Bush should be tried for war crimes

by Jim Longworth

The long awaited, bipartisan report from the Iraq Study Group was finally released last week and its conclusions were bad news for George Bush.

The group, headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, announced that “the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.” This comes as no surprise to those of us with cognitive reasoning abilities who have known from the start that we had no business invading Iraq, nor any excuse for staying there afterward.

And for all of the folks who have been saying that we can’t cut and run because Iraq will become unstable, the study group made it clear that nothing we do will ever stop the sectarian warfare. That’s because outsiders never stop civil wars; they only exacerbate them.

So far, Bush’s response to the bipartisan effort has been to wait for a Pentagon report, and then announce how he plans to either follow or dismiss the study group’s findings.

Meanwhile, on the very day of the Baker press briefing, we lost another 10 soldiers in a single attack, reminding us of why we need to get out of Iraq immediately.

America has lost almost 3,000 young people, 80 percent of whom died after the invasion, while trying to keep the peace. And let’s not forget the 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children who have lost their lives.

The only winners in Bush’s war have been the oil companies and the defense contractors, the latter of whom have made fortunes from rebuilding a country that we shouldn’t have destroyed in the first place.

Men my age remember being drafted in the Vietnam lottery. We believed our government when they told us about the dangers of a spreading communist influence. We believed the Democrat lies then, and our young soldiers believe the Republican lies now. Finally, though, members of both parties have come together to put a stop to the killing, and the Iraq study provides yet another reason why George Bush should be held accountable.

If a third-world dictator had invaded the wrong country and killed over 100,000 people, we would be calling for him to stand trial for war crimes. George Bush deserves no less.

Once he realized Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, Bush should have ended our involvement. Because he didn’t, he is guilty of criminal negligence and should spend time in prison for his reckless arrogance.

And for those of you who think I hate Republicans, think again. I voted for Ronald Reagan. Twice. I am also not a flaming liberal, and I don’t believe in letting criminals go free, be they murderers, rapists, terrorists or US presidents. Every day that George Bush remains in office represents another day of casualties. And every passing day that he fails to adopt Baker’s proposals represents a deliberate disregard for those casualties.

I can only hope that Bush is eventually punished for his actions.

In the meantime, my holiday wish is for the troops to be safe until we can bring them home, and that their return will come about sooner rather than later.

Jim Longworth is host of “Triad Today” which can be seen Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7), and Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on MY48 (cable channel 15).