Friday, November 24, 2006

Accountability . . . .

This article from the November 22nd edition of the Vancouver Sun is an excellent analysis of the those who should be held accountable for their actions in Iraq. Wonder if they will be??

Bush, Blair & Co. should be held to account for Iraq death toll

Stephen Hume ( - Vancouver Sun

As the American adventure in Iraq rolls through Week 192, the daily roll call for the slain ratchets up from 39 per day in October to 65 per day in November.
Fatalities among U.S. troops now average just over two per day, not much by comparison to the wars of attrition that characterized the last century’s mass carnage, but surely ulcerous for a cocksure superpower that was out to unilaterally refashion the world order in the 21st.
And having set the bloody juggernaut in motion, nobody knows how to stop it, regardless of the fact that nobody knows where it’s going or whom it will run over next. Which explains why so many war enthusiasts now appear to be scurrying down the hawsers at various ships of state.
Then-prime minister Jean Chretien’s decision to resist the jingoistic pressures of the day looks increasing ly prescient.
Iraq is a disaster, British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared to say in an interview on Al Jazeera’s new British channel, although he was backpedalling furiously after the headlines erupted the next morning. Still, he admitted the place is such a mess that United Kingdom citizens should expect to be involved there for generations.
Generations — a sobering admission from the man who oozed such assurance when he stood shoulderto-shoulder with U.S. President George W. Bush during the heady “bring it on” days of whipping up public enthusiasm for an invasion.
It was supposed to be a cakewalk. Instead, military victory for the U.S. is no longer possible in Iraq, Henry Kissinger is quoted as saying in an Associated Press report from London. If anyone should know whereof he speaks it’s Kissinger, who learned his painful lessons from Vietnam.
Kissinger agrees that for the Americans and the British to simply pull their troops out overnight would result in an even greater geo-political catastrophe, destabilizing the entire region upon which the West depends for its strategic oil supplies.
The guy who invented shuttle diplomacy actually has a not-so-novel proposal — the U.S. has to start talking with Iraq’s neighbours if order is to emerge from chaos. That would include Iran, Bush’s most recent bogeyman; Syria, whose Baathists spawned Saddam Hussein in the first place, and Turkey.
Of course, that conversation might prove difficult with Bush reported in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz as telling French President Jacques Chirac that he’d “understand” if Israel launched a pre-emptive military strike against Iran’s nuclear energy program, even though Agence France Presse says in another report that investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has obtained a Central Intelligence Agency assessment which finds no conclusive evidence of any secret Iranian nuclear weapons program beyond what’s been reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Frankly, it’s time the people of the U.S. and Britain started seeking some accountability from Bush, Blair and the senior bureaucrats who helped concoct the fictions that have now resulted in 50,000 deaths — give or take a few thousand — of non-combatants, many of them women and children. That estimate is the conservative one, by the way. Some researchers think the dead could number two or three times that total.
It’s important to remember that each one of those victims is a person like your wife, husband, son or daughter, grandfather or grandmother.
If, as it increasingly appears, the blood of all these innocents was shed in a misguided ideologically-driven experiment by a gang of incompetent policy wonks, there should be demands for accountability — if not in courts of law, then in the court of public opinion.
They are the ones who engineered consent for and then launched a war based on false claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed in 45 minutes against London and that there were links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network.
If justice prevailed, the architects who precipitated this carnage in Iraq would be required to account for their misjudgments.
Simply allowing them to say “Oops we made a mistake, let’s move on” while the corpses continue to pile up should satisfy no one and should earn the censure of anybody who cares about simple justice for his or her fellow human beings.

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