Burch: Getting away with murder?

Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

I must question why as a society we are often very quick to apprehend and prosecute some alleged murderers — for instance, those believed to be guilty of killing in our own neighborhoods and cities — but not the worst ones. Among modern-day Americans, who has caused more deaths than George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld? After all, they launched an invasion of Iraq on false premises. How many completely innocent women and children did they cause to die prematurely and unjustly? (To cause the unjust, premature death of an innocent person is, of course, murder.)

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu recently called for George W. Bush and Tony Blair to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their roles in the invasion of Iraq. Tutu, a retired South African Anglican Church archbishop, wrote an op-ed piece for The Observer in which he said that Bush and Blair should be made to “answer for their actions.” (The Observer is a British weekly first published in 1791, making it the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper.)

The Iraq war “has destabilized and polarized the world,” wrote Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1984 for his role in ending South African apartheid. “Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in The Hague,” he added. Tutu was referring to the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

“The then-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand — with the specter of Syria and Iran before us,” said Tutu, who last week withdrew from a conference in South Africa due to Blair’s presence at the event.

Other prominent figures — such as world-renowned MIT professor Noam Chomsky, the author of more than 100 books who is considered by many scholars to be earth’s greatest living scientist — have also called for Bush and Blair to be tried for war crimes. Most of the peace activists and many of the liberals I know call Bush a war criminal. Many Europeans agree, as he was forced to cancel a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, due to threats of protests and possible legal action if he touched down there.

According to Ray McGovern, writing for AlterNet, “George Bush can’t travel overseas for fear of arrest and prosecution” leaving him “doomed to become America’s first better-stay-at-home former president.” McGovern was a senior CIA analyst.

McGovern not only accuses Bush of war crimes, he has even “served” symbolic war crimes indictments to the White House himself, acting for a “people’s tribunal” in a sort of attempted citizen’s arrest.

I think Tutu, Chomsky and McGovern have a good case, which deserves a public hearing at the very least.

In the recent past the U.S. government has hunted down and killed notorious death merchants such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

But what about the death merchants of the U.S. and its allies? There are rumors that the CIA and/or Israel’s Mossad may have assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists, even though the U.S. and Israel have nuclear weapons, have never allowed U.N. inspections of their nuclear facilities, and would consider it an act of terrorism if their own scientists were assassinated.

U.S. drones have even been used to kill American citizens in Yemen without trials or even hearings on the orders of what seems to be a secretive U.S. government death panel.

Israeli attacks on Gaza — at times including white phosphorous — have killed many with virtually no resistance, making that “war” seem more like a massacre.

So I would add Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to the list of suspected war criminals.

It seems obvious to me that there is a terrible double standard. The U.S. and Israel can murder civilians with impunity via extrajudicial assassinations, without due process of law.

Why do we lock the door and throw away the key for deranged people like John Hinckley and Mark David Chapman, and yet let mass murderers live lives of freedom, privilege and opulent luxury?


Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.


Filed under: City Voices

109 Comments on this post:

By: MusicCity615 on 9/7/12 at 1:59


Of course I'm worried. Why aren't you? We are $16 trillion in debt!!!

Bfra- you are as bipolar as any poster I have ever seen. You whine like an 8 year old boy when Dean raised property taxes, and yet you praise Obama who wants to raise taxes. Explain yourself.

By: bfra on 9/7/12 at 2:07

MC615 - I am so bipolar, it didn't take long to peg you as a wannabe, that isn't! Go back to work, not time for you to be off yet!

By: BenDover on 9/7/12 at 2:12

I wouldn't classify the over half of the Senate Democrats and 81 of the House Democrats including the Democratic leadership of both bodies as 'a few'... but hey, rewrite your history any way you like there Ummm...

Do some of the more recognizable names like Biden , Carnahan , Cleland , Clinton , Daschle , Dodd , Dorgan , Edwards , Feinstein , Harkin , Kerry , Reid , Rockefeller , Schumer , Torricelli , Gephardt , Hoyer , Kennedy , Murtha , Waxman , Weiner , Wexler ring a bell?

By: MusicCity615 on 9/7/12 at 2:18


Again- explain yourself. Why do you whine when Dean raises taxes, yet you love Obama, who wants to raise taxes.

