Commentaries and Analyses Index

A World Of Double Standards

LUSAKA, May 17 - Those who commit crimes against others should be made to account for their crimes.

Those who have killed others in Iraq - be they Iraqis, Americans, Britons or any other nationality - if they can be traced, should be brought to book. But it should be clear to all that vengeance is different from justice, and it can never be justice.

At the beginning of these hostilities, we warned that it was unwise to start endless wars which may lead to the endless killing of people. And those who started these endless wars should be made to account for their part in what is going on in Iraq.

Mr. George Bush and Mr. Tony Blair have to be made accountable for what is going on. They started an endless war that was not sanctioned by the United Nations, and this war has led to the deaths of so many people, Americans, the British and other nationals.

When they started this war, their justification was to destroy Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. When they realised that these weapons could not be found and charges could not proved, they skilfully switched - in their usual fashion - their justification for the war to topple Saddam's dictatorship.

They were not willing to listen to any voices in the United States or anywhere else opposed to the war. They even turned a blind eye to the mass demonstrations and some of the world's most respected voices, all in the pursuit of the killings.

The only solution in their eyes was killing. So clearly, there is no way Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair can totally be absolved from crimes being committed in Iraq today. They unleasehed a wave of killings which today are getting out of control - now they are looking to the United Nations and other nations to take over their mess and be jointly answerable for it.

If the new world order that the United States and its allies are seeking is to be brought about by the gun, they can rest be assured that it will be resisted and challenged by the gun, by killings. Violence begets violence, killings beget killings.

None of the problems the world is facing today, including that of terrorism, can be solved by unleashing endless wars. these problems require global cooperation among all nations, weak and strong.

Hegemony based on military might will never solve these problems and we hope that those who were naive enough to be deceived at the begining of this endless war last year can now see why the conscious world, the world that believes in peaceful solutions to all problems was opposed to the war.

Killings will not stop in Iraq for a long time to come unless a totally new approach is taken by the international community - what is also worrying is that in the midst of all this, those who think with guns in their brains are creating a pretext for similar action against Cuba. No one is saying the world should close its eyes to the violations of human rights but what we are saying is that violations of human rights can be addressed by higher forms of respect for humanity, more respect for life than what we are seeing from the Americans today.

And after the barbarism the world has seen over the past week on television from pictures of torture emerging from from Iraq, who can rightly claim to be clean from human rights violations and blindly point an accusing finger to others?

There's need for the world to sorberly reflect on violations of human rights which only tend to emerge from developed countries accusing the poor nations of the Third World. All the time we are the ones being accused of violating human rights when it is they who are violating people's rights.

It is explained in their way as an act of a few indisciplined soldiers even when it is clear that it is a systematic torture. Imagine what outcry we would have and military invasions we would have seen if the torture by the Americans was done by others on Americans.

This is the world we live in, a world of double standards.

The Post / allAfrica Global Media

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