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View Full Version : If Saddam is guilty of crimes against humanity, why aren't Reagan & Rumsfeld?



Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 09:08 AM
As has been posted before...

According to the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6117910.stm), Saddam was found guilty of mass murder and "crimes against humanity" for his actions in 1982.

Here's the problem:

http://files.myopera.com/Jaybro/files/Rumsfeld_and_Saddam.jpg

We knew he was a mass murderer. We knew he had commited crimes against humanity. Yet starting in 1983, we aided and abetted his actions. We supplied weapons, helicopters, intelligence, financial aid, etc...

All of this is made worse by the fact that Saddam is still on trial for MORE crimes against humanity - including the gassing and murder of tens of thousands of Kurds in 1988 - a time when he was still our friend.

In the US, it is a felony to aid and abet a fugitive or a person repsonsible for other crimes. It makes you an accessory to the crime.

So my quesion is simple...

How can we be so hypocritical and pass judgement on Saddam for his crimes against humanity that occurred 24 years ago, but casually overlook the fact that we knew he was a murderous tyrant, yet chose to aid and abet his tyranny for years to come?

Now... I totally think Saddam should be brought to justice, but shouldn't we also make those that aided, abetted, and empowered his tyranny pay for their crimes? Especially considering what Bush said after 9/11, "We will make no distinction between those who committed these acts and those who harbor them," - meaning those who aid and abet mass murder and evil are to be held equally responsible.

Gregory
11-07-2006, 09:11 AM
HELLO, our guys are CHRISTIAN!

Taxman
11-07-2006, 09:13 AM
This is pretty simple. For the leader of a sovereign nation to be charged with war crimes, they pretty much have to lose the war first. Also, to avoid war crimes charges, one in such a position has to do little more than created the impression that they operated within existing laws to make prosecution unlikely if not impossible.

As for Reaganhe's dead.

NickT
11-07-2006, 09:14 AM
Have any world leaders ever said that they should?

WillieLee
11-07-2006, 09:17 AM
They didn't direct Saddam to gas the Kurds.

NickT
11-07-2006, 09:22 AM
All of this is made worse by the fact that Saddam is still on trial for MORE crimes against humanity - including the gassing and murder of tens of thousands of Kurds in 1988 - a time when he was still our friend.

I hate to quote Wikipedia, but I'm going to on this.



The massacre at Halabja did not raise protests by the international community in March 1988. At the time, it was admitted that the civilians had been killed "collaterally" due to an error in handling the combat gas. Two years later, when the Iran-Iraq War was finished and the Western powers stopped supporting Saddam Hussein, the massacre of Halabja was attributed to the Iraqi government.
Apparently, at the time people didn't think it was deliberate.


Also:

Neither Saddam Hussein nor Ali Hasan al-Majid (who commanded Iraqi forces in northern Iraq in that period) have been charged by the Iraqi Special Tribuna for crimes against humanity relating to the events at Halabja.





If this is wrong, say. It is Wikipedia, after all.

BrianS
11-07-2006, 09:24 AM
I see very little difference between Saddam and Bush. Attacking people without just cause (though you can argue cause in both cases.)

RickLM
11-07-2006, 09:28 AM
I hate Rumsfeld with a passion but this is a retarded premise.

"Hey, why didn't we put FDR on trial for partnering with Stalin?"

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 09:32 AM
They didn't direct Saddam to gas the Kurds.

True, but we did supply him with Bell 214ST helicopters to do it.

And later, after the first Gulf War, we purposely purposely sat back and watched as Saddam and his forces slaughtered tens of thousands of the Kurds in the north and the Shi'ites in the south.

Brent Scowcroft, Bush Sr.'s National Security Advisor, admitted that we sat by and watched Saddam slaughter the uprisings in the North and the South, because "It's a fundamental interest of the United States to keep a balance in that area, in Iraq." It was in our strategic interest for Saddam to commit these crimes against humanity.

Here is the interview where he admits this. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/gunning/interviews/scowcroft.html)

We could have stopped these mass murders. We could have shot down their helicopters. We could have done many many things to save these thousands of lives, but the simple fact is that our leaders at the time would have rather had them gassed and murdered rather than have Saddam lose any power or control.

This is the hypocrisy I am talking about. Here we are in 2006, celebrating Saddam being brought to justice. But back in 1983 and 1991, we aided, abetted, and actively encouraged him to commit these same crimes he is on trial for.

Ray G.
11-07-2006, 09:33 AM
Wow.....

No. We aided him in the Iran/Iraq war. We did not have any role in his crimes against his people.

