One of my proofreaders isn’t entirely comfortable with this cartoon. While she’s not a fan of Bush, Cheney, and the war in Iraq, she disagreed with calling them war criminals and comparing them with Putin. She has a valid point and I always appreciate her input. I don’t just send my cartoons to her for her exceptional spelling skills.
But I am not uncomfortable with calling Bush and Cheney war criminals. Are they on par with Putin? No. Bush and Cheney did not intentionally target apartment buildings, playgrounds, schools, etc. But they did do what Vladimir Putin did and that was violate another nation’s sovereignty and conduct an illegal invasion based on a lie.
Putin says he invaded Ukraine to liberate that nation from Nazis. That is a lie. Bush and Cheney justified their invasion, and hoodwinked other nations to form an international coalition all based on the lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That bad thing is, there are more Nazis in Ukraine than there were WMDs in Iraq at the time of the invasion in 2003 as in, there was zero WMDs in Iraq.
Even if there were WMDs in Iraq, the invasion still wasn’t justified because Saddam Hussien never used those WMDs after Desert Storm, the conflict to oust him from Kuwait in 1991. Yes, Saddam dropped bombs on Kurds after that conflict but he didn’t use what’s described as weapons of mass destruction (he had done it before 1991 and in the war against Iran in the late 1980s).
Other than Kuwait over a decade earlier, Saddam Hussein never attacked the nations who were a part of the coalition. Never. He never attacked the United Kingdom. He never dropped a bomb on Mongolia. He never pushed Poland. He never slapped Spain. He never hit Iceland, Macedonia, Japan, South Korea, Nicaragua, Slovakia, etc. He never even tickled Tonga.
In addition to the lie that Saddam possessed WMDs, which was a violation of the sanctions placed against Iraq, the lie was pushed that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program (you know, one of those secret things Israel has). On top of that, the Bush administration allowed the belief to run rampant that Saddam Hussein played a part in 9/11, which was committed by al Qaida, NOT Iraq.
During one interview with Vice President Dick Cheney when it was pointed out that many Americans believed Iraq was responsible for 9/11, instead of correcting those many Americans, Cheney simply said, “I can see why they would believe that.” While the Bush administration never explicitly blamed Iraq for 9/11, they used it to justify the invasion of Iraq. According to some reports, the planning of invading Iraq started on September 11, 2001.
They also sent Secretary of State Colin Powell, the only guy with any credibility in the administration at that point (which was lost after this stunt), to stand in the United Nations and show photos of trucks and buildings with the claim, “there’s bad stuff in there.” And it worked. Everybody believed there was bad stuff in there.
The Bush administration also received notice from U.S. and British intelligence that all the information it was using to justify the invasion, like Iraq trying to buy 500 tons of yellow cake from Niger, was not reliable. Quite frankly, I think the Bush administration just liked the sound of “Niger.”
For all their trouble of invading a nation on a lie and with half-ass intelligence, the United States spent over $3 trillion on the war while giving billionaires tax cuts. Nearly 5,000 coalition troops died in the conflict with nearly 32,000 casualties. The Iraqi civilian death toll is between 275,306 and 306,000. It also destabilized the entire region and gave birth to the Islamic State, which Republicans tried to blame President Obama for. That’s like Lauren Boebert claiming President Biden shut down businesses because of the Coronavirus pandemic while Trump was president (sic). Yes, she really did that.
But a lot of Americans made money on the war. The Pentagon awarded over $30 billion in no-bid contracts to U.S. companies throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Haliburton, a company whose CEO was Dick Cheney before he became Bush’s veep, was awarded a $7 billion contract. Halliburton is still being given contracts for work in Iraq today.
A president who was installed in office by a court stacked by his daddy’s cronies after losing the popular vote started a war against a nation that never attacked us based on lies which was used to profit his own cronies. Are Bush and Cheney war criminals? Fucking A they are.
No, I’m not trying to take heat off Vladimir Putin. He’s a war criminal too and there should be a warrant out for his arrest. I’m just saying that he’s not the only one.
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