By: bfra on 9/7/12 at 2:48

MC615 - Show your site about Obama raising taxes, on who & why. Dean on the otherhand, is a wannabe like yourself & using taxpayer's & his wife's money to try to be something he isn't.

By: dargent7 on 9/7/12 at 2:57

This is so old...the "intel" wasn't flawed, it was "cooked". On purpose.
As in "cooked the books".
The CIA's budget is $45 billion. They got it all wrong? How's that even possible?
Cheney and the Putz 'n Chief knew exactly what they were doing.
Cheney, his artificial heart, pulleys, valves, tubing and all, salivated at the Iraqi oil fields.
Saddam was a 5th century push over and Dracula had him in his sights.
"Bullying" is now illegal. In 2003, it was legal.
Has Blix was in, then thrown out, then allowed in again. "Cat 'n Mouse is a hell of alot cheaper than 150,000 ground troops, spending $4.0 billion a month to eradicate a 'despot". We had Jong Il and Chavez, Iran all labeled as "despots".
You teapublicans want to kill them all? Then who will fill their shoes? The same despots.
So, now what have we've got, 10 years later? Want to vacation in Iraq this December? I hear it's in the mid 80's, mostly sunny.

By: MusicCity615 on 9/7/12 at 3:02

1. what am I a wannabe of? "Show your site" to prove your assertion
2. Google Obama and taxes. I got over 26 million results under 1 second. If you really believe Obama does not want to raise taxes, thanks for the laugh.
3. Do you like John Kerry? I assume because he's a democrat. His wife has more money than Dean. Stop cherry picking.

For the record, I am a republican / independent who isn't against raising taxes, I'm against raising taxes for government handouts. Use tax payer money to reduce the $16 trillion debt or use it to ensure all Americans can go to college... something that will have a return on investment.

Obama wants to raise taxes to give to his donors (Solyndra??) and his public unions.

By: bfra on 9/7/12 at 3:35

MC615 - Whine on! I googled your claim and couldn't find anything that said what you claim, so guess you couldn't either, or it would be posted.

By: BenDover on 9/7/12 at 3:41

There's no evidence they cooked the books Darge... in fact all the evidence is to the contrary.

And in this case with Saddam we had the cease fire violations and 12 years of Saddam snubbing UN Sanctions, even the final warning. Diplomacy had run its course.

By: bfra on 9/7/12 at 3:46

Ben - Your comments have become Blah, Blah, Blalh, Tarp, Tarp Tarp, and very, very boring. Iran was invaded for OIL, pure & simple! NO WMDs! NO WMDs Guess you thought his "Mission Accomplished" fiasco was cute, too. Now what was that Mission that was Accomplished?

By: BenDover on 9/7/12 at 3:52

That's simply not true, bfra.

By: bfra on 9/7/12 at 3:53

What part!

By: Captain Nemo on 9/7/12 at 3:53

I would be more worried if Mitt takes us back to the Bush days. You should be too MC615

By: dargent7 on 9/7/12 at 3:54

Obama blew $500 million on Solyndra.
GW Busg blew $4.0 billion a month for 7 years in Iraq.
Do the math. Use a slide rule if you must.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/7/12 at 3:56

The part Ben doesn't want to hear. lol

By: Mike Burch on 9/7/12 at 3:58


Yes, President Obama wants to raise taxes, for the richest 1%.

Romney and Ryan want to reduce taxes for the richest 1% to less than 1% by eliminating federal income taxes on their main sources of income: capital gains, interest and dividends.

Under this new tax system, Romney would have paid less than 1% (to be exact, .082) on income of $21 million.

As Bill Clinton pointed out, it's simple math. The GOP will make billionaires multi-billionaires, proving that they have the favor of God, after all.

The rest of us will have to pay more taxes, or give up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, or both.

If the alternative is the rich paying more taxes, or the rich paying no taxes at all, math is on the side of the Democrats.

By: BenDover on 9/7/12 at 3:59

"Iran was invaded for OIL, pure & simple!"

By: Mike Burch on 9/7/12 at 4:05

The GOP plan goes like this:

Because Democrats are not perfect and it's going to be hard to balance the budget in a sane equitable way, abandon any pretense of balance or fairness, and reduce taxes on the richest 1% to less that 1% by eliminating federal income taxes on the main sources of their wealth: capital gains, interest and dividends.

