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Spring 2003

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Bush’s Crime Against Humanity

Adolfo Perez Esquivel was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1980 for his work in human rights.

Buenos Aires—According to Greek mythology, under Zeus’ order, Hephaestus (the Roman god Vulcan) created the first woman, Pandora, and endowed her with all good that existed. Zeus made her the custodian of a small box that contained all things evil. His express command was that she never open the box because it would provoke great calamities for all creation. Unable to contain her curiosity, Pandora opened the box, letting out all the evils that humanity suffers to this day. Only hope remained in the little box. Humanity, of course, ought not to be weighed down by the fatalism of all that has been written. But it is nonetheless necessary to remember the great lessons of human existence and thus to read the signs that tell us humanity is headed toward great suffering.

George W. Bush, Tony Blair, José Maria Aznar and Silvio Berlusconi—“the four musketeers with missiles”—have been blinded by the arrogance of power. Like Pandora, Bush and his allies have opened up the box of calamities. Unlike Pandora, however, Bush is not guided by curiosity, but by his greed for power and global hegemony.

Bush believes he can defeat anyone. He ignores the fact that the world mobilized in massive demonstrations to tell him, “No to War, Yes to Peace.” In response to this clamor from humanity, the president said that “democracy is beautiful; it allows people to express their opinion.” Acting as if such expression is merely tolerated by power, he pronounced that “peaceful protests will not alter my plans on Iraq.” Evidently, his democratic convictions have been reduced to dust.

Like the sorcerer’s apprentice who unleashes the storm he can’t control, Bush—trapped in his own labyrinth of irresponsibility—is letting loose the demons of the military industrial complex and the interests of the oil multinationals that today govern the United States.

The United Nations has almost been erased from the scene, pressured by the Bush administration, which did not want to recognize the results of the UN inspectors. Clearly, it expected the UN to yield and submit to its threats in order to justify the unjustifiable.

Since the US has left international law aside, President Bush and those who support him in this war should be declared aggressors responsible for crimes against humanity.

Analyzing the ties with oil companies of the Bush administration (not only by the current President Bush and his father, but by his National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice with Exxon and Texaco), the novelist Gore Vidal has made the point clear: the true motive behind the war against Iraq is oil and empire. Apparently, the cost of human lives and resources does not concern Bush and company as long as they reach their economic and political objectives.

There is also a connection here between Iraq and Venezuela. The attempts to overthrow Hugo Chavez’ government and take control of the petroleum resources of the region aim to strengthen the global hegemony of the US. The US State Department has been implicated in the coup attempts against Chavez. Venezuelan oil is not only vital to the North American economy. Control of Venezuela’s energy resources along with Iraq’s would, de facto, place Europe, China and other countries under the imperial sphere of the US.

A related situation that is ignored and of enormous risk for Latin America is militarization on our continent by US forces—including the Plan Colombia and, in Central America, the Puebla Panama Plan. Bush is opening Pandora’s box, threatening to free all of the evils of the apocalyptic beast, seeking destruction and death. For the first time, all humanity stood up in unison during demonstrations last month, demanding the right to life and dignity. France and Germany continue to stand up in a strong front against North American hegemony.

All is not yet lost. Hope still dwells in the energy of those who are working to change the course that Bush and his allies want to impose on the world without their consent. There are still courage and valor in saying “No.”