measure of a man

at any given moment, i am harbouring profound disappointment in a dozen or so men, half of whom are guys i know personally. that is nothing new. but i mostly do my disappointment in private. lately, the royal we appears to be publicly disappointed in several public men. as a big fan of accountability, i guess i should be pleased.

as soon as it began, the trial of saddam hussein was adjourned so the defense can prepare its case (because two years in detainment is apparently not enough time to devise some sort of plan). reports go on and on about hussein's appearance or about how "the people" of iraq are are elated or livid about the trial. but no one seems to be reporting on the real injustice which is that he is being tried in a non-descript iraqi courtroom instead of at the icc.

it makes me cringe to agree with hussein himself who refused to even confirm his name for a judge and trial that he considers illegitimate. sickeningly, the man's got a point. my feelings on this have litte to do with my lingering disgust with the gong show that was his capture, it's timing and manner. it has more to do with the fact that this dinky trial seems part of an ongoing shell game - the programming of the masses by the white house - slight of hand, distraction, smoke and mirrors, and all that shit. how the fuck are we supposed to take any of this seriously when he's been held in an american base all this time and now the trial starts in the midst of american occupation in a location where americans are still, despite appearances, in charge?

to the almighty american freedom fighters who conveniently pulled hussein out of a hole when we were all at the edge of our seats waiting for bin laden and/or a wmd and who now want us to admire in awe the justice being done instead of questioning the legitimacy of the so-called war in iraq: give me a fucking break. listen, i'd love nothing more than for this man to answer for the atrocities he oversaw. but if you are so damn eager to proclaim yourselves arbiters of justice, then put your money where your mouth is and get him tried in the hague.

there was something oddly sad about seeing sadaam trussed up in a white play pen glaring sleepily at the judge. i won't say i felt sorry for him, but i will say that i feel sorry about the whole thing. that it happened under such fucked up circumstances and will play itself out under more of the same. that now that he's up for scrutiny, we can't do it up right. that the icc continues to be undermined such that it can't just stroll over to so-and-so jail cell and pluck out an international criminal and just say "thanks ever so much, we'll take it from here."

meanwhile, closer to home, the man at the center of "gumgate" testified before the parliamentary standing committee on government operations and estimates, waving a pack of dentyne ice in the air and claiming he is a "victim" of misrepresentations. i see him as a mere stand-in, a man being measured in place of larger more nebulus targets that can't be neatly made to take the fall, can't be hung out to dry, can't be squeezed into a witness chair. i'm not convinced that anyone other than the conservative caucus gives a good christ about how many meals or breath fresheners the guy charged to his expense account. most of us are just salivating for a little frickin' justice. and so people who need political points have scrambled over to dingwall. for the moment. i'm not suggesting that some (most?) of these hang-men deserve what they get. what i'm saying is that these temporary 'hits' shot into our collective arm by ethics commissioners and auditors are like the methadone of justice: poor substitutes intended to wean us off the real fucking thing.

so i guess i'm neither pleased nor relieved to see these men measured this way. i can't shake the feeling that what these resource-sucking legal proceedings and public grillings really serve are political agendae and/or the need to provide temporary relief to a society that is craving desperately for justice that is truly blind.


Post a Comment

<< Home