Tuesday, May 3, 2011
In the name of justice…
Well, itâ€™s been a week of it! Two billion watching the Royal Wedding just as they had when Princess Diana was the then royal bimbo of choice. The War Cabinet in the White House watching Bin Laden being blasted off this mortal coil by a US assassination squad, Pope Paul passing Go towards beatification with Robert Mugabe there to watch the proceedings by special decree of the Italian Government. We are a global viewing community are we not? Cameras on mobile phones bring news to YouTube watchers of war, rape pillage and one on one humiliation, the content of which governments, special forces, girlfriends or classmates would like to suppress, CCTV everywhere and the mediaâ€™s own trained sleuths with their nosey distance lenses capturing celebrities at it (it being whatever they want to think of as private). If you canâ€™t see a recording of it, it doesnâ€™t pass muster in modern society.
There was something of Ancient Rome about Emperor Obamaâ€™s watching the assassination. His thumb had pointed earthwards and so the dogs of war shimmied down their ropes to put an end to Bin Ladenâ€™s hateful stratagems of terror in a tiny arena outside Islamabad. There was something undeniably unseemly and surreal about Paul being elevated towards sainthood on the strength of a nunâ€™s recovery from Parkinsonâ€™s. In front of a million flagwaving amnesiacs or deniers. This, the man who had presided over child abuse from his priests for more than two decades, his administration blocking investigations, covering up the horrors of it all, moving on bishops and priests to enact their life-shattering crimes over and over again. And all this with Mugabe, apparently a devout catholic, given special permission to pass through Rome to be there. Mugabe! Special friend of the Vatican! Given the history of Catholic atrocities, I suppose he must be regarded as a fellow traveller, bedfellow, bosom pal.
The Americans could have taken Bin Laden for trial. Benedict could have prevented his church from swimming even more in a filthy quagmire of hypocrisy. Mugabe could have been told that his Catholic soul would rot in hell and no amount of last rites would bring absolution. A litany of ifs and buts that bear no relation to the upper atmosphere of politics.