George Bush and Bill Clinton Do Toronto

Posted: May 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

George Bush and Bill Clinton. Photo: Reuters

Pepsi versus Coke meets Republican versus Democrat

by Anthony J. Hall, Professor of Globalization Studies, University of Lethbridge

Just as fresh revelations keep oozing out about the broad extent of the international criminality perpetrated by the regime of the former US president, Canada is becoming the main site of a corporate-driven effort to re-brand George W. Bush as a legitimate political pundit. On May 29 Mr. Bush joins Bill Clinton on the stage of the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre in an event hosted by the TD Financial Group and several other sponsors. The hosts include the Calgary-based Bennett Jones law firm, the global accounting giant Ernst and Young, the Toronto Board of Trade as well as the Toronto-based Globe and Mail newspaper.

The Clinton-Bush gig in Canada’s biggest metropolis is happening about a month after the former president “tested the waters” as a public speaker by addressing an audience of 1,400 executives of mostly Texas-based oil conglomerates in an event hosted by Calgary’s Chamber of Commerce. Bush’s luncheon address was accompanied by the protests of several hundred demonstrators who advanced the case that there is a huge body of evidence already in the public domain that should be sufficient to prohibit Bush from entering Canada or, failing that, to necessitate his arrest on Canadian soil. In a widely published article, which I introduced in early March at an invited lecture at the University of Winnipeg, I outlined the legal and political terrain underlying Bush’s first major public foray outside the United States. That paper, which has proliferated widely on many Internet sites, is entitled “Bush League Justice: Should George W. Bush Be Arrested in Calgary Alberta and Tried for International Crimes?

My academic intervention was one part of a larger collective effort aimed at advancing the case that the international crimes of George W. Bush and many of his ministers and advisers have been so obvious and gigantic that citizens must mobilize globally to insist that the rule of international criminal law should be made to prevail over the rule of force and political expediency. Many of the core legal principles awaiting enforcement are those that coalesced in the course of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Its chief prosecutor, the renowned US jurist Robert Jackson, initiated the proceedings in 1945 by insisting that humanity’s future depended on removing “immunity for practically everyone concerned in the really great crimes against peace and mankind.” No longer could “so vast an area of legal irresponsibility” be “tolerated” because “because modern civilization puts unlimited weapons of destruction in the hands of men.”

Read more: George Bush and Bill Clinton Do Toronto (PDF)

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