WillieLee
11-07-2006, 09:38 AM
This is the hypocrisy I am talking about. Here we are in 2006, celebrating Saddam being brought to justice. But back in 1983 and 1991, we aided, abetted, and actively encouraged him to commit these same crimes he is on trial for.

International politics is always full of hypocrisy. It's just the way the world works. The computer you are using contains components that were made in China. A country that is a major human rights abuser. Should you be put on trial for supporting this regime?

Thomas Mauer
11-07-2006, 09:43 AM
Duh, because Reagan and Rumsfeld didn't lose. :crazy:

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 09:44 AM
Wow.....

No. We aided him in the Iran/Iraq war. We did not have any role in his crimes against his people.


1) Iraq invaded Iran. It could be argued that that entire war was a crime against humanity.

2) Saddam committed many violent acts both before and after the Iran-Iraq war. I already mentioned the large scale slaughter of Kurds and Shi'ites following the Gulf War - which our leaders have admitted to endorsing because it was in our "strategic interest" to keep Saddam in power.

3) By aiding, arming, and supporting Saddam, by keeping him in power, by making him our puppet in the region,we did indeed have a role in his crimes against his people.

RickLM
11-07-2006, 09:49 AM
By the logic of this thread, we should put the leaders of every nation on trial for their inaction during the Rwanda genocide of 1994. Remember how Clinton's State Department tried desperately to use any word but "genocide" during that infamous press conference?

Thorne
11-07-2006, 09:51 AM
Precedent.

US dropping a nuke over Japan? Nada.

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 09:51 AM
I hate Rumsfeld with a passion but this is a retarded premise.

"Hey, why didn't we put FDR on trial for partnering with Stalin?"

It isn't a retarded premise.

It gets to the very core of who we are as a people.

Should we be propping up, aiding, arming, supporting, and abetting despotic tyrants?

Should we be sacrificing our morality for a short-term benefit through some misguided notion of realpolitik?

Did these actions end up making us safer? More respected? Did they make the world a better place?

Heck... even Bush has mentioned the same thing in a speech he gave at Whitehall Palace (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,103514,00.html):



"We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East. Your nation and mine in the past have been willing to make a bargain to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability. Longstanding ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites.

Yet this bargain did not bring stability or make us safe. It merely bought time while problems festered and ideologies of violence took hold.

As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own back yard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims and our great democracies should oppose tyranny wherever it is found."


So even Bush is admitting that our previous actions of supporting Saddam and turning a blind eye to his crimes "did not bring stability or make us safe. It merely bought time while problems festered and ideologies of violence took hold."

And look where those choices have led us...

Ben
11-07-2006, 09:51 AM
Reagan's dead. You can't be found guilty of something after you die.

Greenville 90210
11-07-2006, 09:55 AM
International politics is always full of hypocrisy. It's just the way the world works. The computer you are using contains components that were made in China. A country that is a major human rights abuser. Should you be put on trial for supporting this regime?


http://www.tux.org/~bagleyd/unicycle_factory/cartoons/yes.gif

BrianS
11-07-2006, 09:55 AM
Wow.....

No. We aided him in the Iran/Iraq war. We did not have any role in his crimes against his people.

And why did he gas his people Ray?

Taxman
11-07-2006, 09:56 AM
I hate Rumsfeld with a passion but this is a retarded premise.

"Hey, why didn't we put FDR on trial for partnering with Stalin?"There was a pretty good documentary a few years ago called The Fog of War. In a portion of it, Robert McNamara asserted that had the US lost WW II, officials could have been charged with war crimes for fire bombing Tokyo.

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 09:56 AM
By the logic of this thread, we should put the leaders of every nation on trial for their inaction during the Rwanda genocide of 1994. Remember how Clinton's State Department tried desperately to use any word but "genocide" during that infamous press conference?

There is a difference between a lack of moral action (which is immoral and unjustifiable) and the proactive aiding, arming, and supporting of tyrants who are actively committing mass murder.

If Clinton had the forces in place (which he didn't) and the power to stop the genocide in Rwanda, but actively chose not to because he felt that the slaughter of 800,000 would be in our best strategic interests (similar to Scowcroft's admission), then yes, he should be held accountable.

Both are bad. Were just talking about degrees here.

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 09:58 AM
There was a pretty good documentary a few years ago called The Fog of War. In a portion of it, Robert McNamara asserted that had the US lost WW II, officials could have been charged with war crimes for fire bombing Tokyo.


Exactly. Victory has little bearing on morality.

Thomas Mauer
11-07-2006, 09:58 AM
Precedent.

