For some reason or another, Bill Clinton gets respect from many people. Many of the women I know because he's good looking, many I know who also say he did a lot of good in the North to help the peace process and ensure stability. One would think that Bill Clinton was a man of profound greatness and did nothing wrong, except he couldn't keep his pants on.
Martin McGuiness is often called a terrorist and that maybe the case. We saw that during the Free State Presidential campaign, Fintan O'Toole wanted to have Martin McGuiness' past widely known and had no qualms in openly condemning him as a terrorist who killed innocent people. All well and good, but, it struck me when Bill Clinton was speaking at the Economic Forum at Dublin Castle, there were no protests from people(as far as I am aware) and certainly no journalists such as O'Toole or Kevin Myers condemning Bill Clinton for what he engaged in. Why was that? Why does this man command such admiration from the people of Ireland? It is incredible and still fascinates me. I don't think I will dive into great detail in what I say, but I think the stuff I do write will generate an interesting debate.
So, to the title of the thread, this is why I believe that Bill Clinton was indeed a war criminal and puts the P.I.R.A, E.T.A and any other "terrorist" groups to shame.
Sanctions on Iraq
--60 Minutes (5/12/96)
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died
. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.
The ostensible U.N sanctions on Iraq were heavily imposed by the United States and Britain. These sanctions were some of the most draconian that post war world had ever seen and had absolute devastating consequences for the Iraqi people. As the quote above illustrates, Clinton's Secretary of State had little concern for the affects that the sanctions were having on the children of Iraq and its people.
The figure of 500,000 children really is astronomical. But where does the figure come from? It comes from many sources, but the one I think is most suitable to use is UNICEF and their 2003 Report on The State of the Worlds Children.
Now, this was all happening under the Liberal Bill Clinton. How could a man of peace who was so pivotal in Northern Ireland and stopped ethnic cleansing(actually increased it, if it even was happening before March 24 1999 as we have no way of knowing if Operation Horseshoe was even credible) in Kosovo be so callous as to let these nefarious acts happen?
These sanctions were described by Denis Haliday and Hans von Sponeck, U.N diplomats who were the chief UN humanitarian coordinators as "genocidal". Von Sponeck alleges that the U.S and U.K tried to prevent him from bringing the draconian sanctions to the presence of the security council of the U.N. al-ahram weekly 26 december 2002
So, we have the Clinton administration openly knowing about these sanctions and their affects and being warned by respected U.N diplomats of what the situation was like. And yet, they did nothing to stop them at all. These sanctions would give Osama Bin Laden more new recruits then he could have ever imagined. Even his biggest haters had to take note and silently agree with his views on American foreign policy in the Middle East:
The killing of innocent civilians, as Americans and some intellectuals claim, is really strange talk. Who said our children and civilians are not innocent, and that shedding their blood is justified? That is lesser in degree? When we kill their innocents, the entire world from west to east screams at us, and America rallies its allies and agents, and the sons of its agents. Who said our blood is not blood, but theirs is? Who made this pronouncement? Who has been getting killed in our countries for decades? More than one million children, more than one million children have died in Iraq
and others are dying Why do we not hear someone screaming or condemning, or even someone's words of consolation or condolence?
First of all, America's support for Indonesia's invasion and occupation has been one of the most disgusting acts of their post war foreign policy. It should be noted that the C.I.A compared what Suharto's goons and TNI did in East Timor to the Nazi's and the Soviet's. Robert McNamara said that America's efforts had paid "divedens" regarding the early support for Suharto and his eradication of the Indonesian PKI, because they were communists, albeit it, communists supported by the majority. A nasty dictator most would agree.
What did the Bill Clinton administration have to say about this man which the C.I.A admits engaged in actions tantamount as the Nazi's?http://www.converge.org.nz/abc/prsp25.htm He was described as "our kind of guy." Unfortunately, that is not the only shocking thing Clinton did regarding Suharto.
After the Dili Massacre, which two American journalists were beaten up in by the TNI, one who received a fractured skull from an American made M16, Congress blocked America's support for Suharto. Did the peace maker accept this and move along? Of course, Clinton broke the ban by Congress and still continued to support Suharto.
In 1997, the Pentagon was still training the Indonesian military forces. Some of these military trained were the Kopassus units, who had a reputation for mayhem and cold and bloody murder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/1999...sia.easttimor1
There is a lot to write about this subject and a lot about Clinton, but because of writing many things on other forums and being called a communist for disagreeing with American Foreign policy, I will be terse in each topic.
If you skip right to the referendum in East Timor in 1999, the TNI had promised to basically annihilate the pro-Independence movement if they voted yes. The Commander of the Indonesian military in Dili, Colonel Tono Suratman warned: "I would like to convey the following...... if the pro-independents do win.... all will be destroyed.... it will be worse than 23 years ago." Now, it is important to note that this was all going on in a time when the good aul U.S.A couldn't sit back and allow ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, but they not only allowed egregious actions to happen in East Timor by Indonesia, they supported it, diplomatically and militarily.
In one of the most bravest moments in 20th century history, the people of East Timor stood up to the western backed bullies of Indonesia and overwhelmingly voted for Independence. The Indonesians, trained and ready by the U.S, kept their word and begin massacring, looting, burning, raping, mutilating, castrating anything they could.
