Thursday, June 30, 2005

Operation Margarine

Dear Jesus, why are Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Friedman et al. sooo 1957? The sociologists say we're experiencing a cultural return to the 1950's (only without the jazz, the Beats, or anything even moderately courageous.) Well at least there's some hope, for soap!

On the other hand, there is the World Tribunal on Iraq, currently wrapping up somewhere (in a cave?) in Istanbul (God, is Arundhati Roy beautiful––all philosophic objections to the obscene preponderance of the author photo are thus temporarily suspended).

In the words of the great sentimentalist John Berger:
The records have to be kept and, by definition, the perpetrators, far from keeping records, try to destroy them. They are killers of the innocent and of memory. The records are required to inspire still further the mounting opposition to the new global tyranny. The new tyrants, incomparably over-armed, can win every war - both military and economic. Yet they are losing the war (this is how they call it) of communication. They are not winning the support of world public opinion. More and more people are saying NO. Finally this will be the tyranny's undoing. But after how many more tragedies, invasions and collateral disasters? After how much more of the new poverty the tyranny engenders? Hence the urgency of keeping records, of remembering, of assembling the evidence, so that the accusations become unforgettable, and proverbial on every continent. More and more people are going to say NO, for this is the precondition today for saying YES to all we are determined to save and everything we love.

Update: Here are the World Tribunal's Findings:
The Jury also provided a number of recommendations that include recognising the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country and to develop independent institutions, and affirming that the right to resist the occupation is the right to wage a struggle for self-determination, freedom, and independence as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, we the Jury of Conscience declare our solidarity with the people of Iraq and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the coalition forces from Iraq.

The Istanbul session of the WTI lasted three days and presented testimony on the illegality and criminal violations in the U.S. pretexts for and conduct of this war. The expert opinion, witness testimony, video and image evidence addressed the impact of war on civilians, the torture of prisoners, the unlawful imprisonment of Iraqis without charges or legal defence, the use of depleted uranium weapons, the effects of the war on Iraq's infrastructure, the destruction of Iraqi cultural institutions and the liability of the invaders in international law for failing to protect these treasures of humanity.

The session in Istanbul was the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. Sessions on different topics related to the war on Iraq were held in London, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Brussels, New York, Japan, Stockholm, South Korea, Rome, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon and Spain.

They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence on the illegality of the invasion and occupation that will be recorded in a forthcoming book.

Update Again: And here's John Pilger on comparing the "public" receptions of the World Tribunal and the G8 affair.

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