Sunday, August 23, 2009

William Calley and Abdel Magrahi case and International hypocrisy

First let us take the case of William Calley. There is no question of him being a mass-murderer. He killed over 500 innocent women and children in the village of My Lai in Vietnam. He admitted to having done it. He was charged, tried and was never put in jail. He is and has been a hero for some Americans. Up to recently he showed no remorse. Now he says he is sorry and that he followed bad orders.

Now let us look at Abdel Magrahi of Libya and the Lockerbie bombing killing 243 passenger including 11 people on the ground. If the allegations against him are true then he is a very despicable individual. However, he has denied involvement to this day. Even Scottish authorities and some relatives of victims believe that there may be others who were involved. So there are some doubts about this man being guilty. I have no specific opinion on him being released. If it was done on purely humanitarian reasons then one feels respect for Scottish authorities and their humanitarianism. However if he was part of some oil and gas deal with Libya then you be the judge that how money rules the justice system and every other aspect of our lives.

Nonetheless the hypocrisy, especially that of the American administration, is remarkable. William Calley goes free and that is okay, however if Magrahi is let go because he is going to die within months anyway because of prostate cancer then it is a mockery of justice according to the FBI Director Robert Mueller. Similar views have been expressed by other high officials including Barack Obama. I believe that America must overcome its hypocrisy if it wants any respect in the world. As long there is such blatant hypocrisy and lack of equal respect for all human beings there will be no peace in this world and without peace we will continue to live in a horrible world.

Finally both massacres were hideous and both parties must be equally punished under international law or under civilized national laws.

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  1. Excellent post my friend, but we should make one important distinction, in fiarness to the U.S.

    Calley was put on trial and convicted. I'm not sure what the charges were (i.e. manslaughter, murder, etc.), or if the sentencing judge took any exigeant circumstances into consideration, but that is not my point.

    The point is that you cannot just expect the president of the U.S. to just throw him in jail. All you can ask for is that he be given a fair trial. If the trial judge made a mistake (which we both know never happens ;-)), then so be it.

    If it weren't for the fact that the army first tried to cover up the Mai Lai massacre, this incident could have served as an example of how civilized nations conduct themselves during wartime.

    As a general or leader of your country, you cannot help it if one or several of your soldiers go berzerk from wartime trauma and commit an atrocity, but you can see to it that they are prosecuted for their crimes. Too bad that was not the case for Mai lai. In fact, in that case there is no telling how far up the chain of cammand the orders came from.

  2. Fish, thank you buddy for the comment. I don’t differ with you that much as I did say that a guilty party in cases like these must be equally punished under an international law or civilized national laws. Something screwy did happen in the case of Calley as he was let go.

    Moreover, I should add that after the disintegration of USSR the only superpower left in the world is US and it can set good examples how it conducts itself nationally and internationally. It can only lead if it influences the world by the power of setting good examples and not by sheer power. It has set some horrible examples during Vietnam War and now in Iraq and Afghanistan – torture and mass murder indeed is not a good example.