Dame Anita Roddick: Bush Is A War Criminal
by Richard S. Ehrlich
BANGKOK, Thailand -- President George W.
Bush is a war criminal, businesses are "more
powerful than religion" and Wal-Mart is evil,
according to The Body Shop's founder, Dame
"War criminals are called 'leaders'," Ms.
Roddick told the Foreign Correspondents Club
of Thailand during her Tuesday (March 2)
news conference on corporate social
responsibility and community trade.
In today's globalized world, business is "more
powerful than any other social institutions,"
"It is more powerful than governments
[because] governments are 'economic
governments'. It is more powerful than
religion," Ms. Roddick said.
When asked in a recorded interview
afterwards to name war criminals who are
leaders, Ms. Roddick quickly replied with
disdain: "Bloody Bush.
"I think this whole Iraqi war is one of the
biggest disgraces of our time," she said.
"I tried to get the company, The Body Shop, to
stand up in every country, to oppose the war
in Iraq. And [Body Shop] America wouldn't do
it. Britain wouldn't do it. The only country that
stood up against the war in Iraq was [Body
Shop] Australia," she said.
U.S.-based Wal-Mart is another target of her
"If you really want to know about the evils
inherit in Wal-Mart, go to the National Labor
Committee in New York," she said in the
"I just don't want to break bread with them
[Wal-Mart] because of their conditions, their
sweatshop practices in Bangladesh.
"They don't want to give any living wages,
they don't support any living wages. I don't
like them. End of story."
She also opposes the World Trade
Organization, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco,
Monsanto, the Disney Corporation and a slew
of other businesses because of the methods
they use to maximize profits.
"Corporations run the world. They control it,"
Born in England in 1942, Ms. Roddick opened
her first Body Shop in 1976.
Today, the retailer offers nearly 2,000 trendy
stores throughout the world, including
Thailand, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia.
After years of developing cosmetics, salves,
cleansers and other products to sooth and
rescue people's bodies, Ms. Roddick described
her current role by saying, "I'm just a moral
She insisted local co-ops, tribes, families and
other small-scale workforces need to be
nurtured and protected from exploitation,
enslavement, imprisonment and other human
It "deeply, deeply, deeply pisses me off...the
way businesses run roughshod over
indigenous communities," she told the news
The Dame, however, worried her opinions
were not always welcomed, especially in
America, after she wrote about the terrorist
attacks of September 11, intrusive Homeland
Security laws, and the U.S.-led invasions of
Afghanistan and Iraq.
On her website, Ms. Roddick wrote an "open
letter to George W. Bush," denouncing him for
"rank imperialism and war-mongering" and
"the danger you pose to the world, which you
have molded into a place where it is all too
easy for leaders to commit egregious crimes
under international law -- including the
crime of aggression -- without the price tag
that the Nazi leaders paid at Nuremberg."
Emphasizing "my love for America and
Americans," The Body Shop founder also
"I fear for citizens in a country [America]
where suspicion of terrorist activity alone is
grounds for detention without legal counsel
and without benefit of knowing the evidence
"I worry for people who now again live in a
country in which their own government has
given itself the privilege to tap private
telephone lines and intercept email, and
which recruits its own citizens to spy on their
"I am concerned for the vibrancy of a nation
whose citizens are told to fall in line behind
the government without question, or to be
Copyright by Richard S. Ehrlich
email: animists *at* yahoo dot com
Richard S. Ehrlich, a freelance journalist who has reported news from Asia for the past 25 years, is co-author of the non-fiction book, "HELLO MY BIG BIG HONEY!" -- Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews.
His web page is