Via Glenn Greenwald, I learn that the seven-member Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia, that was headed by that country’s former prime minister and had an American law professor as one of its prosecutors, found George W. Bush and Tony Blair “guilty of “crimes against peace” and other war crimes for their 2003 aggressive attack on Iraq, as well as fabricating pretexts used to justify the attack.” Greenwald further says that the tribunal
was modeled after a 1967 tribunal in Sweden and Denmark that found the U.S. guilty of a war of aggression in Vietnam, and, even more so, after the U.S.-led Nuremberg Tribunal held after World War II. Just as the U.S. steadfastly ignored the 1967 tribunal on Vietnam, Bush and Blair both ignored the summons sent to them and thus were tried in absentia.
The tribunal ruled that Bush and Blair’s name should be entered in a register of war criminals, urged that they be recognized as such under the Rome Statute, and will also petition the International Criminal Court to proceed with binding charges. Such efforts are likely to be futile, but one Malaysian lawyer explained the motives of the tribunal to The Associated Press: “For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes.” In other words, because their own nations refuse to hold them accountable and can use their power to prevent international bodies from doing so, the tribunal wanted at least formal legal recognition of these war crimes to be recorded and the evidence of their guilt assembled.
A different panel of this same tribunal will hold hearings on the charges of torture against Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and others.
Boy, are those Malaysians dense, thinking that the Nuremberg principles were meant to be applied impartially to everyone. Don’t they realize that war crimes can only be committed by those whom US presidents declare to be enemies of America? US presidents, their allies, and any one who acts under their orders can never be guilty of war crimes, whatever they do. How hard is it to understand such a simple rule? Those Malaysians must be pretty stupid.