Letter from America – The Doggy Mess – Part 1
Seemingly our world is going to the dogs. That is how I have been feeling lately. Hardly anything good is happening anywhere. Here below are some samples from this past week.
Remember the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik? He killed 77 people and injured 242 on July 22 of last year. He bombed government buildings in Oslo before shooting those young Labour Party supporters at an island camp. During his testimony at the court, Breivik insisted that he was sane, and sought to justify his attacks by saying that they were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway.
At many parts of the world, such self-incriminating confessions of one’s horrendous crimes would be good enough to find the criminal guilty and send him to rot in the maximum security prison for life or even face death penalty. Instead, the prosecutors in Norway have called for self-confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik to be considered insane in their closing argument at his trial. A string of forensic and prison psychiatrists have, however, told this court that they thought Breivik was not psychotic and, therefore, accountable. Only two people - the authors of the first psychiatric assessment - have argued in court that he was psychotic at the time of his crimes. Yet the prosecution argued that there were “reasonable” doubts as to the sanity of Breivik, which should "benefit" the defendant. Obviously, to these naïve prosecutors no Norwegian in the right mind could have done such a horrific act of violence; so to them Breivik had to be insane while he committed the mass murder!
With such prosecutors, who needs a defense lawyer? Judges in the trial in Oslo are due to deliver their verdict in the trial in July or August.
Let’s hope that in their verdict judges are mindful of the rights of those innocent victims, and justice would be served to Breivik - this evil, calculating mass-murderer.
Remember the huge protests in the Tahrir Square in Cairo last year which succeeded in bringing down the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in February 11, 2011? Or, so it felt with his fall. Within months, there was even a parliamentary election where people for the first time in recent history could elect their own representatives, which they did very enthusiastically. Mubarak was put on trial for his role in the massacre of protesters and found guilty in a recent court verdict. There was even a presidential election.
So, one would think that everything is going in the right direction and there is nothing to feel concerned about the emerging democracy in Egypt – the land which had seen more Pharaohs than democratically elected rulers. Last Thursday was supposed to be the day the results of the Egyptian presidential election were released, but the military junta has delayed them until at least Sunday. So, you wonder who on earth are these shadowy, behind-the-scene, players that have been running the country for the past 16 months after the revolution forced Mubarak to step down! It is a military junta comprising of 19 Mubaraks - who run the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. They were all hand-picked by Hosni Mubarak himself to protect his dictatorship. Thus, while Mubarak is gone and enjoying the comfort of military hospital instead of jail, his partners in crime have still been holding their power behind that all-powerful clique. They are determined to stop the Egyptian revolution and retain as much control as possible.
Thus, we are not too surprised to learn that the Supreme Council has over the past week given itself the role of legislator, the right to arrest civilians, control over drafting a new constitution and stripped the next president of many significant powers. It has delegitimized the newly elected Parliament, and has passed decrees to shield the military from civilian oversight so that none can contest its overwhelming power, and not even the newly elected or crowned president. There are also rumors that it wants one of its own – Ahmed Shafiq – to take Mubarak’s place as the president and not Mohammed Morsi, the presumptive winner from the Muslim Brotherhood in the recent election. These moves have been condemned by the Human Rights Watch which said on Thursday that recent moves by Egypt's ruling generals suggested that there would not be a "meaningful" handover of power to civilian rule by July 1 as promised. In a statement, the New York-based group said the generals created conditions that are "ripe" for further abuses. "The generals' relentless expansion of their authority to detain and try civilians now goes far beyond their powers under Hosni Mubarak," the statement quoted the group's Middle East director, Joe Stork, as saying.
The Egyptian people are furious with all these Pharaonic decrees and conspiracy against the revolution. They have again come to the Tahrir Square to complete their unfinished revolution. As warned by one of its best citizens, the prominent Egyptian law scholar and diplomat Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Egypt is again “on the verge of explosion”. He warned Thursday on Twitter: “The national interest is above narrow interests. We need a mediation committee immediately to find a political and legal way out of the crisis.”
The military had already been blamed by critics for mismanaging the 16-month transition since Mubarak's overthrow and a host of gross rights abuses, including the killing of protesters, torturing detainees and hauling more than 12,000 civilians for trial before military tribunals since it took power.
Thus, the Egyptian people are back to square one, or that is what it seems now.
To be continued
- Asian Tribune –