When this happens, the rich will be assured of becoming even richer. People in the middle class who are healthy enough to work two or three jobs, pay ALL the taxes, and stay healthy will be able to scrape by. Everyone else -- the elderly, the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the children of the poor who need help to go to college, etc., -- is going to be in for a world of suffering.

This is social and economic Darwinism: the strongest and most ruthless living on the flesh of the weak. It will be like a pack of lions falling on a flock of lambs.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/7/12 at 4:09

Finally Ben gets it right. ;-)

By: BenDover on 9/7/12 at 4:11

lol nemo.

Y'all have a great weekend.


By: bfra on 9/7/12 at 4:13

Nemo - Funny part, Ben doesn't even know that he posted a True statement at 5:49.

By: Mike Burch on 9/7/12 at 4:18


You said, "I know all of that history and not one lick of it mattered in light of the potential threat Saddam posed and his history of 12 years of thwarting every UN sanction and Resolution ever thrown at him."

This is like saying that I can beat your mother and sisters to a pulp, and then if anyone says boo to me, I can kill them because they threatened me. The REAL history of the Middle East does matter, because other men want to protect their loved ones from women and child abusers. When Israel and the US chose to become abusers of millions of completely innocent women and children, they understandably became the targets of the wrath of the men who love those women and children, and want to protect them.

Do I have the "right" to abuse women and children in your family, just because I'm bigger and stronger than them? Of course not.

The same thing goes for nations. We suffered through 911 and two terrible, unwinnable wars for the most evil and stupid of reasons: our government and the government of Israel chose to cause other men's loved ones to suffer and die unjustly.

This is something that concerns decent men, but not racists and fascists. in the end, we all have to decide which camp to join. I hate men who harm innocent women and children, so of course I hate GWB, Cheney, Rumsfeld and fascists of their ilk. I only hope President Obama gets re-elected and has the decency to put an end to 60+ years of American fascism in the Middle East.

By: yogiman on 9/7/12 at 8:34

You criticize Bush/Cheney and staff on the GIs killed in their tenure, Mike. How many GIs have been killed since Obama took office in his first term?

By: yogiman on 9/7/12 at 9:06


If Obama is trying to end the Afghanistan war, why is he sending more troops in there? Why couldn't he do it in 4 years if that was his goal as he said it was?

By: yogiman on 9/7/12 at 9:12

I've got news for you, Moonglow1.

You people can't grasp the horrors for the new Democrat man on the hill. Hang in there, you'll find our pretty damn fast.

By: BenDover on 9/7/12 at 9:26

Mike... I think I asked for you to cut and paste one thing I said that was not true.

By: Ask01 on 9/8/12 at 6:21

I believe Archbishop Tutu should launch a campaign against every living world leader, past and present, in power when acts of violence were committed, whether against foreign nationals or their own people.

We could even extend that to leaders such as Texas Governor Rick Perry, who it seems apparent allowed an innocent man to be executed, by refusing to review evidence which according to experts would have cleared him.

Charges could be brought, and prosecution pursued against legal systems which value a conviction rate and maintaining the illusory facade of judicial infallibility over true justice.

Let me stress this net must include even the violent, unpredictable, and often barbaric leaders of some third world nations. I'm sure they would voluntarily submit.

Once the net is expanded to cover all political leaders, at all levels, in every country, I could get behind this totally.

By: Ask01 on 9/8/12 at 6:29

Someone commented about the midlle class suffering greatly and drastically shrinking during President Obama's term.

This is true, however, the blame lies not with the Obama administration, but with the GOP which blocked many initiatives, and spent so much time voting fruitlessly against the Affordable Care Act. while working to support their corporate and wealthy backers who were outsourcing jobs overseas, putting middle class workers out of work.

The true blame for the shrinking middle class lies with the Republican Party and the 1%.

Just my opinion, which is why I'm probably going to vote Democrat this election cycle to help preserve what is left of the middle class even if the solution is taxing the upper class out of existence.

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 7:31

Ben - Mike probably didn't have the time or want to take up the space to cut & paste what you have posted, that is untrue. Although you ask for 1, there have been so many, it would be hard to choose.

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 7:32

Ask01 - Agree with you about the leaders, but Bush/Cheney & group, should be at the top of the list.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 7:55

By: yogiman on 9/7/12 at 10:12
I've got news for you, Moonglow1.

