Sunday, March 12, 2006

victor's injustice


slobodan milosevic the so called 'butcher of belgrade' died yesterday in his jail cell in hague. he had been defending himself before the international war crimes tribunal against i don't know how many number of charges including genocide for the past four years or so. i don't know to what degree he was personally responsible for various atrocities that were carried out in former yugoslavia by his fellow serbs while he was president in turn of both serbia and rump of yugoslavia. it is quite possible he was responsible. however even if he was eventually convicted would that be really justice? would conviction of saddam hussein at his trial mean he and his victims received justice?

justice in essence means fairness.

would trials conducted by victors against losers ever be fair? even when there is no doubt about the guilt of the defendant?

wouldn't it be more honest and even fair to punish the losers straight away?

for one thing it would be less messy and certainly less frustrating for the victims and their families. then there would not have been autopsies and accusations and counter accusations about who is responsible for milosevic’s death. there would not have been almost comic antics at the trial in iraq.

such punishment would be revenge pure and simple. can modern democratic societies justify revenge honestly?

some might argue that it is best to know the truth about historical events in details so that victims get 'closure' and history its record, instead of festering wounds and nagging doubts. question is whether courts can ever get to truth. wouldn't something like south africa's truth and reconciliation commission be better at this?

fact is we will not get to truth and fairness unless both losers and victors go through the same scrutiny and process.

they say history is written by the victors. unfortunately for victors they too will lose someday. twenty five years ago soviet historians writing about russian revolution would have been convinced that history will judge it as a glorious victory for proletariat. now we know it was an ignominious coup by a few power hungry people with no mass support.

world will eventually get to a point when fate of present victors and losers will not materially affect those who examine the issue. perhaps then justice will be done. at that point people may perhaps judge that nato bombing of bosnian serbs was a worse atrocity than anything that happened during siege of sarajevo. perhaps they may not. they may judge that george bush was right to invade even though it cost thousands of innocent iraqi lives because he got rid of a worse criminal. perhaps they may not.

who are we to judge even if we win? better be selfish and get rid of the loser for revenge or for profit and be honest about it, if only to ourselves.

5 comments:

Old Man Morri said...

heres some free will, your site deserves more.
join my cult, become a better person

Keshi said...

**so that victims get 'closure'

Sittingnut d u ever think victims of such severe crimes ever get justice/closure?

Keshi.

sittingnut said...

keshi:
you are right they don't get justice and closure.

Mahisha said...

The biggest war criminals, the winners, goes unpunished.... what about those in Afganistan and Iraq who died on the relentless carpet bombings counducted by the coalition of bullies?? do those vitims ever get justic?? are their voices ever heard??

sittingnut said...

mahisha
good point. we will only see real justice only after a long time has elapsed when it's value is not worth much.