January 12, 2007

Oh, to be in England...The Trial of Tony Blair debuts this Monday. For the swelling legions of Phoebe Nicholls fans, it will surely be nirvana, and the early word is that it will even be worth watching the scenes she doesn't appear in. She has a line about Bush being in a coma that may surpass "Game, set and match" as the greatest line she's ever uttered. Otherwise, it's got some telling points about the responsibility (or lack thereof) that Western political leaders have for the consequences of their actions, including the fairy tale notion that we would actually allow international tribunals to judge our own actions.

The ICC, which tries Blair in the satire, got a bad rep from the Milosevic trial, which lasted for four years; needless to say, a four-year trial that ends only because the defendant died is contrary to any elemental notion of due process, and ends up being self-defeating if the goal is to illuminate the atrocities of the accused. After about six months, even the most passionate adherents of human rights and accountability are going to be more interested in what Paris Hilton or Posh Spice are wearing than who ordered what in Bosnia. But it obviously beats the travesty of the victor's justice that we just saw take place in Iraq. How we can consider ourselves civilized for applying one standard of justice to Pinochet and Milosevic, and another to Bush and Blair, who have the blood of hundreds of thousands on their hands, is beyond me.

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