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Friday 23 June 2017, 09:49 am.
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As I see it

Bush and al Bashir: How are they different?
By Michael Dingake (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: As I see it








According to reports GW Bush former president of the US will be visiting Botswana this week. Since the announcement of the visit I have been on tenterhooks reading the newspapers and watching Btv to get a hint of  what would happen to the gentleman when he lands at the Airport.  I am aware he has been here before and was given a red carpet. This was however before we grasped the iniquities committed while he was president. That was before I came to appreciate President Ian Khama's attitude to political  brutes in office.  Subsequently I have come to understand how our President is revolted by leaders who massacre, torture and imprison other human beings for sport and entertainment while in office.

We know President Al Bashir the Sudanese leader indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes  against humanity and genocide dare not set his foot in Botswana lest he be arrested and delivered to the ICC without much ado. Right now our government is foaming at the mouth because the African Union has vetoed President Joyce Banda's objection to Al Bashir's invitation to the AU summit which was due to be held in her country. AU decision to divert the summit to Addis Ababa has incensed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and you sense the president's disaffection behind it.

Botswana has not stopped at expressing hostile attitude against Al Bashir, we know President Khama's  outspokenness against the Mugabes, Gaddafis and Gbagbo of the continent for brutality against their people and generally against anything smacking of crimes against humanity. I hope His Excellency is not going to tell us that GW Bush is different and that he only gets hot under the collar about things when prodded by the ICC.  There is a section of the international community which believes the ICC is biased and cites examples of its bias.  Why does it appear the ICC targets only lesser mortals, when they are not alone in committing crimes against humanity? Our world appears to be still the world of the powerful, the rich and privileged colour to which some nations and international organisations are not yet free.

For instance the US is not a party to the ICC and therefore absolved from its jurisdictions, yet the same US is the most vocal against violations of human rights in the world!  Might is right or hypocrisy?That President Bush butchered the Iraqis, destabilised Iraq and tortured detained Al Qaeda suspects in Guantanamo Bay and Iraqi resisters in Abu Gharib is well-documented. Supported by Britain, GW Bush  defied the UN Security Council and invaded Iraq after fabricating a whopping lie that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that the Iraqis had links with the Al Qaeda when he and his intelligence agency very well knew that it was the US that had closer ties with Osama Bin Laden than Saddam Hussein ever had.

Fortunately thanks to the internet technology we now know the

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Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal has convicted GW Bush and associates in absentia on May 11, 2012 as War Criminals; we know too who GW Bush, his  associates (former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defence  Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonsales then Counsel to GW Bush, David Addington then General Counsel to Vice President, Williams Haynes then General Counsel to the Defence Secretary,  Jay Bybee then Assistant Attorney General  Counsel and John Choon Yoo former Deputy Assistant Attorney General) really are.

The President of the Kuala Lumpur War Crime, Tribunal Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin found that "the prosecution had established beyond any doubt that the accused persons engaged in a web of instructions, memos, directives, legal advice and action that established a common plan and purpose  and/or conspiracy to commit the crimes of torture and war crimes  including and not limited to a common plan to commit the following crimes in relation to the 'War on Terror' and the wars launched by the US and others in Afghanistan and Iraq."The following were the charges: (a) Torture (b) creating and authorising and implementing a regime of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment (c) violating customary international law (d) violating the convention against torture 1984(e) violating the Geneva Convention of 1949 (f) violating the common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention of 1949 (g) violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations Charter.

"The Tribunal finds that the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused lawyers gave advice that the Geneva Conventions did not apply (to suspected al Qaeda and Taliban detainees) that there was no torture occurring within the meaning of the Torture Convention and that enhanced interrogations techniques, (constituting cruel, inhumane and degrading treating) were permissible.The prosecution at the Tribunal knew that the legal advice was being sought to be acted upon and in fact was acted upon and such advice paved the way for violations of international law, the Geneva conventions and the Torture Conventions."

The Tribunal in summing up its verdict remarked:
"It is the Tribunal's hope that armed with the findings of this Tribunal, the witnesses will in the near future , find a state or an international judicial entity able and willing to exercise jurisdiction and to enforce the verdict of this Tribunal against the eight convicted persons and their government. 

The Tribunal's award for reparations shall be submitted to the War Crimes Commission to facilitate the determination and collection of reparations by the Complainants War Crimes Victims.... The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these accused persons may enter their jurisdictions."So there we are "... responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of the accused persons may enter their jurisdictions...."  We can't say, we didn't know!

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