A weird couple of days for justice
It's been a weird couple of days for justice. On the same day that we hear that Charles Taylor is to go to prison for 50 years, Julian Assange gets sent back to Sweden to answer the charge of sexual impropriety that is, obviously, in no way politically motivated and was just an unnusual coincidence that it popped up within days of the Wikileaks explosion last year.
At the same time innocent people die from earthquakes in Italy and Mugabe is honoured by, get this, the UN's World Tourism Organisation, as being a leader in promoting tourism and on the other side of the globe a weird, transparently horrible and all-round disgusting person is chosen as the man who could be president of (what some people still think of as) the most powerful and advanced nation in the world. What to make of all this? In fact, although I had some idea where this was all going when I started writing this, as I look back over these few strangenesses, I'm not actually sure anymore.
I'm a bit shocked, if truth be told. Is everybody crazy except me? What? Oh yes, I see what you mean. Let me rephrase that. Is everybody crazy?
I ask this, obviously, in a reasonably playful way, drawing some sense of Thompsonesque amusement from the whole sorry charade but actually, it's a reasonable question. Whether or not there's a god etc etc, still one would think that we humans, able to put a man on the moon and to design a car that can check whether our fridges have any sausages in them while it communicates with other cars in order to keep all the cars not crashing into each other and at the same time plan the demise of mankind, could try and make a world in which things, well, make sense. But they don't. I mean, the only good bit in the above as far as I'm concerned is that Mr. Taylor is going off to jail, but to be honest I think he should really be torn limb from limb, and really really slowly so that he's in incredible pain for a very very long time, and even then that wouldn't really do it. But the rest? 'kin ell. Surely, people, hallo, I'm talking to you, yes, you, the mass of mankind over there looking around pretending that you can't hear me. Surely we can construct a world in which it's obvious and without need of argument to agree that the Mr. Taylors of this world get torn apart by horses while the Mr. Mugabes sit and wait for their turn, where the Mr. Assads of this world are punished in a way that would fit the crime, lord knows what that would be, and where nation states that profess to be a leading light of democracy and fairness don't resort to underhand legal tactics to deal with people that have royally pissed them off (without, obviously, mentioning the twin elephants in the living room of uncontrolled drone attacks and executing criminals...which, I might add, puts them
in a small but impressive team of nations including such leading lights of human social advancement as Iran, North Korea and China....Hmm.)
No, it's now late at night as I write this and I can't make any sense of the above. It's not right. It's not acceptable.
I really think that we should be better than this.
Article by Noel Maurice