US dropping a nuke over Japan? Nada.

The Soviets were actually the ones telling the lead procecutor at the Nuremberg Trials to keep the war crimes charges on the Axis side and not go into Soviet war crimes or they'd bring up the nuke. :lol:

WillieLee
11-07-2006, 10:08 AM
There is a difference between a lack of moral action (which is immoral and unjustifiable) and the proactive aiding, arming, and supporting of tyrants who are actively committing mass murder.

If Clinton had the forces in place (which he didn't) and the power to stop the genocide in Rwanda, but actively chose not to because he felt that the slaughter of 800,000 would be in our best strategic interests (similar to Scowcroft's admission), then yes, he should be held accountable.

Clinton, along with Kofi Annan, had the capability to stop the genocide before it even started. He also had the forces required after the genocide started. He chose not to act because of the political ramifications of sending US troops back into Africa after the failed Somalian mission.



Both are bad. Were just talking about degrees here.

And in situations like this people will generally excuse the side they agree with politically.

ClintP
11-07-2006, 10:10 AM
There is a difference between a lack of moral action (which is immoral and unjustifiable) and the proactive aiding, arming, and supporting of tyrants who are actively committing mass murder.

If Clinton had the forces in place (which he didn't) and the power to stop the genocide in Rwanda, but actively chose not to because he felt that the slaughter of 800,000 would be in our best strategic interests (similar to Scowcroft's admission), then yes, he should be held accountable.

Both are bad. Were just talking about degrees here.
This from the guy who doesn't play with toys anymore...:no:

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 10:18 AM
Clinton, along with Kofi Annan, had the capability to stop the genocide before it even started. He also had the forces required after the genocide started. He chose not to act because of the political ramifications of sending US troops back into Africa after the failed Somalian mission.



For what it is worth, both Clinton & Annan apologized for their actions/inactions.



PRESIDENT CLINTON: It may seem strange to you here, especially the many of you who lost members of your family, but all over the world there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror. The international community, together with nations in Africa, must bear its share of responsibility for this tragedy as well. We did not act quickly enough after the killing began. We should not have allowed the refugee camps to become safe haven for the killers. (Applause) We did not immediately call these crimes by their rightful name: genocide. (Applause) We cannot change the past. But we can and must do everything in our power to help you build a future without fear and full of hope.




Annan: "All of us must bitterly regret that we did not do more to prevent it. There was a United Nations force in the country at the time, but it was neither mandated nor equipped for the kind of forceful action which would have been needed to prevent or halt the genocide. On behalf of the United Nations, I acknowledge this failure and express my deep remorse."


I have yet to hear Scowcroft, Bush Sr., or Rumsfeld do the same.

stevapalooza
11-07-2006, 10:18 AM
Most of the western world supported Saddam. We were not his sole source of weapons and cash. In fact we weren't even his main source of weapons and cash. Russia, France, Germany, et al kicked in a hefty sum too.

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 10:21 AM
Most of the western world supported Saddam. We were not his sole source of weapons and cash. In fact we weren't even his main source of weapons and cash. Russia, France, Germany, et al kicked in a hefty sum too.

Has this ever worked as a defense?

"Everyone else was doing it... Since we were all doing it, that means we are all innocent. Yay!!!"

wes
11-07-2006, 10:22 AM
Most of the western world supported Saddam. We were not his sole source of weapons and cash. In fact we weren't even his main source of weapons and cash. Russia, France, Germany, et al kicked in a hefty sum too.

Okay so we need a bigger list of war criminals then.

WillieLee
11-07-2006, 10:32 AM
For what it is worth, both Clinton & Annan apologized for their actions/inactions.


It's not worth much considering their apologies still contained excuses and lies. But Rwanda is drawing away from your initial point. The problem with taking the position that Rumsfeld or Bush should stand for war crimes is that it becomes a matter of where do you stop?

WinstonWolf
11-07-2006, 10:40 AM
Didn't Clinton want to take Saddam out when he was in office? I think he was considering going to war with him.

Doc Randy
11-07-2006, 10:43 AM
It's not worth much considering their apologies still contained excuses and lies. But Rwanda is drawing away from your initial point. The problem with taking the position that Rumsfeld or Bush should stand for war crimes is that it becomes a matter of where do you stop?

I have no illusions about Rumsfeld or or Bush Sr. standing trial.

I just think the world will be a better place if we stopped supporting violent despotic tyrants.

I'd also like it if we stopped the farse of pretending we never armed, aided, and abetted them in their crimes.

Fuck realpolitik!

