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Victors' justice

By Owen Paine on Monday March 2, 2009 01:31 PM

Our blog-Father's close personal comrade de plume -- Alex the red-nosed green ranger -- the Doctor Who of transatlantic drawing-room pinko roughhousers -- has an interesting speculation in a recent Counterpunch piece. Here's the marvelous unswallowed lead:

"Is it even remotely possible that senior officials in the Bush administration -- maybe even at least one of the top two -- will be the target of public war crime hearings and even criminal prosecutions, here in the United States? From dismissal only a few months ago by leading Democrats in Washington as unthinkable, the glorious possibility can at least be glimpsed in the middle distance, like the mountain lion I saw here a decade ago in the twilight, loping off into the brush."
A glimpse of a glorious avenging cougar -- impeachment goes into sudden death overtime? This is odd, in light of Don Cockburn's record of good sense, as detailed a bit further on:
"The posture of your CounterPunch editors: impeachment... consumed far too much energy, not to mention expectation."
Exactly! So, dear sir, when you-all got it right the first time, why be seduced now?

If that weren't bemusing enough, Alex ends -- after a swaybacked dabble in amateur prosecution -- with this hobgoblin of a line:

"If Pelosi feels it politically meet to open the door a crack, we should welcome the opportunity."
"Meet"! Pelosi as Caiaphas? Well, if the ephod fits....

Here's the Paine sense of it all: show trials of any dimension always trump real justice if you happen to be into a self serving vamp. I submit that's a proposition the last century bore out in spades and on both class flanks.

But back in the here and now, going after a few big washed-up elephant heads -- well, what with market earth crumbling faster then our sacred infrastructure, maybe it is in fact politically "meet" for the shrewder among the corporate trolls to betray a few of their classmates in order to save their class. Better one die than the whole people perish, as Caiaphas himself observed.

It's great to be top of the heap but sometimes you gotta do nasty stuff to stay there.

Comments (4)


There IS a difference between Impeachment and a Congressional investigation/hearing. One Congressmember said awhile ago they just don't have the resources to prepare an impeachment trial, and it would take at least a year to launch one.

Forget about the higher ups, I'd like to see a few colonels and generals lose their stars for Abu Ghraib, and hapless Lindie England and her child set free.

'Show Trial" is the operative concept -- deflecting attention, creating an illusion, the goal.

Peter Ward:

I'm not sure any elite would welcome the possibility that he or she might be one day tried as a war criminal. Their letting one or two individuals take one for the team as it were seems an unlikely strategy. I think it represents a response to public pressure and is significant for it--they know they can't ignore us completely. And from a humane perspective these crimes are vastly worse than the economic crisis therefore ought regarded as a priority it would seem.

(The problem I have re: the focus on Abu Ghraid is that it misses the crucial point: that the whole invasion was a criminal atrocity and illegitimate--invading a country is illegal period--not legitimate in principle but with a few transgressions committed. Presumably any tribunal--and this is were we need to be on guard--would try to legitimize the war while punishing "war crimes".)


"they know they can't ignore us completely"

why mr ward they never ignore us
they love us as brothers and sisters

afraid of revolution???

hey they weathered the last century
what's liable to be a tougher
about this one ???

fear of arrest by the french ???

its been 215 years or so
since that sounded scarey ....unless
your a north african prole

next you'll be scaring em
with threats of swedish justice


"from a humane perspective these crimes are vastly worse than the economic crisis "

true humanism comes from material secure
u yourself i suspect
could be
exhibit A

your cart is b4 your horse comrade

the crimes of every day life are driven by conditions of every day life

most times ..including iraq i submit
the armed and extremely dangerous
escapades of empire with all their
colorful terror
shrivel to quibbles in comparison
with the market earth hegemony
of the limited liability trans nats

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