BUSH BEATING!

The former RATM guitarist, now of Audioslave, launches a scathing broadside at the US President...

TOM MORELLO, the politically charged guitarist formerly of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

and now AUDIOSLAVE, says PRESIDENT BUSH should be tried for war crimes if he launches a new attack on Iraq.

In a scathing broadside, Morello added that Bush was destroying America, allowing the economy to “go down the toilet” for the sake of his war on terrorism.

“The war on Iraq never stopped,” Morello told NME.COM. “The US have been bombing and maintaining no fly zones for the last ten years. Look at the UN figures – at least one million dead because of bombing and sanctions, half a million of them children.

“If he goes into Iraq now, it’ll be a war crime and Bush should be tried in an international court as a war criminal. This renewed sabre rattling is both dishonest and disingenuous. The principal causes of terrorism are US economic and military domination, or perceived domination, in the Middle East. I believe the true ‘Axis Of Evil’ is pandemic poverty and an arms race that is continued at great profit for a few. Does he seriously believe bombing Iraq is going to counter terrorism?

“What better way to win an election than to focus on this war on terror. The economy in America is going down the toilet and he is ignoring it completely.”

Morello added that he believed opposition had to rise from the streets through people power. He also challenged high profile stars such as Bono who have gone to the White House to plead for aid for developing countries, ravaged by war and disease and burdened with massive debt.

“To me change doesn’t come by engaging the White House, it comes from the street. I don’t think you can go with your cup up to the back door of the White House and say ‘Please sir, can I have some peace and justice?’ That just doesn’t work.”

Meanwhile, Morello has also sounded a warning to Hives, The Strokes

and Hives

in the week the long-awaited album by Audioslave – the band made up of Morello, his RATM

cohorts Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk and former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell – is finally released.

He said: “There is nothing like the Audioslave album on the radio, there is nothing like it in clubs. It is very different to everything in the current climate. There was a Rolling Stone magazine cover recently with Hives and Strokes

and [a][/a]

and it said ‘Rock Is Back’. Now I really like those bands, but if people think that’s rock, well…

“Whether our album sells ten copies or ten million copies, I feel we’ve done our job. It rocks like [last red Indian chief to die uncaptured by American forces] Cochise on the warpath. We meld Chris’ undeniable voice with riffage to smack the kids around the head.”