Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bill Clinton's Crimes vs Bush's

Absolutely -- on the monster scale, Clinton comes in as a piker. Unfortunately the comparison between the two should not be limited to an extramarital affair versus an illegal war, wiretapping et al.

What about the attack on the Al Shifa "chemical weapons" plant in the Sudan? We now know it was not a chemical weapons plant, it was in fact used primarily for the manufacture of anti-malaria medicines and veterinary products. Clinton should have known this, and probably did, (is US 'intelligence' really that bad?). Mind you that this attack took place two years after the Sudan expelled Osama Bin Laden.

This attack led to the "extra deaths" of thousands of innocent people, perhaps 10's of thousands, and to his great credit -- even Clinton now accepts this and has apologised.

Perhaps the decision to attack was merely a "policy dispute". I would call it a politically motivated war crime.

Did he get a free ride then? Yup. Does that free ride continue to today? Seems so.

Officials later acknowledged, however, "that the evidence that prompted President Clinton to order the missile strike on the Shifa plant was not as solid as first portrayed. Indeed, officials later said that there was no proof that the plant had been manufacturing or storing nerve gas, as initially suspected by the Americans, or had been linked to Osama bin Laden, who was a resident of Khartoum in the 1980s."

Noam Chomsky has argued (in his book 9-11 and elsewhere) that the bombing of Al-Shifa was a piece of terrorism by the United States Government that probably resulted in the deaths of "several tens of thousands" of Sudanese people from diseases such as malaria and TB because they were deprived of the medicines manufactured at the plant.

Werner Daum (Germany's ambassador to Sudan 1996–2000), whose account was used by Chomsky as a source, wrote an article (in Summer 2001) in which he called "several tens of thousands of deaths" of Sudanese civilians caused by a medicine shortage a "reasonable guess". The regional director of the Near East Foundation, who had field experience in the Sudan, published in the Boston Globe another article with the same estimate.

- Wikipedia

Clinton was not alone in his crime, "...Al Gore, Sandy Berger, George Tenet, and Richard Clarke all stood by the decision to bomb al-Shifa." -- Wikipedia

On June 26, 1993, Clinton bombed Baghdad in retaliation for an alleged but unproven Iraq plot to assassinate former President George Bush. Eight Iraqi civilians, including the distinguished Iraqi artist Layla al-Attar were killed in the raid, and 12 more were wounded. This kind of unilateral action in response to an unproven charge is a violation of international law.

Clinton also ignored the obvious impending genocide in Rwanda, and we all know what happened there. He apologised for that a well. So I guess it's okay then.

UNICEF reports that in 1999 more than 1 million Iraqi children under 5 were suffering from chronic malnutrition, and some 4,000-5,000 children are dying per month beyond normal death rates from the combination of malnutrition and disease. Death from disease was greatly increased by the shortage of potable water and medicines, that has led to a 20-fold increase in malaria (among other ailments). This vicious sanctions system, causing a creeping extermination of a people, has already caused more than a million excess deaths, and it is claimed by John and Karl Mueller that Clinton's "sanctions of mass destruction" have caused "the deaths of more people in Iraq than have been slain by all so-called weapons of mass destruction [nuclear and chemical] throughout all history" (Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999).

I won't even go into the bombing of Kosovo, an action that was taken without UN authorization.

The complete list of Clinton's crimes is much longer than can be reasonably be posted here. What's interesting is how Clinton has been 'rehabilitated' and his long list of murders and war crimes is forgotten. In ten years will Bush suffer a similar fate? Bet on it.

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