RE: The Real Weapon

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 15:05:35 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: The Real Weapon
    Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 15:05:35 +0100
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            Hi Chris,

            <What really pisses me off is that if it wasn't for the bloody oil
    > companies and weapons manufacturers profiting from all the nonsense we
    > go through, we might have developed better energy sources by now anyway.>
            We cannot indeed ignore the long reach of captial into many of the
    world's disputes and conflicts. I have to say the cynicnism which Boeing,
    Virgin and British Airways have displayed in exploiting these events to sack
    thousands of workers they would never have got away with sacking before
    quite extraordinary. I'm not sure though that even the US government would
    be cynical enough to allow the attack to happen to give them carte blanche
    for what they've always wanted to do the Bin Laden and his ilk, as this
    rumour suggests. I expect part of conventional routine US diplomacy has
    been to warn of possible security threats when meeting allies, in recent
    months perhaps these have been stepped up to try and win internatial support
    for the missile defence network.

            <Btw remember the Falklands? One of the few 'simple' wars (where you
    > actually could bomb/shoot your way to success, although diplomatic
    > channels could have prevented it all, and the US was anti it despite the
    > fact that we [the *diehard* US ally] had been fking *INVADED*
    > [technically speaking]); well there's oil round them thar isles.>
            There's little more depressing than the gap between the rhetoric of
    democratic nations when they go to war, and the economic reality that
    usually underpins their actions, especially given the intelligence aid
    Britain received from Chile in that war, that caused all that fuss around
    Pinochet's visit to Britain a couple fo years back when he was indicted for
    war crimes. I'd have packed him off to Spain (I believe that was the nation
    indicting him) straight away. The legal route is precarious.

            On Channel 4 News last night they interviewed the Law Professor
    (name escapes me) who worked out the protocals used for the Lockerbie trial,
    in a piece about one alternative to trying to level Afghanistan- indicting
    Bin Laden and trying him. He said, interestingly, that the rhetoric of Bin
    Laden as a war criminal was, in legal terms, incorrect. Acts of terrorism
    are not war crimes, but "ordinary" crimes in law he said, and so was this
    crime, in the legal sense. This is important because Bin Laden's offer to
    stand trial under Sharia law wouldn't be possible, because the convention
    for such crimes is that terrorists are tried under the laws of the country
    in which the crimes were committed. So, for Lockerbie, Scots law was used
    as that's where the plane was brought down. The problem was where to host
    the trial, and any such trial of Bin Laden would be even more problematic.
    Of course, one presumes there's little chance he'd be prepared to stand
    trial under US law. The only other alternative would be to try and have him
    brought before the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague, but in
    effect for this to happen, there needs to be a war going on. I expect that
    by the time this occurs all notions of due process will have long been
    thrown out the window. Perhaps that's appropriate, perhaps it's
    unavoidable. Time will tell.


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