Bill!
06-13-2007, 07:07 PM
I think the more interesting question is, what about the United States now arming Sunni insurgents who will obviously be committing crimes against humanity in the near future.

wes
06-14-2007, 04:19 AM
I think the more interesting question is, what about the United States now arming Sunni insurgents who will obviously be committing crimes against humanity in the near future.

Such laws don't apply to the US and anyone they decide to protect. Its really that simple. Crime against Humanity etc mean nothing if the US is willing to protect you. As long as you stay loyal, you will in all likely hood be protected.

Also, by far the worse crime (committed by the outside world) against the Iraqi people were sanctions which killed half a million children under age of 5 (as per the UNICEF). No, one gave a crap about them (well except the people in the Middle East, who watched this in there news with horror). There is a lot to answer about those murderous sanctions. I am sure the people involved who knew full well what was happening and did nothing will get way with it or justify it by saying the end justified the means or whatever lame excuse they think up.

JoeE
06-14-2007, 04:42 AM
Should we be sacrificing our morality for a short-term benefit through some misguided notion of realpolitik?

Every country does that. Some are just better at giving the appearance that they aren't, though.

BrianS
06-14-2007, 04:46 AM
Every country does that. Some are just better at giving the appearance that they aren't, though.

Yeah, Sweden is evil!

Thomas Mauer
06-14-2007, 04:48 AM
Yeah, Sweden is evil!

Sweden's also steered clear of world politics since the 1660s!

JoeE
06-14-2007, 04:51 AM
Sweden's in a position where they can just free-ride of the hegemon. If Sweden actually ever were attacked, the U.S. and its allies would be required to intervene.

wes
06-14-2007, 05:01 AM
Sweden's in a position where they can just free-ride of the hegemon. If Sweden actually ever were attacked, the U.S. and its allies would be required to intervene.

Plus being located in the heart of old Europe guarantee's intervention. It benefits from location quite a bit.

Thomas Mauer
06-14-2007, 05:23 AM
Plus being located in the heart of old Europe guarantee's intervention. It benefits from location quite a bit.

Ahem, periphery with little to no direct access from other continents, surrounded by friendly and allied nations. That's its advantage. The heart of "old Europe" has always been the battleground for countless powers, up until 1990.

wes
06-14-2007, 05:33 AM
Ahem, periphery with little to no direct access from other continents, surrounded by friendly and allied nations. That's its advantage. The heart of "old Europe" has always been the battleground for countless powers, up until 1990.

True, I got the location confused somehow. Its location is what keeps it safe more than anything else.

Thomas Mauer
06-14-2007, 09:48 AM
True, I got the location confused somehow. Its location is what keeps it safe more than anything else.

Admittedly, Switzerland is in the heart of Europe. But its successful 500 year neutrality is an oddity in history, anyway.

bachman
06-14-2007, 10:38 AM
From history.com (what I would hope to be a neutral site)

Having reduced al-Bakr to a figurehead, Hussein forced him to resign, placed him under house arrest, and assumed the presidency in July 1979. As chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, he purged his political enemies and relied on members of his family, including his sons Uday (19642003) and Qusay (19662003), and Tikrit's al-Khatab clan. In September 1980 he launched an attack against Iran, where a radical Shiite fundamentalist regime led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (whom Hussein had expelled from Iraq in 1978) had come to power. The U.S., which remained officially neutral in the Iran-Iraq conflict, aided Hussein's regime by providing intelligence information and military support. The U.S. also relaxed regulations on exports to Iraq, permitting the Baghdad government to purchase restricted items such as supercomputers and strains of anthrax from American suppliers.

The war dragged on for eight years. When it ended in stalemate in 1988, the Iraqi death toll (according to U.S. government estimates) was between 150,000 and 340,000, and from 450,000 to 730,000 Iranians had also lost their lives. Many other Iraqis had been maimed, and the country was tens of billions of dollars in debt. The winding down of the war with Iran allowed Hussein to refocus his attention on the rebellious Kurds, against whom his forces used poison gas while razing hundreds of villages and killing an estimated 70,000 people. Up to 5000 were killed in March 1988 in a poison gas attack authorized by Hussein against the Kurdish town of Halabja, which had been captured by Iranian troops and their Kurdish rebel allies.

http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=212381

We helped him fight Iran. Then he started blatantly killing civilians after the war. Then we killed him.

Unfortunately Iraq was a fucked up country before Saddanm, during Saddam, and after Saddam.

bachman
06-14-2007, 10:40 AM
Also, my favorite year is nineteen seventy cooool 8-)

I'm guessing that's the year when The Fonz was at the height of his popularity.