Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bin Laden's driver joins Goering, Speer, as convictee of war crimes

The conviction of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's driver, of, who according to NPR, a higher up in Al Qaeda once said that he was "An ignorant Bedouin only fit for changing tires", has brought the spectre of a glorious war crimes trial against the dastardly terrorist menace into the headlines. Leaving the insult to humanity that Guantanamo Bay and the idea of "unlawful combatants" are aside for the moment, there seems to be some sort of, I don't know, something kind of unsatisfying about the sequence of people convicted by the U.S. (or by International Tribunal in the case of WW II) of War Crimes running Goering, Martin Bormann, Rudolph Hess, Albert Speer, Balder von Schirach.....Salim Hamdan, Bin Laden's driver.

An Irish Times article notes in its end sentence that he was found with two shoulder launched missiles in his car at a checkpoint, which is interesting because the final lines of articles are usually used to try to rally the reader back to what the writer thinks is the righteous interpretation of the facts. In this case, the valiant attempt comes off as not even being mildly menacing since having two surface to air missiles in your car in Afghanistan seems to be par for the course.

But rest assured, all the yuppie baby boomer Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg heads who feel that they missed out on being part of the "Greatest Generation" and experiencing first hand the Second World War are now masturbating furiously at being able to touch history through the association of the phrase "Unlawful Combatant" and "War Crimes trial".

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