HOW magnanimous: two men who many believe should be charged with war crimes agree that an innocent man can serve his sentence in his own country.

Deadpan — and revealingly — US VP Dick Cheney, on TV, didn’t even mention a trial for David Hicks. He seemed oblivious that all trials in democratic societies can have three outcomes: guilty, innocent or something in between (mistrial, hung jury etc).

Cheney simply said that Hicks “can serve his sentence in Australia”.

The TV station, highly subjectively, had headlined its news of the Hicks decision as a “breakthrough” achieved by PM John Howard.

What kind of a breakthrough is this? It’s doubtful that Hicks sees it as much of a breakthrough. Whatever his sins, he still appears to be guilty of nothing that contravenes the valid laws of a democratic country.

And Hicks has already spent more than five years in obscene conditions in a hellhole created by the executive of the “greatest democracy on Earth”; and almost certainly he has been subjected frequently to treatment that, under the Geneva Convention, would qualify as torture.

What irony: these two men, Cheney and Howard, issued this “breakthrough” news on Hicks merely as a sidelight to a far more important problem with which they are struggling.

They, and other GWB cronies, have the job of cobbling together yet another piece of spin to deal with the nagging problem the “coalition of the willing” is having talking its way out of what will possibly prove, 93 years from now, to have been the greatest international military/political bungle of the 21st century.

The US’s ill-advised, tragic and deceitful adventure into Iraq was in defiance of the United Nations, a body inspired by the US half a century ago to keep world peace.

It is an adventure that has resulted in the deaths of possibly hundreds of thousands of people and in an agonising existence for millions of Iraqis, of whom opinion polls now suggest they are thinking it was better the devil they knew . . .

The spoils they say go to the victors. For George W. Bush’s Moronica, they are proving bittersweet rewards.

Maybe, when the dust settles, when the last coalition fighting forces have been withdrawn from Iraq, the citizens of each of the “willing” countries will look inwards at the “leaders” who took them into the quagmire that Iraq was to become.

Magnanimously, they might then decide that once those people have been fairly tried for their behaviour they can all serve their sentences in the country of their citizenship.

Now that would be irony.

Bob Hawkins
26/02/07

Bob Hawkins

What irony: these two men, Cheney and Howard, issued this “breakthrough” news on Hicks merely as a sidelight to a far more important problem with which they are struggling.They, and other GWB cronies, have the job of cobbling together yet another piece of spin to deal with the nagging problem the “coalition of the willing” is having talking its way out of what will possibly prove, 93 years from now, to have been the greatest international military/political bungle of the 21st century.