Monday, June 27, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Brendan Smith | The "Tribunal Movement"

This tribunal movement is very interesting. Roy's comment that we appear to be living in a world where real life has become more satirical than satir can ever be seems to me to be a pertinent fact.

The Bremner Brd and Fortune TV satire programme stopped being funny when it became a watered down version of thehideous political truth.

However, if you wanted news you would get more of it on Bremner and Co than on the BBc news programmes.

"Drawing on the tradition of Bertrand Russell's 1967 International War Crimes Tribunal on Vietnam, the WTI jury heard expert testimony from eminent lawyers and scholars on the application of international humanitarian law to US and British conduct in Iraq. The jury will also hear testimony from Iraqi victims of alleged American war crimes, including residents of Fallujah, survivors of carpet bombing, and victims of torture.

There have been twenty similar tribunals held in South Korea, Paris, Brussels, New York, and elsewhere around the world over the last three years. According to Professor Richard Falk, author of more than 30 books on international law, this 'Tribunal movement' works 'to reinforce the claims of international law by filling in the gaps where governments and even the United Nations are unable and unwilling to act, or even speak. When governments are silent, and fail to protect victims of aggression, tribunals of concerned citizens possess a law-making authority.'

After hearing evidence, the Tribunal jury will 'draw legal, moral, and political conclusions,' as well as offer recommendations and send the various witness depositions to the International Criminal Court.

Arundhati Roy responded to accusations that the Tribunal is a Kangaroo Court that represents only one point of view. She said this claim seems to suggest 'a touching concern that in this harsh world the views of the US Government ... have somehow gone unrepresented.'

According to Roy, 'If someone can seriously hold this view, then we really do live in an age when satire has become meaningless because real life is more satirical than satire can ever be.'"