Monday, 24 August 2015

Trials and retribution

A consensus has emerged in society that senior figures from the British regime must face trial over their actions in the illegal invasion and occupation, and subsequent mass slaughter in Iraq.

It seems inevitable that at least the reviled former prime minister, Tony Blair, will at some stage be tried formally for Crimes Against Peace, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide. The favourite to become Britain's main opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, views the aggression as illegal, and is on record as supporting a war crimes suit against Blair. Mr Corbyn has further promised to make an official apology on behalf of Labour, and it would not be a huge stretch of the imagination to see him apologising to the United Nations and the Republic of Iraq on behalf of the United Kingdom should he become prime minister.

It is no great surprise that screeches of outrage are being heard from the British army. Retired colonel Richard Kemp whined" [Corbyn] would not only be telling those troops and their families their sacrifice was for nothing, but also that their actions were illegal, immoral and dishonourable".

Mr Kemp should cop himself on. The sacrifice was indeed for nothing save the aggrandisement of Tony Blair. The reason given for the war at the time was that the Iraqi government, like the British, oossessed weapons of mass destruction. Ultimately, this was shown not only to be untrue, but that the British regime knew it to be untrue even whilst using it as their casus belli. 

Some irascibilem deniers have chosen to try to justify the attack in retrospect by pointing out that it ended the rule of Saddam Hussein. And whilst it is true that the only secular Arab leader was toppled and then murdered, it led directly to a power vacuum, a sectarian civil war with factions enthusiastically armed by the British, and political instability. But at the time, it was expressly denied that the removal of Saddam Hussein for refusing to use the US Dollar in international financial oil transactions having nuclear bombs which could hit London with just fifteen minutes' notice was the purpose of the war.

These war crimes trials against senior regime figures should include the most important surviving military and political figures of the regime. This trial should take place within the territory of Iraq, under international law.

But what to do with those who actually fired the bullets and slaughtered civilians; who knew of torture and murder and by whose silence were complicit in crimes against humanity?

Since 1945, the precedent in international law is that Befehl ist Befehl is no longer an exculpatory defence, but merely one which would lessen the punishment of those who committed crimes against peace.

It wouldn't be right, though, to subject British soldiers to similar punishment to those who caused the war, those who lied to ensure they could have a war, and those who carefully planned the overthrow of a sovereign government and its replacement with a Western puppet regime.

Instead, wouldn't it be much better to hold internal trials in the United Kingdom of those British troops who engaged in action they knew or suspected to be contrary to international law, and to fully express our national desire to atone in a tangible way by sentencing them to a community service-style reconstruction work, building roads, railways and other infrastructure they destroyed? A sentence of one day for each week they took any part in the war would seem fair. Restorative justice, directly benefiting the society they destroyed is a suitable way to atone.

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Several BBC Scotland journalists are piling into the Nick "Dick" Robinson bandwagon this week, wailing piteously that people just don't understand them.

Robinson, infamously, was caught telling an outright lie about then-First Minister Alex Salmond in an desperate attempt by the BBC political editor and former Conservative and Unionist party member to influence the result of the independence referendum in the desperate last few days.

It had its desired effect, with hundreds of simple-minded zoomers descending on BBC Scotland's headquarters on the final Saturday of the campaign, causing Unionsists to celebrate in amazed disbelief that over a thousand pro-independence activists were abandoning the campaign on the day where by far the most voter contacts would be made, in the city whose vote and turnout would decide the vote.

In the event, Glasgow's disappointing turnout contributed massively to the pro-democracy side's defeat. The lower estimate of the number of loons who decided to spend the last Saturday of the campaign standing in a Govan car park screeching hysterically at the bemused janny of an empty building while the rest of us (and all the Unionists) were chapping doors, staffing 'phone banks and running street stalls was two thousand.

On that Saturday, the momentum had turned. The result of the referendum was now dependent on whether we could push the momentum hard and fast enough. At a low rate of voter contact of one every three minutes, four hours worth of canvassing by two thousands people would have reached 160.000 voters. We lost by 380.000.  If we had inspired 160.000 voters on that Saturday- and people were wanting to be persuaded at that stage - we would have been just 220.000 behind. Could we have got 110.000 switchers in the last week with that momentum behind us instead of taking activists off the campaign to shout at a glass box? I think so.

The most frustrating thing is that the moon units were right about the BBC. It was biased. But it would still have been biased on the Saturday after the referendum. They should have gone to shout at it then.

The BBC was biased in many ways. Mostly insidious sneakery, but often openly biased. 

The most egregious example of the latter, of course, was Nick Robinson's outright lie about Alex Salmond. But other things, such as having panels on political shows with three or four Unionists against one democrat; giving Gordon Brown unfettered, on-demand access to its TV network with no Yes right of reply; and piping ostensibly non-political shows onto BBC Scotland which mocked the idea of independence with no right of reply. The BBC also, deliberately, refused to recognise the fundamentally non-party, mass-movement nature of the Yes campaign, presenting it almost invariably as the SNP, when by the middle of August, the National party had become a complete bystander in the campaign outside the TV studios.

If we want to win next time, the BBC must be dealt with. It is the British State's in-house broadcaster, reliant on the British State for its existence, reach and income. It is always in the interest of the BBC for the British State to be as strong and healthy as possible. 

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