Entries in George W. Bush (5)


Desmond Tutu: Blair and Bush Should be Taken to International Criminal Court for Iraq

Michelly Rall/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu said this week that George W. Bush and Tony Blair should be taken to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for the Iraq war, the BBC reports.

The former Archbishop of Cape Town who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 wrote in the UK's Observer that the former leaders lied about weapons of mass destruction.

"The immorality of the United States and Great Britain's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history," he wrote.

Tutu said the death toll that resulted from military action in Iraq since 2003 qualified Blair and Bush to be tried in The Hague. Blair strongly defended his decisions following the Observer article by pointing to the abuses of Saddam Hussein and adding that Iraq's economy has increased three times or more in size and has seen its child mortality rate decrease by a third of what it was.

The United States does not recognize the International Criminal Court.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bush Celebrates Democracy Activists, Sides with Syrian Resistance

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As President George W. Bush quietly returned to Washington Tuesday, he brought along a slew of global democracy activists known mostly for never being quiet.

Tuesday’s lineup at the George W. Bush Presidential Center-sponsored event, “A Celebration of Human Freedom,” included Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian activist living in Washington; Bob Fu, a native Chinese pastor; and Normando Hernandez, a former political prisoner in Cuba.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, joined the conference via Skype from her living room in Myanmar, formerly Burma.

“These are extraordinary times in the history of freedom,” Bush said. “In the Arab Spring, we have seen the broadest challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet communism. Great change has come to a region where many thought it impossible. The idea that Arab people are somehow content with oppression has been discredited forever.”

“America does not get to choose if a freedom revolution should begin or end in the Middle East, or elsewhere. It only gets to choose what side it is on,” he added.

Abdulhamid, founder of the Tharwa Foundation and one of the earliest dissident voices behind the Syrian uprising, introduced Bush Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of fearless activism.

“The price of activism could be the death of the human body. But the price of silence could result in the death of human spirit, a far greater price to pay,” Abdulhamid said.

“All of us here today join you in hoping and praying for the end of violence and the advance of freedom in Syria,” Bush told Abdulhamid as he took the stage.

When Suu Kyi appeared on the big screen above the stage, she too offered her support to Abdulhamid’s home country.

“I would like to say to the people of Syria, we are with you in your struggle for freedom,” she said.

Asked if she had a solution to the violence in Syria that has claimed more than 12,000 lives in the last 15 months, Suu Kyi replied, “If there was an easy answer, I think Syria would be at peace now.”

But Suu Kyi said she’s hopeful about peace abroad and at home.

Last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would begin to ease sanctions in Myanmar, and on Monday, Sen. John McCain advocated for the suspension of sanctions, echoing the recent move by the European Union.

“I am not against the suspension of sanctions, as long as the people of the United States feel that this is the right thing to do at the moment,” Suu Kyi said Tuesday.

“I do advocate caution, though,” she said. “I sometimes feel that people are too optimistic about what we are seeing in Burma. You have to remember that the change in Burma is not irreversible.”

And there is reason for optimism. Suu Kyi was sworn in on May 2 as a member of parliament and will soon make her first trip abroad in more than two decades, to London and then Oslo, Norway, to finally accept her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

In one final word, Suu Kyi offered advice to her fellow activists: “Persevere. You’ll get there in the end. Don’t lose hope. There are many people who are with you in mind and in spirit.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Condoleezza Rice’s Retrospect on Iraq: ‘We Could Have Done Better’

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- She served eight years in the Bush administration as national security advisor and secretary of state, and now Condoleezza Rice is out with a memoir, No Higher Honor, where she paints a detailed picture of policy making while conducting two wars.

Though she never directly addressed it in her book, ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked her the question on many people’s minds -- if she thought the war in Iraq was worth the sacrifice in lives lost and money spent.

“Now, we didn’t go to Iraq to bring democracy to the Iraqis.  And I try in the book to really explain that that wasn’t the purpose,” Rice said.

“This was a security threat of Saddam Hussein, who had started wars before, used weapons of mass destruction, was shooting at aircraft in the no-fly zone, was still threatening his neighbors, had tried to assassinate George H.W. Bush, was a cancer in the Middle East and a great source of that volatility in the Middle East, needed to be dealt with,” she said.  “And I, as much as anybody, understand and really regret the cost, particularly in lives.  But I also know that nothing of value is ever won without sacrifice.”

Rice remained confident that Hussein was not “removable by any other means” and writes in her book that she’s “grateful that today’s concern is not an impending nuclear arms race between Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.”

But don’t we know now that Hussein had no meaningful nuclear weapons program?

“He had the scientists, he had the infrastructure,” Rice said.  “He was buying all kinds of stuff through front companies.  He had not reconstituted it.  But the idea that Saddam Hussein had given up on weapons of mass destruction, I think, is simply ahistorical... And I cannot imagine that Saddam Hussein watching Iran move along a nuclear path [and not reacting], given all the infrastructure he had, given all the knowledge he had, given that we know that when in 1991, the inspectors got there, he was far closer to his nuclear device than they thought.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Did Pakistan Know All Along About Plan to Get Osama Bin Laden?

AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- A British newspaper claims that a deal was struck almost 10 years ago to allow the U.S. to conduct a raid inside Pakistan for the purpose of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.

The supposed agreement between then-Presidents George W. Bush and Pervez Musharraf, reported in The Guardian, gave American forces permission to enter Pakistan to get bin Laden and other top al Qaeda leaders.

It was also understood that the Pakistani government would raise objections against any incursion, since it technically violates its national sovereignty.

This is pretty much how the scenario has played out since a team of Navy SEALs, under orders from President Obama, entered Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1 and killed bin Laden. 

While the Pakistanis have expressed outrage about the operations, they had privately agreed to it in principle.  The Guardian claims such were the terms of the pact that was agreed to by Bush and Musharraf shortly after bin Laden escaped capture from Tora Bora, Afghanistan in December 2001.

A Pakistani senior official familiar with the deal told The Guardian, "As far as our American friends are concerned, they have just implemented the agreement."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House Faces Backlash Over Child Soldiers 

Sudanese children displaced by war record their experiences. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration is facing backlash from humanitarian and human rights groups after lifting restrictions on the use of child soldiers in certain countries, according to The Cable.

On Thursday, the administration waived a key section of the 2008 Child Soldier Law for the countries of Chad, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Yemen. The law, signed by former President George W. Bush in 2008, prohibits the U.S. from providing military assistance and financing to countries who continue to actively recruit child soldiers.

The administration’s move will allow one more year for those countries to improve before they can be flagged by the State Department for violating the law.

A memo to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed by the president on Monday states that the waivers were in the “national interest of the United States.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio