By Nadim Mahjoub
British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at his Tory party spring conference in Cardiff, repeated his call for "Gaddafi to go".
"On Libya, our strategy is clear," he said. "We will continue to intensify pressure on the regime. We will continue to state clearly that international justice has a long reach and a long memory, and that those who commit crimes against humanity will not go unpunished. We will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by this crisis, and continue to demand access for aid agencies to reach those in need. (Guardian (UK), 06 March 2011)
David Cameron, along with his Liberal Democrat coalition partners, is carrying out attacks on the working people in Britain, attacks on their living standards never seen before. Here he is mouthing about “international justice” that has a "long memory". Does international justice mean shouldering the theft of more than a trillion pound by the banks worldwide on the working people and the future generation who are not responsible for the crisis in the first place?
No long time ago, the rulers of Britain under the new Labour Government and with the support of the Conservatives supported the war on Iraq which has led to the death of more than a million people and left the country in a mess.
Not a long time ago International Justice” waged a war on Yugoslavia. The claimed objective was to end the ethnic cleansing. In fact, the effect was to break up Yugoslavia, the last of the countries of the former Eastern bloc not fallen into the imperialist orbit of capitalist democracy. Both the war on Iraq and the war on Yugoslavia were launched without a United Nations resolution.
This International Justice has supported “the only democracy in the Middle East” in its killing of the Palestinians, robbing their land bit by bit, and imprisoning a whole population by imposing on them an apartheid system.
This International Justice that “has a long reach and a long memory” is the one that established Guantanamo Bay and other prison camps, that set up rendition to Eastern and Middle Eastern countries, and gave a free hand to Ben Ali, Ghaddafi, Mubarak and others to torture and imprison “suspects” without trial.
How long does this international Justice go back in history? 50 years? 100 years? 300 years? Does it go back to the British empire era during which even people in Britain did not enjoy “justice”, human rights were a privilege for the rich, and most of the population did not have the right to vote. Or, was “international justice” the transportation of human beings to work as slaves in the plantations of the empire so that capital could be accumulated, or the transporting “criminals” to Australia?
Does the International Justice that the British Prime Minister is boasting of mean the carving of the Middle East into kingdoms and fiefdoms, installing sheiks and dictators, arming and cuddling up to them? Does “international justice” mean the exploitation of the oil wealth of these countries and guaranteeing that both oil and money come to London, Paris and New York?
Does International justice” mean that a simple person running from persecution is denied asylum whereas a Russian oligarch who stole billions of pounds from the Russian people is welcomed and defended?
What is this “international Justice that has made the gap between the rich and the poor the largest ever in history and imposed capitalist policies which not only enslaved billions of people, but caused wars, civil wars in many countries and the dislocation of millions of people. What International Justice can be spoken of where half of the world’s population live under $2 a day?
A Czech proverb accurately expresses the hypocrisy of “world leaders” like David Cameron who speak about punishing dictators: “big thieves hang the small ones.”