Ovi -
we cover every issue
Visit Ovi bookshop - Free eBooks  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
Stop human trafficking
Ovi Language
George Kalatzis - A Family Story 1924-1967
The Breast Cancer Site
Murray Hunter: Opportunity, Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Stop human trafficking
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
Fair and unfair
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-03-13 08:36:29
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon
Two people were sentenced to prison this week in Iraq in a very twisted move of justice. Muntadar al-Zaidi was sentenced to three years in prison, while Tariq Aziz, Saddam’s former foreign minister, was jailed for fifteen years for his role in the execution of forty-two merchants. I suppose seeing it cynically and remembering that justice is blind both sentences seem fair and unfair at the same time. The unfairness of the decision lays on ethics and the fair on the crime.

How fair is it to be sentenced to three years in prison because you demonstrated your disgust for somebody who, according to the accused, destroyed his country? How fair is this accusation or how unfair is it in this case is not up to judges but up to history to decide and unfortunately for Mr. al-Zaidi when it comes to history the process is very slow, especially the winners write history.

It is sad that I will have to go back to WWII but it makes a good example. Over sixty years after there are hundreds of books published every year and thousands of articles written all around the world referring to the atrocities from the Nazis but how rarely do you read what the winners did? How often do you read the fact that even the allies sometimes pushed it just too much or they crossed the line? We have all seen photos of the bombed Coventry but how often, if ever, have we seen photos of the flattened Dresden? The bombing of Dresden is actually dramatic and the pain it caused is unbelievable and of course it didn’t change much the cause of the war, after all it happened in mid February 1945 when the German army was withdrawing and the Nazi paranoia was reaching the end. Apparently none of the leading Nazis was dead the only ones to die were over 40,000 civilians.

To give you a better idea, a lot of history books including Britannica encyclopaedia had no references of the fact until the late-50s, they intentionally covered it up. But when Coventry was bombed photos and reports started going all around the world with the speed of light and remember that that period there was no television, CNN or internet. There is something ironic and at the same time tragically similar in the case of Iraq. Of course we all know what Saddam did and we learned it fast and on time to decide that something had to be done with the monster and his regime. But it took the tabloids and the internet to find out that the liberators pushed the sovereigns into a new situation. Of course the demands had raised as well, you don’t go to a country to liberate the people promising freedom and then act as an invader. Again I have to remind that this has nothing to do with Saddam and his regime that had to end.

Saddam’s regime was a nightmare for humanity. The man and his criminal squad not only terrorised the country, bullied their neighbours but they actually practiced genocide against the Kurds. Tariq Aziz was not just a part of this regime but he had a leading role and he was there when decision were taken, he was part of the decisions. He had the chance form the very beginning to separate himself from the regime from the very beginning, after all his defence has emphasize his education and his religious beliefs often in the court, sadly exactly his believes and education are one more reason he should have never participated in all these crimes and he could actually blamed for betrayal to all he was suppose to represent.

The execution of forty-two merchants is not his crime is one of his many crimes and the fifteen years might look a small punishment but combine with all the other cases he is accused for and all the other sentences he’s going to get you might say that justice was served. Fairly? Yes and no. fifteen years in prison is not enough for the families of the forty-two men and in a case of a serial killer for example the punishment would have been far more serious.

But back to Muntadar al-Zaidi, the man threw a shoe at George W. Bush expressing his frustration and disappointment of what has happened after the liberation in Iraq, expressing his disappointment of the freedom that hasn’t come yet and the security for him and his family and friends that probably is a long way away. He didn’t throw a bomb, he didn’t try to shoot he just symbolically threw a shoe aware of his act the result. Actually the man has expressed in this unique way the feeling of a lot of Iraqis and that’s why in days he became a saint and martyr the same time. But and this is a big but, he acted wrong.

The act was violent and this is not the way to demonstrate your opposition in a democratic country. Of course the people sensing the fairness of his act supported him and of course the ones who look pathetic were the president’s bodyguards and bullies who attacked and started hitting the man while television cameras were recording. Most likely and due to good behaviour and past life the man will be free in a couple of months.

Muntadar al-Zaidi and Tariq Aziz’s stories, court cases and sentences have nothing similar even though their cases were parallel. Fair and unfair will be in the minds and the hearts of the people and I think if we include that justice has been served.

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi