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84
29
Yes No
Debate Score:113
Arguments:48
Total Votes:170
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Are George Bush and Tony Blair guilty of war crimes?

This was originally a debate by JoeCavalry which unfortunately contained malformed characters, but I thought it was extremely interesting and deserved reposting (I also added Tony Blair).

Are George Bush, Tony Blair, and their respective administrations guilty of commiting war crimes?

Yes

Side Score: 84
VS.

No

Side Score: 29
8 points

George W. Bush is guilty of wars crimes because a) the invasion of Iraq was illegal according to international law and the United Nations charter and b) because some American forces, with permission of the President, violated the Geneva Convention in terms how prisoners of war are supposed to be treated. Since he ordered those illegal actions, he is probably guilty and should be charged. Tony Blair is also allegedly criminally liable because, in his role as prime minister of Great Britain, he aided and abetted the illegal behavior of the United States. Both men should be put on trial, but we all know that will never happen; justice flows out of the barrel of the biggest machine gun and the largest supply of tactical nuclear weapons.

The fact that the Bush Administration has classified some prisoners of war as "illegal combatants" is also a violation of international law. In fact, it is clear that the United States, through the actions of its president, believe that its actions are ABOVE the review of international law and in fact, super-cede it.

American law, in practice, is above international law, and that's just one reason why America is seen by most of the world as the #1 purveyor of violence.

I write this as a loyal American, a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, who wants our country to return to its ideals of justice and freedom, and away from George Bush's drift toward fascism.

Side: An Elective War For Oil Is A War Crime
love2write1(45) Disputed
0 points

If GWB and Tony Blair were considered guilty of war crimes they would be tried in the court of political correctness gone mad. How can it be considered a war when our true enemy is not a country, does not have an organized army or follows "rules of engagemenet" or The Geneva Convention?

The United States and it's allies have being tried and convicted by the court of world-wide public opinion, with the aid of an over zealous, anti-Amrican and liberally-biased media.

Can somebody please tell me, how should the United States government have reacted when over 3,000 innocent people were slaughtered on Sept 11, 1991? Should we have rolled over and played dead like we did about the First attack on the WTC, Tanzanian Embassy bombing, US.S Cole attack? It was the lack of a responce to these events, I believe, that emboldened our enemy to follow through with the attacks of Sept 11th. Our political backing of Israel warrants the justification of a rogue terrorist group to kill innocent civilians?

Our government's intelligence community compiled data, whether later considered true or false, submitted it to the Executive office, Congress and etc. Based on that, the president and Congress voted to proceed with an attack against Afghanistan, Iraq and any other nation harboring terrorists.

This was with news media outlets reporting 24/7 around the clock and world, driven by political agendas and ratings. We had imbedded reporters that accompanied our military, compromising our strategies and positions, but never-the-less getting the "almighty story" out to the people. Then the Monday night quarterbacks and "experts" could second guess every move, decision and event after it happened. The warped and twisted "Al-Jazeera" media channel could display beheadings of Americans, show the charred remains of American contractors hanging in Iraq and every injury of every innocent civilian over there, regardless of how or by whom they were injured. Forget the accuracy of the report, just report it, get it out there for the public court and let them decide. This has been a war for the hearts and minds of the world, with an unfair burden on the United States Government and military to prove everything beyond a shadow of a doubt. We were considered guilty before our troops hit the ground I think. We are damned if we do, and damned if we don't. But I'd rather error on the side of damned if you do, and stop another attack of epic proportions like 9/11 than win the political correct war.

And, if indeed if it was a war for oil, how come we are paying record highs for a barrel of oil? This whole situation smells of hyprocrisy and hatred. Should we have paused our military on the beaches of Normandy to hurry up and take an opinion poll to gauge the direction of public sentiment? Are we doing the correct thing here? Is that how a nation wins a war? I think not.

Side: war of political correctness
iamdavidh(4869) Disputed
2 points

Your arguement that torturing people is a-okay since the war on terror isn't a war on a specific nation defeats the spirit of the law. Torture is illegal because it's morally wrong and it doesn't work, not because the enemy combatants are backed by some nation. Torture is the most un-American thing since slavery and everyone should be ashamed and embarassed by it including hardcore Republicans. That I can go to these boards and see those who have reaped the benefits of our great nation defend this action is deplorable. That's all I can say on that.

