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Monthly Archives: August 2008

flag_hammerThis week we saw the first decision by the Military Tribunals set up in Guantanamo Bay with the long awaited conviction of Hamdan, for driving the wrong person.

As a result of a year of intense PIL, I find myself caring strongly about this. Having researched it for a year, I’ve gained an appreciation of how essential these instruments are to save people from the cruelty of war, and the malice of states.

I could outline what specific provisions are breached, and how they are breached. It wouldn’t help if I did. It wouldn’t bandage the feeling of  futility.

In the end, all I have is a prayer.

I pray that one day this madness will end. That we will look back, and see the torture of Guantanamo and the cynical mockery of justice come to an end. 

I pray that the ideal of law and the logic of rights are reclaimed from those who would manipulate both for their own gain  who  seek to use the nobility of civil society to imprison its members.

I pray that History will look back and mock Bush and his show trials, with the same mocking satire, that same derision with which Stalin and his show trials are condemned.

I pray that this is not too much to ask.

I have stricken the following words from my vocabulary:

  • So…
  • Just…
  • But…
  • Although…
  • Isn’t it…
  • Doesn’t this…

They’re the gateways into the darker more argumentative side of me that I no longer want.

They’re dismissive words, designed to downplay words. They’re rebuttal words, designed to provide the foundation from which a counter assault will be launched. They’re words that implicitly reject another person’s point of view.

That’s not how you should treat people. That’s not how I want to treat people.

I want to create space in which we can have a discussion.

A discussion free of the polemics of argument, the posturing of positions and the relentless circulation of logic.