Monday, 23 August 2010

The vengeance bandwagon

Now Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has jumped on the vengeance bandwagon. She maintains that the families of Lockerbie victims have been denied justice because a year ago the Scottish justice minister released the only person to have been convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Libyan Abdul Baset Al Megrahi.

Released on compassionate grounds in keeping with Scottish law, his mistake was he refused to die on cue. Instead of expiring within the proscribed three-months, he is lingering on thanks to new and innovative treatment. His longevity is offensive to Clinton, who blames Scotland for not keeping him behind bars until his last breath.

Apart from the fact that a slew of legal experts have deemed Al Megrahi's conviction as potentially unsafe, such bloodlust coming from a cultured woman politician is unseemly at best and, at worst, vulgar or ghoulish.

I'm reminded of Genghis Khan, who put the head of one of his enemies on a pole as a victory trophy and paraded it through village after village or, more recently, the US military that ensured that the corpses of Saddam's sons made it to our screens.

Clinton is now calling for Al Megrahi to serve out his sentence while the British government has warned Libya not to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his homecoming, although every Libyan believes in his innocence and he is considered a hero for sacrificing his freedom to enable his country to rejoin the international community. Whether he survives for three months or three years is neither here nor there in the great scheme of things.

[From an article on the Gulf News website by Linda S Heard, a specialist writer on Middle East affairs.]

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