Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

The voice of hypocrisy

Condoleezza Rice is either lying through her teeth or else she is a barefaced hypocrite

What is it with US Secretaries of State? Colin Powell gave us a marvelous demonstration at the UN Security Council meeting with his marvelous intelligence of Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction, complete with marvelous plastic models and arrows on photographs. Now Condoleezza Rice would have us believe that, as she says, “We will live up, in the United States, to our commitments under our laws and to our international obligations.”Condoleezza Rice

That statement is simply not true. The United States of America is a country which is based on the rule of law and which is obliged to abide by the terms of its Constitution. Among the commitments to which the United States of America is bound, is the respect for international law.

Nowhere in US constitutional law or international law does it state that it is acceptable or legal to hold someone against his will without trial and torture him. Condoleezza Rice has admitted to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel that in the case of the prisoner detained wrongly and taken to Afghanistan to be tortured, a mistake was made and that the USA immediately rectifies these mistakes when they are made.

But this is not a single case of torture in one single place. The torture is taking place in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo and now apparently in CIA bases set up in Europe. What is at stake here is not the illegal or mistaken detaining of one man but the whole philosophy of Washington's approach to international relations.

Condoleezza Rice, as Secretary of State, will know that the USA is bound by its international obligations, that it signed and must respect the UN Charter and Geneva Conventions. It does neither.

The Bush regime uses bullying, blackmail and belligerence as its staple elements for pursuing diplomacy when it should be using debate, dialogue and discussion. The Bush regime lied at the UNSC about Iraq's WMD, the Bush regime continued to lie, and lie, and lie until it was so patently obvious that there never were any WMD in the first place and they had to admit that a mistake had been made, but that nevertheless they were justified because of Saddam's record. Is that why Rumsfeld went to shake the man's hand and stand beside him smiling?

The Bush regime tried very hard to get a second resolution at the UNSC to justify an attack against Iraq. Why spend so much energy? Because the Bush regime knows fully well and Condoleezza Rice has the obligation to know this in her position, that the UN Charter always binds its members to a separate resolution on the use of force. Therefore the attack against Iraq is illegal under international law and the deaths of civilians in this country amount to mass murder, making the leading figures of the Bush regime, the cards in the pack, liable under international law for prosecution as war criminals. The Ace of Spades is Bush himself but Condoleezza Rice, the Queen of Spades, is not off the hook.

The Bush regime is intrinsically linked to cases of torture, not one case but tens of them, around the globe. What a disgusting, sickening comment on a regime whose individual corporate interests dictated a policy which has tarnished the reputation of the nation, destroyed its credibility and relegated its Constitution to the gutter.

Angela Merkel may be satisfied by the comments and smiles of Condoleezza Rice, but she must be the only one who is.

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Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

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