainstream media analysis in terms of presenting the wider root-cause relationship for terrorism or actions of reactionary forces. Furthermore, from South America to Middle-East, various national liberation and resistance movements, as well as reactionary forces are all bundled together as ‘terrorist’ organisations.  This list is according to what the US and the West sees as ‘terrorist’ and not according to the realities on the ground or regional developments.

Remarkably, the report also ignores any reference to recent history including the events of ‘war on terror’, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and various Western / NATO military intervention around the world.

Despite the period the report is covering (2000-2013) there is no substantial - if any - references to some important  and very relevant elements such as ‘Bush’, ‘Blair’, ‘war on terror’, ‘arms trade’, ‘drone’, ‘NATO’ etc. as one of the reasons for terror or reactionary-sectarian forces.

In fact, George W. Bush is mentioned in one part as, “World leaders, including U.S. presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, have identified nuclear terrorism as the number one security threat and have taken steps to address the threat through the Nuclear Security Summit process and other programs such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction”.

If we didn’t know any better, especially when it comes to double-standards, lies and hypocrisies of the world leaders on nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, we would almost believe this paragraph.

The only substantial reference to ‘war on terror’ is in the following sentence:

The rise in terrorist activity coincided with the US invasion of Iraq. This created large power vacuums in the country allowing different factions to surface and become violent. Despite the fact that a government was formed and elections held, the country and region has been unstable ever since.”

In this paragraph, one can’t help but to notice the carefully chosen word of ‘coincided with’ rather thancreated as a result of.

Furthermore, in the report there are no mentions of illegal mass killings of civilians by various states.

The report makes its political intention of ‘white washing the Western powers, imperialism and their global actions’ clear by linking terror to the following causes:

  • Greater social hostilities between different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, lack of intergroup cohesion and high levels of group grievances.
  • Presence of state sponsored violence such as extrajudicial killings, political terror and gross human rights abuses.
  • Higher levels of other forms of violence including deaths from organised conflict, likelihood of violent demonstrations, levels of violent crime and perceptions of criminality.

 If we believed this, we would think that ‘terrorism’ must be an inherent ‘evil’ in some societies, and it only happens only due to the dictatorial regimes and criminal gangs. Thankfully we know better, much better and we therefore can rubbish the shallow finding that says, ‘RELIGION AS A DRIVING IDEOLOGY FOR TERRORISM HAS INCREASED SINCE 2000’.

And because we know much better, Bush and Blair should be put on trial for creating a world of terror over the last 10+ years.

Bush and Blair sold their ‘war on terror’ agenda to their own nations and to the world as “making the world safer” but as this report strikingly presents, “SINCE 2000 THERE HAS BEEN OVER A FIVEFOLD INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED BY TERRORISM”.

Millions marched against invasion of Iraq but the ‘world leaders’ were committed to invade. The world has not been a safer place since the ‘war on terror’ began more than 10 years ago.

Another striking fact is that, “82% KILLED IN TERRORIST ATTACKS WERE IN JUST FIVE COUNTRIES: IRAQ AFGHANISTAN PAKISTAN NIGERIA SYRIA”.

Three of these five countries - Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan - are places where the US and its Western allies had military invasions and brutal wars. The legacy of these invasions, military operations and wars are still a fact of life in these countries, and indeed in the West. The simple conclusion from this is that the imperialist interventions and military invasions do not create a better and safer world.

Based on the data the report concludes that “The two most successful strategies for ending terrorist groups since the late 1960s have been either policing or the initiation of a political process. These strategies were the main reason for the ending of over 80 per cent of terrorist organisations that ceased operation. Only ten per cent of terrorist groups could be said to have achieved their goals and only seven per cent were eliminated by full military engagement.”

This ‘White Man's Burden’ style approach to ending terrorism via ‘policing’ (by whom?) and ‘initiationof a political process’ (by whom and under what terms?) ignores the fact that what may have caused terrorism may well be the place to start from to end it.

Whatever that seven per cent success rate of eliminating terrorism means in real life for citizens of some countries invaded by the US and other powers , for that little percentage millions of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and in many other places have suffered horribly and continue to suffer to this day. The renewed horrors in Iraq in the hands of ISIS are matched - yet again - with the horrors of US lead air bombardment. ISIS has risen from the ashes of a destroyed Iraq and brutal civil war in Syria. All the conditions in Iraq for ISIS to form and grow have been put in place by the invasion of the country in 2003 and the imperialist destruction that followed. Thousands of civilians died in Afghanistan from drone attacks and US/UK/Nato operations.

We in the West have to deal with increased racism, islamophobia, militarisation of our civilian airports and rising far right movements. While our hospitals, schools have their funds cut, our governments spent even more money for militarising the EU or enhancing NATO’s military powers.

That’s why Bush and Blair should be put on trial.

Another remarkable point from the report: “homicide claims 40 times more lives globally than terrorism with 437,000 lives lost due to homicide in 2012, compared to 11,000 terrorist deaths in 2012”. In the U.S. homicides claimed 195,948 lives between 2000 and 2011 while terrorism claimed 3029. The National Rifle Agency (NRA) loving Bush and others should be reminded these figures.

“INDIRECT COSTS OF TERRORISM CAN BE TEN TO 20 TIMES LARGER THAN THE DIRECT COSTS” says the report. This is something that the Iraqis and people of Afghanistan know very well. The Norwegians also know this. In fact we all do because it is our funds that are used to arm the world invade countries and create an environment of hate, anger and reaction. We also know how reactionary forces can destroy lives and create long lasting misery.

That’s why Bush and Blair should be put on trial.

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