I just love this picture of Mahinda and Gaddafi. What I would give to be a fly on that bulletproof glass.
The Economist has an interesting take on hypocrisy and the west.
The end of the war in Sri Lanka was marked by little of the celebratory tone that has marked some of the reporting of the death of Muammar Qaddafi this month. A few days before the Sri Lankan army’s final victory, President Barack Obama had called on it to stop using heavy weaponry in civilian areas. And when victory came, there was almost immediate condemnation of the tactics the Sri Lankan army had used in the final months of the war; calls for war-crimes inquiries predated the last battle, and persist to this day. Over Libya, there was no such call for restraint in the battle for Sirte, and on Qaddafi’s death, Mr Obama was quick to hail “the end of a long and painful chapter for the people of Libya”.
Yeah, it’s basically bullshit. Banyan tempers this argument by saying that western countries temper their violence with accountability but, honestly, they’re only accountable in the sense that they have power and are safe to say sorry without consequences. The US is not party to the International Criminal Court and whatever they investigate is internal.
For Sri Lanka they’re talking about international investigations and basically prosecution and punishment, so of course the government reacts by feeling threatened and maligned. I’ve also talked to people from the US government and they’re basically like, ‘we get calls from Tamil constituents complaining so we have to do something’. Yet a lot of these constituents supported the LTTE (not all, for shizz) and that LTTE transnational lobby is still driving this war crimes stuff in a deeply cynical way. Meanwhile they get lobbied by Israel to ignore whatever they’re doing and don’t pay attention to the Pakistani people that don’t like being drone bombed. It’s actually unfair, and not reality driven.
For the moralistic tone they take, the US is actually driven by their interests and lobbying. I would say this is whatever, but this heavy-handed approach cheapens the actual cause of accountability by substituting posturing that pleases lobby groups for policy that can actually support the stated aims.
So, I guess, I’d agree with Banyan’s blog thing except where he loops back at the end and qualifies it. The international community’s persecution of Sri Lanka and support for bloody wars that eliminate tyrants and terrorists they don’t like (Gaddafi, Bin Laden, Saddam) is bullshit. This is not to say that SL doesn’t need a reality check, but these world governments should really support Sri Lanka for emerging out of a national nightmare and give the government the room to look at itself without the threatening, nagging sanctimony.