As for what we should have done about 911. How about catching Osama Bin Laden? "What should we have done?" give me a break. This administration used everyone's high emotions after that tragedy to get us into a bogus war that Bush wanted before he even got in office. All of the evidence said there was no reason to go to Iraq, no WMD's, no connection to terror. They ignored the evidence and lied to the American people.

"If it was a war for oil why are we paying so much?" You ask. Do you have any idea how much oil companies have made? How much Blackwater, and Halliburton have made? You think because you specifically pay more for gas that therefore the reasons for going there were altruistic. You're wrong, this administration doesn't care about you. Look at who gave money to the Bush campaign, and look at who's giving money to the McCain campaign.

Side: Yes
6 points

First, war crimes is defined as:

a crime (such as genocide or maltreatment of prisoners) committed during or in connection with war.

Second, yes, a strong case can be made that George Bush and Dick Cheney are ultimately responsible for the torture and murder of Iraqi prisoners, which resulted from policies that were approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, and Vice President Cheney himself.

Supporting Evidence: The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos (www.antiwar.com)
Side: Torture is a war crime
2 points

i agree if you look at some camps set up and you hear the stories come from it its hard to not believe with video's and pictures

Side: Yes
-1 points

The war ended when President Bush declared, "Mission accomplished!" on board the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003. The goal of the war was to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Any enemy combatants that may have gotten hurt after the end of the war should not be protected under the Geneva convention.

FYI: The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties formulated in Geneva, Switzerland, that set the standards for international law for humanitarian concerns.

They chiefly concern the treatment of non-combatants and prisoners of war.

The people you are referring to are neither "non-combatants" nor are they "prisoners of war." Therefore, no war crimes were committed.

Side: Terrorist are enemy combatants
xaeon(1089) Disputed
4 points

The Geneva Convention which, as you quite rightly stated refers to the treatment of non-combatants and prisoners of war, has absolutely nothing to do with it.

In order for a member of the UN to go to war, it has to be sanctioned by the UN security council and be in accordance with the UN's founding charters. There is also the Hague Convention, which does detail the opening of hostilities and the laws and customs of land-based war.

According to UN secretary general Kofi Annan, the war in Iraq WAS illegal:

In an interview with the BBC World Service broadcast last night, he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: "Yes, if you wish." He then added unequivocally: "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal."

Luckily for them, the US has a veto to stop the UN from referring them to the International Criminal Court which has, so far, received 240 articles of war crime against the UK and US.

Side: Yes
iamdavidh(4869) Disputed
2 points

Um, so by that logic Bush could just pick up some Pilipino kid and rip out his toenails and no crime's been committed? I think that torturing when there is no war is illegal as well there Joe. Way to try and defend torture with a technicality though, gotta admire the spirit.

Side: torture
1 point

This sounds like quite a loophole, but it is "technically" true, unfortunately.

Side: Torture is a war crime
3 points

42 minuets said Tony Blair.

Side: Yes
3 points

To pronounce ANYONE guilty of war crimes would be beyond the powers of my reason or conscience.

I don't know enough facts (and suspect that I never will) to make a decision. And even if I did, I wouldn't presume to accept the mantle of someone capable of pronouncing the guilt or innocence of such a serious offense.

I have an entirely different view that I would like to put forward. I find it a strange statement of the human condition that we CAN get together to declare that there are acceptable "rules of war" (it's OK to kill one another as long as we follow some humane guidelines of conduct), but we often CANNOT get together to talk away our grievances without resorting to violence.

How about we agree that war itself is a crime?

Side: war is a crime

I can agree with your view on war being a crime in and of itself. I have never agreed with warfare as an answer to anything and, indeed, it never has been. There are no winners when it comes to war.

The rules of engagement and the acceptable rules of war are designed to make killing legal within certain parameters. To me, war is nothing but genocide on a very grand scale. There is nothing humane about it. So, too, there is nothing humane or right in the way that George W. Bush and Tony Blair formed the coalition that would bring down Iraq and the leader we had been doing business with for decades! We needed a scapegoat for the events surrounding 9/11 and we had one in Saddam Hussein and the alleged "Weapons of Mass Destruction" Iraq had been thought to be squirreling away for years. It would seem as though intelligence had failed us and others around the world! Not even the U.N. could stop Bush from invading Iraq and he did so without their consent.

It pains me to say that d├ętente and diplomacy seem to be a thing of the past. I only wish I could say the same for war. That wouldn't pain me in the least.