Eventually, Suharto became another one on the list of U.S supported dictators who became useless and he eventually resigned and American support dropped for him. East Timor was left independent but decimated and the people of Indonesia were left with gargantuan IMF debt ran up by Suharto.
Bill Clinton was asked about this years later by Democracy Now and basically said "you're living in the past", it is time to move on. Yes, Bill supports murder and occupation, but because it is in the past, we should look away and continue on.
Turkey and Columbia
During the Clinton years, Turkey had become one of the highest receivers of U.S military aid. With the Cold War over, you'd think that the aid would drop, precipitously. It didn't it augmented exponentially.
When Turkey began ethnic cleansing its Kurdish population in Southeastern part of the country, Clinton supported it. Even in 1994, when the campaign of terror had really exploded. Clinton had provided altogether, around 80% of the arms for Turkey and not once uttered a word of condemnation.
The New York Times and others praised Washington's support for Turkey as they were combating terrorism. Even if that was the case, was it worth tens of thousands killed, 2-3 million made refugees and an incalculable amount of villages and homes of innocent people destroyed? Apparently so.
There is a defense to be made that America: "Damned if they do, damned if they don't." While they help people in Kosovo, they can't help everyone. That is fair enough. But there is a difference between ignoring ethnic cleansing and ignoring it, but it being carried out by the guns you sold the country. That is an ample difference, but one that is just simply ignored.
We then have Columbia, who, in the 90's in Latin America, had the worst human rights record in the continent. This country was supported by America whilst Clinton was President. Not only economic aid, but military aid too.
Columbia at this period, had destroyed presidential elections and many former candidates, mayors and politicians had vanished or were simply murdered. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...-two-front-war
This is Clinton supporting two countries who engaged in ethnic cleansing and corruption, murder, kidnapping, torture, etc. War crimes or misunderstood foreign policy by savage communists?
Of course, the U.S backers will talk about Turkey having a strategic interest or because it is a necessary ally, the same way Columbia had U.S corporations it needed to protect in Columbia and other reasons. All fair enough, just don't make out you promote democracy all over the world and face down tyranny with force.
Sudan and the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant
Clinton - with bad intelligence, of course - bombed the Sudan Al-Shifa plant which was the country's leading pharmaceutical plant. At the time, intelligence reported that it was a chemical weapons plant. This plant was producing half the country's pharmaceutical supplies and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that in this part of the world, medical supplies don't grow on trees.
It is wholly incredible that Sudan responded the way they did. Terrorism? No. They went to the U.N, seeking an explanation. If they had of retaliated in a hypothetical world, the Americans would have been screaming they hate "our freedoms and are medical supplies" or some other asinine excuse to expiate for "blowback."
I agree with Chomsky that this event is tantamount as the 9/11 attacks, and, it is even more brutal than they were, because of the people who died after it as a result of the bombing. Tens of thousands of people ended up dying from malaria, tuberculous and other treatable diseases. The plant produced 90% of Sudan's phramacetuical products. Johnathan Blake, Boston Globe, Auguest 22, 1999
The German ambassador to Sudan at the time, Werner Daum, said it was impossible to calculate how many people had died from the bombing of the Al-Shifa plant. Other journalists and politicians went on to say similar things, as well as Dr Idis Eltayeb, a prominent figure in the Sudanese medical industry.
Exporter of Arms
This man of peace, went on to increase the U.S military budget(not a war crime, of course) but also to export weapons to dictatorships all over the world, including some of the most nasty.
When Clinton was on his way into office, he approved the sale of f-15 combat planes to Saudi Arabia and F16s to Taiwan.
The New York Times reported that America had sold over one third of all weapons worldwide. That is an ineffable figure and given most of the world lives under dictatorship, the weapons were sold to countries who brutally oppress their people. Saudi Arabia as already mentioned as a most disturbing example.
I could say a bit about the NATO bombing of Kosovo and how it didn't actually stop ethnic cleaning, but augmented it as Wesley Clarke, U.S NATO commander had said that it was "entirely predictable" once NATO bombed Kosovo.
But that is not really relevant. What is relevant is that NATO and that swine Madeline Albright were parading around promulgating America's need to intervene and stop this most vicious crime whilst they were supporting death squads in Indonesia and supporting ethnic cleansing in Turkey. It really was just an epic joke for history, it really was.
So, was he a war criminal? Yes, I believe so and I believe him to be one of the most wicked men of the post war world. His foreign policy was completely dangerous, completely dangerous. The deaths under his watch are huge.
So, back to the start of the OP. Why wasn't Fintan O'Toole propagating an inquiry into Bill Clinton being a terrorist and guilty of war crimes, but Martin McGuiness? It really does seem strange that Fintan left out Bill Clinton. It really does.
Just before anyone starts, I am not a socialist, communist, liberal, hippy or anything like that at all. The reason I didn't go through each point conscientiously was because on other forums, it was a waste of time as typo's, myself and the fact every sentence hadn't a link(as if you can't google anything these days) mean't that some couldn't response. Another reason i did't was because the usual "you're wrong, but I am not telling you why you're wrong" types always showed up and derailed the thread for its tracks.