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Tuesday, February 19, 2008


State prosecutor Richard Maidment, SC, has accused a Melbourne, Australia, based ‘terror group’ of plotting to kill then Prime Minister John Howard. Apparently they discussed the idea during a “religious lesson delivered by the group's leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika to one of his followers, Abdullah Merhi in September 2004”.

But, it seems, Australian ‘terrorists’ aren’t the only ones that have discussed the idea of seeing Howard dead. Some commentators at the popular Australian current affairs blog, Webdiary, have also expressed similar ideas about Howard’s demise only this time by virtue of being found guilty of war crimes and paying the ultimate price for his crimes – at the end of a rope. I don’t personally endorse such an end for Howard – I would far rather see him rot in prison for his crimes than execute him – but I can see why some would be upset enough to want to see him pay the ultimate price; he has, after all, been a part of those actions that were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands people.

Naturally, extreme right-wing pro-Howard supporters rushed to his defence. Dylan Kissane, renowned in Australia and throughout academia for his lies and deceit and also his strong warmongering neoconservativism, thought that ‘hoping for Howard’s execution was just sick’, yet later he said: “…I'm not at all against the death penalty. Indeed, in certain circumstances and for certain crimes, I think the death penalty - fairly and legally imposed - is a just punishment. I do find something sick, however, about hoping for the hanging of John Howard”.

One has to wonder why not Howard. Howard has clearly has been responsible for the deaths of so many and in a war that was both immoral and illegal. Kissane I recall had no problems when it came to the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Nor did he have any problem with the hanging of a Vietnamese-Australian caught dealing drugs back in November 2005.

For the likes of Kissane, the death penalty isn’t about justice, regardless of the arguments about the death penalty itself as a punishment, for Kissane it’s a political weapon. It’s OK for Saddam Hussein to hang for his crimes, it’s even OK for a drug dealer to hang for his crime, but it’s not OK, indeed, it’s ‘sick’, for someone Kissane supports politically to hang for their horrendous crime.

Arrogance and hypocrisy; they are the values that ‘they’, those ‘terrorists’ that the Victorian State prosecutor wants to condemn for talking about the death of a war criminal, hate about ‘us’.

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