Side: war is a crime
3 points

Both Bush and Blair are really no more than pawns. Bush is a puppet for elitist corporate handlers. Blair was bought and paid for. Their crimes more resemble treason than anything else. Cheney and PNAC are the real criminals.

There was a op-ed in Pravda recently (written by a fellow American) calling for all of their heads, actually recommending the death penalty as a deterent to future coups. Be that the case I feel the pair should given their lives... and a cell on Guantanamo Bay.

Side: An Elective War For Oil Is A War Crime
2 points

two words, white phosphorous.

Side: yes
1 point

both guilty.

tony:because he was an idiot at running the country.

george w bush:well, just look at his name

Side: yes
1 point

Saddam Hussain murdered 500,000 innocent Iraqi's and was prosecuted. Blair and Bush were the reason for the death of 600,000 innocent Iraqi's yet nothing, not even proper blame is put on them.

Side: yes
1 point

They broke international law.

There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction..their primary reason for going to war.

They again broke the law on the treatment of prisoners.

They have now been found GUILTY of war crimes by a war crimes tribunal in Malaysia.

Side: war birds fly together
0 points

This is a subject that I could spend hours writing on.

Instead I will summarize quickly [don't fall over in a dead faint on this subject! LOL]

First let me state that "I am against war."

And I believe President Bush is an International Terrorist.

Small men have Napoleonic attitudes to make up for their inadequacies. Look at Hitler.

On Tony Blair...birds of a feather flock together.

'Nuff said!

Sharon

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Side: war birds fly together
0 points

The Judiciary has always been the weapon that could be judiciously utilized to correct every wrong doings. The Judiciary has helped resolve a lot of mysterious issues that the day-to-day beliefs could not comprehend or fathom.

In law, an accused stays innocent until proven guilty, that should be the status quo and jungle justice should not be allowed to prevail.

Side: war of political correctness
xaeon(1089) Disputed
2 points

UN Sec General stated in an interview that the US invasion of Iraq was illegal. The UN are the judiciary on matters such as this.

Side: Yes
-1 points

Heck no and iwil ltel lyou why. It it ebcause of the fact that we ahte him so it is another thing we pin on him? Would we do do same if it ws Lincolin? Probaby not.

Side: just a bad president
xaeon(1089) Disputed
3 points

He's hated for, amongst other things, commiting war crimes.

Side: Yes
metza87(195) Disputed
0 points

In your opnion yes but if we just let things be Al Quaida would be all over us. They choose to come her and kill us so we should just let them and not do a thing?

Side: No
-2 points
4 points

International Law is relevant whether or not your opponent follows it. The attitude you just spewed upon us is exactly the problem with America right now.

You just argued that since terrorist don't "follow the rules" then we shouldn't either.

Terrorist are terrorist out of desperation. They don't HAVE armies so they have to do crazy shit like blow themselves up. America is the most powerful nation in history with thousands of nuclear weapons and yet you people shit your pants and throw away everything we've learned at the whim of a few crazy fucks!

We can "win" AND still follow the rules. Stop browning your drawers long enough to realize that lowering our standards like that is exactly what people who hate America want! Why do you think the rest of the world is so pissed at us??

PS- war of aggression + torture = war crimes

Side: Yes
0 points

International law is irrelevant when it proves itself irrelevant. If international law can't even enforce a few little sanctions against a little country, then it is irrelevant. If a cop can't keep your property and family safe from your neighbors, are you going to keep on relying on the cop or are you going to take matters into your own hands?

Terrorist are desperate? What are you talking about? Why were they desperate before 9/11? They should be desperate now that they know we ain't taking their crap anymore.

They don't have armies so they have to blow themselves up? What? What about diplomacy? This is like saying that a younger sibling's only recourse against his older sibling is to fight dirty.

I liked the little math equation though.

Side: concerning conflicts the UN is useless
-4 points
phuqster(123) Disputed
4 points

The Nazis tried that defence at the Nuremberg trials, and the Allies (the US, UK and Russia) found them guilty. Leaders have to be responsible for their country's actions. And for a comparison of the seriousness of the crimes committed by the Axis during the second world war, check out the trials as well as the Japanese soldiers that were executed by the Allies for water boarding.

The fact that our governments haven't stuck by/up held the principles and laws that they set after WWII is an insult to those who fought during that war and has eroded the value of any moral victories gained.

Our government's attitude and behaviour in this debacle is disgusting. And I think it's a crying shame that, even though they should, they will never be tried.

Side: Torture is a war crime