You people can't grasp the horrors for the new Democrat man on the hill. Hang in there, you'll find our pretty damn fast.

Translation; this will be horrible for me if Obama is reelected. I will melt away into nothing.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 9:05


Did I read you correctly when you stated you was going to vote Democratic this election? And you retired out of service willing to vote for a CIC whom you have no idea who in the hell he is?

Voting for true Democrat is fine, just don't vote for a communist running under the name "democrat".

I suggest you check out the unemployment rate Obama has put this nation in.


You might also read //cowboybyte.com/4518/the-true-unemployment-rate-36/

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 9:11

Excuse me bfra, but you have the audacity to call me on an error I make in a post as if you never make one

You should edit your 8:31 post.

And by the way, shall we all continue editing each other or call it quits.

Hopefully you have enough intelligence to read what is meant to be posted without a pile of editing crap.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 9:18

Several interesting interviews:


By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 9:29

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 10:05

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 10:11

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 10:18

Translation; I pee on myself again.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 9:45

The kids went to class Monday morning and were all excited. Their weekend assignment was to sell something then give a talk on salesmanship.

Little Sallie led off. "I sold Girl Scout cookies and I made $30", she said proudly. "My sales approach was to appeal to the customer's civil spirit and I credit that approach for my obvious success."
"Very good", said the teacher.

Little Debbie was next. "I sold magazines and made $45 and I explained to everyone that magazines would keep them up on current events."
"Very good, Debbie", said the teacher.

Eventually, it was Little Johnny's turn. The teacher held her breath as Little Johnny walked to the front of the room and dumped a box full of cash on the teacher's desk. "$2,467", he said. "$2,467?" cried the teacher. "What in the world was you selling?"

"Toothbrushes" , said Little Johnny. "Toothbrushes?", echoed the teacher, "How in the world could you possibly sell enough toothbrushes to make that much money?"

"I found the busied corner in town and set up a Dip & Chip stand and gave everybody a free sample." They all said the same thing. "Hey, this taste like dog poop!"

Then I would say, "it is dog poop. Wanna buy a toothbrush? I used the President Obama method of giving you some crap, dressing it up so it looks good, telling you it's free and then making you pay to get the bad taste out of your mouth."

Little Johnny got 5 stars for his assignment bless his heart.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 9:48

Wanna buy a toothbrush, dumba$$? Because your mouth is so big, you may have to buy two or three to get that bad Obama taste out of it.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 9:52

Excuse me, folks. I gotta go take a Captain Nemo. I hope all of that Obama crap comes out.

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 10:50

Yogi - Can't you think of anything yourself, except crap. Now you are copying Nemo by substituting words. Get a Life! Aping someone else all your life, no wonder you don't have the brains of a rock.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 11:31

yogi you sure talk big yogi on line, but when it comes to face to face, you just turn to a puddle of urine.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 11:33

yogi is a four letter word. It takes eleven words for mine. LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 11:37


You have to look at it from yogi’s view point. He has no brains to think on his on, so being the lying coward he is, he has to steal from others.

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 11:41

Nemo - That's for sure, he can't even come up with a sensible retort without copying someone else. He is the poorest form of human life, I have ever encountered. Glad it is only on this board. By the way met a neighbor of his (Jefferson), you should hear his comments, nothing that we didn't already know.

By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 12:13


After all he really is the village idiot. LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 9/8/12 at 12:15

I have been getting caught up on some badly needed house cleaning. Now I am going to clean up myself and get out and see some people.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 12:37

It doesn't take those eleven letter to make you such a big idiot, Captain Nemo?

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 12:39

yogi - Everybody knows who the idiot is, including your neighbor.

By: yogiman on 9/8/12 at 12:44


You're one of the biggest jokes on this site. You can correct me with your mistakes, but that's okay, I shouldn't make any errors [according to your ridiculous remarks].

You should edit your own statement before you use your idiocy to edit me. Or don't you even know how to form a sentence?

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 12:59

yogi - I have never seen you put a coherent sentence on the board. First for the lack of any truth & second, because your have no brains.

By: bfra on 9/8/12 at 1:01

yogi - Why would I correct YOU for My mistakes! Make sense weasel! Go ask your neighbor what he thinks about you, if he would even let a crazy loon get that close.