Only kidding. There’s no rush.
(As soon as I find the source I’ll add it.)
Those who believed that the physical and sexual abuse perpetrated at Abu Ghraib under the US occupation put Bush in the same camp as Saddam have questions to answer. They refuse to rise to the challenge because they know their position is untenable – both morally, and factually. Spoiled children of democracies will always run into the hands of local criminals if it leads to the derision of those who brought them up.
Some more uncomfortable details for them:
The US soldier who murdered 16 Afghan villagers last year has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Staff Sgt Robert Bales, 40, opened fire on men, children and women during the attack in Kandahar on 11 March 2012.
He pleaded guilty to the massacre in June to avoid the death penalty.
He apologised during his sentencing hearing at a Washington state military base on Thursday, calling the attack an “act of cowardice”.
Sgt Bales had been making a case for why he should one day be eligible for parole, which would have meant he could have been released in 20 years.
The reason Bradley (Chelsea) Manning’s revelations caused such discomfort for humanitarians was because of the American government’s silence on the crimes in which they are now to be indicted; it might not have happened here, thankfully, but unspoken awareness is simply a step away from tacit approval. (No law exists allowing an official in the US government to overthrow other elected presidents, yet Henry Kissinger is still a free man.) It seems like a betrayal, it saddens me to say, in the same league as Pope Benedict’s to his followers, his refusal to cooperate with secular judiciaries on allegations of pedophilia leading to its institutionalisation and the blackened reputation of every humane priest. Justice, it seems, can lose its eternal authority at the whim of politicians courting the approval of their audience.
But, please – perspective.
To demand political transparency is as much a right as an imperative; but compare, for simply a moment, whatever supposed crimes of which the democracy and the dictatorship are charged. Assad’s recent chemical attack outside Damascus is a momentary echo of Saddam’s message to Halabja in 1988. The news of Sgt Bales’ imprisonment, meanwhile, is like valley to desert.
Failures in Iraq say nothing of our urgency to act in Syria.
We’ve seen children crying with joy before the presence of Kim Jong-Un; we’ve seen “ex-gay converts” profess, with equal joy, to have abolished their sinful desires; we’ve seen children playing in the wreckage of a tsunami. Sometimes we are inspired, and in other times we have no choice but to face-palm until it hurts.
But I don’t think we’ve evolved an emotion for President Assad joining instagram:
In fairness to the poor bloke, young rapscallions do keep tearing down his posters. As of yet commentators are unsure why he has become the target of so much harassment.
Sanity is for the mad.
To the most blatant evils in this world, there is invariably an edge of absurdity:
“To be frank, Britain has played a famously unconstructive role in our region on different issues for decades, some say for centuries … The problem with this government is that their shallow and immature rhetoric only highlights this tradition of bullying and hegemony.
“How can we ask Britain to play a role while it is determined to militarise the problem? How can we expect them to make the violence less while they want to send military supply to the terrorists?”
Meanwhile, while we consider whether we ought to be helping the secularists amongst Assad’s opponents, let’s remember how His Benevolence has transformed his countrymen for the better. Dina Shahrokhi writes:
The Syria I knew was one of the most beautiful places in the world. The heart-warming people, the beautiful landscapes, the scrumptious food, the ancient treasures – there was nothing not to love about Sham.
When I lived in Damascus less than five years ago, foreigners would come with cameras, not with guns. During my summer nights we also complained about the ruckus outside, but rather than bombs and bullets we would scathe at streams of honking cars celebrating a wedding.
My Syria smelled not of blood and war, but of jasmine that covered the country in the summertime.