Iraq: ‘Supreme’ War Crime, or Simply ‘Unnecessary’?

As Barack Obama and his pliant media pundits are “talking up the achievements of the six-year occupation,” Consortium News‘ Robert Parry (7/1/09) is writing of the “public celebrations by Iraqis marking the American pullout from Iraq’s cities.” Parry’s look back the last six years’ reality clearly recalls how, “relying on false intelligence and laughable legal theories, Bush justified launching what the New York Times may call an ‘unnecessary war‘ but what was in reality a ‘war of aggression'”–constituting, Parry reminds us, “what the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II deemed ‘the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole'”:

While those crimes were underway, major U.S. media outlets avoided stating the obvious because any recognition that Bush waged “a war of aggression” would force other conclusions, such as the need to subject him, his senior advisers and some foreign allies (i.e., Tony Blair) to a war crimes tribunal.

The big news organizations also didn’t want to admit their own complicity in this crime, since almost everyone in American journalism who wanted to keep a comfortable seat at the Establishment’s table either endorsed the enterprise or kept quiet.

So even today–more than five months after Bush left office–it’s still much easier to dismiss what happened as “unnecessary,” to cite the pre-war “intelligence failures,” and to criticize Bush primarily for his tactical misjudgments in planning an effective occupation–not committing enough troops and not having a detailed enough post-invasion plan.

Parry well knows that “accusing him of criminality is much trickier,” since, “after all, in the view of the mainstream news media, war crimes are something that ‘rogue states’ commit, petty tyrants from Rwanda or Yugoslavia who can then be dragged off to The Hague and put on trial.” Alas, “Such humiliations are not for the former ‘Leader of the Free World’ and his subordinates.”

Check out the overriding corporate media reaction to even the most tepid congressional gestures toward accountability for members of the George W. Bush government in FAIR’s Action Alert: “CNN Scoffs at White House Critics: Anchor With Bush Ties Dismisses Abuse-of-Power Hearings as ‘Stagecraft'” (7/31/08).