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Michelle Rosenthal

social worker, Dr Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

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There are many websites calling for Bush and Cheney to be put on trial for war crimes and to still be impeached. What do you think?

Do you think that G W Bush and Cheney should be placed on trial for war crimes or should we be thankful to them for taking decisive actions to protect America against a looming threat?

Before both Gulf wars I called the White House Comments line and organized prayer groups requesting the then presidents just request a trial of Saddam Hussein for crimes that he may have been guilty of rather than to initiate a war.

My simple advice was not taken but should it have been? Should we try end war through the legal process of trial? Even if Saddam Hussein did not appear in court could he not have been tried in abstentia? Wouldn't this have been a better option for all humanity over all in this case and over and over again in the future?

Think of how many innocent lives would have been spared and how many trillions of dollars would have been saved if this one simple suggestion would have been listened to. Is this concept too naive or is it the right thing to do in the future?

Are we are going to be headed for many more wars in the future to defend against a potential of a first strike that has not actually happened.
Could I have advocated more for the use of the judicial process to avoid the wars? In reality all protests were ignored and all international rules of law were ignored. Could humanity have said or did anything to have impacted on this decision to go to war?. I ask how do we nonviolently stop an unstoppable force that may use propaganda to convince the nation and the world that a war is needed and justified when in fact it may not be.

Please see the NY Times Article: http://www.nytimes-se.com/2009/07/04/court-indicts-bush-on-high-treason-charge/





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    Nov 22 2011: Readers should be aware that the first website link in Michelle's issue statement, referred to as a "NY Times Article," is not from the New York Times at all, but is a fairly subtle and somewhat amusing parody of the NY Times, dated July 4, 2009, apparently originating from Sweden. The story that the link points to, purporting to report that Bush has been indicted for treason, is pure fantasy.

    "Impeachment" is a process of the Congress for removal of holders of public office. Since Bush and Cheney are no longer in office, impeachment is no longer relevant. (I will admit I urged the impeachment of Mr.Bush, not for the Iraq war but for his abuse of presidential power through his practice of issuing "signing statements" that amounted to line item vetoes, thus overriding congressional intent time after time. One drawback to an impeachment at that time was that we would have ended up with "President Cheney" unless he was impeached at the same time.)

    In my view, the US attack on Iraq was a horrible, unjustified mistake. Clearing out foreign dictators has never been a proper role for the US. Nevertheless, the Senate had nearly unanimously voted to give Bush the green light to use military force against Saddam Hussein, so they couldn't possibly impeach the President for carrying it out. (Both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry voted for the resolution authorizing war.)

    As to Iraqi civilian deaths from the war, they were too many, but fewer died annually during the war than from Saddam's ongoing terrors before the war, and by now the number of civilian lives saved by being rid of Saddam must be very considerable (assuming his slaughter would otherwise have continued), though I haven't seen any recent estimates.

    I don't think there's much appetite in the US for any trial of the Bush/Cheney team. Yes, there are web sites suggesting this, but web sites are cheap and easy to make. I think the idea will die a quiet death.
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      Nov 23 2011: .
      "As to Iraqi civilian deaths from the war, they were too many, but fewer died annually during the war than from Saddam's ongoing terrors before the war, and by now the number of civilian lives saved by being rid of Saddam must be very considerable"

      Careful here. That's dangerously close to "the ends justify the means". Fewer may have died during our campaign, but those deaths are on our hands, and that's hard to accept.

      But, I suppose you you have to be pragmatic about most things, and the lesser of two evils, and all that.
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        Nov 23 2011: Thank you, Jason.
        I don't actually think that anything justified the US involvement in the Iraq war, which I called "a horrible, unjustified mistake." But I'm glad you point out that the deaths in this case "are on our hands." That does, of course, make all the difference. The dead, whether American, Iraqi, or others as a result of the war were not the same people who might have died under Saddam, and there is no way for the US to escape that responsibility. My remark about numbers dead or surviving referred to Michelle's reference to the number of lives lost as a result of the war, and is a piece of information not meant to justify anything. (By the way, the question of ends justifying means would be a good one for a "conversation" here at TED, if that hasn't already been covered.)

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